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Nintendo Football League


Since its foundation in 1999, the Nintendo Football League's popularity has grown to a feverish pitch, with old Koopa Hockey League rivalries turning into new gridiron grudge matches. These are the histories, players, and outlooks for the 26 Nintendo Football League teams (including the defunct Anime Attackers and Sonic Speeders).

Mario Mushrooms
Records and Titles

The Mario Mushrooms have been one of the Nintendo Football League's most successful franchises, making the playoffs their first four seasons, winning the first two Mario Conference Championships, and winning Mario Bowl II. They had won at least one playoff game every single year the first four seasons, being the only Nintendo Football League team to do so. However, in 2003, they failed to come through in the clutch in a lot of big games, and missed the playoffs for the first time ever due to some tiebreakers. In 2004, things got worse, with a first-ever losing season and last-place finish, but at the end of the season, they started turning things around, improving their extremely leaky defense. They got things turned around in 2005, and have won two straight division titles. Their future is bright, as always: Mario is still one of the league's best quarterbacks and kickers, while Wario has won two Defensive Player of the Year awards. Waluigi and Daisy make an awesome one-two punch at the wide receiver position; if Waluigi doesn't beat you deep, Daisy will beat you short. The Mushrooms claimed their second Mario Bowl victory in Mario Bowl IX over the Kanto Trainers, 21-20.

Star Players:
Koopa Troopas
Records and Titles

Since Day One, the Koopa Troopas have always been about passing the ball downfield. They started their first season 6-0, before going into a horrible slump that took them 2 years to break out of. Once they did, they went from the lowest-ranked Mario Conference playoff team in 2001 to Mario Bowl III Champions. Led by pass-happy Lakitu and his catching buddy Tineeko, the Troopas have a resume of passing, passing, and more passing. The Troopas then totally collapsed in 2002, winning only one game, but turned it around rather quickly with a Mario Division title in 2003 (although exiting in the first round of the playoffs). In 2004, the Troopas accomplished a franchise first: making the playoffs in two consecutive seasons. They were the #1 seed in the Mario Conference even after a 1-4 start, but lost their first playoff game for the third time out of four playoff appearances. In 2005, the Troopas started out 1-3, before going on an amazing 12-game winning streak, winning Mario Bowl VII. They made the playoffs for the fourth straight year in 2006.

Star Players:
Grand Goombas
Records and Titles

The Grand Goombas are a strange bunch of players: they don't have hands. They catch the ball between their giant heads and their feet. They have always been an up-and-down, roller-coaster ballclub; after a 1-5 start in 2000, they won their final two games and finished tied for first place (but missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker). In 2002, they started out 9-2 and clinched their division title, but then promptly lost in OT in their regular-season finale to the hapless Dark Land Lava, then got humiliated at home in the playoffs by the Mario Mushrooms. That loss was a foreshadowing of 2003, in which they lost all but one game. They've been up and down ever since. Their future is always in question: will they go up, or will they go down?

Star Players:
Dark Land Lava
Records and Titles

The Dark Land Lava remain the only original Nintendo Football League franchise to never make the playoffs. This team is loaded with talent, and it's amazing that they seem to always come up short. In 2003, they started off badly, but rebounded nicely and were one of the hardest teams to beat down the stretch, before a miserable 18-10 loss to the Mushrooms in Week 10 killed their playoff hopes. In 2004, they looked poised to make the playoffs for the first time ever, but managed to lose four of their final five games and missed the playoffs yet again. In 2006, they started out 6-2, but lost their final four games to miss the playoffs. Will they ever make the playoffs?

Star Players:
Football Fortress
Records and Titles

This franchise started out on top of their division, and while they struggled in 2001, the Football Fortress always has something left when it seems like they're out of it. For example, in 2000's Mario Conference Wild-Card Game, the Fortress came up with a miracle TD in the last seconds. In 2002, they started out 0-2 and looked hopeless, until they turned their season around, going on a 6-game winning streak to go from 2-4 to 8-4. The Fortress was a favorite to win their division title in 2003, but lost in their season finale to Ice Land to yield the Flurries the title. They came up just short in the conference title game at Ice Land, failing in their bid to reach their first Mario Bowl. In 2004, they won their division and even exacted revenge on the Flurries in the first round of the playoffs, but were ousted by Desert Land in round two. They have now won three straight division titles. Their future looks quite bright, though, with Tubba Blubba still being one of the best players in the league.

Star Players:
Fighting Fire
Records and Titles

The Fighting Fire are one of the worst teams in league history. That's about all I can say about them. Two straight 0-12 seasons say it all.

Star Players:
Frozen Flurries
Records and Titles

The Frozen Flurries are another team with no hands; they hold the ball just like the Goombas do. This hasn't stopped them from becoming a successful squad. They only missed the playoffs by a blocked field goal in 2002, and then went on to win the Nintendo Football League title in 2003, with a running attack like no other in the league. Flurrier Sr. retired before the 2004 season from playing, but he stayed on as the team's head coach. The team made the playoffs in 2004 without Flurrier Sr. playing anyway. They have gone downhill in the two years afterward, missing the playoffs each season. Ice Land Stadium's frozen tundra is also one of the scariest and hardest places to play, especially in November; it's the Nintendo Football League version of Lambeau Field.

Star Players:
Bob-omb Blasters
Records and Titles

The Bob-omb Blasters were beaten soundly by the Johto Masters in their inaugural game, and were on their way to losing to the Thwomp Traps when King Bob-omb got his team its first touchdown, then led them to a win in overtime. From there, 2002 Coach of the Year Videogamerpat led his team to a 6-6 record, keeping them in the playoff race for quite a while. Ever since, however, they've finished 2-10 every year.

Star Players:
Sub-con Athletics
Records and Titles

The A's are named after a Major League Baseball team because they have all the same players and same coach as their Mario Baseball League counterparts, who were originally part of the Sub-con Baseball League, in which every team was named after a Major League Baseball team. In their first season, they became the first expansion team to reach the Mario Bowl (not including the inaugural season, in which all teams were expansion teams). They also became the first team besides any team from the Nintendo Football League's inaugural season to make it to the Mario Bowl. However, a 64-61 overtime loss to the A+ Apes kept them from claiming all 3 sports league titles in the same year (the Mario/Lego Sports Committee's Triple Crown). In 2003, they were Mario Conference favorites, or at least co-favorites with the Mario Mushrooms, but ended up with a mere #6 seed. They won one playoff game at Troopa Land before losing at Ice Land for the second time in 2003. Amazingly enough, due to a division games tiebreaker, they tied with six other Mario Conference teams for the best record in the Mario Conference, yet failed to even make the playoffs! This team did better in 2005 and 2006, with playoff appearances each year.

Star Players:
Desert Land Destroyers
Records and Titles

Desert Land came into the 2002 season as an expansion team with great expectations. The team both disappointed and impressed their fans. It was a pretty nice accomplishment to finish with a winning record in their first season, but the Destroyers blew a one-point lead against the Yoshi Yo-yos with about 2 minutes to go. This game came back to haunt them, as even though they were tied with the Yoshi Yo-yos for the final playoff spot in the Mario Conference, that head-to-head loss gave the Yoshi Yo-yos the tiebreaker. In 2003, this team made the playoffs, but lost in the first round to the Football Fortress after King Boo completed a Hail Mary to Tubba Blubba for a stunning comeback win. In 2004, Desert Land went to the Mario Bowl after a crazy playoff run, including a two-point conversion attempt by the Football Fortress being returned for two points, eventually leading to a win in triple overtime after a subsequent offensive TD, and a kickoff return for a touchdown featuring three laterals as time expired to beat the Yoshi Yo-yos. The Destroyers even came back from a 24-point deficit in Mario Bowl VI against the Pikachu Thunder, before blowing an eight-point lead in regulation and a three-point lead in overtime. The Destroyers have finished at 8-4 four straight seasons.

Star Players:
Yoshi Yo-yos
Records and Titles

The Yo-yos are best known for their comeback from down 48-0 against Dark Land in 1999's second game to win 73-72 on a last-second touchdown and two-point conversion. After an 0-4 start in 2002, the Yoshi Yo-yos' season looked over. A last-second win in the heavy rain and mud against the hapless Koopa Troopas didn't seem to be the answer to the team's problems. Yet this win led the Yo-yos to a 6-game winning streak, which helped them make the playoffs at 7-5. The Yo-yos returned to the playoffs with a division title and #2 seed in 2003, although they lost in their first playoff game after their bye. The Yoshi Yo-yos made it to the Mario Conference championship game in 2004, before losing on a crazy kickoff return for a touchdown featuring three laterals by the division rival Desert Land Destroyers. In a strange twist of fate, the Yo-yos failed to reach the Mario Bowl in 2005, losing the conference title game at home in triple overtime; but they then reached the Mario Bowl in 2006 as a #6 seed, only getting in the playoffs after a last-second TD pass in their final game coupled with a Goombas last-second field goal to knock out the Lava.

Star Players:
Kirby Superstars
Records and Titles

When Adeline intercepted a pass and returned it for touchdown in a 2003 game against the Sky Land Bombers, she sealed a 23-11 victory for the Kirby Superstars, their first win ever as a football franchise. They won another game later on in the season, barely losing in their season finale. This set the stage for an amazing 2-0 start in 2004, and the team was 5-4 heading into their final three games, but in their fifth victory of the season, Kirby was injured for the season, and King Dedede was suspended for the season. The Superstars failed to reach .500 in 2005 and 2006 as well.

Star Players:
Pikachu Thunder
Records and Titles

The Pika Thunder started out on top, winning Mario Bowl I, with 1999 Coach of the Year Ash Ketchum. They visited the Mario Bowl again the following year, with new coach Giovanni, who was the 2000 Coach of the Year, but got humiliated by the Mario Mushrooms. The Thunder have won their last three division titles, but as heavy favorites at home in Mario Bowl V, they were upset 14-11 in double overtime by the Frozen Flurries. In 2004, the Thunder amazingly won all 12 regular-season games before winning three playoff games en route to becoming the first team to win a second Mario Bowl. Meowth won his third straight regular-season MVP award, as well as a Mario Bowl MVP award, while celebrating what must be considered the greatest season in Nintendo Football League history. They reached their fifth Mario Bowl in 2005, although they fell in triple overtime.

Star Players:
Johto Masters
Records and Titles

2006 was Johto's magical year, as they went 9-3 and made the playoffs as a #5 seed under first-year coach Pryce. League MVP Silver then led Johto to an amazing 45-40 win in the wild-card round over the Kanto Trainers, before also winning in the next two rounds, en route to a 28-6 Mario Bowl VIII victory, in which Silver also claimed MVP honors.

Star Players:
Kanto Trainers
Records and Titles

On the last day of the 2000 regular-season, the Pokémon Trainers got blown out by the Football Fortress, one win away from a perfect season. With this loss still on their minds, they got down big in the Monster Conference Championship Game. A Sabrina comeback fell short by one point, as the Trainers missed a two-pointer instead of kicking the easy extra point and going to OT. After this, the Trainers have not been good, losing their final 3 in 2001 to miss the playoffs and blow an easy Poké Division title, then only winning 2 out of 12 games in 2002. In 2003, Sabrina's younger sister Katrina joined the team, and they made the playoffs at 5-7. However, they lost 6-0 in the first round to the Sky Land Bombers on the road. They then struggled in 2004 to a last-place, 3-9 finish. An upset of the Sky Land Bombers during the season was a big highlight, as this eventually prevented the Bombers from claiming the #2 seed in the Monster Conference and a bye week. They returned to the playoffs in 2005 and 2006, changing their name to the Kanto Trainers in 2006 while Katrina left the team to focus on golf.

Star Players:
Hoenn Elite
Records and Titles

Flannery had a huge year in the Hoenn Elite's inaugural season of 2006, winning Offensive Player of the Year honors, while helping the Elite make it to the divisional playoff round in their first season.

Star Players:
Flying Falcons
Records and Titles

The Falcons beat only the eventual Mario Bowl I champion Pikachu Thunder in 1999, then had another lackluster year in 2000. After a miracle season in which they made the playoffs, somehow knocked off the Titanic Giants and the Pikachu Thunder on the road, but then lost in Mario Bowl III, Captain Falcon told all non-F-Zero players to leave his team. They did, forming the Super Smashers. Would this come back to haunt Captain Falcon? No, not at all. The Falcons swept the Smashers in the season series, 2-0, and went on to win their division title. However, a regular-season-ending loss to the Titanic Giants by two points forced them to play the A+ Apes instead of the Giants again in the playoffs, and the Falcons' defense fell apart, giving up 42 points in a heart-breaking, 42-37 loss to the eventual Mario Bowl IV champion A+ Apes. The Flying Falcons won their division title again in 2003, but failed again in the playoffs, this time to the Pikachu Thunder, 45-20. After surviving a Captain Falcon injury and a tough start to the regular-season, they won their division title yet again, but they failed in the playoffs in 2004 yet again, to a certain team known as the Pikachu Thunder. The Falcons won their division title in 2005 and 2006, but failed to make it to the Mario Bowl each year as well. Will the Falcons ever get the job done in the playoffs, when it matters?

Star Players:
A+ Apes
Records and Titles

The A+ Apes finally got their grade in Mario Bowl IV, beating the Oakland Athletics in Sub-con to become the first team to ever win a Mario Bowl on the road. The Apes have always been about high-scoring and hard-hitting play. Donkey Kong is the personification of the A+ Apes, with his strong arm, even stronger leg, and his strongest hits. However, in 2003, the Apes were beaten by their playoff-bound opponents and couldn't win any big games, ending up out of the playoffs a year after winning it all. This team was way too talented to miss the playoffs two straight seasons, and despite an injury to Donkey Kong, the team won a playoff game in 2004. This team has finished 7-5 three consecutive seasons, which must be considered underachieving for a team with this talent.

Star Players:
Titanic Giants
Records and Titles

The Titanic Giants have the Flying Falcons as a gigantic monkey on their backs, as the Falcons have knocked them out of the playoffs two straight years. They do have a lot of hope for the future, being such a physically strong team. They underachieved greatly in 2005 and 2006, missing the playoffs in each season.

Star Players:
Super Smashers
Records and Titles

The Super Smashers were formed when Captain Falcon kicked all non-F-Zero players off the Flying Falcons, which were formerly a collection of all kinds of Nintendo characters, like Link, Zelda, Samus, Fox McCloud, and Ness. These players were the primary reason why the 2001 version of the Flying Falcons made it to the Mario Bowl, but in 2002, they couldn't seem to get along with each other, and a 4-8 record was what they had to show for it. They looked even worse early in 2003, but some great play late in the season led them to the same record as the year before, which was quite an accomplishment given how badly the season begun. In 2006, they finally finished .500. Will Link ever make the playoffs as quarterback of his own team, after being one second from being Mario Bowl champion back in 2001 with the Flying Falcons?

Star Players:
Piranha Eaters
Records and Titles

The Piranha Eaters were not very competitive in 2003, finishing 2-10 and being mainly just an automatic win for most of their playoff-hungry opponents. In 2004, the Eaters shocked the rest of the league by making the playoffs as a #4 seed, with Ptooie playing absolutely spectacularly for his franchise. They made the playoffs again in 2005, but struggled mightily in 2006.

Star Players:
Thwomp Traps
Records and Titles

45-year-old Wham Thwomp Sr. made a big splash in returning to the Thwomp Land Thwomps hockey team in the 2001-02 hockey season. He then decided also to join his baseball and football teams, but neither panned out very well. The football team especially looked bad, after blowing an 11-point lead to the Super Smashers in their inaugural game, then enjoying only two victories all season long: a one-point win over the hapless and winless Kirby Superstars, and a win over the Pokémon Trainers, who were also 2-10. The Traps finished 2-10 again in 2003, but this time in an ultra-weak division. They were a defensive machine in 2004, but couldn't find a way past the Sky Land Bombers, which killed their playoff chances. Now, in 2006, Wham Thwomp Sr. finds himself at the age of 50, and his team winless. Is it time to retire?

Star Players:
Sky Land Bombers
Records and Titles

The Sky Land Bombers were undoubtedly one of 2003's biggest and best stories, starting out 7-0, winning big games against great competition. Then they lost to the Kirby Superstars- a team that had never won a game before! They ended up finishing 9-3 and winning their division title, also winning their first-ever playoff game 6-0, before getting squashed 48-6 by the Pikachu Thunder in round two. In 2004, the Bombers won only one game outside of their division, over a Flying Falcons team with an injured Captain Falcon, but swept their division once again. They lost in the first round of the playoffs this time, however. They earned a bye in 2005, and won their division for the fourth straight year in 2006.

Star Players:
Water Land Sharks
Records and Titles

The Water Land Sharks were one of the Nintendo Football League's biggest underdog stories in the underdog 2003 season, finishing with a winning record and making the playoffs, barely losing in the first round at Giant Land. In 2004, the Sharks came crashing back down to reality with a terrible 2-win season. Things got better in 2006, once Wendy O. Koopa took over as coach and quarterback, nearly leading the Sharks back to the playoffs.

Star Players:
Animé Attackers (defunct)
Records and Titles

The Animé Attackers joined the Nintendo Football League for one brief season, the 2001 season, in which Kino Makoto caught a Nintendo Football League-record 100 passes for a Nintendo Football League-record 2250 yards. She won tons of awards, but the team finished only 5-5, missed the playoffs, then was unanimously contracted by the Mario/Lego Sports Committee for not having any Nintendo connection.

Star Players:
Sonic Speeders (defunct)
Records and Titles

The Sonic Speeders were a fun team to watch in 2003, as they would put up a lot of points but surrender a lot of points as well. In 2004, they started off 2-0 before having lots of trouble down the stretch. Sonic or Shadow could play QB for this squad, and they could also both play RB very well. They were disbanded and the players returned to the Super Smashers before the 2006 season, in favor of the expansion Hoenn Elite.

Star Players: