Houston, or shall I say Baltimore, we have a problem. The Baltimore Cobras are breeding new life into the A7 world, never before have we seen more parody in the league with teams we’ve never seen at the top before sitting comfortably. But, that’s not why we have problems in Baltimore. Sure, the Cobras are off to a fast start with a 4 – 1 record, their only loss coming at the hands of the Nation, but in the three appearances where a NJ team made the trip to Baltimore or Baltimore made the trip to NJ, rosters for the traveling team were significantly light.
Just this past weekend the Cobras came to visit the lovely scenery of New Jersey when they took on Trenton’s own BIC in a battle of the undefeated. Despite the early 14 – 6 lead after the first quarter the final score turned out to be a lopsided 44 – 20 victory in BICs name. The loss of superstar linebacker Jawaun Lipscomb #52 for the Cobras was a big blow defensively who often times saw the BIC offense making big strides down the field and on the offensive side of the ball the loss of #26 Tyrell Addison.
In the two previous meetings where a NJ team (Bombers & Savage) traveled down I-95 on their way to Baltimore players were left behind as well. Now while the sane football fan will stand up, raise their hand – who am I kidding no one is that polite – and say those are just excuses, let me be the first one to say you are right. Although you are right, enough cannot be said for what these players bring to the table for their respective teams.
Lipscomb is arguably one of the best linebackers in the game. The Savage lost play makers on both sides of the ball but mainly on their defensive side including All-Stars Arce, Justo & Larry who are all solid players at their respective positions. And the Bombers failed to suit up one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the league in Mark Dobiszewski or one of the leagues best running backs in Michael Knight. These players aren’t just role players, they are stars, and any team from any level of football losing their top players is going to hurt.
Enter week 6, another NJ team taking the lonely trip down to Baltimore. The Chiefs are looking to be the first NJ team to knock off the Cobras on their home field this season. With two of the leagues greatest teams failing to get the job done it will be the Chiefs a team with a rich history of family and pride who will make the long trek down the interstate to battle one of the leagues best.
The Chiefs lead by arguably one of the leagues most hated players Andrew Polatto JR are turning the tables on the league this season with a quick 4 – 1 start. But lets not get twisted on the first line there, Dru is now hated because he is a bad player or because he is a bad coach, he is hated because he plays the game hard, he plays the game tough and he plays through the whistle, and as many people believe “hatred is one of the most sincerest forms of flattery.” Outside of his own teams circle he may be hated for all of those things above, but inside of his circle he is beloved for his passion, his roots, and his “die for the family” mentality.
One of the biggest attributes Dru brings to his squad is toughness and there isn’t a better adjective to be said about the Chiefs defense. The heart of the defense #99 Big Mo “Long Live Palenstine” is nothing short of passionate about the game of football or passionate about his teammates but it digs deeper for Big Mo who is one of the only descendants from the Middle East. A fact widely understated as even in the NFL you rarely see a player from the Middle East. I spoke with Big Mo earlier this week and asked him what his mission was? What he was fighting for? And he had this to say:
“Being Palestinian represents fight, represents faith, represents resiliency…not alot of arabic Muslim football players had the opportunity to play hs and college and earn rings in both let alone one. Now that A7 is getting exposure and blowing big, my cousin [Mohammed Ramadan] and I want to show the world that we arent what the media portrays Palestinians or Arabs to be. We are normal dudes who love to play football, who are successful at it, and in life and we do what we love for the fun of the game. Football, life, and Palestine coincide. You will meet adversity, you will get knocked down, but no matter what you do no matter how many times you knock us down, we regroup, rebuild and continue too fight.”
In fact, Mahmoud Ramadan “Big Mo” doesn’t do it by himself, he is partnered with one of the fiercest defensive ends in the game with Loc on one side and Tori Gibbs on the other. But when you talk to any leagues top teams what makes the best roster and their answer is depth. The Chiefs are nothing short of depth, with Will Woodley, Alex Lambert, Thomas “Red” Guaschino and Dru himself playing roles on the defense there are almost no holes to fill and that’s not even discussing the Chiefs defensive backs who in their own right are tremendous players.
For the Chiefs though it isn’t just the defense that pacts the biggest punch as their offense knows how to leave its mark. Alex Vargas is one of the toughest quarterbacks in the league getting knocked down several times but never staying down always getting back up. Jesse Martinez #22 has several of his own highlights running unsuspecting victims over and that’s not even mentioning #34 T-Bone who for years has been the guy to fight for the tough yards. And when it isn’t banging and clanging the Chiefs have Ernest “Eazy” Wingate aka The Human Torch who can fly.
Let’s not sleep on Baltimore who in their last three games against New Jersey teams are 2 – 1 with their two wins coming at home. The Cobras are built like a well oiled machine with all players working together in seamless fashion.
It would be easy for us to discuss the same players over and over again, Lipscomb and Harris are marvelous athletes – you can even see Harris playing some wide receiver and tight end this past weekend – but they aren’t just made of those two athletes. At quarterback John “Ace Boogie” Gause Jr is a wonder of his own right with touch behind every pass, strength to go the distance and legs to match Ace Boogie has all the makings of an all star QB.
Outside of Bone and Beast as mentioned above the Cobras bring to the table two defense players, Vincent “Bear” Parker at defensive tackle and Nicholas “Mean Machine” Mays at defensive end that give them a versatile ability from all angles of the field.
Just like a Bear in the woods, Parker has the nose to smell out anything including the ball carrier. His head first approach gives him the ability to run down any one of the ball in their hands and his strength takes them down before they can get going. A great run stuffing tackle, Bear, has the instincts that any defense would want in a player. Mean Machine is nothing short of mean, with strength & power, Mays can play both sides of the ball with ease and will make any player regret not playing with his head on a swivel.
The Cobras have never met a player like Dru or a team like the Chiefs before, and they won’t meet one like them again but they better be prepared for what he and the rest of the Chiefs have to offer.
Both teams are powerful, tough, passionate and believe in family culture. If the Chiefs can get each and everyone of their playmakers to the field this game could be a instant classic but if they do not it will end the same way for them that has for the others.