The purple franchise has had quite a run through the years with the most captains of any team; first LJ, then Campbell, then Julie and now Jack for the past three seasons. Despite the franchise holding the 3rd best points per game cumulatively along with a President’s Trophy and four Final Four appearances to boot, they’ve never made it to a championship game, losing a few of those in the type of brutal fashion that’s led many to speculate whether the franchise is haunted by a ghost, most likely that of either James Ryan or Barrel Braun. Usually competitive, rarely sober, this surprising lack of playoff success is something Jack, Kev, AK and whoever else shows up at the patio to pregame will look to remedy this season.
6) Purple Parrots (Fall 2018)
Regular Season Record: 2-1-1-5 record (6th of 8)
Goal Differential: -7 (6th of 8)
Playoff Finish: Eliminated immediately
Notes: The inaugural purple team got off to a pretty rough start to the season, followed by a rough middle and end as well (just not great all around). They went 2-1-1-5 with Campbell impressively ranking 4th in GAA despite his team being near the bottom of the standings the entire season. They did get an impressive rookie campaign from Henry, leading the team with 8 points in 9 games but when your two leading scorers (him and Creamy) are both natural defensemen, you’ve got issues. Probably the most impressive part of this team was the fact that they managed to have four goalies on the roster, with Campbell in net while Hogg, Eitan and Zach Lewis all played forward. A bold strategy that unfortunately did not really work out for them as an OT loss to Cup Size in the first round of the playoffs put them out of their misery and on the road to (somewhat) better days ahead.
5) Purple People Eaters (Fall 2019)
Regular Season Record: 2-0-1-6 record (8th of 8)
Goal Differential: -19 (8th of 8)
Playoff Finish: Eliminated in 2nd round
Notes: Where to even begin with this team. At the conclusion of the Summer 2019 season I was approached with a wild proposal by the residents of the patio to manage their own team. At first I pretty justifiably thought they were blackout drunk when they made the request and laughed it off but it soon became clear that they were serious and, after several negotiations made over a disgusting and possibly disease ridden beer bong, an agreement was reached whereby Jack/James would manage the team as 1st and 2nd round picks while they would have to find someone willing to trade them a 1st to draft Braun. As various captains protested the situation and many somehow believed that the purple team would be an unstoppable juggernaut, your trusty commissioner was happy to trade them the 1st round pick they desired, correctly assuming that in a draft league which basically equates to a salary cap league, using 3 lottery picks on forwards would be a total disaster and their draft strategy would be as terrible as McQuades D5 gambling P&L. Sweet vindication (for me, not them) came quickly as this team lost their first 3 games by a combined score of 16-3. For the first time ever, game lines had to include a spread of 2 or 3 goals because the league sportsbook was just taking a vicious beating from people betting against purple every single week and cleaning up, much to Jenn’s chagrin. They finally notched their first win of the season in week 5 with a 4-1 victory over the Cheetahs before shocking the world and hurting Jenn again in taking down the previously undefeated Cup Size 3-0 as a +250 underdog and only -120 to even come within two goals. They wrapped up the season with an absolutely insane 9-2 loss to the Stud Puffins and a 5-2 loss to the Backdoor Bandits that featured Jamal’s first career goal. The People Eaters looked to be just as much of underachievers as their Minnesota namesakes and had the season ended right there, this team would have easily finished in last place in this ranking and near the bottom of the all-time shitty team rankings. And then…that playoff game. Down 3-0 to the same Puffins that had just smoked them 9-2, they mounted a furious comeback which saw them score two goals in the last 3 minutes and win the game on the first shift of the OT. An electric moment in league history and some measure of vindication for a patio that had endured vicious and well-deserved taunting all season. Of course, the storybook ending fell apart in the very next game when they lost 1-0 to a Probie-less Hooligans squad in a playoff game that featured a superhuman performance by Barch and an end of game mutiny of Jack. For the thrill of winning that one playoff game, though, I think they would agree it was all worth it.
4) Purple Parrots (Spring 2019)
Regular Season Record: 4-1-3-1 record (2nd of 8)
Goal Differential: 2 (4th of 8)
Playoff Finish: Eliminated in final four
Notes: The 2nd edition of the Parrots were drafted by Campbell at the first live draft at history, held at East End and MCed by Glanzer. Unlike every other captain who showed up with a laptop and pages of notes, Campbell showed up with one tiny piece of paper that looked like it came from a 5th grader’s homework pad which he held in his hand and read off from every time it was his time to pick, often calling the names of players who had been picked several rounds earlier. This rather insane strategy somehow paid off as the Parrots picked up points in each of their first five games and were fighting for 1st place for the first month of the season. This was a fun and resilient group with an eclectic mix of Black Squirrels and previous season Parrots alums who endured unspeakable off-ice adversity but persevered as a team, finishing the season with two wins in their last three games en route to an eventual 2nd place finish despite a goal differential that was barely above even. They earned a direct bye to the final four where they raced out to a 3-0 lead over the Hippos but unfortunately with their captain and spiritual leader Campbell in Boston by this time (thanks to an insane amount of rain delays, of course), they fell apart late and lost a 5-3 heartbreaker. One of many teams throughout this series that probably deserved better but hockey is a cruel, cruel game as the Hippos would find out in the very next round.
3) Cleveland Monsters (Summer 2019)
Regular Season Record: 3-0-1-5 record (6th of 8)
Goal Differential: -7 (5th of 8)
Playoff Finish: Eliminated in final four
Notes: This team was picked by the league sportsbook as the favorites entering the season but looked pretty terrible early on, picking up two losses in their first three games including one to an absolutely atrocious Cup Size team that was the worst in the history of that franchise. With a roster that included Jack, Hogg, Brad Russo, LJ, Warren Smash (named as such because he almost murdered Michelle Ullman in his first D5 game) and Zisser in goal, this team underachieved throughout the season en route to a somewhat disappointing 6th place finish. This set them up for a playoff date with the aforementioned terrible Cup Size team who they easily dispatched 3-1 before pulling the upset over the unfortunately named RONKONKOMA CONDO’S (misplaced apostrophe was for some reason part of their name). My favorite part of that game was undoubtedly Russo whiffing, then scoring an empty netter off the boards and telling the crowd it was “geometry.” Their semifinal matchup with the 2nd place Goonies was the stuff of legend and quite possibly the greatest game in league history. A 1-1 tilt going into the 3rd period saw an astounding offensive explosion as the Monsters took a 4-3 lead late and appeared to seal it with a Hogg empty netter to put them up 5-3 with under 40 seconds left. What followed was pure insanity as the Goonies scored two goals in those 40 seconds to send the game to overtime. This remains the only game in league history to go to double overtime as the first 10 minute period ran out with no winer, leading to continuous 3 on 3 action that ended with a Ben McCloskey winner to send the Goonies to the championship and break Cleveland hearts everywhere. A tough end to the season for a team that had a real shot at being the first play-in team to win the championship.
2) The Barrel (Summer/Fall 2021)
Regular Season Record: 9-2-1-3 record (2nd of 8)
Goal Differential: 23 (2nd of 8)
Playoff Finish: Eliminated in final four
Notes: In terms of pure drafting this may have been the best team ever selected by purple. Incredible values at just about every pick as Derek inexplicably fell to them at #8 overall, the rookie tandem of Abby/Krueger was legit, the late round pick of Westley Snipes gave them the secondary scoring most teams lacked and an excellent season from Chris B had them in first place for basically the entire season, with many of their games ending in blowouts. Highlights of the season include an incredible five games where they scored 7 or more goals, including two outrageous shootouts with the Ducks that featured a league record 13 goals scored in each, both won by Barrel. A midseason injury to Chris saw Cam come in in relief and the team just kept on winning, but a late season injury to Annie, in the midst of her best season where she was leading all ladies in scoring, was too much to overcome and kind of took the wind out of their sails as they lost two of their last three to drop to 2nd place on the final day of the regular season. In the playoffs they were tied 2-2 with just 2:20 left in the semis and looked to be on their way to OT when Tarnow buried a Joe P rebound to break some Barrel hearts and send the Goal Diggers to an underdog victory and a trip to the finals. Yet another team that, in an alternate universe, could easily be the defending D5 champions but because this universe doesn’t like purple would have to settle for an excellent season and a tight semifinal loss.
1) Spicy Tuna Rolls (Spring 2021)
Regular Season Record: 6-1-2-1 record (1st of 8)
Goal Differential: 8 (2nd of 8)
Playoff Finish: Eliminated in final four
Notes: Like many teams drafted by Jack throughout the years, the Tunas were absolutely savaged after the draft by pretty much everyone. Most attendees predicted this team would compete with the previous season’s Purple People Eaters for worst in league history and multiple captains asked if they could just play purple every single week in lieu of a normal schedule. With season opening sportsbook odds of +650 to win the title and league members hammering every prop bet against them, it seemed like this was going to be a borderline scandal for the artist formerly known as Tadpole. However, a few early season breaks and the gift of Corey Blay led purple on an improbable run to 1st place, a spot which they held down for the entirety of the season. Kev went from Florida dude only half the captains knew to Florida dude who’s a legit #1 defenseman, multiple depth players had career seasons and Mike T and Jack rotating at center racked up more shot attempts than any twosome in league history. They introduced the UES Cup, a disgusting years old Chelsea Piers trophy which people drank out and probably caught chlamydia from (at least that’s what I told my doctor) after wins over the Hippos and possibly the Goaldiggers (eligibility for said trophy was never firmly established; I considered getting an Airbnb on 86th for one night to qualify but was sadly rebuffed). Their goal differential was only +8 but they clinched 1st place before the final weekend of the regular season and went to the final four where they were upset by an upstart Sex Panthers squad who they had twice defeated in the regular season. The loss was costly as McCauley hurt his wrist and missed the majority of the following season, Sena moved to Colorado and Mike T went back to NJ to start a family and return to his roots as a high priced mercenary. Jack and Kev would reunite as captains early in 2022 thanks to a combination of Annie’s offseason surgery and Kev’s PTSD and the two of them will look to slay old demons and lead purple to their first championship game in franchise history. Let’s hope the chlamydia’s worn off by now.