Filthasmelphia Fleagles ‘Keep Moving Forward’ to Win the Gritty Goblin Bowl II
The Filthasmelphia Fleagles went 4-1 on the to win the Gritty Goblin Games II Blood Bowl 7s tournament and perhaps turn a few goblin fans into skaven fans. Inspired by Filthasmellphia’s hero, famed rat ogre boxing legend Mouseky Malboa, the skaven team used equal parts speed, grit, and slurred inspirational speeches to score a total of 11 touchdowns on the day, besting two goblin squads, an underworld team, and a fleet-footed wood elf team. Despite losing in the final game to a shifty and well-coached elven union squad, the Fleagles claimed the tournament trophy in a three-way tiebreaker with Da Red Gitz and the Midway Monsters, based on touchdown differential.
“This is a really big for the entire city of Filthasmellphia,” said the team’s coach and Malboa’s former boxing trainer Mickey “Mick” Goldmouse after the tournament. “All the vermin there just love a good excuse to knock over lamp posts and set stuff on fire, so they’ll be thrilled.”
The landmark Mouseky Malboa statue stands over peaceful downtown Filthasmelphia moments before the victory riots began
A Bot Broken
The first game pitted the Fleagles against a strange, mechanized underworld team of android skaven and goblins known as the Rat Bots. The game’s key moment and turning point came when the Rat Bots’ hulking iron-hided rat-bot-gre lumbered up to Fleagle blitzer Trashawn Cruddick and tried to bash his way through to the ball.
With the game tied 1-1, and the ball on the field in a scrum, the rat-bot-gre’s block looked poised to turn the tide of the game. He raised his iron fists, and said simply, “I must break you.” But before he could deliver the punch, Cruddick ripped out a set of wires from his throat, and the colossal bot malfunctioned, heading to the KO box for repairs.
“I knows nothings about how robotses work,” said Cruddick after the game. “I just thoughts those wireses looked likes string cheese.”
The Rat Bots’ rat-bot-gre malfunctions on the field after Trashawn Cruddick rearranges some of his wiring
The chaos of shooting sparks and flailing bot paws that followed created enough of a distraction for gutter runner A.J. Brownrat to scoop up the ball and race away for the winning touchdown.
Blame it on the Rain
Next, Filthasmellphia faced off against Gobbos to the Max in the pouring rain. The weather did most of the work for the Fleagles, as the wet, muddy ball proved too slippery for the gobbos to secure. Despite some deft chainsaw work from the Gobbos’ looney, which left only four skaven standing by the end of the match, the speedy Fleagles won 4-0 with 2 TDs each from Brownrat and fellow gutter runner DeVermin Smith.
DeVermin Smith outruns the goblins in the rain for his second TD in the game
“That was a big win,” said Coach Mick after the game. “But I told the fellas we can’t get physically mouse-handled like that. We got to eat thunder and crap little pellets of lighting, if you take my meaning. We may not have a rogre on this squad, but if we’re going to win this dang thing, we’re going to have to play with a rogre’s attitude. You might say we’re going to have to play with …” Coach Mick lowered his spectacles and continued, “… the eye of the rogre.”
When the Ground Is Your Friend
The next two games saw the Fleagles benefit from their opponents’ misfortune to establish an undefeated 4-0 start and hold their ground for three straight matches in the tournament’s marquee stadium (known as “Firstable”). In both cases, the wins came down to opposing players hitting the turf much harder than they hit any rats.
The first came against the Llanowar Ligma, a wood elf team who’d won their first two match-ups with deft dodging and blazing speed. Tied 1-1 late in the second half, the game came down to a single play, when A.J. Brownrat broke loose along the sideline streaking toward a potential last-second game-winning touchdown. A Ligma lineman had the angle to potentially slow Brownrat down so that the team’s wardancer could make the tackle from behind, but when he tried to dodge to make the play, he tripped over Fleagle linerat Jasmut Smellce’s tail. All the woodie could do was watch from the grass as Brownrat high-stepped past him for the winning TD just before the final whistle.
Despite the fact that he was moving in the wrong direction, Jasmut Smellce’s expertly positioned tail prevents Ligma’s line-elf from dodging away to make a game-saving tackle
Next, another goblin team, Da Red Gitz, took the field and used their ooligan’s disturbing presence, random acts of senseless violence, and a stunning long-bomb, desperate-measure TD to even the score to 1-1 late into the second half. Even after Fleagles linerat Doormouse Goddirt scored the go-ahead touchdown with seconds left on the clock, Da Red Gitz still had a chance to tie the game.
After a goblin caught the ensuing kickoff, he ran to his troll teammate, assumed the position, and was immediately tossed into Fleagles’ territory. Miraculously, he landed within scampering distance of the endzone. Not so miraculously, he landed on his head. As the ball bounced harmlessly away from the now crippled gobbo, the whistle blew and the Fleagles moved to 4-0 on the day, with the championship just one game away.
Daratius Slay and Jake Smelliot look on as the airborne goblin crash-lands on his head, and the ground earns the Fleagles another victory
Time for an Inspirational Speech
The tournament's final game saw the Fleagles face off against their toughest opponent yet, the Midway Monsters, an elf union squad that had traveled all the way from the elven kingdom of Powhio for the tournament and had thus far gone 3-1. Using a pair of side-stepping blitzers, a glorious nearly full-field pass play for a TD, and a stifling defense, the Monsters established a strong 2-1 lead late into the game. But with the ball in their paws in the final minutes, all the Fleagles had to do was score the tying TD to assure themselves a first-place finish in the tournament.
In scoring position near midfield, Brownrat drew a cadre of elven defenders on the northern sideline. After faking a move in his direction, Smith charged up field with the ball along the southern sideline, ready to break into the clear and score the tying TD. Goddirt, assisted by Cruddick, just needed to make a block on an elven lineman to break through the defense. Instead of making the block, however, Goddirt ended up making himself comfortable on the ground in a stunned daze. The elven lineman ducked under his forearm shiver and delivered a whisker-rattling uppercut directly to his snout.
Without that key block, the play broke down and the rats looked ready to crumble like a hunk of blue cheese. Coach Mick knew his team needed a rousing speech (since there was no time for an extended training montage), so he stepped forward on the sideline and let the team know it was still possible to score the tying TD if Smith reversed field and linerat Jake Smelliot blitzed through three defenders, dodged away from two, sprinted into the endzone, and then caught a long pass.
It looked nearly impossible, but Coach Mick had his inspirational speech ready. “Don’t worry about the fact that we missed that last block,” he shouted to his team. “As the great Mouseky Malboa said, it’s not about how hard you can pow, it’s about how many skulls you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
The Fleagles’ marching band began playing a stirring version of Bill Con-queso-ti’s famous Mouseky theme song “Gonna Fly Now,” and the crowd rose to their feet. Smelliot charged forward, inspired, undaunted, ready to shock the world and lead his team to the championship.
He was, however, quickly and easily thrown to the ground by the two elves he tried to dodge through, and the game ended with the Fleagles losing 2-1.
Smelliot is tossed to the pitch, failing to make the heroic, last-second TD run, despite Mick’s inspirational speech
Sometimes When You Lose You Win
The loss left Filthasmelphia in a three-way tie with Da Red Gitz and the Midway Monsters. While the tournament organizers settled in to calculate the tie-breaker rules and name a champion, the Fleagles milled about dejectedly, heart-broken at the loss. As Coach Mick, who suffered a heart attack during the final play lay on a stretcher in the locker room, a teary eyed Brownrat lied and told him they’d won the game. Several other players immediately started looking for new jobs as meatpackers, and still others simply walked sadly through alleyways as the team’s marching band followed them playing Bill Con-queso-ti’s “Alone in the Ring.”
But then, in a shocking turn of events for all of Filthasmelphia, the tournament organizers came to the podium and announced that due to the TD differential tie-breaker, the Fleagles were actually tournament champions. The team’s marching band immediately shifted into Con-queso-ti’s “The Final Bell,” and the rats came forward to claim their trophy.
As expected, there had not been many fans rooting for the Fleagles at the start of the tournament. Partly this is due to the fact that Filthasemllphia is a rat-infested garbage dump. It’s best known for its landmark, the Liberty Smell, a bell-shaped hunk of rotting cheese whose odor can induce projectile vomiting as far as three miles away. And it’s also well known as the only town cruel and calloused enough to boo Father Christmas (to be fair Father Christmas was a bearded treeman on a toy-making wood-elf team). But mainly the team is hated because … skaven.
Yet, as A.J. Brownrat, the Fleagles’ tournament MVP with 5 TDs, took to the podium to accept the trophy, the crowd of mostly goblins erupted in jubilant cheers. Stunned by this unexpected show of support, Brownrat held the trophy high and addressed the crowd. “During this tournament, I've seen a lot of changing … in the way you’s feel about us, and in the way I feel about you’s,” he shouted. “I guess what I'm trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, we all can change!”
Brownrat strikes a blow for goblin-skaven unity as he tells the crowd, “If I can change, and you can change, we all can change!”
Additional Game Note: Brownrat didn’t realize that the crowd of goblins was actually just cheering because Coach Mick’s dead carcass was being carted out of the locker room in the distance, and the crowd was rejoicing at his death. As one gobbo fan put it, “The only good rat is a dead rat.”