He’s leaning on the bumper of his Honda CR-V, which is full of plastic bins holding assorted gear, and checking off names to figure out who still owes money for uniforms. “This is grown-men football. There had been times during his six seasons with the team when he couldn't find work, and he was forced to wear different numbers each week, lifted from the injured safety or the guard who'd caught an evening shift. Move! … Rampage defense now concerned with the run became to aggressive and bit on a playaction pass that left wide reciever Darryl Hodge wide open in the endzone for the game winning touchdown catch, Goodnight. Before them, guys with names like Walter “Shorty” Sullivan powered clubs like the Charlestown Townies and the South Boston Chippewas in the Boston Park League, a city football and baseball program founded in 1929. There's a big difference between getting hit by a high school player and getting hit by a police officer who had a bad day at work and is taking it out on you.” Having lost not just Lloyd but more than 10 others who moved, quit, or retired since last season, Bustin gives a cautiously optimistic preview of what’s ahead: “It's a new team, a lot of new faces, a new system. They could tell a man's whole story. Pallbearers carry the casket of Odin Lloyd following a funeral ceremony at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Boston, Saturday, June 29, 2013. There are fewer than 40 fans on the Bandits side, mostly family members, and not too many more for the home team. Locker Rooms: No Later, the Bandits kicker rips a field goal long enough to clear the fence. Most of the players claim it doesn’t bother them, but their morale indicates otherwise. Branch flips: "That is unacceptable!" Two of them find relief on a green park bench, where they untie their cleats and inhale mountains of rice and beans high enough to make the flimsy paper plates curve like tacos in their hands. Besides volume and energy, Miss Lock also lugs a cooler full of Gatorade and water to games. through a bullhorn. It’s a cool evening, and the Bandits have an edge throughout the first quarter. Two more touchdowns follow for the home team. “At least the liquor on the bus is chilled,” another quips. Hours after beating the Colonials, Anderson was sleeping in his Cambridge apartment when a nine-alarm blaze spread up his block. “I know I say this at the end of every season,” says Branch, “and I know it can’t always be the case, but I would really love to see everybody back.”, In the weeks after, Edwards wins Defensive MVP for their conference at the NEFL awards banquet, while the coaching staff gets the top honor for their role in the winning regular season. These might not be the same faces you see next week." Unlike high school football standings, scores in the New England Football League aren’t even printed in the local papers. The burnt grass field belongs to a stained-brown high school, which sits on the wrong side of the tracks across from University of Hartford housing and amid a maze of seemingly abandoned housing projects. “It was much dirtier,” he says of the Bandits’ park league predecessors. This summer the 47-year-old is playing quarterback for an EFL team in Southern Massachusetts. When you ask him if that's it for his career, he says, ‘Yeah,’ but the next year he's right back out there.” This season, instead of retiring, Zancewicz left Lowell to play for their rivals in Boston, where maturing bruisers like him comprise about half the roster. "This don't happen every day," one of them screamed from the sideline. Alan is still on the phone, waiting for updates. “If he was a self-made drug dealer extortioner, he was doing a good job covering it up.” Branch should know. At English High two hours later, there are more spectators than usual, maybe 100 on the Bandits side, though a lot of them are drunk behind the fence atop the Boston bleachers, crushing beers and heckling their friends in uniform. Before kickoff at English High School, I stop in for some beers across the street at Doyle’s, a wood-floored watering hole with high tin ceilings and wall-to-wall kitsch that’s famous for serving political animals like Tip O’Neill and the Kennedys. Thank you,” she said, before shutting the door. Worst loss in Bandits history.”. There has been scant attention paid to the Bandits since June 2013, but with Hernandez going on trial next month, Lloyd’s name is back in the local news on a daily basis, almost always preceded by the words “semipro football player.” On one hand, the label illustrates the unsettling insult of an NFL millionaire killing an acquaintance who paid annual dues of $75 to play in an amateur league.

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