Orange County Otters
|Orange County Otters|
First season: 2016
Play in and headquartered in Santa Ana Stadium
Santa Ana, California
|Team colors||Orange, White, Brown|
|General manager||Jolee Bindo (Speculadora)|
|League championships (8)|
|Conference championships (9)|
|Division championships (9)|
|Playoff appearances (19)|
The Orange County Otters are a professional American football franchise based in Santa Ana, California. The Otters currently compete in the National Simulation Football League (NSFL) as a member club of the league's American Simulation Football Conference (ASFC) which currently only has one division. The franchise was established in 2016 as one of the six original teams. They have a storied rivalry with the Arizona Outlaws, who they have faced in multiple ASFC championship games. The Otters won three straight Ultimus Bowls twice, between 2019 and 2021, under their now iconic slogan "Otter Slaughter", and between 2032 and 2034. They have won a total of eight Ultimus Bowls, a NSFL record, and they are the current NSFL champions.
History of the Orange County Otters
The Orange County Otters began as the brainchild of Grapehead and OfficialDT in the early days of the NSFL, with the two serving as the organization's first general manager and assistant general manager respectively. After spending the first overall pick in the draft on JJ Reigns (Shaka), the Otters were widely considered a contender for the league's first championship. However, after finishing the season with a 9-5 record, the best defense, the best rushing attack, and League MVP Angus Winchester anchoring the offensive line, the Otters would fall in the ASFC Championship, losing to the eventual champion Arizona Outlaws.
2017 would start with controversy for Orange County as Gregor Clegane, who had been signed to the Otters as a waiver wire pick up the previous season, entered the draft officially, declaring he would hold out if not drafted by the Californian team. This angered many in the league, but teams decided not to risk calling Clegane's bluff, and the Otters were able to draft him at the end of the first round in the draft. Orange County would overcome a slow start to the season to finish 8-6, but lost again in the conference championship round to the eventual champion Outlaws, while Robert Phelps picked up Wide Receiver of the Year to soften the blow somewhat.
The sudden retirement of defensive tackle turned linebacker Franklin Harris in 2018 after it emerged he was being charged with first degree murder caused problems for the Otters, but they were able to pick up top prospect Julian O'Sullivan in the first round of the 2018 draft as a replacement. This was also the year that Mike Boss emerged as an elite quarterback, leading the league with 4600 passing yards en route to the Quarterback of the Year award. Bradley Westfield would pick up Wide Receiver of the Year too, but the Otters still could not do better than the previous season's 8-6 record and another conference championship defeat.
Prior to the start of the 2019 season, the NSFL introduced robots to play along the offensive line, which freed up the Otters' two best offensive linemen to position switch and bolster a struggling defense, as Angus Winchester and Gregor Clegane moved to linebacker and defensive tackle respectively. With several names hitting free agency across the league, Orange County moved to secure their starting quarterback Mike Boss, who signed on for $22 million over three seasons, despite concerns over the Otters playoff struggles. After starting slowly again, the Otters finished 9-5 and turned heads with their league-best passing offense and elite front seven. The ASFC Championship that season went differently, as the Otters overcame the Outlaws in a 27-9 win, sacking King Bronko eight times. A return to Santa Ana Stadium for Ultimus Bowl IV saw them defeat the Yellowknife Wraiths to become only the second team to win the NSFL Championship. Mike Boss was named League MVP, and thus began the Otter Slaughter dynasty.
After picking up San Jose runningback Jordan Yates in free agency on a $21 million deal to replace the now-retired Leroy Jenkins, the Otters would go 11-3 in 2020, with the fewest points and yards allowed in the league, while racking up the most yards on offense and leading the league in sacks. Yates' record 21 touchdowns on the season set a new league record before the Outlaws were blown away 43-19 in the ASFC Championship. An ugly, defensive battle took place in Ultimus Bowl V, but Orange County came out on top, with Mike Boss retaining the League MVP and Quarterback of the Year awards, while Bradley Westfield claimed another Wide Receiver of the Year title, and rookie Ryan Sierra picked up the Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year awards.
In the 2021 season, the Otters aimed to become the first team since the Arizona Outlaws to complete a threepeat and win three consecutive championships in the NSFL. Led again by Quarterback of the Year Mike Boss, who also won his third consecutive League MVP award while passing for 5516 yards and 42 touchdowns, the Otters marched to a 11-3 regular season record. Running back Jordan Yates turned in a historic season, recording 1860 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns as the Otters offense continued to terrorize defenses. Wide Receiver of the Year Bradley Westfield also contributed 1540 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Robert Phelps had 1169 yards and 9 touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, linebacker Angus Winchester led the league with 18 sacks while safety Ian Bavitz led the league with 6 interceptions. The Otters marched into the ASFC championship game pitted against a new opponent in the San Jose SaberCats after two fierce battles with the Outlaws in previous seasons. The SaberCats, led by veteran quarterback Chris Orosz and offensive playmaker Darren Smallwood, matched the Otters with an 11-3 regular season record to set up the showdown in Orange County, as the Otters held the head to head tiebreaker. The Otters prevailed 32-29 in a war of attrition, through a big safety score by Ian Bavitz in the 4th quarter and a game winning field goal from kicker Bradley Madlad with 34 seconds left in regulation. The Otters then faced the Philadelphia Liberty in Ultimus Bowl VI. Against quarterback Tyler Oles, the Otters defense stood tall and limited the Liberty to just 2/14 on third down conversions. A 460 yard passing performance from Mike Boss secured victory for the Otters, winning 23-17 and completing the historic threepeat.
Entering 2022, the Otters underwent significant player overturn. The Otters acquired the supremely talented tight end Carlito Crush and drafted CB Vladimir Fyodorovich, but lost key linebacker Julian O'Sullivan who left through free agency to the division rival New Orleans Second Line in a huge blow to the heart of the defense. Nonetheless, the Otters dominated en route to a 13-1 record in the regular season. Quarterback Mike Boss again led the league in passing yards and touchdowns with 5077 yards and 40 touchdowns. Receiver Bradley Westfield accrued 1620 yards through the air and 15 touchdowns with another Wide Receiver of the Year performance, and weapon Jordan Yates had 1285 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns on the season. Robert Phelps also tacked on 1179 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns, marking another year that the trio of Westfield, Yates, and Phelps each had over 1000 receiving yards. Meanwhile, rookie cornerback Vladimir Fyodovorich won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Linebacker of the Year Angus Winchester recorded a league-high 23 sacks while Defensive Lineman of the Year Gregor Clegane recorded 19 sacks for himself. Safety Ian Bavitz also led the league with 8 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns, and also had 13 sacks as a complete defensive force that earned him Defensive Back of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Otters faced the Outlaws in the ASFC championship game, in a complete mismatch. The Outlaws had just a 5-9 regular season record and were overwhelmed in the ASFC championship game, 48-24, as Mike Boss threw for 484 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Otters looked set to complete the fourpeat in Ultimus Bowl VII against the Philadelphia Liberty in a rematch from Ultimus Bowl VI. The Otters were stunned early on in the game, though, when Josh Garden returned the opening kickoff 103 yards for a Liberty touchdown. The Liberty eventually led early in the 2nd quarter 21-3 after a 43 yard strike from quarterback Tyler Oles to Kendrick Hendrix. The Otters struggled to convert on 3rd down, finishing just 5/19 on third down and falling short in the game to lose 28-19. This marked the first time in NSFL history that an NSFC team won the Ultimus Bowl.
The 2023 season marked another season of personnel change on both players and the Otters management team. BWestfield stepped down from co-GM and speculadora took over, while MolarPistols remained head GM of the team. Meanwhile, the team made a blockbuster trade for safety Jaylon Broxton from the division rival New Orleans Second Line in exchange for Vladimir Fyodorovich and Fuego Wozy among other assets. Linebacker and pass rushing specialist Mason Brown joined the Otters over the offseason, too. Mike Boss again exceed 5000 passing yards for the season, throwing for 5043 yards and 36 touchdowns on the season while winning Quarterback of the Year for the 5th time. Jordan Yates added 1632 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns, while new converted receivers Tegan Atwell and Carlito Crush stepped up in place for the aging Robert Phelps, recording 1239 and 1205 receiving yards respectively. Legendary wideout Bradley Westfield still led the team with 1271 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Angus Winchester recorded 10 sacks for the Otters defense which took a step back. Nonetheless, the Otters topped the ASFC with a 10-4 record and faced off against the New Orleans Second Line in the ASFC championship game. Second Line quarterback Borkus Maximus III threw for 362 yards while Mike Boss struggled to 247 yards on 18/39 passing, as the Second Line won 20-17.
2024 began as a season for retooling and rebuilding for the Otters as their core players from their threepeat aged. Safety Marcus Kane was the only notable offseason acquisition, and the Otters entered the season with a look for developing the future. Quarterback Mike Boss threw for 5187 yards in his farewell season, with 36 touchdowns. Jordan Yates also rushed for 1033 yards and 12 touchdowns in his last season, also securing 623 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. Bradly Westfield continued his dominance with 1170 yards and 11 touchdowns, but the real star was Carlito Crush, who was the League MVP and Wide Receiver of the Year with 1532 yards on 100 catches and 17 touchdowns. Rising defensive force Mason Brown led the league in tackles with 130 tackles as he won Linebacker of the Year honors. The Otters secured a 9-5 regular season record before facing the Second Line again in the ASFC championship game. The Second Line overwhelmed the Otters 39-21 before going on to win Ultimus Bowl IV in 2024.
In the 2025 season, the Otters faced an incredible amount of player and management turnover. Molarpistols stepped down as GM, ceding his responsibilities to speculadora who was promoted to head GM. RedCydranth joined as co-GM for Otters management. With Mike Boss' retirement, the Otters drafted quarterback Gus T.T. Showbiz who arose from the DSFL this season. Jordan Yates also retired, so running back Ricky Adams also began his rookie season while Danny Grithead joined as the team's first round draft pick as a true rookie. Wide receiver Robert Phelps and legendary safety Ian Bavitz both retired, while receiver Tegan Atwell left in free agency to the Yellowknife Wraiths. The Otters still remained optimistic for their playoff chances. Showbiz threw for 3532 yards and 13 touchdowns, and Carlito Crush had 1425 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Crush was traded at the trade deadline to the rival New Orleans Second Line in exchange for a second round draft pick. Long-time defensive staple Marc Spector won Defensive Back of the Year for the Otters, with a league-leading 31 PDs along with 7 interceptions. Mason Brown won Defensive Player of the Year, leading the league with 16 sacks. The Otters finished the season with a 7-7 record, making the playoffs, and ultimately faced the New Orleans Second Line for the third consecutive season in the ASFC championship game, pitted against former player Carlito Crush. Even as a heavy underdog, the Otters fell short 10-3 as both teams struggled immensely to move the football in a defensive battle. Otters fans immediately questioned the team's decision to trade away the dynamic Carlito Crush to the Second Line after the closeness of the game.
Feeling the need to get back on top in the ASFC, the Otters first went out and got their quarterback some new weapons as they resigned Carlito Crush, as well as signing Tegan Atwell. After that they targeted their defense and found the Yeti to be a suitor who was selling off their pieces. From the Yeti, Orange County was able to grab defensive end Norman Bagwell and linebacker Ricky Ramero for their 2nd round pick in the 2027 draft. With the new pieces added onto what was virtually the same roster from the previous season (aside from swapping out one Spector for another), the Otters were hoping to build upon their 7-7 season in 2025. Despite a strong 3-1 showing in the preseason, the Otters were slow out of the gates and stumbled their way to a 2-3 record to start the 2026 season. It took a while, but the team would finally gel together and find a nice groove as they would rattle off 7 straight wins. Showbiz would prove to be a good leader for the team throwing for just over 4000 yards and 30 touchdowns and the Otters as a whole would have 3 players with over 950 receiving yards. At the end, Orange County would find themselves with a 10-4 record and still in second place, but prove to actually be a threat to the Second Line. The New Orleans Second Line would ultimately prove to be the real force as they bounced Orange County in the first round 40-13, leaving the Otters with only hope for their future.
After the devastating loss in the playoffs to end S11, the Otters decided not to toy too much with their team as they felt they were right on the brink of something good and instead just relied on their draft to fill holes. In the draft the Otters took two receivers, Sunnycursed and Tommy Helanen along with cornerback Jonathan Rice. Banking on the hopes that their team progressed enough with what they currently had the Otters went an even 2-2 in preseason, which had many questioning why they didn't go all in on this year and trade some younger players for proven assets. All questions would be put to rest though as ain the season opener Orange County dropped 51 points on Colorado. The Otters would continue forward with an offensive onslaught that would see them only lose one game, a 6 point deficit on the road to San Jose. At the trade deadline though they decided to make a move they felt would seal the deal for them as they traded for Andre Bly Jr.. After the trade though Orange County would go 3-2, enough to win the ASFC and have home field advantage in the playoffs, but still had some feeling uneasy. In the first round of the playoffs they'd have another go with the San Jose Sabercats who they split the season series in two close contests, however, this game wasn't close at all as Orange County destroyed the Sabercats. Another shot at an Ultimus title, the Otters would play host to the Baltimore Hawks who barely made it past the Liberty, needing overtime to advance. For the first two quarters the game would be a close contest, however, as Orange County came out from halftime, it appeared that their coach made some adjustments and they paid off as the Otters would go on a tear, scoring 28 unanswered points and guiding the Otters to another Ultimus Championship!
2028 was another winning season for the Otters. The roster remained intact, and the team was ready to repeat as Ultimus champions. But they had to make it there. Them finishing with a 9-5 record, 2nd in the ASFC didn't help, as they had to travel to state rivals San Jose Sabercats for the Championship game. The game was close, but the Otters managed to get a narrow 31-21 win, marking their return to the big game to defend their crown. In front of them, a poised Colorado Yeti team that was ready for war. And so it was. The Otters proved why they were a dominant dynasty, edging the Yeti, 27-24, for the 5th Ultimus Victory in franchise history, and 2nd in two seasons, solidifying themselves as the perennial dynasty.
In 2029, Orange County continued their dominance over the league, winning the 9 of their last 10 games, propelling themselves to yet another division title, setting up another chapter in the storied Otters-SaberCats rivalry, this time for the ASFC Championship and a trip to the Ultimus, this time in Santa Ana. Once again, the away team prevailed, and the Otters' dream of another three-peat was dead. But there was a streak the Otters kept alive with that game. They had a perfect playoff attendance record, 14 playoff trips in 14 seasons.
The Otters were mediocre in 2030, but they won enough games (8-6) to make it to the post season for the 15th straight season. Their offence and defence remained among the top in the league, and with their experience, they were capable of pulling any upset. They had to face the 12-2 SaberCats in the ASFC Championship game, in San Jose. They could pull it off, but San Jose was a bit too much. 37-17 win for the 'Cats, and Orange County's season ends at the hands of their rivals.
In 2031 the Otters were unrivaled, finishing atop the ASFC after two years, with a 10-3 record, earning a bye to the Championship game. They had the best offence and defence in the league, and they were determined to win it all. They got to host Arizona Outlaws in the ASFC Championship Game, but they never showed up at their own party. The Outlaws outclassed and dominated the Otters, beating them 31-3, on their way to an Ultimus victory. The Otters had amazing front office, and they would come back. Everyone knew it was their time again. Three years without a trophy were too much for them. QB Gus T.T Showbiz retired at the end of the season.
And so it happened 2032 saw the return of the Otters to the winning ways they only accepted. Because of a rocky 7-6 regular season, there were people asking for the real Orange County Otters to "please stand up", and casted doubt on rookie QB Franklin Armstrong. And, come playoffs, they did. 20-13 escape over San Jose in the ASFC WC Game, 37-20 beatdown of the Outlaws in the Conference Championship, and 28-17 routing of the Baltimore Hawks in the Ultimus Bowl XVII, to secure the 6th Ultimus win in franchise history, a NSFL record at the time.
2033 was more of the same for the Otters, only this time, they finished the season atop the ASFC, with a 10-3 record, after a 5-game winstreak to end the season. This meant they would earn a bye to the ASFC Championship game, where they hosted the Arizona Outlaws for the third year in a row. The Otters prevailed once again, and travelled up north to play the Yellowknife Wraiths in the Ultimus Bowl XIII. The game was close, but Orange County prevailed, winning their 2nd straight title, and 7th total, improving on their own record.
2034 was again a winning season for the Otters. They started the season 7-0, and that was enough to secure yet another divisional title, despite them going 2-4 to end the season. 19th straight playoff appearance for Orange County, and another bye to the Championship Game. There, they hosted NOLA, making easy work of them, going up north for the second straight year to play Yellowknife in the Ultimus Bowl XIX. Like last season, the game was a nailbiter, but the Otters emerged victorious yet again, 30-27, hoisting their 3rd Ultimus in a row, and 8th total, completing the three-peat for the second time in both the franchise and league history.
|Season||Regular Season Record||Post Season Record|
Players of note
Orange County Otters roster
Orange County Otters staff
- "Orange County Otters Team Info". Official Orange County Otters Info Page. National Simulation Football League. May 16, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2018.