If you haven't already read Chris' article from 2007, Fyodor Dostoevsky's Guide to the AFC South, do so now. It's a great read and one of my all time favorite articles from the site's archives. It is also the inspiration for this piece...
Gene Smith as Emperor Palpatine: The Evil Smith-Lord
The Unprecedented Lord of the Smith:
Gene is clearly a foreboding figure, he's got absolute power and much like Palpatine, he remained patient and focused. Waiting for his opportunity to seize complete control of the Galaxy.
Gene Smith has solidified his place in the Jaguars' organization and there is now NO QUESTION as to who runs the show... Our Beloved Emperor. Gene has eliminated the need for the consensus style leadership of the Jedi Counsel and the Imperial Senate, and now has complete control and authority. He rules with an Iron fist, leaving a swath of destruction in his wake. Shack Harris, Jerry Porter, and Drayton Florence, the leaders of the rebellion, have been eliminated and all resistance has been quashed. The Emperor is clearly a single minded individual who refuses to have his authority questioned... He rules the show and the Empire will grow ever more powerful as a result of his cold, unfeeling philosophy on player retention. There is no sacred cow in the Smith-Lord's field. One thing is certain with a leader like Palpatine... success is inevitable because their are no morals, values, or issues like loyalty to contend with. Winning at all costs is the focus.
Jack Del Rio as Darth Vader: The Sith-Lord's Chief Enforcer
Del Rio turns to the Dark-Side:
Del Rio's transformation from nice guy to enforcer mirrors the journey from good to evil that young Anakin Skywalker experienced on his way to becoming one of the Galaxy's most feared men.
Jack came in young, naive, and wanting to do things right. He always saw the best in his players and treated them like men, putting very few restrictions on the team. He was hopeful, hard-working, and convinced his players were always working to improve. However, much like Anakin, Del Rio was burned by those he trusted most, his players. He had become the epitome of a players coach, acting jovially with his soldiers in the locker-room on a regular basis.
When the Storm-Troopers stopped listening and working, Del Rio knew he'd been betrayed. His anger fueled his transformation and about 12 games into the season, Del Rio had completed his change from a young Jedi, into a Master Sith. No longer was music allowed, in fact, joy was banned from the locker-room altogether and players were regularly "force choked" for insubordination...
Del Rio takes his position as Gene's enforcer with a grain of salt. He secretly desires (as all Sith do) to wrest complete control from his Sith-Lord Master. However, The Emperor is no fool, he is completely aware of the plans Vader has. It is for this reason he is looking to replace his current apprentice with a younger and more subservient one.
James Harris as Mace Windu: Head of Jedi-Counsel
Shack Harris' Jedi counsel is disbanded:
Shack Harris was the epitome of a noble Jedi, much like Mace WIndu. He never judged a player based on their past, and as a result, he drafted and signed some players of questionable character throughout his tenure. This Jedi always believed in redemption.
Shack always sought consensus on decisions, and would convene a meeting of the Jedi Counsel prior to making any major decisions. Mace Windu viewed democracy as the way to lead an army, refusing to implement any major changes without unanimous support from his counsel-members. Mace was a major voice, but never stepped out on his own, much like Shack.
His inability to make swift and decisive moves lead to his downfall and death at the hands of Emperor Palpatine. the removal of Shack (Mace) from power opened the door for Palpatine to seize complete control of the Empire, and soon the entire galaxy.