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About Raymie

  1. Phoenix, huh? Seems like a bit of a dark horse to the league, though...
  2. Good grief, we're going to be laughing at those names years from now as overly 80s... Also, why are the Brooklyn Privateers playing in Connecticut?
  3. Wowza, what a wild season. The playoffs should be just as insane!
  4. Sad to see Portland lose, but you knew we wouldn't have an 80s retractable roof without stadium trouble...
  5. The wordmark is definitely better now.
  6. All the same cable outlets exist in the AFA universe. The "experimental" preseason contract with USA may result in USA, not ESPN, being the league's cable partner when it's finally ready to put regular-season games on cable. ESPN did not want the experimental contract because it would interfere with its coverage of college football. While the USFA is still off in the distance, its spring season may prove a better match for the network's distribution of programming rights, sharing time with hockey. Turner is also a potential partner lurking for either the AFA or USFA, as by this time it already had a good slate of college football contests already. The league is concerned about penetration, which could work to ESPN's advantage. ESPN was in 38.5 million homes in 1987, making it the most widely available basic cable service; 33 million viewers at that time got USA, putting it at #3 behind CNN. With regard to superstations, TBS was in 36.8 million homes at the same time, more than WGN's 20.9 million. WGN never got involved in seeking national broadcast rights anyway, and SportsChannel America was not a thing until 1988. (Its NHL model, heavy on putting the games on its own and other RSNs, would also be a poor fit for springtime pro football, so we can rule it out now.) The USFA will want exposure, and with the universe of channels blossoming faster than channel capacity on systems can keep up, a startup cable channel will not be what they want. The USFA's options are also dependent on what the AFA chooses for its own partnership, and the league has bigger fish to fry right now in starting up, so it is not likely to be able to make any announcements until the fall of 1987. Negotiations began in November, and the AFA is expected to make its own announcement on its media future in the summer of '87.
  7. The Spirits wordmark typeface just does not do it for me. It's a rare whiff from you, but it's...not right.
  8. So let's talk a bit about the broadcasting structure. As you will recall, the AFA moved to a centralized broadcasting model with the 1975 season. It took quite some time to get team owners, who held a monopoly on almost all broadcasting up until the Victory Bowl, and even then irregularly, to permit the league to take control of TV rights. (Local radio is still a team-centered business.) At that time, ABC placed the winning bid, sensing that a network on the come-up could help boost a league on the rise. The national broadcast plan was one of the major contributions of Jeffrey Trejo, who became involved with the league when the California Whales moved to Phoenix in 1974. He then lobbied the AFA to ditch its antiquated regional model, which, in his mind, impeded the creation of national stars and kept fans under the mercy of local (or sometimes, not so local) team telecasts. Trejo continues to advise the Firebirds and the league on marketing and television matters. In the 1975 and 1978 contracts, ABC had 48 regular-season game windows: -17 Monday Night Showcase windows, one for each week of the season; -two Thanksgiving games; -29 regular season games, with doubleheaders in all but five weeks of the season. The 1981 contract extension added seven additional games to bring the total of 55. All weeks now had doubleheaders, resulting in five extra regular season windows on Sundays. Additionally, the AFA also allows a pair of Saturday games in December, after the conclusion of the college season. ABC has, since signing on with the league, presented all playoff games, as well as the All-Star Bowl. ABC's bet on football was a surefire success. The network rocketed to the top of the ratings in the late 70s and stayed there into the early 80s, during which time the 1978 three-year contract and the 1981 five-year contract were signed. It gained new affiliates, including in some small markets, and upgraded in certain large cities (Atlanta and San Diego come to mind). The league's prestige and popularity also soared, with players gaining far more national recognition than they had in the regional model era and fans able to see them regularly given that they weren't only presented with the game in their area. The 1986 extension basically holds the status quo of the 1981 contract. However, it was clear in the uncertainty around the negotiations that there was a bit of discord. ABC was faltering fairly badly in the ratings, and NBC, the top network, attempted to court the league. With time running thin, the league opted to stay with ABC, providing its affiliates some much-needed relief and certainty. However, rumors are already swirling about 1988, when the USFA begins play and the AFA's current contract now expires. As to cable, the AFA has never aired a regular-season game on cable, though media prognosticators say that may well happen beginning in the 1988-89 season, the first under the new rights plan, simply to compete with the USFA. The teams still control telecasts of preseason contests. About the only novelty in the 1986 extension is that the AFA is allowed to put two preseason games on a cable network, provided that they are blacked out in local markets. This ancillary contract was awarded to the USA network, beating out ESPN. Some speculate that, should this deal work out, USA may be in line to begin airing regular-season contests in a couple of years, especially as cable adoption increases (diminishing the league's concern that games on cable may not be a "public good"). There's also a lot of speculation as to the USFA's media path. They will need a national network, and a supplemental cable package is not out of the question for a league that will no doubt crave exposure.
  9. The old wordmark should be kept, but that hexagon-W logo, with a little rounding to fit the period, is so good.
  10. Very interesting timing to say that, because here in AZ 1985 was the year a school named the Rebels dumped its mascot on the advice of a committee of parents! It was, however, a very unpopular decision with the students at the school, so much so that 90 percent of students boycotted the name change vote and there was a walkout of 200 students in March of that year. Here's a relevant excerpt:
  11. Carolina Swamp Foxes? I mean...we did almost get the New Jersey Swamp Dragons in the NBA. I could see the team going to just Carolina Foxes in the 2000s too.
  12. Triple green would look very, very good on them.
  13. MLB: Project 32 - San Francisco Giants, Pt. II Added

    I can't get over the name, but it's decent. The black-turquoise-cream color scheme is excellent. And while I'm not a fan of the throwback attempt (the text doesn't feel snug), it's passable. It gives me a feeling of American League, not National, baseball, that's for sure.
  14. MLB: Project 32 - San Francisco Giants, Pt. II Added

    This is an excellent series. I'm hooked. The Carolina expansion is spot on.