Veras

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Veras last won the day on October 28 2015

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About Veras

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    First Marmoset of the Apocalypse
  • Birthday 07/31/1987

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    Indianapolis
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    American football, baseball, politics (especially campaigns), history, and video games.
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    Minnesota Timberwolves howling alternate, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Blues, Seattle Seahawks

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  1. Sorry for the delayed response. Every time I tried to touch this over the past week, the baby started crying. I've had this window open for almost a week, and have just managed to type a few sentences at a time. I have the 1983 offseason ready to go, and the simulation for the next year is complete, but I still have a lot of writing to do and graphics to complete, so could be another week or two before I'm ready to move on. I don't have any more logo changes finished yet, so nothing is set in stone, but I would expect Baltimore, Washington, and Tampa Bay, and Miami to change their logos within the next 10-12 years. Seattle might adopt a new color scheme after the death of their current owner (who is 88), but their logo won't change much. Atlanta's look will come under heavy scrutiny around the time of the 1996 Olympics. There have been quite a few changes over the past couple years, so there won't be many more in the 80s, but quite a few in the early 90s, and then a ton at the turn of the century. To start with, let me just say that I definitely don't see the Comets as being like the 49ers. If anything, they're the exact opposite, and are more like the Oregon Ducks in constantly and drastically reinventing themselves. That being said, you're definitely right about the italicized numbers on the uniform, and I've made a hybrid of the two LA logos. I'm sticking with the rounded font, though. Part of what I wanted to do with this redesign is make things less blocky, and rounding off the wordmark is a big part of that. That is exactly what I expect. Nothing is set in stone yet, but they'll most likely make a change no later than 1994, and it's almost certain that they'll start wearing black. I'm undecided on the second color - orange and teal are both possible. With several comments like this about the new LA logo, I've made a change that basically combines the old look with the new one, as suggested by @KittSmith_95. See below, and let me know what you think. I changed it up so it tapers off less gradually. I wasn't familiar with that team, but I really like their look. Weird color combo, but I love the logo. Actually, the Phoenix Suns and Pittsburgh Maulers were the real inspiration. I think that's my favorite thing about basically completely redesigning this team so frequently - they're always going to have a lot of options for throwbacks. This will be especially nice once we get into the 2010s, because they will definitely be one of the first to adopt a Nike-like futuristic look. Having half a century of looks to choose from will provide some nice contrast with that. -------------------- In this revision I changed the secondary to combine the 1972 version with my previous draft, brought back the slanted numbers on the jersey, and made two different versions of the helmet: one that resembles their current helmet, and one similar to what I had before but with the logo slightly angled. I also changed how the lines taper off on the wordmark, and included a version with the old font for comparison.
  2. The Los Angeles Comets haven't been good since the mid-1970s, and even when they did have one of the league's most talented rosters, led by QB Jack "Hollywood" Holmes, they never found any postseason success. In short, the team has experienced a lot of disappointment and frustration in their current uniforms. That being said, years of high draft picks have left them with a solid young core that could develop into a very talented team over the next few years. Finally, they have developed a tradition of changing up their look about once a decade to keep things fresh. With these things in mind, the team unveiled new logos and uniforms for 1983, though the change was less radical than others have been. Old Logo: New Logo: Once again, the team has changed their colors, though it was subtle. They kept their purple, but replaced the red with orange for a much brighter look. For the primary, they eliminated the never-popular "thermometer" comet, and replaced it with something resembling a fiery explosion (though Suns fans grumbled about the similarities between their logos). Both the secondary and the wordmark are meant to replicate... comets. Old Uniforms: New Uniforms: The new uniforms are more conservative in some ways and louder in others. They dropped some of the unique features, including the slanted numbers and the comet striping pattern, but will now have one of the most vivid sets in the league.
  3. Chicago is mostly hoping to avoid being the divisional punching bag. The Butchers' roster is in an odd place. They don't have any perennial All-Stars, but they have a lot of players who fall just short. However, they also have a lot of gaping holes in their roster. Their offensive and defensive lines are a joke, and their secondary can't stop anybody. Meanwhile, the other three teams in the North look poised to dominate. Detroit has a core that could grow into one of the league's best defenses, Cleveland appears to be a championship-caliber team entering their prime, and Cincinnati could have phenomenal star power growing in Reggie Hart and Vic Meredith. In short, expectations are low. It's a long offseason, so who knows what could happen, but unless they have a killer draft or a huge player breakthrough, it looks like they'll be lucky to maintain the 6 wins they got this season. Of course, the other possibility is that one or more of their divisional rivals falls off next year, which isn't out of the question. There are a lot of people questioning whether Frankie Farragut is a good enough quarterback to take the Ghosts to a title (in fact, Cleveland has already openly discussed the possibility of trading for Rob Connery) and there is a strong sense that the Gladiators may have overachieved this year. Don't get me wrong, they have a solid core, but there a still a lot of weaknesses on their roster, and they're an extremely young team.
  4. Boston has a pretty talented roster. The biggest thing holding them back at this point is probably the fact that their division is absolutely stacked. New York has the league's best quarterback in Ron Adams, Pittsburgh has arguably the best all-around player in the AFA in LB Russ Osborne, and New Jersey is probably much better than their 3-10 record from this season would indicate. It wouldn't be shocking to see three wildcard teams come out of the Northeast next season. He was a bit quieter than he had been, but he didn't match up very well against the Ghosts. He's a speed rusher, and Cleveland is a run-first team. Not only that, he's had trouble with big, burly power backs at times, and Jose Ortuno fits that description. It wasn't until the second half of the fourth quarter that the Ghosts fell far enough behind that they had to really turn to the passing game. He did get one sack, and he forced Farragut to make a few throws early, most notably the fourth-quarter interception that set up Minnesota's backbreaking final touchdown.
  5. Sorry for the delay in posting the Victory Bowl there. The teething baby has suddenly been acting like a teething baby (@officerpain138 any insight on how long we can look forward to this?), and much of the free time that I have has been sunk into other things. But it occurred to me that today is the three year anniversary of the thread, so it seemed like a good day for a title game anyway. They're wearing the update. The old logo never technically existed, I just apparently forgot to update it the game result template. Thanks for pointing that out. And next season looks bright for both of the teams you support. With Rob Connery's status up in the air, there is no doubt that Ron Adams is head and shoulders above every other QB in the league, which will give New York a tremendous advantage, and New Jersey... well... there's pretty much nowhere to go but up for them, right? I don't have divisional logos for every team. I did at one point, but they're ten years out of date. I don't particularly like them, and their only use is the fields, which I don't really do anymore, so I stopped keeping the list current.
  6. 37th Victory Bowl - Arlington, TX The Cleveland Ghosts had spent all season repeating the phrase “win one for Zeke.” Ezekiel Dogwood, their 32-year old team captain was in the final season of an 11-year career, most of which was with the Boston Captains. He had never won a title, and his teammates, all of whom universally looked up to him, wanted to send him off on a high note. Adding to the drama of the moment, Dogwood was cleared to play after missing several weeks with a broken wrist, allowing him to take the field one last time. However, the game’s first major momentum shift came by an error by the beloved veteran midway through the first quarter. Probably as a result of the still-painful wrist, Dogwood muffed a punt near his own 17 yard line, and Minnesota special teamer Jerome Sigel recovered. Fortunately for Dogwood, the Cleveland defense was able to limit the damage, not giving up a first down and forcing the Angels to settle for a field goal. Cleveland’s offense then came back onto the field and put together a drive which ended with RB Jose Ortuno blasting his way into the end zone, putting Cleveland up 7-3. It took nearly a full quarter for Minnesota to answer. Late in the second, they drove deep into Cleveland territory, but where Ortuno had gotten through, their RB, Tommy Howard failed, and the Angels once again came away with a short field goal. For the third consecutive game, the Ghosts took a lead into halftime, and for the third consecutive game, they lost it. Minnesota found the end zone for the first time 5:10 into the second half when Tommy Howard finally found some room to run, and took the ball in for a touchdown, putting the Angels up 7-13. With the game becoming a defensive struggle, both teams leaned heavily on their rushing attacks. Early in the fourth, this set up the Angels used this to their advantage. On third and inches from the Cleveland 13, they came out in a heavy, one receiver formation, going so far as to sub in Harry Smith, their big, third string wideout who was known for being a solid blocker. Kewley took the snap, faked the handoff to Gordon, and then tossed a jump ball into the end zone between Smith and CB Kevin Rubin. Though there is no doubt that Rubin is the better player, this was a straight tossup, and the 6’5” Smith had a tremendous advantage over the 5’11” corner. Smith came down with it, and the Angels had a 20-7 lead. Less than four minutes later, the Angels defense nearly put points on the board. Working deep in his own territory and under heavy pressure from Lee Thomas, Cleveland QB Frankie Farragut forced a throw into coverage, which was picked off by CB John Hastings at the 19. It was nearly a pick 6, but Ezekiel Dogwood made a heroic tackle to stop him inches short of the goal line. As it turns out, the effort was meaningless. Minnesota’s offense came onto the field, and Tim Kewley slipped into the end zone on a sneak on first down. At this point, the Angels led 27-7 with 4:48 to play, and the game was effectively over. On their next possession, Cleveland was forced to punt after facing a 4th and 27 from their own 6. They would stop the Angels and get the ball back, even scoring a touchdown on a 14 yard pass from Farragut to Dogwood, but by this time there was only 44 seconds remaining on the clock. In fact, Minnesota could have stopped Dogwood short of the end zone – SS Tom Collier could clearly have taken a shot at him as he approached the goal line, and instead pulled up. After the game, he admitted to letting Dogwood score, “We were up by three scores with less than a minute left to play. You don’t lay a hit on a guy in that situation, especially a guy who has meant as much to the league as Ezekiel Dogwood. He was playing hurt in garbage time in the last game of his career. That takes some toughness, and now he can look back and remember that the last thing he did as an AFA player was score a touchdown in the Victory Bowl. He deserves that.” Unwilling to give up, the Ghosts attempted an onside kick, but the Angels recovered, and ran out the clock. Tim Kewley took a knee and became the first rookie quarterback to lead his team to a championship since the first Victory Bowl, and the Minnesota Angels joined the Washington Wasps and New York Imperials with four titles each, second only to Pittsburgh’s 8.
  7. That's not a problem at all. I don't own the name - I got it on a suggestion from @DNAsports, and he got the idea from the same place as the op. I'd say this is very well executed. I particularly like the number font. It feels very much like it belongs in New Orleans.
  8. The expert predictions all stated that Texas’s key to the game was to avoid falling behind early. They failed spectacularly at this, as Cleveland won the toss, and Law Roller returned the opening kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown. Then, on the Stallions first play from scrimmage, SS John Bow streaked into the backfield on a blitz and blew up RB Kelvin Barker, knocking the ball loose. LB Mario Barreto, who had only been a step behind Bow, fell on the ball at the Texas 8. Fortunately for the Stallions, Cleveland was only able to get a field goal, but they found themselves down 10-0 after a single snap. Throughout the remainder of the first quarter, both offenses had just enough success to approach field goal range, but in every case, the drive stalled and the punter came on with a chance to pin the other team deep in their own territory. With just under 2 minutes remaining in the quarter, the Stallions had done just that, and the Ghosts faced a 3rd and 7 from their own 5. Frankie Farragut dropped back to pass, and never saw ROLB Gary Brun blow past his man. Brun blindsided Farragut, knocking the ball from his hands at the 1 yard line, where it bounced into the end zone. Farragut was able to slip free from Brun’s grasp and cover the ball, but Texas was on the board with a safety. Momentum failed to swing their way before the half, however. Cleveland added two field goals and picked off Mikey McGowan in the second, and took a 16-2 lead into the locker room at the half. As had been the case a week ago, the Stallions looked much better after taking the field in the second half. A 20 yard touchdown pass to Tom Fraser and a field goal in the third quarter made the score 12-16, and they then took the lead thanks to a big play by their defense to start the fourth quarter. There was a miscommunication between QB Frankie Farragut and RB Jose Ortuno on the play, and the two went opposite directions. Farragut panicked and hesitated when there was nobody there to make the handoff, and that slight delay allowed DE Mike Henry to get to him and tear the ball from his hands. Henry sprinted 41 yards to the end zone, giving the Stallions their first lead of the day. The Stallions didn’t have long to celebrate, however, as the Ghosts wasted no time in striking back. Farragut, looking to atone for his errors, led a 9-play 80-yard drive which ended with a 3 yard TD pass to TE Doug Rimmer to reclaim the lead 23-19 with just over 10 minutes remaining. As it turns out, those were the final points of the game. The Cleveland Ghosts are going to the Victory Bowl for the first time in 23 years. The first half of this matchup was closely contested. The Angels struck first when RB Tommy Howard plunged through the line for a 1 yard touchdown run 8 and a half minutes into the game. RE Lee Thomas was a disruptive force for the Angels, sacking Paul Langdon twice in the first quarter, including one that resulted in a fumble recovery for the Angels. In the second quarter, the Gladiators shuffled their line, moving RG Tom Roberts to the left side and keeping TE Sylvester D’Abruzzo on Thomas to slow him down. This generated some success, and they were able to get on the board with 3:40 remaining in the half on a 12 yard pass from John Langdon to WR Howie Gordon. The Angels refused to go into halftime with a tie, however, and put up a field goal in the final minute of the half to reestablish a 10-7 lead. After halftime, the Angels ran wild over Detroit. They had Lee Thomas move around the field, lining up all along the defensive line, and occasionally even at outside linebacker. The Gladiators simply had no answer, and the veteran DE more or less spent the evening camped out in the Detroit backfield. It took some time for the Minnesota offense to capitalize on this, but the game swung strongly in their favor over a 34 second duration late in the third. Angels RB Tommy Howard scored his second touchdown of the day on a 3 yard run to put Minnesota up 17-7. The kickoff was a touchback, and on first down Langford attempted a pass to D’Abruzzo, which was picked off at the 33 by LB Ricky Chickering. Two plays later, Darnell Holly, a speedy rookie wideout split the safeties on a playaction pass, and Tim Kewley found him for a touchdown. The home team’s spirits were broken. The Detroit offense managed to gain a net total of 10 yards in the game’s final 18 minutes, while the Angels put up 10 points in the same time on their way to a convincing 38-7 win. 1982 was the first year that the AFA tracked sacks as an official stat, but Lee Thomas recorded 7 of them today, a record that could very well never be broken. The Angels, a team who nobody considered to be a serious playoff contender, will be playing in the Victory Bowl with a great deal of confidence on their side. Victory Bowl Preview These two teams have a lot in common. Both are defensively-oriented, run-first teams, though their approaches differ. The Angels biggest strength is their defensive line, while the Ghosts rely on a talented secondary. It will be the performance of the two running backs, Minnesota’s Tommy Howard and Cleveland’s Jose Ortuno, that will determine the outcome of the game. Power backs often struggle against the Angels defense, but Ortuno draws frequent comparisons to former New Orleans Krewe RB John Hambro, who had a great deal of success against an even better Angels defense in the 70s. Look for Cleveland’s Ezekiel Dogwood to make a contribution as well. The 32-year old veteran and team leader is expected to return from a broken wrist that he suffered in December, and will be playing in his final game.. The speedster is no longer much of a threat as a rusher, but is still dangerous as a receiving option and punt returner. Minnesota’s Tim Kewley will be the first rookie QB to start a Victory Bowl since 1946, when Charlie Kadlec led the New York Imperials to a win over the Guardians of Cincinnati. This will be a difficult game for him, however. His greatest asset is his arm strength, but deep throws against a secondary that features CB Kevin Rubin and SS John Bow are a risky proposition. Cleveland’s passing attack will depend on containing Lee Thomas, who has an absurd total of 27 sacks in 18 games this year counting the postseason. Both of these teams are founding members of the AFA (this will be the first time since 1973 that 2 of the original 12 face off for the Victory Cup), and both have several championship appearances in their history. This will be Minnesota’s 6th trip to the big game and the 4th for Cleveland. It will actually be a rematch of the 12th Victory Bowl (1957), in which the Angels defeated the Ghosts 21-15. The Angels also won the 10th (13-10 over New York, 1955) and 34th (23-16 over Texas, 1979) Victory Bowls and lost the 13th (27-20 to Pittsburgh, 1958) and 27th (17-3 to Philadelphia, 1973). In addition to their loss against Minnesota in the 13th, the Ghosts also came up short in the 7th (20-0 to Los Angeles, 1952) but won the 14th (21-13 over Philadelphia, 1959). The two teams haven’t played one another since 1979, which the Angels won 24-17. I can't say that I really like this field. The game will be played on Polyturf, which doesn't look very good to begin with, and I don't care for how the team colors look together. This is the first time that the team boxes have been painted, and I think the first time that the helmets in the end zone have faced toward the sideline rather than the center of the end zone.
  9. Yeah, I understand what you're asking. I'll post the bugs for each team below. Generally speaking, if you look at the logo guides, I put the colors in order of importance (though I think the Krewe's is wrong by that standard - I had intended to dramatically reduce their use of purple and changed my minds on the uniforms). LA is blanked out because they'll get a new logo and colors this offseason, and I've already switched it over to the new one for them. Out of curiosity, what data are you planning on including in the spreadsheet? I have dozens of spreadsheets that I'd be willing to post, depending on what information you've been looking for. I've been considering making a new database that would allow me to automatically track the series records for every team, as well as head coach records, and would enormously reduce the amount of time that it takes me to check things like "this is the first time since 1958 that so and so have won a playoff game." I've just been holding off because there have been over 5300 AFA games and I'm almost certain that they would all have to be manually transcribed. Until the last few seasons, I've used cell formatting to indicate whether a game is home or away, and as far as I know Excel can't run a function that returns a result based on cell color. I've come up with a few ways around that problem, but they're all still going to be fairly time-consuming. The next expansion probably won't happen again until the late 1980s or early 1990s, but I like the idea for the character. They'd definitely be a strong candidate, and relocation is probably their best bet. Based on the results of previous expansion councils, it seems that voters put a premium on geographic distance between teams, so I'm skeptical of the possibility that SoCal would be granted a third franchise.
  10. The most obvious candidates are those that have had failed bids in previous expansion councils. Indianapolis, Birmingham, and Connecticut all come to mind. It's also not unreasonable to consider the possibility of them joining a major market that already has a team. NYC already effectively has a second team with in the New Jersey Sharks, but Los Angeles and Chicago are both presumably capable of supporting a second team. For now, the team appears to be negotiating in good faith. Yes, there are other markets posturing to bring them in, but at the moment, the owner is genuinely focused on keeping the team in Maryland. I'm not sure that I agree with your characterization of their recent postseason performance. They've done very well in recent years. Last year they went to the semifinals, the year before that they won the Victory Bowl. The year before that, they were eliminated in round 1, but took the eventual champion Minnesota Angels to overtime. They're 4-3 in postseason play, with a title, which is pretty respectable. Look at that, a typo in the magazine, furthering my belief they can't get anything righ... crap, they picked my Angels to win. Good catch. That was a pretty minor detail, I'm surprised that you noticed it. I make that mistake a lot when I write about this guy, and I often did the same thing with James Thomas, the Hall of Fame QB who led Pittsburgh to a few Victory Bowls in the 50s and 60s. It must be something about the name Thomas. Yep, you're right, and I've corrected it. I do most of my writing in the middle of the night now, since it's the only time that I'm generally baby-free. Apparently, I should do my proofreading during the day. Between these typos, the misspelling of Cincinnati in the wildcard scoreboard, and the fact that I originally switched the Ghosts and Gladiators names in the AFA magazine writeups (though I caught that one on my own), it seems that 1982 is the year of the error. He survived, if that's what you're asking, but his career is over. At this point, the question isn't whether he will play again, it's whether he will walk again. The answer to that question is probably not, but he isn't finished with the AFA. He's smart, charismatic, and well-respected around the league. If there is anything left of his body at all, he'll be able to find a job, likely in the media.
  11. This game featured a matchup between the best quarterback and the best secondary in the AFA. New York QB Ron Adams looked to test that matchup early on, attempting to throw a pass into a tight window to WR Richard Braatz. CB Kevin Rubin punished him for the mistake as he came down with the ball, shrugged off Braatz’s attempted tackle, and bolted 40 yards into the end zone. The Ghosts were up 7-0 just 3 minutes into the game, and their offense had yet to take the field. The defenses continued to show dominance in the first quarter. New York established great field position when Cleveland QB Frankie Farragut attempted to throw a ball away as he was being hit by LB Gerry Leigh. Much to the dismay of the home crowd, the ball didn’t have quite enough power on it as it sailed to the sideline, and SS Guy Vacilis managed to keep his toes in bounds as he picked it off at the New York 38. Cheers returned to the stadium just a few minutes later, however, when LB Charlie White recorded a strip sack on Ron Adams, and the Ghosts recovered. Two plays later, the Ghosts turned a simple screen pass into a 42 yard touchdown when RB Jose Ortuno steamrolled CB Rocky Belle, trucking him so hard that Belle landed more than 10 feet away from where he first contacted the ballcarrier. From there, the defensive battle resumed. Ron Adams was picked off again, this time by SS John Bow, and the teams traded field goals, sending the game into the half with the Ghosts up 17-3. The Imperials finally found their footing in the second half. Adams led the team on an 83 yard touchdown drive to start the half culminating in a 13 yard pass to Braatz. Ten minutes later, the Imperials tacked on a field goal to cut the deficit to 4. On the first drive of the fourth quarter, New York LB Gerry Leigh picked off Farragut at the New York 24, and returned it to the 44 before being taken down on a touchdown-saving shoestring tackle by WR Kenji Strong. The tackle would be of little consequence, however, as the Imperials offense was now humming. They marched down the field, and took a lead 20-17 lead ironically on a 19 yard pass from Adams to WR Benji Strong (the older brother of the player who had made the tackle on the interception just a few minutes earlier). The Ghosts got the ball back and picked up a few first downs before being forced to punt, and managed to pin New York at the 3 yard line. Adams responded by putting together a drive that ran nearly 7 minutes off the clock before stalling and setting up a 28 yard field goal. The Imperials had scored 20 unanswered points in just 18 minutes to take a 23-17 lead in the game’s final minute. The Ghosts took the field trailing by 6 with only 47 seconds on the clock, and two timeouts; and the home crowd watched as Frankie Farragut put together the drive of his life, going 6 for 6 to 6 different receivers. The final play of the drive came with 10 seconds remaining on 3rd and 6 from the 10 yard line. Farragut took the snap. New York’s coverage was airtight, and DE Tom Reeves beat his man and hit the quarterback. As he was going down, Farragut tossed the ball to Jose Ortuno, who was supposed to be blocking on the play. The running back caught the ball, and took off toward the end zone. Two defenders hit him inside the three yard line, but they were unable to stop his momentum as he dragged them past the goal line, putting the Ghosts up 24-23 with 4 seconds remaining. The Imperials, who believed that Farragut had been sacked, were livid. Reeves was so aggressive toward the referees that he was nearly ejected from the game, but they (correctly) stood by their call. The Imperials attempted to return the squib kick, but were unsuccessful, and the Ghosts are now one game away from the Victory Bowl This matchup, which was considered the least interesting of the week, ended up producing an exciting matchup in which rookies on both sides stole the show. The Royals came into this game with a chip on their shoulder, and they gave the Gladiators a run for their money. The teams went back and forth throughout the first quarter, and early in the second Detroit was up 10-7. Five minutes into the quarter, Baltimore had the ball deep in their own territory. QB Vince Barnett dropped back to pass, and the Gladiators came on a heavy blitz. LOLB John Schneider got there first, hitting Barnett hard and knocking the ball loose. It bounced once and landed in the hands of ROLB Donald Turner, who carried it 15 yards into the end zone. The cheers of the Gladiators fan quickly died down. Barnett had landed on his neck awkwardly, and was badly injured. He was unable to move his arms and legs, and had to be carried off the field and rushed to the hospital. As the medical staff tended to the fallen quarterback, players from both teams huddled together near midfield, many praying or in tears, while Schneider, a 23 year old rookie, was seen vomiting on the sideline. But the game had to go on, and on the next drive Derrill Punch, a rookie out of Maryland, came into the game at quarterback and took his first snap in the AFA. After a rough start, he settled down, and helped set up a field goal to make it a one-score game going into the half. Detroit went up 20-10 on a field goal on their first possession of the third quarter, but then the Royals put up 17 unanswered points, largely as the result of strong play from a group of rookies. First a 28-yard field goal cut the deficit to 7, then a fade from Derrill Punch to fellow rookie Audwin Lee tied it up. On the ensuing Detroit possession, rookie MLB Adrian Doom picked off a pass, setting up the Royals offense with a short field, and Baltimore took a 27-20 with 12:27 to play. In the end, they couldn’t keep up the momentum against the more talented Gladiators team. On their next possession, RB Paul Hardy found paydirt to tie the game back up. This left 8 minutes on the clock, and from this point each team held the ball three times; the Gladiators made the most out of these possessions, while the Royals managed to accrue a grand total of -2 yards. Baltimore went three and out, Detroit kicked a field goal. Baltimore went three and out, Detroit scored a touchdown. Baltimore turned the ball over on downs, and Detroit ran out the clock with their 37-27 victory secure. Early on, both defenses looked dominant. Throughout the first 23 minutes of regulation, the only points came on a pair of Stallions field goals, while each team managed to pick off their opponent once. In fact, the game’s first touchdown came more as a result of a defensive error than good play by the offense. With just over 7 minutes remaining in the second quarter (and coming off of Texas’s second field goal), Cincinnati QB Reggie Hart heaved a bomb into the end zone to Bill Alexander. Safety Stephen Curran, who was slightly out of position, bowled over Alexander before the ball arrived, drawing a pass interference penalty and setting the Guardians up on the 1. On the very next play, Reggie Hart scrambled to his left, and the Stallions swarmed toward him, assuming that he was going to run. Instead he arced the ball over their heads and into the hands of a wide open TE Vic Meredith. That touchdown, plus a 38-yard field goal by Steve MacQueen in the final minute of the quarter sent Cincinnati into the half with a 10-6 advantage. The second half was a different game altogether. Cincinnati’s offensive struggles continued, but the Stallions lit up the scoreboard. Their success came as they repeatedly fed the ball to RB Kelvin Barker, throwing the occasional shot downfield to keep Cincinnati from loading the box. Barker responded by putting up 159 yards and 3 touchdowns over the last two quarters of the game, including a 12 yard scamper with 48 seconds remaining to give the Stallions a 27-10 lead, which was the final dagger in Cincinnati’s heart. The Stallions will make their third trip to the semifinals in the four years, and this is no longer the young upstart team that made a surprise trip to the Victory Bowl in 1979. They’ve got the experience, and their time to win is now. The injury suffered by Rob Connery during the week 2 matchup between these two teams meant that there was some animosity between them from the opening snap, and, unsurprisingly, there was a lot of post-whistle shoving. It was a dreary, rainy day, and the turf at Twin Cities Stadium was an absolute mess, which played into the hands of the defenses. Minnesota started the scoring with a 40 yard field goal 5 minutes into the game, but were then shut out until midway through the third. In that time, Seattle kicker Rod Boyle connected from 33, 42, and 52 yards out to give Seattle a 9-3 lead. The Angels reclaimed the lead with 7:30 to play in the third when RB Tommy Howard got the ball on an HB draw, and outraced the defense to the goal line. Early in the fourth, they extended their advantage to 17-9 when Grizzlies CB Eugene Moss slipped in the mud. He kept his footing, but his stumble gave WR Michael Goldberg an opening, and QB Tim Kewley dropped the ball into his arms for a 20 yard touchdown as he streaked down the sideline. The Grizzlies was stopped twice before getting the ball back at their own 31 with 3:12 left to play. They inched down the field, making good use of the sidelines, and pushed deep into Minnesota territory. Finally, with 1:21 remaining on the clock, TE Rob House made a spectacular sliding catch on a low throw for a 10 yard touchdown. Trailing 15-17 with less than two minutes to go, the Grizzlies went for two. Rick Ivery took the snap and pump faked toward House. MLB Ricky Chickering, who had been acting as a spy bit on the fake, which gave Ivery all the room he needed. He took off running, slipped through the line and dove into the end zone, tying the game. The Angels made a valiant effort at putting together a game-winning drive in regulation, but they simply came up short. They set up K Martin Jasso for a 56 yard attempt on the last play of the quarter, but that was too tall an order on the slippery turf, and the kick fell short. In the end, it wouldn’t matter. The Grizzlies got the ball first in overtime, but failed to pick up a first down. The Angels then took possession after a punt, and drove to the Seattle 15. Jasso came onto the field again, and drove the 32-yarder perfectly through the uprights for the win. The Angels are back in the semifinals for the first time since their 1979 Victory Bowl run, while the Grizzlies can look forward to a difficult offseason decision regarding their future at the quarterback position. AFA Magazine Semifinals Predictions Cleveland Ghosts vs Texas Stallions The Stallions are a talented team that has been plagued by turnover problems for years, and the Ghosts secondary is the best in the league. If Cleveland takes an early lead and forces Texas to give the ball to Mikey McGowan in an attempt to beat them through the air, this game will be a bloodbath. Cleveland 34-14. Detroit Gladiators vs Minnesota Angels This game is a question of youth versus experience. The Angels are too old to win it all, the Gladiators are too young, but one of them is going to the Victory Bowl. Experience will prevail on this day, and RE Lee Thomas, who recorded a record 19 sacks in the regular season, will have a career day. Minnesota 20-3.
  12. Ha, yeah, that's probably the reason. Thanks for catching it. I actually put some thought into LaDell Throckmorton's name. At some point in the past year, I listed to a segment and then read a few articles about Mormon names, which are apparently somewhat unusual, particularly among Utah Mormons. I don't remember all of the details, but prefixes are common. I think I ended up naming him after LaVell Edwards. There are also a number of surnames that are considered to be very Mormon, including Throckmorton. When I had a quarterback randomly drawn from BYU, I decided to go with a very Mormon name. If it helps, he spent the first two years of his career with the Stallions. After their Victory Bowl loss to the Angels in 1979, they thought that a less turnover-prone QB than incumbent starter Mikey McGowan was the missing piece, so they took Throckmorton in the first round. He narrowly lost out on the starting job in training camp, and then thoroughly disappointed the coaching staff. It was obvious by the end of 1981 that McGowan was the better player, so the Stallions dealt him to the quarterback-hungry Miners, where he became the third different quarterback to start the season opener in three years. Yeah, after two years in the league, it's clear that Hart is the better player, though even I'm surprised by the gap between them (Hart's improvement from 1981 to 82 was one of the largest that I've seen). If he keeps improving at this rate, he'll be challenging Rob Connery (assuming he bounces back) and New York's Ron Adams for the title of best in the league. Basically a general lack of talent. Last year's success was largely the result of an easy schedule, with some dumb luck mixed in. They were one game away from a Victory Bowl appearance, and if they had gotten in, they would have been the weakest team ever to play in the big game. They may have slightly underperformed this year, but their 5-11 record is a much better reflection of where they are as a team than last years 10-6. Last season, Ed Cave looked like he might finally break through and RB Russell Tobin had a strong rookie campaign, but both took a step back this year. Pretty much the only bright spot on the roster is at the safety position, where both FS Steve Thorpe and SS Harry Marx are young (24 and 25, respectively) and have shown great talent and potential. And even there, Thorpe was hampered by a shoulder injury that severely inhibited his tackling ability. I would expect them to be better next year, but they desperately need to address the quarterback position this offseason. Ed Cave has shown that he's probably not much more than a solid backup, and the man behind him, Francis Rhames, is a rookie who was taken in the 7th round out of West Virginia. Needless to say, he's probably not going to provide a long-term answer. You make a good point about the Victory Bowl logo on the background. The only problem is that I'm not sure if it's era-appropriate to have a general postseason logo. I thought about using team logos in the background, but that would generate more additional work than it's worth. I might look at doing some abstract shapes in team colors, like I did with the early player illustrations. That wouldn't take much work, and it should look okay. Thanks for the feedback. Imperials-Guardians, eh? Going for a rematch of the first three Victory Bowls? That would be a good one.
  13. Both offenses performed surprisingly well in a game that was expected to be a defensive struggle. Detroit struck first on a play that will be included in every highlight reel that the Gladiators put together from now until the end of time. Pittsburgh came with a heavy blitz from the outside, and both OLBs, Russ Osborne and Rick Crowe blew past their blockers. Displaying an uncharacteristic level of pocket presence, QB John Langdon stepped up in the pocket at the last possible moment, causing Osborne and Crowe to smash headfirst into one another. Langdon then delivered a perfect strike to WR Howie Gordon, who just managed to drag his toes in the back of the end zone for a 39 yard touchdown. To add insult to injury (injury to insult?) Osborne broke his jaw on the play, and was unable to return to the game. Losing their best pass rusher didn’t hurt Pittsburgh’s spirits. The offense took the field and put together 76 yard touchdown drive that ended when QB LaDell Throckmorton faked a handoff to John Coffee, and scrambled around the right side of the line from 2 yards out. The teams went back and forth in the second. Detroit retook the lead with a 31 yard field goal, but Pittsburgh answered on the ensuing possession. It momentarily seemed as though they had taken the lead on a 3 yard run by John Coffee, but a holding penalty invalidated the play, and they were forced to settle for a field goal to tie the game at 10. Detroit struck again one final time before the half, as John Langdon found veteran TE Sylvester D’Abruzzo in the end zone from 8 yards out with 1:06 to play. The teams traded field goals in the third, so Detroit was nursing a 20-13 lead in the final minutes of the quarter when Pittsburgh seized momentum. Detroit QB John Langdon bobbled a snap at his own 26, and DT Ray Grantham responded immediately, blowing past his blocker and falling on the ball before Langdon could pick it back up. The Miners took advantage of the good field position, tying the game on a screen pass to John Coffee on the second play of the fourth quarter. The Miners were unable to complete the comeback, however. Detroit retook the lead on their next possession, going up 27-20 on a Paul Hardy touchdown run. Pittsburgh’s best chance to get back into it came to an end with 2:42 remaining, when LaDell Throckmorton underthrew WR Doug Quinn and was picked off by CB Ron Price at the Detroit 19. The Gladiators technically failed to run out the clock, but a 45-yard field goal with 15 seconds to play was equally effective at putting the game out of reach. They will advance to the Quarterfinals with a 30-20 victory over the Miners. The day almost started huge for the Guardians—Don McIntosh went untouched for a 99 yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff. However, a holding penalty invalidated the play, and the offense was forced to start at their own 14. From there, it was clear that the young team (and especially the offense) was experiencing some nerves. They went 3 and out on each of their first three possessions, committing 2 penalties, giving up a sack, and dropping 3 passes in the process. They were kept in the game only by the near equal ineptitude of the Destroyers offense. For the first three quarters, the game was dominated by the defenses. San Diego scored first on an 18 yard field goal which had been set up by a fumble recovery. The Guardians took the lead in the second, adding two field goals of their own, but the Destroyers tied it up late in the third. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Cincinnati offense finally found some rhythm. With just under 11 minutes to play, Reggie Hart final found some room to scramble, and took the ball in himself from 19 yards out to put his team up 13-6. Suddenly, everything clicked into place. The Guardians forced a 3 and out, and then began with great field possession after a big punt return by McIntosh. With 7:11 to play, Hart hit TE Vic Meredith for a 17 yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 20-6. The Destroys fought back valiantly, but were unable to make it happen. Their hopes were dashed with 1:51 to play when TE Bob Pressler dropped a pass from Chris Dodd on 4th and 9 from the Cincinnati 22. The Guardians took over, and a single first down was enough to secure their victory. Reggie Hart had led the Guardians to just their second postseason victory in the AFA era. AFA Magazine’s Quarterfinal Predictions Cleveland Ghosts (1) vs New York Imperials (9) The Ghosts are young, hot, and healthy. The Imperials are none of those things. The matchup between NY QB Ron Adams and the Cleveland secondary should be an epic struggle, but Adams isn’t going to be able to overcome the weaknesses on his own roster. Cleveland 23-10. Detroit Gladiators (2) vs Baltimore Royals (8) The Royals snuck into the postseason on top of the weakest division in football. They don’t belong here, and the only way that Detroit loses this game is if they don’t show up for it. Detroit, 35-0. Minnesota Angels (3) vs Seattle Grizzlies (6) The last time the Grizzlies were in Minnesota, David Arrow took out Rob Connery’s knee, and their season was seemingly over. Now the team is back for revenge. Ironically, if Seattle QB Rick Ivery plays well enough to win today, he may permanently win the starting job and ensure that Rob Connery never takes another snap as a Grizzly. Seattle 24-21. Guardians of Cincinnati (4) vs Texas Stallions (5) Neither team is up to the pressure, and both attempt to out-choke one another in one of the ugliest playoff games in living memory. Reggie Hart scores twice on the ground and the Guardians go to the semis. Cincinnati 20-17.
  14. Seattle's stadium security was beefed up pretty considerably this year (actually, ever team improved security, but Seattle did so more than most). The presence will be pretty serious, though not as much so as when Portland came to town during the regular season. Baltimore's winning season didn't move the needle very much. They're just having a hard time getting all government officials on the same page. The Baltimore state legislature has been unwilling to offer funds, Baltimore mayor, Don Schaeffer, is lukewarm on the idea, city comptroller Hyman Pressman is wildly against it, and even the voters are quite divided on the idea. In November, the public narrowly voted down (50.4 - 49.6) a measure that would have treated the stadium as a war memorial, making it all but impossible to replace it. There is no question that the Royals will remain in town for 1983, however, as they have extended their lease for one year. Yeah, I thought of you when I resolved the tiebreakers. This is the second time in recent years that they've been the highest-ranked team to miss the playoffs, and in both cases, it was on tiebreakers. On the bright side, they're getting to be a genuinely good team. QB Jon Cliffe took a significant step forward in his third season, as did DE Dave Ryan. On top of that, the team's first round pick, Dave Keiser (WR - New Mexico) had a huge year. That might have been the worst underperformance that I've ever seen. Their record was so bad compared to their rating that I actually went back and checked to make sure that that I hadn't left BUF in any functions in my simulation spreadsheet instead of replacing it with NJ (which would result in them not having their rating added to their rolls). But I had everything right. They just had an almost impossibly bad year. The hopes weren't very high for Milwaukee this year. It's widely known that the team is in full rebuild mode, and this is a good year to be at the top of the draft. There are three incredibly highly-valued prospects. Bret Rivers (RB - Miami), a punishing downhill runner who is almost impossible to stop once he gets a head of steam; Gabriel Rose (MLB - Notre Dame) one of the smartest players ever to play college football, he'll be almost a coach on the field; and Allen McCarty (RE - Wisconsin), a pass rusher who excels at exploding off the ball to harass quarterbacks. On top of that, there are several QBs who could go in round 1, including John Lewis (USC), Bob Obradovic (Washington), Tom Baker (Houston), and Louis Thomas (Temple). The Wolves were pleasantly surprised by the play of Ray Oram (QB - Nebraska), who was their second-round pick last year. He started the last 8 games of the season, and looks unexpectedly AFA-ready, so they're likely to either trade the pick to a QB-hungry team, or use it on McCarty, Rose, or Rivers. There will likely be a lot of pressure on the team to take McCarty - Milwaukee lacks a real pass rush threat, and he's a local favorite, but Noah Rose would likely be a stronger piece around which to rebuild. Interestingly, the Miami Suns hold the third and fourth picks, so they might also face a lot of pressure to draft a hometown hero in Bret Rivers, even though the selected a power runner in the first round last year. They're virtually guaranteed to use one of those picks on a quarterback, presumably Lewis if he's available and Obradovic if he isn't, but the other is an open question. Szymanski has been fairly tight-lipped on this, but there are still a few names on the shortlist. When the Owners' Council was involved in discussions before, the most popular choice was Ron Peters, a 46-year old lawyer who has served as the AFA's chief legal counsel since 1977. Notably, Szymansky hired him for this position shortly before his first retirement, and though there are rumors that Szymansky dislikes Peters, there is no question that the two men respect one another. Walter Allen was Szymanski's right-hand man and heir-apparent for several years in the early 1970s, but he left his job at the AFA in 1975 to take a position as the CEO of Lockheed Martin. The biggest drawback here is that he is 59 years old, and the league may be looking to bring in someone for longer than a few years given that they've already had 3 presidents serve 4 terms in the last 5 years. The players would like to see a former player get the position, namely 58-year old AFA Players' Council President Buzz Napper (who played quarterback for St. Louis and Colorado from 1949-1960) or his former teammate, 48-year old Congressman Ken Hughes (R-CO). Both are something of a longshot, though. While both men are highly respected around the league, the Owners' Council is unlikely to accept someone who is overly sympathetic to the players as league president. ESPN's Jimmy Edwards has also reported that Milwaukee Wolves GM Warren Breyer is being considered, though he is considered to be a dark horse candidate. Like Szymanski, the 38-year old Breyer has a background in public relations, and has managed to keep fan support and profitability high for the team through a couple of difficult years on the field. That being said, he is likely too young, and the bad experience with Helms has left many people wary of choosing someone with close ties to one team. Lone Star Stadium Good catch. Not sure how I missed that. Incidentally, I'm having a problem with DeviantArt, and was wondering if anybody here knows the answer: I can no longer move items from one folder to another. Traditionally, when I did something like submit the 1982 Krewe uniform, I would put it in the Current Uniforms folder, and move the old one to the Historic Uniforms folder. Now I can't seem to do that anymore. That is definitely true, and part of the reason that there is a wide perception that a low-seeded team could make a run this year. But you won't have to wait long to find out, the first round should be up shortly. I'm also surprised that this didn't get more attention. First of all, he's arguably the league's best QB, and second, nobody seems to have notice the Easter egg in the injury - his season, and possibly his career, ended when he took a (David) Arrow to the knee... Anyway, I'd say that Joe Theisman is probably a better comparison than Greg Cook. Connery has already had a long and productive career, even if he hasn't had much postseason success. It's also possible that he could play again, though the play of Rick Ivery will create a quarterback controversy in Seattle if Connery does come back (so maybe Joe Montana is a better comparison in that case). Three different guys got starts at QB this year. Veteran Steve Beltram started the first six games, then was benched in favor of rookie John Vessey who had just two starts. The team then brought in a guy named Paul McIntyre from the practice squad. McIntyre started four games, and then it was handed back over to Vessey, who finished out the season. It's already clear that Beltram and McIntyre won't be on the team next year, and even Vessey is probably 60-40. The team underestimated Branson-Greene's contributions, and overestimated the abilities of the guys that they brought in. JBG isn't a star, but he definitely could have been the difference between winning and losing a game or two. With the Cents finishing 9-7, that's the difference between being the number two seed in the playoffs and staying home in January.
  15. I'm sad that I can only like this once.