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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    American football, baseball, politics (especially campaigns), history, and video games.
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  1. I actually meant to answer the 2nd generation/sibling question when @MR. 3G asked it, and I completely forgot: There are a handful. Probably the most successful example so far are the progeny of Artie Leigh, who was a successful outfielder in an all-Black professional baseball league in the 1910s and 1920s. One of his sons, Sam, spent two years in the league as a backup running back with the Richmond Royals. Sam's son, Jackie, had a very successful 12-year career as a running back with the Minnesota Angels, including a league MVP in 1978 and a Victory Bowl win in 1979. Two more of Artie's grandsons are in the league today: New York Imperials MLB Gerry Leigh has been to the All-Star Bowl 6 times in his 10-year career, and Miami Suns RB Greg Wolfe has been a solid contributor to the team since he was drafted in 1980. Brothers Zak (QB) and Noah (LB) Wahlstrӧm were both a key part of the Milwaukee Wolves squad in the 1970s, leading the team to two Victory Bowl appearances. There was also a pair twins were selected in the first round of the 1975 draft; RG Jim Charles spent 8 years with Philadelphia and Los Angeles before falling out of the league, while his brother Alan is still the starting Center for the Texas Stallions. A few superstars have had less successful family members in the AFA. Hall of Fame wideout Budd Richardson had two sons, Charles and RIckey, make the AFA, though neither made much impact (though Charles did catch the eventual game-winning touchdown for the Wasps in the 32nd Victory Bowl). DT John Stark, arguably the most dominant defender in AFA history had a cousin, Raymond in the league - the two even played together in Pittsburgh between 1969 and 1971. Most simply aren't that notable. The most recent pair of brothers that have come up in the story are Benji and Kenji Strong, both of whom are sure-handed wideouts. Benji played 9 years in the league, with stops in Washington, Cincinnati, New York, and Seattle. He was cut by the Grizzlies this offseason, and is unlikely to make it back into the league. His younger brother (who was supposed to be named Kenny, but two-year old Benji misunderstood, and the name stuck) has been with the Ghosts since his rookie season in 1976. Current Whales QB Steve Parker is the son of former Captains RB Guy Parker. There are also a lot of family connections among the ranks of AFA coaches, the most notable of which is the Bull family. Minnesota DC John Bull is a third generation AFA coach - his grandfather (Warren), great uncle (Arnold), and father (Jimmy) all spent a lot of time on AFA sidelines. Of the four, only Arnold was never a head coach, and all four own Victory Bowl rings. Warren (HC) and Arnold (DC) retired after winning one with Minnesota in 1955, passing the reigns of the team to Jimmy (who had been the linebackers coach). He would lead the Angels to another title in 1957, and then win another one in Seattle in 1970. John won his with Minnesota in 1981. Again, there have been others. At one point, the father and son team of Homer and Beau Lejeune were considered two of the league's best coaches, though their legacy was tarnished by Beau's failings following his father's retirement. Right now, there are three families with multiple members at the coordinator or head coach level: Donald Dodd, the newly-hired offensive coordinator in Los Angeles is the cousin of Destroyers QB Walter Dodd; Willie Krause's nephew, John Bennett, is Portland's defensive coordinator; and brothers Paul and Russell Raphael are the head coach and offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Aces. I hadn't actually thought about it. I do my best to avoid using anachronistic language (I think I managed to avoid using the word "sack" until it was appropriate), but I didn't know that. I think it's safe to say that the story is similar. Wikipedia claims that Roger Staubach popularized the term in the NFL, though it dates back to at least the 1930s in the NCAA, so in the AFA Universe I think Steven Taylor would be the most appropriate choice (I used Staubach as the model for Taylor in the Wasps sig). Good question.
  2. Sorry for the delay in posting the Suns. I was just about finished with the 1984 season (all that was left to do was create the postseason graphics), and I realized that I made a seeding error in the playoffs, and had to rewrite quite a bit. Now it's ready to go again, so expect the regular season to be up within the next few days. Also, as I have done for the past several years, I once again forgot to post the first round of the draft during the offseason. I've edited the post to add it, and the list can be found here. For now, the Suns are safe from any kind of league intervention. The team will be financially stable (both Fowler and Oslen are incredibly wealthy), so the only thing that might cause the league to step in is if the fighting between the two gets too ugly. Remember, AFA President Warren Breyer has a background in public relations, so if he thinks that the situation in Miami makes the league look bad, he may try to take action. The Angels are not only willing to tolerate bad behavior - they revel in it. Contrary to their name, they love rough around the edges players, and are always happy to sign guys with a reputation for being dirty or getting in trouble. Ha, that's funny. I didn't see those. I suppose that there are only so many shades of blue, so if they were going to do something like that for Father's Day, there was a decent chance that they would end up looking something like my Angels, but the resemblance is pretty strong. Happy (even more belated) Father's Day to you, too. They're the early favorites to win the Victory Bowl next year. Their core is very young and free agency doesn't really exist yet, so the team should only get better over the next few years. The team is very excited about the draft, as well. Coach John Thorpe raved about Benny Cerutti (LE - ECU), the team's first overall pick, "We always hoped that Benny would fall to us, but we never really believed that it would happen. This guy is the best defensive lineman in the draft. I guess we're just lucky that he went to such a small school and flew under the radar. If he had gone to Alabama or Miami, he'd have gone in the top 5." If he is anywhere near as good as Thorpe hopes, he could be part of yet another dynamic duo in Cincinnati - last year, the team used their first pick on Mark Rotermund (RE - Jackson State). He didn't have a stellar rookie year, but it's not hard to see these two guys becoming very dangerous. The playoff loss was disappointing, but not especially disheartening. The team is young and inexperienced, and is still kind of finding their way. TE Vic Meredith in particular compared the team to the 1979 Colorado Centennials who went 14-0 in the regular season only suffer a first round upset against the 6-8 Detroit Gladiators. All was well in Colorado, however, as the team has won two of the three Victory Bowls since then. Colleges are randomly generated based on the previous NCAA season. I use the power rating of each division 1 team from jhowell.net as a baseline, use a simple exponential equation to weight the list more heavily toward better teams, and then effectively do a random drawing for each player. For the 1985 draft class, the top-rated team (Auburn) has about a 4.49% chance of being selected, while the bottom ranked teams are >0.01%. Obviously, I double check it to make sure that nothing unreasonable happens - for example, when I generated the 1984 class, there were an absurd number of quarterbacks and running backs from Clemson. Though, since I only use about 10% of the players that I generate for each draft, it doesn't usually matter. I also sometimes make manual changes for a variety of reasons. Therron Nikoloudis, the quarterback that Cleveland drafted in the first round, is one example. Because I use Social Security records to generate given names, the list always has too many formal, legal names, so I go down the list and decide what given name a player will use. Rob Obradovic became Bob, for instance. When I came to Therron Nichols (QB-Clemson), the first name caught my attention. I discovered that it is a Greek name, and decided that this player should be the son of Greek immigrants. After a bit of googling, he became Therron Nikoloudis (QB-Miami), because 1) the largest Greek population in the United States is in Tarpon Springs, FL, and 2) the Hurricans were national champions in 1983 and are coached by a former AFA offensive genius, so it makes sense that they would have a top-rated QB It's highly likely that the sun shoulders could return in the future, especially if Fowler regains control of the team. Oslen has taken the team in a more conservative direction now, but I just can't see Miami making it through the 90s without doing something crazy.
  3. As part of new owner Dale Oslen's attempt to remake the franchise, the Miami Suns unveiled new logos and uniforms prior to the 1984 season. Old Logo: New Logo: The team is keeping their traditional blue and yellow scheme, though the blue is now lighter, thanks to a decade of player complaints about wearing a relatively dark color while playing in the hot weather of South Florida. The idea behind the logo hasn't changed - it is still a sun with 11 rays, but the new one has some rotation, which is meant to look more modern. The wordmark is unchanged. Old Uniform: New Uniform: Changes to the uniform were more significant. The team abandoned their flashy, solar sleeve/shoulder pattern and replaced it with a far more conservative look. They will also give up their unique blue shoes. They will, however, become the first team in the league to wear 3 different uniforms during the regular season. The all white (middle) set will be worn during the first half of the season both at home and on road trips to warm-weather cities like Tampa Bay and Houston. During the second half of the season, they will switch to the blue jerseys. Their normal road uniform is the right set, which pairs the white jersey with a blue pair of pants. Here is the sig with their updated look. http://orig12.deviantart.net/9160/f/2017/178/e/2/miami_suns_player_signature___allen_mccarty__re__by_verasthebrujah-dbe9w2t.jpg
  4. The Captains have been pretty consistent in their approach in recent years. When Darryl Majors signed on as head coach in 1979, he laid out a slow rebuilding plan, saying that his goal was to build a great team that could win championships, not a good one as fast as possible. They work hard to draft the best available players and then develop them. They were very happy to get Barry Koehler (CB-USC) in the first round. He's strong and aggressive, which makes him excellent against the run and in fighting for the ball in 50-50 situations. He is penalized frequently, partly as a consequence of his aggressive style, but Majors believes that they can coach that out of him, and as said that Koehler could be the next Knight Roberts. I'll try to post their new look later tonight, but I'll tell you now that, no, the new look isn't eccentric at all. Their colors will change slightly, with a blue that is in between the original and current shades, and they will be the first team in the league to wear an alternate during the regular season (but it's just a different color of pants). I'll probably post them late tonight or tomorrow. They are a strong candidate to do something crazy in the 1990s, though, especially if the Fowlers regain control. It wasn't a great offseason. They actually lost more players to retirement than any other team. Their biggest loss came on the offensive line, where they will lose three guys who combined to start 35 games in 1983. Losing LT Johnny Stroud wasn't much of a surprise - he was 36 and wasn't interested in playing out his final days for a team that's in the middle of the rebuilding process. However, they also lost RT Louis Murray and RG L.T. Bayer, both of whom would have turned 29 before the season opener. The two cited low pay compared to other offensive linemen around the league and the departure of Stroud as their reasons for retiring, and both will become coaches at the collegiate level. It was actually something of a surprise that they didn't spend their top pick on an offensive lineman, but there are a few reasons why. First of all, of the three that they lost, only Stroud had ever been a clear starter, and those days were long over. Bayer and Murray were both okay, but probably slightly below league average, so none of the three will be particularly difficult to replace. Second, this draft class wasn't exactly loaded with talented offensive linemen. They would have liked to get Dave McConnell (LT - Sacramento State) with the 10th overall pick, but he went to Philly at 7. They could have traded down, but the no running backs had been taken, and they loved Rick Riley, so they pulled the trigger. The pick was criticized, though. The incumbent running back, Russell Tobin, was their first pick in the 1981 draft. He looked really good as a rookie, but has struggled to stay on the field. Still, the roster has enough holes that a lot of fans were unhappy to see the team spend their first pick on a position that already has a reasonably talented starter. At this point, it's assumed that Tobin and Riley will share the load. Tobin is a pure speed back, while Riley is stronger and better as a blocker and a receiver. It's not yet clear who will be number one, but it does seem likely that Tobin will see his load reduced considerably, and might see some play on special teams. This is a pretty exciting pick for the team. Minor's jersey quickly became a bestseller in New Orleans, and it has fan interest in the Krew up to a level that it hasn't been in a decade. Incidentally, here is the sig with the new logo and uniform that you requested. I wanted to hold off on posting it until the draft was official. http://orig09.deviantart.net/c085/f/2017/169/2/2/new_orleans_krewe_player_sig___qb_donny_minor_by_verasthebrujah-dbd786h.jpg There has almost always been at least one team that wears white at home. In fact, I think 1982 and 1983 are the only season in which that wasn't the case. New Orleans had always worn white at home until their 1982 redesign. New York, Cleveland, and Minnesota have also all done it at some point in the past. And, of course, Colorado always wears white at home during the postseason. If their success continues, it's only a matter of time before they extend the tradition. It's certainly a possibility, but it depends on how things go. If they win the next three Victory Bowls wearing just red and white, it's hard to imagine them moving away from the new look, except for throwbacks.
  5. The New York Imperials unveiled an updated logo over the offseason, the first time that they've made any change since 1960. Old Logo: New Logo: The logo itself is basically unchanged - they simply added an outline to the old one. The most significant difference is that they've modified their color scheme, switching to a brighter red and dropping grey as a secondary color. This is an idea that has been kicked around for a few years, but the loss in the recent Victory Bowl convinced them to finally pull the trigger. After winning four of the first five championships, New York is now in the midst of a 33-year title drought, and have lost four Victory Bowls (1955, 1956, 1968, and 1983) in that span. The new, cleaner look is meant to symbolize a fresh start, and a renewed effort to bring a title to the Empire State, instead of reliving the glory of teams that played during the Truman Administration. Old Uniform: New Uniform: The uniform blends the fresh new color scheme with some traditional elements. Other than the updated logo and color scheme, none of the patterns on the uniform changed at all. Two changes were made for superstitious reasons. The helmets will be red, and the team will wear white at home, both of which were true in the 1940s and 50s. Obviously, there is no reason to think that the color of the helmet or jersey will have an impact on how well the team plays, but it can't hurt to try, right? Here is the updated look on a sig: http://orig10.deviantart.net/724d/f/2017/168/2/2/player_ny_adams_by_verasthebrujah-dbd3fj4.jpg
  6. In a vacuum, yes, but specific circumstances matter, too. All things held equal, would you expect Orlando to be the second city in Florida to get an NBA team? How would you rank the cities in California behind LA? Each of the big four has a different combination of markets there. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons not to pick Austin - concern about oversaturating a market that has already seen one franchise fail being the biggest - but it isn't impossible to imagine a situation in which Austin beats out Houston and San Antonio. This is especially true when we're talking about markets that don't have real-life major league teams. That fact alone already suggests that there will be some weird choices. Incidentslly, I also like Providence and Albuquerque.
  7. Second. I was going to say exactly this.
  8. Yep, you're right on both points. It's not inconceivable that the Fowler family could regain control if Olsen can't turn things around. After all, he founded the team, and has longer relationships with the minor owners than Olsen does. As for the new look: Fowler has always been one of the more eccentric owners in the league, and he has always wanted the Suns to have a wild look, which he feels represents Miami. Olsen is more conservative, and has publicly described the Suns as being "a bad team in a weird-looking uniform." He has been pushing for a more traditional look for years (in fact, he proposed the logo and uniforms that the team will be wearing two years ago, but was vetoed by Fowler and his sons). Now that he's in charge, he'll get what he wants.
  9. I usually post the uniform and logo changes first, but the offseason news is necessary to understand why one of the teams will be unveiling a new look this year, so it will come first. Coaching Changes As the 1983 season wrapped up, it seemed clear that at least three teams would part ways with their head coaches over the offseason: Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. The Comets were the first to make the move, firing Coach Paul Raphael the day after the end of the season. Raphael hadn’t accomplished much in Los Angeles, but his previous tenure as head coach in Seattle (during which time he had overseen the development of Rob Connery) was successful enough that he was still considered a hot candidate in some quarters. Among fans of Raphael was St. Louis Aces owner Bobby Blankenship. Upon hearing the news of Raphael’s firing, Blankenship immediately canned his head coach, Peter Langtree. The 85 year old owner, who was in poor health, then immediately boarded a flight to Los Angeles. Raphael signed with the Aces the next day. The Comets badly wanted Roosevelt Brown, the architect of Cincinnati’s high-octane offense, but Brown refused to even interview, expressing concern over the lack of talent on the roster and confidence that the Guardians roster would win multiple titles in the coming years. Instead, they settled for one of his assistants, hiring RB coach Johnny Owchinko, a former AFA fullback who spent 12 years in the league, mostly with Boston. The Philadelphia Railers surprised the league by keeping head coach Sonny Belasario, though they did fire virtually everyone else on the coaching staff and in the front office. However, the biggest shock of the year came during the All-Star Bowl, when Colorado Centennials coach Clyde Mitchell announced his resignation and his intention to return to the college ranks, going back to his former position at Notre Dame. “There isn’t any more for me to do in this league,” he explained, citing his two Victory Bowl rings. “We’ve done great things in Denver, but I prefer coaching at the college level, and helping those boys grow into men.” The Centennials promoted DC Billy Schlessinger to head coach, and hired the recently unemployed Peter Langtree to run the defense. Ownership News On February 19, 1984, the Miami Herald announced that the hotel magnate Dale Olsen had undertaken a hostile takeover of the Miami Suns. Olsen, who had owned a minority share of the team, accomplished this by secretly purchasing shares from other minor owners, most notably Delmer Fowler, the eldest son of team founder Ike Fowler. There is still some uncertainty, however. Olsen currently owns 48 percent of the team, while Fowler and his immediate family control 41 percent. With no other minority owner interested in selling their share, it would still be theoretically possible for Olsen to be overruled on major decisions, though for now he has nearly unanimous support from the other half dozen owners. Player Movement and Retirements Three likely future Hall of Famers walked away following the 1983 season, though two were well past their glory days. Jim Gore hung up his cleats after a stellar 13-year career in Buffalo and New Jersey. Most sportswriters agree that he held on a little too long (in fact, he wanted to play another year but the Sharks refused to bring him back and he failed to secure a tryout with any other team). Hopefully, he will be remembered more for tearing up defenses with his speed and agility in the 1970s than for his poor play in the 1980s (including a fumble on his final career carry against New York in the 1983 postseason). The Colorado Centennials also lost a former great to retirement in FB Don Johnson, who won four Victory Bowls in 12 years with the Miners and Cents. However, like Gore, Johnson was no longer a major contributor. To replace him, Colorado traded for New Orleans RB Steven O’Conner, who will move to fullback and should be an upgrade as a blocker and in short yardage situations. Finally, DE Johnny Hill retired from the Washington Wasps. He anchored a defense that won three Victory Bowls in four years, and as the last remaining member of those championship teams, his departure is a major symbol of a new era in Washington.AFA Draft The New Orleans Krewe surprised no one by spending the first pick of the draft on Donny Minor, a southpaw QB out of Texas. Minor, who is a classic pocket passer, is expected to be the first star quarterback to play in the Big Easy since Richard “Woody” Woods departed following the 1966 season. The only other quarterback selected in the first round went to the Cleveland Ghosts, as they selected Therron Nikoloudis (Miami) with the 12th pick. In spite of his having led the Hurricanes to a national championship in 1983, he is widely seen as not being AFA-ready. He has been widely criticized for relying too much on his scrambling ability to make plays, and most scouts feel that he will struggle against more athletic AFA defenses. Defense dominated the first round of the draft, as 18 of the top 28 selections came from that side of the ball, including an incredible 8 defensive backs and 6 outside linebackers. The most highly-touted of these prospects is Dean Abernathy (OLB – BYU), who was taken number 2 overall by the Washington Wasps. Abernathy is one of the most versatile players in league history, having taken snaps in college not only at every linebacker position, but also at defensive end, safety, running back, and tight end. Bob Feichtinger (WR – Illinois) the top wideout in the draft fell to the Kansas City Crows at 6th overall. He could give QB Greg Benham a legitimate number one option for the first time of his professional career. If the pick pans out (and many of the top-rated receivers in recent years have failed to live up to their hype), he could take the Crows from a scrappy, borderline playoff team to legitimate contenders. Finally, the Angels reinforced their reputation for being willing to overlook off the field issues by taking (the appropriately-named) CB Scott D'Angelico (San Diego State) with the 15th pick. During his sophomore season at USC in 1981, D’Angelico was one of the top defensive backs in the nation, and was widely expected to be a top-5 pick in the 1983 draft. However, he was arrested 3 times in 2 months over the summer, and was cut from the program. He transferred to San Diego State, where he sat out in 1982 before returning to the field in 1983. Though his talent had clearly not diminished, most teams were deeply concerned about his legal problems.
  10. Sorry that it's been a while. I had some writer's block, but I finally got going again this weekend. I'm finished with the designs for this offseason, I've simulated through the next Victory Bowl, and I've started writing for next year. I'll post the Miami Suns updated look soon. It's been done for a few days, I just haven't had the time or the motivation to actually present it. I am, however, ready to post a sig. I've made a new Butchers sig at the request of @Mercy_King. The featured player is MLB Stan Outwood. He was the top-rated player in the 1979 draft, and the Butchers traded for the pick from the St. Louis Aces (an unpopular move from Aces fans - Outwood played college ball at Mizzou, and was very popular locally). So far, the Aces probably got the better end of the bargain. They ended up using the 8th overall pick on ROLB Ed Stacey (Maryland), who is now one of the leauge's elite pass rushers. Outwood took some time to develop, but made his first All-Star Bowl this year, and at 27 years old, is the heart and soul of the defense. http://orig11.deviantart.net/d577/f/2017/162/f/0/player_chi___stan_outwood__mlb__by_verasthebrujah-dbcelur.jpg Yeah, it's been a pretty long run of teams winning more than one title within a short time frame. Colorado, Minnesota, New Orleans, Washington, and Pittsburgh have all won multiple titles over the past decade plus. As for the Whales, it's hard to tell what is in their future. Was this a fluke? How good are they, really? Has the window closed on San Diego and Seattle? That really depends on what happens with Rob Connery. The team has had an elite defense for years, but the lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball has been too much to overcome. They were 25th in total offense this year. Connery won't have a great supporting cast around him, but if he can be even a shadow of his former self, he can at the very least ensure that the Miners offense is no longer a liability. On the other hand, if he turns out to be just a washed up, 34 year old guy with a bad knee, then we can probably expect more of the same. The Miners will continue to be a borderline playoff team, but they just won't have what it takes to win in January.
  11. Chicago wins the first 3 easily, Montreal wins game 4 late, only to have the Shamrocks utterly humiliate them in game 5.
  12. They did that without an AFA-caliber passing attack. John Vessey is probably the worst quarterback ever to win a Victory Bowl (the only other contender being Johnson Wray of the 1956 Chicago Butchers), and he did it with a receiving corps that aspires to be middling. Their RB Tom Blitz, FB Don Johnson (who announced his retirement after winning his 4th Victory Bowl ring), offensive line, plus Paulie May and the entire defense deserve a tremendous amount of credit. Basically, yes. I have the red at #781214 (120, 18, 20) and the grey as #CDCBCB (205, 203, 203). I'll tell you now, though, it's changing this offseason. After decades of frustration and bad luck, the Imperials will be making a slight change to their logo and modifying their colors to a brighter scheme. Miami will also undergo a rebrand, which will be considerably more dramatic as they try to distance themselves from the last decade of their history. Well, it's been the last 5 in a row, but look at the streaks before that. Red primary teams won 6 of the first 7 and 7 of the first 11, but haven't won since. Teams with yellow or gold as a secondary have won 9 of the last 14 (and that doesn't include Minnesota's 2, and they have yellow in their logo). Blue teams have done well since 1979, but prior to that, they were on quite a drought, having won only one title between 1968 and 1979. They're definitely one of the more successful Victory Bowl teams. At 3-1, I think only Washington (4-0) has a better winning percentage among teams with multiple championship appearances. Pittsburg is next, at 8-3. Yeah, they were probably slight favorites to win the division, but Minnesota is still dangerous and Kansas City has proven that they're not a team to be taken lightly. The question now is how long they can keep it going. There is virtually no chance that they'll be able to upgrade at QB this offseason, and the o-line and defense are aging. At the same time, Minnesota is still very good, with a brutal defense (though age is catching up with them as well) paired with Tim Kewley at QB, who has made tremendous strides since entering the league. The bigger threat, though, is Kansas City. The Crows have a superstar in the making with Greg Benham at QB, a LB corps that is arguably second only to Colorado's, and a number of young players throughout the roster. They're probably only a year or two away from challenging the Cents for the division title, and may be serious VB contenders by the time Benham hits his prime. And the signature is under Account Settings, not Profile. Yeah, the window closing is a real concern. LB Gerry Leigh, who has always been Adams's compatriot on the defensive side of the ball, did not look great down the stretch, and SS Guy Vacilis will be 35 next year. If either doesn't bounce back next year, the Imperials are going to be hurting without the heart and soul of their defense. This isn't a great draft class, so both teams will likely just pick more for talent than for need, but New Jersey is weakest on both lines, though their defense is full of holes, so don't be surprised if they jump on an LB or DB in round 1. New York would like to get Adams some help. Richard Braatz is still his top target, but he's on the wrong side of 30 and hasn't aged well. Meanwhile, the team has a pair of mediocre running backs in Markus Warner and Glen Howell. Unfortunately, the pool at the skill positions is very shallow this year, and it's unlikely that there will be a hot prospect on the board when they pick at #27. There are some good interior offensive linemen that may fall to them in round 1, and they may try to bring some youth in at DB or LB.
  13. 38th Victory Bowl The New York Imperials were expected to be the slight favorites, but things changed when the New York locker room was hit by a bad outbreak of the flu in the days before the game. It got so bad that three players, including QB Ron Adams, spent the Friday night before the game at UC San Diego Medical Center due to severe dehydration. All three were released just under 24 hours before kickoff. No Imperial player missed the start because of the bug, but the team was clearly not itself, particularly Adams, who struggled all day, ultimately turning the ball over 5 times (as a point of comparison, he had only 11 turnovers all season). The first turnover came midway through the first quarter when CB Mick Spicer picked off an underthrown pass intended for WR T.J. Dergoff at midfield. The Colorado offense failed to find the end zone, but they pressed far enough to set up a field goal and take a 3-0 lead. The Imperials put together a long drive in response, advancing to the Colorado 32, but another interception, this one by CB Mel Spencer, ended the drive with no damage done. New York would score before the half was out, however. Facing a fourth down about an inch and a half from the end zone with 5 minutes remaining in the second quarter the Imperials kept the offense on the field, and Ron Adams scored on the QB sneak, giving the Imperials their first lead of the day. Colorado got the ball back, and looking to get back in front before the half, advanced into New York territory, but were stopped short of field goal range. The punt was nearly perfect, pinning New York at their own 7 just before the two-minute warning. On first down, Adams dropped back to pass. RT Tim Rincon lost his balance coming out of his stance, giving LOLB Paulie May a free shot at the quarterback on the blitz. He landed a huge hit on Adams, slamming his shoulder into the passer’s stomach. Adams fumbled at the three yard line. DT Steve Waddell dove on the ball as it bounced toward the end zone and then rolled in for the touchdown. With Adams still on the ground, and a fight broke out as Rincon and several of the other New York offensive linemen went after May, thinking that the linebacker had intentionally targeted their quarterback’s stomach because he had been ill (something May casually admitted to in a postgame interview, saying, “Of course [I hit him there intentionally]. We knew that he was having stomach problems, why wouldn’t I go for the weak spot?”). By the time the fight was stopped, Rincon had been ejected. Adams didn’t miss a snap, coming back onto the field after the kickoff and leading what looked like a good two minute drill. The Imperials reached the Colorado 34, just on the edge of K John Baze’s range with 22 seconds left in the half. However, on the next play, Adams came under intense pressure from the blitz, and threw his third interception of the day, allowing Colorado entered the half with a 10-7 lead. New York came into the second half strong, retaking the lead after RB Glen Howell took the ball into the end zone from the one yard line to cap off an 80-yard touchdown drive. The defenses then held the game scoreless for the next 10 minutes, until Colorado RB Tom Blitz pounded his way across the goal line from three yards out, putting Colorado back in front 17-14. As the fourth quarter began, it was clear that Adams was running out of gas. His mobility, accuracy, and the velocity and distance of his throws were clearly well below his usual standard. As he struggled, so too did the entire New York offense, and Colorado was able to extend their lead by 10 following a 37-yard field goal and a 4-yard touchdown pass from John Vessey to TE Michael Yates. The Imperials got the ball back with 3 minutes left on the clock, trailing 27-14. Any hopes that they had for a comeback were extinguished a minute later, when Mel Spicer picked off Adams for the second time of the day. The Centennials were able to run out the clock, and claim their second Victory Bowl title of the decade. New York players and fans were understandably angry about the way the game had gone. They were unhappy about the bad luck of having their star player so ill that he could barely stand, but they were livid about the hit that Paulie May had put on Adams before the half (though there was no question that the hit had been legal), and even more so about May’s flippant attitude about it. The day after the game, Tim Rincon, talking to a reporter from the New York Times, promised payback. “You know, the Victory Bowl was going to be my last game, win or lose. I’ve been in the league for 10 years, and I was ready to walk away, but not anymore. I checked. We play in Denver next year, probably in the season opener or on Thanksgiving, and Paulie (redacted) May is going to be wheeled off of that (redacted) field.” http://orig15.deviantart.net/7b06/f/2017/148/6/1/colorado_jonas_sig_by_verasthebrujah-d9pt2sl.jpg http://orig07.deviantart.net/0f38/f/2017/148/2/7/championship_banners_sig_by_verasthebrujah-d9q2txa.jpg
  14. 1983 Semifinals On a chilly day in the Bronx, the Texas Stallions started off strong. The won the toss, opted to receive, and marched all the way to the New York 13. The Imperial defense tightened in the red zone, and Texas had to settle for a field goal, but both RB Kelvin Barker and QB Mikey McGowan had looked excellent on the opening drive – they had every reason to be optimistic. And then the Imperials scored 31 unanswered points. The scoring started on their first possession as Ron Adams led a 74 yard drive ending with a 3 yard touchdown run by Glen Howell. Almost exactly one quarter later, they extended the lead to 11 as Howell scored for the second time of the day. They had a chance to Go up by 14 before the half, but Texas CB Mark Burton came around the edge of the line to block a 53-yard field goal attempt, a rare bright spot on a long day for the Stallions. The failed field goal attempt would make little difference. The opening drive of the second half ended when K John Baze sent the ball through the uprights from 32 yards out, and five minutes later speedy wideout Mitt Crider split the safeties for a 28 yard touchdown reception from Ron Adams. Facing a 24-3 deficit with under 20 minutes left to play, Kelvin Barker, the most important weapon in the Texas arsenal, was all but eliminated from the gameplan. The newfound devotion to the pass briefly seemed to pay off early in the fourth, as Texas pushed deep into New York territory for the first time since the first quarter, but the drive came to an end on a terrible throw by Mikey McGowan which was picked off at the 19 by CB Stan Arispe. New York drove downfield and Adams threw his second touchdown of the day – this one a 13-yarder to T.J. Dergoff. By the time Texas got the ball back, they trailed 31-3 and there were 6 minutes remaining. The Stallions did manage to find the end zone on a 21 yard pass from McGowan to WR Brian Kujawa before time ran out, but with just 17 seconds left on the clock, they were merely playing for pride. The New York Imperials are going back to the Victory Bowl for the first time since 1968, and will be playing to win their first title since 1950. This game was close all day, and takeaways played a huge role in determining the victor. Baltimore struck first when Colorado QB John Vessey attempted to hit WR Ralph Zinn on a shallow crossing route. LB Adrian Doom stepped in front of the ball and picked it off at the Colorado 38. He had a chance to take it all the way back, but slowed down to dodge a tackle attempt by Vessey, allowing Zinn to catch him from behind at the 24. The Royals offense didn’t fare any better than Doom at finding the end zone, but a 23 yard field goal allowed them to take a 3-0 lead. The lead would be short-lived, as Colorado would score on the ensuing drive. Vessey, attempting to redeem himself for the earlier pick, hit WR Steve Tallant up the middle for a 13 yard touchdown. Very little happened in the second. The Cents recorded their first takeaway of the day when LB Bob Jonas hit Derrill Punch from behind as he threw, which allowed CB Brian Specker to grab an easy interception at the Baltimore 42, but the offense failed to take advantage of the good field position, and were forced to punt. The only points of the quarter came 4 minutes before the half when, for the second time of the day, the Royals reached the red zone only to see their drive stall. A 23-yard field goal sent them into the halftime trailing 7-6. Baltimore was able to get in front midway through the third, when they put together a long drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Jim Ingles. However, they would once again not hold the lead for long. Colorado managed to gain some traction on their ensuing offensive possession, but were forced to punt, which bounced into the end zone for a touchback. The Baltimore offense retook the field, and n 1st down, Derrill Punch faked a handoff to Jim Ingles to the left, then spun around and attempted a pass to FB J.C. Krausher in the flat. He didn’t see LB Paulie May until it was too late. May jumped the route, caught the ball, and trotted into the end zone, putting Colorado back up 14-13. They extended their lead to 8 on a Tom Blitz touchdown run with under 8 minutes remaining in the 4th. With a trip to the Victory Bowl on the line, the young Royals offense rose to the challenge. Derrill Punch led a drive to the Colorado 8 before being faced with a 4th and inches. To raucous cheers from the crowd, the offense stayed on the field, coming out in a heavy, one receiver set. Punch faked the handoff to Jim Ingles, and threw a fade to Audwin Lee. Lee, facing double coverage, caught the ball, and dragged his toes in the corner of the end zone, making it 19-21. Jim Ingles plunged through the line for the two-point conversion, and the game was tied with 3:11 in regulation. Neither team would score again, and overtime would be necessary. The Cents got the ball first in the extra period, but after the dramatic, game-tying drive late in the fourth, every Royals fan in the house truly believed that their team was going to win, and Calvert Stadium was rocking. The thunderous applause grew even louder as Tom Blitz took the first down handoff and was immediately swarmed for a three yard loss. Colorado lined up, and once again Vessey handed the ball to Blitz. The stadium exploded with cheers as LB Rick Quarles blew through the line and launched himself at the ballcarrier, but Blitz threw a brutal stiff arm, and tossed the would-be tackler aside. He sprinted through the line and ran through an attempted arm tackle by Adrian Doom. Safeties Larry Phelps and Brad Cook came together and hit him at the same time, but now Blitz would not be stopped. He put his helmet down and plowed through both, stumbled and nearly fell forward, but caught himself by putting his left hand on the turf. He pushed himself back up, and dashed the rest of the way to the end zone untouched. By the time he crossed the goal line, the stadium was virtually silent, except for the sound of celebration coming from the Colorado sideline. The Cents are back in the Victory Bowl, and are ready to take a shot at their second title in three years. Victory Bowl Preview Neither of these franchises is new to AFA championship games. This will be New York’s 8th Victory Bowl appearance. They won the first three Victory Bowls over Cincinnati each time, and defeated Chicago in the 5th Victory Bowl in 1950, but haven’t won it since. They suffered upset defeats against Minnesota in the 10th and Chicago in the 11th, and then lost to St. Louis in the 23rd. A win would put their 5 titles behind only Pittsburgh’s 8, while a loss would tie them with Cincinnati for the most championship game defeats in the league with four. Colorado has fewer appearances with four, but have had more recent success. They defeated the Detroit Gladiators in the 20th Victory Bowl (in just their 6th year of existence), and have already played for the title twice in the past three years, losing to San Diego in the 35th and defeating Texas in the 36th. It is difficult to imagine a Victory Bowl with two teams more different from one another. The Imperials are a pass first team anchored by QB Ron Adams, a transcendent talent who turns a very average supporting cast into one of the league’s best units. The Centennials run a smashmouth offense centered around the power running duo of RB Tom Blitz and FB Don Johnson (who will likely be playing his final game) and aided by T Justin Alexander and a massive offensive line. Meanwhile, their defense is among the league’s best – most of their starters are good enough to start for just about any team in the league. New York isn’t as well-rounded, but have three All-Stars of their own (DT Mike Bryant, LB Gerry Leigh, and S Guy Vacilis). This game will likely come down to whether Adams or Blitz has the better day. If you were to compare these two teams at every position other than quarterback, Colorado would clearly hold the advantage, but the edge that Adams provides will put the Imperials over the top in a showdown that won’t be decided until late in the fourth quarter. New York 27 Colorado 24.
  15. The next round should be up soon. It's all ready to go, I just haven't actually had the time to set up the post (finals start today, and I have to start preparing for summer school, so time has been tight). I'll probably make the post after work tonight. So, I responded to this already a week or two ago, and talked about how absurdly strong the quarterback class is for the 1984 draft, but as I was running the offseason this week, I realized how that had happened. When I created the draft class, I accidentally generated all of the players as first round talents. Having recreated the class, I now have to change my answer, though it's still good news for the Krewe. There is star quarterback available, Donny Minor (Texas) is strong armed and has incredible awareness, but is incredibly immobile, and will need a lot of protection. He's also left-handed, so drafting him will force the Krewe to invert their offense. The only other QB who may come off the boards early is Therron Nikoloudis (Miami), an athletic passer who led the Hurricanes to the national title, but he's probably about a third round talent. Though, given the lack of talent at the position in the AFA right now, he could very easily jump into round one if a team is desperate enough. Other than Minor, this draft somewhat lacks depth. There aren't any names as big as say, Noah Rose, Bret Rivers, or Allen McCarty, but there are some players expected to make immediate contributions. On offense Rick Riley (RB - Tennessee), Johnny Hewitt (RB - Iowa), and Bob Feichtinger (WR - Illinois) seem to be the top choices. Dean Abernathy (LOLB - BYU) is the top defensive prospect in the draft, though there is quite a bit of talent on that side of the ball. There are a handful of linebackers and safeties in particular who seem likely to make an impact right from the start. Yeah, while Boston is a solid contender for unluckiest team in the league, I still think that Cincinnati probably still claims the crown. The Royals will be wearing their home purple, though it's not inconceivable that a team could give it a try. New York is definitely the overwhelming favorite - all of the other teams that were considered to be serious contenders have been eliminated - but after watching Texas take down CIncinnati, journalists are hedging their bets a bit. There isn't a defined curse, but the fanbase certainly feels that way. Aside from the long championship drought, there is the fact that they were the overwhelming favorites to win the Victory Bowl as late as week 15 before losing Adams to a broken arm. One of the darkest stories in AFA history also affected the team. In 1960, team owner H.H. Jarvis was on a hunting trip in Colorado when a disgruntled former employee attempted to kidnap him as part of a ransom scheme. However, the attempt went badly, and Jarvis was shot and killed. Yes, it's a tradition that started even before the AFA was founded. Thanksgiving Day football was an important tradition for the University of Michigan in the late 1800s and early 1900s, particularly their games against the University of Chicago in the 1890s. The Detroit Gladiators were founded by a professor from Michigan, while the Butchers (then called the Chicago Threes) were created as a club where players from Illinois, Northwestern, and Chicago could continue playing after college. As such, the Gladiators and Butchers have played one another on Thanksgiving virtually every year since 1902, and every year since the AFA began play in 1946. The teams take turns hosting the game each year. Since 1960, the defending Victory Bowl champion has also hosted a Thanksgiving Day game. They typically, but not always, play one of the defending divisional champions. This means that the second Thanksgiving game tends to feature talented teams, and is often both a playoff rematch and preview. In 1962, 1963, and 1965, the Detroit Gladiators were defending champions. They played their traditional game against Chicago, and the team that they defeated in the Victory Bowl (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Buffalo, respectively) hosted a game on Turkey Day instead. Weird request, but... okay The font is ManuScript Caps, though I removed the outline to clean things up.