CSFL – 1957 Season
The end of the 1956 championship game was the start of the offseason. With the announcement of the Houston Gunners being bought by Bud Adams and the team merging with the strap Shreveport Showboats, the league announced an expansion consul to grant a new franchise to replaced the Showboats. Most people believe a new team will be placed in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland was home to the most successful club in the AAFC, Cleveland Browns, who are now doing well in the National Football League.
The CSFL Expansion Consul, who was expecting a new bid to come from Cleveland, was waiting for one. But it wasnt until before the end of the bidding that a bid from Cleveland was announced. With that going on, some changes happened with the Pittsburgh Iron. Deciding that the team name sounded so close to the NFL Steelers (not helped that the NFL almost sued them because the name). So on September 12, 1956, the Pittsburgh Iron was no more, after a poll, the city chose the Pipers as their new name after a contest. The new logo and jersey came a week later.
Bud Adams was also thinking of a new name for the Houston Gunners, he wanted something to match the oil industry. However the CSFL veto the idea for now thanks to the Pittsburgh name change. Gonzalez did however promise him he will be able to change the team name for the 1960 season.
The 1957 CSFL Draft came and the NFL lost out on some key players due to them not paying attention. Notability included, the newly renamed Pittsburgh Pipers, with no surprises, picked QB Len Dawson and Fullback Don Bosseler from Purdue and University of Miami (FL) and Houston managed to strike a deal to get fullback Jim Brown from Syracuse and QB Milt Plum. The rest of the league managed to get some luck. The New York Titans managed to sign Alex Webster and Mel Triplett away from the NFL New York Giants.
Before the season started, the CSFL announced two things taking affect this year. For started, the league will expand to 16 weeks with two bye weeks and will do a playoff game for each division to see who will go to the championships
1957 CSFL Final Standings
W L T
Brooklyn Liberty 14 0 0
Atlanta Flyers 12 2 0
Pittsburgh Pipers 9 5 0
Buffalo Bills 4 10 0
New York Titans 2 12 0
W L T
Houston Gunners 10 4 0
Los Angeles Chargers 8 6 0
Cincinnati Tigers 5 9 0
St. Louis Redbirds 3 11 0
The season was the Brooklyn Liberty show once again. Dominating the opposition and bulldozing with way to the play offs with Atlanta not that far behind. The Flyers only lost two games this season with their losses coming from Brooklyn. Pittsburgh came out of being last place the season before and did better this season then the last two despite being in third place again. Buffalo remained in forth place while the usually alright New York Titans fell flat on their face and landed last place.
The western division was a close battle between the Chargers and the new and improve Houston Gunners. Cincinnati was doing okay, this time in third place. The biggest shock came with the Redbirds. The Redbirds, while not doing as bad as the Titans, still fell hard and it showed, Halfback Joey Woods was well past his prime by this point and even suffered an injury during the final weeks of the season. Woods, along with fellow journeyman player and legend Ash “The Ace” Harrington, would retire from pro football. The Redbirds suffered their first losing season.
Eastern Division Finals
Brooklyn Liberty 30
Atlanta Flyers 14
Brooklyn came out fighting. Despite Atlanta scoring two touchdowns, the Liberty was just too much for them. And with star WR, Johnny “The Jet” Jones cruising though the Flyers defense. There was no chance for Atlanta to win.
Western Division Finals
Los Angeles Chargers 21
Houston Gunners 14
Los Angeles and Houston had a closer game, the game was tied 14-14 with no time left so the game continued to overtime. With 8 minute left on the clock, Chargers tackle, Eddie Fargo, tackle QB Milt Plum to force a fumble, which LA won. Chargers, on their next play, scored a touchdown and wins the game.
CSFL Championship Game
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Brooklyn Liberty 24
Los Angeles Chargers 14
Before the game, CSFL President Gonzalez announced the expansion team for next season, the bid that won was from Chicago. The team wasn't named yet but Chicago will have a team next season.
Brooklyn and Los Angeles battled it out in the Rose Bowl. Brooklyn would be too much for the Chargers. Despite Brooklyn throwing two interceptions during the 4th Quarter, one of which led to a touchdown for the Chargers. In the end, it boiled down to Tommy Lewis amazing field goals that saved the Liberty last year and the good defense that they had as well. Halfback, Eric Grant, was rewarded the MVP honors.
The third year was a big success for the CSFL and would help them more to compete against the NFL. However things weren't going well in Brooklyn. Despite claims that the MLB Dodgers would not move to Los Angeles. Walter O’Malley would end up leaving Brooklyn by the end of the season. The Dodgers, along with the MLB Giants would move to the west coast.
While the New York Titans didn't worry much, since they had an alright fan base. Brooklyn didn’t. Despite Brooklyn winning the championship again, the box office returns were the worst of the season. This was mostly due to the aging Ebbets Field. By this point the stadium was showing it age and needed to be replaced. The question is, will the Liberty stay in Brooklyn or leave by the end of next season?