WideRight

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WideRight last won the day on December 3 2017

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    Buffalo Bills, Indiana U., Everton FC, NYCFC, Real Oviedo, NY Islanders, Fantasy Football (30 years in the same league)
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  1. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    Finally, the first of three expected Boston-area bids presented their case. The New England Sea Devils, with the unique approach of seeking a split-city bid between Boston and Hartford, made the case for a regional identity as a strategy for breaking through the cluttered Boston sports and media scene. They argued that expanding the reach of the team into Connecticutt would help to offset the issues which the Boston Beacons had encountered with competition from the Sox, Celtics and Bruins. As one of the lead owners was Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, some concern was raised about split allegiances.. While some owners were skeptical whether a part-time franchise would satisfy Bostonians (or the TV deal which had required a return to Beantown), others were intrigued by the idea of a 2-city team and many felt that the combination of stadium leases with both BC and UConn put this bid at the front of the Boston options. The identity, which sought to find a common theme of New England culture without treading on the Revolutionary War period used by the NFL's Patriots, focussed on the nautical heritage of the region. The image of a trident/pitchfork clutched by the tentacle of a sea monster, presumably a Kraken, along with the unique color scheme of Navy, Gold and Aqua was quite popular, and many felt it would lend itself to a wide range of promotional and marketing opportunities in a region known for its nautical, fishing and whaling heritage. (note: this logo borrows heavily from a design on shutterstock for a seafood/nautical logo. The trident is modified and the shield is added, but the tentacle and general concept was very much theirs. i just loved it when i was seeking inspiration.)
  2. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    The third bid to present was considered one of the favorites for the non-Boston expansion franchise, the Seattle bid led by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, but presented by the respected duo of former QB's Warren Moon and Rick Neuheisel. The two QB's spoke of the market as one of considerable corporate support as well as a rabid football fan base. Having the full participation of the U. of Washington for use of a recently refurbished Husky Stadium also made this a strong bid. The team identity, based on one of the iconic sea creatures of the Northwest, the Orca or Killer Whale, was one of the most controversial of the bidding groups, with its avant-garde 2-tone helmet (white & black) and the decision to use the less obvious plural form of "Orca" instead of "Orcas", but many within the room felt that the unique look and feel of the identity was just what the league needed moving forward.
  3. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    The second bidding group to present was the Kansas City bid, revealing a design for the Kansas City Rogues which utilized a fox as the primary logo. The ownership group, led by Gary Burrell of Garmin fame, revealed a regional bid, citing the lack of USFL franchises not only in the Missouri-Kansas area of the city, but also expanding out to Oklahoma, Nebraska and the Dakotas. League owners seemed skeptical that fans from as far away as Sioux City or Omaha would regularly make the trek to KC for a game, though there was some agreement that TV ratings in the region might be boosted with a Kansas City franchise.
  4. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    2012 USFL Update: The expansion bid presentations have begun. The first ownership group to present is John Henry's Orlando proposal. Orlando, while a legacy city for the USFL, is considered a longshot bid, as the ownership group has fewer resources than several others and Orlando is a smaller market than several of the other bids. There are also some owners who are concerned that with Henry already owning both the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC of the EPL, that the Orlando franchise and the USFL would not be bringing in a dedicated ownership with leaguewide success as a priority. The team opted to go with a space/NASA themed identity due to the proximity of Florida's famed Cape Canaveral (Kennedy). While the color scheme of navy, "rocket fuel" orange, and sky blue is unique within the league, several sources within the league meetings seemed to indicate that the Baltimore Blitz were disturbed by the similarities to their own wordmark-based logo.
  5. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    Just letting you know that I have not forgotten this thread. I have identities worked out for 1 Boston bid, as well as Orlando, Seattle and Kansas City. NYC, Miami and other Boston bids are on the way. Leaks may start coming out as soon as today and the USFL will release their selections soon.
  6. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    Still working on names, so keep the suggestions coming. But, while I have you here, I might as well crowdsource some ideas on colors too. What colors do you feel work well for each location? Try to avoid the colors of any current NFL team in the area. Boston/New England (avoiding Red, Navy & Silver) Miami (avoiding teal/aqua or orange) Seattle (avoiding blues & neon green) Kansas City (avoiding red & yellow) New York (avoiding red+blue or green+white) Orlando-- I guess we want to avoid the colors of the Buccs, but also the TB Bandits or Jax Bulls. Thoughts? I realize the team name may be a part of this. You cannot be the Sharks with red & orange, or the Celtics with Black & aqua.
  7. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    I am loving the suggestions. Keep them coming as I have not designed any of the potential teams yet. Since we are in 2012, it might be that some of the XFL or even UFL designs make their way into the USFL instead, but some guidelines for suggestions: 1. The Boston team cannot focus on the Revolution/Colonial period, just too close to the Patriots...unless, of course, Mr. Kraft's son does get the bid. 2. Seattle's Identity has to be different from both the Seahawks and the Portland Grizzlies (so no birds or bears) 3. The Renegades name will not come back to Orlando, just too much baggage there. 4. City Names are going to be used, with the possible exception of New England.
  8. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    Why would the Raiders move to Las Vegas? They have been very happy sharing a stadium with the Express in L.A. since the early 1990's. It is poor Oakland that has been without a team (USFL or NFL) since the Invaders moved to Cleveland.
  9. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    As the WLAF and NFL Europe did not exist in this alternative history, some of these players never really got a shot. But, of course, with two large leagues playing year round football, many did go to one of the two. Within the USFL the most noteworthy players from this list were Kerwin Bell (Los Angeles), Ricky Blake (San Antonio), George Koonce (Cleveland) and Eric Wilkerson (St. Louis). Kurt Warner spent 3 years on the bench with the Dallas Cowboys before being cut and picked up on waivers by the Houston Oilers, where he would go on to start for 7 seasons, leading the Oilers to their first Super Bowl. Adam Vinatieri played 3 years with the San Diego Chargers, then 2 more with the Atlanta Falcons and is now one of the top kickers in the CFL, where he plays for the Edmonton Eskimoes. Scott Mitchell spent 5 years as a backup with the Detroit Lions, starting a total of 7 games in that span. Kelly Holcomb played as a backup QB in both the USFL and NFL, playing with the NJ Generals, Baltimore Blitz, Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers. He is now a QB coach with the Chicago Bears.
  10. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    2011 Update The midseason league meetings in Dallas brought big news on the USFL expansion frontier. The league announced that it had accepted bids from three different New England ownership groups and that it was also evaluating bids from five other Top 30 markets for the second 2013 expansion team. The New England franchises, and we have to use that moniker for reasons which will soon be apparent to all, include a bid from Jim Davis, CEO Of New Balance; a bid from Jonathon Kraft, son of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, which includes an agreement to use Gilette Stadium, and a surprising third bid from Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who proposes that the USFL’s Boston franchise actually split time between BC’s Alumni Stadium and UConn’s Rentschler Field. In early negotiations, the Jim Davis bid, which would have the franchise playing at 30,000 seat Harvard Stadium looked to be the most convincing, despite the obvious issues with stadium seating and amenities. Jonathon Kraft’s bid to essentially build a USFL franchise using the resources and facilities of the NFL’s New England Patriots, was immediately made a longshot when several NFL owners balked, citing the non-competition clause which would not allow NFL owners to own competing sports franchises. The potential conflict of interest brought back memories of the DeBartolos issues in Pittsburgh in the 1980’s and created a real possibility for future litigation. The Bruins/Jacobs proposal was also intriguing, in part due to the strong group of investors, but also because the concept of a “New England” franchise, with homes in both Massachusetts and Connecticut, had the potential to downplay some of the issues which the former Boston Beacons had seen with a fickle spring Boston sports market. The potential tie-ins with the Bruins also added intriguing opportunities to the bid. Outside of New England, the league saw ownership teams headed by some huge names in the world of finance and sport as bids competed to be added as the 30th USFL city. While it was surprising that no new bid from Indianapolis came in, the league did see five different city bids by the June deadline. In New York, Fred Wilpon, owner of the Mets, and the City Group, owners of Manchester City, proposed bringing a 2nd team to the New York market, with a franchise based at Citifield in Queens. This immediately drew concern from the owners of the Generals, but also from all three Boston bids, who felt that a 2nd NYC franchise would make it difficult for Boston as well as for the Generals. Orlando, who had recently seen the Renegades merge with the Tampa Bay Bandits, had a new ownership group, headed by John Henry, owner of both the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, to bring football back to BrightHouse Network Stadium. The Orlando bid would have to compete with a second Florida bid, as a group headed by Mickey Arlson of Carnival, and with the celebrity “faces” of both Gloria Estefan and actor Will Smith, aimed at putting a USFL franchise in Miami. In Kansas City, Gary Burrell of Garmin put together a bid for a franchise to play in the newly constructed Livestrong Wizard Park, home of the KC Wizards soccer club of Major League Soccer. But, as that stadium had a maximum capacity of 22,000 and as the Hunt family were seen as unlikely to allow a USFL franchise in Arrowhead stadium, Kansas City had to be considered the least favorable of the 5 bids. The most favorable, both in financial backing and football acumen, appears to be the Seattle bid. An ownership group headed by Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos and with the full cooperation of the University of Washington and its Husky Stadium, was a team that seemed to have it all. Seattle is a growing, high income, market with growth sectors in the burgeoning tech fields, a high quality stadium at the ready and an in-place management group which includes such football luminaries as former Husky, CFL and NFL quarterback Warren Moon, and former San Antonio Qb Rick Neuheisel. The league accepted all 8 bids for the two franchises and in September would hear the full report of each bid before a league vote to select the two franchises.
  11. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    And the new Outlaws gear, with barb-wire motif.
  12. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    First up, the new UA uniforms for the Memphis Showboats.
  13. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    2011 USFL Season The 2010-2011 offseason was dominated by difficult, even contentious, television negotiations as the USFL sought to create a dedicated television network similar to the NFL Network as well as develop a higher revenue package with a dish or cable provider. This had been a multiple year project, but despite strong ratings in most markets and particularly with younger viewers who saw the USFL as a more attractive “fun” league than the NFL, the major players had been standoffish with the league as it tried to negotiate new contracts. By January negotiations with both NBC and Fox had come to a complete halt, but this gave ESPN/ABC the window they needed to corner the USFL market. The plan they developed with the league was a sea change for the way the USFL would be covered. The plan, signed by the league in their February meeting, included the following: · Exclusive rights to cover USFL games by the ESPN (Disney) family of networks. · Development of a joint SEC/USFL network to be called ESPN Gridiron, to begin with the 2012 season. · Agreement with Dish Network to broadcast all out of market games to its subscribers on a series of channels dedicated to the league. · Development of pay-per-view live-streaming options through ESPNGridiron.com and Dish Network. · Rebranding of the highly successful “Jack Pardee USFL Football” video game series with 2k Sports to “ESPN Gridiron USFL Football”, beginning with USFL2k12. · Regularization of the schedule to include each week a single Friday night game, 4 games on Saturday afternoon, 6-8 games on Sunday afternoon (Variation due to bye weeks) and a single Sunday Night game. · Friday night games to be aired exclusively on Gridiron, with ABC covering all Saturday and Sunday day games and ESPN airing its Sunday Night Football game each week. · A requirement that the USFL return a franchise to the Boston area by 2013, without losing a top 30 market through relocation, and expansion to a second team within a top 30 market by the same date. The new television package knocked both Fox and NBC completely out of the USFL picture, provided the league with NFL level television funding and the ability to compete year round through the Gridiron network and opportunities to crossmarket with the SEC, college football’s most prestigious conference. Shows featuring SEC and USFL alums would be developed, beginning with a Steve Spurrier coaches roundtable show and a joint USFL/SEC weekly show hosted by All-USFL legend Herschel Walker. Flush with funding, and looking ahead to expansion to Boston and beyond, the USFL saw a spending spree in 2011, with franchises reaching out to both NFL stars and college All-Americans to bolster their rosters. The 2011 USFL draft was particularly rich, as the spring league was unabashed in its attempts to snag blue-chip talent out from under the NFL. Several teams added key talent at positions of weakness and the recent expansion teams in Minnesota and Louisville used the opportunity to bring their squads towards greater parity with the rest of the league. Among the big name signings by the USFL in 2011 were defensive standouts such as Texas A&M LB Von Miller (Houston), Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt (Minnesota) and Clemson DE DaQuan Bowers (Charlotte). New Orleans planned for the future by signing an understudy for Brett Favre in Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett as well as LSU RB Steven Ridley . Louisville gave Brian Brohm a new weapon in Kentucky WR Randall Cobb, as did Atlanta with its signing of Georgia WR A.J. Green. Three top RB’s signed with the USFL, Ridley with New Orleans, Illinois’ RB Mikel LeShoure to Chicago and Alabama RB Mark Ingram (Birmingham). Finally Portland and Jacksonville brought in young arm talent with Washington QB Jake Locker and Florida State QB Christian Ponder, respectively. In free agency, there was also no lack of talent brought in. Both Cleveland and Utah sought to address the QB position by bringing in NFL veterans. Utah brought home a local talent with former Ute and 49er QB Alex Smith while the Cleveland Invaders spent big and signed the former SuperBowl MVP QB of the Browns, Dereck Anderson. Other major signings included Denver signing disgruntled Steeler RB Rashard Mendenhall and Louisville snagging former Patriot back Benjarvis Green-Ellis. On the defensive side, Washington was the big hitter signing both LB Stephen Tulloch and Colts DE Robert Mathis. It did not take long into the season to realize that the influx of talent had raised the bar across the league. Birmingham, pairing the short passing of Eli Manning with the new power running game of Ingram, ran out to a 9-0 start before suffering their first defeat. Houston also started fast, building a 7-2 record, largely on the back of Von Miller and an intimidating passrush, before a late season injury to Leftwich again hampered the offense and led to a late season slump. Even Minnesota and Louisville were far better teams, though their toughness did not yet translate into a lot of wins. J.J. Watt, in particular, was a revelation for the Blue Ox, finishing the season with 12.5 sacks, while Randall Cobb led the Bees in receiving. But despite the spending spree, it was one of the most frugal franchises, the Baltimore Blitz, who surprised everyone, winning the Northeast on the strength of former Boston QB Donovan McNabb in what would be his final season. Out west, the biggest surprise was the uprising of the California Condors, who fought for each yard and won 10 games despite having no players named to the All-USFL team. 2011 was also a year with significant playoff turnover as several mainstays of the past few years failed to live up to expectations. Pittsburgh suffered several key injuries and did not have the depth to overcome them, leading to a 6-win season. Shockingly falling from grace were the Philadelphia Stars, whose 8-6 record proved insufficient to earn them a playoff spot for the first time in over a decade. Tampa Bay also surprised many after a good 2010 playoff squad seemed to fall apart at the seams, leading to questions around 2010 Coach of the Year Butch Davis. The Breakers also fell from the elite after losing Brett Favre to a midseason shoulder injury. Rookie Ryan Mallett showed some spark but far too often tossed the ball to the wrong team, with 11 interceptions in only 7 games. The playoffs saw two phenomena at work. Michigan used its considerable home field advantage to full effect, knocking off two teams which had defeated the Panthers during the regular season, California and Houston, to reach the Championship. Both victories were narrow and hard-fought, but the Panthers, backed by rowdy Detroit fans, were able to scratch their way to victory. For the Birmingham Stallions, the path was either far easier, or they made it look easy. Beating New Jersey and Baltimore by a combined score of 73-22, the outcome of both games was never in doubt. The Stallions entered the Championship as a 14 point favorite, and woe to the gambler who bet on Michigan. Birmingham broke out in the 2nd quarter, scoring 3 TD’s in a span of only 7 minutes as a Manning TD was followed by a muffed kickoff by Michigan, leading to an 11 yard Mark Ingram rumbler in which he carried 2 Panther defenders the final 3 yards to the endzone. The scoring spree was capped off by a 3 play drive after a Panther 3-and –out that made the score 24-3. Michigan was out for the count, and would only muster a TD and 2 point conversion the rest of the game. The final 41-11 score was a testament to the domination shown by the Stallions as they ended nearly 30 years of futility and won their first USFL title. 2011 USFL Final Standings EASTERN CONFERENCE WESTERN CONFERENCE NORTHEAST *BLT 10-4 *NJ 8-6 PHI 8-6 WSH 5-9 SOUTHEAST *CHA 9-5 *ATL 8-6 JAX 6-8 TBY 4-10 GULF COAST *BIR 12-2 *MEM 9-5 NOR 7-7 STL 5-9 LOU 5-9 GREATLAKES *MICH 9-5 CLE 8-6 CHI 7-7 PITT 6-8 MINN 4-10 SOUTHWEST *HOU 9-5 *DEN 8-5-1 DAL 5-8-1 SAN 5-9 UTAH 4-10 PACIFIC *SJO 10-3 *CAL 10-3 *LA 9-5 ARZ 4-10 POR 2-12 2011 USFL Playoffs Wildcard Round New Jersey(6) d. Charlotte(3) Houston(3) d. Denver(6) Memphis(4) d. Atlanta(5) California(4) d. Los Angeles(5) Divisional Round Birmingham(1) d. New Jersey(6) California(4) d. San Jose(1) Baltimore(2) d. Memphis(4) Michigan(2) d. Houston(3) Semifinal Round Birmingham(1) d. Baltimore(2) Michigan(2) d. California(4) 2011 USFL Championship Birmingham 41 Michigan 11 2011 USFL Award Winners 2011 USFL Most Valuable Player: Eli Manning, QB, Birmingham 2011 USFL Coach of the Year: Sam Wyche, California 2011 USFL Rookie of the Year: J.J. Watt, DE, MIN 2011 USFL Relocation, Expansion or Uniform/Logo Updates The USFL contracts with ESPN/Disney would lead to immediate discussion of expansion as the league was required to return to Boston and add a 2nd Top 30 market franchise as part of the contract. Early speculation was that either Miami or Seattle would be considered, but the idea of a 2nd NY area franchise was also floated by several within league circles. The Memphis Showboats opted to go retro with their Under Armour redesign, returning to the “paddlewheel” logo as their primary while retaining many elements of their original Nike design elsewhere. The San Antonio Outlaws updated their look by adding barb wire piping to the uniform, an idea many claimed was stolen from the Adam Sandler film “The Longest Yard”.
  14. Time to rebrand the Panthers?

    I have to agree. I much prefer the slate blue, navy and neon green unis from the Matt Hasselbeck era to the current design with the blocky numbers and overuse of the feather motif. Had the Seahawks not worn their uniform as a unitard with blue on blue and white on white, they would have been awesome. Those slate jerseys with the navy sleeves and just hints of green were amazing.
  15. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    And just for fun, here are the league MVP's from 1983-2010. You will see a lot of QB domination here as the USFL was able, at least for a while, to sign top QB's out of college before they took NFL deals (in some cases). Seems clear that when the USFL builds a Hall of Fame, it will have to include Jim Kelly (4 MVP), Steve Young (3 MVP), Herschel Walker (2 MVP), Brett Favre (4 MVP) and Aaron Rodgers (2 MVP), but I suspect everyone on this list could get in if they played 6+ years in the USFL (some did not). 1983 K. Bryant, RB, PHI 1984 J. Kelly, QB, HOU 1985 H. Walker, RB, NJ 1986 J. Kelly, QB, HOU 1987 R. White, DE, MEM 1988 J. Kelly, QB, HOU 1989 S. Young, QB, LA 1990 J. Kelly, QB, HOU 1991 H. Walker, RB, NJ 1992 A. Carter, WR, MICH 1993 B. Favre, QB, NO 1994 B. Favre, QB, NO 1995 T. Thomas, RB, HOU 1996 B. Favre, QB, NO 1997 S. Young, QB, LA 1998 D. Flutie, QB, NJ 1999 J. George, QB, CHI 2000 D. McNabb, QB, BOS 2001 S. Young, QB, LA 2002 B. Favre, QB, ORL 2003 T. Brady, QB, PHI 2004 S. Alexander, RB, DAL 2005 C. Martin, RB, PHI 2006 D. Brees, QB, WSH 2007 B. Roethlisberger, QB, PHI 2008 A. Rodgers, QB, SJO 2009 M. Lynch, RB, SJO 2010 A. Rodgers, QB, SJO