• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


WideRight last won the day on January 21

WideRight had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

517 Excellent

1 Follower

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Rock Island, IL
  • Interests
    Buffalo Bills, Indiana U., Everton FC, NYCFC, Real Oviedo, NY Islanders, Fantasy Football (30 years in the same league)
  • Favourite Logos
    Minnesota Wild, Bills, Seahawks

Recent Profile Visitors

6,049 profile views
  1. Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    I believe that would be true of a league with HS grads, but not one that is mostly college players (juniors & higher) and "grads" who could not make the NFL. If you build a fantasy element, as the league wants to do, and you have enough players who were starters at local schools (fan favorite if not All-Americans) you can garner support. I do think a late March or April start would help because it provides enough gap after the Super Bowl for people to miss football (I am itching for it already) and because the weather in most parts of the country is not horrible. But, on the player side, I think you could get 20k a game to attend if the league is on TV, has good marketing and branding and has local college stars such as: 1) an Orlando team stocked from Miami, Florida, Florida State, UCF, USF, etc. 2) A Birmingham team full of Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss St. and Georgia players 3) A San Antonio team with Texas, A&M, Tech, Houston, SMU, etc. 4) A San Diego team with SDSU, USC, UCLA, Fresno, etc. 5) A Portland team with Oregon, OSU, UW, WSU, Boise St. 6) A SLC team with BYU, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, ASU, etc. 7) A Raleigh team with Duke, Wake, UNC, NCST, ECU, So. Carolina and Clemson 8) A St. Louis team with Oklahoma, OSU, Mizzou, Arkansas, LSU and Iowa players You need to tap into those folks who miss pro football by April and those folks who love college football. That provides the in-stadium crowd, and then the quality of play and the quality of broadcast (internet or TV) will go a long way to pushing viewership. I say this as someone who loved the USFL, watched the WLAF and now watches the CFL just to get a football fix earlier in the year.
  2. This Is The Alliance Of American Football

    So, a uniform question for those of us already trying to imagine the AAF uniform options. Can a league with only 8 teams do away with having 2 different uniforms and play with color v. color? Sure. Team 1: Burgundy helmet, Burgundy jersey, white pants Team 2: Navy helmet, navy jersey, silver pants Team 3: Gold helmet, greenjersey, gold pants Team 4: black helmet, white jersey, black pants Team 5: Silver helmet, purple jersey, silver pants Team 6: Yellow helmet, royal jersey, yellow pants Team 7: Copper helmet, Red jersey, copper pants Team 8: White helmet, light blue jersey, white pants No need for 2 uniforms when a single-entity league creates all the identities for the teams.
  3. Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    So if you don't want to contribute to the NFL (and that assumes an adversarial position which McMahon might take but I don't think Ebersol will) then you are limited to soccer-specific stadiums and college stadiums (beer sales issues). That wipes out nearly all the domes, which means you are now either praying for really mild winters in the North or you are building this league entirely in the South and the West Coast. It is one of the reasons I would argue that a season of late March through July is bettern than February through May.
  4. Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    Several things come to mind with this new league. 1) I really want to see where the money is coming from, and are they ready to lose about 100 million a year for a while. You have to be prepared for that. 2) You also have to be prepared to prop up (not relocate) whichever team or teams in the league start off with crappy seasons. One of the worst part of many startup leagues is that teams are constantly moving, which makes it hard for anyone to trust enough to invest their time/money being a fan. 3) I like many of the names being associated with the football side of things, but want to see more linked to the TV and Financial side. 4) How do they deal with absolutely horrible weather in February and March? Do you limit the teams to those states where it is not so bad or play in domes? 5) Apart from the financial backing issue, which is where most leagues fail, the other big item is franchise location. Do you go for larger TV markets to make CBS happy (NYC, LA, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Denver, etc.) but at the risk that attendance will be miserable because those cities also have NBA, NHL and MLB? Or do you go for second tier cities that may do better at the box office but not draw big TV crowds? Can a league pretend to be a big deal if it is made up of Louisville, Norfolk, Memphis, San Antonio, Albuquerque and Sacramento? My guess is that they are going to try to go with the large market but smaller venues if possible. I would recommend they consider weather (or dome), mid-sized stadiums if they can, and a range of mostly NFL cities for TV. So, a quick list for me would be these: Detroit (Dome) Minneapolis (Dome) Indianapolis (Dome) St. Louis (Dome) New Orleans (Dome or Tulane Stadium) Atlanta (Dome or Ga. Tech) Miami (FIU stadium) Orlando (UCF Stadium) Raleigh-Durham (Duke, UNC or NCState) San Antonio (Dome) Dallas (SMU Stadium) Houston (U. of Houston or Dome) San Diego (Qualcomm) LA (StubHub) Portland (Providence Park) Salt Lake City (Rio Tinto or U. of Utah) I just don't see how you can put a team in NY, Philly, DC, or Boston with an open air stadium in February & March, so there goes the huge NE TV market.
  5. This Is The Alliance Of American Football

    I second that emotion. If this league's first game is the Denver MountainSharkz against the Strong Island Xtreme Krunk it will be cancelled before halftime.
  6. NFL 2018 changes

    Looking at these I am reminded that I really like the lighter, less intense orange so much better. There is a classic, 1950's feel to it that I think really works for the Browns. They are not a flashy, X-treme 1990's team, they are a died-in-the-wool, old school, blue collar team and that works so much better with the more muted colors like in the Sipe picture.
  7. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    OK, here it is, my final entry of annual updates into the alternative history of the USFL. I hope you all have enjoyed it. I am sure I could do it all again with all kinds of different results, and there are some decisions I wish I would have rethought, but all in all I think it turned out to be pretty decent. I will be adding one more image, the 20 remaining franchises, so look out for that. 2017 USFL Season The 2016-2017 offseason was dominated by speculation on contraction. While owners met in a series of closed-door meetings, reviewing the financial stability of the league, competitiveness and the requirements of current television contracts in an effort to create not only a financially viable contraction strategy, but one which would not lead to an imbalance of talent, the media had a field day with speculation. Nearly every team in the league was at one point in time named as a potential contraction case. Most trusted league analysts stuck to a pretty short list of potential contraction franchises, comprised mostly of those teams with weaker ownership groups, such as Pittsburgh, Denver, Baltimore and New Orleans, or with franchises which had significant difficulties at the box office, such as Atlanta, Chicago and San Jose. Of course, much of the league’s finances were not known even to those who were solid analysts of the league’s on-field dynamics. The Gridiron Network, was, of course, silent, on anything that did not have the league’s seal of approval on it, focusing instead on the usual issues of team needs in the offseason and comparisons (always favorable) between the USFL and the upstart XFL. When the announcement came in late November, there were 20 cities which were again able to breathe easy, and two which were immediately up in arm. What shocked many was that the two cities that had been selected for contraction were not recent expansion locations, or even franchises with histories of failure, but two cities which between them had four championships and rich histories. Of course, what had not been known at the time by most outside the league was that both franchises had major issues with stadium contracts and both had been artificially inflating attendance numbers through giveaways and ticket deals which helped to hide their weak financial positions. League commissioner Dick Ebersol made the announcement in a pre-Thanksgiving press conference, apparently hoping to get minimal coverage in light of the big NFL holiday games the next day. The New Orleans Breakers would be merging with the New England Sea Devils, and that franchise would abandon its Boston-Hartford split schedule, which had been largely unsuccessful. The agreement allowed both franchises to retain their top talent on the new conflated franchise, and for the first time since 1983 the Boston Breakers would return. A similar nod towards tradition occurred with the other merger, which saw the San Jose Samurai absorb, almost in its entirety, the staff and roster of the Central Division Champion Cleveland Invaders. The Invaders had qualified for the playoffs 4 years running, and yet were a financial mess, overspending on players and suffering with a stadium deal that actually provided more profit to the NFL’s Browns than to the Invaders for every Invader game. And so the Invaders would return to the Bay Area after an absence of nearly 20 years (1998-2017) and, once again, Cleveland would see a football team leave for greener pastures. The league restructured into 4 divisions of 5 teams, with the Breakers joining New Jersey, Philly, DC and Baltimore in the Northeast, The Bay Area Invaders joining Seattle, Arizona, Denver and LA in the west and a reshuffled Central and Southeast divisions which managed to retain the rivalries of Birmingham and Memphis, Tampa and Jacksonville, Michigan and Chicago and San Antonio and Houston. Pittsburgh seemed the big loser in all of this, breaking their division rivalry with the Stars, and now having to deal not only with the Panthers each year, but games in Texas, far from their fanbase. Of course, the struggling LA Express were now faced with a tough rival to the north and the fans in both Washington and New Jersey had to worry about a much more balanced division if they hoped to return to the playoffs. By January the mechanics of the contraction had largely been worked out and all attention turned to the USFL Draft. Several USFL squads attempted to shore up weaknesses with big name signings. LA snapped up CAL QB Davis Webb, and Chicago snagged Notre Dame’s Deshon Kizer to compete with Nate Sudfeld in their QB race. San Antonio tried to find a bellweather back in Oklahoma product Joe Mixon, as did Pittsburgh, snabbing Toledo speedster Kareem Hunt. However, when the dust settled on the 2017 season, the biggest pickup was midround RB Alvin Kamara, picked in the Territorial Draft by the Memphis Showboats. Kamara proved to be a dynamic playmaker who blended perfectly with the Showboat offense, taking pressure off of the aging arm of Jason Campbell. The only NFL defections of note for the USFL in 2016-2017 were the departure of WR Robert Woods to the LA Express, LB Kiko Alonso from the Dolphins to the Blitz, RB Knile Davis to the Bulls and troubled DT Marcell Dareus from Buffalo to the Philadelphia Stars. Losses by the USFL included Atlanta RB Mike Tolbert (Dallas of XFL), WR Rueben Randle (KC of NFL) and All-USFL DT Aaron Donald of Pittsburgh to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, a definite upgrade over Dareus. The season played out much to form, as 2016’s top teams proved again to be strong playoff contenders. Reinforced by the contraction, both Boston and Bay Area saw won their divisions, whle the only real dropoff of top teams came with the fall of the fall of the Seattle Orcas, which many ascribed to injuries, including the loss of their signal caller, Marcus Mariota for 5 weeks. Boston, led by USFL Coach of the Year for both 2016 and 2017, Bruce Arians, ran roughshod over the Northeast Division, sweeping New Jersey and Washington before beating both for a 3rd time each in the playoffs. Meanwhile, on the other coast, 2nd year QB Dak Prescott adapted well to the Bay Area, teaming up with former Samurai WR Desean Jackson for 12 TD’s in 14 games, while longtime Samurai RB Marshawn Lynch finished with his best rushing total in 4 years, finishing only behind Denver’s Doug Martin for the rushing title. Little noticed, but devastating throughout the season was the Arizona defense. Early losses kept attention off of Arizona for most of the season, but a late 4 game winstreak placed them in the playoffs where their stalwart D proved decisive. The Ryan Shazier-led defense of the Wranglers shut out Michigan in the Divisional round (17-0) and held the defending champions to only 10 points, which allowed the often erratic offense just enough room to eek out a 13-10 win in Tampa. Most expected the party to be over when the Wranglers faced off against the Breakers in the league championship game. Boston had overpowered its Northeast Divison foes by scores of 35-14 and 31-19 and both the experts and the Vegas bookies had the Breakers as heavy favorites to bring the crown to Boston. But, once again the Wrangler defense proved up to the task. In addition to holding the Breakers out of the endzone, allowing only 4 field goals all game, the Wrangler D scored a decisive TD in the 3rd quarter when FS Damarious Randall took a gamble and jumped a slant route intended for Breaker wideout Jameson Crowder, returning the INT 27 yards for a score. The Wrangler ground game, led by Joique Bell was efficient in both shortening the game and providing Arizona QB Luke McCown with convertible short 3rd downs, and when the fat lady sang, the Wranglers had garnered a 20-12 win and their second USFL Championship. 2017 USFL Final Standings Northeast Southeast Central West *BOS 11-3 *NJ 9-5 *WSH 8-6 PHI 6-8 BLT 4-10 *TBY 10-4 *MEM 8-6 BIR 7-7 ATL 5-9 JAX 3-11 *MGN 8-6 HOU 7-7 CHI 7-7 SAN 6-8 PIT 4-10 *BAY 10-4 *ARZ 9-4-1 DEN 7-7 SEA 6-8 LA 4-9-1 2017 USFL Playoffs Divisional Round Boston (1) d. Washington(8) Tampa Bay(2) d. Memphis(7) New Jersey(6) d. Bay Area(3) Arizona(5) d. Michigan(4) Semifinal Round Boston(1) d. New Jersey(6) Arizona(5) d. Tampa Bay(2) 2017 USFL Championship Arizona 20 Boston 12 2017 USFL Awards 2017 USFL Most Valuable Player: D. Prescott, QB, Bay Area 2017 USFL Coach of the Year: B. Arians, Boston 2017 USFL Rookie of the Year: A. Kamara, RB, Memphis 2017 USFL Relocation, Expansion, Logo & Uniform News 1. The San Jose Samurai and Cleveland Invaders were merged and played as the Bay Area Invaders, with home games at San Jose State University’s CEFCU Stadium. They retained the identity and logos of the longstanding Invaders and marketed the merger as a homecoming for the Bay Area’s founding USFL franchise. 2. The New Orleans Breakers and New England Sea Devils were merged, taking on the logos and moniker of the Boston Breakers. While the Breakers had a much richer history in New Orleans, the return to Boston was again heralded as a triumph of the USFL’s “Back to basics” nostalgic turn on their recent troubles. Boston drew exceptionally well at BC’s Alumni Stadium, far better than they had when the team split time with Hartford as the New England Sea Devils. 2017 USFL Head Coaches & Franchise Players NORTHEAST COACH QB RB/WR DEF BALTIMORE BLITZ Cam Cameron M. McGloin S. Vereen K. Alonso BOSTON BREAKERS Bruce Arians R. Mallett R. Turbin/A. Blue K. VanNoy NJ GENERALS Jim Zorn B. Osweiler B. Tate/G. Tate Sean Lee PHILA. STARS Joe Vitt G. Smith L Miller M. Dareus WASH. FEDERALS Jack Del Rio D. Brees B. LaFell H. Clinton-Dix SOUTHEAST COACH QB RB/WR DEF ATL SPARTANS J. Harbaugh C. Redman B. Quick A. Branch BIRM. STALLIONS Jim Fassel AJ McCarren M. Ingram D. McCourty JACKS. BULLS Wally Buono C. Ponder K. Davis/K. Benjamin B. Spikes MEM SHOWBOATS K. Shanahan J. Campbell A. Kamara M. Wright TBY BANDITS B. Davis C. Kaepernick D. Johnson G. Atkins CENTRAL COACH QB RB/WR DEF CHI. MACHINE Ted Cotrell N. Sudfeld/D. Kizer D. Bowe B. Flowers HOU GAMBLERS Doug Marone R. Nassib J. Wilder Jr. W. Mercilus MICH. PANTHERS Sean McVey M. Sanchez L. Bell K. Dansby PITT. MAULERS Ben McAdoo D. Orlovsky K. Hunt M. Claiborne S.A.. OUTLAWS Joe Philbin B. Petty J. Mixon/A. Cooper D. Bowers PACIFIC COACH QB RB/WR DEF AZ WRANGLERS H. Jackson L. McCown J. Bell/T. Gabriel R. Shazier BAY AREA INVADERS Mike Sherman D. Prescott M. Lynch/D. Jackson V. Gholston DENVER. GOLD G. Cunningham V. Young D. Martin C. Finnegan LA EXPRESS Corey Chamblin D. Webb/R. Stanzi R. Woods B. Carter SEATTLE ORCA Chip Kelly M. Mariota R. Hillman C. Liuget
  8. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    2016 USFL Season The 2016 USFL Season brought some sense of normalcy, as the league was able to run a standard 16-week season, but despite strong on-field performance, the league was still clearly reeling from the defection of several franchises to the newly-formed XFL. Attendance was down, nerves were frayed, and with the league already announcing that it would contract to 20 teams, fans in several cities were already nervous that their franchise might be the one. Uncertainty, paired with the recent exodus of talent both to the NFL and now the XFL affected many franchises. Quarterback play in particular seemed to be taking the biggest hit, as teams struggled to sign or retain top name talent. The one exception to this was in Tampa Bay, where the combination of Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow shredded the league to the tune of a 12-2 record. What made the combination so deadly was not so much the ability to rack up passing yardage, though Tampa finished in the Top 10 in that category, it was the threat of the run. The Bandits finished first in the league in rushing despite not having a 1,000 RB on the roster. With Kaepernick taking the majority of snaps, but with Tebow subbing, or serving in dual QB/RB formations, the combination became the first in history to post 1,000 yards from the QB position. The other teams that had managed to retain or acquire legitimate franchise quarterbacks also saw success in 2016, including the Drew Brees-led Washington Federals, Marcus Mariota and the Seattle Orca, New Jersey with Brock Osweiler, and the Cleveland Invaders led by young gun Dak Prescott. Franchises who struggled at QB or found themselves in transition, trying out various signal callers, tended to fall flat, including the floundering LA Express, who started the year with Wisconsin QB Ricky Stanzi under center, but eventually started 4 different QB’s in their 3-win season. Houston also suffered as former Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib led the league in interceptions. The biggest surprise of the year was the success of new HC Wally Buono in Jacksonville. Not much was expected of the CFL coach in his first year, and while the 7-7 record attests to the erratic play at times in the Alamo city, the Bulls finished the year with 4 straight wins, including stunning victories in Tampa and at home against the Federals. When the playoffs rolled around, once again QB play was crucial. All 4 semifinal squads had league-leading QB play, and while Tampa Bay easily dispatched the plucky Orca squad, the Federals and Generals played one of the greatest, most exciting, playoff games in league history, a 42-40 gunslingers duel that came down to who had the ball last. That team was New Jersey, who used a last minute drive to finish off the Federals, scoring to take the lead and the win with only 7 seconds left on the clock with a beautiful Osweiler to Tyler Lockett fade pattern for the 17 yard score. In the Championship it was the Bandits vs. the Generals, two franchises certain to be retained as the league contracted. The Generals came out flat, perhaps still reveling in their win the week before, and by halftime the Bandits had built up an impressive 21-3 lead. A Sean Lee fumble recovery and 22 yard scamper to the end zone brought the Generals closer at 21-10 early in the 3rd, but that was quickly followed by two successive Kaepernick-led TD drives that put the game out of reach. After falling just short in the 2015 Championship, the return trip was magic for the Bandits, who won their first championship since 2003. 2016 USFL Final Standings Northeast Southeast Gulf Coast Central West *NJ 10-4 *NE 9-5 PHI 7-7 PIT 6-7-1 *WSH 11-3 *BLT 9-5 JAX 7-7 ATL 6-8 *TBY 12-2 *BIR 8-6 MEM 7-7 NOR 5-9 *CLE 10-4 *MGN 8-5-1 SAN 6-8 CHI 5-9 HOU 4-10 *SEA 9-5 *ARZ 8-6 DEN 8-6 SJO 5-9 LA 3-11 2016 USFL Playoffs Wildcard Round Birmingham(10) d. Baltimore(7) Arizona(9) d. Michigan(8) Division Round Tampa Bay (1) d. Birmingham(10) Washington(2) d. Arizona(9) New Jersey(3) d. New England(6) Seattle(5) d. Cleveland(4) Semifinal Round Tampa Bay(1) d. Seattle(5) New Jersey(3) d. Washington(2) 2016 USFL Championship Tampa Bay 35 New Jersey 17 2016 USFL Awards 2016 USFL Most Valuable Player: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Tampa Bay 2016 USFL Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians, New England 2016 USFL Rookie of the Year: Dak Prescott, QB, Cleveland 2016 USFL Relocation/Expansion or Logo/Uniform News 1) Louisville and Minnesota withdraw from the USFL in order to join the new XFL. 2) The USFL announces plans to contract to 20 teams in 2017. The two teams to be contracted or absorbed by other USFL franchises are not named at this time.
  9. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    Sorry, folks. I have had just a bunch of other things going on. 2017 USFL is coming, and that will end the thread for me. I am thinking about a 2020 XFL concept series. We shall see.
  10. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    No doubt. The USFL is always looking for cutting edge ways to present themselves. They were the first league to use the helmet cam, the wire cam that trails plays, cameras on referees, etc. They also innovated with fantasy football, condensed rebroadcasts of games, and the Gridiron Network had the first "Redzone" channel. Not to mention the constant competition between EA Sports Madden game and the All Pro USFL 2k series in gaming.
  11. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    Oh the potential is there for this to get a whole lot worse. I have to wrap it up at 2017, so all kinds of crazy could happen. You might even see an NFL team jump ship for another league, or perhaps be forced to leave the NFL for all kinds of cheating/collusion/illegalities, not the least of which might be the owner's corporate connection being found guilty of colluding with the Russians to corner the disposable razor market and the head coach discovered to be a killer android from the future whose goal is to destroy football and the media by giving just horrible interviews and dressing like a hobo. Could happen!
  12. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    Could be a local "territorial pick" like Brett Hundley or Matt Cassel, or the XFL might jump on some down & out NFL players like Case Keenum, Matt Flynn or Tom Brady (who is just getting killed behind a makeshift SD Chargers line, just manhandled, and hearing a lot of boos.)
  13. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    No, the USFL means that a lot of other sports leagues and pretty much every other non-NFL league do not exist. MLS is struggling for audience, Lacrosse, Rugby, WNBA all suffer because so much more corporate and fan attention is kept with football through the USFL in spring. It is very possible that the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays and Colorado Rockies also don't exist.
  14. USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

    Here it is, the official first image of the new XFL 2016. Lots of familiar teams here.