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I am designing an alternate universe league, complete with a history and team names, logos, uniforms, the whole shebang. I will essentially operate as the design company for the league, working with the owners to design the teams. Like a real-life league, most decisions will be partially up to the owner and partially up to the league. For example, each owner will pick a city, but the league will vote among 4 owner-provided options for nicknames. Owner picks team colors, pending league approval. Etc. It will be 2 leagues of 8-12 teams each with a week 16 championship game between the two league winners. I’m currently building a website for the league through which everyone can follow along, and this thread will contain all the history and designs, updated as they are created. I’m likely going to add people in waves. The league will start with 8 owners and expand from there over the course of the off season. NEWS: Scheduled unveilings: Feb. 11, 2014 Denver Drillers design unveiled. Feb. 18, 2014 Mexico City Aztecs design unveiled. Feb. 25, 2014 Lincoln Zephyrs design unveiled. March 4, 2014 Fremont Trolls (Seattle) design unveiled. March 11, 2014 Kentucky Mashers design unveiled. March 18, 2014 Memphis Kings design unveiled. March 25, 2014 Toronto Tops design unveiled. April 1, 2014 New York Griffins design unveiled. Thanks for watching! We are still in the recruiting phase, so team names and branding are down the road a bit, but to kick us off... The History of the CFA, part 1: A League Unto Itself The History of the Continental Gridiron Alliance, part 1: The Continental Football Conference On January 25, 1987, the Continental Gridiron Alliance was officially chartered as the Continental Football Conference. The announcement came a day later in New Orleans in an attempt to take advantage of the media coverage of Super Bowl XX and show that the league was serious about directly competing with the NFL. After the collapse of the USFL the previous year and in anticipation of the expiration of the 1982 NFL CBA, the league was formed as a direct competitor to the NFL with an eye on eventually merging with the older league. When the announcement of the league’s formation, meant to be an event seen around the world during Super Bowl coverage, the CFC was almost entirely ignored, as the excitement surrounding Super Bowl XX and the lingering disappointment in the USFL combined into media apathy for the new league. As the owners left for their home cities and the auspicious announcement stage was torn down and packed up, the NFL’s Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots 46-10. It would be the last Super Bowl for more than two years, as the 1987-88 NFL season was cancelled after seven games played by non-union replacement players. Due to a combination of an expired collective bargaining agreement that lead to a labor strike, an unwillingness on the part of NFL players to cross the picket lines, in part itself because of the perceived disrespect of using replacement players, and the CFC’s willingness to negotiate with and sign star NFL players, the CFC quickly built itself as a money-losing but legitimate competitor to the NFL during the 1987-88 season. The CFC became the CFA on April 24, 1993 after merger negotiations broke down with the NFL. As evidenced by its original name, the league was intended as a third conference for the NFL and owners were confident that such a merger would come quickly once it was clear they were willing to lose money in the short term in order to compete with the NFL. With the perfect storm of the strike, the replacements, and the deep pockets of the CFC owners, respectability and competition came quickly for the league. This first major break for the league came in week 4 of the 1987 season, as CBS began airing NFL games on tape delay in a negotiation tactic. CBS claimed that the ratings for the replacement games were so low that the NFL owed restitution due to language in the broadcast contract. By week 6, CBS had negotiated a low-value but highly publicized one-year deal with the CFC to air CFC games in the time slots usually occupied by NFL games. Meant to be a negotiating tactic against the NFL, ratings were soon high enough for CFC games, featuring former NFL stars such as John Elway, Joe Montana, and Lawrence Taylor, that the contract was extended through the next season at a 300% increase, with CFC games planned to be aired that next season on Sunday evenings after the day’s NFL games. When the NFL’s week 7 games were aired on CBS at as late as 3 a.m. Monday morning in East Coast markets and it became clear that a lengthy legal struggle with the network would be extremely costly and that the striking players would not return to work without a new CBA, the NFL cancelled the rest of its season. Shots were truly fired by the CFC when CFC teams managed to sign 6 of the top 10 NFL draft picks from the 1991 draft class, though the CFC had mostly depended on signing away free agent veteran talent from the NFL to that point. The “leftovers league” reputation that had been building over several years for the CFC was subverted and negotiations immediately began in earnest between the NFL and CFC for a joint draft in order to prevent a repeat of the 1991 situation. However, the NFL’s draconian requirements for the CFC teams, such as an “admission fee” paid to the NFL and the loss of first round picks for CFC teams for the first two years of the joint draft led to the CFC rejecting the agreement for the 1992 draft. The CFC would sign 9 of the top 10 NFL draftees. When another year’s worth of negotiations for a joint draft once again broke down ahead of the 1993 draft — the NFL had lifted many of its requirements but refused to even broach the subject of a merger, despite the CFC championship game slightly outdrawing the AFC and NFC championships — the CFC abandoned the idea of merging with the NFL and rebranded itself as the Continental Gridiron Alliance with the slogan “A League Unto Itself.”