WideRight

USFL Alternative History: 1985 to...

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Yeah think i gotta go Schooners, they look a lot more interesting

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Yup, I'm sticking with the Beacons. That logo is fantastic.

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Beacons! awesome logo nice choice of colors and i like the homage to the WLAF Thunder in this logo

 

 

 

 

5a05c50c39d41_Charlottetest.png.ec1b83232ef5c0378cd4ba34a43d714d.png

 

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Charlotte Hounds, Atlanta Firebirds, San Jose Condors and Boston Beacons. My suggestions.

Oakland moves to Sacramento and, takes on a bear theme  (Maulers/Bruins) or, moves to Cleveland. My guess.

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Beacons and Hounds! 

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I'm still for Schooners. Is anyone getting an Orlando Thunder vibe from the Beacons logo?

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Hi all.  As I looked at the Beacons logo it just kept coming off as too busy, too much going on.  I tried to incorporate the Orlando Thunder clouds because I really loved that logo, but it was all too much.  So, here is a modified Beacons logo & helmet concept. A little simpler, but still with the light beam wrapping to the back of the helmet. 

 

 

Boston Beacons v2.png

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1 minute ago, WideRight said:

Hi all.  As I looked at the Beacons logo it just kept coming off as too busy, too much going on.  I tried to incorporate the Orlando Thunder clouds because I really loved that logo, but it was all too much.  So, here is a modified Beacons logo & helmet concept. A little simpler, but still with the light beam wrapping to the back of the helmet. 

 

 

Boston Beacons v2.png

 

Like the simpler look, though you could save the Orlando Thunder elements for another expansion franchise in either league. Or for a Chargers or Lightning rebrand.

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2 hours ago, WideRight said:

Hi all.  As I looked at the Beacons logo it just kept coming off as too busy, too much going on.  I tried to incorporate the Orlando Thunder clouds because I really loved that logo, but it was all too much.  So, here is a modified Beacons logo & helmet concept. A little simpler, but still with the light beam wrapping to the back of the helmet. 

 

 

Boston Beacons v2.png

If i didnt know any better, this is an actual nfl team, hats off to you for making some lovely team identities.

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1997 USFL Season

 

The USFL’s 15th season found the league in a period of growth and change.  This would be the first season on the shortened 14 week schedule, with the season beginning 3 weeks later in the Spring, and the first of two expansion years with the addition of the Boston Beacons and Charlotte Hounds to the roster of franchises.  There would be some growing pains as longstanding franchises worked to remain exciting to their fans while new franchises, somewhat lacking in player depth, would struggle to find wins on the field.   But, all things considered, the league was on a very strong standing, with solid TV packages, strengthening sponsorship and investor buy-in and a growing collaboration rather than rivalry with the NFL.

 

Examples of this collaboration were seen in the stadium agreements which began with Los Angeles and now spread to new 3-part deals (USFL, NFL and local municipalities) leading to the construction of new shared football-specific stadiums in Charlotte, St. Louis, Houston, Washington and Tampa.  Other cities saw significant funds put into stadium refurbishment, including agreements put in place in Portland, Baltimore and Memphis.  The latter had at one point seemed unlikely, but the Showboats were able to engage a growing football program at U. of Memphis and the two, together, were able to lobby the local government to assist with enhancements to the Liberty Bowl. 

 

The same positive cooperation was either not possible or not proving fruitful in several other locations, again particularly problematic where there was no NFL presence to help share costs.  Birmingham was not receiving positive feedback from the cash-strapped state or city governments and Oakland’s negotiations with the city of Oakland and the directors of the Oakland-Alameda stadium had completely fallen through.   For the 1997 season the Invaders opted out of their lease in the dual-purpose stadium, opting for a temporary fix by playing their season at Cal-Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium.  The venue, while a local option which kept the team more or less in the Oakland area, was also not ideal due to a lack of parking and significant limitations on alcohol sales at and around the stadium.  It was becoming clear that the league would have to step in to try to salvage the Oakland franchise or opt for relocation.

 

Player movement in 1997 was highlighted by the expansion draft which saw several big names move across the league to Charlotte and Boston.  While the Beacons worked furiously to try to bring former BC idol Doug Flutie back to Boston, the Generals were in no mood to lose their franchise QB, and so the Beacons settled for recent BC grad, QB Glenn Foley.   They also brought in BC alums Stephen Boyd (LB), Pete Kendall (G), Tim Morabito (NT), and signed veteran TE Mark Chmura away from the Green Bay Packers.  Outside of the BC connection, the biggest name headed to the Beacons was WR Bert Emmanuel, the Gambler’s slot receiver.

 

Charlotte went less for local players, although they did bring in former NC State DB Dewayne Washington. Duke alum Dave Brown (QB), and South Carolina’s Matt Campbell (G) and Gerald Dixon (LB).  The Hounds signed longtime Denver backup QB Tommy Maddox to helm the team, surrounding him with other USFL contributors such as RB Sherman Williams, TE Lovell Pinkney and DE Shawn King.  But, by far, the biggest signing for the Hounds was Eagle’s RB Ricky Waters.  The longtime 49’er and short-lived Eagle provided Carolina with a solid option to keep pressure off of Maddox and the fledgling team’s offense saved them from at least 2 losses as their defense still had a way to go.   

 

In other expansion news, seeing some of the chaos which occurred when Boston and Charlotte held “Name the Team” contests, chaos which included a local Boston radio station’s call-in campaign to name the team the Boston Chowderheads, which nearly won the contest, the San Jose and Atlanta franchises opted to provide only 2 choices to the public and have a more structured vote.  Even with this there was an issue in San Jose, where within the ownership group, which included both Japanese and American investors, it took a face-to-face meeting for the American owners to dissuade the lead Japanese investor, Kansai Inc. CEO Takaaki Sakurai, that “Carp” would not work for an American football team.  The lifelong Hiroshima Carp baseball fan finally ceded, but the Japanese flavor would be present in the two team name options:  Dragons and Samurai.

 

In Atlanta there were no such dramatics.  The franchise owners quickly decided to play on a warrior motif, looking to ancient Greece and Rome for inspiration.  Fans would vote between the Atlanta Titans and the Atlanta Spartans.

 

The 1997 USFL draft saw a good number of top prospects sign with the league.  Chief among them were South Carolina RB Duce Staley (Boston, in trade of picks with Charlotte), Florida State LB Peter Boulware (Tampa), Alabama LB Dwayne Rudd (Birmingham),  UVa LB Jamie Sharper (Washington) and Ivy Leaguer, Columbia’s Marcellus Wiley (NJ), but by far the biggest hype was for Arizona State QB Jake Plummer, who would stay in Tempe with the Arizona Wranglers.  In the week after his signing the Wranglers sold more than 8,000 new season tickets to Sun Devil faithful. 

 

The 1997 Season was a largely predictable one, with the two expansion teams struggling in their new homes (Northeast and Southeast Divisions), the perennial powers of the late 90’s, the Breakers, Bandits, Stars and Express, playing true to form.  The only real surprise was the rise from the ashes of the Chicago Machine, now with a healthy Jeff George.  In the playoffs the Michigan Panthers made a Cinderella run, knocking off Philly in the Vet and then New Orleans in the Superdome to make it back to the USFL Championship for the first time since their 1991 championship.  On the other side of the bracket, Los Angeles made full advantage of their home field advantage, knocking off Denver and Tampa Bay to return to the USFL Championship since their last title back in 1989.  Steve Young lived up to his MVP form, but Jim Harbaugh and the Panthers were able to hang with the Express.  The Panthers tied the game at 24 with 4:17 left and their defense held Los Angeles, forcing the first championship overtime game in the league.  Los Angeles won the toss and ended the game in 5 plays, including a 27 yard Young scramble to bring the Express well into field goal range.  A Jason Hanson kick from the 22 yard line ended the game and brought Steve Young and the Express their second title.

 

1997 USFL Final Standings

 

NORTHEAST

 

*PHL        10-4

*BALT        7-7

*WSH        7-7

NJ            5-9    

BOS         3-13

SOUTHEAST

 

*TBY          9-5

BIRM          7-7

JAX             6-8

MEM          5-9

CHA            4-10

CENTRAL

 

*CHI          9-5

*MICH       9-5

STL             6-8

COL            5-9

SOUTHWEST

 

* NOR        11-3

* DEN           8-6

SAN              6-8

HOU             4-10

 

WEST

 

*LA        11-3

*OAK       9-5

POR         7-7

ARZ          6-8

 

 

1997 USFL Playoffs         

Wildcard Round      Washington (10) d. Oakland (7)              Denver (8) d. Baltimore (9)

 

Divisional Round     New Orleans (1) d. Washington (10)      Los Angeles (2) d. Denver (8)

                                      Michigan (6) d. Philadelphia (3)               Tampa Bay (4) d. Chicago (5)

 

Semifinal Round     Michigan (6) d. New Orleans (1)              Los Angeles (2) d. Tampa Bay (4)    

 

1997 USFL Championship    Los Angeles 27   Michigan  24 (OT)

 

1997 USFL Award Winners

                USFL MVP:  Steve Young, QB, Los Angeles

                USFL Coach of the Year: Sam Wyche, Chicago

                USFL Rookie of the Year: Peter Boulware, DE, Tampa

 

1997 USFL Relocation, Expansion and Uniform/Logo redesign

 

1)      Boston Beacons begin play.  Colors are Navy, Storm Blue and Athletic Gold.

2)      Charlotte Hounds begin play.  Their colors are Black, Teal and Orange.

3)      San Jose and Atlanta franchises announce “Pick the Name” contests with each city offering 2 choices to fans. 

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6 minutes ago, WideRight said:

it took a face-to-face meeting for the American owners to dissuade the lead Japanese investor, Kansai Inc. CEO Takaaki Sakurai, that “Carp” would not work for an American football team. 

 

pffffthahaha

 

Anyway, Samurai and Spartans.

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5 minutes ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

 

pffffthahaha

 

Anyway, Samurai and Spartans.

I second the choices...Atlanta Spartans and San Jose Samurai would make some FANTASTIC identities!

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Lel on the story about why a team called the "San Jose Carp" couldn't work in that market/easily renamed the "San Jose Crap". From that note, with the legend of a carp that swims its way up a waterfall will turn into a dragon, the team should be called the San Jose Dragons. I like the name of the Atlanta Spartans too with the University of Georgia being based in Athens, Georgia.

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OK, having some image issues.  The option to post images has disappeared from the "Reply" box.  I know Photobucket won't let me share for free anymore (so what is the point of that website?), so I tried Flickr, but every time I used the "Insert other media" option and tried to post the URL it failed.  So now I created an Imgur account and I am hoping it works.  NOPE, that won't work either.  Whenever I put in the URL from Flickr or Imgur the bar turns red and no image is inserted.  Does anyone have an idea how I can actually show my images on this page?  Why is this suddenly so tough???

 

 

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I Agree that we want the San Jose Samurai and the Atlanta Spartans

 

As for Oakland: They Want a New Football-Only Stadium for the Invaders and Raiders so Oakland needs to stay strong for Football, The Athletics will still play in the Coliseum while they get Oakland a New Ballpark to be built

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Dragons and Spartans

 

Hoping that Birmingham turns it around, I don't wanna lose a unique market like that.

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1 hour ago, stratonascar said:

I Agree that we want the San Jose Samurai and the Atlanta Spartans

 

As for Oakland: They Want a New Football-Only Stadium for the Invaders and Raiders so Oakland needs to stay strong for Football, The Athletics will still play in the Coliseum while they get Oakland a New Ballpark to be built

Don't forget.  The Raiders left Oakland in the 80's and are now playing in LA in a new stadium built with the Express.  So they are not moving back to Oakland and the Invaders are on their own trying to get stadium upgrades.  

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So the Invaders survived their exile from the Coliseum by...invading Memorial Stadium.
Image result for ironic don't you think

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