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Driveball: The World's Most Exciting Game (Proposed Rule Changes)

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1953 Results

 

If one word could describe the 1953 NDA season, that word would be parity. The Philadelphia Brawlers went from World Champions to the fourth pick in the ensuing draft, and to make matters worse, the Brawlers would be the team that would lose the most when the charter members of the PCDL came to raid their roster. With Washington, New York and Toronto finishing with identical records, the NDA would hold an East Wild Card with the winner facing the Commanders at Griffith Stadium. The team with the biggest turnaround has been the Explorers who finished dead last in the West last season, while their division rival, the Detroit Pumas, had the biggest drop off, winning only three games after earning a Wild Card spot and bowing out to the Blue Oxen last year.

 

East

x - Washington Commanders 6-4

x - Toronto Titans 6-4

x - New York Heroes 6-4

Philadelphia Brawlers 4-6

 

West

x - Minnesota Blue Oxen 5-5

St Louis Explorers 5-5

Chicago Gaels 5-5

Detroit Pumas 3-7

x - Playoff team

 

East Wild Card at the Polo Grounds (July 11, 1953)

Toronto Titans 35

New York Heroes 32

 

Bad blood was the order of the day in New York. The Heroes were inexperienced with post season play, as were the Titans. With neither team wanting to lose, the game became physical, so physical that the 17,000 fans at the Polo Grounds welcomed the physicality and actually booed the ejection of Heroes nickelback Hank Frizzell after slapping Titans striker Ken Barrymore on both sides of his head while defending the arc in the last five minutes of the game. Titans reserve Art Trelawney, who hadn't played all season, finally got his chance after team doctors forbade Barrymore from playing another minute. Trelawney kicked the game winning over that sent the Titans to DC. Frizzell would later be suspended for the first two games of the 1954 season.

 

Eastern Division Championship (July 18, 1953)

Toronto Titans 29

Washington Commanders 40

 

With Ken Barrymore out and Art Trelawney in, the Toronto Titans hoped to enforce the choke artist role on the Washington Commanders. Unfortunately for Toronto, these Commanders learned from their past playoff mistakes and disposed of the Titans with a blowout victory that saw fans leave Griffith Stadium early.

 

Frosty Mug III (July 25, 1953)

Washington Commanders 44

Minnesota Blue Oxen 43

 

With the lowly Senators on the road the previous couple weekends, the Commanders saw a sizable uptick to their profit margin. But that would be nothing unless they won the Frosty Mug at home. After two weeks of rest, the Blue Oxen felt they spent enough of the time off preparing their strategy. Washington won the regular season meeting comfortably in Minneapolis, so during the two week layoff, the Blue Oxen watched film of that game over and over, hoping to avoid repeating the same mistakes that tilted the game in the Commaders' favor. But for Minny's beloved Babes, it was not meant to be. The Ox backs tried desperately to intimidate the Commanders' top scorer, forward Steve Todd, hacking and slashing him, and blocking any possible scoring lane, only to see Ox backs Dick Pagnozzi and Harvey Dawson, their best defensive players, tossed for cheap shots on Todd before halftime. In the second half, the Commanders' attack came alive, scoring 32 unanswered points. The Oxen attempted a valiant comeback, but a block by goalie Earl Coats on the Oxen's last free kick gave the Commanders one last rogue point and the Commanders earned their first sip from the Mug.

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1953-54 Offseason...

 

September 8. 1953

The Pacific Coast Driveball League has announced the names of its eight charter franchises...

 

NORTH

PORTLAND

Spoiler

Chinooks

 

SACRAMENTO

Spoiler

Condors


SEATTLE

Spoiler

Thunderbirds


VANCOUVER

Spoiler

Ravens


SOUTH

LOS ANGELES

Spoiler

Jaguars


OAKLAND

Spoiler

Squirrels


SAN DIEGO

Spoiler

Dreadnaughts


SAN FRANCISCO

Spoiler

Dragons

 

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The PCDL uniform unveiling has begun...

 

First the Vancouver Ravens...

DOD0c72UMAEyrVJ.jpg:large

The logo on the left will be the team's first crest, and the logo on the right will likely be used later on barring relocation. Stuart Lewis, the team's inaugural head coach, brings the black and white colors from his former stomping grounds of VFL side Collingwood.

 

Second, the Oakland Squirrels.

DOD0tH6VoAA-5Dd.jpg:large

The Squirrels will play at Oaks Park in Emeryville. Should the PCL Oaks leave town, expect the Squirrels to keep Oaks Park for themselves.

 

C&C Welcome.

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The Sacramento Condors, who will play their home games at Hughes Stadium. Their navy blue and reddish purple colors are drawn from the wine business.

DOEVkfeVoAAe1jO.jpg:large

 

The San Diego Dreadnoughts, who will play at Balboa Stadium. Their colors are Navy Blue and Grey.

DOEVw7XUEAAj0RA.jpg:large

 

C&C Welcome.

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Not sure how I feel about the winged helmet this early, maybe just a few years early, unless you want to speed up the clock a little. Also, for San Diego they should have a completely grey helmet.

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2 minutes ago, CodeG said:

Not sure how I feel about the winged helmet this early, maybe just a few years early, unless you want to speed up the clock a little. Also, for San Diego they should have a completely grey helmet.

 

Sacramento's helmet will be plain purple at least for 1954 and '55 and the wings will be added in 1956. So the design you saw is pretty much a sneak peek for the near future, and in the days before vinyl decals, they can be airbrushed or hand painted with a stencil. ;) IRL, the Philadelphia Eagles first wore their winged helmets in 1955.

 

The helmet you see on the Dreadnoughts will be a one year only design for 1954 and they'll don the grey domes in their second season.

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The Portland Chinooks, who will play their games at Multnomah/Civic Stadium.

DOFMZhWUQAA3avo.jpg:large

 

And the Seattle T-Birds, who will play at Husky Stadium...

DOFM2uLUMAATuFh.jpg:large

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2 hours ago, Cardsblues02 said:

Wow, that is some serious detail you put into the Tbirds logo. Really love the PNW vibe and the totem pole look. Great job. 

 

Thanks very much for that.

 

Just a heads up: Milwaukee will pick first in the NDA expansion draft and Boston will pick first in the amateur draft.

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The Los Angeles Jaguars, who will play at the Rose Bowl. On the front of the jerseys is supposed to be an Aztec stylized LA that can look the same upside down and right side up. Speaking of which, I'm still open to suggestions on where to put logos and ads on the field.

DOIqdKmUQAET4jN.jpg:large

 

The San Francisco Dragons, who will split time between Kezar Stadium and Seals Stadium. The biggest challenge was to steer away from unintentionally recreating another famous dragon.

DOIqm7FUQAAhWaT.jpg:large

 

C&C Welcome.

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Cant  help but notice the jags have two different LA logos, and in my opinion the right looks less cluttered and busy, if you had to pick between the two of course.

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And now, the two expansion teams of the NDA.

 

First, the Boston Unicorns, who will play at Fenway Park.

DOJQ3M3VAAUiA9m.jpg:large

 

And the Milwaukee Muskies, who will play at County Stadium.

DOJRTsbVwAA5mwv.jpg:large

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Both Boston and Milwaukee’s uniforms are great. I’ll be rooting for my Muskies.

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26 minutes ago, Raptorman415 said:

Both Boston and Milwaukee’s uniforms are great. I’ll be rooting for my Muskies.

 

Glad you like them. I forgot to mention that the colors for the Muskies will be similar to what the Brewers wore in the mid to late 90's. Think Notre Dame meets the Green Bay Packers.

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Interesting sport. I'll be rooting for Philly!

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1954 Regular Season Results

 

To accommodate the new ten team structure, the NDA expanded its regular season to 12 games. The 1954 season saw the defending Frosty Mug champion Washington Commanders fall off the wagon big time. Injuries impacted the Commanders attack, resulting in the team winning only three games, with only the Toronto Titans finishing lower than them. The Heroes would lose the first three games of the season, two of which they were without Hank Frizzell due to suspension. The Brawlers would go back to their brutal ways, and in some ways, have become a renegade team in such a relatively young sport. The St Louis Explorers would finally reach uncharted territory; the postseason. Guiding them there was the right arm and right foot of center Harvey Benjamin. The expansion Boston Unicorns turned out to be the biggest surprise of the year, winning six games after being picked to finish winless by the few sportswriters who covered Driveball at the time. Representing the first stable of Unicorns were center Otto Hirsch (former Blue Ox), striker Sly Zavaroni (former Brawler) and dimeback Gene Castle (former Explorer). A healed Bob Shields helped the Gaels get back in to playoff land, but his squad will have to invade the Explorers at Sportsman's Park for another shot at the Frosty Mug.

 

NDA Standings

EAST

Philadelphia Brawlers 9-3

New York Heroes 8-4

Boston Unicorns 6-6

Washington Commanders 3-9

Toronto Titans 2-10

 

WEST

St Louis Explorers 8-4

Chicago Gaels 7-5

Detroit Pumas 6-6

Minnesota Blue Oxen 5-7

Milwaukee Muskies 4-8

 

Out west in the new PCDL, seeds were being sown up and down the west coast. In tiny Sacramento, the Condors were the only game in town besides the PCL Solons. Quinton "Red" Vander Wal, a center coming over from VFL side South Melbourne Swans, led the Condors to eight wins and the best record in the PCDL. The Portland Chinooks, led by former Brawler and Frosty Mug MVP Jimmy Pendelton, would settle for the wild card spot in the North. In Los Angeles, the Jaguars' Hollywood dreams nearly turned to nightmare as they dropped four straight after beating the Squirrels in the inaugural week. However, they would win four of the last five to even their record to 5-5 and sneak in to the lowest playoff seed. Further south, center Denny Tuttle served as admiral of the San Diego Dreadnoughts, leading his squad to six wins and a first place finish in the South.

 

PCDL Standings

NORTH

Sacramento Condors 8-2

Portland Chinooks 7-3

Vancouver Ravens 5-5

Seattle Thunderbirds 3-7

 

SOUTH

San Diego Dreadnoughts 6-4

Los Angeles Jaguars 5-5

San Francisco Dragons 4-6

Oakland Squirrels 2-8

 

Playoffs coming soon.

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Just realized how unintimidating the name "Squirrels" sounds compared to the rest of the south division teams. Kind of funny, but I guess the name fits Oakland. Also, why would a studio as big as FOX give money to a small team from a start up league that is very unproven. 

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7 minutes ago, Cardsblues02 said:

Just realized how unintimidating the name "Squirrels" sounds compared to the rest of the south division teams. Kind of funny, but I guess the name fits Oakland. Also, why would a studio as big as FOX give money to a small team from a start up league that is very unproven. 

 

I'm sure the PCDL bigwigs are crazy enough to try anything to get people to take notice. Just kidding.

 

Actually, Fox does not own the team outright, but do have a guy on the Jags' board who is second or third in line behind Darry Zanuck. So basically, they make up part of the corporate support for the club.

 

Guess I got a little bit ahead of myself.

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Here are the playoff seeds for both leagues...

 

In the PCDL, the playoff seeds are based on the W-L records of the two division champs and the two wild cards.

4 @ 1

3 @ 2

 

1: Sacramento Condors 8-2

2: Portland Chinooks 7-3

3: San Diego Dreadnoughts 6-4

4: Los Angeles Jaguars 5-5

 

So under this format, the Jaguars visit the Condors while the Dreadnoughts visit the Chinooks.

 

Meanwhile in the NDA, the two best teams in each division face each other for the division crown before meeting in the Frosty Mug...

 

Eastern Division Championship

New York Heroes at Philadelphia Brawlers at Franklin Field

 

Western Division Championship

Chicago Gaels at St Louis Explorers at Sportsman's Park

 

And of course, it'll be another few years before the two leagues pit their champions against each other.

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