NoE38

North American Markball League; A Fictional Sport & A Fictional History: 1956 Offseason

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Thanks for placing your votes guys! It really helps make thing easier for me. With that being said, I'll close the polls for now, but remember, if your city wasn't picked, there will be another expansion round before the 1960s. I'll look over all the picks, and I'll announce the winning cities late in the offseason post tonight.

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I’ve been following this topic quietly and I’m really enjoying this Fictional sport so far! It’s a pity I missed out on the most recent expansion council, but there’s always the next one. Can’t wait to hear about the expansion teams and what they look like!

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1952 NAML Offseason

On December 1, 1952, commissioner Patrick Urquhart announced the news that the league had been waiting for. "We would like to congratulate the two cities that have been awarded expansion teams for 1954, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Montreal, Quebec. We look forward to seeing both teams take the field in a couple of years.'

 

Milwaukee came first in expansion voting. After hearing of the news, Mayor Frank Zeidler said "Let's show the continent that we are the most passionate, loyal, and respectful fans in the Markball world" The team is expected to become immediate rivals with the Crusaders due to geographic proximity.

 

In Montreal, fans were ecstatic after hearing of the decision. The following day, a parade was arranged for the team, and the EML team's headquarters were swarmed by people looking for tickets. "I think we made the right decision in picking Montreal. The passion is fantastic and I hope that the on-field performance in great as well" said Urquhart.

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One of the underrated players in the game hung up his boots when Cliff Perry announced his retirement after 14 years in the NAML and CML, all with the Crusaders. Perry played 118 games in the NAML, scoring 35 goals and recording 263 tackles. "I still love the game, but it's time to move on with my life. Thank you to everyone for helping me become who I am today" he wrote in a letter to the Crusaders. Many other players announced retirement, but Perry was the most noteworthy.

 

Two noteworthy trades occured in the offseason, the first by the Warriors, acquiring St. Louis forward Al Sokker in exchange for follower Sidney Garnett and cash. Sokker will look to improve his great offensive play with the Warriors, while St. Louis receives a tough, physical Garnett who is bound to get on other teams' nerves. The warriors are one of the richer teams in the NAML, and St. Louis has been quietly struggling at the gate, so cash was included in the deal.

 

Michigan also traded defenseman Christopher Patton, a second-year player with large potential, to the Wolfhounds for fellow defenseman Bob Lynn, a veteran known for having great IQ in the game. Michigan was looking a dependable, experienced player to help with younger players, while Patton gives the Hounds a potential for having a superior defense.

 

In terms of signings, the Hounds also signed wing back Vinnie McClellan to a 2-year deal, giving the 6'6" Newfoundland native his first chance to play in the NAML. McClelland led the EML is goals by defenseman in 1951, scoring 18 goals in only 13 games.

 

The Hounds resigned Grad Rox to a two-year deal of his own, which will most likely be his last before retiring. New York Resigned Goalkeeper Sid Belmont to a four-year deal and Leonard James to a 7-year deal, the longest deal in NAML history at the time.

 

Toronto coach David House was fired during the off-season for poor performance on field. While he was walking out of the building after being fired. He yelled at team president Jack Joyner "Mark my words, This city will not see a championship until both my sons and I have passed away" Media was skeptical at first, but then the headline "HOUSE CURSES NATIONALS, WILL THEY EVER WIN THE CUP AGAIN? started popping up around the city, leading to outrage from the fans. In a press statement, Joyner declared "Mr. House is exceptionally false in his statement, I will be alive when we win the cup again."

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So there's the offseason post. Starting this year, I will try to put more detail and realism in my posts, but there's no promises, So if you see something different, that's the reason.

 

Also, I'd love to hear your suggestions for names and colours for Milwaukee and Montreal! I'll take any serious suggestion into consideration. The only thing I know for certain right now is that Montreal's primary colour will be blue.

 

Once again, I'll answer any questions about the sport or anything about this thread, and If you want signatures for a certain team or player, I'll make them.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Too bad I missed out on the council... I'll try when it comes up again.

 

As for the teams... Let's see.

 

Milwaukee: With a large German population in Milwaukee, it makes sense to use a nickname that displays that heritage proudly. Brewers could work out (provided that baseball doesn't exist in this universe) and your color scheme can either be red, black and gold (German colors) or blue and gold. Another route can be something motorcycle related since Harley-Davidson is from Milwaukee.

 

Montreal: With blue being the primary color, it's a good idea to give this team a 'Saint'-ly nickname.

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Montreal Harfangs (Snowy Owl)
Musketeers
Archons (Another name for Angels)

Milwaukee Meisters (German word for Master at their Craft)
Dragons (Popular Creature of German Folklore)
Pipers (Based of the Legend of Hamelin)
 

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Being the 1950's i'd expect the clubs to use older style identities so i'm going with.

Montreal

Blues / Le Blues - blue and white

Bishops / Le Eveques - blue, red and yellow

 

Milwaukee 

Brown Bombers - brown and light blue touches.

Mariners - Blue, Black

 

 

 

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I can’t really think of anything for Montreal, but there have been some interesting ones already offered.

 

Milwaukee, could be something simple, think tigers or wildcats, or something menacing. Griffins dragons. Something mythical.

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Personal nickname suggestions:

 

Montreal:

Saints

Angels

Fleurs

 

Milwaukee:

Millers

Deers (don't confuse with Bucks in OTL)

Riders

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Thanks for all of the suggestions guys!

 

For Montreal, My preference would be a name like Angels, Saints, or Bishops, since Montreal has a large Catholic population. I've got a few logo ideas for those. In terms of colours. I'll probably go with a simple blue and white, but with small red or yellow accents to distinguish them from Chicago and Washington.

 

Milwaukee is a tough one. I think something brewery-related would better suit the time period. Don't know how well-received a German name would be after WWII, but I like some of the ideas, so I'm leaving those out of the conversation. My short list would be Brewers, Meisters, Dragons, Mariners, Millers, and Lagers, As for the colours, Since lots of teams already use blue as a primary colours, I'm thinking something like Yellow as the primary and navy blue as a secondary, similar to the colours of the new flag.

 

Any final thoughts on the names are appreciated!

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Bishops for Montreal, Lagers for Milwuakee

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Bishops Blue&White with a hint of Cardinal Red to break it up

Dragons (Maybe go with the German Colors) Black Dragon Yellow Wings, Red Fire. Maybe the tie is that the Owner is a brewing magnate and his brand is like Fafnir or Nidhogg Brewing (tying in some of the Norse/Germanic heritage of the region)

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If Milwaukee is going th Miller or Lagers route I think it gives a great opportunity to be unique and use one of those beautiful shades beer comes in. From a light gold to copper or even brown and cream, hell I don’t care just gotta pick one.

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5 hours ago, RightGuard said:

Bishops for Montreal, Lagers for Milwuakee

 

Yes, yes and yes.

 

Lagers is a go too.

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Milwaukee could also be the Coopers, as that's what a barrel maker is called.

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So it looks like Bishops is the overwhelming favorite for Montreal. Since Montreal is mostly francophone, Their name will be Les Évêques de Montréal. and their colours will be Navy blue, white, and cardinal red accents, based on @Darknes' suggestion.

 

For Milwaukee, Since it seems to be split, I'll compromise by calling the team the Dragons, but I'll use @TheHealthiestScratch's brilliant idea and make the main colour the goldish-brown colour of a lager, with red and black accents.

 

Thanks for all the ideas, I'll see if I can implement them down the road.

 

Thoughts are appreciated as well.

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Sorry that this has been inactive for a while, School is the focus for me right now. I've got the 1953 season simulated, and have some ideas for Montreal and Milwaukee. I'll try to have the season post up in the next week or two.

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Looking forward to seeing how the newest teams look.

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1953 NAML Season

 

Due to the expansion happening next year, the NAML changed two of its rules, increasing roster size from 20 to 22, and announcing that starting in 1954, the top 6 teams would make the playoffs, giving the top two teams a first-round bye.

 

The season started off with two games on April 18; Toronto defeated New York 53-41, and Philadelphia edged Washington 30-29. The following day, Michigan narrowly beat Boston 46-42, while Chicago defeated St. Louis 33-27.

 

After a dissapointing season the year before, The Gatekeepers were determined to make a playoff push, but it was going to be hard without forward Al Sokker, who was traded with Washington in the off-season. After starting out 5-5, Arnold Lejoscasa broke out in the second half, scoring 36 goals in the last 10 games. The rest of the team stepped up their game as well, helping them go 8-1-1 to finish off, giving them an 13-6-1 record and a third-place finish. Lejoscasa finished with 57 goals, one off of the league lead. Howard Tremble was another bright spot for the 'Keepers, scoring consistently and playing well in the midfield. While St. Louis was improving, Philadelphia was doing the opposite. Patrick MacKenzie suffered a dislocated ankle in week 2, setting the tone for the year. Cecil Bonnom struggled up front, and their below-average defense couldn't keep up with other teams. The Falcons never won consecutive games all year, finishing 5-15-0, 7th in the league. In Detroit, the Bandits were looking to win their third straight Urquhart Cup, and were going all-in with the acquisition of Bob Lynn from Boston. Michigan played well as expected, winning 6 of their first 7 games. Although the second half was a little bumpy, goalkeeper Andrew McCaig led them past it, and they finished at 14-6-0, good for second in the league. Len Garey led the league in goals for the 6th straight year, scoring 58, and Harry Keener somehow had an even better season than before, making him the front-runner for the Chester Harland Award. In the capital, The Warriors started to fall from being a top-tier team, with Leo Edward's numbers starting to decline. However, the acquisition of Al Sokker was a huge victory for Washington, as he lead the team in goals and total points (Goals and points together). James Doctor was once again solid at the back, and Carmelo Dunn, the first African-American in the NAML had a career year in the midfield. Washington squeaked into the final spot, finishing even with a 10-10 record. 

 

In Toronto, many people were curious about how 'House's Curse' would affect the Nationals, and it looked like it definitely affected them. Despite winning their first game, they lost the next 13 consecutive games, losing by 10 points or more 11 times in those games. They won the next two games, put that was all they could do, finishing dead last, at 3-17-0. The only real bright spot of the year was Theo Krakowski, who led the league in accuracy, scoring 29 goals on 34 shots. In Boston, the Wolfhounds were still looking for their first playoff appearance. the signings of Christopher Patton and Vinnie McClelland showed that the team was preparing for a long run in the near future. Boston started off 5-5, and the strong play of Grad Rox indicated that we wanted to lead his hometown team to the playoffs. Unfortunately, they let the second half of the year slip away, and they finished 4 points out of the playoffs, at 8-11-1. There was hope though, as Patton played very well at the back and McClelland scored 12 times, finishing in the top 10 among defensemen. In Chicago, the Crusaders had the greatest winning regular season in league history. Despite the loss of Cliff Perry to retirement, Chicago went undefeated throughout the entire season. The most impressive part about their accomplishment was that they didn't have one player stand up above the rest. Every single player on the field contributed equally. The forwards scored at key times, the midfield played solid all year, and the elite defense helped make things easier for goalkeeper Ken Wardell, who played fantastic as well. Chicago finished 20-0-0, and first in the NAML. Finally, in New York, the Knights hoped that they could duplicate their success from 1951. Despite good seasons from Leonard James and goalkeeper Sid Belmont, the rest of the team couldn't play on their level, causing the Knights to lose winnable games and give up leads late. New York finished in 6th, with a record of 6-14-0.

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the 1953 NAML awards were given to:

Chester Harland Award (League MVP): Harry Keener, CB, Michigan

Leading Goalkicker Award: Len Garey, FL, Michigan

Benjamin Legrand Award: Ken Wardell, G, Chicago

 

Notable Events:

  • Philadelphia and St. Louis played an exhibition game with all proceeds going to hospitals and charities in both cities. Philadelphia won the match 38-30.
  • In week 3, St. Louis record the lowest score in NAML history in a 34-7 loss to Boston.
  • This season was the lowest-scoring season in the league's history, with teams scoring 50 points or more only 3 times all season.

Playoff Preview:

(1) Chicago Crusaders vs (4) Washington Warriors

Regular Season Meetings: 2

Results: Chicago 41-31 Washington, Chicago 46-24 Washington

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To be honest, Chicago's just playing too good for Washington right now. if Washington somehow wins, this will probably be the single biggest upset in any sport's history. Sorry DC, but you're gonna have to wait another year for a shot at the cup. Anybody could lead Chicago to victory here, they've played perfect as a team this year. Expect at least a 15-point victory from the Crusaders.

Prediction: Chicago will have another shot at the cup, advancing with a 43-25 victory.

 

(2) Michigan Bandits vs (3) St. Louis Gatekeepers

Regular Season Meetings: 3

Results: St. Louis 36-35 Michigan, St. Louis 40-32 Michigan, Michigan 42-34 St. Louis

This one's definitely gonna be closer than the other semifinal. Michigan are slight favorites, but don't be surprised if Lejoscasa leads St. Louis to their second Cup final. Expect both teams to get 30 points or higher, and expect a fast-paced game with lots of chances at both ends. Both goalkeepers will have to be sharp for this one.

Prediction: Michigan will look for their third straight cup, winning 38-31.

 

Thanks for reading!

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1953 NAML Semifinals

(1) Chicago Crusaders vs (4) Washington Warriors

Columbus Stadium, Chicago, IL

Tens of thousands of fans packed into Columbus Stadium to see the unbeaten Crusaders take on the underdog Warriors. Virtually everyone picked Chicago to win, and for good reason. Their team game had been absolutely magnificent, and they seemed unstoppable.

 

Despite all of the pressure for Washington, they started strong, with Carmelo Dunn scoring the game's first goal. But Chicago would come back strong, getting two quick ones from John Peters and Ben Bones. After a few minutes, both teams would trade goals, and it looked like it would be a high-scoring game, an unusual occurrence for Chicago. Both teams would get multiple chances throughout the rest of the quarter, but goalkeepers Ken Wardell and Ambrose Gares stood tall, only allowing points. After 1, Chicago had a slim 13-11 lead. In the second, Chicago's defense would go beast mode, not allowing the Warriors to do anything offensively. This gave the Crusaders' offence plenty of chances, which would become too much for Washington to handle. Chicago scored 2 goals and 2 points, and 10 unanswered total points to start the quarter. After a few minutes of no scoring, Washington would finally solve Wardell in the quarter, with Leo Edward punching one from 10 meters away. Chicago would get more chances offensively to finish the quarter, but couldn't capitalize. The score at the half was Chicago 23, Washington 15.

 

The third quarter started out slow, as both teams unsuccessfully tried to start rushes through the midfield. Chicago open the scoring in the half after James Doctor uncharacteristically turned the ball over, creating a 2 man breakaway for the Crusaders, and John Peters finished it off. right after, Peters would come back and get a point for Chicago. Realizing that they were losing their chance to win, Washington would go full throttle offensively. Lawrence Sanderson would get one back, and Dunn would hit one off the goalpost and past the pointline, making the lead only 8. In the final shot of the quarter, Herb Bradley tried to beat Gares, but he deflected it past the pointline, getting a point. After 3, Chicago still led 29-20. The Warriors looked sluggish to start the fourth, giving up a weak goal to Basil Goddard, and after holding down the fort for some minutes, Bradley squeaked one past gares, giving Chicago a 17 point lead. Washington tried to get something going offensively, but the Crusader defense kept tiring them out. Eventually, Edward would kick a point, but that would be it for the Warriors as Chicago played perfect the rest of the game, scoring one more goal and point. The home supporters left happy as the Crusaders were heading back to the Urquhart Cup for the third time in four years.

 

(2) Michigan Bandits vs (3) St. Louis Gatekeepers

Windy Park, Detroit, MI

In Michigan, The high-flying Bandits were trying to win their third straight Urquhart Cup. Their first road block would be the St. Louis Gatekeepers, who themselves were trying to get to the Cup final to win their first. Windy Park was filled to the nosebleeds with Bandits faithful, hoping to see their team advance.

 

The game started quickly offensively, with Len Garey blasting one past goalkeeper Gerald Chance. the Bandits would continue dominating the first half of the quarter, getting two points and another from Garey before St. Louis could even get a shot on goal. Fortunately for them, that shot from Howard Tremble was converted for a point, giving them some momentum. Even after Garey potted his third of the quarter, the 'Keepers started playing better as a team, with Arnold Lejoscasa punching two in and adding a point, helping St. Louis cut the deficit to 3 after 1. In the second quarter, the pace slowed down dramatically, with very few chances for both teams. Both goalkeepers were sharp as well, making it seem almost impossible to score. Finally, Len Garey kicked a point, giving the game some life. After another few minutes of deadlock, Harry Keener and Bob Lynn would get points for Michigan. St. Louis couldn't beat Andrew McCaig all quarter, marking the first time a team had been held scoreless in the playoffs in league history. At the half, the score was Michigan 17, St. Louis 11. 

 

In the third, Michigan turned on offensively, generating chance after chance, and were rewarded for their effort with two goals from Keener and Garey, giving Michigan a 14 point lead, their largest of the game. St. Louis would control the ball for the second half of the quarter, eventually getting a long-distance goal from Lejoscasa and a point off of a deceiving shot by Tremble, making it 25-14 heading into the final quarter. In the fourth, St. Louis was determined to tie the score or even take the lead, and it showed early on, with the 'Keepers getting a goal by Johnny Bradditch and a point from Lejoscasa inside the first two minutes. They would continue this pace throughout the first half of the quarter, getting another goal from Lejoscasa and a point from Benjamin Carter, giving themselves a 1-point lead with 10 minutes to play. Michigan tried desperately to take the lead, but Chance stood tall in net, until Garey took a shot that he never saw until the last minute. Although he saved it, he couldn't keep it from passing the pointline, tying the score. With two minutes to play, Garey took another shot that just evaded Chance, causing Windy Park to erupt in joy. Michigan had the lead, and they held onto it for the rest of the game. A valiant effort from St. Louis came just short, and Michigan was heading back to the final to attempt to defend their crown for the second time.

 

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Urquhart Cup Final Preview:

the 1953 Urquhart Cup was awarded to Milwaukee since Arnold Shannon Stadium is one of the better stadiums that can host it, comfortably seating 53,000 people.

 

Michigan @ Chicago, at Milwaukee, WI

Regular Season Meetings: 2

Results: Chicago 37-30 Michigan, Chicago 35-26 Michigan

Chicago looked amazing in their clobbering of Washington, and due to the proximity of Milwaukee, this will be like a home game for them. Despite this, Michigan has the tools to pull off an upset. After all, they are the two time defending champions. Len Garey potted 5 in the semi-final, and Harry Keener is fully capable of stopping Chicago's best offensive players. The team that shows more heart and fight will be the winner of this one, whether it's the team's first victory or fourth.

Prediction: Chicago will win their first Cup, 35-31.

 

Thanks for reading!

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