NoE38

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

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Pretty impressive work so far! Story logos everything is top notch, I’d love to see this get as far as @Veras‘s AFA series! As of right now I think my favorite are the Chicago Crusaders. I’d love to see Cincy or Louisville get a team.

 

I also agree with Darknes and thing the Hounds will win.

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On 5/10/2018 at 4:14 PM, BellaSpurs said:

Pretty impressive work so far! Story logos everything is top notch, I’d love to see this get as far as @Veras‘s AFA series! As of right now I think my favorite are the Chicago Crusaders. I’d love to see Cincy or Louisville get a team.

 

I also agree with Darknes and thing the Hounds will win.

Thanks for the feedback! That's my goal, As this series goes on, I'll going more in-depth and keep in touch with real-world storylines.

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1955 Urquhart Cup Final

Date: September 24, 1955

Location: Clark Street Stadium, St. Louis, MO

Weather: 71°F (22°C), Drizzle

Attendance: 28,670

 

It was a packed house at Clark Street Stadium, with the venue at 122% capacity. The stadium was split evenly between Wolfhounds supporters, Falcon faithful, and neutral St. Louis citizens. Despite the rain, it was sure to be a classic, with both teams, the defending champion Philadelphia Falcons, and the new kids on the block, the Boston Wolfhounds, having identical records during the regular season, at 16-4-0.

 

With the drizzle, journalists predicted inaccurate kicking from both teams, and a low scoring game. The former statement seemed true as both teams missed shots and chances early on, not registering any score for the first 6 minutes. Finally, at the seven minute mark, Vinnie McClelland had a shot hit the side of his foot, hit the post, and deflect past the pointline, breaking the ice. Unfortunately after that, the inaccuracy returned, with the scoreline staying the same for the next 10 minutes. Philadelphia had numerous chances, but they were either saved by John Portelli or missed the net entirely. With 4 minutes to play in the quarter, Ridley Robinson kicked a point, making it 2-0 Boston. Seemingly right after the scoring play, the rain stopped, and Boston took control. the Hounds would rush off the bounce and Grad Rox would finish the play with an unstoppable kick from right in front. Right after, the Hounds would charge again, and once again Rox would finish, this time punching it over keeper Charles Jamison. Cecil Bonnom almost got one back for Philly, but it glanced off the crossbar and over, ending the quarter.

 

After 1: Boston 10, Philadelphia 0

 

Bonnom would redeem himself early on in the quarter, beating Portelli low and giving the Falcons something to cheer about. Philadelphia would get some more chances, but they couldn't get past Vinnie McClelland, who was playing the best markball of his life at that point, looking like a brick wall in the backfield.  Rox would score two quick points, but unfortunately for him, he was part of an awkward tackle after, and seemed to be favouring his hamstring. He would be taken out and did not return. Coming on in his place was young forward Andrew Parsnake, the a small, quiet and stealthy player. Parsnake made an immediate impact, wiring one past Jamison minutes after coming on. After a period of defensive play, McClelland would get his second point, and just nine seconds later, Parsnake would pot his second, making it 21-4 for the Hounds. Just like the first quarter, Philadelphia would get some more chances, but they would capitalize this time, getting a point from Bonnom and a goal from Matthew Grey as time expired. There was still a long road ahead for the Falcons, but it wasn't over yet.

 

At the half: Boston 21, Philadelphia 9

 

Before the third started, the rain returned, making it almost impossible to grip or kick the ball accurately. To make matters worse, the field started becoming muddy. Defense prevailed to start, with no score until five minutes, when Bonnom, covered in mud, avoided tackles, and ran up to the goal square, punching it in. a minute later, Patrick MacKenzie, who was having an unusually quiet night, received a perfect pass from Grey, but the ball slid off of his foot and trickled right to Portelli, who easily made the save. After launching it downfield, it was caught by Parsnake, who dished it to Robinson, and he kicked a point, but had the conditions been better, the kicked likely would have been a goal. The defense, most notable McClelland took over from that point, and no further score happened during the quarter. After 3, McClelland had recorded 9 tackles, tying him for the most in a single game. Boston lead by 9 at the break, but Philly still wasn't completely out of it, and they showed momentum near the end of the quarter.

 

After 3: Boston 22, Philadelphia 13

 

The rain stopped between quarters, so now there was more of a chance to see the Falcons come back. Boston wans't having any of that, and restored their double-digits lead with another point from Robinson. But the Falcons were now starting to go full throttle, and got a quick goal and point from Calvin Ingham and MacKenzie, cutting the lead to 5. Boston supporters starting getting antsy and nervous, but a tremendous team play capped off by a goal from Parsnake let them breathe again. The defense would take over again, and McClelland broke the record for tackles in a game, getting two more to finish with 11. The Brick wall of hounds would only give up one more point to the Falcons, and Parsnake sealed it with his own point. Referee Bernie Lubb blew his whistle, and the Wolfhounds were champions, and the first non Classic 6 team to lift the Urquhart Cup.

 

Final Score: Boston 28, Philadelphia 19

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Final Bracket:

kg4vqq3.png

 

The game was instantly labeled a classic by the media, with many calling the game the "War on the Mud". The MVP award was given to McClelland for his stellar play in the backfield. When asked what it was like playing on the mud and in the rain, he said in his Newfoundland accent, "I loathed every second of it. I hate getting dirty so this was like a nightmare. But it's worth it in the end with the victory. I'd have no respect for myself if we lost".

 

In the annual commisioner's post-game conference. Urquhart said: "I can't believe that next year will already be the tenth year this amazing league has existed for. We're currently planning to do something big in memory of my father for this big occasion".

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I honestly don't know what 'something big' is yet, if you have any suggestions or ideas, I'm all ears. 

 

Next up will be the offseason post, which will include some jersey changes, signings, and whatever 'something big' will be.

 

C&C is always appreciated, and once again, Thanks for reading!

 

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1955 NAML Offseason

Soon after the Urquhart Cup final, Commisioner Urquhart announced that the new 'big tradition' for the 10th anniversary would be flags, as his father Thomas Urquhart, the founder of Markball, was also a vexillologist who had a large collection of flags from all around the world. Urquhart noted that each team would use the same flag template, with a 3:5 ratio, but other than that, designs could be anything. In November, at the league's headquarters, each team's design was unveiled.

r0afSE3.png

Four teams modeled their flags directly off of their jersey designs (Washington, Chicago, Boston, Milwaukee), St. Louis modeled theirs off of their logo, and Montreal modeled their off of their striping pattern and the flags of Montreal and Quebec. The other four teams created completely new designs (Philadelphia, Michigan, Toronto, New York)

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St. Louis also modified both their home and away jerseys, adding a yoke to each. The home jersey now features a blue yoke, and the away jersey features a purple one.

ulKesMr.png

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Grad Rox announced his retirement in the offseason after 14 years as a player. Rox played 177 games in his NAML career, scoring 218 goals. He also announced that he had been signed as the head coach of the Bandits, as their coach Dusty Francis was retiring himself.

 

There were no major trades during the offseason, but there were two big signings, with the Chicago Crusaders signing Falcons flank Richard Zorbeck, and the Falcons re-signing goalkeeper John Portelli for 4 years. Zorbeck was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana and when he was young, he attended multiple Crusader games when they were still in the CML. Portelli showed this year he can play top minutes and will most likely only improve with time.

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There's the offseason post. Any thoughts are appreciated, especially about the flags.

 

I'll hopefully have the 1956 season simulated before Tuesday, then maybe the post will be up by Friday.

 

Thanks for reading!

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1956 NAML Season

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The NAML's tenth season started with all teams playing at the same time on the same day. Prior to each game, each home captain raised their team's flag for all to see. For the first week, Toronto demolished the host Dragons 40-18, The Crusaders outplayed the Knights 34-20, The reigning champions, Boston, defeated St. Louis 43-33, the Falcons beat Montreal 43-29, and the Bandits won a defensive battle with Washington, 27-21.

 

Expectations were high for the Gatekeepers heading into the year, with Arnold Lejoscasa becoming more and more dominant. Along with Howard Tremble, St. Louis boasted an intimidating attack. Unfortunately for them, despite Lejocasa having another dominant season and Tremble contributing effectively as well, the rest of the team couldn't keep up. Opposing offences were easily getting through, leaving goalkeeper Terry Stewart with a huge load on his shoulders. The 'Keepers couldn't handle this and missed the playoffs by 3 points. coming in 7th with a 6-14-0 record. In the capital, the Warriors were trying to improve of the previous year's performance and maybe even contend for home-field advantage. Lawrence Sanderson had a breakout year, finishing near the top of the league in goals. Ambrose Gares also had a career year in net, holding down the fort in key situations. Rookie Stewart Macklin looked impressive in midfield as well. These and other factors helped the Warriors get a surprise third-place finish at 13-7-0, and home-field advantage in the first round. In the Big Apple, the Knights, like St. Louis, had expectation for a great season, especially Leonard James, the reigning Chester Harland winner. To everyone's surprise, before the first game, head coach Joe Hofmeister moved James to fullback. Without James up front, the Knights struggled offensively, but James surprisingly looked right at home in the backfield. Despite this, the Knights' underperforming led to another dissapointing season, finishing 8th with a 5-14-1 record. In Boston, the Hounds were looking to defend their crown, and it looked like a big possibility halfway through the season. After 10 games, Boston stood at 8-2-0, with the greatest point differential in the league. Unfortunately, their play diminished over the second half, but huge performances from Vinnie McLelland helped them not lose hope. McLelland had a career year, recording career highs in tackles, kicks and goals. His play earned him the Chester Harland Award for league MVP. In Philadelphia, the Falcons were looking to get back into the Urquhart Cup final, and their chances looked as good as ever. Despite the departure of Richard Zorbeck, newcomer Alexander McMullen took his spot and played fantastically, stepping in like he never missed a beat. Patrick Mackenzie played amazing as usual, and goalkeeper Stephen Brooking was sensational as well. Despite losing their third game of the year, the Falcons won every one after that, finishing first for the sixth(!) time in 10 years.


 

Up North, the Nationals were looking to improve on their performance in 1955, making the playoffs but falling to Boston in the semifinals. Theo Krakowski led the way for Toronto, scoring a career high 37 goals, second in the league. Gabriel MacDee also played well, controlling the backfield under pressure. Their play led the Nationals to an even better record than in 1955, finishing 4th, with a 13-7-0 record, good enough for home-field advantage in the first round. In Milwaukee, Willy Trenhue finally broke through as hoped, scoring 39 goals, leading the league. The rest of the team was still trying to get chemistry however, but couldn't get anything going. Laurence Blemsoon had his work cut out, facing a league-high average of 27.8 shots per game. He unfortunately didn't have a great year, and the Dragons fell with him, finishing last for the second consecutive year, with a 4-16-0 record. In Montreal, the Évêques were the opposite of their expansion cousins. Each of their three core players had fantastic seasons. Denis Girard was a force at midfield and became known around the league for his leadership skills, Denis De Félix complemented Girard's play effectively and set a career high in tackles, and Richard Porchery had by far the best year of his career, becoming Montreal's backfield leader, and turning heads around the league. These and many other contributions helped Montreal to their first ever playoff berth, finishing 6th with a 7-13-0 record. In Michigan, it was not the Bandits' year. In the first week, star defenseman Harry Keener suffered a concussion and facial fractures after getting shouldered hard by Warriors player Charlie Newman. Just one week later, Len Garey broke two ribs after a hard tackle. Without their two superstars and leaders, Michigan fell hard. No player really stepped up, and Andrew McCaig's performance started to decline, which resulted in Michigan's worst season in league history, finishing in ninth with a 5-15-0 record. In Chicago, the Crusaders had high expectations as usual, and they delivered. Russell Smith was a force up front, and John Peters was effective at midfield. Despite having a slow-ish start at 5-3-1, Chicago won their next 10 of 11 to finish with a 15-4-1 record, second in the league.

jzKjF0B.png

The 1956 NAML Awards were given to:

Chester Harland Award (League MVP): Vinnie McClelland, CB, BOS

Leading Goalkicker Award: Willy Trenhue, FF, MIL (39)

Benjamin Legrand Award (Best Goalkeeper): Andy Kappert, TOR

 

Notable Events:

  • The NAML Announced a new consolation tournament, to be played between the 4 non-playoff teams. The format would be the 7th place team taking on the 10th, and the 8th taking on the 9th. The winners of those two games would face off in a 'championship' game. All games would be held in the stadium of the 7th-placed team, and all games would take place on the weekend prior to the playoffs.
  • The 1956 season saw attendance booming, the league set records for total and average attendance throughout the year.
  • With Australian Rules Football being shown as a demonstrator sport in the 1956 Olympics, Commisioner Urquhart arranged for a friendly AFL game between Collingwood and Hawthorn played in New York. The game was played Prior to both league's seasons. Collingwood would defeat Hawthorn 78-50.

Playoff Preview:

(3) Washington Warriors vs (6) Montreal Évêques

Previous Playoff Game: N/A

While making the playoffs in their third season was a huge accomplishment for Montreal, Washington had almost double their points during the season. This should be an easy one for the Warriors, Expect at least 2 goals from Lawrence Sanderson, and look for a defensive game from Montreal. Denis Girard will be hard to contain, but he should be overcome by the Warrior attack.

Prediction: the Warriors will move on to Chicago with a 37-21 victory.

 

(4) Toronto Nationals vs (5) Boston Wolfhounds

Previous Playoff Game: 1955 Semifinals

Result: Boston 39-25 Toronto

This will be an interesting one. Toronto had the better regular season, but Boston appears to be the better team on paper. Toronto's attack will clash with Boston's brick wall defense, so expect some rough stuff from both teams. This is one of those games where the team that shows more heart will win, and it's tough to predict which one will be victorious.

Prediction: Toronto will head back to the semifinals with a 33-25 victory.

 

Playoff Bracket:

G79MQDu.png

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So there's the season post. Michgan's fall was unexpected, and I had a feeling Montreal would make the playoffs.

What did you guys think about the season?

 

Playoffs will be up hopefully within the week.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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If Toronto and Montreal played each other in the playoffs - Canada would've been watching it thoroughly!

 

By the way, when west coast expansion begins, would Vancouver be pretty much represented due to the popularity of markball in both the USA and Canada? Secondly, what candidates will be there for the next expansion (including the ones who were unsuccessful and a previous post mentions one will happen soon)? Thirdly, since racial integration has well taken place by 1956 in OTL (our timeline), are there any African-American/African-Canadian players in the league? Fourthly, as the Canadian dollar value drops down in the 90s, will Canadian teams typically struggle in that period?

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9 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

If Toronto and Montreal played each other in the playoffs - Canada would've been watching it thoroughly!

 

By the way, when west coast expansion begins, would Vancouver be pretty much represented due to the popularity of markball in both the USA and Canada? Secondly, what candidates will be there for the next expansion (including the ones who were unsuccessful and a previous post mentions one will happen soon)? Thirdly, since racial integration has well taken place by 1956 in OTL (our timeline), are there any African-American/African-Canadian players in the league? Fourthly, as the Canadian dollar value drops down in the 90s, will Canadian teams typically struggle in that period?

I actually never noticed the potential Toronto-Montreal matchup until you pointed it out. That would've been a good matchup.

 

1. Vancouver is pretty much a lock for a potential expansion site either for next expansion or the mid-to-late 60's. I'm hoping there are a fair number of Canadian teams when this reaches the current decade.

 

2. The next expansion will be either in 1960 or 61, with the committee being held in 1959. I don't want to name specific cities just yet, but the league is looking to expand out west, mainly to California. The southeast is another area they'd like to target.

 

3. There is currently one African-American and one African-Canadian player in the league. Carmelo Dunn of the Warriors was the first to play, breaking the barrier in 1950. Bernard Jackson is a descendant of escaped slaves and currently plays for Michigan. While there has been opposition to them playing, Dunn and Jackson have been generally accepted and supported by teammates and fans.

 

4. Canadian teams will definitely struggle financially during the 90's, but I don't expect any of them to fold or relocate until the early 2000's.

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1956 NAML Playoffs

First Round

(3) Washington Warriors vs Montreal Évêques

The Warriors were expected to easily defeat Montreal, but Washington fans were surprised when Montreal held a 2-1 lead halfway through the first quarter. However, the Warriors would get back on track, getting a goal from Lawrence Sanderson and two points to take a 7-2 lead after 1. The second quarter was similar to the first, with Montreal scoring two points, but Warriors goalie Ambrose Gares stood tall. Washington would take over from that point, getting goals from Sanderson, Carmelo Dunn, and Al Sokker, as well as a point, taking a commanding 20-4 lead into the half. Just like the first two quarters, Montreal controlled the quarter early, getting three points, but still no goals. Both teams would trade points, and finally, Denis Girard beat Gares with a high shot. The quarter ended in a defensive stalemate, and Montreal had cut the lead to 9 heading into the fourth. Montreal opened the final quarter with a goal from Denis De Félix and two points, cutting the lead smaller and smaller, but a goal from Sokker restored a comfortable lead for Washington. However, Montreal would continue getting offensive chances, getting two points and coming within 5. This lead would hold for a while, until Girard kicked another past Gares, making it a one-point game. In the final minute, the ball came to flank Tom Bowman, who made no mistake, kicking it past and giving Montreal a win that would forever live in NAML lore.

 

(4) Toronto Nationals vs (5) Boston Wolfhounds

Thousands of fans packed into Canada's Field to watch the Nationals face the reigning Boston Wolfhounds. However, a loud crowd at the start fell silent as Boston roared to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game. Toronto would control the rest of the quarter, getting a goal from Theo Krakowski and a point, cutting the lead to a goal heading into the second. Both teams would switch roles in the second, with Toronto continuing their pressure and kicking three goals to take a 17-9 lead. Boston would control the late stages of the quarter, getting multiple chances, but only getting two points past Andy Kappert, and changing the score to 17-11 at the half. Early in the third, Vinnie McClelland would kick one past Kappert, getting the Hounds within one. Both teams would trade points twice, then Percy Manley restored Toronto's five-point lead to end the quarter. The Nats would break out offensively in the fourth, increasing their lead by 5 in the first minute. Andrew Parsnake would give the Hounds some hope, but Krakowski answered right back for Toronto. Both goalkeepers played solid after, only allowing points. In the end, Toronto's defense won the game for them, knocking off Boston 35-24.

 

UBuo3ZI.png

 

Semifinals

(1) Philadelphia Falcons vs (6) Montreal Évêques

Once again, Montreal was expected to be defeated, but coming against the mighty Falcons, they were expected to be crushed. Despite allowing the first two points, the Évêques didn't seem fazed as Bowman kicked a bullet past Charles Jamison. After the Falcons got a couple more points, Cecil Bonnom scored late to give the Falcons a one-goal lead heading into the second. In the second, Grey scored 5 minutes in, increasing the Falcons lead. Despite being peppered with Falcon shots, goalkeeper Marcel Marille was perfect throughout the rest of the half. After allowing the goal, Montreal's offense caught fire, starting with a rare goal from Richard Porchery. Just seconds later, Girard tied the game with a long-range bomb. With a few minutes remaining, Girard kicked his second past Jamison, and giving Montreal back the lead, up 16-12 at the half. In the third, the Falcons got off to a quick start, retaking the lead with a goal and a point. Unfortunately for them, Montreal caught fire again, showing no mercy. Bowman scored a goal and two points within three minutes, and after two more goals, Montreal had a commanding 30-17 lead over the Falcons. Nervousness was in the air in the fourth, but after the Falcons got a goal and two points in the first two minutes, Philadelphia faithful were convinced the Falcons would move on. Girard kicked a point, but the Falcons came right back and kicked another goal and point, cutting the lead to three. Unfortunately, Montreal would catch fire right there, getting three goals from Girard, De Félix, and Bowman, sealing the deal. Montreal once again pulled off a shocking upset, winning 43-28 and becoming the first sixth-seed to advance to the Urquhart Cup.

 

(2) Chicago Crusaders vs (4) Toronto Nationals

Columbus Stadium was packed to the top as Crusaders faithful hoped to see their heroes make it back to the Urquhart Cup. Despite the lively crowd, the visiting Nats found themselves up early, scoring two quick points. After a Crusader point, Krakowski and John Peters scored for their respective teams. Late in the quarter, Toronto scored, increasing their lead. Toronto led 11-6 after 1. Both teams had chances early on, but were held goalless by Kappert and his Crusader counterpart Ken Wardell. Chicago would score three points before they finally beat Kappert, taking the lead. However, two late points from Toronto gave them the lead right back at the half, holding a 1-point advantage. In the second half, the Crusaders came out offensively, getting a goal from Russell Smith and two points from Bruce Carisi-Teese. Toronto would get chances, but Wardell stood tall, only allowing points. Smith put salt in the wound late, scoring off a weak shot. Chicago led 23-16 heading into the fourth quarter. A desperate Nationals team started out the fourth red hot, getting goals from Krakowski and Manley and retaking the lead. Columbus Stadium fell silent as Manley's goal went in, but the Crusaders didn't seem fazed by it, with Smith getting his third soon after. The Crusaders would score two more goals from Peters and Carisi-Teese, at one point leading by twelve. Michael Kosack scored a consolation goal for Toronto, and fans erupted in cheering as the Crusaders advanced to their third Urquhart Cup final in six years.

 

lxN3Kxh.png

 

Urquhart Cup Final Preview:

The NAML announced that instead of announcing the host city the week before the event, that the city would be chosen a year before to help with preparations. the 1956 final was awarded to New York, and the 1957 final to Michigan. Manhattan Stadium is the world's largest Markball stadium, holding 90,000 spectators, and Michigan's Windy Park is capable of holding 35,000.

 

Montreal @ Chicago, at New York, NY

Previous Playoff Meetings: None

Montreal's playoff run has been nothing short of fantastic, but Chicago is a different beast. The Crusaders swept the season series, and, as they showed in the semifinal, are capable of scoring multiple goals quickly. that being said, Montreal definitely has the tools to pull off yet another upset, with Denis Girard playing out of his mind this postseason. Montreal's team play is strong as well, giving them a legitimate shot at the cup.

Prediction: Chicago will win their second Urquhart Cup with a commanding 45-26 victory.

 

Updated Bracket:

4w2NdQv.png

 

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Sorry for the length between posts, Exams are quickly approaching and this obviously isn't my top priority right now.

 

All I can say about Montreal is WOW. Definitely unexpected, but I'm not too sure about their chances against Chicago, though they might prove me wrong again.

 

Any predictions about the final are welcome.

 

Once again, I'f you have ANY feedback about anything, I'd love to hear it.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Wow! How did les Évêques get to the final? That is a significant achievement for Montreal - only in their third season and two years removed from a winless season! 

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1956 Urquhart Cup Final

Date: September 22, 1956

Location: Manhattan Stadium, New York, NY

Weather: 61°F (16°C), Clear, Light Wind

Attendance: 103,203

 

It was absolutely packed at Manhattan Stadium, with 103,000 strong coming out to show support for the Crusaders and Évêques as they faced off in the 10th Urquhart Cup. the crowd was the largest ever recorded for a sporting event in North American history. Chicago came in confident in their chances for their second Urquhart Cup, and Montreal came in hoping for another monumental upset and their first Cup.

 

Off the opening bounce, Chicago gained possesion with the ball, and Russell Smith nearly opened the scoring, but Marcel Marille made an unbelievable fingertip save to keep it scoreless. Following that chance, defense prevailed until Denis Girard deliberately kicked a point, hoping to give Montreal momentum. After more slow play, Girard again kicked a point, but it fired up the wrong team. Chicago came back firing, forcing Marille to play his absolute best. He played well until Bruce Carisi-Teese fired a bullet to the top of the net. Just 68 seconds later, defenseman Basil Goddard scored his first in 23 games, beating Marille low. the Crusaders continued dominating the ball after, but Montreal would hold up successfully until Goddard fired a long-range shot for his second with 3 and a half minutes to go. Montreal desperately tried to turn the tables, but their clearing was poor, leading to Smith kicking a point, increasing the Crusader lead. Montreal would finally get another point off of Denis De Félix with 17 seconds to go. Things were looking up for Montreal as they almost managed to kick a goal before the quarter ended, but Girard hit the post, leaving Chicago with a 10-point lead after 1.

 

After 1: Chicago 13, Montreal 3

 

Similar to the opening quarter, Chicago opened with a chance, but Marille stayed strong with another fantastic save. 4 minutes in, Montreal would break the ice, with De Félix getting another point. 3 minutes later, Girard had a glorious chance, but whiffed his kick, sending the ball over the net, good for only a point. Unfortunately for the Évêques, This was when Chicago's offense heated up again. They created more and more chances until John Peters eventually punched one in off an excellent feed from Goddard. After some back-and-forth play, Tom Bowman became the first Évêque to beat Crusader goalkeeper Ken Wardell, getting a perfect lob over him and cutting the lead to 2 goals. Montreal would manage more shots, but they were relatively easy saves for Wardell. Montreal would catch a break when Smith missed an open net, hitting the post, deflecting off of Richard Porchery and in for a point. The Crusaders would then quickly score two more points, further increasing their lead. After Wardell saved a Girard breakaway, Goddard would take the ball and kick it up right away, eventually forming into a rush capped off by Peters, increasing Chicago's lead to 15 at the half.

 

At the half: Chicago 24, Montreal 9

 

The Crusaders would get right back to business in the second half, with Peters kicked a point 70 seconds in. However, Montreal would get some hope when Jean Forloume scored his first professional goal from outside the arc. They would gain momentum, but Chicago's strong defense thwarted any chances they had. A little while later, Smith would try to catch Marille off guard by kicking a bomb from center. Marille was able to get it at the last second, hitting it up and over for a point. Just over a minute later, Franklin Rostiston, who had struggled since being traded to Chicago, punched one in off a corner, giving the Crusaders their largest lead of the game. After some more chances, Peters potted his third, increasing Chicago's lead past 20. Right off the bounce, Girard spotted a wide open Forloume, who potted his second, through Wardell's legs. Unfortunately, Chicago stormed right back, with Peters scoring his best of the night, weaving through three defenders before sniping top corner for his fourth. The Crusaders would manage two more points, then Girard missed another chance, settling for a point of his own. Finally, with less than a minute in the quarter, Goddard set a new career high, kicking his third past Marille and giving Chicago a virtually insurmountable lead after 3.

 

After 3: Chicago 44, Montreal 18

 

The fourth quarter featured much less scoring, but Chicago still came out firing. Marille, who had already done more than his share, saved a close-range shot from Smith, giving up a point in the process. After some unsuccessful chances for Montreal, the Crusaders would come straight back, with Smith finally burying one past Marille, and scoring the Crusaders' 10th goal overall. Montreal would try to break Chicago's offensive rhythm, but the defense stood tall, denying all chances. Later, Smith would pot his second from a few feet in front, getting the Crusaders past the 50-point mark. After that goal, Chicago's defense let up a little, and Tom Bowman would score a meaningless goal for the Évêques. The play would go back-and-forth for the remainder of the game, with the only other score coming from Peters, kicking a point to give Chicago a total of 54 points. Referee Bernie Lubb blew his whistle as time expired, and the Crusaders ran onto the field in celebration of their second Urquhart Cup. 

 

Final Score: Chicago 54, Montreal 22

 

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Final Bracket:

KmxWk33.png

 

The Urquhart Cup MVP award was given to John Peters, who had a career night, scoring 4 and setting up numerous chances. "We were strong all year, and it showed tonight. Hopefully we can bring some more celebration to out fans in future years." he said to media following the game. Simon Girard was disappointed in himself when talking to the media through a translator. "I apologize to my team, my coaches, and especially the fans for my awful performance tonight. I will vow to never play as horribly as I did tonight." He said through tears. 

 

Chicago became the third team to win multiple Urquhart Cups, joining Washington with 2 and Michigan with 3.  The Crusaders also broke the record for largest margin of victory in a Cup final, winning by 32.

 

In the annual commissioner's post-game press conference, commissioner Urquhart was asked about expansion and timetables for it. "We have no plans at the moment, but in 3-5 years, I would love to see a team in Los Angeles. Bringing our sport to the west coast would be a tremendous achievement."

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There's the final. I definitely expected Chicago to win, but not by 32 points. I kinda feel bad for Montreal, but I can realistically see them contending for the Cup by the start of the 60's.

 

Any comments, feedback, and critique are welcome. I'm always looking for ways to improve, and hearing back from you guys is one of the best ways.

 

The offseason post will be next, I'll try to have it up by this weekend or early next week. No guarantees though.

 

Thanks for reading!

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1956 NAML Offseason

Tragedy struck the Bandits and the whole league early in the offseason when star forward Len Garey contracted Polio. Garey was rumoured to be retiring after the 1956 season, and the contraction confirmed it. Garey's condition continued declining over the course of the winter, and it got to the point where he received last rites. "Our prayers are with Len Garey and his family during this incredibly difficult time. But we all know Len is a fighter to the end, and he will never give up. We wish him the best." Commisioner Urquhart said after the news was broken.

 

The league announced that they would introduce three 'Rivalry Cups' to be played between the league's biggest rivals. The winner of the teams' season series would win a trophy and keep it until the next season. The Cups are the Colonial Trophy (Washington vs Philadelphia) The St. Laurent Cup (Toronto vs Montreal) and the I-94 Series (Chicago vs Milwaukee).

 

Besides these, the offseason was fairly quiet with no jersey or logo changes, and no major signings or deals.

 

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I might as well talk about the team nicknames and rivalries, since I haven't really done so yet.

 

Nicknames:

Philadelphia: P's (taken from the P in Philadelphia)

Toronto: Nats (Short form of Nationals) and Stallions (Toronto is known for their speed around the league)

St. Louis: 'Keepers (Both as a short form and as a term of endearment by fans)

Boston: Hounds (Short form)

Montreal: Les Paulies (Based off Montreal's Archbishop at the time, Paul-Émile Léger)

 

Rivalries (Starting with the Rivalry Cups)

 

Washington vs Philadelphia:

My feeling is that over time, this will be like the Habs-Bruins, Yankees-Red Sox, or Cowboys-Redskins of the NAML. The animosity between the two started in the 1947 Urquhart Cup, where the physicality was fierce. In the following years, there were many on-field brawls between the two, including a massive brawl where even coaches and team officials joined in. Ever since, these two probably hate each other the most. Commisioner Urquhart came up with the idea for the rivalry cups after seeing a match between these two.

 

Toronto vs Montreal:

If there's teams from these two cities in the same league, there's bound to be rivalry. They're Canada's two biggest cities, representing two rival provinces, and the country's two official languages. This rivalry is tamer right now, but soon, I expect this to be as strong as the Habs-Leafs rivalry. The most notable incident so far was a late tackle by Gabriel MacDee on Simon Girard right after Girard had scored, leading to a brawl.

 

Chicago vs Milwaukee:

The Closest two teams geographically, This one, similar to Toronto-Montreal, is tame right now, but should develop into a passionate hate when both teams are contenders. No real brawls have occured, but there have been several 1-on-1 fights when these two face off.

 

Washington vs Michigan:

This was the first notable rivalry in the league, at its strongest point in the first few years on the league, when both teams were consistently at the top and competing for the Urquhart Cup. This rivalry also had the first brawl in the league's history, in the 1949 semifinals.

 

St. Louis vs Chicago:

This one isn't considered a rivalry by Crusaders faithful, because as they put it, "you can't have a rivalry between a hammer and a nail". Unfortunately for the 'Keepers, this statement is true, the Crusaders have won 23 of the 28 meetings between the teams. Games between these two squads are notably physical, but no major brawls have happened yet.

 

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Special thanks to @Darknes for the idea of the rivalry cups, I feel like they will be a fun addition to the league.

 

I have the 1957 season simulated, I just need to get the graphics up and do the write-up. Should be up this week or next.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

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