Matthew25

Alternative Football: Continental Spring Football League(1956 Season)

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Continental Spring Football League:

 

Hello folks, thanks you for taking your time to reading this. This is my first time working on a AU league and since football is popular here I would do one over American Football. So instead of saying the NFL ended or never existed. I decided to work on one where it would be it natural rival. My league is called the CSFL.

 

As usual im looking for feedback and criticism from my work and while im not great at logos.. I wanted to tell a story and that what I will do. This is my project here and I hope you enjoy.

 

PS.. Im not always great with update so it will be done when I can get it done.

 

Thank you and now for the story!

 

The story begins in late 1953. The National Football League survive the two World Wars and a war with the All-American Football Conference. The AAFC would merge with the established NFL in 1950 but it would be a short sided merge with for the AAFC. The NFL decided to take the best teams in the league and would ignore the rival history. So by the 1953 the NFL would regain control of all of football in United States. However, that same year, a new idea came to the mind of former owner of the LA Dons of the AAFC. His name was Fernando Gonzalez III and he the first man to create Spring-Time Football. He got to work with two other owner of the AAFC, the original Buffalo Bills owner, James Breuil and former owner of the AAFC New York Yankees, Dan Toppings. All three men were mad at the NFL for treating the AAFC like it was nothing. The decided to called the league the Continental Spring Football League.

 

While Fernando Gonzalez III became the first president of the new league. They still needed to figure out a catch to make the new league fun to watch compared to the National Football League.

 

Gonzalez would come up with a brilliant idea for the league. Including having a 14 week schedule so the fans can see more football and would give them more income as well with the extra games. Other innovations include having names on the back of jerseys and creating the two-point conversion to pro football. He also help work out a deal with ABC and the Dumont Network to broadcast the games on Saturday. Which was new and a bit crazy for the upstart league since Saturdays were reserve to College Football. However, due to playing during the Spring they wouldn’r have to deal with competing with College Football.

 

Gonzalez, with Breuil and Toppings, got to work finding new owners for the league. While Gonzalez had the Los Angeles market locked thanks to Bob Hope helping to investing in a team in Los Angeles. James Breuil decided to revive the Buffalo Bills since they were still fondly remembered in Buffalo. Dan Toppings, on the other hand, had issues. Given the fact that Yankees Stadium was lost to the New York Giants. He was forced to go to the Polo Grounds, home of the MLB Giants and set up shop there. He decided to change his team nickname from the Yankees to the New York Titans to rival the NFL Giants.

 

Other owners would soon come, interested in challenging the NFL and filling up their stadium during the Spring. Some of the owners also has Baseball teams in the MLB or the Minor Leagues with Stadiums that could hold a football team. One of the owners were, August A, Busch Jr, was the owners of the St Louis Cardinals of the MLB. He was looking for something to fill the Busch Stadium up while the Cardinals were away. The St Louis team also used a name similar to the Cardinals, the Redbirds.

 

 

 

List of owners for the first season in 1955.

East Division:

New York Titans – Polo Grounds (Dan Toppings)

Brooklyn Liberty – Ebbets Fields (James & Dearie Mulvey)

Buffalo Bills – War Memorial Stadium (James Breuil)

Pittsburgh Iron – Forbes Field (Josh Harnell)

Baltimore Stampeders - Baltimore Memorial Stadium (David Greene)

 

Western Division:

St Louis Redbirds – Busch Stadium (August A. Busch Jr)

Cincinnati Tigers – Crosley Field (Powel Crosley Jr)

Shreveport Showboats – State Fair Stadium (Eric Ritcherson)

Houston Gunners – Buffalo Stadium (Marty Marion)

Los Angeles Dons – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Fernando Gonzalez III)

 

With the teams set, the CSFL went on a talent raid over the NFL. Which took a toll on the NFL after Baltimore Stampeders signed some of the NFL Colts players to join the new league. Same with the Pittsburgh Iron taking rookie HB of the rival Steelers Johnny Lattner and LA Dons taking star QB Norm Van Brocklin from the rival Rams. The rest were college players who were rejected from the NFL and journeymen players looking for their big break. Despite the setback in Baltimore, the National Football League wasn't too worried about the new league like last time. And with them playing in the spring time, they doubt the CSFL will last.

 

After the CSFL draft that happened in December of 1954, Gonzalez, announced the league will begin in March and last to June when the play off finals begins.

 

CSFL 1955 Final Season

 

East Division

                                        W L T

Buffalo Bills                    10 4 0

New York Titans              9 5 0

Pittsburgh Iron                 7 7 0

Brooklyn Liberty              3 10 1

Baltimore Stampeders     1 12 1

 

West Division

                                          W L T

St Louis Redbirds             12 2 0

Los Angeles Dons            11 3 0

Houston Gunners               8 6 0

Shreveport Showboats      4 10 0

Cincinnati Tigers               3 11 0

 

The East Division was a close three house race at first between Pittsburgh, New York and Buffalo. By the end of the season, Buffalo with their QB Johnny Vegas and their ace journeyman CB Kevin Daniels help the Bills gain the East Division title from New York. The oddity of the season was the only tie this season between Brooklyn and Baltimore. It was in the final week before playoffs and both teams had nothing to lose so they gave an impressive performance, the game ended with a 14-14 tie in front of a small crowd in Baltimore.

 

The West Division was the same story but with just two teams. It was neck to neck with St Louis and Los Angeles bidding to be the west division champions. However during the final week, the Dons lost a fumble to Cincinnati and on the next turn, the Tigers scored a touchdown and kept it to win the game 21-14. This gave the Redbirds the championship and to challenge the Bills to the CSFL Championship.

 

CSFL Championship Game

from Buffalo, New York

 

St. Louis Redbirds Buffalo Bills

14 7

 

 

St Louis, led by George Shaw would score two touchdowns during the forth quarter to help give the Redbird their first title. Shaw would be named Championship MVP by the CSFL.

 

Despite a rocky start with the attendance to some stadiums like the Shreveport State Fair Stadium and Houston Buffalo Stadium. The CSFL would be a surprise success thanks to it TV ratings. Which while it didn’t give the MLB or even the NFL a run for it money. It would be proof that the CSFL is here to stay for another season. While Gonzalez would find it hard to own the league while owning the LA Dons, would post his team up for sale by the end of season. With a clause that the new owners would have to keep the team in LA. Despite taking some of the players of the Baltimore Colts, the Stampeders would be a flop on the field and in the box office. David Greene, the owner of the struggling team, would also post his team to sell them.

 

What would the CSFL have in store in the next season. Stay tune.

JTQPKke.jpg

 

(I am learning how to use gimp to make logos and such but for now, enjoy my drawing folks. Also comment and give me some opinions on what you think about it.)

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Odd how you didn't include Chicago.  But this looks pretty promising!  Keep up the good work!

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2 hours ago, Luingus221 said:

Odd how you didn't include Chicago.  But this looks pretty promising!  Keep up the good work!

I was thinking for the 1960 season I will add new teams to the league. The CSFL needs to gain more popularity to compete against the NFL or even MLB.

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CSFL 1956 Season

 

While the first season was a surprise to the NFL, they still didn’t worry to much about it. The CSFL offseason was an interesting one for the league. Gonzalez, deciding that controlling the league and the Los Angeles Dons was becoming hard to handle, decided to sell his team to a new owner. But added a new stipulation that the new owner or owners needed to keep the team in LA.

 

Barron Hilton, owner of the Hilton Hotels, bought the team from Gonzalez and promised that the team will stay in Los Angeles, with one condition. To change the name from the Dons to something else? Gonzalez agreed and sold his team off. Hilton wasted no time on the new name. He placed a contest and the name Chargers was chosen. The new Los Angeles Chargers, decided to move from the Memorial Coliseum to the Rose Bowl so they weren't in direct competition to the NFL Rams.

 

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Stampeders were in trouble and the owner knew it. David Greene was having issues selling the team. The first bid came from Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter from Minnesota. The team was to be called the Crusaders but before the team was to be sold. The three men decided to place a bid to the NFL and forgo the bid to buy the team. Greene, irritated by this, asked the CSFL owners about relocating to Atlanta, his home state. The owners agree with the move and on November 12, 1955, the Baltimore Stampeders pack up their bags and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Greene also decided on a name changed and called his now team the Atlanta Flyers, named after a semi pro football team that he once played in his youth.

 

Team from the 1956 CSFL Season

East Division:

New York Titans – Polo Grounds (Dan Toppings)

Brooklyn Liberty – Ebbets Fields (James & Dearie Mulvey)

Buffalo Bills – War Memorial Stadium (James Breuil)

Pittsburgh Iron – Forbes Field (Josh Harnell)

Atlanta Flyers - Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech University (David Greene)

 

Western Division:

St. Louis Redbirds – Busch Stadium (August A. Busch Jr)

Cincinnati Tigers – Crosley Field (Powel Crosley Jr)

Shreveport Showboats – State Fair Stadium (Eric Ritcherson)

Houston Gunners – Buffalo Stadium (Marty Marion)

Los Angeles Chargers – Rose Bowl (Barron Hilton)

 

The CSFL Draft came with some surprises. The Chargers got FB Joe Marconi from West Virginia and Leon Clark from USC. The Atlanta Flyers took Forrest Gregg and John Roach from Southern Methodist University as their new Offensive Tackle and Quarterback respectively. Brooklyn decided to help their defense game by taking Jim Katcavage from Dayton while taking journeyman tackle from University of Arizona Jacob Morris. St. Louis had a chance to get Quarterback Jerry Reichow from Iowa, but the NFL Detroit Lions got to him first days before the draft so instead got Earl Morrall from Michigan State as their second choice.

 

CSFL President Gonzalez decided to renegotiate the television deal with ABC and Dumont. Dumont, due to losing money and shutting down, declined the new deal. ABC accepted the deal and will now air most of the games, including Sunday Night Game of the Week Specials they will air.

 

1956 Season Standings


Eastern Division

                                                                 W L T

  1. Brooklyn Liberty                             12 2 0

  2. Atlanta Flyers                                  9 5 0

  3. New York Titans                             7 7 0

  4. Buffalo Bills                                   3 11 0

  5. Pittsburgh Iron                              1 13 0

 

Western Division

                                                              W L T

  1. St. Louis Redbirds                       10 4 0

  2. Los Angeles Chargers                  8 6 0

  3. Cincinnati Tigers                           5 9 0

  4. Houston Gunners                        4 10 0

  5. Shreveport Showboats                2 12 0

 

The Eastern Division was the Brooklyn Liberty show. With their new and improve defense to back up the offense out. They capture the eastern title easliy over the new Atlanta Flyers before week 13. The Titans almost got it but lost 4 games during the middie of the season to send them to third place. The Buffalo Bills, despite winning the eastern title last season, fell flat to Earth thanks to injuries. But the Pittsburgh Iron had it rough. Before the start of the season, Pittsburgh native and star WR, Mick Johanna, was killed in a bar fight thanks to a stab wound to the chest. The Iron did a tribute before the first game against the Brooklyn Liberty, which they won 17-14.

 

The Western Division was closer with the rivalry between LA and St. Louis continuing to this season. St Louis still got the division title. Cincinnati, despite last years problems, came out to the gate fighting. Winning the first 4 games before losing the next 6 games, they ended the season better then the last. Houston and Shreveport had issues. The Gunners had issues on the field and off of it. The stadium they used wasn’t big enough to hold a football team and the team wasn’t preforming enough for the Houston citizens to care. Shreveport had it worst. They weren't doing well and where the worst in the league in the box office.

 

CSFL Championship

Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York

 

Brooklyn Liberty                  St. Louis Redbirds

                                                                                                           20                                        17

 

The championship game came with some issues, mostly due to the Brooklyn Ebbets Field. Around this time, majority owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers Walter O’Malley, was looking to get a new stadium built in Brooklyn. The mayor of New York promise he would get one built in Queens, Walter threaten to take the Dodgers to Los Angeles. This angered the Brooklyn fan and boycott the move. This almost caused the game to move to St. Louis due to it. However thing settle down and Walter will think about it.

 

The Liberty and Redbirds game was a close game. A game that was consider to be on of the best game of the year. Tied 17 to 17 with 5 second left on the clock. Brooklyn decided to get an immigrant from England who played soccer in his youth to kick the ball. His name was Tommy Lewis and he kicked the football like if was a soccer ball from 45 yards to get the Libery the win over St. Louis. Tommy Lewis would get MVP honors for the game winning field goal.

 

The second season was a year of growth and learning. By the end of the season, the CSFL would have to merge the Houston and Shreveport teams. The team name wasnt decided but it was announced that the team will stay in Houston under a new owner name Bud Grant, who midseason bought the the gunners from Marty Marion. Grant would also get Houston a new home in Public School Stadium, latter renamed Jeppesen Stadium. Thanks to Lewis heroic kick in the championship game, kicker and punters would learn how to do that kick in both the CSFL and NFL ending the old way of kicking in American Football.

 

The merger would lose the league a team in the western division, forcing the league to go with 9 teams for the next season. However, Gonzalez would set up the Expansion Consul so by 1958 and 1959, the league will look to expand by three teams by 1960’s.

 

What will the next season will bring? Stay tune and find out.

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40 minutes ago, Mvdbutler said:

This is Really Cool

 

25 minutes ago, Gman13 said:

 

@Mvdbutler IKR? It’s even amazing.

Thanks guys. I will try to get the 1957 season done soon.

 

Though my question of the day, what city due you think the CSFL will choose for the expansion. I would like to hear your opinions everyone. :)

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5 minutes ago, Matthew25 said:

Though my question of the day, what city due you think the CSFL will choose for the expansion. I would like to hear your opinions everyone. :)

 

Honestly, I think the CSFL should get an expansion in Cleveland.

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Chicago.  That's the biggest market that hasn't been reached yet.

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Before I post the 1957 season, I will try to post photos of the logos and jerseys for each team. 

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4 minutes ago, Matthew25 said:

Before I post the 1957 season, I will try to post photos of the logos and jerseys for each team. 

 

It could be either Cleveland or Chicago, as @Luingus221 said.

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Okay, here what I worked on by hand. yes I know they are drawing and not done on a computer. bare with me, I'm pretty much a noob with using ms paint and gimp on my computer and honestly it faster to do this then doing it on my desktop..

 

Well here the CSFL Eastern Division, staring with the Brooklyn Liberty.

NDT2nPg.jpg?1

And the other New York team, the New York Titans!

 

of1WaFB.jpg?1

Buffalo Bills

lWgimAk.jpg?1

LL72BdN.jpg?1

The newly renamed Pittsburgh Pipers, will be explain in the 1957 post.

 

And the Atlanta Flyers

2PlGObf.jpg?1

 

Hopefully I will get the Western Division done soon. Enjoy my artwork.

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24 minutes ago, Matthew25 said:

Okay, here what I worked on by hand. yes I know they are drawing and not done on a computer. bare with me, I'm pretty much a noob with using ms paint and gimp on my computer and honestly it faster to do this then doing it on my desktop..

 

Well here the CSFL Eastern Division, staring with the Brooklyn Liberty.

NDT2nPg.jpg?1

And the other New York team, the New York Titans!

 

of1WaFB.jpg?1

Buffalo Bills

lWgimAk.jpg?1

LL72BdN.jpg?1

The newly renamed Pittsburgh Pipers, will be explain in the 1957 post.

 

And the Atlanta Flyers

2PlGObf.jpg?1

 

Hopefully I will get the Western Division done soon. Enjoy my artwork.

 

So, the western division will be posted in a few hours.

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1 minute ago, Gman13 said:

 

So, the western division will be posted in a few hours.

Actually a day or so. I have been very busy here. so I need some time to work on them.

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8 minutes ago, Matthew25 said:

Actually a day or so. I have been very busy here. so I need some time to work on them.

 

Um, the West division members are the St. Louis Redbirds, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cincinnati Tigers, the Houston Gunners, and the Shreveport Showboats

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Gman13 said:

 

Um, the West division members are the St. Louis Redbirds, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cincinnati Tigers, the Houston Gunners, and the Shreveport Showboats

Houston and Shreveport merged together after Bud Adams bought the Houston Gunners.

 

They are still known as the Gunners.

Edited by Matthew25

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6 minutes ago, Matthew25 said:

Houston and Shreveport merged together after Bud Adams bought the Houston Gunners.

 

They are still known as the Gunners.

 

So now the CSFL has 9 members in it. Is expansion planned anytime soon?

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15 minutes ago, Gman13 said:

 

So now the CSFL has 9 members in it. Is expansion planned anytime soon?

Yes, that will be explained in the 1957 season.

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2 minutes ago, Matthew25 said:

Yes, that will be explained in the 1957 season.

 

Okay. So, there will be an announcement regarding expansion. Right?

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The CSFL first two years have been going well, it came to no surprise that they will expand to 12 teams by 1960. However, when the Houston Gunners and Shreveport Showboats had to merge, this threw a small wrench into the plans. However, Gonzalez wasn't too upset by it. Still hoping to expand to 12 teams, decided to, for the 1958 season, include a new team to even the league out.

 

Bids included (Using the 1950 census for population):

Dallas, Texas (Cotton Bowl) Population: 434, 462

Owner, Lamar Hunt

Dallas (and Texas in general) has always been a hotbed for college football and while the NFL tried to hold a team in Dallas, the team was a flop and was forced to be a travel team by the end of the season.

 

Seattle, Washington (Sick’s Stadium) Population: 467,591

Owners, Zane Manson & Hank Hubert

Seattle was home for baseball, home of the Seattle Rainman of the Pacific Coast League and never had a professional football team. Even though they have a big population and even have the University of Washington. It still a risk, especially with the size of the stadium they want to use.

 

Tampa, Florida (Phillips Field) Population: 436,365

Owner, Kenny Taylor

Tampa is the home of the successful University of Tampa Spartans and the city is ready to hold a professional football team (it will grow to over 800,000 by the 1960’s census). It would be a matter of time before the CSFL or even the NFL will set up show there.

 

Kansas City, Missouri (Kansas City Municipal Stadium) Population: 456,662

Owner, Hue Dempsey

Kansas City was home to an old NFL team in the 1920’s. Despite not holding a team since then, the stadium is big enough to hold a team.

 

Chicago, Illinois (Soldier Field) Population: 3,620,962

Owner, Sammy Jackson

Chicago has a rich history of sports teams, football notwithstanding. Chicago is home to both the Bears and the NFL Cardinals, so the city may be a tough sell but it the most likely place to expand to.

 

Boston, Massachusetts (Boston University Field at Boston University) Population: 801,444

Owners, Henry Gotch

Boston is a sports city without a professional football team in both the CSFL and NFL. The NFL used to set up shop in Boston yet by the 1950’s there was no football team. The city has several stadiums to use like Harvard Stadium, the newly built Alumni Stadium and the legendary Fenway Park.

 

Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland Stadium) Population: 914,818

Owner, Simon Williams

Cleveland is the home of the former AAFC Browns who are now happily home in the NFL By this point the Browns where three-time NFL Champions and the CSFL was worried about that they won’t have any takers from theirs. However, Cleveland native, Simon Williams, managed to get investors to help him secure a bid to the league.

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