Goldengoose05

All-American Association Football League: 1907-1908 - Preseason Announcements

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1 hour ago, Goldengoose05 said:

1902 Preseason Announcement

 

Charles Sommers, who is already the owner of Cleveland Forest, announced that the American League's Boston Americans would also be fielding an Association Football team.  Drawing on the city's Irish roots, the Boston Gaelics will play at the Huntington Avenue Grounds.

 

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Not sure about this one. I like the logo. The green is too neon for early century, and the font is downright unreadable. I thought the team was literally called the Boston Chelios on first glance. 

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The final entry in the NAFL was announced in Philadelphia.  Benjamin Shibe, owner of the Philadelphia Athletics Baseball Club, announced that he would be part-owner of the Philadelphia Sports, which would play at Columbia Park.  He revealed that the other part-owner, and manager of the team, would be the legendary Connie Mack.  After a few years of rancor with the Philadelphia Libbies, Mack was lured away with the offer of part-ownership and a free hand in all team operations.  Mack predicted that the Sports would soon rule as the top team in Philadelphia and the nation at large.

 

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1902-1903 Season

 

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The AAAFL crowned a new champion in the 1902-1903 season.  The Pittsburgh Privateers climbed into the top spot in Week 9 and never relinquished it.

 

The Cleveland Longlegs had another dismal year, finishing 21 points behind with a -24 goal difference.  While the Longlegs defense was adequate, the offense was anemic, only scoring 24 goals over the entire campaign.  It wasn't until Week 15 that Cleveland gained a point in the spring season.  Just when things started to look better, they ended the season on a 5-game losing streak.

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In the NAFL, Connie Mack showed his coaching skill by piloting the Philadelphia Sports to the title.  The Milwaukee Brewmasters came in second place, only 1 point behind.  The Brewmasters had a chance to claim the title in Week 17.  They faced Sports at Columbia Park in Philadelphia, up 3 points but the Sports had a game in hand.  A Brewmaster victory would have clinched the title.  Pat O’Dea opened up the scoring with one of his trademark half-field shots, but the Sports were not to be denied, scoring 4 times in the second half.  In Week 18, the Brewmasters could only watch and hope that their one point lead would hold up.  Sports, with everything to play for, edged the Longtails in Detroit and captured the title.

 

In the derbies, Cincinnati claimed the Carnation Cup to take an overall 4-3 lead.  The Brooklynn Bridegrooms captured their first Big Apple Trophy since 1897.  While the Libbies couldn't catch Pittsbugh in the league standings, they did get the better of the Privateers in their clashes to claim the Quaker Cup for the fourth consecutive year.

 

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The Libbies' Sam Thompson and Jack Davis were the only players who had previously been named to the Top 11.  All the other 9 players were first timers.

 

The ten goals for the Chimney Swifts' Alex Ireland has him as the AAAFL's all-time leading goalscorer with 62 goals.  Teammate Fred Davies is in 2nd place with 54.

 

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The 1902 American Cup featured all 12 AAAFL sides and all 9 NAFL sides.  The tournament was expanded to 32 teams again.  11 amateur teams, all from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic filled out the bracket.

 

The tournament opened with the most shocking upset.  The AAAFL champion Pittsburgh Privateers fell to the lowest seeded Newark Caledonians.  The Caledonians featured a number of players who had been a part of the short-lived 1894 American Association of Professional Football Newark Unions.

 

In another upset, Cleveland Forest, who had finished in last place in the NAFL, squeaked by their cross-state opponent Cincinnati Scarlets.

 

Cleveland rolled through the next two rounds, vanquishing New York Fomorians and then St. Louis Mounds.

 

The Milwaukee Brewmasters also claimed a second round victory over an AAAFL team by downing the Chicago West Side Kicks at the Blatz Platz.

 

The biggest stories came out Philadelphia as both the AAAFL's Libbies and the NAFL's Sports continued to advance.  The departure of Connie Mack had dominated the Philadelphia newspapers over the course of the season.  The Libbies' surprising second place in the league was being attributed to Mack's exit. Boosters of the Sports squad pointed out that Mack had won the NAFL with a team over which he had full control.  The sports pages eagerly anticipated a Philadelphia derby match for the final.

 

The hopes were realized when Sports ended the Cinderella run of Cleveland Forest in the semifinal.  Meanwhile, the Libbies had no trouble with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms on the other side of the bracket.

 

The final was played at the Libbies' home field, Baker Bowl.  Despite being in the City of Brotherly Love, there was no fraternal affection between the two squads.  During warm-ups, an errant pass went from the Sports side to the Libbies, and a plethora of salty language broke out between the two sides.

 

The first whistle was met with a raucous cheer and both teams pushed hard to get the first goal.  It was the Libbies who struck first, courtest of a looping free kick from Alex Smith.  Reegan Holland rose up above the Sports defenders and headed it home past Edward Barry.

 

Things looked grim for Connie Mack's squad when Holland struck again, this time weaving his way through the Sports defenders on a magical solo effortin the 25th minute.

 

With some exhortation from the Sports fans, Mack's boys began to impose their will.  Cross after cross was played into the Libbies' penalty area, forcing goalie Chris Dearborn to come off of his line repeatedly.

 

Eventually, Dearborn misplayed a floated ball, and Sonny Vaughn swooped in to put the loose ball away in the 39th minute.

 

Halftime saw the Libbies leading 2-1, but every at the Baker Bowl would agree that the Sports were the better team in the half.

 

The second half was marked by a brouhaha in the 60th minute when two Sports defenders tackled Holland.  The Libbies forward went down in pain, but both Sports claimed they played the ball first.  The referee was perplexed.  It was clear that the ball had been played, but he couldn't tell which or both of Sports defenders had done it.  In the end, he didn't call any foul, much to the chagrin of the Libbies' fans.

 

Five minutes later, the two Vaughn brothers - Sonny and Jase - combined with some sharp passing to set up John Kirby for a tap-in goal.

 

The Libbies now pulled out of their defensive shell and began attacking again.  However, the Sports had too much energy that day.  They absorbed the Libbies' attacks and countered too fast for the Libbies midfield to keep up.  In the 75th minute Sonny Vaughn found his brother on a quick counter, and Jase dribbled from the half-line and then past the hapless Dearborn.

 

While the Libbies tried to find the equalizer, the Sports were too well-organized on defense now.  Watson and Lang seemed be everywhere in the Sports back line, clearin the ball out of danger.

 

In the 85 minute, a clearance from Watson found its way to Jase Vaughn.  The Libbies' Pat Wilson tried to pull him down, but the fleet-footed Vaughn would not be denied.  He raced the length of the field and delivered the coup de grace after dribbling by Dearborn.

 

The final whistle blew and the Sports had claimed the American Cup over the Libbies.  Sport fans rushed out from the stands and carried off Connie Mack and the players in victory.

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1903-1904 Preseason

 

At AAAFL Headquarters in Philadelphia, President Irvin announced some changes for the upcoming season.  He unveiled a new logo for the All American Association Football League.  

 

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He also announced that the league would now be a 2-division system.  The 12-team AAAFL would be the top division, rechristened as the Ultimate Division.  The 10-team NAFL would be the second division, rechristened as the Penultimate Division.  At the season's end, the bottom two teams from the Ultimate Division will be relegated and the top two teams from the Penultimate Division would be promoted.  President Irving indicated that there are plans for further league expansion.  "Who knows," he opined.  "Perhaps someday soon we will have a third or even a fourth division.  It's a great big country, after all."

 

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When baseball's Baltimore Orioles moved to New York to become the New York Highlanders, new owners  Frank J. Farrell and William S. Devery, decided to field a team in the All-American Association Football League.  Playing of the Highlanders nickname, and hoping to appeal to the Big Apple's Scottish immigrants, as opposed the Fomorians' Irish focus, they named the team the Chieftains.  The club will play in the Penultimate Division at Hilltop Park.

 

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Charles Sommers, owner of the Boston Gaelics, unveiled the team's new kits for the 1903-1904 Penultimate Division season.  "We listened to our fans who were not enamored with our original design.  We hope they like this better, and that we can earn promotion to the Ultimate Division this year."

 

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The Milwaukee Brewmasters updated their kits for the 1903-1904 season.  They retired the lederhosen-styled kit, but it might make a comeback someday.

 

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1903-1904 Season Summary

 

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The 1902-1903 Season champions, Pittsburgh Privateers, could only reach the third spot, 8 points off of the champions from Boston.  The Shipwrights outdistanced the New York Fomorians by 7 points.   Boston claimed the top spot in Week 14 and never relinquished it.

 

The Shipwrights had the league's leading scorer in Walter Sexton, with 12.  Boston dominated the spring season, going undefeated until the very last (and meaningless) game of the season.

 

Chicago's Chris Fry led the league in assists (15) and points (33).  His performance earned him the Golden Ball and a spot on the Top 11.  The Boston Shipwrights placed the most members (4) on the Top 11, including the aforementioned Sexton.

 

The league's two Ohio entries, Cincinnati Scarlets and Cleveland Longlegs, both shared the same ignominious distinction of being the first two teams to be relegated from the Ultimate Division.   With 15 and 12 points respectively, their fates were written well before the end of the season.

 

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In the Penultimate Division, the happier distinction of being the first two teams to be promoted to the Ultimate Division was enjoyed by Milwaukee Brewmasters and Philadelphia Sports.

 

Strangely, Washington DCAC and New York Chieftains both ended the season winless at home.

 

After the Week 1 games, President Irvin and American Football Association President Henderson made a surprise announcement.  At the season's end, the AFA would sponsor and the AAAFL would host a tournament featuring the league champions.  Intermittently, there had been a competition between the English and Scottish champions dubbed the "Football World Championship."

 

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Irvin described that the AAAFL was going to make it a true world title.  The AAAFL would charter an ocean liner to transport the English, Scottish, and German champions to America for a tournament.  Negotiations were concluded over transatlantic telegraph with the Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, and the Deutscher Fussball Bund.  In July, England's The Wednesday, Scotland's Hibernian FC, and Germany's VFB Leipzig traveled to Boston to engage in the tournament.

 

The host Shipwrights made an admirable showing, drawing against all the competitors and coming in second place.  VfB Leipzig beat the other European sides to claim the title.

 

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In the American Cup, Kearny Scots were the Cinderella squad of the tournament.  The amateur side from New Jersey upset the NAFL's Longtails in Detroit.  Then they upset the Philadelphia Libbies at the Baker Bowl.  In the quarterfinals, they triumphed at home over the Boston Gaelics.  They only fell when they faced Beantown's senior team, the Shipwrights.  It was a dismal day for the Scots as they were trounced 5-1.

 

For their part, the Shipwwrights had a surprisingly tough time in the first round against the amateur Pawtucket Olympics.  After that, Boston got in gear and walloped the Cincinnati Scarlets, and then they defeated the Chicago West Side Kicks.

 

On the other side of the bracket, the Milwaukee Brewmasters defeated the freshman New York Chieftains.  Next they face Kearny Arlington, an upset winner over Baltimore Chimney Swifts.  After dispatching the amateur squad 2-0, the Brewmasters faced the other New York side, and Milwaukee came out on top 3-2 over the Fomorians.  In a hard fought semi-final, the Brewmasters scored in the waning minutes to secure a victory over the Pittsburgh Privateers.

 

The final featured a match of the Ultimate and Penultimate Division's champions.  Boston’s South End Grounds were packed for the match.  The Shipwrights were unfamiliar with the Brewmasters’ style of play, which centered upon the magical long ball skills of player/coach Pat O’Dea.  The Brewmaster counterattack was deadly when O’Dea had the ball.  His through balls led to numerous chances that Fritz Jaeger and Randy Hall capitalized upon on either side of the halftime whistle.  Shane Sunderland pulled one back for the Shipwrights in the 78th minute, but Boston could generate no more scoring opportunities after that.

 

As the minutes wound down to a Milwaukee victory, the Brewmasters' ethnic German backers chanted their joy in their native language to their "Braumeisters" club.

 

Nur wir sind Meisters hier

Die Macht gehört uns und nicht dir

Nur wir sind Meister hier

Mit dem Pokal wir trinken Bier!

 

Only we are masters here

The power belong us to us and not you

Only we are champion here

With the cup we will drink beer

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The Chicago Southsiders are mentioned twice in the table. Were the Chieftains meant to be fourth on the table in the Penultimate Division?

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And will markets the MLB did not have teams in the early 20th century have teams in the league pyramid soon (e.g. Buffalo, Indianapolis, Richmond, Newark, Minneapolis, Columbus or even smallish cities like Rockford, Grand Rapids, Des Moines)?

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7 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

The Chicago Southsiders are mentioned twice in the table. Were the Chieftains meant to be fourth on the table in the Penultimate Division?

 

7 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

And will markets the MLB did not have teams in the early 20th century have teams in the league pyramid soon (e.g. Buffalo, Indianapolis, Richmond, Newark, Minneapolis, Columbus or even smallish cities like Rockford, Grand Rapids, Des Moines)?

 

Thanks for pointing it out.  It was the New York Chieftains at the bottom of the table.  I've updated the graphic and the text.  I guess that's the price I pay for disabling the function I had in the master spreadsheet for automatically populating the tables with logos and titles.  (It was making the spreadsheet very slow as it generated results)

 

In the next few seasons, clubs affiliated with minor league baseball teams in the first group of cities should be formed.  I'm working on the kits and logos for those.

 

I have teams in mind for lower levels of the pyramids in small towns of the second group, but I haven't even begun to design them yet.  I do have team names though.

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