neo_prankster

Driveball Redux (1951 NDA Season; Heroes bring the Mug to Manhattan!)

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1951 NDA Preview

 

As television was becoming more popular, it was inevitable that the game of Driveball would hop on the bandwagon of this fairly new medium. Last year, WGN-TV began broadcasting the Gaels at home and on the road to TV sets up and down the Chicago market. With the Cubs playing exclusively during the daytime, the Gaels shifted their home schedule for 4pm bounce offs to avoid time slot conflicts.

 

This year, WNBT, New York's NBC affiliate, has paid the Heroes $2,000 USD for the rights to televise Heroes games for this year and next year. At a time when you could only watch your favorite team when they were on the road, the Gaels and Heroes hope televising home games within their markets can generate more interest in Driveball.

 

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) will pay $1,700 CDN each to the Toronto Titans and Montreal Voyageurs to televise both of the Titans and Voyageurs' regular season meetings, with the promise of a bonus should either squad reach the postseason. Commentary on both games will be bilingual.

 

The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) will carry this year's Frosty Mug, making it the first time the championship game will be shown coast-to-coast. Previous Frosty Mugs were shown only in the immediate markets of the participating teams.

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1950s-family-blank-lo-res.jpg

 

Just imagine...

 

vin-scully-getty2.jpg?itok=Odpdj1ei&w=11

 

"It's time for Heroes Driveball...brought to you by Schaefer Beer!"

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1951 NDA Season

 

The change from the single-tackle rule to the six-tackle rule dramatically improved the NDA's on-field product from where it had been in the late 40's. This year, the NDA has increased the number of games in its regular season from 10 to 14, as attendance and revenue bliss has begun to blossom.

 

In New York, the Heroes returned to respectability after being humiliated last year by the upstart Philadelphia Brawlers. Revenge against their tormentors from the Delaware Valley may have been sweet, but for the Heroes, only a championship would be sweeter.

 

After a two-year freefall following their Frosty Mug triumph in 1948, the Mad Hatters also made a return to the postseason.

 

The revenue the Gaels are now generating from their TV deal with WGN proved to be more than enough to offset the drop-off in ticket sales following a second consecutive year in which the Gaels finished dead last in their division. A couple of questionable trades were to blame. First was the trade of #1 draft pick Whitey McDougal after team owner Cubby Dempsey refused to make the young forward the highest paid NDA player. Once McDougal was shipped off to New York in exchange for midfielders Sidney Klein and former Albany Trapper Bernie Berman, the Gaels made another bad move. Brady O'Hanlon's request for a pay raise was shot down by Dempsey, who then sent the hero of the Gaels' 1949 Frosty Mug victory to Buffalo in exchange for an aging, beat-up Corky Liebowitz and an unapologetic, bigoted Dick Osborne.

 

As of 1951, the Montreal Voyageurs remain as the last NDA team that has yet to sign its first African American player.

 

Standings

East

New York Heroes 10-4

Philadelphia Brawlers 7-7

Toronto Titans 6-8

Montreal Voyageurs 5-9

 

West

Cleveland Mad Hatters 10-4

Buffalo Lakers 8-6

Cincinnati Monarchs 6-8

Chicago Gaels 4-10

 

NDA Playoffs

At the Mistake by the Lake, the Mad Hatters blew out the Lakers in convincing fashion by the score of 45 to 22. In the other playoff, the Brawlers hung tough against the Heroes. But it would be New York who would knock out the defending division champs in a 32 to 27 decision. That set up a rematch of the '48 Mug.

 

1951 Frosty Mug

July 21, 1951

Polo Grounds

TV: CBS

 

Big Cat Lawrence was on his way to another unbelievable game in net for the Mad Hatters. However, early in the 2nd half, with the Mad Hatters up by 10 points, Lawrence sustained an ankle sprain after jumping to stop a would-be over. For the remainder of the game, Cleveland called upon rookie Les Waldron to be their last line of defense. For the Heroes, Whitey McDougal proved to be the answer they needed after finishing 4-6 last season. It was McDougal who took advantage of Waldron's slowness to react, using misdirection and stutter steps to set up two consecutive six point goals to put New York ahead 15-13. A defensive foul called against George Bianchi set up the winning over by McDougal's teammate Hal Finnegan. It would be the first time the Frosty Mug was televised coast to coast. In Los Angeles, it would be watched at the home of a businessman who leads a group of like minded partners looking to bring Driveball to the west coast.

 

Heroes 18 - Mad Hatters 13 

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@Section30

 

On the topic of team songs, the Monarchs last year adopted "All the Kings Join In," to the tune of Benny Goodman's "All the Cats Join In" from Disney's Make Mine Music.

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44 minutes ago, neo_prankster said:

On the topic of team songs, the Monarchs last year adopted "All the Kings Join In," to the tune of Benny Goodman's "All the Cats Join In" from Disney's Make Mine Music.

 

Just listened to the song, very fitting for the time period and other team songs from that time. I always think things like that are unique and cool, especially when they have a history behind them.

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1 hour ago, Section30 said:

 

Just listened to the song, very fitting for the time period and other team songs from that time. I always think things like that are unique and cool, especially when they have a history behind them.

 

Yeah, I hear ya. Perhaps team songs could probably become more common later on.

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