neo_prankster

Driveball Redux (Voyageurs for Sale; Relocation Committee open thru Sun 8/19)

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Preface: After reviewing my original Driveball thread, I now feel a reboot would be necessary.

 

Pre-1948 history of the game:

1874: McGill and Harvard face off in a rugby game that most historians consider to be a major turning point for North American sports. On McGill's squad is James Creighton, who would go on to play a significant role in the evolution of ice hockey. Also on the McGill roster that May afternoon is Alexis DuBois, the man credited as the inventor of the Driveball game, but not necessarily the name.

 

1875: Creighton stages a demonstration of his hockey rules at a Montreal skating rink. Forward passing would be the invention of the Patrick brothers later on.

 

1876: Yale halfback Walter Camp begins to plant the seeds for gridiron football, sometimes referred to as "Gridby" (portmanteau of Gridiron+Rugby).

 

1877: Alexis DuBois (1853-1926), by then an assistant instructor for an affluent Montreal athletic club, stages a demonstration of what he dubbed "Mixed Rules Football." The game was played with 8 on 8 and scoring more in line with soccer. After the demonstration, Triston Arnold, who played soccer at another Montreal college, looked DuBois in the eye and said "Disregard Rugby. I find your new game far more exhilarating!"

 

1889-1930's: Numerous Mixed Rules Football leagues in Canada and the United States would come and go, often undone by gambler interference or financial woes. Also working against early leagues was the almost unanimous popularity of baseball in the US and hockey in Canada. In America, mixed rules ball was lower than the NFL, which in turn was dwarfed by MLB, college football, boxing and horse racing. The Mixed Rules Football Federation (MRFF), the first serious attempt at professionalism for Driveball, was formed in 1919. For a while, things looked bright for the game, but the 1929 stock market crash took the MRFF (pronounced "Murph") down with it.

 

1943: 26 year old Killian "Cubby" Dempsey, a young assistant coach for the Great Lakes Academy football team, was drafted and assigned to Australia. While he was there, he took out his film camera to document a game called "Austus," which combined Australian rules with those of gridiron. He was instantly reminded of that quirky game invented in Montreal that didn't quite catch on.

 

1945: Another tour of duty saw Dempsey serve in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. There, he witnessed Gaelic Football for the very first time. The GAA struggled to keep the game going because of wartime fuel and travel constraints.

 

1945-46: When the war finally ended, Dempsey returned to Chicago. No sooner did he arrive home that he picked up the Chicago Tribune and saw an ad placed by Arch Ward, who was then the paper's sports editor. Ward sought ideas for new leagues to employ men coming home and readjusting to civilian life. Dempsey presented his footage of Austus and Gaelic to an enthusiastic Ward. Both men would spend the next year and a half analyzing Mixed Rules' flaws and developing a more streamlined game. They renamed it "Driveball," in an effort to provide a name they hoped would be more memorable. They added a goalie, additional defensive players, the quarter and halfway lines and leather helmets. Ward was also instrumental in forming the All America Football Conference, which would later merge with the NFL.

 

1946-47: In the fall of 1946, and well into the summer of 1947, Dempsey conducted open tryouts for his new game. He also spent much of the time teaching the game to those that had been unable to hold down roster spots in other sports. Dempsey had the full support for this new venture from local soda pop heiress Mabel Reynolds (1916-2000), great niece of Alexis DuBois. On June 14, June 21 and July 12, 1947, the Chicago Tribune, thanks to Arch Ward's efforts, sponsored three test games at Soldier Field, which were met with thunderous enthusiasm.

 

By early 1948, the National Driveball Alliance was born, set for a May thru July schedule. And that is where our story begins! Teams coming soon.

 

RULES:

Spoiler

Driveball is a hybrid football code that combines Australian Rules and Gaelic football with the forward pass from American football (aka gridiron). The game is played by two teams of 35 with 14 players taking to the field at any one time.

On the field, each team consists of...
DEFENSIVE ZONE:
1 Goalie
1 Fullback (or Middle Guard)
2 Halfbacks
2 Guards (closest to the quarter line)

MIDFIELD
1 Center
2 Wings

ATTACK ZONE:
1 Full Forward
2 Half Forwards
1 Nickel Forward (or Split End)
1 Dime Forward (or Flanker)

 

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Driveball is played on a rectangular field at a maximum of 340 feet by 160 feet, although the size can be adjusted to fit within the floor space of any stadium. Still, players are required to have plenty of stamina to cover so much ground.

 

The quarter lines are marked at what would normally be the 25 yard lines in American football or between the 27 and 28 yard lines on a Canadian field. The halfway line is generally marked along the 50 yard line in the US or the 55 in Canada. The center circle, where every game begins, is 22 yards in perimeter. The restart circles are 10 yards in perimeter.

 

The field is divided in to three zones, defensive, midfield and attack. The direction a team must take to advance the ball in to the opposing goal is determined via coin toss.

 

The game starts with a bounce off in the center circle on the halfway line. The object of the game is for your team to score more points than the opposing team. To score, a player can kick, fist-ball like in Aussie rules, or throw the ball past the goalkeeper for a goal worth 6 points. A ball that is thrown, or kicked and flies over the crossbar earns a 3 point over. Between the long goal post and the shorter post earns a behind for just one point.

 

The game is played in 35 minute halves for a combined playing time of 70 minutes, and the team with the most points as time expires wins.

 

Defense can be played by…
-    Tackling
-    Blocking shots
-    Pushing ball carriers out of bounds
-    Intercepting passes
-    Stripping the ball from the ball carrier.

 

Unlike in American football, where you have four downs to advance the ball, a single tackle ends the drive. The opponent may then attempt a free kick. So to advance the ball, your team must be able to stay on their feet and keep the ball circulating in order to score. A ball carrier can run six steps before he must pass to a teammate, though he may solo the ball (dribble off a foot or knee) if he wants to retain possession. 

 

Unlike in Aussie rules, rugby union or rugby league, you are allowed to pass the ball forward by throwing it over or underhand, but kicking is only allowed when taking a free kick and attempting to score. If a player drops a pass, the ball is still live and either team are free to recover it.

Substitutions are made via rotation like in basketball. Subs can be made between whistles and in case of an injury or ejection.

 

Fouls:
-    Tackling is permitted, but only between the shoulders and knees. Contact to the head, above the shoulder pads, or below the knees is stricly prohibited.
-    Gamesmanship or “flopping” results in a personal foul. Three personal fouls results in ejection.
-    A score can be waived off if an attacking team’s player steps in to the goal crease.
-    Delay of game results in loss of possession.
-    Games cannot end on a penalty against the defending team. An attacking team can attempt a score, free kick or penalty shot after the final siren.

 

When a team is awarded a free kick, the ball is to be teed up along the arc.

Penalty shots/Penalty kicks are made at the penalty arc. A player can try to throw the goalie off balance by a pump fake or a stutter step. Penalty shots can be punted, handballed or thrown. Should the goalie block the penalty attempt, his team is awarded a single rouge point.

Once a team advances the ball past the quarter line in to the attack zone, they have 35 seconds to attempt a score. Failure to shoot in the allotted 35 seconds results in a shot clock violation.

 

Restarting play.
-    After a score, the goalie can inbound the ball by throwing to one of the guards, or punting to a teammate in the midfield or attack zone.
-    Scrums are awarded after a tackle, an incomplete pass or when the ball bounces out of bounds. Scrums in Driveball are more like line outs in rugby. Players line up inside smaller circles on the quarter lines, known as scrum circles. The ball is then inbounded by a player on the team that did not touch the ball last.

 

FROSTY MUG CHAMPIONS

1948: Cleveland Mad Hatters

1949: Chicago Gaels

1950: Cincinnati Monarchs
1951: New York Heroes

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TORONTO TITANS

 

Toronto is starting to overtake Montreal as Canada's most populous city. The Huskies of the BAA have left the market, and the Maple Leafs enjoy unanimous support. None of that will stop brewing magnate Benedict Quatermain from investing in an experimental sport. The Titans will play their games at CNE Stadium, which is also home to the Argonauts of the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union. Quatermain also makes another contribution to the game by bringing in a beer mug to act as the league's championship trophy, hence the Frosty Mug.

 

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The NDA will start with eight teams. Stay tuned for the next seven.

 

 

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This is cool, but does it mean you’re football series is over? I thought you can only have one SFF series at a time.

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4 minutes ago, DoctaC said:

This is cool, but does it mean you’re football series is over? I thought you can only have one SFF series at a time.

 

I'll probably do maybe two or three more seasons of that one.

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If the mods only allow one fan fiction series per user, I would kindly ask if they can please move this one to the concepts section. Or, maybe I should just do another thread over there.

 

But anyway, here's a simpler look for Toronto...

 

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It's nice to see Driveball back. Kinda wish you can do two stories instead of one but I do think doing more then one story would lead to burn out.

Will all the original teams from the first Driveball story make a return or will they be new for this revision? Also the Titans look fantastic. Good job buddy! :)

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Excited to see this being brought back. The issue with the last driveball series was the design, but in that short amount of time since then you’ve vastly improved. I think the WFL really helped you as an artist. Hope to see you finish up that series as well. It’s been fun! But I think it would be best to pick one and run with it. Thats up to you though! Maybe you have plenty of time on your hands.

 

I think you’re going to do a lot better with driveball this time around. Should be a fun series and I look forward to following it. Keep up the good work.

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2 minutes ago, Cardsblues02 said:

Excited to see this being brought back. The issue with the last driveball series was the design, but in that short amount of time since then you’ve vastly improved. I think the WFL really helped you as an artist. Hope to see you finish up that series as well. It’s been fun! But I think it would be best to pick one and run with it. Thats up to you though! Maybe you have plenty of time on your hands.

 

I think you’re going to do a lot better with driveball this time around. Should be a fun series and I look forward to following it. Keep up the good work.

 

2005 will be the last season in my WLAF series.

 

16 minutes ago, Matthew24 said:

It's nice to see Driveball back. Kinda wish you can do two stories instead of one but I do think doing more then one story would lead to burn out.

Will all the original teams from the first Driveball story make a return or will they be new for this revision? Also the Titans look fantastic. Good job buddy! :)

 

For 1948, the Titans, Gaels and Heroes are coming back. But some of the original teams might not make the cut this time. Detroit in particular never looked right by my tastes.

 

Forging ahead, here are the Buffalo Lakers...

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The Lakers will play at the Rockpile, aka War Memorial Stadium. They will be operated by a local industrialist named Elmer Gottlieb, who runs the only car company based outside of Detroit. Niagra Motors helped supply tanks and planes during the war. Currently Niagra resumes car production and employs about 1,600 at its plant and headquarters in South Buffalo.

 

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The name Lakers comes from the city's proximity to Lake Erie and Mr Gottlieb's desire for a more creative name instead of just borrowing the Bisons from the local baseball team. There is another Bisons team, who play in the American Hockey League. The third Bisons team, in the All America Football Conference, changed their name to the Bills last year. The latter club is owned by Frontier Oil CEO Jim Breuil.

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Meet the Albany Driveball Club, who will play their home games at Hawkins Stadium, normally home of the Albany Senators minor league baseball club. The team does not have an official nickname yet, but it could probably be either the Dutchmen, Patroons or something related to the Dutch heritage of NY's state capitol. Why would a young sport take a chance on such a small market? I didn't like how fast the game grew in the original thread, so I thought I let some smaller towns have a team first, then move those teams around over time.

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The Albany squad will be operated by former college football stud Joe Van Allen, now 67, who has nominated his son Jimmy, 31, as the team's captain. Joe played football for the University of Chicago in the late 1890's and baseball for the St Louis Browns from 1903 to 1920. Jimmy on the other hand, has returned from a very brief stint in combat after having been a bench warmer for the Steelers, Steagles and Card-Pitt.

 

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Meet the Chicago Gaels.

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Cubby Dempsey appoints himself the de-facto chairman of the Gaels, drawing the club's nickname from his Irish roots. Meanwhile, the owners of the NDA's charter members will vote on a commissioner in the months leading up to bounce off. Anyways, the Gaels will fill some usually slow spring and summer dates at Soldier Field. Remember, the Bears are still sharing Wrigley Field with the Cubs, while the Cardinals are languishing away on the South Side at Comiskey Park. Plus, the AAFC Rockets have drawn the fewest fans out of all of Chicago's football teams.

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I'm so glad that this is back! While I haven't commented on your World League Alternate History, I did give it the occasional look, and I must agree with everyone else that your art skills have improved vastly. The only nitpick I have with the teams so far is that the font on the "CG" in Chicago's logo looks a little modern for the 1940s to me at least, but other than that, they and all the other teams look solid!

 

Anyway, I can't wait to see what direction this goes, and will there be any expansion councils? Keep up the good work!

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23 minutes ago, BengalSteve said:

I'm so glad that this is back! While I haven't commented on your World League Alternate History, I did give it the occasional look, and I must agree with everyone else that your art skills have improved vastly. The only nitpick I have with the teams so far is that the font on the "CG" in Chicago's logo looks a little modern for the 1940s to me at least, but other than that, they and all the other teams look solid!

 

Anyway, I can't wait to see what direction this goes, and will there be any expansion councils? Keep up the good work!

 

Yes, there will be expansion councils, plus councils for relocation, rule changes and alternate leagues. Maybe a council to decide whether to make Driveball an Olympic sport a little later in the 20th Century.

 

10 minutes ago, DoctaC said:

I agree with what @BengalSteve said, that the font for Chicago is too modern. Other than that it looks great!

 

Thanks.

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21 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

Meet the Albany Driveball Club, who will play their home games at Hawkins Stadium, normally home of the Albany Senators minor league baseball club. The team does not have an official nickname yet, but it could probably be either the Dutchmen, Patroons or something related to the Dutch heritage of NY's state capitol. Why would a young sport take a chance on such a small market? I didn't like how fast the game grew in the original thread, so I thought I let some smaller towns have a team first, then move those teams around over time.

 

 

The Albany squad will be operated by former college football stud Joe Van Allen, now 67, who has nominated his son Jimmy, 31, as the team's captain. Joe played football for the University of Chicago in the late 1890's and baseball for the St Louis Browns from 1903 to 1920. Jimmy on the other hand, has returned from a very brief stint in combat after having been a bench warmer for the Steelers, Steagles and Card-Pitt.

 

 

The area in and surrounding Albany was called Beverwyck/Beverwijck or "Place of Beavers."   The nickname could be based on that, like Beavers or Trappers.  

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Meet the New York Heroes.

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As the old saying goes, "If it's accepted in New York, it's accepted everywhere!" The NDA hopes such sentiment holds true for Driveball in the Big Apple. The Heroes will play at the Polo Grounds and are operated by comic book publisher Sheldon Leonard, who leads an investment group with five other New York businessmen.

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Meet the Montreal Voyageurs.

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The Canadiens may be king in this market, but there's plenty of room in town for other sports teams. The Royals of the International League of minor league baseball call Montreal home, as do the Alouettes of the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union. The Voyaguers will split home games between Delorimier Stadium and Molson Stadium on the McGill University campus. Whichever stadium is closest to the majority of their fans, will be the permanent home for the team next season. The club will be run by Phillipe Lefebvre, a local textile magnate.

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Meet the Brooklyn Coasters!

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The name Coasters comes, obviously, from Coney Island and its numerous roller coasters among other rides. The Coasters will share Ebbets Field with the mighty MLB Dodgers and will be operated by Ira Finkleman, a local restaurateur and philanthropist. One day his hospitality business could be a pioneer in fast food franchising.

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The last of the Initial Eight has been unveiled. The Cleveland Mad Hatters.

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Cleveland has been blessed with two back to back championships from the AAFC Browns. Optimism is in the air for the Tribe this coming baseball season. And don't forget about the Barons of the AHL. Meanwhile, a new team in a strange new game has come to Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The Mad Hatters will be operated by Bruno Scarfiotti, heir to his father's steelmaking fortune. Why the Mad Hatters? Because the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that Scarfiotti "...might as well change his name to the Mad Hatter if he thinks Driveball could ever be bigger than baseball or football." Thus, Scarfiotti, known for being unfazed by supposed insults, takes the jab as a badge of honor.

 

C&C Welcome of course.

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While I await C&C for the founding teams' looks, I've got some signatures if you guys are interested...

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C&C Welcome.

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1948 NDA Preview

 

Eastern Division

 

ALBANY TRAPPERS

The team that resides in the NDA's smallest market hopes to leave a legacy in Albany, but signs may already point to the Trappers becoming the first NDA team to fold or relocate. Center Jimmy Van Allen, the team owner's son, is the de facto team captain. However, the rest of the Trappers locker room preferred forward Larry Quackenbush, the former Syracuse University linebacker and punter.

 

BROOKLYN COASTERS

With the Dodgers fielding a pretty decent baseball team, it's gonna take a huge marketing push and more than a few lucky bounces to help the Coasters gain some attention in Brooklyn. The field at Ebbets will be oriented roughly along the third base line, similar to the pre-existing football layout...

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As for players to watch for, look no further than Walt Stokes and Herb Martsch to spearhead the Coaster attack. Before the war, Stokes had been in the NFL with the Cleveland Rams as a backup tight end, but saw very little playing time. Martsch formerly played hockey as a third shift right wing for the now-defunct NHL Americans before serving in the RCAF.


MONTREAL VOYAGEURS

Early on, the Voyageurs realized their goal of stacking their roster with a mostly Francophone makeup would be unrealistic. Carroll Gosling comes to Montreal from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the IRFU, where he only played one snap at slotback. Now, Gosling will line up at right wing on the Voyageurs' midfield. Marvin Woodward had big dreams of playing center field for the Yankees, but could never crack the majors. Now at 32, Woodward is already one of the oldest athletes in the NDA, with most players in the league at 26 or younger.


NEW YORK HEROES

The NDA is banking on New York to have a successful year in order to give the fairly new sport a bit of respect in a crowded sports market. Hank Frizzell anchors the Heroes' defensive zone, while a trio of forwards, Corky Liebowitz, Roland Hughes and Abner Matthews, will be called upon to score points.

 

Western Divison

 

BUFFALO LAKERS

Cecil Nordli will hold down the fort as the Lakers' goalie, but aside from him, there is not a whole lot of depth on the attack or defense. The only other bright spot for the Lakers this upcoming season is Earl Southworth. Cut from the AAFC Bills in last year's AAFC training camp, Southworth hopes to find better luck as the Lakers' starting left wing.


CHICAGO GAELS

Brady O'Hanlon and Lewis Marshall hope to be the faces of the Gaels this upcoming season. O'Hanlon, formerly of the NBL/BAA Rochester Royals, lines up at forward. Marshall comes to the Gaels after being cut by the AAFC Rockets during training camp. Now, Marshall will anchor the Gael's defensive zone at fullback.


CLEVELAND MAD HATTERS

The Mad Hatters are home to not one, but two men who will forever be remembered as Driveball's earliest African American stars. Art Tempest lines up at midfield after having been a standout receiver at Grambling State. Lining up at goalie is Seymour Lawrence, best noted for his cat-like reflexes and his never-let-them-see-you-sweat approach in just two short years at short stop with the Washington/Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues.

 

TORONTO TITANS

Be sure to keep an eye on Ernie Ward this year. Ward was a multisport athlete at Penn State before being drafted to serve the US on D-Day. After the war, Ward was unable to find a roster spot in MLB or the NFL. The NBL, BAA and AAFC didn't think too highly of him either. Finally, Driveball fell from the sky for Ward, who by 1947 was flat broke with a wife, one kid and another on the way. If you can think of anyone hungrier for respect than the man now tasked with anchoring the Titans' attack, I'd like to hear who that would be.

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