History of a Fictional Football League (1982 Playoffs: Wildcard Round)

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On 3/23/2017 at 4:14 PM, Red Comet said:

Went through the various wildcard scenarios and heres what I have assuming there's a sort of reseeding afterwards.




So, if the last scenario happens, how much security would there be at the Emerald Dome?


EDIT: Also, with the Royals making the playoffs, how have the negotiations gone for the new stadium?

Seattle's stadium security was beefed up pretty considerably this year (actually, ever team improved security, but Seattle did so more than most).  The presence will be pretty serious, though not as much so as when Portland came to town during the regular season.


Baltimore's winning season didn't move the needle very much.  They're just having a hard time getting all government officials on the same page.  The Baltimore state legislature has been unwilling to offer funds, Baltimore mayor, Don Schaeffer, is lukewarm on the idea, city comptroller Hyman Pressman is wildly against it, and even the voters are quite divided on the idea.  In November, the public narrowly voted down (50.4 - 49.6) a measure that would have treated the stadium as a war memorial, making it all but impossible to replace it.  There is no question that the Royals will remain in town for 1983, however, as they have extended their lease for one year.


On 3/23/2017 at 6:32 PM, Darknes said:

Oh Come on Boston..this is depressing me 

Yeah, I thought of you when I resolved the tiebreakers.  This is the second time in recent years that they've been the highest-ranked team to miss the playoffs, and in both cases, it was on tiebreakers.  On the bright side, they're getting to be a genuinely good team.  QB Jon Cliffe took a significant step forward in his third season, as did DE Dave Ryan.  On top of that, the team's first round pick, Dave Keiser (WR - New Mexico) had a huge year.



On 3/24/2017 at 2:13 PM, Jimmy Lethal said:

[looks at New Jersey's record]

jesus christ how horrifying

On 3/25/2017 at 9:33 AM, ImmortalChef said:

Only my Jersey can start in such horrible fashion


That might have been the worst underperformance that I've ever seen.  Their record was so bad compared to their rating that I actually went back and checked to make sure that that I hadn't left BUF in any functions in my simulation spreadsheet instead of replacing it with NJ (which would result in them not having their rating added to their rolls).  But I had everything right.  They just had an almost impossibly bad year.


On 3/24/2017 at 3:39 PM, MBurmy said:

OAN: I see the Tommy Danson era is still going rocky right now...hopefully the fans won't lose faith in him.

The hopes weren't very high for Milwaukee this year.  It's widely known that the team is in full rebuild mode, and this is a good year to be at the top of the draft.


There are three incredibly highly-valued prospects.  Bret Rivers (RB - Miami), a punishing downhill runner who is almost impossible to stop once he gets a head of steam; Gabriel Rose (MLB - Notre Dame) one of the smartest players ever to play college football, he'll be almost a coach on the field; and Allen McCarty (RE - Wisconsin), a pass rusher who excels at exploding off the ball to harass quarterbacks.  On top of that, there are several QBs who could go in round 1, including John Lewis (USC), Bob Obradovic (Washington), Tom Baker (Houston), and Louis Thomas (Temple).  The Wolves were pleasantly surprised by the play of Ray Oram (QB - Nebraska), who was their second-round pick last year.  He started the last 8 games of the season, and looks unexpectedly AFA-ready, so they're likely to either trade the pick to a QB-hungry team, or use it on McCarty, Rose, or Rivers.  There will likely be a lot of pressure on the team to take McCarty - Milwaukee lacks a real pass rush threat, and he's a local favorite, but Noah Rose would likely be a stronger piece around which to rebuild.


Interestingly, the Miami Suns hold the third and fourth picks, so they might also face a lot of pressure to draft a hometown hero in Bret Rivers, even though the selected a power runner in the first round last year.  They're virtually guaranteed to use one of those picks on a quarterback, presumably Lewis if he's available and Obradovic if he isn't, but the other is an open question.


On 3/24/2017 at 8:47 PM, BengalSteve said:

Another awesome regular season in the books! Especially since the Guardians are a playoff team for once!


Also, who are some of the candidates for the new AFA President once we get to the offseason? I'll keep my eye on Cincinnati and Baltimore once the playoffs are under way. B)

Szymanski has been fairly tight-lipped on this, but there are still a few names on the shortlist.


When the Owners' Council was involved in discussions before, the most popular choice was Ron Peters, a 46-year old lawyer who has served as the AFA's chief legal counsel since 1977.  Notably, Szymansky hired him for this position shortly before his first retirement, and though there are rumors that Szymansky dislikes Peters, there is no question that the two men respect one another.


Walter Allen was Szymanski's right-hand man and heir-apparent for several years in the early 1970s, but he left his job at the AFA in 1975 to take a position as the CEO of Lockheed Martin.  The biggest drawback here is that he is 59 years old, and the league may be looking to bring in someone for longer than a few years given that they've already had 3 presidents serve 4 terms in the last 5 years.


The players would like to see a former player get the position, namely 58-year old AFA Players' Council President Buzz Napper (who played quarterback for St. Louis and Colorado from 1949-1960) or his former teammate, 48-year old Congressman Ken Hughes (R-CO).  Both are something of a longshot, though.  While both men are highly respected around the league, the Owners' Council is unlikely to accept someone who is overly sympathetic to the players as league president.


ESPN's Jimmy Edwards has also reported that Milwaukee Wolves GM Warren Breyer is being considered, though he is considered to be a dark horse candidate. Like Szymanski, the 38-year old Breyer has a background in public relations, and has managed to keep fan support and profitability high for the team through a couple of difficult years on the field.  That being said, he is likely too young, and the bad experience with Helms has left many people wary of choosing someone with close ties to one team.


On 3/24/2017 at 11:13 PM, RBronish said:


What is the name of the stadium in Arlington?

Lone Star Stadium


On 3/25/2017 at 2:06 PM, RightGuard said:

So I was browsing your DeviantArt and I noticed you hadn't updated Cleveland's uniforms with the corrected logo. Could you please adjust that?

Good catch.  Not sure how I missed that.


Incidentally, I'm having a problem with DeviantArt, and was wondering if anybody here knows the answer:  I can no longer move items from one folder to another.  Traditionally, when I did something like submit the 1982 Krewe uniform, I would put it in the Current Uniforms folder, and move the old one to the Historic Uniforms folder.  Now I can't seem to do that anymore.


On 3/25/2017 at 4:05 PM, officerpain138 said:

Well I am disappointed with New Jerseys performance. But I am exited about the draft! I am also hoping that NY could get something going here. I think they are a dangerous 9 seed. 

That is definitely true, and part of the reason that there is a wide perception that a low-seeded team could make a run this year.  But you won't have to wait long to find out, the first round should be up shortly.


On 3/25/2017 at 4:14 PM, generalshepherd141 said:

I'm surprised nobody is talking about Rob Connery's injury. That's huge for Seattle to lose such a talented guy. If that's it for him, is he the Greg Cook of the AFA?

I'm also surprised that this didn't get more attention.  First of all, he's arguably the league's best QB, and second, nobody seems to have notice the Easter egg in the injury - his season, and possibly his career, ended when he took a (David) Arrow to the knee...


Anyway, I'd say that Joe Theisman is probably a better comparison than Greg Cook.  Connery has already had a long and productive career, even if he hasn't had much postseason success.  It's also possible that he could play again, though the play of Rick Ivery will create a quarterback controversy in Seattle if Connery does come back (so maybe Joe Montana is a better comparison in that case).


22 hours ago, Asterix777 said:

This is too reminiscent of the Broncos these last 2 seasons... I can tell we missed the do't-screw-it-up -ability of JBG. How's the AFA Siemian doing in his first year?

Three different guys got starts at QB this year.  Veteran Steve Beltram started the first six games, then was benched in favor of rookie John Vessey who had just two starts.  The team then brought in a guy named Paul McIntyre from the practice squad.  McIntyre started four games, and then it was handed back over to Vessey, who finished out the season.  It's already clear that Beltram and McIntyre won't be on the team next year, and even Vessey is probably 60-40.


The team underestimated Branson-Greene's contributions, and overestimated the abilities of the guys that they brought in.  JBG isn't a star, but he definitely could have been the difference between winning and losing a game or two.  With the Cents finishing 9-7, that's the difference between being the number two seed in the playoffs and staying home in January.

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Both offenses performed surprisingly well in a game that was expected to be a defensive struggle.  Detroit struck first on a play that will be included in every highlight reel that the Gladiators put together from now until the end of time.  Pittsburgh came with a heavy blitz from the outside, and both OLBs, Russ Osborne and Rick Crowe blew past their blockers.  Displaying an uncharacteristic level of pocket presence, QB John Langdon stepped up in the pocket at the last possible moment, causing Osborne and Crowe to smash headfirst into one another.  Langdon then delivered a perfect strike to WR Howie Gordon, who just managed to drag his toes in the back of the end zone for a 39 yard touchdown.  To add insult to injury (injury to insult?) Osborne broke his jaw on the play, and was unable to return to the game.


Losing their best pass rusher didn’t hurt Pittsburgh’s spirits.  The offense took the field and put together 76 yard touchdown drive that ended when QB LaDell Throckmorton faked a handoff to John Coffee, and scrambled around the right side of the line from 2 yards out.


The teams went back and forth in the second.  Detroit retook the lead with a 31 yard field goal, but Pittsburgh answered on the ensuing possession.  It momentarily seemed as though they had taken the lead on a 3 yard run by John Coffee, but a holding penalty invalidated the play, and they were forced to settle for a field goal to tie the game at 10.  Detroit struck again one final time before the half, as John Langdon found veteran TE Sylvester D’Abruzzo in the end zone from 8 yards out with 1:06 to play.


The teams traded field goals in the third, so Detroit was nursing a 20-13 lead in the final minutes of the quarter when Pittsburgh seized momentum.  Detroit QB John Langdon bobbled a snap at his own 26, and DT Ray Grantham responded immediately, blowing past his blocker and falling on the ball before Langdon could pick it back up.  The Miners took advantage of the good field position, tying the game on a screen pass to John Coffee on the second play of the fourth quarter.


The Miners were unable to complete the comeback, however.  Detroit retook the lead on their next possession, going up 27-20 on a Paul Hardy touchdown run.  Pittsburgh’s best chance to get back into it came to an end with 2:42 remaining, when LaDell Throckmorton underthrew WR Doug Quinn and was picked off by CB Ron Price at the Detroit 19.  The Gladiators technically failed to run out the clock, but a 45-yard field goal with 15 seconds to play was equally effective at putting the game out of reach.  They will advance to the Quarterfinals with a 30-20 victory over the Miners.



The day almost started huge for the Guardians—Don McIntosh went untouched for a 99 yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff.  However, a holding penalty invalidated the play, and the offense was forced to start at their own 14.  From there, it was clear that the young team (and especially the offense) was experiencing some nerves.  They went 3 and out on each of their first three possessions, committing 2 penalties, giving up a sack, and dropping 3 passes in the process.  They were kept in the game only by the near equal ineptitude of the Destroyers offense.


For the first three quarters, the game was dominated by the defenses.  San Diego scored first on an 18 yard field goal which had been set up by a fumble recovery.  The Guardians took the lead in the second, adding two field goals of their own, but the Destroyers tied it up late in the third.


It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Cincinnati offense finally found some rhythm.  With just under 11 minutes to play, Reggie Hart final found some room to scramble, and took the ball in himself from 19 yards out to put his team up 13-6.  Suddenly, everything clicked into place.  The Guardians forced a 3 and out, and then began with great field possession after a big punt return by McIntosh.  With 7:11 to play, Hart hit TE Vic Meredith for a 17 yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 20-6.


The Destroys fought back valiantly, but were unable to make it happen.  Their hopes were dashed with 1:51 to play when TE Bob Pressler dropped a pass from Chris Dodd on 4th and 9 from the Cincinnati 22.  The Guardians took over, and a single first down was enough to secure their victory.  Reggie Hart had led the Guardians to just their second postseason victory in the AFA era.




AFA Magazine’s Quarterfinal Predictions


Cleveland Ghosts (1) vs New York Imperials (9)

The Ghosts are young, hot, and healthy.  The Imperials are none of those things.  The matchup between NY QB Ron Adams and the Cleveland secondary should be an epic struggle, but Adams isn’t going to be able to overcome the weaknesses on his own roster.  Cleveland 23-10.


Detroit Gladiators (2) vs Baltimore Royals (8)

The Royals snuck into the postseason on top of the weakest division in football.  They don’t belong here, and the only way that Detroit loses this game is if they don’t show up for it.  Detroit, 35-0.


Minnesota Angels (3) vs Seattle Grizzlies (6)

The last time the Grizzlies were in Minnesota, David Arrow took out Rob Connery’s knee, and their season was seemingly over.  Now the team is back for revenge. Ironically, if Seattle QB Rick Ivery plays well enough to win today, he may permanently win the starting job and ensure that Rob Connery never takes another snap as a Grizzly.  Seattle 24-21.


Guardians of Cincinnati (4) vs Texas Stallions (5)

Neither team is up to the pressure, and both attempt to out-choke one another in one of the ugliest playoff games in living memory.  Reggie Hart scores twice on the ground and the Guardians go to the semis.  Cincinnati 20-17.

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16 minutes ago, Veras said:

Guardians of Cincinnati (4) vs Texas Stallions (5)

Neither team is up to the pressure, and both attempt to out-choke one another in one of the ugliest playoff games in living memory.  Reggie Hart scores twice on the ground and the Guardians go to the semis.  Cincinnati 20-17.

Bengals vs post-Aikman Cowboys!? Oh boy...

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You can tell Cincinnati hasn't been in the playoffs recently; you must be out of practice typing them into the playoff picture. Good to see them get the win, even if their name was misspelled.


Also, LaDell Throckmorton might be my new favorite player just because of that name. Kinda sucks that he's a Miner though....

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Yeah, even as a Destroyers fan I knew we had no chance. I would rather have Hart than Walter Chris Dodd any day of the week, and that game is a perfect example why.


Also, I definitely did not catch the "arrow to the knee" Easter egg. That's awesome. Rob Connery's injury, however, is anything but awesome.

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So, what made the Dragons fall off so badly this year?

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Man its been a long time, sorry about that. Life happened. But how is everyone?


Also I predict a Minnesota vs. Cleveland Victory Bowl

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I am happy to see Pittsburgh lose again! I hate them with a passion! Anyway I always liked your layout for the playoff scoreboard and uniforms, but for the playoffs I would do a different logo in the background. When I scrolled to the Pitt/Det game, I saw the victory bowl logo and thought I missed the whole playoffs somehow. Maybe it is just me, I have been getting less sleep thanks to a teething baby. I think a generic playoff logo that can be used all rounds would be nice to distinguish it from the victory bowl logo. All in all, very well executed again and I am looking forward to a NY/CIN victory bowl with the Imperials finally winning their 5th title!

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