Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1983 Los Angeles Comets)

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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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82r1g1detvspit_by_verasthebrujah-db3njkr

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.

 

82r1g2cinvssd_by_verasthebrujah-db3njlt.

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.

 

1982_afa_playoffs_by_verasthebrujah-db39

 

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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On 3/26/2017 at 9:23 PM, ItDoesntMatter said:

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....

Ha, yeah, that's probably the reason.  Thanks for catching it.

 

I actually put some thought into LaDell Throckmorton's name.  At some point in the past year, I listed to a segment and then read a few articles about Mormon names, which are apparently somewhat unusual, particularly among Utah Mormons.  I don't remember all of the details, but prefixes are common.  I think I ended up naming him after LaVell Edwards.  There are also a number of surnames that are considered to be very Mormon, including Throckmorton.  When I had a quarterback randomly drawn from BYU, I decided to go with a very Mormon name.

 

If it helps, he spent the first two years of his career with the Stallions.  After their Victory Bowl loss to the Angels in 1979, they thought that a less turnover-prone QB than incumbent starter Mikey McGowan was the missing piece, so they took Throckmorton in the first round.  He narrowly lost out on the starting job in training camp, and then thoroughly disappointed the coaching staff.  It was obvious by the end of 1981 that McGowan was the better player, so the Stallions dealt him to the quarterback-hungry Miners, where he became the third different quarterback to start the season opener in three years.

 

22 hours ago, ChicagoOakland said:

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.

Yeah, after two years in the league, it's clear that Hart is the better player, though even I'm surprised by the gap between them (Hart's improvement from 1981 to 82 was one of the largest that I've seen).  If he keeps improving at this rate, he'll be challenging Rob Connery (assuming he bounces back) and New York's Ron Adams for the title of best in the league.

 

18 hours ago, FDW said:

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

Basically a general lack of talent.  Last year's success was largely the result of an easy schedule, with some dumb luck mixed in.  They were one game away from a Victory Bowl appearance, and if they had gotten in, they would have been the weakest team ever to play in the big game.  They may have slightly underperformed this year, but their 5-11 record is a much better reflection of where they are as a team than last years 10-6.

 

Last season, Ed Cave looked like he might finally break through and RB Russell Tobin had a strong rookie campaign, but both took a step back this year.  Pretty much the only bright spot on the roster is at the safety position, where both FS Steve Thorpe and SS Harry Marx are young (24 and 25, respectively) and have shown great talent and potential.  And even there, Thorpe was hampered by a shoulder injury that severely inhibited his tackling ability.  I would expect them to be better next year, but they desperately need to address the quarterback position this offseason.  Ed Cave has shown that he's probably not much more than a solid backup, and the man behind him, Francis Rhames, is a rookie who was taken in the 7th round out of West Virginia.  Needless to say, he's probably not going to provide a long-term answer.

 

5 hours ago, officerpain138 said:

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!

You make a good point about the Victory Bowl logo on the background.  The only problem is that I'm not sure if it's era-appropriate to have a general postseason logo.  I thought about using team logos in the background, but that would generate more additional work than it's worth.  I might look at doing some abstract shapes in team colors, like I did with the early player illustrations.  That wouldn't take much work, and it should look okay.  Thanks for the feedback.

 

Imperials-Guardians, eh?  Going for a rematch of the first three Victory Bowls?  That would be a good one.

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Since Baltimore is a prime candidate for relocation, which city do you think will take them, if at all?

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3 hours ago, RightGuard said:

Since Baltimore is a prime candidate for relocation, which city do you think will take them, if at all?

 

If they move, I hope they do it in this:

 

770a28a1-e535-40f4-b044-b3185cdf2972_ima

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82r2g1clevsny_by_verasthebrujah-db3u49e.

This game featured a matchup between the best quarterback and the best secondary in the AFA.  New York QB Ron Adams looked to test that matchup early on, attempting to throw a pass into a tight window to WR Richard Braatz.  CB Kevin Rubin punished him for the mistake as he came down with the ball, shrugged off Braatz’s attempted tackle, and bolted 40 yards into the end zone.  The Ghosts were up 7-0 just 3 minutes into the game, and their offense had yet to take the field.

 

The defenses continued to show dominance in the first quarter.  New York established great field position when Cleveland QB Frankie Farragut attempted to throw a ball away as he was being hit by LB Gerry Leigh.  Much to the dismay of the home crowd, the ball didn’t have quite enough power on it as it sailed to the sideline, and SS Guy Vacilis managed to keep his toes in bounds as he picked it off at the New York 38.  Cheers returned to the stadium just a few minutes later, however, when LB Charlie White recorded a strip sack on Ron Adams, and the Ghosts recovered.  Two plays later, the Ghosts turned a simple screen pass into a 42 yard touchdown when RB Jose Ortuno steamrolled CB Rocky Belle, trucking him so hard that Belle landed more than 10 feet away from where he first contacted the ballcarrier.

From there, the defensive battle resumed.  Ron Adams was picked off again, this time by SS John Bow, and the teams traded field goals, sending the game into the half with the Ghosts up 17-3.

 

The Imperials finally found their footing in the second half.  Adams led the team on an 83 yard touchdown drive to start the half culminating in a 13 yard pass to Braatz.  Ten minutes later, the Imperials tacked on a field goal to cut the deficit to 4.  On the first drive of the fourth quarter, New York LB Gerry Leigh picked off Farragut at the New York 24, and returned it to the 44 before being taken down on a touchdown-saving shoestring tackle by WR Kenji Strong.  The tackle would be of little consequence, however, as the Imperials offense was now humming.  They marched down the field, and took a lead 20-17 lead ironically on a 19 yard pass from Adams to WR Benji Strong (the older brother of the player who had made the tackle on the interception just a few minutes earlier).

 

The Ghosts got the ball back and picked up a few first downs before being forced to punt, and managed to pin New York at the 3 yard line.  Adams responded by putting together a drive that ran nearly 7 minutes off the clock before stalling and setting up a 28 yard field goal.  The Imperials had scored 20 unanswered points in just 18 minutes to take a 23-17 lead in the game’s final minute.

 

The Ghosts took the field trailing by 6 with only 47 seconds on the clock, and two timeouts; and the home crowd watched as Frankie Farragut put together the drive of his life, going 6 for 6 to 6 different receivers.  The final play of the drive came with 10 seconds remaining on 3rd and 6 from the 10 yard line.  Farragut took the snap.  New York’s coverage was airtight, and DE Tom Reeves beat his man and hit the quarterback.  As he was going down, Farragut tossed the ball to Jose Ortuno, who was supposed to be blocking on the play.  The running back caught the ball, and took off toward the end zone.  Two defenders hit him inside the three yard line, but they were unable to stop his momentum as he dragged them past the goal line, putting the Ghosts up 24-23 with 4 seconds remaining.

 

The Imperials, who believed that Farragut had been sacked, were livid.  Reeves was so aggressive toward the referees that he was nearly ejected from the game, but they (correctly) stood by their call.  The Imperials attempted to return the squib kick, but were unsuccessful, and the Ghosts are now one game away from the Victory Bowl

 

82r2g2detvsbal_by_verasthebrujah-db3u49l

This matchup, which was considered the least interesting of the week, ended up producing an exciting matchup in which rookies on both sides stole the show.  The Royals came into this game with a chip on their shoulder, and they gave the Gladiators a run for their money.  The teams went back and forth throughout the first quarter, and early in the second Detroit was up 10-7.

 

Five minutes into the quarter, Baltimore had the ball deep in their own territory.  QB Vince Barnett dropped back to pass, and the Gladiators came on a heavy blitz.  LOLB John Schneider got there first, hitting Barnett hard and knocking the ball loose.  It bounced once and landed in the hands of ROLB Donald Turner, who carried it 15 yards into the end zone.  The cheers of the Gladiators fan quickly died down.  Barnett had landed on his neck awkwardly, and was badly injured.  He was unable to move his arms and legs, and had to be carried off the field and rushed to the hospital.  As the medical staff tended to the fallen quarterback, players from both teams huddled together near midfield, many praying or in tears, while Schneider, a 23 year old rookie, was seen vomiting on the sideline.

 

But the game had to go on, and on the next drive Derrill Punch, a rookie out of Maryland, came into the game at quarterback and took his first snap in the AFA.  After a rough start, he settled down, and helped set up a field goal to make it a one-score game going into the half.

 

Detroit went up 20-10 on a field goal on their first possession of the third quarter, but then the Royals put up 17 unanswered points, largely as the result of strong play from a group of rookies.  First a 28-yard field goal cut the deficit to 7, then a fade from Derrill Punch to fellow rookie Audwin Lee tied it up.  On the ensuing Detroit possession, rookie MLB Adrian Doom picked off a pass, setting up the Royals offense with a short field, and Baltimore took a 27-20 with 12:27 to play.

 

In the end, they couldn’t keep up the momentum against the more talented Gladiators team.  On their next possession, RB Paul Hardy found paydirt to tie the game back up.  This left 8 minutes on the clock, and from this point each team held the ball three times; the Gladiators made the most out of these possessions, while the Royals managed to accrue a grand total of -2 yards.  Baltimore went three and out, Detroit kicked a field goal.  Baltimore went three and out, Detroit scored a touchdown.  Baltimore turned the ball over on downs, and Detroit ran out the clock with their 37-27 victory secure.

 

82r2g3cinvstex_by_verasthebrujah-db3u49s

Early on, both defenses looked dominant.  Throughout the first 23 minutes of regulation, the only points came on a pair of Stallions field goals, while each team managed to pick off their opponent once.  In fact, the game’s first touchdown came more as a result of a defensive error than good play by the offense.  With just over 7 minutes remaining in the second quarter (and coming off of Texas’s second field goal), Cincinnati QB Reggie Hart heaved a bomb into the end zone to Bill Alexander.  Safety Stephen Curran, who was slightly out of position, bowled over Alexander before the ball arrived, drawing a pass interference penalty and setting the Guardians up on the 1.  On the very next play, Reggie Hart scrambled to his left, and the Stallions swarmed toward him, assuming that he was going to run.  Instead he arced the ball over their heads and into the hands of a wide open TE Vic Meredith.  That touchdown, plus a 38-yard field goal by Steve MacQueen in the final minute of the quarter sent Cincinnati into the half with a 10-6 advantage.

 

The second half was a different game altogether.  Cincinnati’s offensive struggles continued, but the Stallions lit up the scoreboard.  Their success came as they repeatedly fed the ball to RB Kelvin Barker, throwing the occasional shot downfield to keep Cincinnati from loading the box.  Barker responded by putting up 159 yards and 3 touchdowns over the last two quarters of the game, including a 12 yard scamper with 48 seconds remaining to give the Stallions a 27-10 lead, which was the final dagger in Cincinnati’s heart.

 

The Stallions will make their third trip to the semifinals in the four years, and this is no longer the young upstart team that made a surprise trip to the Victory Bowl in 1979.  They’ve got the experience, and their time to win is now.

 

82r2g4minvssea_by_verasthebrujah-db3u49u

The injury suffered by Rob Connery during the week 2 matchup between these two teams meant that there was some animosity between them from the opening snap, and, unsurprisingly, there was a lot of post-whistle shoving.

 

It was a dreary, rainy day, and the turf at Twin Cities Stadium was an absolute mess, which played into the hands of the defenses.  Minnesota started the scoring with a 40 yard field goal 5 minutes into the game, but were then shut out until midway through the third.  In that time, Seattle kicker Rod Boyle connected from 33, 42, and 52 yards out to give Seattle a 9-3 lead.

 

The Angels reclaimed the lead with 7:30 to play in the third when RB Tommy Howard got the ball on an HB draw, and outraced the defense to the goal line.  Early in the fourth, they extended their advantage to 17-9 when Grizzlies CB Eugene Moss slipped in the mud.  He kept his footing, but his stumble gave WR Michael Goldberg an opening, and QB Tim Kewley dropped the ball into his arms for a 20 yard touchdown as he streaked down the sideline.

 

The Grizzlies was stopped twice before getting the ball back at their own 31 with 3:12 left to play.  They inched down the field, making good use of the sidelines, and pushed deep into Minnesota territory.  Finally, with 1:21 remaining on the clock, TE Rob House made a spectacular sliding catch on a low throw for a 10 yard touchdown.  Trailing 15-17 with less than two minutes to go, the Grizzlies went for two.  Rick Ivery took the snap and pump faked toward House.  MLB Ricky Chickering, who had been acting as a spy bit on the fake, which gave Ivery all the room he needed.  He took off running, slipped through the line and dove into the end zone, tying the game.

 

The Angels made a valiant effort at putting together a game-winning drive in regulation, but they simply came up short.  They set up K Martin Jasso for a 56 yard attempt on the last play of the quarter, but that was too tall an order on the slippery turf, and the kick fell short.  In the end, it wouldn’t matter.  The Grizzlies got the ball first in overtime, but failed to pick up a first down.  The Angels then took possession after a punt, and drove to the Seattle 15.  Jasso came onto the field again, and drove the 32-yarder perfectly through the uprights for the win.

 

The Angels are back in the semifinals for the first time since their 1979 Victory Bowl run, while the Grizzlies can look forward to a difficult offseason decision regarding their future at the quarterback position.

 

1982_afa_playoffs_by_verasthebrujah-db39

 

AFA Magazine Semifinals Predictions

 

Cleveland Ghosts vs Texas Stallions

The Stallions are a talented team that has been plagued by turnover problems for years, and the Ghosts secondary is the best in the league.  If Cleveland takes an early lead and forces Texas to give the ball to Mikey McGowan in an attempt to beat them through the air, this game will be a bloodbath.  Cleveland 34-14.

 

Detroit Gladiators vs Minnesota Angels

This game is a question of youth versus experience.  The Angels are too old to win it all, the Gladiators are too young, but one of them is going to the Victory Bowl.  Experience will prevail on this day, and RE Lee Thomas, who recorded a record 19 sacks in the regular season, will have a career day.  Minnesota 20-3.

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Once again, another early playoff exit for San Diego. Something's gotta give. :(

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So sorry to see Cincy go...hopefully this is just the first of many great years to come.

 

Now I'm rooting for the Ghosts to win it...time to party like it's 1959!

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2 hours ago, Veras said:

Detroit Gladiators vs Minnesota Angels

This game is a question of youth versus experience.  The Angels are too old to win it all, the Gladiators are too young, but one of them is going to the Victory Bowl.  Experience will prevail on this day, and RE Thomas Lee, who recorded a record 19 sacks in the regular season, will have a career day.  Minnesota 20-3.

 

Look at that, a typo in the magazine, furthering my belief they can't get anything righ... crap, they picked my Angels to win.

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I think there might have been a typo in the Ghosts-Imperials game. I believe the Imperials scored 20 unanswered points not 17. But that's not the important takeaway from the Ghosts-Imperials game. I believe we may have seen the kernel of controversy that introduces instant replay to the AFA.

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So...is Vince Barnett okay? Jesus.

I'm bummed that Cincy lost. Hart and Meredith will get their championship someday though.

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15 hours ago, RightGuard said:

Since Baltimore is a prime candidate for relocation, which city do you think will take them, if at all?

The most obvious candidates are those that have had failed bids in previous expansion councils.  Indianapolis, Birmingham, and Connecticut all come to mind.  It's also not unreasonable to consider the possibility of them joining a major market that already has a team.  NYC already effectively has a second team with in the New Jersey Sharks, but Los Angeles and Chicago are both presumably capable of supporting a second team.

 

For now, the team appears to be negotiating in good faith.  Yes, there are other markets posturing to bring them in, but at the moment, the owner is genuinely focused on keeping the team in Maryland.

 

11 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

Once again, another early playoff exit for San Diego. Something's gotta give. :(

I'm not sure that I agree with your characterization of their recent postseason performance.  They've done very well in recent years.  Last year they went to the semifinals, the year before that they won the Victory Bowl.  The year before that, they were eliminated in round 1, but took the eventual champion Minnesota Angels to overtime.  They're 4-3 in postseason play, with a title, which is pretty respectable.

 

8 hours ago, Dan O'Mac said:
11 hours ago, Veras said:

Detroit Gladiators vs Minnesota Angels

This game is a question of youth versus experience.  The Angels are too old to win it all, the Gladiators are too young, but one of them is going to the Victory Bowl.  Experience will prevail on this day, and RE Thomas Lee, who recorded a record 19 sacks in the regular season, will have a career day.  Minnesota 20-3.

Look at that, a typo in the magazine, furthering my belief they can't get anything righ... crap, they picked my Angels to win.

Good catch.  That was a pretty minor detail, I'm surprised that you noticed it.  I make that mistake a lot when I write about this guy, and I often did the same thing with James Thomas, the Hall of Fame QB who led Pittsburgh to a few Victory Bowls in the 50s and 60s.  It must be something about the name Thomas.

 

8 hours ago, eick74 said:

I think there might have been a typo in the Ghosts-Imperials game. I believe the Imperials scored 20 unanswered points not 17. But that's not the important takeaway from the Ghosts-Imperials game. I believe we may have seen the kernel of controversy that introduces instant replay to the AFA.

Yep, you're right, and I've corrected it.  I do most of my writing in the middle of the night now, since it's the only time that I'm generally baby-free.  Apparently, I should do my proofreading during the day.  Between these typos, the misspelling of Cincinnati in the wildcard scoreboard, and the fact that I originally switched the Ghosts and Gladiators names in the AFA magazine writeups (though I caught that one on my own), it seems that 1982 is the year of the error.

 

4 hours ago, ChicagoOakland said:

So...is Vince Barnett okay? Jesus.

I'm bummed that Cincy lost. Hart and Meredith will get their championship someday though.

He survived, if that's what you're asking, but his career is over.  At this point, the question isn't whether he will play again, it's whether he will walk again.

 

The answer to that question is probably not, but he isn't finished with the AFA.  He's smart, charismatic, and well-respected around the league.  If there is anything left of his body at all, he'll be able to find a job, likely in the media.

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Well this turned out to be a disappointing season for NY... I don't care what anyone says Farragut was sacked! Well I guess now I want Texas to win... just a frustrating way to end the season! I hope NY comes back with a fire of revenge that fuels them to a perfect season! 

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Hey Veras, I was attempting an Excel spreadsheet of your league so far, but I got stuck on what colors to use for each team. When I say that, I mean for each team what colors would you designate as primary or secondary? I ask this because I noticed you do this thing with your recent playoff images where the team's bracket is the primary and the text is the secondary, of which it must be easy when most teams have just two colors and white assigned. But then you have teams that have three colors plus white (Arizona, Colorado, New Orleans) and I wonder, which is the secondary and which is just an accent? I hope you're able to discern what I've just typed out.

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