Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1983 Postseason - Quarterfinals)

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I love the fact that everyone love the new Krewe helmets, especially considering that was what I had in mind when I made my suggestion about back in February.

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My idea was less Rams horn and just coming to an end behind the ear hole. The horns doesn't look bad though and I do like the White helmet the best.

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5 hours ago, eick74 said:

My idea was less Rams horn and just coming to an end behind the ear hole. The horns doesn't look bad though and I do like the White helmet the best.

 

Oooooh, thank you for putting it this way. That was what I was trying to do at first, except I attempted to do it by using the Michigan helmet as the base and having the two outer lines peel off at the last second. It looked terrible, and I couldn't figure out how to show it from the back and the sides. After reading your comment, how to do it clicked. I spent my lunch break redoing the white in a way that kind of splits the difference between that and the previous one I posted and it looks much better. They'll definitely use this one, and I'll post it as soon as I get home. 

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And here it is.  I changed the shape of the stripes on the side, made the yellow stripe thicker, and enlarged the bells.  The one on the back is big enough that I could put the player's number in it.  I also enlarged the white space around the logo on the upper chest to make it stand out a little better.

 

1982_new_orleans_krewe_uniform_by_verast

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2 hours ago, Veras said:

And here it is.  I changed the shape of the stripes on the side, made the yellow stripe thicker, and enlarged the bells.  The one on the back is big enough that I could put the player's number in it.  I also enlarged the white space around the logo on the upper chest to make it stand out a little better.

 

1982_new_orleans_krewe_uniform_by_verast

BEAUTIFUL!  With very minor tweaks (to the jersey), I see this being their permanent look...

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2 hours ago, Veras said:

And here it is.  I changed the shape of the stripes on the side, made the yellow stripe thicker, and enlarged the bells.  The one on the back is big enough that I could put the player's number in it.  I also enlarged the white space around the logo on the upper chest to make it stand out a little better.

 

1982_new_orleans_krewe_uniform_by_verast

This is exactly what I had in mind when I made my suggestion for the helmets. You do have a minor goof with one of the helmets, you have the right side of the helmet purple when it should be green.

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That's weird.  I noticed that before I posted and went back and changed it.  I must have forgotten to overwrite the incorrect version?  Either way, here it is corrected.

 

1982_new_orleans_krewe_uniform_by_verast

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That's the ticket. That helmet will never have to be changed. We might see a colour change (Like I said, I could see them replacing yellow with gold in the 90's, ala St. Louis/LA Rams.), but that helmet should never be replaced. Great work, @Veras

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Drop Dead Gorgeous helmet for the Krewe. Even though it takes inspiration from a couple sources, it is a once of kind design that just works beautifully and brilliantly. I can see the Krewe fan base as being one of the most unique and free spirited groups out there. I can see the entire stadium dancing when the Krewe score a touchdown. Makes me want a signature with the new helmet design.

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Do the fans of the Krewe own the team and if not at some point the current owner(s) should sell them to the residents of New Orleans(only to individual people (not Corporations)

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AFA President Helms Removed from Office

Tensions between the AFA Players’ Council (AFAPC) and AFA President Jim Helms came to a head early in the offseason.  On February 13, 1982, St. Louis Aces CB Vic Jacobs, fresh off his rookie of the year season, was involved in a shooting in his hometown of Aliquippa, PN.  Without waiting to uncover the details, Helms announced that Jacobs would be suspended indefinitely.  Less than 48 hours later, the Pennsylvania State Police announced that Jacobs had acted in self-defense, and had likely saved the lives of several people.  Helms waited five days before rescinding the suspension.  The AFAPC openly began discussing going on strike unless Helms was removed.

 

Soon, the Owners’ Council (AFAOC) would show a rare moment of agreement with the union.  On February 28, the League office unveiled the findings of their investigation into the Emerald City Brawl.  Helms had declined to immediately suspend any players involved in the fight, which occurred during the quarterfinals, saying, “There are only three games left this year, and I’d hate to ruin at least one of those by taking talent off the field.  There will be consequences, but they will come at the beginning of the 1982 season.”  Critics accused Helms of favoritism, asserting that he only showed this restraint because of his close relationship with Portland owner Zachary Devin.  These charges were reinforced when the consequences were handed down.

 

The Seattle Grizzlies, whose owner was a vocal critic of Helms, bore the brunt of the punishment.  While this was not necessarily unexpected, given that the fight had involved mostly Grizzlies fans, the imbalance was laughable.  The only Portland player to receive a suspension was DE Denny Jordan, who received 6 games for being the fight’s primary instigator.  Meanwhile, half a dozen Grizzlies were given suspensions from 2 to 6 games, including a 2 game suspension for QB Rob Connery, who had been instrumental in quelling the violence.  Even more egregious in the minds of the owners, was the fact that Seattle was banned from selling tickets to all home games against Portland for the 1982 and 1983 seasons.

 

With this, Helms had pushed too far.  The AFAOC called an emergency meeting, and voted 26-1-1 to fire Helms (Portland didn’t vote, as Devin was in the hospital and the council voted to refuse to accept a proxy).  Unfortunately, finding a replacement was less clean.  13 different men were nominated, and after 53 ballots, the council was at a deadlock.  In the end, former AFA President Dan Szymanski agreed to come out of retirement for one year, at the end of which he would choose a replacement, subject to a straight majority vote from the AFAOC (with the AFAPC getting one vote).

 

Szymanski’s first order of business was to rescind the punishments handed down by Helms, and replace them with far more reasonable sanctions, including a year-long suspension for Denny Jordan and none for Rob Connery.  Rather than restrict ticket sales, he levied a hefty fine against the Grizzlies franchise for inadequate stadium security, and recommended that the team segregate visiting fans into one section, following the example of European soccer.

 

Stadium News

To the surprise of virtually nobody, the Buffalo Stampeders announced their plans to relocate to northern New Jersey.  They will play their games at the recently-completed Future Dome in East Rutheford, NJ.  The stadium will be the first in the AFA to use a retractable roof (though, as of opening day it still doesn’t work yet).  The team will change their name to the New Jersey Sharks.  Logos and uniforms will be revealed in the coming days.

 

Meanwhile, construction was completed on the Kanter Dome in Kansas City, which means that the Crows will be able to open the season in KC after playing at the University of Kansas in 1981.

 

Both the Miami Suns and Philadelphia Railers had hoped to strike new stadium deals, but both were unsuccessful.  However, neither team will leave their current home for now, as each have extended their leases through the 1987 season.

 

Equally important is the fact that the Baltimore Royals haven’t yet reached a deal for a new stadium.  “This is a baseball stadium that was built in 1958,” owner Paul King commented to The Baltimore Sun, “Even if we continue to share with the Bishops (Baltimore’s professional baseball team), it’s time for us to move to a home that wasn’t retrofitted for football.  If that can’t happen in Maryland, we will consider other options.”

 

Coaching Changes

Four teams parted ways with their head coaches in 1982.  Arizona Firebirds coach Nelson Mathis retired at the age of 66, while the Miami Suns, Baltimore Royals, and Houston Hurricanes all fired theirs after short, unsuccessful tenures.

 

The Miami Suns hired perhaps the biggest name on the market when they signed San Diego Destroyers DC Alex Wise.  This was an interesting move both because the Suns had always been known as an offense-first team, and because Wise’s defense in San Diego had a reputation for playing dirty – an image that the Suns have been trying to avoid since the best player in franchise history, QB Bob Sunderland, retired in disgrace in 1979 following a gambling scandal.

 

Houston lured away Cleveland Ghosts OC Rick Peters, who will install a run-first offense and blitz-heavy 4-3 defense.  Arizona hired Colorado Centennials LB coach Billy Larios as HC and New York Imperials WR coach Karl Miller as OC.  The combination of Larios’s aggressive 3-4 defense and Miller’s spread attack will ensure that the Firebirds are one of the league’s most exciting teams on both sides of the ball.  Baltimore looked to the NCAA, hiring UCLA head coach Claud Davidson, who has a reputation for player development – a skill that will certainly come in handy for a team that has owned a large number of early draft picks in recent years.

 

Joey Branson-Greene Trade

The biggest roster news of the offseason came when the defending champion Colorado Centennials traded QB Joey Branson-Greene to Tampa Bay in exchange for a pair of draft picks.  Branson-Greene, who has started for Colorado since he was taken with the third overall pick in 1973, has spent most of his career with the reputation of a game manager who was good at protecting the ball, but didn’t have the talent to win games himself.  He took a major step forward during the Cents’ 14-0 campaign in 1979, when he was an MVP contender, but injuries have taken their toll and he has regressed over the past two years.  At times, he was a liability to the team last season.

 

The decision was made primarily for financial reasons.  The Cents signed All-Pro LB Paulie May and rising superstar CB Mel Spencer to long-term deals, and other key players will need new contracts over the next two seasons (most notably LT Justin Alexander and LB Bob Jonas, both of whom are perennial all-stars and likely future hall of famers).  Branson-Greene’s contract was also expiring, and he wanted to be paid like a championship-winning, MVP candidate QB.  Though there isn’t a salary cap, the team simply couldn’t afford to provide that kind of payday without sacrificing more talented players, and so they sent him off.

 

Branson-Greene will be an immediate starter in Tampa, while the Cents traded for former Aces and Miners signal-caller Steve Beltram, who will enter training camp as the presumptive starter.  They were also expected to bring in a rookie to eventually take the reins.

 

Draft

The 1982 draft class was fairly strong, with pass-rushing ROLB Rick Ortega (SMU), sure-handed WR Audwin Lee (UNC), and workhorse RB Sean Langford (SMU) widely seen as the best available players.  Unfortunately for the Suns, who held the first overall pick, their need was at QB, and the NCAA’s best passer, Bob Obradovic (Washington), chose to return for his senior year.  In fact, none of the signal callers in this year’s draft were rated very highly, and so Miami chose to trade the pick, brilliantly leveraging other franchises against one another for the rights.

 

First, they swapped their first overall pick for Kansas City’s, who held the second spot.  The Crows took Ortega first overall.  Miami then sent the second overall pick to Baltimore, who used it on Audwin Lee.  In the end, the Suns moved from first to fifth overall, while picking up the first-round picks from Baltimore and KC in 1983.  Next year they will have no fewer than three first round picks, and given the talent levels of the teams involved, it’s quite possible that all three picks could fall in the top 5 or 10.  Moreover, though they missed out on Langford (who went to Milwaukee at #3 overall), they instead got Dick Santillan (RB-Penn State) a bruising power back who is probably a better fit for the heavy run scheme that the team intends to implement.

 

Other than that, the most notable picks in the draft were the ones that raised eyebrows.  The Minnesota Angels selected Tim Kewley, a cannon-armed QB from North Carolina at 15th overall, despite the fact that he was generally considered to be a low second-rounder at best.  An even bigger surprise came 11 selections later, when the Destroyers used their first pick to select a kicker, Jeff Austin (Tulsa).  The team explained that they were determined to choose the best available player with each pick, and in their case, that meant Austin.  The Cents, who had secretly hoped to get Kewley with the 28th overall pick, traded out of the first round, and selected John Vessey (QB – E. Illinois) to compete with Beltram for the starting job.  Arguably the most controversial selection was made by the Baltimore Royals in round 3 when they selected Adrian Doom (MLB – Maryland).  Doom is a phenomenally gifted athlete with unparalleled football IQ, but has three arrests on his record for drugs and vandalism; and is not considered to be a good presence in the locker room.  He is already drawing comparisons to former Comets and Miners DT John Stark, whose stellar career was interrupted by a 4-year prison term in the mid-1960s.  If he manages to stay on the field, he could be the steal of the draft.  If not, the Royals threw away the 61st pick for a local who is very popular in the state, despite his troubles.

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That feeling when your favorite team drafts a kicker in the first round:

raw

 

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On 3/4/2017 at 10:55 AM, KittSmith_95 said:

Also, it's not so much the shape of the Gladiators shoulders as it was the colours for me. And now that I've looked at it again, it's not as bad as I thought & looks fine. Sorry. 

Nothing to apologize for, I'm always looking for feedback, even if it's critical.  I mean, look at how much the Krewe helmets improved as a result of the feedback I received.

 

As for the specifics in this case though, I can see what you're saying, but I'm not going to make the change at this time.  Detroit will probably get one more logo change sometime after the turn of the century, and I suspect that the final design will probably look a bit more like what you're thinking.

 

On 3/4/2017 at 5:03 PM, Red Comet said:
On 3/4/2017 at 5:00 PM, ChicagoOakland said:

I'm half expecting someone to pull a Baltimore Colts-style move in addition to the "unsurprising relocation" just to mix things up. You never know what drama may unfold in the AFA...

 

My bets are on the Baltimore Royals doing this. I believe the lease is up after this season or the next on their stadium. Maybe they're coming home?

 

Speaking of which, can we see what the stadium situations are like going into this season again?  

Baltimore is probably the best candidate for an unexpected move right now - after all the franchise has already relocated once before, they'll obviously be willing to do it again.  They're unlikely to go back to Richmond, however.  Since their departure, Virginia has fallen hard into the Wasps fanbase (3 Victory Bowls in 4 years will do that).  There are a few cities that have already started trying to woo the Royals, however, most notably Indianapolis, Louisville, and Birmingham.

 

As to your second question, in addition to the information I brought up in the offseason post, there are three teams with leases expiring before 1987.  Baltimore at the end of this season, Los Angeles in 1984, and Milwaukee in 1985.

 

What happens with the Royals depends on how things go this year.  The team wants a downtown indoor stadium, but state and local governments have balked at the price.  If negotiations go well throughout the course of the season, they're likely to extend their lease.  If not, things could get very interesting.

 

There isn't a lot of suspense for L.A. and Milwaukee.  The Comets are going to extend their lease at the Coliseum, probably by 10 years.  The Wolves, on the other hand, is a virtual lock for a new stadium.  Their current home, Milwaukee Municipal Stadium (MMS) is almost without question the worst venue in the league.  It was built in 1919, making it the oldest stadium in the league, and while the other venues at the top of this list (the Coliseum in LA and Dever Stadium in Chicago) are considered classic pieces of architecture, MMS is just old.  The turf is falling apart; the building is ugly and blighted by rust; there is a racetrack around the field, which keeps the fans far away from the action; the stadium lacks modern amenities; and even with uncomfortable temporary bleacher seating, only 7 AFA stadiums seat fewer than its 63,250.

 

10 hours ago, eick74 said:

Drop Dead Gorgeous helmet for the Krewe. Even though it takes inspiration from a couple sources, it is a once of kind design that just works beautifully and brilliantly. I can see the Krewe fan base as being one of the most unique and free spirited groups out there. I can see the entire stadium dancing when the Krewe score a touchdown. Makes me want a signature with the new helmet design.

The Krewe fanbase is definitely pretty wild.  One of the things that I like about this helmet design is that Krewe fans often attend games wearing jester hats with football facemasks on them.  The team's helmet will now match that prop reasonably well.

 

2 hours ago, nick_crenshaw82 said:

Do the fans of the Krewe own the team and if not at some point the current owner(s) should sell them to the residents of New Orleans(only to individual people (not Corporations)

No, the team is owned by Dwayne Carp, a native of the region who made his fortune as the owner of a cruise line.  Actually, he was an expansion council character created by @DNAsports for a previous expansion council.

 

34 minutes ago, ChicagoOakland said:

That feeling when your favorite team drafts a kicker in the first round:

raw

 

For what it's worth, it's kind of a good sign.  They don't have that many holes, which gave them the luxury of picking the best player available (and Jeff Austin is widely perceived as having the potential to be one of the best kickers in the league (and their former kicker, Johnny Fry, was very unimpressive - he probably cost the team 2-3 wins over the past 2 years).  The team's biggest needs were at wideout and defensive back, but there wasn't really any first round talent at those positions by the time the Destroyers got on the board.  They spent a few picks on those positions, however, and their 5th round pick, wideout Jerry King (SMU) has looked incredible in training camp.  He's undersized at 5'7", and his measurables are all unimpressive (he's not the fastest or the strongest player on the field), but he is amazing at finding soft spots in coverage, and has fantastic instincts when running after the catch.  Rockie Bell, the best receiver in the franchise's young history, has already said that King will be the best wideout on the team by next season.

 

5 minutes ago, Darknes said:

How was Boston's Draft?

It went pretty well for them.  Their top pick, Dave Keiser is expected to be the top receiver from day 1.  They would have liked to get Audwin Lee, but they were not involved in the scramble to try and trade up for him.  The team is quietly improving, and should be competing for a playoff spot within the next few years.  Actually, if they were in a weaker division, they might be ready to compete now, but having to play 6 games in total against Pittsburgh, New York, and New Jersey means that they have a tough road to walk.

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So, how did Portland do in the offseason this year? I know we lost that DE, but are any of Portlands picks interesting or intriguing in some way?

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Finally a defensive cornerstone, now let's get better KC!!

 

On the Krewe's new look, well:

IMG_1212.GIF

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My Stampeders are leaving buffalo, not much of a suprise, can't wait to see what we will evolve into!

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39 minutes ago, FDW said:

So, how did Portland do in the offseason this year? I know we lost that DE, but are any of Portlands picks interesting or intriguing in some way?

The Dragons made the playoffs last year, but they're really not a particularly talented team, so I would expect several rookies to make big contributions this year.  Their first pick was a wideout out of Arizona State named David Guy.  He's not the most exciting player ever, but he's durable, hardworking, and makes his teammates better.  They also picked up a couple of offensive linemen who should compete for playing time.  They also took a long shot on Francis Rhames (QB - West Virginia) in the 7th round.  He only had 9 starts in college, and was incredibly uneven.  Their hope is that with time to develop, he can be a solid starter in the AFA, but he's largely an unknown quantity.

 

26 minutes ago, RedfieldNick said:

Finally a defensive cornerstone, now let's get better KC!!

 

On the Krewe's new look, well:

Ha, I'm not sure that you can say "finally" in their second year of existence, but the fan base is definitely excited.  With a franchise QB already in place, and a potential superstar on the other side of the ball, the Crows are laying the foundations early to be a very dangerous team.

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Are the Sharks carrying over the Stampeders colors or are they getting totally new colors?

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