Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1984 Offseason)

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For the 1950 season, the AFA Owners Council voted to adopt new standards for the uniforms. The most obvious change was the move to adopt plastic helmets. They also slightly shortened the sleeves on the jersey, and set new rules for the colors of the uniforms. The 1949 championship game had been filmed, but in the black and white footage, it was impossible to distinguish between Pittsburgh's black and grey uniforms and Richmond's purple and gold. Feeling that the future of the league lay in television, the owners voted to require one team to wear a dark jersey and one team to wear a light jersey during each game. Practically speaking, this meant that each team needed to adopt uniforms with at least one dark jersey option and at least one light jersey option (white, grey, and yellow were initially adopted as acceptable light colors).

First up is the Baltimore Legion. They made only two minor tweaks: removing the stripes from the sleeves, which were seen as too old-fashioned, and adding a gold stripe to the helmet.

1946_baltimore_legion_uniform_by_verasth

1950_baltimore_legion_uniform_by_verasth

Second is the Boston Captains, who did make more considerable changes. First, they began wearing a darker, bolder shade of green, and began using white in their designs. They removed they belly stripes, and instead added four stripes to both their sleeves and their socks. This is a reference to the fact that a U.S. Navy Captain wore four stripes on their shoulder marks. They also began wearing an alternate white jersey once each year, usually when they visited their western division opponent.

1946_boston_captains_by_verasthebrujah-d

1950_boston_captains_uniform_by_verasthe

I welcome C&C both on the uniforms and the new template.

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As we continue the transition to the new uniforms, up next is the Chicago Butchers. They made one of the most complete overhauls, adding black to the dark red and white that they had used for the previous thirty years. They also wore a special alternate for one game in 1950 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their first season. They got their start as a football club for graduates of the three major football universities in Illinois: Northwestern, the University of Illinois, and the University of Chicago. Until World War I, the team was nicknamed the Chicago Threes, and took their colors from the universities: maroon from Chicago; orange from Illinois, and purple from Northwestern. The 50th anniversary uniform is a reasonably accurate remake of the original uniform using modern equipment.

1946_chicago_butchers_uniform_by_verasth

1950_chicago_butchers_uniform_by_verasth

Next up is the Guardians of Cincinnati. Having had an enormous amount of success, they chose to make no change to their design whatsoever.

1946_guardians_of_cincinnati_uniform_by_

1950_cincinnati_guardians_uniform_by_ver

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Nice Job buddy! Really like it!

If you have relocation,here are some suggestions:

Indianapolis

Portland

Los Angeles

Dallas

Houston

Green Bay

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I'm confused as to why you have St. Louis in the eastern division when it is the western most team in the league.

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Nice Job buddy! Really like it!

If you have relocation,here are some suggestions:

Indianapolis

Portland

Los Angeles

Dallas

Houston

Green Bay

The league will be expanding for the 1952 season with the goal of expanding into the South and to the Pacific. Four new teams will be added, one of which will certainly be in Los Angeles, the second will probably be San Francisco or Oakland (though Seattle and Portland aren't out of the question). The last two will be in the South, and I am currently leaning toward Houston and New Orleans, though Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami are in the picture as well. The same year, one team will relocate, most likely to Milwaukee or Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Actually, I'm having trouble coming up with names. The potential New Orleans franchise would be a defector from the Dixie Football League, whose season ends in February, around the time of Mardi Gras. As such, I would like to give them a Mardi Gras related name. What do you think of the Masqueraders?

Indianapolis may get a team in the future, but in the early 1950s, the city was still too small (only Richmond was smaller, and only Providence wasn't more than twice as large), so nobody is going to relocate there yet. Green Bay is unlikely to ever get a team. If one goes to Wisconsin, it will be in Milwaukee, which is a much larger city. I will, however, eventually put a team in either Portland or Vancouver.

I'm confused as to why you have St. Louis in the eastern division when it is the western most team in the league.

The St. Louis Aces were located in Philadelphia prior to 1948, and the association didn't redraw the divisions when they relocated (doing so would have broken up the traditional rivalry between the Railers and the Miners). When the AFA expands in 1952, the divisions will be redrawn, and St. Louis will be put in one that is more geographically appropriate.

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New Orleans Motley.

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What about New Orleans Revelers? The names that I was leaning toward for the other cities were Houston Hurricanes/Wildcats; Los Angeles Comets; and San Francisco or Oakland Whales. Any thoughts on that?

Anyway, here are the next two teams: the Cleveland Ghosts and Detroit Gladiators.

The only change that Cleveland made was a slight modification to the stripes on their sleeves:

1946_cleveland_ghosts_by_verasthebrujah-

1950_cleveland_ghost_uniform_by_verasthe

Detroit, similarly, kept their colors the same and slightly changed their striping:

1946_detroit_gladiators_uniform_by_veras

1950_detroit_gladiators_uniform_by_veras

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I like this a bunch. The designs here are great and I love the league logo.

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For New Orleans I'd go with Krewe as the name

I like this idea a lot. It is uniquely New Orleans and connects to Mardi Gras in exactly the way that I want. The only problem is that the earliest documented use is 1936, and the team is at least 10 years older than that. I suppose I could say that they had a different name (Gators?), but won a string of championships in the late thirties. Playing in the championship games meant that they were playing during Mardi Gras, which prompted the name change.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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For New Orleans I'd go with Krewe as the name

I like this idea a lot. It is uniquely New Orleans and connects to Mardi Gras in exactly the way that I want. The only problem is that the earliest documented use is 1936, and the team is at least 10 years older than that. I suppose I could say that they had a different name (Gators?), but won a string of championships in the late thirties. Playing in the championship games meant that they were playing during Mardi Gras, which prompted the name change.

Thanks for the suggestion.

What you could do is maybe a franchise have a short existence in another city THEN move to New Orleans in the mid to late 30s

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Here are two more new uniforms for the 1950 change, starting with the New York Imperials.

The Imperials were consistently one of the best teams in their league before the formation of the AFA, and they maintained their level of success, winning the AFA title in each of its first three years. With such a strong tradition of success, they didn't want to modify their look, and, as a result, the only change is that a stripe was added to the helmet.

1946_new_york_imperials_by_verasthebruja

1950_new_york_imperials_uniform_by_veras

The Philadelphia Railers were one of the most likely candidates for a complete overhaul, but ended up only modifying (and modernizing) the striping on the pants. The black and gold colors, which were drawn from the flag of Pittsburgh when the team was still in that city, are relatively unpopular with the fans in Philadelphia, and there have been calls for changing the team's colors to red, white, and blue. However, the owner likes the current look, and is reluctant to make the change for the moment.

1946_pittsburgh_philadelphia_railers_uni

1950_philadelphia_railers_uniform_by_ver

There are now only four teams left to show, and then we can start moving forward again.

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Today, I have two more uniforms and one potential logo change.

First is the defending champion Pittsburgh Miners. As they redesigned their uniforms in 1949, they changed literally nothing in 1950, with the exception of adopting the new uniform standards.

Before:

1949_pittsburgh_miners_uniform_by_verast

After:

1950_pittsburgh_miners_uniform_by_verast

The Providence Angels did a complete redesign. They dropped the gold and darkened the blue in an attempt to create a much bolder, stronger look.

1946_providence_angels_uniform_by_verast

1950_providence_angels_uniform_by_verast

I am also considering giving them a new logo, but I'm not thrilled with the result. The old logo is on the left, the new one is on the right. I think the new one (which is made of a swan's wing) is more faithful to the time, but it is almost an exact replica of the one used by the Los Angeles/California Angeles in the 1960s. C&C on this would be immensely helpful.

providence_options_by_verasthebrujah-d7p

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First, I made a revision to the potential new Angels logo. In the first I forgot to change the color of the A to match the new blue that they use. I also added a halo, even though the team doesn't wear gold anymore.

1950_providence_angels_by_verasthebrujah

I am also only doing one uniform change with this post: the Richmond Royals. Like Providence, Richmond also adopted a new logo.

1950_richmond_royals_logo_by_verasthebru

I didn't repost their previous logo because it was just the crown that I used in this one. This isn't necessarily a final draft. I think there is still something wrong with the king's head, but I can't quite get it right. C&C is welcome.

The revisions to their uniform were fairly minor: they changed the color of their socks. However, they also painted a crown onto their helmets, making them the first team to put anything on their helmets that didn't accentuate a feature of the helmet (such as the stripe down the middle or the wings on the leather one).

1946_richmond_royals_by_verasthebrujah-d

1950_richmond_royals_uniform_by_verasthe

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Finally, the final team for the 1950 redesign: the St. Louis Aces. The only change that they made was the fact that they embraced the use of white, dropping their secondary yellow jerseys, and even adding an all white alternate.

1948_st__louis_aces_uniform_by_verastheb

1950_st__louis_aces_uniform_by_verastheb

With all of the design changes for the 1950 season revealed, here are the results of that season:

1950_season_by_verasthebrujah-d7pr35z.jp

Perhaps the greatest drama of the distinctly dull 1950 season happened month before the season even began. Former Cincinnati superstar quarterback Wendell Ridley, who had retired at the end of the 1948 season, returned to the team as head coach. He did well in his first season as coach, leading the Guardians to second place in the Western Division (after they had fallen to fifth the previous season).

However, there was little suspense in the race for either division title. New York, as they had done so often, dominated the East while Chicago dominated the West. Despite their three consecutive AFA championships (1946-1948), this was the first time that New York earned the right to host the game, and they were heavily favored to win (New York had defeated the Butchers 16-6 just seven weeks earlier).

The 1950 championship game was as exciting as the regular season had been disappointing. The two teams battled back and forth for the entire game, with six lead changes including a 21-yard New York field goal that tied the game with just over two minutes remaining. Neither team was able to break the deadlock, which led to the first overtime in AFA history. Seven minutes later, New York kicked another field goal to win their fourth title and remain undefeated in postseason play.

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1951 Season Results:

1951_season_by_verasthebrujah-d7q57gz.jp

As was the case in 1950, the Chicago Butchers dominated the Western Division. In fact, their 10-1-1 record was the best ever posted at the time. Detroit finished at 8-4, but were blown out by the Butchers twice during the regular season, leaving little doubt that they would be unable to claim the division title.

The Eastern Division, on the other hand, had the most competitive season that the AFA had ever seen. Four teams finished with 7 or 8 wins. In the end, the New York Imperials (7-3-2) and Boston Captains (8-4) tied with 16 Victory Points, which forced the first playoff game in AFA history. By vote of the Owners' Council, the game was held in New York. The Imperials were heavy favorites: they had won their previous five games against Boston, had never lost to the Captains at home, and hadn't lost a postseason game since before the creation of the AFA.

However, the Captains stunned the football world with a 23-13 victory thanks to the extraordinary play of quarterback Greg Motta. Unfortunately for the Captains, they had to play another game a week later against the well-rested and very talented Chicago Butchers. The game began fairly evenly, and the Captains even managed to take a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter, but Motta broke the thumb on his throwing hand on the team's next possession and was knocked out of the game. Chicago scored 20 unanswered points on their way to a 27-10 victory.

At this point, the AFA was still basically a regional league which had no presence south of Virginia or west of St. Louis. It competed with two other regional professional leagues: the Pacific League (PL) and the Dixie Football League (DFL), both of which were facing financial difficulties, and were being kept afloat by the popularity of one or two very successful teams each. Since 1950, the AFA Owners' Council had been in negotiation with these teams in an attempt to poach them from their respective leagues. This would 1) expand the AFA's footprint across the entire country, and 2) destroy their competitor leagues. Shortly before the 1951 AFA Championship game, it was announced that deals had been reached with four teams (two from the PL and two from the DFL) to join the AFA, effective the following season.

The New Orleans Krewe, Houston Hurricanes, Los Angeles Comets, and San Francisco Whales began play in 1952. Additionally, the Providence Angels were sold and relocated to Minneapolis to become the Minnesota Angels. Their colors and logo remained unchanged.

The first new team is the Houston Hurricanes. They had dominated the DFL since World War II, and hadn't lost a game in three years. The agreed to make the switch to the AFA in the hopes that having better opponents would help them overcome the popularity of college football in Texas.

The shape of the logo is based on the National Hurricane Research Center's original logo (1956). The font is Cherry Cream Soda, which (I think) has a very 50's look to it. I am considering removing the text altogether, or replacing it with one capital H that crosses the boundary between the blue and the orange.

For the colors, I originally wanted to do something like what the Houston Oilers wore, but eventually decided against putting a team in Houston that looks like the Oilers. I experimented with different shades of blue and different shades of red and orange, and eventually decided on this. You apparently can't tell, but there is a white outline around the entire shape of the same thickness as the line between the blue and orange.

1952_houston_hurricanes_logo_by_verasthe

As for the uniforms: they are the only team in professional football (not just the AFA) to have their logo (sans the text) on the side of their helmet. This was added this year, after the owner saw (and liked) the crown on the Richmond Royals helmet.

1952_houston_hurricanes_uniform_by_veras

C&C is appreciated.

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Nice job with Houston!

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Up next is the other Dixie Football League defector, the New Orleans Krewe (thanks to DNAsports for the name suggesstion). The Krewe dominated the DFL in the 1930s, and continued their success after World War II, winning the DFL title in 1946 and 1947. However, by 1949 Houston had firmly established themselves as the best team in the league, and defeated them in four consecutive Dixie Bowls. Basically, the team has been stuck in limbo. They are much, much better than everyone else in the league, but aren't quite good enough to beat Houston.

The DFL's season(which began later than the AFA or college football season) ended in mid-February, which meant that the Dixie Bowl was played around the time of Mardi Gras. As the team, which was formerly known as the Gators, so frequently hosted the championship game around Mardi Gras, they came to be closely associated with the event. This eventually led the team to adopt Krewe as their nickname, and base their identity on Mardi Gras.

The result of this is that the logo and uniforms are a bit over the top. The colors are taken from the Mardi Gras flag. The masks of comedy and tragedy are also symbols of Mardi Gras, while the crescent shape is a reference to the city's nickname (the Crescent City), and the three fleurs de lis are from the city's flag.

1952_new_orleans_krewe_logo_by_verastheb

The uniforms are also pretty wacky. The shoulder stripes on the white jersey (which they would wear at home) as well as the pants form the three colors of the Mardi Gras flag when viewed from the side. This idea is apparently less weird than I thought, as the New Orleans Hornets have actually done basically the same thing.

1952_new_orleans_krewe_uniform_by_verast

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That is probably the most amazing New Orleans concept I've seen here in awhile. You really did your research on this concept. I mean most people HERE don't know that Mardi Gras has a flag.

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That is probably the most amazing New Orleans concept I've seen here in awhile. You really did your research on this concept. I mean most people HERE don't know that Mardi Gras has a flag.

Yup! It's beautiful.

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