Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1986 Postseason: Quarterfinals)

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CodeG    60

I like the 'newer' logo but I prefer the way the old helmet looked

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Veras    429

1982_season_by_verasthebrujah-db39uhj.jp

 

After an awful end to the 1981 season and an eventful offseason, the Seattle Grizzlies kicked off 1982 looking for blood.  They opened the year by stomping the Arizona Firebirds 45-0 in Phoenix, and took a 20-3 lead into halftime week 2 at Minnesota.  However, their season took a turn for the worse on the opening drive of the second half when Angels safety David Arrow hit QB Rob Connery in the knee on a blitz, tearing the quarterback’s ACL and MCL.  Connery’s season was over, and there is a very real possibility that he will never play again.  With backup Mike Bethea under center, Seattle blew their 17 point lead against Minnesota, and then dropped three consecutive games.  Sitting at 1-4, the Grizzlies turned to second-year signal caller Rick Ivery, who found almost immediate success, breathing life back into the offense and leading the team to victories in 9 of their final 11 games, including a thrilling overtime win in San Diego in the season finale to clinch the division title (though San Diego’s 10-6 record did earn them a fourth consecutive postseason berth, where they will fill the 7th seed).  The Grizzlies will enter the postseason with the 6th seed, but they are 10-2 in games where Bethea didn’t play, and nobody wants to try their luck against this team.

 

While almost every division title was hotly contested this year, the North (uncharacteristically) proved to be the league’s toughest.  Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincinnati combined for a 29-7 record against the league’s other teams.

 

The Cleveland Ghosts ended up taking the division title.  RB Ezekiel Dogwood, who was a team captain and fan favorite, made it known during the offseason that 1982 would be his final campaign.  The Ghosts spent all year playing under the mantra, “win one for Zeke.”  The urgency of this call only increased when Dogwood suffered a broken wrist in early December, which had the potential knock him out for the remainder of the season.  To help fill the void left by his mentor, 23-year old power back Jose Ortuno stepped up, rushing for 686 yards and 9 touchdowns in December alone on his way to the league MVP award.  Despite their difficult schedule, the Ghosts roared into the postseason at 14-2, which means that the road to the Victory Bowl will run through Cleveland.

 

The Detroit Gladiators and Cincinnati Guardians battled it out for second place, though it seemed likely for most of the year that both would earn wildcard berths.  Both teams were very young, and drew their success from the play of trios of budding stars.  For the Guardians, the most important players were on the offensive side of the ball.  QB Reggie Hart, RB Jim Hill, and TE Vic Meredith were all phenomenally talented on their own, and their skills complimented each other perfectly, making it possible for them to be dangerous in virtually any situation.  While they could put up points against anyone, the team (and especially the defense) had the tendency to crumble under pressure.  4 of the team’s 6 losses came in overtime, which has led many to question whether or not the young squad is ready for the high stakes of playoff football.  The Gladiators, on the other hand, rode the strength of a tremendous draft class back to relevance.  ROLB Donald Turner (R1 - Washington), LOLB John Schneider (R5 - New Mexico), and FS Eddie Kosakowski (R3 - West Virginia) all earned starting spots in training camp, and then took the league by storm.  Despite an uneven offense, this was good to lock up the second seed, marking the second time in league history that a pair of division rivals have both earned homefield advantage throughout the postseason.  The Guardians went 10-6, earning the 4th seed on tiebreakers, and snapping a record 23-year long playoff drought.

 

The Northeastern Division was nearly as tightly contested (as has been typical in recent years), as the New York Imperials, Pittsburgh Miners, and Boston Captains engaged in a three way dogfight for the title.  The scrappy Captains, who were a surprise participant in the race, held or were tied for the lead for 6 weeks in October and November, but a 2-2 December, combined with a strong finish from the Imperials and Miners led all three teams to finish at 10-6.  New York won the division on tiebreakers, while Pittsburgh took a wildcard spot.  They will own the two lowest postseason seeds, while Boston, once again, will be on the outside looking in.  Sadly for fans of the newly-relocated New Jersey Sharks, their first season in the Garden State was an unmitigated disaster.  After winning two games to open the season, the team fell apart, with injuries, a lack of discipline, low morale, and poor play leading to 10 consecutive losses and a 3-13 finish.  On the bright side, this will allow the Sharks to claim the second overall draft pick (behind Milwaukee) in a year with an incredibly top-heavy class.

 

The Southern Division displayed remarkable parity.  Going into the season, the Texas Stallions were the overwhelming favorites, but they faced a challenge from every team in the division.  The Houston Hurricanes enjoyed a surprisingly successful season, doubling their win total from a year ago.  An upset over the Stallions in Dallas in October even put them into position to win the division title for a time, but bad losses to St. Louis and Arizona over the next two weeks quickly cost them that chance.  The Krewe also improved over last year, but in the end, neither team could dethrone the Stallions, who won their fourth consecutive division title and earned the 5th seed.  The Stallions, who are typically a somewhat unpredictable team, were even more so than usual this year.  They went just 2-4 against their own weak division, but were able to secure victories against some very talented outside teams, including Colorado, Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit.  How they do in the postseason depends on which version of them shows up.  Nobody will be surprised if they win it all, nor if they’re blown out in their first game.

 

The two least competitive divisions, the Southeast and the Central, also saw some surprising shakeups.  The Baltimore Royals went 10-6, posting their first winning record since 1973 and winning their first division title since 1971.  Atlanta, Washington, and Tampa Bay, all of which had serious playoff aspirations, were all the picture of mediocrity.  It seems that time has caught up with the Wasps, inexperience prevented the Bobcats from repeating their division title, and the Rebels simply have too many holes on their roster.

 

In the Central Division, the defending champion Colorado Centennials were under constant pressure from the upstart St. Louis Aces and the over-the-hill Minnesota Angels.  However, as the season wore on, Minnesota took the lead, and continued to solidify their advantage as a number of key veterans began to look ageless (the play of RE Lee Thomas was particularly noteworthy, as he recorded 19 sacks, setting a high record in the first year that the AFA officially tracked it as a statistic).  However, in the end, it was quarterback play that separated the three teams.  Though Angels rookie Tim Kewley was far from spectacular, he was good enough to keep opposing defenses from loading the box on every play.  The same could not be said for the various starters employed by the Aces and Cents.  Minnesota finished 11-5, which was good for the third overall seed.

 

The 1982 postseason looks like one that could be full of upsets.  Three of the top five teams (Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincinnati) are very young and inexperienced, one is very old (Minnesota), and the other is the Texas Stallions, a team synonymous with inconsistency.  It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see a low-seed team make a run this year.

 

1982_afa_playoffs_by_verasthebrujah-db39

 

AFA Magazine Wildcard Predictions

 

Detroit Gladiators vs Pittsburgh Miners

 

One of the great postseason rivalries in AFA history is back!  These two teams faced off four Victory Bowls between 1960 and 1966, with the Miners winning 3 of the 4 (the Gladiators went 10-1 in the postseason against everyone else during that span).  This matchup is expected to be very low-scoring.  Both offenses lack firepower, and both defenses have some serious playmakers.  Despite having gone 11-5 and holding the higher seed, the Miners are the narrow favorites.  The Gladiators are a team who rely heavily on the play of a very young roster who will be unaccustomed to the pressures of an AFA playoff game, and it is unlikely that they will have a way to deal with Pittsburgh’s defensive superstars.  Pittsburgh, 24-20

 

Guardians of Cincinnati vs San Diego Destroyers

 

Two teams with wildly different styles match up here, so who has the advantage?  Cincinnati’s speed or San Diego’s power?  It’s hard to see the Destroyers keeping Reggie Hart contained all day, and it’s unclear if anyone on their defense has the athleticism to deal with Vic Meredith.  On the other hand, San Diego has a winning pedigree while Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House when Cincinnati last saw the postseason.  The Guardians have an amazing core of players who could win several titles over the next few years, but right now they don’t have the maturity to win in January.  San Diego, 17-10.

Edited by Veras
Fixed an error - I said that New Jersey will pick first, it's actually Milwaukee.

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Dan O'Mac    194

Here's hoping the Angels can send Dan Szymanski off into retirement (again) with a parade through the Twin Cities!

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CodeG    60

"Win one for Zeke"!!!! This is our year, we're going to take the Victory Bowl!!!

 

my picks

Pittsburgh old guys over Gladiators la Roma

 

Go Diego Go over Chokers of Cincinnati 

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MBurmy    428

At LOOOONG last, the Guardians are back in the playoffs!  I think they're the team we'll all be rooting for to win the Victory Bowl at last...

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Red Comet    35

If the Guardians win this game, they would've doubled their number of playoff victories. Only team that has been worse with at least 5 playoff appearances has been the San Francisco/California Whales with an 0-5 playoff record.

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Veras    429

I didn't talk about it in the writeup, but that game has a couple of vengeance storylines in it.  The most obvious is Reggie Hart:  remember, San Diego had the first overall pick the year he came out of college, but they (and everybody else) passed on him.  This will be the first time that Hart and Walter Dodd will go head-to-head, and you had better believe that Reggie is looking to embarrass somebody.

 

The other is Guardians MLB B.B. Bedini, who San Diego drafted out of Minnesota in 1977.  He made some solid contributions to the Destroyers over the next 5 years, including an interception in the 35th Victory Bowl win.  However, the team was disappointed with his lack of progress, especially in pass coverage, and decided to part ways with him last offseason.  He ended up signing with Cincinnati, where he has been a major contributor on defense.  Like Hart, he is looking to show San Diego that they made a mistake.

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Red Comet    35

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

 

If DET beats PIT and CIN beats SD

 

Quarterfinal Matchups

NY at CLE

BAL at DET

SEA at MIN

TEX at  CIN

 

If DET beats PIT and SD beats CIN

NY at CLE

BAL at DET

SD at MIN

SEA at TEX

 

If PIT beats DET and CIN beats SD

PIT at CLE

NY at MIN

BAL at CIN

SEA at TEX

 

If PIT beats DET and SD beats CIN

PIT at CLE

NY at MIN

BAL at TEX

SD at SEA

 

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?

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Red-Knight    2

Yes! finally get to see that seeded number next to the guardians name. And dang what a fight in most of the divisions this year! hopefully the guardians can pull one out and not choke! Also, I love the Victory Bowl logo, spot on for the period and I think you nailed the use of stroke for the era!

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Jimmy Lethal    242

[looks at New Jersey's record]

 

jesus christ how horrifying

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MBurmy    428

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

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BengalSteve    4

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)

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RBronish    239
On ‎3‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 10:36 AM, Veras said:

 

 

1982_afa_playoffs_by_verasthebrujah-db39

 

 

What is the name of the stadium in Arlington?

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ImmortalChef    243
19 hours ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

[looks at New Jersey's record]

 

jesus christ how horrifying

Only my Jersey can start in such horrible fashion

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RightGuard    8

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?

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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. 

 

I am also liking the Victory Bowl logo. Very clean and simple which is good for this era. I cant wait to see the results of this post season! Great work again keeping me on the edge of my seat! 

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Asterix777    49

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?

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