Veras

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

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Zandandido    2
43 minutes ago, Goran The Man said:

Poor Wasps...was there quarterback instability in 1986 for them? It surely wouldn't be a good time to be a Wasps fan. 1-15 is not a good sign at all (though 1st pick will help).

Let's just hope the #1 pick is a good pick.

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9 minutes ago, Zandandido said:

Let's just hope the #1 pick is a good pick.

It's very important - if a QB is expected to be top spot in the draft the Wasps would surely take it (unless there are other areas they need to improve on). That being said, we don't know what the draft talent pool will appear to be like - will it be typical, weak or strong? It all comes down to Veras.

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KittSmith_95    628

The Krewe end up taking a step back this year. :( I just hope Minor had a good year. 

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DNAsports    510

It's a bit disappointing to see the Krewe turn into a middle-of-the-pack team. Hopefully they turn it around soon and win a title or two in the 90s.

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RedfieldNick    194
1 hour ago, Red Comet said:

3-13!? How the $&@! did that happen? Did Benham get knocked out or did the defense soil the bed all year?

Or did Benham turn into Alex Smith and couldn't throw more than 10 yards without pissing his pants?

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Dan O'Mac    192

I'm picking Angels and Captains in the Wild Card, giving Miami a home playoff game against the Hurricanes...

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Asterix777    49

I get the unfortunate feeling this might be the last hurrah for Tom Blitz and this current core. And even though the Guardians have looked unbeatable, i still remember the Cents that did go unbeaten and lost in the first round...

 

Cents over Ghosts in the VB, with The Guardians upset in the semifinals.

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Veras    428
On 9/8/2017 at 4:00 PM, neo_prankster said:

Which former AFA players and coaches have made the smoothest transitions to the broadcast booth or the studio show?

 

So basically, no celebrity owners in the USFA, right?

 

One last thing, about those legal disclaimers. I mean, the ones where they say...

By the '85 AFA campaign, disclaimers like these are recited by the play by play announcer in the middle of the action, correct? Could the USFA be the ones to introduce standardized bumpers like the NFL has used since '98, or could the AFA adopt them later?

Probably the most popular commentator is Stanley McKay, who had a very successful career as a linebacker during Detroit's 60s dynasty.  He's known for breaking into humorous rants riddled with wordplay and alliteration, particularly when criticizing the game plan or a player's perfromance.  He is also known for adding absurdities to the end of the legal warning you mentioned - things like suggesting that the league was having Willie Krause train a team of weasel assassins to punish those who violate the copyright.

 

There probably won't be any celebrity owners, though the Disney Corporation has expressed interest in owning a team in Anaheim or Orlando.

 

17 hours ago, ChicagoOakland said:

Good lord, the Rebels fell off the face of the Earth...and that Wasps team has to be one of the worst teams to ever take the field in the modern AFA.

Also, great to know my Destroyers are stuck in mediocrity. Sigh.

Yeah, they had a bad Victory Bowl hangover, and the coaching change turned out to matter a lot more than expected.  That, combined with a tougher division this year, contributed to the drop off.  And, to be honest, they probably overperformed last year and underperfromed this year.  I would expect them to bounce back in 1987.

 

16 hours ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

And the Sharks disappoint me again. Boss.

The Sharks might just be kind of bad right now.  They have drafted very well over the past two or three years (RB Bret Rivers is likely to supplant his former Miami Hurricanes teammate Jose Ortuno as the best back in the league over the next few years), but the traditional core of the team has aged rapidly.  Dick Katz and Frank Veenhuizen are now both average on a good day, and of course, Jim Gore is gone.

 

The team may have some lean years ahead, but between Rivers and a few young defensive stars in the making, this is likely to be a pretty quick rebuild.

 

14 hours ago, Davidellias said:

Welp, I come back and the Wasps are 1-15

12 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

Poor Wasps...was there quarterback instability in 1986 for them? It surely wouldn't be a good time to be a Wasps fan. 1-15 is not a good sign at all (though 1st pick will help).

13 hours ago, Zandandido said:

Let's just hope the #1 pick is a good pick.

It's very important - if a QB is expected to be top spot in the draft the Wasps would surely take it (unless there are other areas they need to improve on). That being said, we don't know what the draft talent pool will appear to be like - will it be typical, weak or strong? It all comes down to Veras.

This was just a bad year for the Wasps.  They never really had an AFA-calibur QB on the team, and went through four starters.  Making matters worse is that the roster was largely aware that this was going to be a garbage season, which badly hurt team morale.  Additionally, two members of the team passed away in unrelated incidents.  TE Eddie York, a rookie who was fighting for a roster spot suffered a fatal heat stroke during training camp.  Then, just two months later, during a game against the Los Angeles Comets, CB/KR Jeff Overstreet suffered a torn inferior vena cava during a kick return.  He started to walk off the field, then collapsed, becoming the first AFA player to ever suffer a fatal injury during a game.

 

Overstreet's death in particular drained team morale.  He was very much a role-player on the team, but he was well-respected in the locker room and the community, and his lighthearted nature was badly missed.

 

EDIT:  I forgot to talk about the draft.

 

The Wasps will definitely take a quarterback.  There are two likely candidates, both of whom are named Troy.  Troy Harwood (Penn St.) is a flashy, confident gunslinger who has an unusual throwing motion that uses his long, lanky arm to almost whip the ball forward with tremendous velocity.  Troy Lopinski (Stanford) is actually a bit boring to watch.  He's quiet, but incredibly intelligent (he chose Stanford for its academics), and is best known for his incredible ability to protect the ball.  Early rumors have them more interested in Harwood, who is seen as a strong leader and franchise QB, whereas some view Lopinski as a glorified game manager.

 

13 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

The Guardians kept their strong form going - now that they have the monkey off the back, they could easily win the Victory Bowl again! Colorado showed they didn't conk out and the Centennials can push for it even when St. Mark retired - I think they will make it to the Victory Bowl unless Cleveland face them in the playoffs (it may be in Denver, but the Ghosts are the Cents' bogey team).

 

My prediction for the 41st Victory Bowl will be an Ohio derby between Cincinnati and Cleveland, with the Guardians going back-to-back.

Yeah, both Cincinnati and Colorado are really hoping that somebody else can take down Cleveland before the Ghosts become their problem.  Of course, given the seeding, neither team can go up against Cleveland before the semifinals, so the Ghosts will have to win a couple of games before that happens.

 

10 hours ago, KittSmith_95 said:

The Krewe end up taking a step back this year. :( I just hope Minor had a good year. 

They're still putting too much on his shoulders, and he got a little banged up.  Look for them to try to build the offensive line through the draft or trades this offseason.

 

6 hours ago, Red Comet said:

3-13!? How the $&@! did that happen? Did Benham get knocked out or did the defense soil the bed all year?

4 hours ago, RedfieldNick said:

Or did Benham turn into Alex Smith and couldn't throw more than 10 yards without pissing his pants?

 

Benham was not good this year.  He was healthy, but it's clear that last year's injuries were still in his head.  He was actually benched for a few weeks in favor of John Vessey (who looked much, much better than he ever had in Colorado).  There will likely be a quarterback battle in training camp next year.  You definitely can't say that the defense was responsible for the poor record.  The stellar play of the linebackers probably saved them from being 1-15.

 

1 hour ago, Dan O'Mac said:

I'm picking Angels and Captains in the Wild Card, giving Miami a home playoff game against the Hurricanes...

Yeah, Houston Hurricanes has been an unfortunate name this week, and it will only be more true if the Hurricanes come in and stomp Miami.

 

1 hour ago, Asterix777 said:

I get the unfortunate feeling this might be the last hurrah for Tom Blitz and this current core. And even though the Guardians have looked unbeatable, i still remember the Cents that did go unbeaten and lost in the first round...

 

Cents over Ghosts in the VB, with The Guardians upset in the semifinals.

As good as they were this year, you might be right about Blitz.  He is still good, but is no longer in the conversation for the title of best back in the league (Jose Ortuno is the undisputed champion there).

Edited by Veras
Added information about the draft's top QBs

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ChicagoOakland    374
2 hours ago, Veras said:

Two members of the team passed away in unrelated incidents.  TE Eddie York, a rookie who was fighting for a roster spot suffered a fatal heat stroke during training camp.  Then, just two months later, during a game against the Los Angeles Comets, CB/KR Jeff Overstreet suffered a torn inferior vena cava during a kick return.  He started to walk off the field, then collapsed, becoming the first AFA player to ever suffer a fatal injury during a game.

 

Overstreet's death in particular drained team morale.  He was very much a role-player on the team, but he was well-respected in the locker room and the community, and his lighthearted nature was badly missed.

Oh my God. That's terrible. I hope the AFA comes up with some kind of award to honor Overstreet's memory...that's the most tragic story I've heard in the AFA since the Whales' owner died by suicide.

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rjrrzube    15
4 hours ago, Veras said:

Then, just two months later, during a game against the Los Angeles Comets, CB/KR Jeff Overstreet suffered a torn inferior vena cava during a kick return.  He started to walk off the field, then collapsed, becoming the first AFA player to ever suffer a fatal injury during a game.

 

Sounds like a Chuck Hughes situation (not exact, but just as stunning) 

https://www.detroitathletic.com/blog/2011/10/26/my-eyewitness-account-of-the-only-death-to-occur-on-an-nfl-football-field/

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Stickman    0

First time poster here.  Just read through the entire thread and HOLY HECK!   This has been an incredible read (took me around a week- helps when you have some down time at your job-) and I have to say, I could easily see most of these uniforms working out in the NFL if they actually existed!  Fantastic work Veras!

While not my favorite design, the Detroit Gladiators are my favorite team (representing Michigan).  Maybe they'll get another Victory Bowl one day!

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Veras    428
2 hours ago, ChicagoOakland said:

Oh my God. That's terrible. I hope the AFA comes up with some kind of award to honor Overstreet's memory...that's the most tragic story I've heard in the AFA since the Whales' owner died by suicide.

1 hour ago, rjrrzube said:

It's a combination of the stories of Chuck Hughes and D.J. Hayden, who is astonishingly lucky to be alive today.

 

The league probably won't do anything to recognize him.  He was beloved in the Washington locker room, but very few fans across the league (other than maybe supporters of other Southeastern Division teams) had ever heard of him.  The Wasps will take steps to honor him, though.  The team wore a number 21 patch for the rest of the year, and his number will be retired.  Starting in 1987, the team will begin granting an award in his honor.  The Jeff Overstreet Award will be given annually to the Washington player who best carries on Mr. Overstreet's legacy as a positive presence on the field, in the locker room, and in the community through the virtues of hard work, dedication, and positivity.

 

40 minutes ago, Darknes said:

Hopefully the Captains do a little more in the playoffs, seems weird to see the papers pick them after so long.

That should be a pretty tight game.  Though this is another one where experience might be a factor, too.  The Caps probably have a bit more talent, but the Royals have been to the final four quite a few times recently.

 

40 minutes ago, Stickman said:

First time poster here.  Just read through the entire thread and HOLY HECK!   This has been an incredible read (took me around a week- helps when you have some down time at your job-) and I have to say, I could easily see most of these uniforms working out in the NFL if they actually existed!  Fantastic work Veras!

While not my favorite design, the Detroit Gladiators are my favorite team (representing Michigan).  Maybe they'll get another Victory Bowl one day!

Welcome to the board.  I was surprised that people were still willing the read the entire thread once it was 100 pages long.  I really appreciate that you found the project interesting enough to go through the entire thing now that it has doubled that.

 

Detroit's prospects for the future are unclear.  I really thought that they would be Victory Bowl contenders by now, thanks to their incredibly 1982 draft class, in which they picked up three guys who I really thought could be Hall of Famers (ROLB Donald Turner, LOLB Jon Schneider, and SS Eddie Kosakowski).  However, of the trio, only Schneider has even been to an All-Star Bowl.  Kosakowski never really improved after his rookie season, and Turner productively has declined throughout his career.  At the same time, where I thought the defense might carry them to a title and the offense would be a liability, it is starting to look like the opposite might be true.  QB John Lewis has improved consistently and RB Johnny Hewitt had a breakthrough year (both were All-Stars).  The offensive line is pretty good, too, especially on the strong side.  They definitely need some weapons for Lewis and their defensive line needs a ton of help, but they could have potential.

 

It's hard to say.  If their next couple drafts pay off, they could be ready to bit at Cincinnati's heels.  If not, they could be kind of like Seattle was over the past decade, where they were just never quite good enough to win it all.

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Veras    428

WILDCARD ROUND

 

86r1g1BALvsBOS.png.ee9c257274062aa3c490942753e1ebd6.png

Bad luck and sloppy play for Boston started early.  Less than 5 minutes into the game, QB Jon Cliff took a shot downfield to WR Elliot Hayes.  The throw never had much of a chance, but that dropped to zero when Hayes’s legs got tangled with those of CB Doug Fonda, and both fell to the turf.  FS Dan Nelson made an easy pick, but fortunately for the Captains, he stepped out of bounds on the return, and the defense prevented Baltimore from putting any points on the board.

 

Nevertheless, the play set a bad tone.  Baltimore took the lead in the final minute of the first when RB Jim Ingles powered his way into the end zone from a yard out.  The Captains tied things up early in the second on a 6-yard TD reception by Don Jeffries, but the Royals retook the lead shortly before the two-minute warning on a 31-yard Steve MacQueen field goal.

 

The Royals opened the second half with a holding penalty on the kick return, forcing them to start from their own 5 yard line.  However, this would make no difference whatsoever.  On the first play from scrimmage, Jim Ingles blew past the defense to go untouched for a 95-yard TD.  Just a minute later, Jon Cliffe threw his second pick of the day, and the Royals took advantage of the good field position by picking up a field goal, extending their lead to 20-7.

 

Nearly 17 minutes would run off the clock before either team scored again.  Boston managed to cut the lead back down to 10 on an impressive 55-yard field goal by Ralph Steffan, but they didn’t manage to cross into Baltimore territory in the game’s final 10 minutes.

 

86r1g2CLEvsMIN.png.8165eb48a48e7d8b7cab4b97aee025a9.png

The Ghosts came out of the locker room strong, looking like the team that has been 6-1 over the past two postseasons.  CB Dave Erwin picked off Tim Kewley 45 seconds into the game, which ultimately set up a 31-yard field goal by Arthur Kerr.  Just 8 minutes later, they made it a two score game when Jose Ortuno punched the ball into the end zone from one yard out.

 

The game came to a standstill for most of the second, with neither team managing to get into scoring position until there was less than 5 minutes to play in the half.  The Angels broke the deadlock with a 39 yard field goal, and then, on the next possession, 38-year old DE Lee Thomas caught Cleveland QB Therron Nikoloudis from behind as he tried to escape the pocket.  The ball was knocked loose, and Thomas fell on it at the Cleveland 14.  It took just 3 plays for the Angles to find the end zone, with the TD coming on a 5 yard run by RB Tommy Howard.

 

The second half opened with the score tied at 10, but Kewley and the Minnesota offense came out of the locker room in the zone, gouging the Cleveland defense for 28 points over the next 15:28.  Kewley went 14/14 for 2 touchdowns while Howard added a pair of touchdown runs.  By the time Cleveland gained possession for the first time in the fourth quarter, they were down 31-10.

 

The Ghosts, who were not built to play from behind, feebly attempted the comeback.  With Jose Ortuno all but removed from the gameplan, Nikoloudis was forced to put the team on his shoulders, and he was unable to bear the burden.  Cleveland managed to push as far as the Minnesota 40 only once, and that drive ended with a Scott D’Angelico pick.  The Angels calmly ran out the clock, securing their first postseason win since the 37th Victory Bowl four years ago.

 

1986_postseason_bracket_by_verasthebruja

 

AFA Magazine Divisional Previews

 

Guardians of Cincinnati vs Minnesota Angels

 

The Guardians are the obvious favorites here.  They hold the number one seed, they’re defending champions, and there were a perfect 10-0 against out of division foes during the regular season.  They have been the favorite to win the Victory Bowl all year, and that is still the case.  However, after Minnesota’s big win over Cleveland in the wildcard round, the odds on this game opened far closer than might otherwise have been expected.  For Minnesota to pull off the upset, DE Lee Thomas will need to be all over Reggie Hart from the opening snap, and Tim Kewley will need to replicate his wildcard performance.  That’s not impossible, but this Guardians team is one of the best in AFA history, and we can’t pick against them.  Cincinnati wins, 27-14.

 

Colorado Centennials vs Portland Dragons

 

This is an odd matchup, in that the teams have wildly different strengths.  Colorado has a strong power running game, but QB Tom Baker doesn’t exactly keep defensive coordinators up at night, and his receiving options are mediocre.  Portland has a phenomenal secondary, but their defensive line is weak and easily pushed around.  It is almost inconceivable that the Dragons will be able to keep Blitz contained, which means that it is vital that they score early and force the ball into Baker’s hands.  The good news is that the offense is built to score fast - Curtis Tyre and Ralph McLaurin are arguably the best tandem of widouts in the history of the game.  However, Colorado has a very good secondary and an even better pass rush, whereas the Dragons offensive line is a definite weakness.  Portland will need to play basically a perfect game to come out on top, which is just too much to ask.  Colorado wins 24-21.

 

Miami Suns vs Baltimore Royals

 

These divisional rivals split the series this season, with each team winning at home.  That trend will continue.  Both teams have stars on defense, and the Royals are certainly more experienced, but the difference will be Miami QB Bob Obradovic.  He will outperform Derrill Punch, and give the Suns a narrow victory.  Miami, 21-20.

 

Pittsburgh Miners vs Houston Hurricanes

 

The last time these two teams met in the postseason, Pittsburgh stomped Houston 50-0 in the 31st Victory Bowl.  That was 10 years ago, and while no current Hurricanes were on that team, they will still be out for revenge.  That will be a tall order, though.  Houston’s supporting cast is improving, but they are still too dependent on QB Tom Hudson to carry the team.  Meanwhile, the Miners are hot, and riding an emotional wave to get a ring for Rob Connery and one more for Willie Krause.  Pittsburgh has been too hot in December to lose to an upstart franchise.  Pittsburgh wins, 23-14.

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Red Comet    35

6 of the last 7 Victory Bowl Champions wore some shade of blue as their main color, 5 out of 78 teams left in the playoffs have some shade of blue as the main color in their uniform. 

 

Looks like the trend is likely to continue unless we somehow get a Portland-Pittsburgh (or Baltimore) Victory Bowl. And I don't see Cincinnati going down to anyone, but Minnesota will be a fight. Again, though, Guardians win. 

 

Colorado's lucky white streak ends from a blistering aerial attack from the Dragons. 

 

Connery finally gets the monkey off his back as the Hurricanes get rocked. 

 

Miami juuuust gets past Baltimore. Really is a toss-up game. 

 

EDIT: Wow, totally forgot how to count or I was unconsciously referring to ancient meme by saying 5 of out 7. Also, forgot about Baltimore. 

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Jimmy Lethal    242

I'm just gonna casually sit over here and hope for a first-time champion. Miami or Portland, maybe?

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