Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1988 - Wildcard Round)

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Red Comet said:

Crows, what the hell are you doing?

 

I thought John Vessey would've made things better. But now I'm drinking as much as an IRL Chiefs fan.

Do u charge anything for a fellow Crows fan to have access to your liquor cabinet? I drank all of mine last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, RedfieldNick said:

Do u charge anything for a fellow Crows fan to have access to your liquor cabinet? I drank all of mine last year.

 

Drinks are free for fellow fans. I’d even let Stallions fans drink for free based on what I saw.

 

EDIT: I'm thinking the Captains beat the Angels and the Cents upset the Gladiators.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Veras said:

They're a good team - even without Roudebush they have one of the best defenses in the USFA.  If they had a decent quarterback, they'd be title contenders for sure.

 

Wow, I was way off there.  Thanks for the correction.

 

There are a handful of teams that could undergo a dramatic redesign in the near future, but a lot of what I've come up with has been more appropriate for the mid-90s.  Some likely candidates:

 

The Royals will roll out an entirely new look when they open their new stadium, but at this point, who knows when that might be?  The Railers have been bad forever, and have had the same logo since 1971.  The Comets haven't made a change since 1983, and they will continue their tradition of a major redesign once ever decade.  The Rebels will have to make a change at some point.  The Sharks won't keep their current logo and colors forever, and I'm definitely going to make a big change to Seattle within the next 5 years or so.

 

My guess is that designs in the league won't change much until 1991 or so, and then there will be a huge number of teams that adopt new looks.  This will be especially true if the USFA is a big success, and AFA teams look to replicate their wilder designs.

Please no!!! That has been my favorite logo to date! It's probably one of the most visibly unique and beautiful logos in the entire league.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like Cleveland is finally starting to regress to nothing. Any good prospects they can take in the draft? Also congrats to Boston, haven't seem them make the playoffs ever yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to pick the Angels and the Gladiators in this round.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I'm late on this, but did you ever settle on a wordmark for the Firebirds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Red Comet said:

 

Drinks are free for fellow fans. I’d even let Stallions fans drink for free based on what I saw.

 

EDIT: I'm thinking the Captains beat the Angels and the Cents upset the Gladiators.

Sweet, I just needed a bottle of Jack Daniels, and two bottles of José Cuervo to drown my sorrows. I may need to stay at ur house for a couple days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, RedfieldNick said:

Sweet, I just needed a bottle of Jack Daniels, and two bottles of José Cuervo to drown my sorrows. I may need to stay at ur house for a couple days.

 

You're missing an obvious choice here:

1200px-Old_Crow.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bad: Wolves get dooped and miss the playoffs.

Good: Wolves Record was over .500 which makes me formally impressed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting season in the AFA, that's for sure! Although I am curious about what happened in the offseason before this aside from the USFA, particularly how the TV contracts in both leagues went. Anyway, considering how the Wolves missed the playoffs, hopefully Warren Breyer doesn't get accused of favoritism in disqualifying all future sub .500 teams from the playoffs just because he was the GM in Milwaukee prior to becoming AFA President. Although I haven't seen anything saying that he has the same personality as, say, Jim Helms, but hopefully it doesn't lead to conflict. 

 

Anyway, here's hoping the Guardians can win their third Victory Bowl!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 1/12/2018 at 6:54 PM, CheeseBurger22 said:

FINALLY MY COMETS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!

This is a big deal for them.  It's their first postseason appearance since 1976 (that was also their last winning season).  They aren't expected to do much damage in January, though.  They have a strong secondary, but QB Andy Stough (who they took with the second pick in the 1986 draft) hasn't progressed in the way that they would hope, which means that the team's offense is completely reliant on RB Dale Doubet.

 

On 1/12/2018 at 7:05 PM, DNAsports said:

Nothing extreme like a logo redesign. Just mimicking the oversized logo on the sleeve and the drop shadow on the numbers.

I like the sublimated stripes.  Honestly, the Comets are probably more likely than anyone else to do the oversized shoulder thing, especially since their next logo change is likely to be longer and narrower, much like their original logo.

 

On 1/12/2018 at 7:08 PM, Raymie said:

Yowza what a season! Funky stuff everywhere and the worst team 4-12? This has to be good news for a league now competing a bit for attention.

Texas went 2-14, but yeah, only two teams were below 5-11.

 

On 1/12/2018 at 8:47 PM, nick_crenshaw82 said:

While the USFA still exists will we ever see a exhibition game between the champions of both leagues?

At this point, the AFA team would be favored by 30.  It's possible that there might come a day where the All-USFA team plays an exhibition game against an AFA team, but for now, even that is unlikely.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 12:34 AM, Red Comet said:

Crows, what the hell are you doing?

 

I thought John Vessey would've made things better. But now I'm drinking as much as an IRL Chiefs fan.

The Crows are better than their record would indicate, though they're probably only a bit better than average.  Their linebacker corps is elite, their secondary and offensive line are good, and Bob Feichtinger is one of the leauge's premiere wideouts.  On the other hand Vessey is average, they don't have an AFA-caliber running back, and their defensive line gets pushed around by everyone.

 

The poor record this year is largely a function of their schedule.  They played nine games against playoff teams, and went 1-8 in those games.  That doesn't count their two games against Milwaukee, who missed the postseason by the skin of their teeth (and split the series with the Crows).  Their road schedule was especially brutal.  In addition to their divisional trips to Colorado, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Milwaukee, they had to travel to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Arizona.  The worst of those teams went 9-7.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 10:47 AM, MR. 3G said:

Please no!!! That has been my favorite logo to date! It's probably one of the most visibly unique and beautiful logos in the entire league.

Really? Are you talking about their primary, or the helmet logo?  I think their primary is one of the worst in the league.  It doesn't suggest any movement, it has a bad height to width ratio, it's not at all fierce, and is really more of an illustration than a logo.  Their helmet logo won't change, and may even be promoted to being the primary.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 12:24 PM, CodeG said:

Looks like Cleveland is finally starting to regress to nothing. Any good prospects they can take in the draft? Also congrats to Boston, haven't seem them make the playoffs ever yet.

Cleveland is also much better than they look.  They were the most injury-bitten team in the league this year, and like KC, had a really tough schedule, with half their schedule coming against playoff teams.  They should bounce back next year.

 

They're also in really good position in the draft.  They'll be picking fourth.  The top-rated prospects in the draft are Gregg Barbosa (RB - Texas) and Scott Taylor (CB - Kentucky).  There are also two potential franchise QBs, Brian Olson (Michigan St.) and Nick Horsley (Cal).  One of those four has to fall to them.  CB is one of their biggest needs, and it's obvious that while QB Therron Nikoloudis is decent, he's never going to be an All-Star.  They don't need a RB, thanks to the phenomenal tandem of Jose Ortuno and James McCoy, but if Taylor, Horsley, and Olson are the top 3 picks, then they can trade down for a huge ransom.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 12:41 PM, officerpain138 said:

Well both my teams disappointed. At least NJ gets the #2 pick in the draft! Any good prospects for them to chose from? 

I love the VB logo! Where is it this season?

They're all but guaranteed to take a quarterback.  Ulysses Gauss, their 75-year old offensive coordinator is retiring (and would likely be fired even if he didn't), so it's not clear which one they prefer.  Horsley is a football genius.  He's tall, and has very long arms, which combine to give him an excellent ability to survey the field and stand strong under pressure.  Olson has perhaps the quickest release of any quarterback ever to play the game.  He's not all that fast, but he's extremely elusive, and will fit in well if they replace Gauss's power rush scheme with a West Coast approach.

 

The Victory Bowl will be held in Arlington, Texas.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 1:34 PM, Magic Dynasty said:

My postseason prediction: Atlanta runs the table.

Bold prediction.  That would easily be the most shocking playoff run in AFA history.  Though as weird as this season has been, it would be less of a surprise than in most years.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 3:08 PM, RightGuard said:

Sorry I'm late on this, but did you ever settle on a wordmark for the Firebirds?

Yes, I just forgot to post it.  I went with the cleaner version.

 

Spoiler

1987_arizona_firebirds_by_verasthebrujah

 

21 hours ago, BengalSteve said:

Interesting season in the AFA, that's for sure! Although I am curious about what happened in the offseason before this aside from the USFA, particularly how the TV contracts in both leagues went. Anyway, considering how the Wolves missed the playoffs, hopefully Warren Breyer doesn't get accused of favoritism in disqualifying all future sub .500 teams from the playoffs just because he was the GM in Milwaukee prior to becoming AFA President. Although I haven't seen anything saying that he has the same personality as, say, Jim Helms, but hopefully it doesn't lead to conflict. 

 

Anyway, here's hoping the Guardians can win their third Victory Bowl!

The offseason news went up before the USFA was introduced, though now that I think about it, that was more than two months ago, so I probably should have posted a refersher. 

I did, however, forget to add the news about the television contracts, which was actually written by @Raymie.  Here it is:

 

Television Contracts

For the last several years, it had appeared as if ABC was likely to lose the crown jewel of their sports rights portfolio. Indications had appeared at the last two-year renewal in 1986 that the AFA was courting NBC, amid a level of dissatisfaction with the alphabet network and NBC's dominance in the ratings. Industry observers were convinced that the Victory Bowl in Pasadena might be ABC's farewell to professional football, at least for the foreseeable future.

 

It was thus a major surprise when on October 14, the USFA announced it had struck a deal with NBC to telecast its games for three years, with a network option for a fourth, as well as a two-year cable deal with USA. "The number-one network is the perfect choice for us," the USFA league commissioner stated.

 

The AFA had been talking with both NBC and ABC about new broadcast television contracts, but the league did not expect NBC to turn as they did. It was not until December 1 that the AFA secured a contract, a four-year deal with ABC on terms that were slightly better to the network.

 

Additionally, the AFA announced that it, too, would enter the cable TV game with a four-year package of Sunday night games, awarded to ESPN (though the rumor mill said USA might have gotten the nod had they not signed with the upstart league). There will be ten Sunday Night AFA games in the 1988-89 season and twelve in the remaining three years of the contract. As part of the agreement, the ABC affiliates in the home markets of teams playing in Sunday Night AFA games have right of first refusal to the local broadcast of the contests.

 

One point the league wanted to make clear is that the move to cable was not a decision precipitated by the changing pro football landscape. "We made this deal now because cable penetration is at a point where we feel comfortable putting our product on cable," said Jeffrey Trejo, consultant and head of media rights management for the AFA. "We recently experimented with preseason games on cable, and the reception has been positive, so it was time to take the next step."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1988 Wildcard Round

 

88r1g1minvsbos_by_verasthebrujah-dc019he.png

On a frigid day with a wind chill nearly 20 below zero and a strong, gusting wind, both teams were expected to rely heavily on the ground game.  This, however, would not be the case.  The Angels refused to turn away from the passing attack that had gotten them so far, while the Captains were forced to lighten the load on RB Russell Fraizer after he sprained his ankle during warmups (in a testament to his toughness, he played the whole game, though he lacked his usual explosiveness).  Surprised by the aerial strategy, the Captains were clearly on their heels as Minnesota pushed into their territory on the opening drive, but escaped without taking damage after a wide open WR Cedric Harrison let the ball bounce off of his hands and into the air, where it was picked off by FS Jim Hubbard at the 1 yard line.

 

After the takeaway Boston was the better team through most of the first half, but struggled to finish drives.  In the game’s first 20 minutes, they advanced into the red zone three times, but on each occasion, their attack stalled and they were forced to settle for a field goal.  What could have been a massive 21-point lead was instead a measly 9, and that was almost entirely erased when Minnesota QB Tim Kewley hit TE Stephen Blaber in the end zone for a 16 yard touchdown five minutes into the second quarter.

 

The Captains drove all the way to the Angel 3 shortly before the two-minute warning, but Fraizer was stuffed on third down, and they kicked yet another field goal.  Kewley responded by driving to the Boston 23.  Then, on 2nd and 10 with 34 seconds on the clock, the Angels ran a wide receiver reverse, handing the ball to the speedy Terry Croze.  As the Captain defense broke toward him, he lobbed the ball high into the air to Kewley, who was streaking wide open down the sideline.  He scored, and sent the Angels into the locker room with a 14-12 lead.

 

Fraizer and the Captains just didn’t have any gas left in the second half.  The Angels put up a pair of field goals in the third, extending their lead to 20-12, and then RB Tommy Howard sealed the game with a 4-yard touchdown run with 3 minutes to play.  Minnesota had pulled off the upset, and Boston announced the firing of longtime head coach Darryl Majors 45 minutes after the game ended.

 

88r1g2detvscol_by_verasthebrujah-dc019hx

The game began as a battle of field position, with the teams trading punts throughout the first half of the first quarter.  The stalemate broke when Detroit WR Ray Carroll slipped free of CB Vic Ferrer for a 36-yard touchdown reception (though Ferrer would get his revenge just five minutes later, when he made a touchdown-saving interception in the end zone late in the quarter).

 

The score held at 7-0 until midway through the second, when RB Johnny Hewitt broke a touchdown run from 10 yards out to extend Detroit’s lead to 14.  The Cents responded quickly, pushing deep into Gladiator territory, but came away with nothing after RB Tom Blitz lost a fumble at the goal line.  The Gladiators recovered for a touchback, and then drove 58 yards before kicking a field goal with 1:34 on the clock.  The Cents were able to end the shutout just before the half by responding with a 36-yarder of their own as time expired.

 

Despite these points, when the teams took the field to start the second half, Colorado trailed 17-3.  The Cents would repeatedly seem to get themselves back into the game, only to have Detroit put up more points.  Their first opportunity came when a fumble by Detroit WR Frank Jones set up a Tom Blitz touchdown run.  The 7-point deficit was short-lived, however.  KR Angelo Caro nearly scored on the ensuing kickoff, but stepped out of bounds at the 14-yard line despite the fact that there wasn’t a defender within 10 yards of him.  The mistake would prove irrelevant, as two plays later QB John Lewis hit veteran wideout Jim Azira for a touchdown.  With 31 seconds to play in the third, Colorado QB Rod Crichton slipped into the end zone on a sneak from the 1, cutting the deficit to 24-17.

 

A Detroit field goal midway through the fourth made it a 10-point game, and Colorado’s margin for error bean to shrink as time ran out.  They got the ball back at their own 12 with just over three minutes to play, and made it a three-point game as the offense stormed down the field in just 1 minutes 12 seconds, scoring on an 8-yard pass by Crichton on the first play after the two-minute warning.  They attempted the onside kick, but it came up short.  They burned their remaining timeouts, but couldn’t stop Hewitt from converting on 3rd and 3.  With the first down, the Gladiators were able to run out the clock with their 27-24 lead intact.

 

1988_0_by_verasthebrujah-dbzrs2t.jpg

 

AFA Magazine Quarterfinals Previews

 

Houston Hurricanes vs Atlanta Rebels

 

Even a year ago, this would have been a pretty interesting matchup, but the Hurricanes are a team on the rise and the Rebels are in decline.  If Atlanta hadn’t lost Rick Roudebush to the USFA, then they might have some hope of shutting down Tom Hudson and the Houston offense, but the All-Star’s departure has left a huge hole in the defense.  Even if they do somehow manage to keep the game close, their offense doesn’t have the weapons necessary to put up a ton of points.  Wesley Marx is a capable quarterback, and Alan Myers is developing into one of the best young wideouts in the game, but the Rebels have few other weapons, and the Houston secondary is very deep.

 

Hurricanes win, 28-10.

 

St. Louis Aces vs Minnesota Angels

 

This Central Division matchup may be the most interesting of the week.  It is widely agreed that the Aces will own the future of this division, but for now, the Angels probably have the edge.  Minnesota won both contests between the teams this season, and while the squads appear to match up very evenly on paper, Minnesota’s experience and veteran savvy will allow them to come out on top again.  If St. Louis is going to win, they need a big day from QB Danny Buckingham, who has not yet come through in big moments in his young career.

 

Angels win, 24-17.

 

Guardians of Cincinnati vs Pittsburgh Miners

 

This is another very interesting matchup.  The Guardians were seen as having the talent to develop a dynasty in the mid to late 1980s, and now, having won two Victory Bowls, there are on the edge of realizing that dream.  The problem, however, is that too often during this period, they have been one and done in the postseason.  Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has a reputation for dialing up their play in January, and coming away with victories when they shouldn’t.  This should be a close game.  Jeff Johnston and the Miners have a superior rushing attack, while Reggie Hart and the Guardians boast a superior passing game.  The Miners biggest defensive advantage is their stellar pass rush, but Hart’s mobility can likely neutralize that.  Cincy’s window is closing, and they need another title to go down in history as a true dynasty.  They won’t let this slip through their fingers.  Cincinnati wins 30-29.

 

Detroit Gladiators vs Los Angeles Comets

 

Both of these squads finished at 11-5, but this somehow doesn’t feel like an even matchup.  That isn’t to say that the Comets don’t have weapons – RB Dale Doubet is among the league’s best and they have a phenominal secondary, led by FS Mark Primeaux and CB James Robinson – but the Gladiators are just a better all-around team.  They, too, boast an elite RB in Johnny Hewitt, and a number of stars on defense (LB John Schneider and SS Eddie Kosakowski are All-Stars, and CB Ron Pryce is an alternate).  The biggest difference, though, is QB John Lewis, who has finished third in MVP voting three years in a row.  The Comets don’t have the pass rush to adequately shut down the six-year veteran, and while the Gladiator receiving corps doesn’t boast any top-10 players, it is quite deep.  Look for the Gladiators to come out with a lot of 3 and 4 receiver sets to spread out the defense and win comfortably.  Detroit 27-13.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Former Stallions coach Neal Fabbro is probably the hottest candidate in the league right now, but he has denied interest in being a head coach again for the moment.  The rumor is that he wants to succeed Willie Krause in Pittsburgh (he played Safety for the Miners from 1958-1969, and joined the coaching staff for 7 years after his retirement).  Krause is expected to retire after the 1990 season, so Fabbro doesn't want to tie his hands by signing on with a team right now.  The Captains have also expressed interest in Florida State coach Bill Welch, but the fact that they started the hiring process late may have hurt them on that front.  He's expected to sign with Baltimore any day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Veras said:

Really? Are you talking about their primary, or the helmet logo?  I think their primary is one of the worst in the league.  It doesn't suggest any movement, it has a bad height to width ratio, it's not at all fierce, and is really more of an illustration than a logo.  Their helmet logo won't change, and may even be promoted to being the primary.

 

Yep! Sorry, confusion on my part. Yes I meant the helmet logo. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, MR. 3G said:

 

Yep! Sorry, confusion on my part. Yes I meant the helmet logo. 

In that case, you have nothing to fear.  I can't imagine ever changing the design on their helmet, it's one of my favorites, too.  Actually, that's another strike against the primary logo - the secondary is vastly superior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2-for-2 in the Wild Cards, let's see how I can do in the Quarterfinals...

I'm going:
Hurricanes
Angels
Guardians
Comets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now