Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1989 – 44th Victory Bowl)

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Olivia Holmes was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1938. At only age 42, Holmes is one of the youngest members (if not the youngest) in the expansion council. She may be young, but she is certainly qualified. Holmes dropped out of high school due to bad grades, and was almost destined to fail. Although she had trouble in school, Holmes was a natural businesswoman and along with her friend, and later husband, Sean Holmes, started the business International Grocers in 1952. International Grocers is what it sounds like, an International Grocery Store. This store provides food from many different countries, to many different countries with locations all over the world, including odd places for chain grocery stores such as Alaska. This store has over 780 locations around the world, including at least three locations in every state in the United States. The company was founded in Albuquerque, Holmes' hometown, and grew to be one of the largest worldwide businesses of it's time. Holmes currently resides in her hometown of Albuquerque and is an avid football fan. She never liked football growing up, but living with Sean changed that and she now follows football all of the time. Holmes is currently a Firebirds fan, following them from San Francisco. Holmes has never had any relations with the Firebirds, other than International Grocers being one of the AFA's premier sponsors. Holmes was invited to the Expansion Council due to being the co-founder of one of the league's top sponsors, and her love of football. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes have aspirations to one day bring the game of football to Albuquerque, and they're willing to spend as much money as needed to do so. Although this may be outside the realm of possibility at this moment, Holmes has high hopes for the city and will go all out to make her dream come true.

 

In her first expansion council, Holmes casts her votes for:

 

#1: New Haven-Hartford, Connecticut

Olivia explains, "Although the market is small, there is much room to grow and there is a good plan for a stadium there. The market is small, but small markets can come with benefits."

 

#2: Kansas City, Missouri 

Olivia explains, "The market is at a good size, and this would become a good intrastate rivalry with the Aces. I think this is an ideal fit for a new AFA franchise."

 

#3: Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida

Olivia explains: "This was a no-brainer for the third choice. Tampa would bring good weather, good fans, and good rivalries. Everything a fan wants to see!"

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Yay! For Tampa 

 

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I can be kind of a stat freak. I love to see how teams perform over time whether it be a season or a leagues history. That said, here is how the expansion voting has gone in graph form.

 

expansion race.png

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1 hour ago, eick74 said:

I can be kind of a stat freak. I love to see how teams perform over time whether it be a season or a leagues history. That said, here is how the expansion voting has gone in graph form.

 

expansion race.png

 

Jesus, I think KC and TB have lapped the other three teams by this point.

Speaking of cool stats, I have a good one: if Kansas City wins a bid (they probably will), then all of the cities that bid for expansion franchises in the first round of expansion back in 1958 will have AFA teams.

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Since there is 4 spots in 4 of 6 divisions which I can see these markets in these cities and one of cities I could suggest.

 

Northern: Indianapolis

Southeastern: Tampa Bay

Central: Kansas City

Southern: Oklahoma City (Not in the list) 

 

But this is a fictional universe, let's see how it goes with the expansion council's decisions on markets. 

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Ha, that's pretty funny.  I've been using basically the same graph to track the progress from the start.  This was/is a definite blowout.  The vote counts each of the two presumptive winners have been roughly equal to the combined total of the three losing teams from the start.  I suppose that this shouldn't really be a surprise.  As the Council has grown, the disparity between the worst winning bid and the best losing bid has increased dramatically.  There were only 11 votes on the first council (1958), and one more first place vote could have put Atlanta or San Diego over Buffalo.  Since then, we've gone from 24 to 31 to 33 (so far) votes, and the gap has always been enormous.

 

I hadn't realized that every team from the 1958 council will now have a team, though I suppose it's not all that surprising.  I mean, if they were the strongest candidates 20 years ago, it stands to reason that they'll probably be the strongest now.

 

As for the new divisional alignment:  it's going to be weird.  Since the AFA doesn't have conferences, there does not necessarily have to be an even number of divisions.  So, once the two new teams join the league, a 7th division will be added.  The graph below shows how the schedule rotation will work.  Each letter is a division. Every year, each team will play all of their division opponents twice.  The rest of their games operate on a 3 year cycle.  The different colors of lines represent one of three things:  full division (every team in a division plays every time in another division), one opponent (play one opponent from a division based on the previous year's standings), or no matchup (no teams from the pair of divisions will play one another).  In year 1, red lines indicate full division, blue indicates one opponents, and green indicates no matchup.  It rotates in year two so that blue is full division, green is one opponent, and red is no matchup, and in year three it is Green, Red, Blue.

 

Schedule-Key-81.jpg

 

I have not yet assigned the divisions to the letters, nor have I decided exactly which teams will end up in divisions together, partially because relocation rumors are brewing.  The abolition of the territorial veto rule applies to teams that are moving, not just expansion franchises, so a number of teams may be eyeing the LA or NYC markets as a new home.  The most obvious candidate for this is the Buffalo Stampeders.  Their owner, Sean Cooper, is from Northern New Jersey.  In fact, he grew up less than 10 miles from the proposed stadium in Newark's bid.  The Stampeders lease expires in 1981, and negotiations for a new stadium have not gone well (local officials think that their current home, Buffalo Stadium, is perfectly acceptable, and would rather see the team extend the lease, while Cooper wants a new building).  Assuming that Newark loses the expansion bid (which seems like a safe bet a this point), a Buffalo to New Jersey move might make too much sense to pass up.

 

That being said, the divisions on the West Coast are fairly obvious.  Seattle, Portland, Minnesota, and Colorado will almost certainly form one division (an outlandishly strong one, if you look at the results of the most recent season), while California, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Arizona will form the other.  From there it gets more complicated, particularly with the prospect of relocation in mind, so the league will probably hold off on announcing the divisions until next offseason.

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Ronald James Runt, born on the 14th of June in 1946. He was raised in New York City as the son of small time real estate mogul Rodrick Runt he turned his father's modest fortune into one the greatest in the United States of America. Runt is perhaps one of the richest men in America.

 

1. Newark, New Jersey

 

2. Tampa- St. Petersburg, Florida

 

3. Indianapolis, Indiana 

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1 hour ago, Veras said:

I have not yet assigned the divisions to the letters, nor have I decided exactly which teams will end up in divisions together, partially because relocation rumors are brewing.  The abolition of the territorial veto rule applies to teams that are moving, not just expansion franchises, so a number of teams may be eyeing the LA or NYC markets as a new home.  The most obvious candidate for this is the Buffalo Stampeders.  Their owner, Sean Cooper, is from Northern New Jersey.  In fact, he grew up less than 10 miles from the proposed stadium in Newark's bid.  The Stampeders lease expires in 1981, and negotiations for a new stadium have not gone well (local officials think that their current home, Buffalo Stadium, is perfectly acceptable, and would rather see the team extend the lease, while Cooper wants a new building).  Assuming that Newark loses the expansion bid (which seems like a safe bet a this point), a Buffalo to New Jersey move might make too much sense to pass up.

I was thinking that the way voting was going, the only way an existing city was going to get a 2nd team was for an existing team to move there.

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40 minutes ago, eick74 said:

I was thinking that the way voting was going, the only way an existing city was going to get a 2nd team was for an existing team to move there.

There are 7 teams with leases expiring between now and 1985.  Texas (1980), Philadelphia (1981), Buffalo (1981), Miami (1982), Baltimore (1982), Los Angeles (1984) and Milwaukee (1985).

 

Texas will have a new stadium in 1981, and Miami will have a new one in 1983.  Milwaukee is also extremely unlikely to move.  Their stadium is one of the worst in the league, which gives leverage for a new one, and (assuming Tampa wins expansion and the transfer to Tommy Danson goes through) it is almost inconceivable that he would relocate the team.

 

Philly and Los Angeles are both in a position where they would like a new stadium, but their current situation is tolerable enough that relocation is unlikely.  The Comets, who play at LA Memorial Coliseum, would like their own stadium, but that seems unlikely at this point.  Nevertheless, it's unlikely that they will abandon the LA market at this point, so they'll likely extend their lease and fight another day.  Philly is already in negotiations to extend their lease, with the expectation that a new stadium will be built at some point in the future.  Their current home isn't bad, but it lacks more modern amenities, particularly luxury suites.  So they're safe for now, but that could change in the future.

 

That leaves Baltimore.  The Royals want a new stadium, but the political will to finance it doesn't seem to be there.  Their stadium is 32 years old and was built for baseball, not football.  The owner has also showed a willingness to move the franchise, having relocated from Richmond to Baltimore in 1967.  If progress isn't made soon, one would have to expect the team to begin exploring other options (and I would think that New York and LA would have to at least be considered).

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If the current results hold out, here's my prediction for divisional alignment in 1981 (only taking into account the possible move of Buffalo to Newark):

 

Division A

Boston

Buffalo (or New Jersey?)

New York

Philadelphia

 

Division B

Cincinnati

Cleveland

Detroit

Pittsburgh

 

Division C

Atlanta

Baltimore

New Orleans

Washington

 

Division D

Chicago

Kansas City

Milwaukee

St. Louis

 

Division E

Houston

Miami

Tampa Bay

Texas

 

Division F

Colorado

Minnesota

Portland

Seattle

 

Division G

Arizona

California

Los Angeles

San Diego

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So it looks like Buffalo might contemplate a move to Newark or New York City itself (I would normally say a borough other than the one the Imperials play in, but the Jets and Giants have shared the same stadium since 1984). I don't know what shape the Imperials stadium is in, but they could team up with the Stampeders for a new stadium.

 

It would be rather sardonic if the Baltimore Royals moved to Indianapolis after their lease is up in 1982.

 

I agree that I can't see Los Angeles moving out of that market, but who would have predicted that the Rams and Raiders would both leave in the same year either. I could see some of the larger communities in the Los Angeles area such as Anaheim or Long Beach trying to attract the Comets (Inglewood is the 20th largest city in the LA Metropolitan area). I could even see Riverside or another part of the Inland Empire trying to attract a team.

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Interesting news about possible relocations amidst the expansion council. I don't recall hearing this many rumors during an expansion before. Definitely a new day in the league, as I mentioned after the "underdog" Victory Bowl, where it appears many owners are reevaluating their current situations in what could be an offseason that could radically change the landscape of the league.

 

If the Buffalo stadium situation doesn't seem likely to be resolved, I think Sean Cooper should team up with Hal Jobson and move the Stampeders to Newark. Those Jersey roots are just too strong. That would give Cooper the bigger venue he wants and that would give finally give Jobson a place in the AFA where he could gain experience until the next council if he still wants his own team. I could see the Stampeders actually not losing as many fans as you'd think, given the proximity of the two cities and the probability of Cooper and Jobson to be able to paint the scene as the Stampeders vs. the City of Buffalo and that their hand was forced.

 

I'm curious as to the profile of the Baltimore owner. A move to Indianapolis seems like an obvious choice, but there are also other east coast cities to consider, such as Newark and the Hartford bid. Their previous move was not far (Richmond to Baltimore) so it stands to reason the ownership isn't afraid of badgering the current markets and territory lines. The Hartford market in particular seems keen on building a nice domed stadium and the locals have plenty of money to spend. Domes are big attractions, I would say especially in New England in such a centrally-located place. Similar to a potential Cooper-Jobson partnership, the Baltimore owner could tap Bowes as a CFO of sorts.

 

Fun offseason!

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The most incredible thing about this thread is that if someone who had never heard of the NFL looked at this thread, they'd probably think this was an actual football league.

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Teams by state (including expansion):

 

Massachusetts: 1 (Boston)

New York: 2 (Buffalo, New York City) 

Pennsylvania: 2 (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh)

Ohio: 2 (Cincinnati, Cleveland)

Michigan: 1 (Detroit)

Georgia: 1 (Atlanta)

Maryland: 1 (Baltimore)

Washington, D.C. (technically): 1 (Washington)

Louisiana: 1 (New Orleans)

Illinois: 1 (Chicago)

Missouri: 2 (Kansas City, St. Louis)

Wisconsin: 1 (Milwaukee)

Texas: 2 (Houston, Texas)

Florida: 2 (Tampa Bay, Miami)

Colorado: 1 (Colorado)

Minnesota: 1 (Minnesota)

Oregon: 1 (Portland)

Washington (regular): 1 (Seattle)

Arizona: 1 (Arizona)

California: 3 (California, Los Angeles, San Diego)

Other states: none

 

See how Cali has more teams than any other state?

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Those divisions look pretty good, but IMO I would swap a few teams in E and C. Maybe it could be like this (changes italicized):

 

Division C

Miami

Tampa Bay

Baltimore

Washington
 

Division E

Atlanta

New Orleans

Houston

Texas

 

 

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So... here's my re-alignment predictions. I kept the Butchers, Ghosts, Gladiators and Guardians together, as I know Veras has always wanted to keep them together (like the NFC North), and the aforementioned Centennials, Grizzlies, Dragons and Angels division. So that's what I started with.

Division 1

Chicago Butchers, Cincinnati Guardians, Cleveland Ghosts, Detroit Gladiators

Division 2

Colorado Centennials, Minnesota Angels, Portland Dragons, Seattle Grizzlies

Division 3
Boston Captains, Buffalo Stampeders, New York Imperials, Pittsburgh Miners (Gotta keep the Miners together with the Captains and Imperials)

Division 4

Arizona Firebirds, California Whales, Los Angeles Comets, San Diego Destroyers

Division 5

Atlanta Rebels, Baltimore Royals, Philadelphia Railers, Washington Wasps

Division 6

Houston Hurricanes, Miami Suns, New Orleans Krewe, Tampa-St. Petersburg expansion franchise

Division 7

Kansas City expansion franchise, Milwaukee Wolves, St. Louis Aces, Texas Stallions

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56 minutes ago, Ipapterotes said:

See how Cali has more teams than any other state?

At this point in AFA history, the team distribution is very similar to what is was in the NFL. The differences, the NFL in 1980 did not have teams in Portland, OR or Phoenix, AZ, but did have a 2nd team in New York City area. The Giants had moved to the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in 1976 and the Giants did spend 1973 and 1974 in New Haven, CT (playing in the Yale Bowl) after leaving Yankee Stadium. The Jets were still playing in Shea Stadium before moving to Giants Stadium in 1984. California had 4 teams in the NFL in 1980, the Raiders were still in Oakland, the Rams had just moved to Anaheim Stadium and would be playing their first season there in 1980, and there are still the Chargers, and 49ers.

 

I don't like that many teams being concentrated in one state, but California has the population and size to handle it. There have been over 200 proposals to split California in 2 or more states since California became a state.

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I've looked at divisional alignments like what @Dan O'Mac, @ChicagoOakland, and @Moser316 have proposed.  For the most part, you're all pretty close to where I am, though not exactly.  There are some rivalries that I would like to keep together (Houston-New Orleans and Pittsburgh-Philadelphia, for example) and there are some that cannot be broken up (Chicago-Detroit and New York-Boston are two).

 

As it is, I'm going to have no choice but to break up some teams that I'd rather keep together.  As Dan said, I've always wanted to keep the North in one division, but I think they're likely to end up split into two.  The two that I mentioned above may also be at risk.  But we'll have to see what happens with potential relocation  The distance between Buffalo and NYC isn't huge, but Buffalo might make more sense in a Great Lakes based division than an Atlantic one, and if Baltimore ends up moving, especially if it's all the way to the West Coast, that will change everything.

 

1 hour ago, eick74 said:

So it looks like Buffalo might contemplate a move to Newark or New York City itself (I would normally say a borough other than the one the Imperials play in, but the Jets and Giants have shared the same stadium since 1984). I don't know what shape the Imperials stadium is in, but they could team up with the Stampeders for a new stadium.

 

It would be rather sardonic if the Baltimore Royals moved to Indianapolis after their lease is up in 1982.

 

I agree that I can't see Los Angeles moving out of that market, but who would have predicted that the Rams and Raiders would both leave in the same year either. I could see some of the larger communities in the Los Angeles area such as Anaheim or Long Beach trying to attract the Comets (Inglewood is the 20th largest city in the LA Metropolitan area). I could even see Riverside or another part of the Inland Empire trying to attract a team.

The Imperials current stadium, the Imperial Coliseum, is located in the Bronx.  It is the second oldest stadium in the league, having opened in 1953 (Chicago's Dever Stadium is the oldest), but it's a landmark, and isn't likely to go anywhere anytime soon.  It's also the second largest (behind LA Memorial Coliseum).  So they're not likely to go anywhere.  If anything, it might make more sense for Buffalo (or another team moving to the NYC area) to move in there than the reverse.  Then again, everything is already set up for the East Rutherford stadium to be built, so if they don't want to share, they might not necessarily have to.

 

I'd say that Anaheim is a strong candidate to land the Comets eventually (though they wouldn't change the name), and the Inland Empire very well could get a team at some point.  Looking at how the voting went, I almost wish I had included them as a finalist instead of Connecticut.

 

1 hour ago, Steelman said:

Interesting news about possible relocations amidst the expansion council. I don't recall hearing this many rumors during an expansion before. Definitely a new day in the league, as I mentioned after the "underdog" Victory Bowl, where it appears many owners are reevaluating their current situations in what could be an offseason that could radically change the landscape of the league.

 

If the Buffalo stadium situation doesn't seem likely to be resolved, I think Sean Cooper should team up with Hal Jobson and move the Stampeders to Newark. Those Jersey roots are just too strong. That would give Cooper the bigger venue he wants and that would give finally give Jobson a place in the AFA where he could gain experience until the next council if he still wants his own team. I could see the Stampeders actually not losing as many fans as you'd think, given the proximity of the two cities and the probability of Cooper and Jobson to be able to paint the scene as the Stampeders vs. the City of Buffalo and that their hand was forced.

 

I'm curious as to the profile of the Baltimore owner. A move to Indianapolis seems like an obvious choice, but there are also other east coast cities to consider, such as Newark and the Hartford bid. Their previous move was not far (Richmond to Baltimore) so it stands to reason the ownership isn't afraid of badgering the current markets and territory lines. The Hartford market in particular seems keen on building a nice domed stadium and the locals have plenty of money to spend. Domes are big attractions, I would say especially in New England in such a centrally-located place. Similar to a potential Cooper-Jobson partnership, the Baltimore owner could tap Bowes as a CFO of sorts.

 

Fun offseason!

I don't think rumors have ever come up during the expansion votes before, but I also accidentally left the vote open for a day longer than I meant to.  I didn't expect to have time to be at my computer today, but that turned out not to be the case.  So with the extra bit of time (and the fact that the vote was already pretty much decided a couple hours after it opened), it makes sense that rumors would stir.

 

As for the Baltimore Royals owner:  His name is Paul King.  He's the grandson of O.P. King, who was one of the primary founders of the AFA.  He has a good hold on the business side of things, but sometimes gets a bit too involved in the front office, which usually doesn't end well (this is a complaint that was quite reasonably levelled at his grandfather as well--he even tried coaching the team for two years).  He has backed off on this a bit in recent years.  He was behind the massive 1976 trade with San Diego to get QB Vince Barnett out of Boston College with the number two overall pick.  He mortgaged the team's future for a player who aspires to be average against the advice of his front office, and has since realized that he shouldn't meddle.

 

When it comes to relocation, he will do what he has to do.  He really didn't want to move the team from Richmond, but he was also afraid of being stuck in a small market and never having the money to compete.  If having an old, inadequate stadium will also cause problems, there are other markets looking for a team.  Indianapolis, Connecticut, San Antonio, Birmingham, and the Inland Empire, just to name a few.

 

1 hour ago, Ipapterotes said:

See how Cali has more teams than any other state?

Yes, but the state is a completely arbitrary unit when you're talking about this kind of thing.  The distance between LA and Phoenix is actually a little bit shorter than the distance between LA and San Francisco, the only difference is that for the former you have to cross an imaginary line and for the latter you don't.

 

It doesn't matter whether you look at population, wealth, or size, California should be expected to have several teams.  California has 3 teams, Wyoming has none, but the population of California more than 50 times larger.  If California were to split off from the U.S. and become its own country, it would have the 10th largest economy of any nation in the world.  California's coastline is something like 840 miles long.  If I were to travel 840 miles from my home in Indianapolis, I could go to Canada, the Atlantic Ocean, Atlanta, or Minneapolis.

 

Really, they're pretty well represented at 3 teams in 1980.  The population of the state was 23.67 million, and the population of the country was 226.5 million.  They have 3 AFA teams out of what is soon to be 28 in the league.  In other words, California was home to 10.5% of Americans and 10.7% of the AFA's franchises.

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How far do you think expansion will go in the future? If the Royals relocate could they possibly change their team name this time around?

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