Veras

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

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84r4g1clevscal_by_verasthebrujah-dbfz7cg

The first quarter was a battle for field position, as the two teams felt each other out early.  Cleveland pushed well into California territory on two occasions, but each time the drive stalled, forcing them to settle for a pair of David Street field goals.  Less than four minutes into the second quarter, however, they were finally able to finish a drive strong, advancing to the 6 before Therron Nikoloudis hit RB Jose Ortuno on a swing pass for a touchdown.

 

Trailing 13-0, the California offense also finally found some success, answering with a 5-minute touchdown drive of their own to make it a one score game.  Shortly before halftime, they looked as though they might have a chance to put more points on the board, but QB Steve Parker got greedy, and took a shot downfield that was picked off by CB Ron Downs at the Cleveland 18 with 27 seconds left in the half.

 

The Ghosts put up 7 more points on the opening drive of the third, as Ortuno pounded his way through the defense from 16 yards out.  California looked ready to answer on their ensuing posession, but on 3rd and 9 from the 11, Parker attempted a pass to WR Gary MacKey, who was one-on-one against All-Star CB Kevin Rubin.  Rubin got a hand on the ball, and managed to pin it against his body for the interception, preserving Clevleand’s 20-7 lead.

 

The Whales would make their way deep into Cleveland territory once more in the third, driving all the way to the 1-yard line, but they couldn’t get into the end zone.  Steve Parker and the offense pleaded for the chance to go for it on 4th down, but Coach Myron Christiansen sent out the kicking unit for the chip shot, making it 20-10.  It didn’t take long for this to look like a bad decision, as the Ghosts immediately drove 83 yards in under 4 minutes, and Ortuno picked up his third touchdown of the day.

 

5 minutes into the fourth quarter, the Whales managed to cut the deficit to 10 on a 9 yard pass from Parker to WR Henry Stevenson.  After the teams traded punts, Cleveland once again extended their lead.  Ortuno looked all but unstoppable as they drove down the field, so when Nikoloudis faked the handoff to him on 2nd and goal from inside the 1, the entire defense swarmed to shut him down.  The quarterback rolled out to the left for a walk-in touchdown, giving the team a commanding 34-17 lead with just 3:58 to play.

 

To California’s credit, they fought until the bitter end.  A big pass interference penalty in the end zone by Cleveland FS Buddy Smith gave the Whales possession at the 1 shortly after the 2-minute warning.  Parker hit TE Ed Adams for a touchdown, but it wouldn’t matter.  The onside kick attempt failed, and the Ghosts were able to run out the clock with their 10-point lead intact.

 

The Cleveland Ghosts are AFA champions for the first time since 1959.  In the process, they became the first wildcard team to win a title since the postseason expanded to 10 teams (meaning that they are the first to require 4 playoff victories for the championship).

 

1984_afa_postseason_by_verasthebrujah-db

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19 hours ago, Darknes said:

I think the Silver is gonna come back for Boston, maybe incorporate some of the Chain into their look from the old anchor?

...have you been looking through my files?

 

Seriously, though, those are both good guesses.  Part of the reason that the Captains ditched the silver in the first place is that the Imperials wore the color.  Now that their rivals in the Big Apple have gone two-tone, Boston will move the other directions. Their uniform will also get a pretty significant overhaul.  It will keep some of the traditional elements, but at the same time will be very different from what anybody else is wearing.

 

19 hours ago, GreatBigGrizzly said:

I can't believe my eyes, not only did the Whales win a playoff game, but they made it to the Victory Bowl. Against my better judgement I'm going to be optimistic that the miracle season ends with our first title.

If it's any consolation, it has become pretty uncommon for teams to win the big one in the first trip to the Victory Bowl.  San Diego did it in '81, but they were the first since Washington did it in 1967.  It's hard to say what California's odds are for next year.  They will certainly be the favorites to win the West over aging Seattle and San Diego squads, but this team was seen as having overachieved to get as far as they did.  The question will be whether this was a fluke, or if they're for real.

 

EDIT:  I meant to post the Victory Bowl field and logo yesterday, but sick kiddo ensured that it wasn't going to happen.

victory_bowl_39_by_verasthebrujah-dbfz7d

 

39th_victory_bowl__tampa_bay__by_verasth

 

I can't say that this was my favorite field.  Both team names were so short that I kind of needed to put the helmets in the end zone to fill the space, but since both teams' helmets' are their primary colors, I had to enclose them in the white circle to get them to show up.  This is only the second time that the team boxes have been painted for the Victory Bowl, and the field includes an error - the field crew gave the Ghosts a white facemask on their end zone helmet, when it should have been grey.

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Nope, just a total guess from the gut. Will there be an Alt of Silver perhaps?

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Nope, no alts quite yet.  They're not far off, but they're more likely to arrive in the 90s than the 80s.  That being said, 1994 will be the AFA's 50th season, so there will undoubtedly be a lot of throwbacks that year.

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Hmmm.... something "very different from what everyone else is wearing"... are we about to see the return of the two belly stripes (the ones in the first two jerseys in Darknes' sig)? That would certainly be interesting, but I can't say I would like it. Also, I would expect the silver (or white) helmet to return.

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This is an absolutely fantastic series. I love the storylines and storytelling that goes into this. One question I do have is how exactly do the playoffs work? I'm confused about how a wildcard team can have a high seed yet still need to play a 1st round game. Can't wait to keep following along!

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12 minutes ago, Roadrunner8ball said:

This is an absolutely fantastic series. I love the storylines and storytelling that goes into this. One question I do have is how exactly do the playoffs work? I'm confused about how a wildcard team can have a high seed yet still need to play a 1st round game. Can't wait to keep following along!

The teams are ranked based on record, no matter if the wild card has a higher record than a division winner. The NFL, as an example, had Houston as a 4 seed at 9-7 while Oakland and Miami had 12-4 and 10-6 records and the 5 and 6 seeds. In the AFA, the Raiders and Dolphins would've been ranked higher and still have to play in the wild card game.

 

Anyway, Cleveland's drought is over, and mostly everyone is hoping that California can still be a contender. I can't wait until Chicago gets out of their mediocrity and either have a bad record and get good draft picks or actually get good. By the looks of it, neither may happen, but I still have hope for the Butchers.

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1 minute ago, Mercy_King said:

The teams are ranked based on record, no matter if the wild card has a higher record than a division winner. The NFL, as an example, had Houston as a 4 seed at 9-7 while Oakland and Miami had 12-4 and 10-6 records and the 5 and 6 seeds. In the AFA, the Raiders and Dolphins would've been ranked higher and still have to play in the wild card game.

 

Anyway, Cleveland's drought is over, and mostly everyone is hoping that California can still be a contender. I can't wait until Chicago gets out of their mediocrity and either have a bad record and get good draft picks or actually get good. By the looks of it, neither may happen, but I still have hope for the Butchers.

That was the case I feel for the Captains for like ever, not bad enough for really good picks, or just being able to play good.

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50 minutes ago, Magic Dynasty said:

Hmmm.... something "very different from what everyone else is wearing"... are we about to see the return of the two belly stripes (the ones in the first two jerseys in Darknes' sig)? That would certainly be interesting, but I can't say I would like it. Also, I would expect the silver (or white) helmet to return.

No, not that different.  It will be fairly progressive for the 1980s, but it's nothing totally wild.

 

28 minutes ago, Roadrunner8ball said:

This is an absolutely fantastic series. I love the storylines and storytelling that goes into this. One question I do have is how exactly do the playoffs work? I'm confused about how a wildcard team can have a high seed yet still need to play a 1st round game. Can't wait to keep following along!

First of all, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

 

To answer your question, @Mercy_King described it pretty well.  Winning a division buys you a ticket out of the first round, but it doesn't earn the right to host games.  12-4 Cleveland had to play a wildcard game because they were a wildcard team (finishing second in their division behind 13-3 Cincinnati).  8-8 Texas didn't have to play the extra game, but their inferior record meant that when they matched up against the Ghosts in the semifinals, they had to travel to Cleveland.

 

Another way to think about it would be to consider the two wildcard games as a play-in.  Four wildcard teams compete for two spots in the 8-team tournament.  However, once the tournament starts, it basically doesn't matter who did and didn't win divisions (there is a weird exception to that rule that only comes into play when a division is won on a tiebreaker, but it's not really important).

 

5 minutes ago, Darknes said:
17 minutes ago, Mercy_King said:

Anyway, Cleveland's drought is over, and mostly everyone is hoping that California can still be a contender. I can't wait until Chicago gets out of their mediocrity and either have a bad record and get good draft picks or actually get good. By the looks of it, neither may happen, but I still have hope for the Butchers.

That was the case I feel for the Captains for like ever, not bad enough for really good picks, or just being able to play good.

That's a pretty accurate description of Boston's past few decades.  They also had the tendency to overperform when the team lacked talent, and underperform when they should have been playoff contenders, which compounded the problem.  That was actually why they hired Darryl Majors as head coach.  He came in and basically said, "Look, you guys have been stuck in limbo for decades.  Let me come in and blow up the roster, rebuild it the right way from the ground up, and I'll get you out of this rut.  But you can't fire me and change directions after three years.  The team will not have a winning record in three years, but we'll be playing for titles in 8-10."  And, by the way, 1985 will be his 7th season with the team.

 

Chicago is stuck in a similar situation.  Actually, they're probably better than most people think they are, but they have one clear All-Star (LB Stan Outwood), a couple of borderline stars (WR Miller Barnason and TE Frankie Tallarico), and then a whole bunch of above average guys.  Part of what is killing them is that their division is just absolutely loaded.  Cleveland is obviously a power in the league, having just won the Victory Bowl, and Cincinnati is even better, if you look past their struggles in January.  Even Detroit - a team that hasn't looked great on paper over the past 2 years - has the potential to be dangerous, behind budding star QB John Lewis and an incredibly athletic defense.

 

There has been some consideration that the Butchers should take the Boston approach and rebuild now, but their record has been a little too good to justify it, and the thought of intentionally becoming one of the worst teams in the league at a moment when they share a division with two of the AFA's top 4 or 5 teams would mean some truly abysmal years ahead.

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What an amazing finish. I wish California would've won, but I can't have everything. Either way, looking forward to Boston's redesign. Seems like they're finally moving forward and with New York, Pittsburgh and New Jersey's rosters aging and Philadelphia just being a train wreck, the Northeast should be very much in play.

 

Also, can you make an updated Crows signature?

 

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Poor Whales :(..... 

 

That onside kick cost them the game & had they got the ball back, who knows what could've been? Congrats to the Ghosts though. 

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1 hour ago, Red Comet said:

What an amazing finish. I wish California would've won, but I can't have everything. Either way, looking forward to Boston's redesign. Seems like they're finally moving forward and with New York, Pittsburgh and New Jersey's rosters aging and Philadelphia just being a train wreck, the Northeast should be very much in play.

 

Also, can you make an updated Crows signature?

 

It's funny that you ask.  I was literally just looking at your sig and wondering why I had never updated it with the correct team logo.  I redid it with the correct logo, and made one with a player as well, to take your pick.

 

http://orig02.deviantart.net/5999/f/2017/192/9/9/1981_kansas_city_crows_sig_by_verasthebrujah-damniy0.jpg

1981_kansas_city_crows_sig_by_verasthebr

 

http://orig13.deviantart.net/14ca/f/2017/192/f/d/player_kc___rick_ortega__rolb__by_verasthebrujah-dbg03iu.jpg

player_kc___rick_ortega__rolb__by_verast

 

The player is Rick Ortega (ROLB).  He was the first overall pick in the 1982 draft, and is the heart and soul of the defense.  He's likely to become one of the league's premier pass rushing linebackers through the rest of the decade, though he still has a ways to go before he can be mentioned in the same breath as Pittsburgh's Russ Osborne.  I wound up choosing him over Greg Benham because he probably has the higher ceiling of the two - Benham has the potential to be a very good quarterback, Ortega could be a Hall of Famer.

 

13 minutes ago, KittSmith_95 said:

Poor Whales :(..... 

 

That onside kick cost them the game & had they got the ball back, who knows what could've been? Congrats to the Ghosts though. 

Winning would have been a tall order even if they had come through with the onside kick.  They were down by 10 with 1:35 to play and had only one timeout left.  They would have needed to score a touchdown, get another onside kick, and then at least get into field goal range for a chance to take it into overtime.

 

I have to say, that would have been a pretty phenomenal comeback.  Definitely worthy of this postseason.  I actually feel like the Victory Bowl was kind of a letdown this year.  The favorite won by a comfortable margin.  The game was never really in doubt, but it wasn't a blowout, and there weren't any surprise stars.  Jose Ortuno was expected to be the man to watch, and it was his performance that ensured a Cleveland victory.

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Love this series, you've really drawn me in. 

 

2 tiny things: Why is the logo different on Cleveland's scoreboard helmet and football field helmet? The scoreboard has outlines only, and the field has a solid white ghost. 

 

Also, the final score on the playoff brackets is wrong. 

 

Thanks for all your efforts! 

 

 

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While the Whales weren't able to pull off the upset, they have nothing to be ashamed about, and hopefully this Victory Bowl run will give them more confidence for the next couple of years. And congratulations to the Ghosts for winning the Victory Cup! I bet my character from the past Expansion Council Jimmy Edwards is celebrating right now (Not that he would show it as a broadcaster), having been a fan of the Ghosts for as long as he can remember.

 

Looking forward to see what the Captains have in store for their new look!

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Glad to see that Cleveland was able to seal the deal in winning the championship this year. I do have a question though, are the Ghosts considered a young team that are championship contenders for the foreseeable future?

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Veras,

 

Any chance you update the "AFA Stadiums" map on Google? I love exploring around some of the original locations you use! 

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Will the AFA logo ever get a major upgrade? Also, I'd like to see if any Victory Bowl logos were ever drafted up.

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12 hours ago, Veras said:

It's funny that you ask.  I was literally just looking at your sig and wondering why I had never updated it with the correct team logo.  I redid it with the correct logo, and made one with a player as well, to take your pick.

 

http://orig02.deviantart.net/5999/f/2017/192/9/9/1981_kansas_city_crows_sig_by_verasthebrujah-damniy0.jpg

1981_kansas_city_crows_sig_by_verasthebr

 

http://orig13.deviantart.net/14ca/f/2017/192/f/d/player_kc___rick_ortega__rolb__by_verasthebrujah-dbg03iu.jpg

player_kc___rick_ortega__rolb__by_verast

 

The player is Rick Ortega (ROLB).  He was the first overall pick in the 1982 draft, and is the heart and soul of the defense.  He's likely to become one of the league's premier pass rushing linebackers through the rest of the decade, though he still has a ways to go before he can be mentioned in the same breath as Pittsburgh's Russ Osborne.  I wound up choosing him over Greg Benham because he probably has the higher ceiling of the two - Benham has the potential to be a very good quarterback, Ortega could be a Hall of Famer.

 

Thank you!

 

Also, is that logo on Ortega's helmet a blurry KC or are the Crows getting a new helmet logo?

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Congrats to the Ghosts! I can't complain about them winning. The VB logo is decent. Not my favorite, but I like that it was different. With the "mistake" on the field, was that on purpose or did you make the accident?

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Congratulations to Cleveland, but I'm just happy to see my Royals inch closer and closer throughout these past few seasons. I'd imagine that the Baltimore front office could be looking towards bringing in a big name free agent acquisition to assist Derrill Punch and Adrien Doom's Victory Bowl quest for next season.

 

I finally decided to make an account and join the discussion after reading through this thread over the past few months. All I can say is this league is a true masterpiece for creative sports writers and I'd like to thank you for the entertainment Veras.

 

Lastly, a Royals' Derrill Punch sig would be a very cool addition to my profile. If you could add that to the signature request list that'd be awesome. Thanks in advance, Veras!

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