Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1990 New Jersey Sharks)

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Alright, here's hoping the Imperials take this thing!

If I'm Ron Adams, I'm calling Charlie Kadlec immediately for some advice on how to win a VB.

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38th Victory Bowl

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The New York Imperials were expected to be the slight favorites, but things changed when the New York locker room was hit by a bad outbreak of the flu in the days before the game.  It got so bad that three players, including QB Ron Adams, spent the Friday night before the game at UC San Diego Medical Center due to severe dehydration.  All three were released just under 24 hours before kickoff.  No Imperial player missed the start because of the bug, but the team was clearly not itself, particularly Adams, who struggled all day, ultimately turning the ball over 5 times (as a point of comparison, he had only 11 turnovers all season).

 

The first turnover came midway through the first quarter when CB Mick Spicer picked off an underthrown pass intended for WR T.J. Dergoff at midfield.  The Colorado offense failed to find the end zone, but they pressed far enough to set up a field goal and take a 3-0 lead.  The Imperials put together a long drive in response, advancing to the Colorado 32, but another interception, this one by CB Mel Spencer, ended the drive with no damage done.

 

New York would score before the half was out, however.  Facing a fourth down about an inch and a half from the end zone with 5 minutes remaining in the second quarter the Imperials kept the offense on the field, and Ron Adams scored on the QB sneak, giving the Imperials their first lead of the day.

 

Colorado got the ball back, and looking to get back in front before the half, advanced into New York territory, but were stopped short of field goal range.  The punt was nearly perfect, pinning New York at their own 7 just before the two-minute warning.  On first down, Adams dropped back to pass.  RT Tim Rincon lost his balance coming out of his stance, giving LOLB Paulie May a free shot at the quarterback on the blitz.  He landed a huge hit on Adams, slamming his shoulder into the passer’s stomach.  Adams fumbled at the three yard line.  DT Steve Waddell dove on the ball as it bounced toward the end zone and then rolled in for the touchdown.

 

With Adams still on the ground, and a fight broke out as Rincon and several of the other New York offensive linemen went after May, thinking that the linebacker had intentionally targeted their quarterback’s stomach because he had been ill (something May casually admitted to in a postgame interview, saying, “Of course [I hit him there intentionally].  We knew that he was having stomach problems, why wouldn’t I go for the weak spot?”).  By the time the fight was stopped, Rincon had been ejected.

 

Adams didn’t miss a snap, coming back onto the field after the kickoff and leading what looked like a good two minute drill.  The Imperials reached the Colorado 34, just on the edge of K John Baze’s range with 22 seconds left in the half.  However, on the next play, Adams came under intense pressure from the blitz, and threw his third interception of the day, allowing Colorado entered the half with a 10-7 lead.

 

New York came into the second half strong, retaking the lead after RB Glen Howell took the ball into the end zone from the one yard line to cap off an 80-yard touchdown drive.  The defenses then held the game scoreless for the next 10 minutes, until Colorado RB Tom Blitz pounded his way across the goal line from three yards out, putting Colorado back in front 17-14.

 

As the fourth quarter began, it was clear that Adams was running out of gas.  His mobility, accuracy, and the velocity and distance of his throws were clearly well below his usual standard.  As he struggled, so too did the entire New York offense, and Colorado was able to extend their lead by 10 following a 37-yard field goal and a 4-yard touchdown pass from John Vessey to TE Michael Yates.

 

The Imperials got the ball back with 3 minutes left on the clock, trailing 27-14.  Any hopes that they had for a comeback were extinguished a minute later, when Mel Spicer picked off Adams for the second time of the day.  The Centennials were able to run out the clock, and claim their second Victory Bowl title of the decade.

 

1983_afa_playoffs_by_verasthebrujah-db9i

 

New York players and fans were understandably angry about the way the game had gone.  They were unhappy about the bad luck of having their star player so ill that he could barely stand, but they were livid about the hit that Paulie May had put on Adams before the half (though there was no question that the hit had been legal), and even more so about May’s flippant attitude about it.  The day after the game, Tim Rincon, talking to a reporter from the New York Times, promised payback.

 

“You know, the Victory Bowl was going to be my last game, win or lose.  I’ve been in the league for 10 years, and I was ready to walk away, but not anymore.  I checked.  We play in Denver next year, probably in the season opener or on Thanksgiving, and Paulie (redacted) May is going to be wheeled off of that (redacted) field.”

 

http://orig15.deviantart.net/7b06/f/2017/148/6/1/colorado_jonas_sig_by_verasthebrujah-d9pt2sl.jpg

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http://orig07.deviantart.net/0f38/f/2017/148/2/7/championship_banners_sig_by_verasthebrujah-d9q2txa.jpg

championship_banners_sig_by_verasthebruj

 

 

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Congrats to the Cents for their 3rd AFA Championship. It's a shame the Imperials were sick & didn't play to the best of their abilities in the Victory Bowl, but we have ourselves a new Dynasty. 

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And to think they did this all without St. Mark!

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New York losing the Victory Bowl gives me a chance to talk about their color values. So I used this website to get the color values for each team, and the Imperials gave me more trouble because certain areas of the logo gave different RGB values. For the most part, I got maroon as (120, 17, 20) and grey as (205, 204, 202), so I was wondering if I was accurate or not.

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Congrats to Colorado for winning. Kind of a weird observation, but in the last 11 Victory Bowls, 6 of the 11 champions wore blue, so I guess blue is a winning color. Also, can you make a new Butchers sig, kind of like the Angels and Cents ones?

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Hey Guys

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Not gonna lie, I haven't looked at this page in quite a while, and I was wondering coming into this season whether or not we were gonna make the playoffs. Boy was I in for a surprise...

 

Now, I think Tom Blitz is my favorite player of all time, and we're a QB away from a Dynasty. Good times in the Centennial State.

 

Senator Ken Hughes is currently lobbying a bill to make Jan 15th Tom Blitz day in Colorado, Honoring (probably) the most legendary run in AFA history. It's expected to pass.

 

Finally, can someone tell me how to attach a sig again? it's been so long since I've updated and my potato mind can't figure out the process again. 

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Congrats to the Cents... I had a feeling the Imperials were going to come up short. I really hope NY can rebound next season because this window of opportunity to win a VB will be closing eventually.

 

So looking forward, what are the needs going into the draft for my beloved NY Imperials and NJ Sharks?

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10 hours ago, ChicagoOakland said:

And to think they did this all without St. Mark!

They did that without an AFA-caliber passing attack. John Vessey is probably the worst quarterback ever to win a Victory Bowl (the only other contender being Johnson Wray of the 1956 Chicago Butchers), and he did it with a receiving corps that aspires to be middling. Their RB Tom Blitz, FB Don Johnson (who announced his retirement after winning his 4th Victory Bowl ring), offensive line, plus Paulie May and the entire defense deserve a tremendous amount of credit. 

 

9 hours ago, RightGuard said:

New York losing the Victory Bowl gives me a chance to talk about their color values. So I used this website to get the color values for each team, and the Imperials gave me more trouble because certain areas of the logo gave different RGB values. For the most part, I got maroon as (120, 17, 20) and grey as (205, 204, 202), so I was wondering if I was accurate or not.

Basically, yes. I have the red at #781214 (120, 18, 20) and the grey as #CDCBCB (205, 203, 203). 

 

I'll tell you now, though, it's changing this offseason. After decades of frustration and bad luck, the Imperials will be making a slight change to their logo and modifying their colors to a brighter scheme. Miami will also undergo a rebrand, which will be considerably more dramatic as they try to distance themselves from the last decade of their history.

 

7 hours ago, Mercy_King said:

Congrats to Colorado for winning. Kind of a weird observation, but in the last 11 Victory Bowls, 6 of the 11 champions wore blue, so I guess blue is a winning color. Also, can you make a new Butchers sig, kind of like the Angels and Cents ones?

Well, it's been the last 5 in a row, but look at the streaks before that. Red primary teams won 6 of the first 7 and 7 of the first 11, but haven't won since. Teams with yellow or gold as a secondary have won 9 of the last 14 (and that doesn't include Minnesota's 2, and they have yellow in their logo). Blue teams have done well since 1979, but prior to that, they were on quite a drought, having won only one title between 1968 and 1979.

 

6 hours ago, Jacobseye said:

Why is it that every time the Cents are in The Victory Bowl, I have this gut feeling they win?

They're definitely one of the more successful Victory Bowl teams. At 3-1, I think only Washington (4-0) has a better winning percentage among teams with multiple championship appearances. Pittsburg is next, at 8-3. 

 

3 hours ago, Asterix777 said:

Hey Guys

 

Not gonna lie, I haven't looked at this page in quite a while, and I was wondering coming into this season whether or not we were gonna make the playoffs. Boy was I in for a surprise...

 

Now, I think Tom Blitz is my favorite player of all time, and we're a QB away from a Dynasty. Good times in the Centennial State.

 

Senator Ken Hughes is currently lobbying a bill to make Jan 15th Tom Blitz day in Colorado, Honoring (probably) the most legendary run in AFA history. It's expected to pass.

 

Finally, can someone tell me how to attach a sig again? it's been so long since I've updated and my potato mind can't figure out the process again. 

Yeah, they were probably slight favorites to win the division, but Minnesota is still dangerous and Kansas City has proven that they're not a team to be taken lightly.

 

The question now is how long they can keep it going. There is virtually no chance that they'll be able to upgrade at QB this offseason, and the o-line and defense are aging. At the same time, Minnesota is still very good, with a brutal defense (though age is catching up with them as well) paired with Tim Kewley at QB, who has made tremendous strides since entering the league. The bigger threat, though, is Kansas City. The Crows have a superstar in the making with Greg Benham at QB, a LB corps that is arguably second only to Colorado's, and a number of young players throughout the roster. They're probably only a year or two away from challenging the Cents for the division title, and may be serious VB contenders by the time Benham hits his prime. 

 

And the signature is under Account Settings, not Profile. 

 

2 hours ago, officerpain138 said:

Congrats to the Cents... I had a feeling the Imperials were going to come up short. I really hope NY can rebound next season because this window of opportunity to win a VB will be closing eventually.

 

So looking forward, what are the needs going into the draft for my beloved NY Imperials and NJ Sharks?

Yeah, the window closing is a real concern. LB Gerry Leigh, who has always been Adams's compatriot on the defensive side of the ball, did not look great down the stretch, and SS Guy Vacilis will be 35 next year. If either doesn't bounce back next year, the Imperials are going to be hurting without the heart and soul of their defense.

 

This isn't a great draft class, so both teams will likely just pick more for talent than for need, but New Jersey is weakest on both lines, though their defense is full of holes, so don't be surprised if they jump on an LB or DB in round 1.

 

New York would like to get Adams some help. Richard Braatz is still his top target, but he's on the wrong side of 30 and hasn't aged well. Meanwhile, the team has a pair of mediocre running backs in Markus Warner and Glen Howell. Unfortunately, the pool at the skill positions is very shallow this year, and it's unlikely that there will be a hot prospect on the board when they pick at #27. There are some good interior offensive linemen that may fall to them in round 1, and they may try to bring some youth in at DB or LB. 

 

 

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Boo! It's been the same teams the last few years. Starting to dislike Colorado. 

 

Hopefully the Whales can rebound. We took a step in the right direction. Next step is to make a "run."

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Congrats to the Centennials.

 

How are the Miners' future?

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Sorry that it's been a while.  I had some writer's block, but I finally got going again this weekend.  I'm finished with the designs for this offseason, I've simulated through the next Victory Bowl, and I've started writing for next year.  I'll post the Miami Suns updated look soon.  It's been done for a few days, I just haven't had the time or the motivation to actually present it.

 

I am, however, ready to post a sig.  I've made a new Butchers sig at the request of @Mercy_King.  The featured player is MLB Stan Outwood.  He was the top-rated player in the 1979 draft, and the Butchers traded for the pick from the St. Louis Aces (an unpopular move from Aces fans - Outwood played college ball at Mizzou, and was very popular locally).  So far, the Aces probably got the better end of the bargain.  They ended up using the 8th overall pick on ROLB Ed Stacey (Maryland), who is now one of the leauge's elite pass rushers.  Outwood took some time to develop, but made his first All-Star Bowl this year, and at 27 years old, is the heart and soul of the defense.

 

http://orig11.deviantart.net/d577/f/2017/162/f/0/player_chi___stan_outwood__mlb__by_verasthebrujah-dbcelur.jpg

player_chi___stan_outwood__mlb__by_veras

 

On 5/29/2017 at 9:31 PM, ~Bear said:

Boo! It's been the same teams the last few years. Starting to dislike Colorado. 

 

Hopefully the Whales can rebound. We took a step in the right direction. Next step is to make a "run."

Yeah, it's been a pretty long run of teams winning more than one title within a short time frame.  Colorado, Minnesota, New Orleans, Washington, and Pittsburgh have all won multiple titles over the past decade plus.

 

As for the Whales, it's hard to tell what is in their future.  Was this a fluke?  How good are they, really?  Has the window closed on San Diego and Seattle?

 

5 hours ago, Ipapterotes said:

Congrats to the Centennials.

 

How are the Miners' future?

That really depends on what happens with Rob Connery.  The team has had an elite defense for years, but the lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball has been too much to overcome.  They were 25th in total offense this year.  Connery won't have a great supporting cast around him, but if he can be even a shadow of his former self, he can at the very least ensure that the Miners offense is no longer a liability.  On the other hand, if he turns out to be just a washed up, 34 year old guy with a bad knee, then we can probably expect more of the same.  The Miners will continue to be a borderline playoff team, but they just won't have what it takes to win in January.

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I usually post the uniform and logo changes first, but the offseason news is necessary to understand why one of the teams will be unveiling a new look this year, so it will come first.

 

Coaching Changes

 

As the 1983 season wrapped up, it seemed clear that at least three teams would part ways with their head coaches over the offseason:  Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and St. Louis.  The Comets were the first to make the move, firing Coach Paul Raphael the day after the end of the season.  Raphael hadn’t accomplished much in Los Angeles, but his previous tenure as head coach in Seattle (during which time he had overseen the development of Rob Connery) was successful enough that he was still considered a hot candidate in some quarters.

 

Among fans of Raphael was St. Louis Aces owner Bobby Blankenship.  Upon hearing the news of Raphael’s firing, Blankenship immediately canned his head coach, Peter Langtree.  The 85 year old owner, who was in poor health, then immediately boarded a flight to Los Angeles.  Raphael signed with the Aces the next day.

 

The Comets badly wanted Roosevelt Brown, the architect of Cincinnati’s high-octane offense, but Brown refused to even interview, expressing concern over the lack of talent on the roster and confidence that the Guardians roster would win multiple titles in the coming years.  Instead, they settled for one of his assistants, hiring RB coach Johnny Owchinko, a former AFA fullback who spent 12 years in the league, mostly with Boston.

 

The Philadelphia Railers surprised the league by keeping head coach Sonny Belasario, though they did fire virtually everyone else on the coaching staff and in the front office.  However, the biggest shock of the year came during the All-Star Bowl, when Colorado Centennials coach Clyde Mitchell announced his resignation and his intention to return to the college ranks, going back to his former position at Notre Dame.  “There isn’t any more for me to do in this league,” he explained, citing his two Victory Bowl rings.  “We’ve done great things in Denver, but I prefer coaching at the college level, and helping those boys grow into men.”

 

The Centennials promoted DC Billy Schlessinger to head coach, and hired the recently unemployed Peter Langtree to run the defense.

 

Ownership News

 

On February 19, 1984, the Miami Herald announced that the hotel magnate Dale Olsen had undertaken a hostile takeover of the Miami Suns.  Olsen, who had owned a minority share of the team, accomplished this by secretly purchasing shares from other minor owners, most notably Delmer Fowler, the eldest son of team founder Ike Fowler.  There is still some uncertainty, however.  Olsen currently owns 48 percent of the team, while Fowler and his immediate family control 41 percent.  With no other minority owner interested in selling their share, it would still be theoretically possible for Olsen to be overruled on major decisions, though for now he has nearly unanimous support from the other half dozen owners.

 

Player Movement and Retirements

 

Three likely future Hall of Famers walked away following the 1983 season, though two were well past their glory days.

 

Jim Gore hung up his cleats after a stellar 13-year career in Buffalo and New Jersey.  Most sportswriters agree that he held on a little too long (in fact, he wanted to play another year but the Sharks refused to bring him back and he failed to secure a tryout with any other team).  Hopefully, he will be remembered more for tearing up defenses with his speed and agility in the 1970s than for his poor play in the 1980s (including a fumble on his final career carry against New York in the 1983 postseason).

 

The Colorado Centennials also lost a former great to retirement in FB Don Johnson, who won four Victory Bowls in 12 years with the Miners and Cents.  However, like Gore, Johnson was no longer a major contributor.  To replace him, Colorado traded for New Orleans RB Steven O’Conner, who will move to fullback and should be an upgrade as a blocker and in short yardage situations.

 

Finally, DE Johnny Hill retired from the Washington Wasps.  He anchored a defense that won three Victory Bowls in four years, and as the last remaining member of those championship teams, his departure is a major symbol of a new era in Washington.AFA Draft

 

The New Orleans Krewe surprised no one by spending the first pick of the draft on Donny Minor, a southpaw QB out of Texas.  Minor, who is a classic pocket passer, is expected to be the first star quarterback to play in the Big Easy since Richard “Woody” Woods departed following the 1966 season.  The only other quarterback selected in the first round went to the Cleveland Ghosts, as they selected Therron Nikoloudis (Miami) with the 12th pick.  In spite of his having led the Hurricanes to a national championship in 1983, he is widely seen as not being AFA-ready.  He has been widely criticized for relying too much on his scrambling ability to make plays, and most scouts feel that he will struggle against more athletic AFA defenses.

 

Defense dominated the first round of the draft, as 18 of the top 28 selections came from that side of the ball, including an incredible 8 defensive backs and 6 outside linebackers.  The most highly-touted of these prospects is Dean Abernathy (OLB – BYU), who was taken number 2 overall by the Washington Wasps.  Abernathy is one of the most versatile players in league history, having taken snaps in college not only at every linebacker position, but also at defensive end, safety, running back, and tight end.

 

Bob Feichtinger (WR – Illinois) the top wideout in the draft fell to the Kansas City Crows at 6th overall.  He could give QB Greg Benham a legitimate number one option for the first time of his professional career.  If the pick pans out (and many of the top-rated receivers in recent years have failed to live up to their hype), he could take the Crows from a scrappy, borderline playoff team to legitimate contenders.

Finally, the Angels reinforced their reputation for being willing to overlook off the field issues by taking (the appropriately-named) CB Scott D'Angelico (San Diego State) with the 15th pick.  During his sophomore season at USC in 1981, D’Angelico was one of the top defensive backs in the nation, and was widely expected to be a top-5 pick in the 1983 draft.  However, he was arrested 3 times in 2 months over the summer, and was cut from the program.  He transferred to San Diego State, where he sat out in 1982 before returning to the field in 1983.  Though his talent had clearly not diminished, most teams were deeply concerned about his legal problems.

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Miami's "minority government" in ownership is going to make them really unstable... I take it Olsen is the driver for the team's new look?

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Yep, you're right on both points.  It's not inconceivable that the Fowler family could regain control if Olsen can't turn things around.  After all, he founded the team, and has longer relationships with the minor owners than Olsen does.  As for the new look:  Fowler has always been one of the more eccentric owners in the league, and he has always wanted the Suns to have a wild look, which he feels represents Miami.  Olsen is more conservative, and has publicly described the Suns as being "a bad team in a weird-looking uniform."  He has been pushing for a more traditional look for years (in fact, he proposed the logo and uniforms that the team will be wearing two years ago, but was vetoed by Fowler and his sons).  Now that he's in charge, he'll get what he wants.

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Darn, I thought Miami was going to be the team with the wildest uniforms in the league, which made them unique. Hopefully they'll keep some of their eccentric looks in the new look.

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How are The Dragons doing this offseason?

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