Veras

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

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Let's go Whales!

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The semis should be up tomorrow night, and I should be good to transition into the new offseason designs fairly quickly after the end of the season.

 

On 7/6/2017 at 11:04 PM, Red Comet said:

EDIT: Colorado got mauled. I can't imagine that they'd ever want to wear blue again after that kind of performance. 

I forgot to comment on this part of your post before:

 

They not only got mauled - they were beat that badly by Frankie Farragut, a backup who the Ghosts shopped for years and were fairly open about the fact that they didn't consider him good enough to lead them to a Victory Bowl.  This game was incredibly embarrassing for them.

 

On 7/7/2017 at 4:05 PM, Asterix777 said:

I know that feel, Miners fans... 

 

This postseason is definitely the weirdest i've seen in the AFA's history, but it's also one to tell your grandkids about. 

 

Cents Reminded how much a good QB takes a team. Ken Hughes is probably wishing he could lace'em up again...

I'm not sure that even Hughes in his prime could have tipped the scale in that game.  Ortuno simply was not going to be stopped.

 

As for their future prospects - the Cents are very openly shopping for a veteran QB this offseason.  There are rumors tying them to Todd Mayo in Chicago and Walter Dodd in San Diego, and one would have to think that they'll take a close look at Frankie Farragut after the shellacking that he just handed them.  They might also take a look at a reunion with Joey Branson-Greene.  Tampa Bay has already fired head coach George Coffin, and if the new regime wants to dump JBG, his former team would make for an obvious landing spot regardless of whether he is cut or traded.

 

Their window can't stay open all that much longer, and they don't want to waste it waiting for Vessey or some other back-bencher to magically transform into a legitimate starter.

 

On 7/7/2017 at 6:04 PM, ChicagoOakland said:

I prefer "The Garglers of Cincinnati".

The Guardians of Chokecinnati?

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2 hours ago, Veras said:

They not only got mauled - they were beat that badly by Frankie Farragut, a backup who the Ghosts shopped for years and were fairly open about the fact that they didn't consider him good enough to lead them to a Victory Bowl.  This game was incredibly embarrassing for them.

 

Also, Totally forgot about the blue-jersey thing. I'm sure a lot of people in Colorado think blue is a cursed color, what after all the postseason disappointments they've suffered wearing them. I could honestly see the Cents phasing out the blue jerseys for red or gold full-time, just on the grounds of superstition.

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84r3g1balvscal_by_verasthebrujah-dbfq7f5

The night before the game, the polar vortex moved into the Eastern United States, bringing record low temperatures and strong winds to several states, and Baltimore wasn’t spared.  When the teams took the field, the temperature was 7° with a windchill of -15°, and it would only get colder as the game wore on.

 

At first, the weather seemed to favor the Royals over their visitors from San Francisco, and the home team jumped to a 10-0 lead thanks to a touchdown run by RB Jim Ingles and a 23-yard field goal by Rod Nadeau.  The Whales got on the board early in the second after an interception by CB James Lehen allowed them to start a drive at the Baltimore 35.  RB Hank Albert cut his way through the defense for 7 yards on first down.  With the Royals defense playing close to the line on 2nd and 3, WR Mark Sweeny was able to get behind the defense, and Steve Parker hit him for an easy touchdown, putting the score at 10-7.

 

Both teams would score again before the half.  With 2:58 on the clock, Baltimore FB J.D. Kraushar pounded his way into the end zone from 7 yards out, extending the lead back to 10.  However, the Whales answered immediately, as Hank Albert added a touchdown of his own with 42 seconds to play, sending the game into halftime with the Royals leading 17-14.

 

The wind picked up after the half, limiting the effectiveness of both offenses.  The only points in the third quarter came when California’s All-Star kicker Dan Davis knocked in a 30-yard field goal off the upright, tying the game at 17.  Early in the fourth, the Royals sent out Rod Nadeau for a 38-yard attempt, but the kick wasn’t even close.  The Whales retook possession and marched 79 yards down the field, scoring four and a half minutes later on a 4 yard run by Hank Albert.  With 8:29 to play, California held their first lead of the day.

 

They would only build on the lead.  Just before the 2 minute warning, they found themselves facing a 3rd and goal from the 1.  The Baltimore defense had already stuffed Hank Albert twice, so the Whales sent in hulking 310-pound defensive lineman Leroy Mulligan to pick up the final yard, and he did so, running over LB Frank Allhusen in the process.

 

California’s 31-17 lead would hold, and one week after winning their first playoff game, they punched a ticket to their first Victory Bowl after more than three decades of futility.

 

84r3g2clevstex_by_verasthebrujah-dbfq7ff

The Baltimore-California game was one of the coldest games ever played, but it paled in comparison to the matchup between Cleveland and Texas, which history would remember as the Polar Bowl.  The temperature at kickoff was -17°, with a wind chill of -46° (and would fall as low as -48°), both of which were AFA records.

 

The weather had a big impact on the quarterback situation for the Ghosts.  The team had planned to start Therron Nikoloudis, despite his bruised throwing elbow.  However, the extreme cold aggravated the injury, and interfered with his throwing motion.  Moreover, the Florida-born passer had never before experienced, much less played in, sub-zero temperatures, whereas backup Frankie Farragut (a native of North Dakota) was accustomed to brutal winters.

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, scoring got off to a slow start, as it took over 10 minutes for either team to advance into what would ordinarily be considered field goal range.  The Stallions were the first to accomplish this, doing so when Mikey McGowan hit a wide open WR Brian Kujawa over the middle at the Cleveland 35.  The elation on the Texas sideline didn’t last long, however.  By the time Kujawa reached the 30, he was slammed into by FS Buddy Smith.  The ball came loose, and CB Ron Downs, who had been two steps behind Kujawa, fell on it at the 29.  The elation of the takeaway sparked the Ghosts offense, and three and a half minutes later, RB Jose Ortuno powered his way into the end zone to put Cleveland up 7-0.

 

Ortuno made it 14-0 midway through the second, and Cleveland had a chance to extend the lead further, but the wind blew David Street’s 38-yard attempt hopelessly wide in what would be the only field goal attempt of the day.  The Stallions tried to get on the board before the half, but a Kevin Rubin interception near midfield in the final minute of the second quarter ended any hope of that.

 

The Stallions started the second half with a huge kick return by Phil Hamilton, who made it back to the Cleveland 41 before being tripped up by David Street.  Unfortunately for the visitors, their scoring opportunity was once again lost to a turnover, this time when CB Kimball Palmer picked off a third down pass attempt.  Nevertheless, the Stallions would finally get on the board in the third on a 2-yard run by Kelvin barker in the final two minutes of the quarter.

 

On their first possession of the fourth quarter, they looked ready to tie the game, advancing as far as the Cleveland 29, but for the third time of the day, they turned the ball over in Ghosts territory.  This time, Kelvin Barker took the handoff and hit a gap in the line, and then juked to dodge an attempted tackle by LB Charlie White.  In doing so, he left himself exposed to a hit by superstar SS John Bow, who leveled him with a teeth-rattling helmet-to-helmet hit.  Barker’s helmet was knocked clean off, and the ball came loose, with White eventually falling on it at the 26.

 

The Ghosts managed to nurse their one score lead until the game’s final minute, when with 41 seconds to play, Jose Ortuno scored for the third time of the day, making it 21-7, and sending the Ghosts to the Victory Bowl for the second time in three years.

 

1984_0_by_verasthebrujah-dbevs2m.jpg

 

AFA Magazine Victory Bowl Preview

 

The Ghosts would seem to have the upper hand.  California’s rushing attack probably has a slight edge against the Cleveland run defense.  However, the Whales have a good but not great front seven, while RB Jose Ortuno has been all but unstoppable since Halloween, especially when paired with QB Therron Nikoloudis, who is also a threat on the ground.  Both secondaries are excellent, so we are unlikely to see much passing.  In a game featuring two teams that are very good at protecting leads, it wouldn’t be surprising if the team that scores first holds the wins without ever surrendering the advantage.

 

The game will be held in Tampa, so it’s also worth noting that the Ghosts have an inordinate number of Floridian players on their team.  Most notable are a pair of former Miami Hurricanes:  QB Therron Nikoloudis and RB Jose Ortuno.  Nikoloudis grew up in Tarpon Springs, 45 minutes away from Tampa Bay Stadium, while Ortuno lives 3 hours away in Clewiston.  Both have talked about wanting to win the Victory Bowl in front of friends and family, so look for Cleveland to come into the game with an extra measure of motivation.

 

This is Cleveland’s fourth Victory Bowl appearance.  They upset the Philadelphia Railers in the 14th, but were shut out by the Los Angeles Comets in the 7th and fell to the Minnesota Angels in both the 12th and 37th editions of the big game.

 

California has never been to the Victory Bowl.  Thanks to their qualification this year, every franchise that was in the league prior to 1967 has played in at least one Victory Bowl.  Only Atlanta, Kansas City, Miami, Portland, and Tampa Bay have never been.

 

Either way, a long championship drought is about to end.  The California Whales entered the league in 1952 and have never won it, while Cleveland hasn’t claimed a title since the 1959 season.  California’s drought is the longest of any Victory Bowl participant, while Cleveland’s 25 years ranks third (the 1973 Philadelphia Railers had experienced a 27-year drought).  The two teams combine for 63 years without a title – no other Victory Bowl has even totaled 50.

 

AFA Magazine predicts that the Victory Cup is going to Cleveland.  Ghosts win, 28-24.

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This has been one of the most unpredictable Postseasons in a Long Time. Though it sucks that my Dragons are failing so hard right now.

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Image result for vince mcmahon surprise gif

California's in the Victory Bowl?!?! That's something you don't hear everyday. If they do win, they might cherish those white jerseys and possibly adopt them in the playoffs like Colorado does(Also, the Whales probably have one of my favorite sets, love blue-and-white color schemes). Well I guess everyone seeing this will hop onto the Whales bandwagon again.

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I haven't been closely following this league, but I am surprised at the playoff outcome and I am rooting for Cleveland.

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:woot:

Whales are going to the VB! This has been one hell of a playoffs. 

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Whales versus Ghosts. Would've never seen this Victory Bowl coming, but the Whales have gotten a few lucky breaks their way. Does it continue here? If not, I think this will be like the last time a historically pathetic franchise made it to the Victory Bowl a la the Houston Hurricanes.  

 

EDIT: Also, how must the fans of the Guardians feel knowing that this league's version of the Cleveland Browns made it into the Victory Bowl while they have one victory in the wild card round with their superstar trio? Wouldn't want Hart's career to go the way of Rob Connery. That would be a waste.

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Lets! Go! WHALES!!!! This has been an insane playoffs. This will go down as one of the greatest playoffs of all time, right? Also, nice coining for the "Polar Bowl".

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It seems that the Ghosts have paralleled the Browns success in the 1980s. Hope they can win it all and take the Victory Bowl back to Cleveland. 

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On 5/31/2016 at 0:46 PM, ChicagoOakland said:

Jeremy Simmons, a West Coast pizza restaurant magnate, was born in 1948 in a middle class area of Oakland, California. He developed his love of football by watching countless San Francisco Whales games with his dad, as the Whales entered the AFA when he turned four years old. However, Simmons was never a good athlete himself; although he played football and baseball in high school, he enrolled at the University of California-Berkeley to study business. The peace-loving Simmons went to school instead of going to Vietnam, but unlike many of his Cal classmates he never became too radical (although he did do a little experimentation…he claims to have never inhaled). Instead, he decided to work two to three jobs at a time while going to Cal. Hard work paid off--literally--as he saved up enough to buy a restaurant space a block off campus on the corner of Shattuck and University Avenues after graduation in 1970. Shattuck's Pizza, as Simmons called it, instantly became a campus hit, and soon Simmons looked to expand it even further. By 1979, Simmons had franchised more than 300 Shattuck's Pizza locations west of the Rocky Mountains with a plan for nationwide expansion in the 1980s. Simmons, now a multi-millionaire at only 32 years old, has never lost his love for the AFA or the now-California Whales.

 

My character's team finally reached a VB! Free Shattuck's for everyone!

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Can you drop us some hints as to who's changing their looks for the '85 season?

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I'm rooting for the Whales to win it all here.... the fans deserve it & personally, I just like the Whales logo/jersey more. 

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On 7/9/2017 at 1:59 AM, Asterix777 said:

Also, Totally forgot about the blue-jersey thing. I'm sure a lot of people in Colorado think blue is a cursed color, what after all the postseason disappointments they've suffered wearing them. I could honestly see the Cents phasing out the blue jerseys for red or gold full-time, just on the grounds of superstition.

I'm not sure.  They couldn't switch to yellow - nobody uses it anymore, but AFA rules still list yellow/gold, cream, and light grey as possible alternatives to white.  A red jersey isn't outside of the realm of possibility, but I wouldn't call it likely, either.  For one thing, they'd end up looking an awful lot like division rival St. Louis.  Moreover, they've won a lot of games while wearing blue - the color curse only applies in January.

 

On 7/9/2017 at 9:25 PM, FDW said:

This has been one of the most unpredictable Postseasons in a Long Time. Though it sucks that my Dragons are failing so hard right now.

I agree with you on the unpredictability.  If it makes you feel better, the Dragons are probably better than they look.  QB K.C. Baker took a big step forward in his first full year as a starter, and he showed flashes of very real potential.  Helping matters is the fact that he's paired with what is almost indisputably the league's best receiving tandem in Curtis Tyre and Thomas McLauren.  Weirdly, all three were drafted in 1984 (Tyre R1, Baker R2, McLauren R5), which means that all three are very young.  They also boast a pair of potential All-Stars at safety, FS Steve Thorpe and SS Harvey Marx (known throughout the league as the Twin Terrors) are some of the hardest hitters in the AFA, and both are still in their 20s.

 

Their biggest problem is that they have a bottom 5 front 7 and an offensive line that is even worse.  Those weaknesses combined with an injury-riddled campaign (Marx and Thorpe played only one full game together) and growing pains on offense, are what led to the 4-12 season.  They'll have a new coaching staff in 1985, and will likely spend every single draft pick on OL, TE, DL, and LB.

 

It's hard to say what will happen next with them, but it's fair to say that they have a solid core to build around.

 

16 hours ago, Red Comet said:

Whales versus Ghosts. Would've never seen this Victory Bowl coming, but the Whales have gotten a few lucky breaks their way. Does it continue here? If not, I think this will be like the last time a historically pathetic franchise made it to the Victory Bowl a la the Houston Hurricanes.  

 

EDIT: Also, how must the fans of the Guardians feel knowing that this league's version of the Cleveland Browns made it into the Victory Bowl while they have one victory in the wild card round with their superstar trio? Wouldn't want Hart's career to go the way of Rob Connery. That would be a waste.

For what it's worth, what happened when Houston went to the Victory Bowl probably had more to do with the dominance of the '76 Miners than it did with the Hurricanes.  It's hard to imagine the Whales getting blown out that badly by the Ghosts, though Cleveland should still probably come away with the win here (not that "should" has mattered much this year).

 

Guardians fans have to be nervous, particularly fans old enough to remember the 1940s and 50s.  Remember, they had probably the best player of the one-platoon era in QB/DE Windell Ridley.  Ridley led the team to the Victory Bowl in each of the AFA's first three years, only to fall short against New York every time.  He retired after the third Victory Bowl loss, and the Guardians made it back to the big game in 1954, but lost to to Boston.

 

As for Connery - his career isn't over yet, but he's running out of chances.  He may have one or two more shots at it, but if the Miners can't get it done, he's going to join Ridley and former Comets QB Jack "Hollywood" Holmes as the greatest quarterbacks in AFA history that don't own a Victory Bowl Ring (though Ridley has several pre-WW2 Midwest Football League titles).

 

14 hours ago, Magic Dynasty said:

Lets! Go! WHALES!!!! This has been an insane playoffs. This will go down as one of the greatest playoffs of all time, right? Also, nice coining for the "Polar Bowl".

I'd say that how this postseason will be remembered will depend a lot on your zip code.  Fans of Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and Colorado probably won't have especially fond memories, but everyone else definitely enjoyed watching the mighty fall.

 

And thanks on Polar Bowl.  I couldn't believe how absurdly cold it was when I first checked the weather report.  Side note on that:  I used the modern formula for wind chill on that game, which makes it look like it was milder than the Ice Bowl and Freezer Bowl, which were listed as having air temperatures/windchills of -15/-48 and -9/-59, respectively.  With the updated, more accurate wind chill calculation, the respective wind chills in those games were a balmy -36 and -37.  The Polar Bowl fell as low as -48, more than 10 degrees lower than the coldest games in NFL history.  

 

10 hours ago, RightGuard said:

Can you drop us some hints as to who's changing their looks for the '85 season?

The Captains will undergo a complete overhaul that will look to the past for inspiration while also modernizing the identity (there is also an element of superstition, which I'll explain when their look is revealed).  A few other teams will undergo minor changes (switching to a v-neck jersey, possibly altering jersey numbers).

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

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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.

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