Veras

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

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I'm thinking the Rebels get a remake just in time for when their stadium's lease runs out. Maybe something closer to James Dean than Johnny Reb. Or hell, maybe Admiral Akbar liked they tried to do at Ole Miss a few years back.

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40th Victory Bowl - Atlanta Rebels vs Guardians of Cincinnati

 

85r4g1atlvscin_by_verasthebrujah-dbk6t42

 

After years of postseason struggles, and repeated stories about how the Guardians can’t handle postseason pressure, it was the Rebels who faltered in the limelight.  Midway through the first quarter, Atlanta FB Danny Mutch lost the handoff while attempting to pick up a first down on 3rd and inches at the Cincinnati 36.  Then, in the final second of the quarter, they ran one of the most broken plays in Victory Bowl history.  Facing 1st and 10 from their own 1, they tried to run the ball to buy some breathing room, but there was a miscommunication between QB Wesley Marx and RB James Brodie – Marx went left, Brody went right.  By the time Marx realized that he had nobody to hand the ball to, two defensive linemen were all over him.  Hoping to avoid the safety, he threw the ball in the general direction of TE Lee Flynn.  However, S Dirk Hammen anticipated the throw, beat Flynn to the ball, and picked it off at the 5.

 

Fortunately for the Rebels, the damage was limited both times.  Cincinnati scored only 3 points in the first quarter, and had to settle for another field goal early in the second following Hammen’s pick.

 

Just minutes later, the Rebels would gain the lead.  CB Tony Febbraio picked off a pass intended for WR Avery Gonzalez at the Guardian 35.  He sprinted back toward the end zone, but was wrapped up by Jim Hill at the 22.  As he fought to stay on his feet, he realized that LB Mark Williams was standing a few feet to his side, and tossed him the ball.  Williams caught it, and dashed past the Guardians before anyone could react.  The touchdown made it 7-6, Atlanta.

 

Around the 2 minute warning, Cincinnati was in position to retake the lead, but Reggie Hart threw his second pick of the day when CB Rick Roudebush stepped in front of Vic Meredith at the Atlanta 10.  The Rebels didn’t make it to the end zone on the two-minute drill, but they advanced far enough for K Joe Tooly to hit a 46-yard field goal just before the half.

 

Atlanta went into the locker room with a 10-6 lead, and came within two inches of the goal line on the opening drive of the third quarter, ultimately settling for a field goal to extend their lead to 13-6.  And then the Guardian offense exploded.

 

They tied the game up on the ensuing possession when Hart hit Hill on a curl route up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown.  Seven minutes later, Hill took the ball into the end zone on a 6-yard rush to reclaim the lead.  Early in the fourth, Hart took advantage of the size mismatch between Meredith and Roudebush, throwing a jump ball to the pair in the end zone from 16 yards out.  Meredith came down with it easily, extending the lead to 14.

 

Hart would put the icing on the cake himself.  After being generally contained in the pocket most of the day, he took advantage of a tiring defense, spinning past an attempted sack by RE Dobby Dabrowski, and then hurdling over Febbraio before high-stepping into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown run.  With just 2:36 left to play, the Guardians held a 35-13 lead, and the Rebels were defeated.

 

Atlanta kept fighting, but a turnover on downs with 40 seconds to play effectively ended the game.  Hart took a knee, and the Guardians sideline poured onto the field.  Players and fans openly wept with joy.  After 40 years of coming up short, after 4 Victory Bowl defeats, after decades of losing records and postseason heartbreak, the Guardians of Cincinnati were finally AFA Champions.

 

1985_afa_postseason_bracket_by_verastheb

 

40th_victory_bowl_field__new_orleans__by

Edited by Veras
EDIT: Corrected Cincinnati's final score from 35 to 34. I accidentally gave them 8 points for their final touchdown when calculating the totals.

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WHOO! CINCY FINALLY GETS OVER THE HUMP! 

 

 

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They finally did it. Congratulations Cincinnati. Looks like they're probably the favorites next year.

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Now that Cincy has won, I think California has to get over its hump, or at this point, its mountain. The only thing standing in their way is the Guardians, who probably have another title or two to fight for. 

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It has been so satisfying to watch the Reggie Hart legend unfold. From being denied an opportunity to lead based strictly on the color of his skin to self-exiling himself and dominating Canada (RIP NFA) to finally reaching the promiseland here in the USA. My favorite AFA player by FAR.

The best part is, imagine how many black kids were watching the VB and now have a legitimate role model in Hart. I'm predicting those 8-9 year olds will form a wave of black QBs coming to the AFA near the turn of the millennium.

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I have some championship sigs!

 

First, is the championship banner one that I use:  https://orig09.deviantart.net/771a/f/2017/227/7/5/championship_banners_sig_by_verasthebrujah-d9q2txa.jpg

championship_banners_sig_by_verasthebruj

 

There is also one celebrating the Guardians title, featuring Reggie Hart:  https://orig12.deviantart.net/f95e/f/2017/227/1/c/cincinnati_guardians_player_sig___qb_reggie_hart_by_verasthebrujah-dbk7b2n.jpg

cincinnati_guardians_player_sig___qb_reg

 

1 hour ago, KittSmith_95 said:

WHOO! CINCY FINALLY GETS OVER THE HUMP! 

 

 

It was definitely a sweet moment for them.

 

After the game, Wendell Ridley accepted the trophy from AFA President Warren Breyer on behalf of the team.  For those of you who don't remember him, Ridley was the league's first superstar.  He played quarterback, defensive line, and handled kicking and punting duties for the Guardians for the first three years of the league's existence (1946-49).  He led them to the AFA Championship Game in every season that he played, only to come up short against the New York Imperials each time.  He then retired, and after taking the 1950 season off to travel Europe with his family, he returned to Cincinnati to take over as head coach.  He had less success than as a player, though he did lead the Guardians to the Victory Bowl in 1954, where they lost to the Boston Captains.  After a diagnosis of skin cancer at the end of the 1956 season, he resigned as head coach.  He made a full recovery, and became the play-by-play announcer for the team starting the following season, a position that he has held ever since.  He hasn't missed a single game.

 

Nobody has experienced the suffering of the Guardians franchise more acutely than Ridley.  But now he has had the chance to lift the Victory Cup, and he will be presented with a ring.

 

1 hour ago, Red Comet said:

They finally did it. Congratulations Cincinnati. Looks like they're probably the favorites next year.

They are without question the favorites next year.  In fact, as good as they were this year, the might be even better in 1986.  All of their key players are in their primes, and they don't have to worry about talent bleeding away through free agency.  This could be the start of one of the great dynasties in the history of the game (then again, the 1946 Guardians looked like they were about to establish a dynasty, and you can see how that worked out).

 

25 minutes ago, Mercy_King said:

Now that Cincy has won, I think California has to get over its hump, or at this point, its mountain. The only thing standing in their way is the Guardians, who probably have another title or two to fight for. 

It would be pretty great to watch those two teams win it back-to-back, given that they were both so bad for so long.

 

If California wants to win it, they need to do so now.  QB Steve Parker will be 36 next year, and while he isn't (and never has been) a star, he is a phenomenal leader, who makes the rest of the team better than the sum of its parts.  He can't have that much time left, and it's hard to see the Whales making a deep playoff run without him.

 

As you've noted, though, they have some serious obstacles.  Their division, while not as tough as the North, is no pushover.  San Diego is definitely still strong enough to be dangerous (their run of poor play against the Whales notwithstanding), and Portland seems to be on the rise.  Obviously, the Guardians are probably the biggest obstacle right now.  They may have entered the postseason as the number two seed, but notice that they just outscored their playoff opponents by a total of 103-49.  California was the only team that they didn't outscore by a 2:1 margin, and they only fell 7 points short of accomplishing that.  Finally, their schedule is going to be brutal next year.  They will have to play 7 games against playoff teams next year (SD, ATL, BOS, COL, @SD, @HOU, and @CIN).  On top of that, they will host Tampa, who won 6 of their last 8; travel to Baltimore, a team that has been to the semifinals twice in the last three years; and play two games against Portland, whose passing attack generated more than 5000 yards this season.

 

1984 may have been their best chance.

 

21 minutes ago, ChicagoOakland said:

It has been so satisfying to watch the Reggie Hart legend unfold. From being denied an opportunity to lead based strictly on the color of his skin to self-exiling himself and dominating Canada (RIP NFA) to finally reaching the promiseland here in the USA. My favorite AFA player by FAR.

If only he had done it for San Diego, but I'm just glad he did it at all.

Reggie's story is one that I've been looking forward to telling for a long time.

 

Incidentally, Wendell Ridley wasn't the only Hall of Fame QB on the field after the Victory Bowl.  Lawrence Rhodes, who holds both the distinction of being the AFA's first black QB and the first Black QB to win the Victory Bowl (both came in 1952 with the Los Angeles Comets), was there to congratulate Hart.  Rhodes added fuel to the controversy over the Rebels' name and identity, wryly commenting that the "loved the symbolism" of what had just happened.

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I was wondering, could I see the RGB values for all the teams? Only if you feel like divulging such information. Also, when a team updates their look, would you be willing to list color values if they go through the effort?

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Veras, I'm really enjoying this whole universe. Not just uniforms, not just results, but a rich history and backstory for the whole thing. This thread is the best thing on this forum, by far. 

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6 hours ago, Veras said:

40th Victory Bowl - Atlanta Rebels vs Guardians of Cincinnati

 

85r4g1atlvscin_by_verasthebrujah-dbk6t42

 

After years of postseason struggles, and repeated stories about how the Guardians can’t handle postseason pressure, it was the Rebels who faltered in the limelight.  Midway through the first quarter, Atlanta FB Danny Mutch lost the handoff while attempting to pick up a first down on 3rd and inches at the Cincinnati 36.  Then, in the final second of the quarter, they ran one of the most broken plays in Victory Bowl history.  Facing 1st and 10 from their own 1, they tried to run the ball to buy some breathing room, but there was a miscommunication between QB Wesley Marx and RB James Brodie – Marx went left, Brody went right.  By the time Marx realized that he had nobody to hand the ball to, two defensive linemen were all over him.  Hoping to avoid the safety, he threw the ball in the general direction of TE Lee Flynn.  However, S Dirk Hammen anticipated the throw, beat Flynn to the ball, and picked it off at the 5.

 

Fortunately for the Rebels, the damage was limited both times.  Cincinnati scored only 3 points in the first quarter, and had to settle for another field goal early in the second following Hammen’s pick.

 

Just minutes later, the Rebels would gain the lead.  CB Tony Febbraio picked off a pass intended for WR Avery Gonzalez at the Guardian 35.  He sprinted back toward the end zone, but was wrapped up by Jim Hill at the 22.  As he fought to stay on his feet, he realized that LB Mark Williams was standing a few feet to his side, and tossed him the ball.  Williams caught it, and dashed past the Guardians before anyone could react.  The touchdown made it 7-6, Atlanta.

 

Around the 2 minute warning, Cincinnati was in position to retake the lead, but Reggie Hart threw his second pick of the day when CB Rick Roudebush stepped in front of Vic Meredith at the Atlanta 10.  The Rebels didn’t make it to the end zone on the two-minute drill, but they advanced far enough for K Joe Tooly to hit a 46-yard field goal just before the half.

 

Atlanta went into the locker room with a 10-6 lead, and came within two inches of the goal line on the opening drive of the third quarter, ultimately settling for a field goal to extend their lead to 13-6.  And then the Guardian offense exploded.

 

They tied the game up on the ensuing possession when Hart hit Hill on a curl route up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown.  Seven minutes later, Hill took the ball into the end zone on a 6-yard rush to reclaim the lead.  Early in the fourth, Hart took advantage of the size mismatch between Meredith and Roudebush, throwing a jump ball to the pair in the end zone from 16 yards out.  Meredith came down with it easily, extending the lead to 14.

 

Hart would put the icing on the cake himself.  After being generally contained in the pocket most of the day, he took advantage of a tiring defense, spinning past an attempted sack by RE Dobby Dabrowski, and then hurdling over Febbraio before high-stepping into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown run.  With just 2:36 left to play, the Guardians held a 35-13 lead, and the Rebels were defeated.

 

Atlanta kept fighting, but a turnover on downs with 40 seconds to play effectively ended the game.  Hart took a knee, and the Guardians sideline poured onto the field.  Players and fans openly wept with joy.  After 40 years of coming up short, after 4 Victory Bowl defeats, after decades of losing records and postseason heartbreak, the Guardians of Cincinnati were finally AFA Champions.

 

1985_afa_postseason_bracket_by_verastheb

 

40th_victory_bowl_field__new_orleans__by

Sonic Adventure references aside, I'm so happy to see the Guardians of Cincinnati finally bring an AFA Championship to the Queen City!

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Now that we're into the mid-80s, do teams fully paint their endzones throughout the entirety of the season now, similar to the latest Victory Bowl field?  How prevalent is the neck roll aross the league, a la Eric Dickerson?

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Nice job with all the work done for this VB! I was hoping Cin would win. Its about time one of the original teams finally win a VB. Is there another original team with no VB title? Also how was the atmosphere surrounding the game? Any protests or outcry regarding the Rebels?

 

Congrats Cin! I have a feeling though that they will suffer a VB hangover next year and will make the postseason but will struggle. Just a gut feeling.

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I think if a change were to come to the Rebels, it would be less emphasis on the Confederate Army and more on a different color scheme. Keeping the name should be fine.

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What a game, congratulations to the Guardians! That Reggie Hart scramble sounds like it will go down as a signature play in AFA history.

 

What's the draft looking like this year as far as quarterback depth? It's starting to look like the Royals may need to invest in an insurance policy to take over in case Punch gets re-injured. Maybe Doom's statement from this past season inspires Baltimore to bring in a black quarterback if one is available?

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On 8/15/2017 at 10:09 PM, RightGuard said:

I was wondering, could I see the RGB values for all the teams? Only if you feel like divulging such information. Also, when a team updates their look, would you be willing to list color values if they go through the effort?

I can definitely do that, but I'm now 100% in on getting the next season ready, so it will have to wait until the next offseason.

 

On 8/16/2017 at 2:09 PM, JD1500 said:

Now that we're into the mid-80s, do teams fully paint their endzones throughout the entirety of the season now, similar to the latest Victory Bowl field?  How prevalent is the neck roll aross the league, a la Eric Dickerson?

Not going to lie - I didn't realize that teams didn't paint the end zones prior to this time.  Back when I tried to keep up with every team's fields, I had most of the end zones painted all season.  Was that an anacronism?

 

As for the neck roll - it's about as common as in real life.  Actually, the Miami Suns sig features RE Allen McCarty, who wears a neck roll.

 

8 hours ago, officerpain138 said:

Nice job with all the work done for this VB! I was hoping Cin would win. Its about time one of the original teams finally win a VB. Is there another original team with no VB title? Also how was the atmosphere surrounding the game? Any protests or outcry regarding the Rebels?

 

Congrats Cin! I have a feeling though that they will suffer a VB hangover next year and will make the postseason but will struggle. Just a gut feeling.

The Royals are the only founding team without a title.  Unless you count the the Baltimore Legion (and most people unofficially assign their history to the Washington Wasps, since the Wasps replaced the Legion and got their roster).

 

The following teams have never won the Victory Bowl:  Arizona Firebirds (1974), Atlanta Rebels (1968), Baltimore Royals (1946), California Whales (1952), Houston Hurricanes (1952), Kansas City Crows (1981), Miami Suns (1967), Milwaukee Wolves (1960), New Jersey Sharks (1961), Portland Dragons (1968), Tampa Bay Bobcats (1981), and Texas Stallions (1967).  Every team except for Kansas City, Miami, Portland, and Tampa Bay have played in the Victory Bowl (though the Royals did it in Richmond and the Sharks did it in Buffalo).

 

 

7 hours ago, DNAsports said:

I think if a change were to come to the Rebels, it would be less emphasis on the Confederate Army and more on a different color scheme. Keeping the name should be fine.

That's definitely possible, but it depends on how everything plays out.  The family who owns the team claim to be direct descendants of Stonewall Jackson, so they are reluctant to change the name.  Sid Jackson, the team's founder, is adamantly against changing the identity at all, but he's 77 years old and no longer has much to do with the team on a day-to-day basis.  Instead, his son, Sy, runs things.  There is a general sense around the league that Sy is somewhat more sympathetic to the complaints about the logo and uniforms, but he is unlikely to make a move to change it up while his father is still alive.

 

7 hours ago, flacco's mustache said:

What a game, congratulations to the Guardians! That Reggie Hart scramble sounds like it will go down as a signature play in AFA history.

 

What's the draft looking like this year as far as quarterback depth? It's starting to look like the Royals may need to invest in an insurance policy to take over in case Punch gets re-injured. Maybe Doom's statement from this past season inspires Baltimore to bring in a black quarterback if one is available?

The Hart scramble was a big one, but the most iconic moment probably came after the game.  After the trophy was presented, the team carried Hart and Wendell Ridley off the field on their shoulders.

 

As for the draft - there isn't much there.  There are only two quarterbacks who are considered to have starting potential - Bruce Rankins (Georgia Tech) and Andy Solorzano (Iowa) - and Solorzano has a lot of question marks.  It is all but assured that they will go to Arizona and Los Angeles with the top two picks.  After they're gone, the rest of the class is dreadful under center.  There are a few guys who might be able to earn a living holding a clipboard (Don Martin - Wyoming, Billy Burns - North Alabama, and Donald Haynes - Notre Dame), and everyone else will be lucky to survive training camp.  Branson-Greene played poorly enough that he's probably done with the team (and maybe for good), but they're still more likely to look for veteran talent than to turn to the draft this year.

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1 hour ago, Veras said:

The following teams have never won the Victory Bowl:  Arizona Firebirds (1974), Atlanta Rebels (1968), Baltimore Royals (1946), California Whales (1952), Houston Hurricanes (1952), Kansas City Crows (1981), Miami Suns (1967), Milwaukee Wolves (1960), New Jersey Sharks (1961), Portland Dragons (1968), Tampa Bay Bobcats (1981), and Texas Stallions (1967).  Every team except for Kansas City, Miami, Portland, and Tampa Bay have played in the Victory Bowl (though the Royals did it in Richmond and the Sharks did it in Buffalo).

So that means Miami is the most historically inept team in the AFA?

I knew the Suns were irrelevant, but geez.

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51 minutes ago, ChicagoOakland said:

So that means Miami is the most historically inept team in the AFA?

I knew the Suns were irrelevant, but geez.

The Miami Suns: The AFA's Lolcow!!!

 

But a well deserved win for Cincy, but the KC Crow Express is charging hard, lets see if we can do it.

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2 hours ago, ChicagoOakland said:

So that means Miami is the most historically inept team in the AFA?

I knew the Suns were irrelevant, but geez.

1 hour ago, RedfieldNick said:

The Miami Suns: The AFA's Lolcow!!!

 

But a well deserved win for Cincy, but the KC Crow Express is charging hard, lets see if we can do it.

Huh, I hadn't really thought about them in that way, but you're right.  They only have 3 postseason appearances, and they're 0-3 in those games.  What's more, they've lost big in 2 of them, so their all-time playoff scoring total is 33-91.  I think they may be the only team that existed prior to 1981 that has yet to at least make it to the semifinals.

 

Portland is only a year younger, but they've at least claimed the top seed a couple times, and they've been to the semifinals once.

 

The Suns actually were good for a while when Bob Sunderland was their quarterback.  Unfortunately for them, that just happened to fall right in the middle of Washington's dynasty.  They tended to underperform, couldn't knock the Wasps off of the divisional throne, and when they did squeak into the playoffs as a wildcard team, they choked.

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I hope Boston has a chance to get some more talent somehow, just felt like we couldn't match up against any of the final 4

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I am heavily biased towards New Orleans, but man if the Cleveland Ghosts were a real team I would buy the purple jersey instantly. Simply beautiful. I was also thinking about how much Cleveland would benefit from white pants instead of grey.

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