Veras

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

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13 hours ago, MBurmy said:

AWESOME rebrand...and I, for one, LOVE the wordmark!  As I've been saying again and again on this thread, PLEASE don't be afraid to innovate because it may look "too modern"...in this timeline, maybe these things became trends earlier?

If that wordmark gets scrapped, please promise me that we're gonna see something like it by the 2010s...

I agree, and may be in the minority here, but I love the whole package for the Wasps, up to and including the wordmark.  I can understand the "middle finger" concerns, but think it is superseded by the fact that it/they are "W"s.  The rest of our alphabet is confined to certain levels of innovation and edginess, but not the "W".  Never the "W"...

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The Wasps look amazing..... I love unorthodox helmet designs, and this one not only pops, it's different enough from the Bengals IRL design to work. I don't see a Tiger at all with the stripes, and I hope that wordmark is here to stay for a while & hopefully later on down the line is used as the number font. 

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Love the Wasps' new look! Honestly it's gone from one of my least favorites in the league to one of my favorites. I think you're good as far as the Bengals are concerned. It just feels like a nice nod to them.

 

I do have a question, is the black on the home jersey meant to be a very dark grey or is that just my screen?

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22 hours ago, Veras said:

I originally wanted to make the resemblance to the honeycomb a bit stronger.

1986-Wasps-W.png.1eab49b8276fcc0fe8a48b884191c7d7.png

 

I really like this - it doesn't have the middle finger problem, and it includes the Washington monument, but I just couldn't get the other letters to work using this pattern

Too bad you can only have one secondary logo, that logo is strong enough to stand on it's own in my opinion.

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I can totally relate to the struggles of trying to make a hexagon-based font. I tried making a wordmark for my league's Chicago team based on the C from their logo, but I couldn't get it to work out. Yours looks really good considering. </shamelessplug>

 

I would also totally agree with @ChicagoOakland that that W could easily be a standalone logo, but I could definitely imagine that the rest of the letters wouldn't work well. I would say keep what you have for now, and maybe it will make a transition to that logo in the future.

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The old wordmark should be kept, but that hexagon-W logo, with a little rounding to fit the period, is so good.

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I think the honeycomb wordmark is a little too 90-2000s ish for the Wasps, I think the standard block letters or maybe just the W being the honeycomb-like font. The Bengals and the New Jersey's are pretty ok, if anything maybe horizontal stripes? Though that would look weird. I'm hoping to see some throwbacks to their 70s dynasty uniforms come the 2000s (in however many years that will be)

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Wow! I'm not sure I can say anything others haven't already... The Wasps were always one of my least favorites. I liked the old secondary logo better than their primary at the time. With this new design, both logos are well done! I like the word mark. I can see it being to modern though for the late 80's. Maybe it will be good for the mid to late 90's. 

 

Now on the uniforms... Holy shhhhugar! That helmet and jersey are amazing! What a massive improvement! The stripes on the helmet don't remind me of tiger stripes as much as I thought they would. I think it's because the stripes of a tiger are thinner. It looks awesome and I wouldn't change a thing! 

 

So so now that the teams are all up to date, when can we expect the season to begin? I can't wait to read how NJ and NY let me down again this season! 

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1986 Offseason

 

Television Deal Renewed

The AFA's broadcasting deal with ABC expired after the 1986 All-Star Bowl, which put great pressure on the league to sign a new contract.  Rumors had swirled that the league was dissatisfied with the network over the previous few years, and that there was some interest in switching to NBC.  However, with time being a critical issue, a two-year extension with ABC was announced in March.  This means that the network will be the sole vehicle of professional football in the United States through at least the 1987-88 season.

 

Coaching Changes

With 10 of the league’s 28 head coaches completing their first season on the job, it was unsurprising that the 1986 offseason brought very few changes on the sidelines.  Only Seattle’s Bob Montgomery was sacked (and technically speaking, that isn’t even true – the Grizzlies simply didn’t renew his expiring contract).  In addition, Atlanta’s Leo Tintori announced his retirement at the age of 68, even as the team’s fanclub took out a full-page ad in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution begging him to come back for one more run at a title.  “I appreciate the gesture,” he commented, “but ’85 was always going to be my last year.  I’m an old man, and all I want to do now is spend time with my grandkids and work on my golf game.”

 

The regime in Atlanta will not be disrupted.  Fiery defensive coordinator Walt Coham, Tintori’s longtime heir-apparent, was immediately promoted to the top spot, and will change virtually no part of his mentor’s system.  The Grizzlies, on the other hand, brought in Eddie White, a former offensive lineman who spent 10 years in the AFA with the Whales and Centennials.  He won a title with the Cents in 1965, and after his retirement a year later, immediately became an assistant with the team.  In 1976, he returned to the Bay Area, where he served as head coach of the newly-reinstated Whales for 5 seasons.  He managed only a 28-42 record, but helped to build the foundation of the team that has been to the semifinals in each of the last two years.  He is best known for identifying and developing player talent, and his selection suggests that the Grizzlies are prepared to enter a rebuilding phase.

 

Stadium News

Nine teams will see their leases expire by 1990, which means that discussions over new stadiums are taking place all across the country.  The most urgent situations, however, were in Baltimore (1986), Philadelphia (1987) and Miami (1987).  The Miami Suns were the first to strike a deal, and will open a new stadium in Hollywood, FL, for the 1988 season.  Shortly thereafter, the Royals extended their lease through 1988, and announced that they were close to an agreement with state and local officials for a new domed stadium in downtown Baltimore.  The Railers, on the other hand, face a more uncertain future.  Tired of the city’s unwillingness to contribute funds to a new stadium, owner James Simon has sent representatives to Buffalo, Indianapolis, and San Jose to discuss the possibility of relocation.

 

Roster Changes

The AFA lost an unusual number of fan favorites to retirement over the 1986 offseason.  Perhaps the biggest example was Detroit LB Bruce Abrahamson.  From his rookie season in 1973, he served as the leader of the defense on a Gladiators team that was generally not great.  He is a player who would have had a shot at being enshrined in Richmond if he had been on a better team, but instead, his legacy will live on through the team’s young rising stars that he helped to mentor.

 

Two first-ballot Hall of Famers did walk away from the game over the offseason.  Arizona’s Randall Targart was the team’s first-ever draft pick, and was far and away the league’s top wideout in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  He never won a Victory Bowl, though he did get the chance to play in the game in his third season.  DT Rickey Charles, on the other hand, was able to win two rings with the Minnesota Angels.  He helped set the tone of the Dirty Angels defense from his rookie season in 1973 and made the All-Star Bowl in 9 of his first 10 years.  He remained a solid contributor until a knee injury ended his 1984 season, and left him largely ineffective throughout 1985.

 

The team hardest-hit by retirements, however, was the Colorado Centennials, as they lost three major contributors.  The most popular of the three was WR Danny St. Mark, who at 6’9” is the tallest player in AFA history.  He was a phenomenal possession receiver, and played a huge role in the team’s 1981 title run.  Unfortunately, a series of back injuries made him less effective over the years, and forces his retirement after only 6 seasons in the league.  They will also lose FB Steven O’Conner, who was effective as both a runner and a lead blocker for Tom Blitz, and MLB Brian Specker, who has served as field general for the defense throughout the team’s recent run of success.

 

The team still has a number of star players, most notably Blitz and the incredible OLB tandem of Bob Jonas and Paulie May, but this could signal the beginning of the end (or just the end) of Colorado’s championship window.

 

1986 AFA Draft

In reality, this draft class was somewhat dull.  There were not any Rob Connery/Donny Minor once-in-a-generation players available.  There wasn’t a Scott D’Angelico or an Adrian Doom type of guy who was supremely talented, but haunted by off-field troubles.  Adding to the dull nature of the draft, the top of the first round was pretty predictable.

 

The draft’s top two picks were all but set in stone months in advance, basically from the day the regular season ended.  With the number one pick, the Arizona Firebirds took Bruce Rankins (QB – Georgia Tech) and the Los Angeles Comets followed them by selecting Andy Stough (QB – Iowa).  Both have a similar skillset, preferring quick reads and short routes, but Rankins is widely considered to be the better of the two, thanks to his superior football IQ.

 

Though the pair of quarterbacks were the draft’s most highly-sought after players, Rickie Solorzano (WR-USC) and Andre Quillen (SS-Arizona) were probably the most talented prospects.  Unsurprisingly, they were taken third and fourth by St. Louis and Philadelphia, respectively.  The California Whales, looking to solidify their secondary, traded up to select the aggressive Richie White (SS-Arizona) just four spots later.  This is the first time that a pair of safeties from the same college were taken in the top 10.

 

One interesting pick was Sikai Afamasaga (RB – BYU), who the New York Imperials traded up to select at number 15 overall.  Afamasaga became the first person born in American Samoa to be drafted in the first round, and with his electrifying, shifty style, is expected to relieve a lot of pressure on Ron Adams.  The Imperials have clearly fallen short of expectations in recent years, and hope that this pick will provide the spark that propels them back to the Victory Bowl.

 

Sale of the Portland Dragons

Following the death of team founder Zachary Devin in 1985, his son, Thomas, immediately began looking to sell the Dragons.  In January of 1986, ESPN reported that Utah businessman W. Porter Rockwell had agreed to purchase the team for $80 million with the intention of relocating to Salt Lake City.  The second place bid of $76 million belonged to a group of 8 investors led by billionaire Jacob Reece, and would have kept the team in Portland.  However, AFA President Warren Breyer intervened, convinced that a market as small as Salt Lake City would be unable to support a team.  The league helped to facilitate a deal between Devin, the Reece Group, and the City of Portland.  The city will contribute $2 million in cash and $4 million in tax breaks and other incentives to Devin’s other business interests.  In exchange, they will become the third largest partner in the Reese Group.  Finally, they also agreed to move the end date of the team’s lease at the Oregon Dome from 1998 to 1990.  If a new stadium is built, president Breyer committed the league to block any relocation attempt from the Dragons until at least 2020 (provided that certain attendance requirements were met).

 

Rockwell was furious, and filed a lawsuit against Devin and the AFA, but the case was dismissed on June 13.  Three weeks later, he announced that he and two-time AFA Expansion Council finalist Hal Jacobson would be forming a spring football league called the United States Football Association, which will begin play in 1988 with 12 teams.  In laying out their vision for the new league, Rockwell and Jacobson described a flashier game that would draw top-tier talent in two ways:  To start with, they will only require players to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma, whereas the AFA requires players to be at least 21 years old and three years removed from high school.  Second, they will allow a far more powerful players’ union and a more player-friendly CBA, which will include unrestricted free agency for players with sufficient time spent in the league.  Jacobson claimed that, while superstars in the AFA will likely have larger contracts, most players will be better off, and certainly better treated, in the USFA.

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Things are evenly split between those who like the honeycomb wordmark for the Wasps and those who think it is too modern.  I'm inclined to agree with the latter group, but I haven't decided yet, and even if I do end up in that camp, the honeycomb wordmark will make an appearance by the late 1990s.  I want to make a variant on the original in which I give it wasp stripes, but I can't open Illustrator.  I've done everything that I can think of to fix it, Windows support didn't help, and Adobe support hasn't worked either time I've tried it (maybe they have support for their support?)

 

Whatever.  I'll figure it out eventually.

 

On 8/29/2017 at 3:45 PM, hawkfan89 said:

Love the Wasps' new look! Honestly it's gone from one of my least favorites in the league to one of my favorites. I think you're good as far as the Bengals are concerned. It just feels like a nice nod to them.

 

I do have a question, is the black on the home jersey meant to be a very dark grey or is that just my screen?

Good eye on the dark grey.  I don't like that the black outlines get swallowed by dark colors on the uniform, so I've always used a very dark grey instead of black for jerseys.  It still happens, so I went a little lighter this time.

 

So it is dark grey, but it's supposed to represent black.

 

On 8/29/2017 at 9:41 PM, ItDoesntMatter said:

I can totally relate to the struggles of trying to make a hexagon-based font. I tried making a wordmark for my league's Chicago team based on the C from their logo, but I couldn't get it to work out. Yours looks really good considering. </shamelessplug>

I fully endorse your plug.  I've really enjoyed your series.

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Very interesting offseason. I wonder how the USFA will fare. I feel like it will follow the same fate as the USFL. The Philadelphia situation is also something that I will be looking out for. I also have a question. With the new TV deal being struck with ABC, I'm curious to know how many games does ABC broadcast each week? Is this something you incorporate when making the schedules each season?

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I had a feeling we were heading for a spring league. I'm guessing they'll sign with NBC. 

 

Funny enough, I started playing around with the idea of a spring league myself, and thought of teams. But I don't have either the time or talent that you do to pull it off! 

 

Looking forward to it, though. 

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Very interesting offseason in regarding to the USFA. Will you be going further in depth with it, or just occasionally mentioning it?

 

The league seems like a parallel to the USFL but with similar beginnings to the AFL, so it could have a merger with the AFA or not and have it try to compete with AFA and experience the same fate as the USFL did and have Porter Rockwell eventually becoming president? :P 

 

 

 

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I do believe that the USFA would sign a TV contract with NBC. Due to at this time, ABC and NBC were heated rivals. We'll see if the USFA shares the fate of the USFL or if it succeeds and then mergers with the AFA.

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When it comes to the Railers, I think Simon will probably move to Indianapolis, especially if he gets a domed stadium to deal with the winters of Indiana.

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1 hour ago, Veras said:

 

Rockwell was furious, and filed a lawsuit against Devin and the AFA, but the case was dismissed on June 13.  Three weeks later, he announced that he and two-time AFA Expansion Council finalist Hal Jacobson would be forming a spring football league called the United States Football Association, which will begin play in 1988 with 12 teams.  In laying out their vision for the new league, Rockwell and Jacobson described a flashier game that would draw top-tier talent in two ways:  To start with, they will only require players to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma, whereas the AFA requires players to be at least 21 years old and three years removed from high school.  Second, they will allow a far more powerful players’ union and a more player-friendly CBA, which will include unrestricted free agency for players with sufficient time spent in the league.  Jacobson claimed that, while superstars in the AFA will likely have larger contracts, most players will be better off, and certainly better treated, in the USFA.

I don't see the USFA lasting beyond a couple of years, but having said that do you have names for the 12 teams for the USFA or are you taking suggestions?

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2 minutes ago, nick_crenshaw82 said:

I don't see the USFA lasting beyond a couple of years, but having said that do you have names for the 12 teams for the USFA or are you taking suggestions?

It all depends on if the USFA has capable owners and also capable owners that can reduce their ego to form a formidable competitor to the AFA.

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Just now, Zandandido said:

It all depends on if the USFA has capable owners and also capable owners that can reduce their ego to form a formidable competitor to the AFA.

The problem is that the power is in the players, so there is going to both team jumping and a consolidation of good players to the richest team or teams.

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Just now, nick_crenshaw82 said:

The problem is that the power is in the players, so there is going to both team jumping and a consolidation of good players to the richest team or teams.

We'll see if the USFA has contracts that players have to sign and they can only leave if the contract is up, the team release them, or they pay their way out. But I do believe that there will be "Super Teams", especially after 2-3 years.

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Glad to see my Grizzlies are starting a full rebuild. We will come back stronger, I know it! Also glad to see we have a fresh face in the HC position. It may be a while before the playoffs are back in the Pacific Northwest (which is run by the Grizzlies, the Dragons don't count). 

 

Go Griz! 

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