Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (The USFA - Indiana Warriors)

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I see you based it off of John Cena's chain gang logo:

chaingang1.1.jpg

I think it looks really good and beautifully simple, perfect for the time period.

I based it off of the Packers' logo. I don't follow pro wrestling, and I had never seen that before. I don't even know who John Cena is. That's really annoying. I don't like how identical it is.

What about this? I avoided doing this because I was afraid that it would look too much like Green Bay's G, but this looks less like the Packers logo than that does like John Cena's.

1946_cleveland_ghosts_logo_cg_by_verasth

EDIT: Messed around some more, and I think I have a solution.

1946_cleveland_ghosts_logo_cg_by_verasth

Edited by Veras

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Next, we have the Pittsburgh Railers. This is a team that has never been good. In fact, they are second in popularity in their home city to the traditionally far more successful Wheeling Miners, who play just 60 miles to the southwest.

Logo:

1946_pittsburgh_railers_logo_by_verasthe

I'm considering removing Railers from the side.

Uniform:

1946_pittsburgh_railers_uniform_by_veras

Edited by Veras

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I like the original CG. The other looks way to much like the Packers for me. The diamond one is allright, but I don't think it fits with the concept (If you keep the cartoon ghost)

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Most of these are illustrations, not logos. You usually don't need full bodies to sell the point of what your logo is supposed to be. Also, the crest on the shield that your knight is holding that it would shrink to almost nothing in pretty much any application. Logos, at their best, are simple. Simplify.

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I like Pittsburgh. Yes, it is basically an illustration. However, NFL logos in the 1940s were basically illustrations. Once you start getting into the 1960s and 1970s, you started seeing simpler logos.

I think that some of your logos are a bit ahead of their time. Most NFL logos weren't quite so simple. (Most of them are still good logos, though.)

I don't really like Baltimore's logo or New York's logo. Part of the issue is the arching in New York's logo, which I think looks unrealistic for the time period. I think that whenever you arch text in general, it is probably best to rotate and position each letter individually rather than use a general transform because that is how it would have been done in real life before computer design.

The jerseys are all excellent, however.

I really hope you continue this project up through the present day.

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I like the original CG. The other looks way to much like the Packers for me. The diamond one is allright, but I don't think it fits with the concept (If you keep the cartoon ghost)

I don't want to keep the ghost. I like it as an image, but I think it looks way too much like the Pacman ghosts. Even if I were to keep it, I think it would fit better into the 1960s - 1980s than the 1940s, so I was looking at the CGs to replace it.



Most of these are illustrations, not logos. You usually don't need full bodies to sell the point of what your logo is supposed to be. Also, the crest on the shield that your knight is holding that it would shrink to almost nothing in pretty much any application. Logos, at their best, are simple. Simplify.

As Eagle98 said, many (if not most) NFL logos from the 1940s were illustrations (see San Francisco, New York, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago). You make a good point about the flag of Cincinnati on the shield, and I might switch to just the C, but I've still got a lot of work to do on that one anyway.

I like Pittsburgh. Yes, it is basically an illustration. However, NFL logos in the 1940s were basically illustrations. Once you start getting into the 1960s and 1970s, you started seeing simpler logos.

I think that some of your logos are a bit ahead of their time. Most NFL logos weren't quite so simple. (Most of them are still good logos, though.)

I don't really like Baltimore's logo or New York's logo. Part of the issue is the arching in New York's logo, which I think looks unrealistic for the time period. I think that whenever you arch text in general, it is probably best to rotate and position each letter individually rather than use a general transform because that is how it would have been done in real life before computer design.

The jerseys are all excellent, however.

I really hope you continue this project up through the present day.

I was going for ahead of its time for Richmond, but I might have overdone it; and I was looking back through and I think I need to save the Boston and Providence logos for later. I was trying to make them look more like something you might see in baseball, but as I look back through, baseball logos in the 40s were also pretty complex.

Thanks for the tip on transforming the lettering--it never occurred to me to do it that way.

Here is Baltimore:

1946_baltimore_legion_logo_by_verasthebr

It didn't really work for New York, but I looked back through and realized that I could get the effect that I wanted with the Empire State building more clearly if I took a completely different approach, and did a pure text one, more like Green Bay's first logo. This was the result:

1946_new_york_imperials_logo_by_verasthe

Do you think that either of those are an improvement?

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I have completed the Detroit Gladiators.

They were founded in 1882 in Ann Arbor by William Hayden, a professor of Classical History at the University of Michigan. It was originally for former members of the Michigan football team, and played in amateur leagues and in exhibition games against the Wolverines. In 1892, he began paying his players, primarily to encourage them to stay in Ann Arbor rather than move on after graduation. In 1898, the Gladiators moved to Detroit and became one of the founding members of the Great Lakes Football League, the first professional league in history. They dominated the GLFL, and moved on to the Midwest Football League when it folded in 1909.

Their logo is relatively simple, but I tried to make it look stylistically look like it was from the 1940s. I also created versions with and without the words Detroitae Gladiatores. I am leaning toward keeping the text, as I think it makes it more believable for the time period that I am aiming for.

1946_detroit_gladiators_logo__w_text_by_1946_detroit_gladiators_logo_by_verasthe

Their uniforms use cream instead of white.

1946_detroit_gladiators_uniform_by_veras

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Going back to your original concept, the Chicago Butchers, why not put the butcher in a football uniform swinging the knife?

I think you've got the right sensibility for the leather helmet era logos.

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I have completed the Detroit Gladiators.

They were founded in 1882 in Ann Arbor by William Hayden, a professor of Classical History at the University of Michigan. It was originally for former members of the Michigan football team, and played in amateur leagues and in exhibition games against the Wolverines. In 1892, he began paying his players, primarily to encourage them to stay in Ann Arbor rather than move on after graduation. In 1898, the Gladiators moved to Detroit and became one of the founding members of the Great Lakes Football League, the first professional league in history. They dominated the GLFL, and moved on to the Midwest Football League when it folded in 1909.

Their logo is relatively simple, but I tried to make it look stylistically look like it was from the 1940s. I also created versions with and without the words Detroitae Gladiatores. I am leaning toward keeping the text, as I think it makes it more believable for the time period that I am aiming for.

1946_detroit_gladiators_logo__w_text_by_1946_detroit_gladiators_logo_by_verasthe

Their uniforms use cream instead of white.

1946_detroit_gladiators_uniform_by_veras

That logo would be perfect for a DC team, the sword looks exactly like the Washington Monument.

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Going back to your original concept, the Chicago Butchers, why not put the butcher in a football uniform swinging the knife?

I think you've got the right sensibility for the leather helmet era logos.

Thanks.

I had an early draft of a football player with a knife, but it looked kind of creepy. I also tried having the butcher throw a football, but I couldn't get it to look right. Now that I have the drawing a bit more fleshed out, I might try the uniform again, though doing so will take quite a while.

That logo would be perfect for a DC team, the sword looks exactly like the Washington Monument.

Wow. I hadn't noticed that, but you're right. I'll think about it, but putting a team in DC at this point would be problematic, as would using a gladius in a logo given that I already have two teams with Roman identities. I suppose that I could just move the Gladiators to Washington, but that would require me to rewrite decades of history.

I'm still trying to develop something that works for Cleveland, but in the mean time, here is the 12th (and final) team that competed in the AFA in its inagural season: the Wheeling Miners.

1946_wheeling_miners_logo_by_verasthebru

1946_wheeling_miners_uniform_by_verasthe

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It's been a while, but I'm back. Up to this point, I have exclusively used Photoshop, but after seeing the superiority of Illustrator for most of what I'm doing, I took the past month to learn the basics of that program as well. Now that I'm finished with that, I should be able to post somewhat regularly again, though it may be somewhat slower than before as I am a teacher and this is one of the busiest times of the year for me.

I have one last variant of the 1946 Cleveland Ghosts logo before I move forward.

1946_cleveland_ghosts_logo_cg_by_verasth

I think this one avoids looking too much like the Packers logo, but is far superior to the other CG logos that I posted.

With this finished, I'm ready to start moving forward through time. As such, I'd now like to ask if anyone is interested in the narrative of the AFA beyond the design aspect of it alone. As I roll the results of each season, I generate final standings and scores for postseason games. I also write a brief synopsis of each season (generally only a paragraph or two, unless there is a major rule change or something else that significantly alters the way that the game is played). Is there anyone who would be interested in seeing any of this, or should I just wait until there is a rebranding/relocation/expansion, and only post the new designs?

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Two years went by before anything changed. The results of the 1946 and 1947 seasons are spoilered below, if anyone is interested. I also added the history of professional football (and therefore the roots of the AFA) to the first post.

1946 Season

1946_afa_season_by_verasthebrujah-d7kqfa

The first game in AFA History occurred when the New York Imperials defeated the Cleveland Ghosts 21-7 in New York on Saturday, September 21, 1946.

The season lacked suspense, as the Imperials dominated the Eastern Division and the Guardians of Cincinnati dominated the Western Division. By Thanksgiving, it was clear that the two teams would meet in the first AFA Championship Game. With 20 Victory Points to New York's 19, Cincinnati hosted the championship game on December 22. Most sportswriters expected the Guardians to win easily, in spite of the fact that Eastern Division teams posted a 7-4-1 record against Western Division teams, and even Cincinnati lost at home to the lowly Baltimore Legion in week 5.

However, behind a strong defensive performance (which included an 18 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown), the young Imperials team was able to defeat the much more experienced Guardians, 24-13.

1947 Season

1947_season_by_verasthebrujah-d7l0n9j.pn

Before the start of the 1947 season, the Wheeling Miners asked the AFA for permission to relocate to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Railers owner Gregory Ross predictably objected to this move, and permission was denied. However, when this news became public, Pittsburgh Mayor David Lawrence contacted Ross and threatened to refuse to renew the team’s lease of Pittsburgh Municipal Stadium when it expired in 1948 unless Ross withdrew his objection to the Miners relocation. Ross refused, and both teams began play in the cities that they occupied the previous year.

The 1947 season was considerably more competitive than the previous year, though it produced the same result. Both Cincinnati and New York failed to clinch their respective divisions until the final week of the season, but, once again, the Imperials defeated the Guardians in Cincinnati to win the AFA title.

On January 8, 1948, the Philadelphia Continentals, who had been losing money since before the War, announced their intention to fold. To prevent this, the AFA arranged for the team to be sold to Bobby Blankenship, a furniture manufacturer from St. Louis who had been a star player in the Midwest Football League in the 1920s before a knee injury ended his career. He relocated the team and changed the name to the Aces.

1948_st__louis_aces_by_verasthebrujah-d7

1948_st__louis_aces_uniform_by_verastheb

C&C is welcome

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1948 Season Results

1948_season_by_verasthebrujah-d7l0nnr.pn

The 1948 season was very important to the Cincinnati Guardians. Aging superstar Wendell Ridley, who had won the Player of the Year award in each of the AFA’s first two seasons, announced that he would retire at the end of the year. Spurred on by this, Cincinnati dominated the Western Division, winning 10 games and 20 VP, 5 VP ahead of second-place Cleveland. The East was surprisingly close. After opening the season with losses to Pittsburgh and New York, previously hapless St. Louis won 8 straight games, and briefly moved into first place. However, when they hosted New York in Week 11, the Imperials scored a last-second touchdown to win 14 – 13. Boston also presented a threat to New York, defeating them once and tying them once, but losses to St. Louis and Detroit held them to third place.

The championship game, which is considered one of the greatest of all time, featured a familiar cast. For the third consecutive year, Cincinnati hosted New York, and for the third consecutive year, they were unable to stop the Imperials. Ridley, playing in his final game, had a spectacular performance, scoring four touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing, 1 defensive) and kicking two field goals. Cincinnati took the lead with just over 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but New York quarterback Charlie Kadlec led a drive that ended with a 13 yard touchdown pass to unheralded backup Alvin Pond (his first touchdown of the season) with 52 seconds remaining. Ridley and Kadlec shared MVP honors.

With his game-winning drive, Kadlec, who was only 27 years old, firmly established himself as the successor to Wendell Ridley as the best player in the game. He also revolutionized the game. Due to rules limiting substitution, most players played offense and defense (Ridley, for example played quarterback and defensive end). Kadlec, who was not very fast or strong, only played quarterback, and very rarely ran with the ball. Seeing Kadlec’s success as a one-way player, the AFA voted at the end of the season to immediately abolish substitution rules, which led to the rise of the two-platoon system, beginning in 1949.

When the Continentals vacated Philadelphia at the end of the 1947 season, three teams immediately showed interest in relocating to the city: Providence, Richmond, and Pittsburgh (which was on the verge of being driven out of the city to be replaced by the more popular and more successful Wheeling Miners). The AFA owners eventually granted one team the right to relocate to Philadelphia, but decided to allow the city to determine which one they would accept. Negotiations went on throughout the year, and in December the Pittsburgh Railers announced that they would begin play in Philly in 1949. In light of this, the team withdrew their objection to the Miners' relocation to Pittsburgh, and the Miners also relocated for 1949 (though they did continue playing one game each year in Wheeling until 1958).

Pittsburgh made essentially no change to their look, leaving their uniform the same and only replacing the word "Pittsburgh" with "Philadelphia" in their logo. Both are spoilered below.

1949_philadelphia_railers_logo_by_verast

1946_pittsburgh_railers_uniform_by_veras

The Miners, on the other hand, developed a completely new logo, and redesigned their uniforms, though they kept their traditional black and grey color scheme. For reference, here is the previous logo and uniform

The new logo was inspired by the original Purdue Pete logo.

1949_pittsburgh_miners_logo_by_verastheb

The uniform kept the color scheme, but eliminated the distinctive argyle pattern, which was meant to look like a repeating WM for Wheeling Miners.

1949_pittsburgh_miners_uniform_by_verast

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Sorry, I have an incredibly detailed narrative in my head, and I forgot that nobody else will have the information necessary to follow it.

1947: The Wheeling Miners try to move to Pittsburgh, but the Pittsburgh Railers owner blocks the move. They city of Pittsburgh threatens to refuse to renew the Railers' stadium lease if they do not withdraw their objection.

1948: The Philadelphia Continentals relocate and become the St. Louis Aces. This leaves Philadelphia (the 4th largest city in the country) without a team, and several teams begin making plans to move there. The AFA grants one team permission to move to the city, but allows the city of Philadelphia to decide which to accept.

1949: The Railers move from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and the Miners move from Wheeling to Pittsburgh.

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First of all, I finally took the time to create a logo for the AFA.

It is inspired by the AFL logos of the 1960s, with the eagle itself based on the blue eagle used by the National Recovery Administration (NRA) during the Great Depression. The font is eagle-bold (the same one used by the NRA on their posters). The 12 stars represent the 12 teams in the league.

1946_afa_logo_by_verasthebrujah-d7nx92v.

Second, here are the results for the 1949 season:

1949_season_by_verasthebrujah-d7m6xu8.jp

1949 was an important year for the AFA months before the first snap was taken. Following President Truman's lead in integrating the military, the AFA owners voted to abolish the rule banning black players from the league. One month later, the Richmond Royals drafted running back Grover Jackson with the second overall pick, making him the AFA's first black player. For 1949, 18 black players signed with 9 AFA teams, many of whom made an impact immediately.

The second major rule change that took place was the abolition of the one-platoon system, meaning that players no longer had to play offense and defense. Some players continued to play both ways, most notably future hall of famer John Settler of the Pittsburgh Miners, who was a vocal opponent of the rule change. However, most players enjoyed their transition to playing on only one side of the ball.

For the first time in the AFA's history, the championship game did not feature New York and Cincinnati. New York fell to third in the eastern division, while Cincinnati, having lost several star players to retirement, won only four games.

Both division champions were something of a surprise. Richmond, who won the eastern division with a 10-2 record, had been only 2-9-1 the previous season after being devastated by injuries. The Miners, playing their first year in Pittsburgh after relocating from Wheeling, had not posted a winning record since 1936. However, led by Settler and quarterback Lloyd Fredrickson, whose contract they purchased from Detroit during the offseason, they dominated the western division.

Defense carried the day in the 1949 championship game, as Pittsburgh held Richmond to just 191 yards of total offense on their way to a 13-3 victory.

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