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Dominion Football League (Calgary Wranglers profile added 11/16/15)


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The World War II draft had put the Commonwealth Rugby Union on the East Coast and the Pacific Western Rugby Union on the West Coast out of business.

For those who returned from battle, work was hard to come by for a rugby player, and it would not be until 1955 that the Dominion Football League was born in Canada.

In the Western Division, there were the British Columbia Breakers, Calgary Wranglers and Edmonton Polar Bears....
...Saskatchewan Harvesters and Winnipeg Wolves.

And the Eastern Division consisted of (Top Row L to R): Hamilton Maulers, Ottawa Lumberjacks, Toronto Titans, (Bottom Row L to R): Montreal Moose, Quebec Souvrains.

Starting with the '55 season, the DFL teams would compete for the Frosty Mug, a trophy awarded to the league champion by the parent company of Quartermain Root Beer in Toronto.

C&C Welcome.

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I like what you did with the teams so far. Winnipeg's jerseys are probably my favorite. The only question I have is about the presentation: Why is it that some jerseys only have one side facing outwards, but others have the full front of the jersey being shown?

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Very interesting. Will you continue? Will the League expand over time?

The league will likely have the same 10 teams for about 25 years, then maybe absorb a spring league from the United States in the 80's, and maybe expand to Europe in the 90's.

I like what you did with the teams so far. Winnipeg's jerseys are probably my favorite. The only question I have is about the presentation: Why is it that some jerseys only have one side facing outwards, but others have the full front of the jersey being shown?

I probably should have made this clear in the first post, but Winnipeg's colors are supposed to be purple and silver. The presentation is such because I was trying to experiement with different ways to present the uniforms without wasting so much paper.

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I like what you did with the teams so far. Winnipeg's jerseys are probably my favorite. The only question I have is about the presentation: Why is it that some jerseys only have one side facing outwards, but others have the full front of the jersey being shown?

I probably should have made this clear in the first post, but Winnipeg's colors are supposed to be purple and silver. The presentation is such because I was trying to experiement with different ways to present the uniforms without wasting so much paper.

That's why they are my favorite. I really like purple and silver color schemes.

Alright, that makes sense about the presentation. The style where only half the jersey is showing is better imo.

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I think you have a lot good going on here. What I think could help you clean up your presentation is printing off a blank template and coloring and designing on that. It would give every team a more uniform base to work on. With you trying to conserve paper, maybe put the "final" designs on something like that?

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Nice start, and I'm looking forward to what you're doing.

Given that I have some experience in running a simulation fictional league, I'd like to make a couple of suggestions, though.

First, standardize your format in exactly the way that Dan O'Mac suggests. It will not only save you time, but will make your work more consistent across the league's history. I know that you're looking to save paper, but that's just not going to happen in a project like this. My AFA folder is 1.21 GB and consists of 214 folders and 1126 files, and the things that I'm actively working on stay on my desktop until I'm ready to put them away. If you're going to do a simulated league, accept that you're going to use a ton of paper, and roll with it. I would suggest getting a 3 ring binder and clear plastic page protectors instead of a notebook.

Second, and more importantly, slow down. Don't present the entire league at once. Introduce each team one at a time, and tell us a little about them. Why does their design look that way? Who is the team owner and star players? Describe the team's culture. The narrative is the main feature of a simulated league--the designs just add flavor. Take this chance to pull us into the story.

Incidentally, how do you plan on determining the results for each season?

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The Dominion Football League was born out of the ashes of two rugby outfits, one for each coast, that had suspended operations during World War II.

Out of all the rugby clubs, the Ottawa Lumberjacks, founded in 1875, and the Saskatchewan Harvesters, founded in 1901, were the only pre-existing organizations standing by 1945.

In 1946, the Lumberjacks, under the leadership of Hull attorney Simon O'Hare (1889-1966), would form the Ontario Football Alliance with Donald Quartermain (1908-1994) owning the Toronto Titans, Graham Sewell (1901-1977) owning the London Beefeaters, and Weston Ward (1897-1985) owning the Hamilton Maulers.

Also in 1946, the community owned Harvesters established the Professional Football Association of Western Canada with the Winnipeg Wolves, Calgary Wranglers and Saskatoon Prairie Dogs, all of whom were also community owned.

As the 50's dawned, new teams began to invade both leagues. In 1953, the Montreal Moose, owned by Yves Bertrand (1911-2006) and Quebec Souvrains, owned by Pierre Rousseau (1900-1979) were admitted into the OFL as expansion teams.

In 1954, the PFAWC welcomed the Edmonton Polar Bears, owned by Alberta oil tycoon Dick O'Brien (1908-2000). He originally wanted his team to be black and gold as a reference to the popular slang for crude oil. The colors quickly changed to silver and black when the formation of the Dominion Football League was announced and that the Hamilton Maulers were already wearing black and gold.

The youngest franchise, the British Columbia Breakers, were founded in 1955 by Frederick Philcox (1903-1988), a Vancouver clothier. The team was aptly named in another case of a middle aged man trying to be hip by catering to the surfing craze of the period.

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Founded: 1953 in the Ontario Football League

Team Colors: Maroon, Silver and White

Stadium: Molson Stadium

Owner: Yves Bertrand

The Montreal Moose (Elans de Montreal) were founded in 1953 by Yves Bertrand in anticipation of the DFL's formation. Bertrand made his fortune as a newspaper magnate, with his company Bertrand News Publications owning the Montreal Herald-Tribune, the Regina Bulletin, the Vancouver Evening Examiner, the Ottawa Bugle, and the Toronto Times. Bertrand was no stranger to football, having played at McGill University and in the United States for the Cleveland Commodores of the Excelsior Football Alliance throughout the 1930's and early 40's before being drafted into World War II. After the war, having saved up a good portion of his football and military salary, Bertrand formed his newspaper business, buying underperforming papers and changing their fortunes almost overnight.


Guy Duchamp (b. 1932)

A rifle armed quarterback who had some hiccups early on. After the first 3 games of the 1953 OFL season, equipment manager Bob Quackenbush (1897-1975) pained the Moose helmets with the now-iconic antlers which helped a great deal to cut down on Duchamp's interceptions. But Duchamp was no dummy. Far from it. He was one of the few triple threat quarterbacks in the days before wide open offense, serving as the quarterback, punter and sometimes a flanker on trick plays.

Phil Stephens (1921-2012)

Most casual football fans would point to a lesser known EFA quarterback from the 60's as the first black quarterback, but the most passionate football junkies would beg to differ. A slot back for most of his career, Stephens served a dual purpose in coach Bucky Blaise's trick play offense. Stephens and Duchamp would swap positions on short distance third downs requiring the Moose to sell the long ball while throwing a screen pass. Given his advanced age by the time he joined the Moose, Stephens' DFL career would be short lived, as a severe ankle injury would force him to retire after the '57 season.

Armand LeRoux (1930-2007)

Football was a defensive game in the Fifties, and Armand LeRoux will forever be the face of the grim and gritty era of life on the gridiron. LeRoux anchored a linebacking corps that made the Moose a perennial powerhouse in the DFL's early days. LeRoux was featured in an early television documentary (a la Sam Huff) that gave fans a whole new perspective of the game. A Sherbrooke native and a phenom at Laval, LeRoux joined the Moose in the 1954 OFL season as an undrafted walk on.

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Here's a look at five DFL players of the 50's...


Top Left: Elmer Best, Halfback of the Hamilton Maulers, one of the earliest in DFL history to rush for 1,000+ yards in a season.

Top center: Joe Rubenstein, cool and collected quarterback of the Toronto Titans, came to the DFL after the EFL Chicago Lakers cut him in favor of the cocky and arrogant Lefty Lucas. Offensive MVP of 1955.

Top Right: Butch LeParmentier, slotback of the BC Breakers, the Raymond Berry of the DFL universe.

Bottom Left: Otto Hirsch, quarterback of the Winnipeg Wolves, master of fourth quarter comebacks. Later acknowledged by DFL historians as one of the league's first LGBT players. The cut on his right cheek came about from being cut by a piece of Lucite mask after being sacked by Barney Withycombe of the Edmonton Polar Bears.

Bottom Right: Armand LeRoux, linebacker of the Montreal Moose, the Sam Huff of the DFL universe. One of the few defensive players to receive endorsement deals in the Fifties.

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1955 Regular Season Standings

Regular Season: July 29-October 30, 1955

Eastern Division

Toronto Titans 12-2

Montreal Moose 12-2

Hamilton Maulers 9-5

Ottawa Lumberjacks 5-9

Quebec Souvrains 3-11

Western Division

British Columbia Breakers 11-3

Winnipeg Wolves 7-7

Edmonton Polar Bears 5-8-1

Calgary Wranglers 4-10

Saskatchewan Harvesters 1-12-1

Offensive MVP: Joe Rubenstein, QB, Toronto Titans

Defensive MVP: Armand Leroux, LB, Montreal Moose

Eastern Playoff:

CNE Stadium; Toronto, Ontario

November 6, 1955

1:00 (EST)

Toronto Titans 13

Montreal Moose 7

The 1955 Eastern Playoff was a defensive struggle. Armand Leroux recorded 4 sacks in the first half, preserving a 7-6 halftime lead. The second half saw virtually no offense until the final seconds. On third and 15 from their own 44, the Titans calmly sent a rookie slotback named Paul Sharpsteen for a desperation pass play. Quarterback Joe Rubenstein calmly commanded the huddle with 22 seconds left. After Rubenstein took the snap, the pocket collapsed. Leroux was about to bag sack number 7, but Rubenstein wriggled out of Leroux's grasp and fired a torpedo to a lightning quick Sharpsteen who hustled over the frozen grass of CNE Stadium to send the Titans to the very first Frosty Mug.

1955 Frosty Mug Championship:

November 13, 1955; 1:00 PM (EST)

CNE Stadium; Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Titans 34

BC Breakers 28

The very first Frosty Mug was an offensive slugfest. The game was televised by the Dominion Television Service in the Toronto and Vancouver markets after the relatively young network paid the DFL $5,000 CDN for the broadcast rights. Butch LeParmentier of the Breakers had a career day catching 32 balls and scoring all but one of the Breakers' touchdowns in the game, but as electrifying as his performance was, it would Joe Rubenstein of the Titans who would get to drink from the Mug. Rubenstein sought to find his way in pro football after being chased off the EFA Chicago Lakers due to the Antisemitic attitude of Chicago's locker room cancer Lefty Lucas. Rubenstein felt he finally gained the respect of his Toronto teammates with his three touchdown passes, but come 1956, he would be hungry for a second title.

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The new helmet logo for the Calgary Wranglers, effective at the start of the 1956 season.


Founded: 1946

Colors: Red and Gold

Stadium: Mewata Stadium (McMahon to be completed in 1960)

Owner: The Wranglers are community owned. The Wranglers' chief executive officer from the club's inception in 1946 has been Ernie Van Pelt, former quarterback of the Excelsior Football Alliance's Brooklyn franchise.


Ricardo Giuseppe "Dick" DiCaprio (b. 1933)

Dick is a brash, cocky rookie quarterback out of Penn State, and his style of play should resonate in a city populated by mavericks. Selected third overall in the 1956 Draft, Wranglers CEO Ernie Van Pelt has extremely high hopes that DiCaprio can turn a team that won only 4 games in 1955 to a Frosty Mug contender. DiCaprio replaces EFA has-been Hugo Bachmeier, who threw 12 interceptions the previous season.

Warren Guber (b. 1929)

A hard-nosed linebacker out of Notre Dame, on his way to a Hall of Fame career. The Joe Schmidt of the DFL universe.

Hector Perez (b. 1932)

A thoroughbred at wide receiver out of the University of Southern California, Perez promises to be part of a core group of players for a future dynasty. Selected in the 14th round of the 1956 DFL draft after being cut from the EFA's Los Angeles franchise in the 1955 preseason. Acknowledged by DFL historians as one of the league's earliest Hispanic superstars.

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