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NFL Development League - if the NFL had a minor league - COMPLETELY FINISHED

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This is an as-yet incomplete series (usually I like to have everything fully done before presenting, but I'm getting some real writers block), of an NFL Development League.

It's always shocked me that the NFL hasn't pursued some kind of minor league development system (and something better than NFL Europe), to send college players that aren't yet ready to replace seasoned veteran players. As players continue to play older and older, with long contracts and continuing success, why push them out?

Enter the International Football League, an NFL-owned minor league where each team has an affiliate.

The rules: The NFL is very conscious of its branding, so the IFL jerseys CANNOT look exactly like their parent club, it must be easily distinguishable in black and white photographs (edit: this is to prevent copycat teams like the NHL-AHL relationship, there must be enough that people can tell the difference without needing to do major research). Efforts should be taken to avoid having the jersey (the most popular merchandise) look exactly the same as the parent team jersey. Each team must have one and only one helmet. All other pieces can be mixed and matched (the home pants can be worn with the away jersey, for instance), but nothing else can be added. Every team must wear their parent club as a patch, and has a 3"x5" ad on the front.

So, to start, the league logo. The trophy is top center

jWy4YH8.png

And as a sneak preview overview, the map I've been using to organize. Not everything is the closest and most efficient, but I've been trying to keep a logic. Pittsburgh and Wheeling, WV, and Baltimore and Norfolk, VA, for instance, make perfect sense geographically. Some others have a logical link, like the New York teams taking the largest cities in Canada, Toronto and Montreal, because their large-city management should work on a minor league level as well - they're mentality-linked. Others have some kind of branding motive. I originally linked Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska, two very traditional football venues (one pro, one college) that believe in basic, unchanging looks. But studying Omaha's history, using the old Baltimore Bombers identity works SO WELL, with multiple Air Force bases, the factories that made B-29s, and the Enola Gay starting there. Adapting the Bombers' logo to Bears colors was wasting a good logo, but Tennessee fit very very well. So, Omaha and Tennessee are linked. Jacksonville is matched with Memphis because the Hound Dogs colors matched Jacksonville very well, so even though Birmingham is closer (on the way, in fact), Jacksonville is linked with Memphis.

All blank cities are up for grabs, I don't have ideas for them yet, so I'm all for suggestions. Please please, suggestions.

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To start:

The Wheeling Miners - Affiliate of the Pittsburgh Steelers

The entire state of West Virginia is rich in coal and coal mining history. The logo is a coal loading car with interlocking W and M and a hypocycloid worked in. The jerseys are based on the Steelers 60s throwback that they use so well but have replaced with the bumblebee throwbacks, with white replaced with gray in most instances for coal dust. The dot on the front of the helmet is to look like a coal miner's lamp, lighting the way forward. Sponsored by Consol Energy, a major power producer in the Pittsburgh area.

Primary logo and wordmark:

luilONq.png

Secondary logo:

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Home jersey:

KPOlkeL.png

Road jersey:

bwqNEXb.png

The Columbus White Tigers - Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati looks to its large Ohio neighbor to place their minor league affiliate. The team identity is meant to look a lot like the parent Bengals, but instead of the usual orange tiger, it's the white Siberian tigers.

The team will wear white at home whenever possible, but they do have a black home jersey. Sponsored by Ohio-born and staple Wendy's.

Primary logo:

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Wordmark:

B3pC405.png

Home jersey:

mvsmmE9.png

Road jersey (and preferred home):

77LrAGq.png

Looking for C&C, and many more to come!

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This is a really cool idea. Looking forward to more. I like the Wheeling primary logo, think it's really creative. I think Columbus, even though they're the Bengals team is too much like the Bengals

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Wheeling Miners........ Where have I heard that before??............

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Wheeling Miners........ Where have I heard that before??............

idk, basic google searching didn't turn up any teams that already use that name, nor did a quick search of this board. What else does Wheeling do? It seems rather natural, like how many times Pittsburgh Pirates was used by pro leagues, or how there are Jets in New York and Winnipeg.

I wouldn't doubt that the name has been used before, but the most influence on this concept is an old Icethetics concept I made years ago and the West Virginia University baseball team logo.

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This is phrased as more of a question than a direct suggestion, but

YOu had posted that

"it must be easily distinguishable in black and white photographs (so there must be some kind of significant differences). "

Do you believe that, in a black and white photograph, that thee Cincy Bengals and the Columbus White Tigers could be easily distingushed?

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This is phrased as more of a question than a direct suggestion, but

YOu had posted that

"it must be easily distinguishable in black and white photographs (so there must be some kind of significant differences). "

Do you believe that, in a black and white photograph, that thee Cincy Bengals and the Columbus White Tigers could be easily distingushed?

There are differences, especially with the sleeves not having a different colored panels, the lack of colored shoulders, and the obvious differences between white and orange, there should be enough difference.

What I don't want is the copycat AHL. Every time NHL teams change their AHL affiliation, they change their AHL team to look like a copycat of the parent club. The Springfield Falcons are the perfect example of this, if you want a google-able example.

You'll see similarities, which are deliberate, because it makes moving someone up or down easier with respect to equipment (gloves, shoes, sleeves and such) and establishes mental connections (if you look at the IFL team, you can guess their NFL team), but they can't cookie-cutter copy.

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So Seattle is attached to Vancouver?

And the Vikings to ?


This is phrased as more of a question than a direct suggestion, but

YOu had posted that

"it must be easily distinguishable in black and white photographs (so there must be some kind of significant differences). "

Do you believe that, in a black and white photograph, that thee Cincy Bengals and the Columbus White Tigers could be easily distingushed?

There are differences, especially with the sleeves not having a different colored panels, the lack of colored shoulders, and the obvious differences between white and orange, there should be enough difference.

The average fan won't know that.

Heck, people here don't necessarily know that

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Um couple of quick things I'd suggest

No teams in Mexico:

I get what you are trying to do but Canada with a few teams is fine. Mexico not so much. Especially when most of the Liga MX games conflict with possible game dates (correct me if I'm wrong)

Natural Rivals:

I agree Reno should have a team however not as a Detroit affiliate. The closest pro football team in Reno is the 49ers so it would make sense because of travel. Also the raiders or chargers should have the affiliate in Vegas because it is natural rivalry and you enlarge the NFL rivalry too

In the end it's your call but just throwing it out there

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So Seattle is attached to Vancouver?

And the Vikings to ?

This is phrased as more of a question than a direct suggestion, but

YOu had posted that

"it must be easily distinguishable in black and white photographs (so there must be some kind of significant differences). "

Do you believe that, in a black and white photograph, that thee Cincy Bengals and the Columbus White Tigers could be easily distingushed?

There are differences, especially with the sleeves not having a different colored panels, the lack of colored shoulders, and the obvious differences between white and orange, there should be enough difference.

The average fan won't know that.

Heck, people here don't necessarily know that

Seattle - Vancouver

Minnesota - Calgary

(dealing with an unlabeled map of Canada, I might be a bit off in my location, but that's the intended placement)

Maybe "easily distinguishable" is too strict a phrasing. It's distinguishable if you put them side by side, there'd be no mixing them up by a researcher, as it's been easy to do looking back at old hockey photos. What I want is no NHL-AHL copycat teams, that's the purpose of that rule.

Um couple of quick things I'd suggest

No teams in Mexico:

I get what you are trying to do but Canada with a few teams is fine. Mexico not so much. Especially when most of the Liga MX games conflict with possible game dates (correct me if I'm wrong)

Natural Rivals:

I agree Reno should have a team however not as a Detroit affiliate. The closest pro football team in Reno is the 49ers so it would make sense because of travel. Also the raiders or chargers should have the affiliate in Vegas because it is natural rivalry and you enlarge the NFL rivalry too

In the end it's your call but just throwing it out there

I figure one team in Mexico City wouldn't hurt. The NFL has played preseason games there, and there's 8.8 million people. If anything, there should be bunches of teams there, but language barrier and the fact that I'm not that familiar with Mexican cities and sports teams holds that back to just one, just a taste of all those potential fans.

I'm struggling with the West Coast currently. San Francisco and San Diego are involved in a Los Angeles stadium deal. I originally had those two teams there. Then I really struggled with St. Louis, and realized the limitations with their iconic helmet - who wants to lose that helmet? So putting the LA Rams back as a minor league team makes too much sense to skip. I still have San Diego there, but I have no idea where to take that identity. Reno has 225k, Sacramento has 479k in population. Sacramento definitely gets first billing there. And the only other option for Detroit that I can think of is Windsor, and that's really pushing the number of Canadian teams. Plus, Vegas was one of my earliest ideas, because I had nowhere to go with Miami, the sun logo works so well, and both are big vacation spots.

So, if you have ways to fix that whole situation with all of the ripple effects is causes, I'm all ears. I'll attach San Fran to Reno, and San Diego to wherever, if I have somewhere to put Detroit.

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So Seattle is attached to Vancouver?

And the Vikings to ?

This is phrased as more of a question than a direct suggestion, but

YOu had posted that

"it must be easily distinguishable in black and white photographs (so there must be some kind of significant differences). "

Do you believe that, in a black and white photograph, that thee Cincy Bengals and the Columbus White Tigers could be easily distingushed?

There are differences, especially with the sleeves not having a different colored panels, the lack of colored shoulders, and the obvious differences between white and orange, there should be enough difference.

The average fan won't know that.

Heck, people here don't necessarily know that

Seattle - Vancouver

Minnesota - Calgary

(dealing with an unlabeled map of Canada, I might be a bit off in my location, but that's the intended placement)

Maybe "easily distinguishable" is too strict a phrasing. It's distinguishable if you put them side by side, there'd be no mixing them up by a researcher, as it's been easy to do looking back at old hockey photos. What I want is no NHL-AHL copycat teams, that's the purpose of that rule.

Um couple of quick things I'd suggest

No teams in Mexico:

I get what you are trying to do but Canada with a few teams is fine. Mexico not so much. Especially when most of the Liga MX games conflict with possible game dates (correct me if I'm wrong)

Natural Rivals:

I agree Reno should have a team however not as a Detroit affiliate. The closest pro football team in Reno is the 49ers so it would make sense because of travel. Also the raiders or chargers should have the affiliate in Vegas because it is natural rivalry and you enlarge the NFL rivalry too

In the end it's your call but just throwing it out there

I figure one team in Mexico City wouldn't hurt. The NFL has played preseason games there, and there's 8.8 million people. If anything, there should be bunches of teams there, but language barrier and the fact that I'm not that familiar with Mexican cities and sports teams holds that back to just one, just a taste of all those potential fans.

I'm struggling with the West Coast currently. San Francisco and San Diego are involved in a Los Angeles stadium deal. I originally had those two teams there. Then I really struggled with St. Louis, and realized the limitations with their iconic helmet - who wants to lose that helmet? So putting the LA Rams back as a minor league team makes too much sense to skip. I still have San Diego there, but I have no idea where to take that identity. Reno has 225k, Sacramento has 479k in population. Sacramento definitely gets first billing there. And the only other option for Detroit that I can think of is Windsor, and that's really pushing the number of Canadian teams. Plus, Vegas was one of my earliest ideas, because I had nowhere to go with Miami, the sun logo works so well, and both are big vacation spots.

So, if you have ways to fix that whole situation with all of the ripple effects is causes, I'm all ears. I'll attach San Fran to Reno, and San Diego to wherever, if I have somewhere to put Detroit.

Miami to Honolulu, Hawaii (Tropical)

Detroit to Lansing (stays in state)

San Diego to Pasedena or Ontario

and correction its Oakland and San Diego in the Stadium deal.

Again it's your call but I'm throwing it out there

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With all the talk about Las Vegas, I figure I'll show what I have for them.

Las Vegas Scorch - Affiliate of the Miami Dolphins

There are few places to go that make geographic sense for Miami, so I looked further afield at underserved areas. Las Vegas is a major vacation destination, a party capital, and is packed with plenty of attractions that distract from something as mundane as football...and Miami is not all that different. I'm sure there are many other connections that could be made, so the Dolphins' owners should be able to handle it and promote well in Vegas. But, the marine life of the Dolphins logo simply doesn't work in Las Vegas, so the focus is on the other piece of the logo, the often overlooked sun. Tropical heat translates to desert heat for the Nevada trip, and the secondary color of orange takes center stage. Again, pieces of the uniform are interchangable, so full-white or full-orange are possible. Sponsored by the MGM Grand Casino.

The primary logo:

FTnmhbS.png

Wordmark:

eVM8x9w.png

home jersey:

YUf2zbB.png

road jersey:

CXNQaMY.png

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I'd take the NFL team logos off the jerseys. If the intent is to create a separate look they need to look different. For the Scorch, they simply look like Miami with letters instead of Flipper.

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If the White Tigers were a real team i buy those jersey so fast

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Grand Rapids, Michigan would probably be the best location inside of Michigan for a Detroit developmental team. 2nd largest city in Michigan. Metropolitian Statistical Area of 1,027,703 and Combined Statistical Area of 1,421,374 in 2014.

San Diego considers Los Angeles as part of their territory right now. It is one of the reasons why San Diego is considering moving to Los Angeles. With that considered, I would probably for the time being put St. Louis's developmental team elsewhere. Maybe Reno.

Let Denver's team be in Salt Lake City and Seattle's be in Portland. Not to sure how a NFL developmental team would do in a CFL city. I would also look at alternatives for Minnesota for the same reason.

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Wheeling: Great branding, almost too easy of a choice there

Columbus: Like the idea to go with the Bengals identity but I think a third color on those jerseys would really make everything differentiable. Everything being black and white makes things kind of blend together

Vegas: Nothing really to change, if I'm being real nitpicky I would say add a stripe pattern to the upper on the socks

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I would consider a 16 team league with each team having 2 NFL affliates, one from each conference. Maybe not as exciting since you get to design half as many teams, but it is a challenge if you insist that at least 1 team color from each team be used in the minor league affliate. You could even try to find a middle ground between the two team names.

Examples:

Portland Pegasus (Seahawk + Bronco): Orange, Navy & Lime Green

Lehigh Valley Wings (Jets + Eagles): Kelly Green, Black & Silver

Columbia Catbirds (Falcons + Panthers): Carolina Blue & Red

Memphis Blues (Titans + Saints): Navy, Sky blue & Gold

Worth considering as a challenge.

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I would consider a 16 team league with each team having 2 NFL affliates, one from each conference. Maybe not as exciting since you get to design half as many teams, but it is a challenge if you insist that at least 1 team color from each team be used in the minor league affliate. You could even try to find a middle ground between the two team names.

Examples:

Portland Pegasus (Seahawk + Bronco): Orange, Navy & Lime Green

Lehigh Valley Wings (Jets + Eagles): Kelly Green, Black & Silver

Columbia Catbirds (Falcons + Panthers): Carolina Blue & Red

Memphis Blues (Titans + Saints): Navy, Sky blue & Gold

Worth considering as a challenge.

I think he is trying to make sure that each team has its on affiliate identity or as I like to call it its alter ego

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