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Brenland Eight-Man Football League - Fictional History (1951)


Steelman

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Hello all. I've been lurking on this board for awhile and finally did create an account a few months ago. Football is one of my passions and as a creative nerd I've been creating and developing fictional teams and leagues since I can remember. I'm a graphic designer/media team manager by trade and do mostly print materials for a local organization. For whatever reason I've always avoided Illustrator and I've been trying to change that recently. Similar to Veras and his AFA, I've been using football concepts as an excuse to learn it. Veras has kindly allowed me to use his uniform template for this project and I am simulating seasons in a similar manner (see his original post about the basic process) but it is in no way affiliated with his league concept. I'm a fledgling author and so this series will also focus on the storylines and people-side narratives of a league, particularly the owners and coaches. I chose 8-man football (which you can read about some differences here if you're curious) as the backdrop as it's a bit quirky and different and will certainly influence league decisions and player and coaching types.

This will definitely be a learning experience as I've never really shared any design projects or even stories, so we'll see where it goes!

I would appreciate feedback and C&C on all aspects of design and story and welcome questioning on process and idea.

CREATING BRENLAND

This idea began when I had a few uniform concepts that didn't fit any of the other fictional leagues that I have and so I ended up creating an entirely fictional world to feature a new league. I had been researching Wales at the time and so this fictional country of Brenland is heavily influenced by Welsh history and typography. Geographically, it does not replace any countries and basically stands alone as an independent country, but for imagination's sake, it is to be pretended that it exists in an area between the United Kingdom and southern France. The province and city names were all generated randomly using a linguistic country name generator and I kept all of the ones that seemed to go together. The people of Brenland will be similar to Wales/England and therefore have basic Euro-UK names, which are also just easier to use and keep up with! I don't want to focus too much on the fictional world but I am continuing to flesh out details as I go along. And also since this is a fictional world, later in the series I'll be able to forgo some of the typical uniform standards if necessary.

Hopefully an entirely fictional country with weird names won't be too hard to follow!

Map of Brenland


Brenland3_zpsj0eh535e.png

(This map was originally generated by this polygonal map generator by Red Blob Games)

Legend:

Red dot with yellow outline is the country capitol

Red dots are major cities

Yellow dots are minor cities

Quick Pronunciation Guide:

Abrea - "Ah-bree"

Aswana - "Uhh-swanna"

Bloso - "BLAH-zo"

Bodren - "BAH-dren"

Codrad - "KO-jrad"

Dray - "Draye"

Galus - "GAL-us"

Hesken "HESS-ken"

Kastela - "Kuh-STELL-uh"

Ploeburg - PLOH-berg"

Stoy - "Stoye"

Teska "TESS-kah"



BRENLAND EIGHT-MAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (BEFL)

Below is a history of how the BEFL was formed:

Prologue: 1940-1950

In the late 1940’s, after the chaos of the second world conflict had subsided, a businessman named Tom Regal returned from the Americas to his home country of Brenland. Regal was educated at Cambridge and Harvard and had pursued law and other business ventures before capitalizing on the wartime industrial boom. Growing up, Regal’s natural athleticism led him to play soccer in high school, but while at Harvard in the United States he fell in love with the game of American football. While building businesses in New York, Regal played football in a local amateur league until the war forced a suspension of activities. His business dealings, however, ran a tightrope of publically decried shady dealings and Regal was forced to liquidate his companies and leave the country.


Now with plenty of cash and assets, Regal returned to Brenland with eye for a new venture. While waiting for such an opportunity and desiring to stay athletically active, he formed a club to play American football. There were few people who knew the game and Regal decided to play 8-man football to compensate. To his surprise and money-grubbing delight, the little club grew rapidly as a post-war crowd of men and boys were eager for adventure. The club grew to several squads and Regal began organizing the formation of teams and scheduling matches.


In less than three years the club grew to five teams and was gaining national attention. Never one to lose a monetary opportunity, Regal launched a campaign advertising an official league to compete for a trophy that he named after the country: The Bren Crown. Regal immediately funded a project for a new stadium in the capital of Aswana and made plans to retrofit existing fields for other clubs. Due to his brilliant advertising campaign, potential investors and club owners weren’t hard to find and the original five squads were quickly funded and their city locations sold along with three new clubs. With public interest building, Regal announced via televised broadcast than an eight team league would play a ten game season plus a playoff for the championship trophy beginning in the early fall of 1950. An initial coach draft was held in Aswana in the early spring of 1950 and the names of each club were introduced.

Always with a card up his sleeve, amid cries of Regal’s new stadium in Aswana as an evil plan for him to fix the league for profit, Regal made a surprise announcement that was billed as a brilliant stroke of genius and cemented the cult status of the fledgling league by the country even before it began. Regal had worked his contacts in the Brenland government and secured permission to restore an ancient castle with a proud Bren history in the remote peninsula of Crea Crua. For an undisclosed amount of money or interest, a fact which remains a point of contention for Regal’s detractors to this day, Regal was allowed to retrofit the old castle into a stadium that would serve as a neutral site for championship games. He dubbed it the Castle Match to go along with the league trophy. By late spring, player tryouts were held over several weeks and afterward an official player draft was completed. Each of the newly formed staff, rosters and uniforms were officially introduced as the teams prepared for the inaugral season.

New fans have begun pronouncing the unusually long league name to a shortened "B-F-L" or elongating it to "Beff-uhl". The general feeling is that Mr. Regal struck gold on the league but missed the mark on the name, though fan support is still growing rapidly.

(I have already simulated the first few seasons to get the general storylines going and will continue once I get caught up here)

First League Logo: 1950

BEFL_zps3g2nmzyf.png

The league logo is a simple shield in black and white (another attempt by Mr. Regal to remain neutral) featuring an 8-point starburst and numeral 8 with the league initials and year of establishment below it.

Teams and uniforms will be next along with the first season results.

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Interesting...

Looking forward to it.

I'm intrigued.

Thanks for the interest guys!

Solid league logo, definitely will follow.

Question: Will the league adopt the "mercy rule", or will all games go to full time?

Thanks, Dan! Good question. Due to the current low skill level of the players, the majority of whom haven't played much American football, these inaugural games are rather sloppy and low scoring. There is a decided lack of quality passers and receivers so teams are featuring very run-heavy offenses. Once the talent catches up and teams adjust to faster paced offenses, I imagine the league will have to visit adding the rule.

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Summer of 1950

Following the player drafts, the owners gathered to discuss the upcoming league rules and submitted their team names and color choices and put together uniforms. The constant voting and repealing of rules and regulations turned into a several weeks long ordeal as they hashed out the league specifics. With some of the typically popular team names being fought over, it was decided to forego usual names and try for more unique monikers. Tom Regal immediately named his club the "Regals" despite backlash from the other owners who were beginning to see why Regal had been kicked out of the United States. With so much time and money invested, however, the collective decided to move forward to get the league up and running before any action would be taken against Tom Regal's authority. Now on crunch for time before the season opener, the ownership was able to institute brand new plastic football helmets league-wide, partly in response to concerns about player safety in such a violent sport, but were unable to arrange much in the way of adding decals or logos. It was decided to revisit the topic once the league had extra cash again, though it remained open to individual owner discretion. The remaining league details were agreeably finalized and the owners unveiled their new teams.

Teams would consist of 14-man rosters with players choosing positions on both offense and defense. (Ex. QB/MLB) Jersey numbers would be assigned based on primary position. (0-49 for offensive primary, 50-99 for defensive)

The eight teams were divided into two divisions, North and South, and the top two teams in each division would play for a division title and a berth in the Castle Match.

(Bear in mind, this is 1950 so I've tried to scale the uniforms to what would be fairly appropriate for that timeframe but I'm not religiously following true history, such as what NFL uniforms looked like in 1950. Logos will most likely appear on helmets a few years early compared to the NFL. Unit platooning (offense/defense) may be something that takes longer.)

First up, the North Division:

Abrea Dragons

Aswana Regals

Galus Admirals

Kastela Ospreys

Abrea%20Dragons%201950_zpsvrmhdkcp.png

Abrea is a working class city with an ancient war background due to being ideally situated on a plateau above cliffs that overlook a wide spectrum of surrounding water. The Welsh dragon has been a symbol of the ancient fortresses and battlefields located in the area and was chosen as the name and mascot. Owner Dan Jernigan is a retired doctor who has served many functions for the city of Abrea and local government.

Aswana%20Regals%201950_zpsz5rxovwe.png

Aswana is a very large city that houses the country's capitol and government structure. League founder and team owner Tom Regal is a somewhat shady businessman and American football aficionado who has no lack of self-confidence and bravado. After a spat with the league owners over common team names (he wanted "Lions"), Regal named the team after himself and chose the classic ancient standing lion as their symbol.

Galus%20Admirals_zpsvcljtmp6.png

Galus is a harbor town, major seaport, and a Bren naval base with a deep nautical wartime history. Owner Glenn Berwyn is the oldest owner and called upon his storied maritime career in choosing a team name. Despite Berwyn's declining health, he was granted a club in deference to his vast connections and sterling reputation, though the move was suspected to be simply an antidote for Tom Regal's brashness. Berwyn's son Glenn Jr. is also a naval captain and will assist his father in running the team.

Kastela%20Ospreys_zpsipuqinxi.png

Kastela is an beautiful port town known for its liberal arts and burgeoning entertainment industry. Owner Owen Heulog was flamboyant radio host in his prime years and transitioned to politics and public speaking while gaining a reputation for being outspoken but fair and honest. Heulog chose the osprey, a fierce bird of the hawk family that is prominent in the area, as the team mascot. Heulog, like Admiral Berwyn, also has sons that will be involved in the team business.

Up next, the South Division and the inaugural season of 1950.

*The actual uniform template was created by Veras.

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I like these a lot. Couple things I'm not sure of:

1) The pants stripe on the Dragons seems too modern for 1950
2) The shoulder stripe on the Regals also seems to modern.

3) The shoulder stripes on the Admirals should be hoops (a la the Colts), as that type of striping wasn't done in the 50s.

4) I'm not sure if the shade of blue you selected for the Ospreys would've been used in the 50s. I'd darken it or move it to more of a powder blue for a decade or so.

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Dragons....good name meaning, good colors, and overall for the 50s

Regels.... I see Mr Regel likes self promotion. Good color choices, the shoulder stripes look good,

Admirals.... Admiral Berwyn chose some good colors. That shoulder stripe looks way to modern for my taste

Ospreys.... Mr Owen Heulog you have yourself your first fan

Can't wait to see the rest

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Couple of North Division updates before I move on to the South!

I like these a lot. Couple things I'm not sure of:

1) The pants stripe on the Dragons seems too modern for 1950
2) The shoulder stripe on the Regals also seems to modern.

3) The shoulder stripes on the Admirals should be hoops (a la the Colts), as that type of striping wasn't done in the 50s.

4) I'm not sure if the shade of blue you selected for the Ospreys would've been used in the 50s. I'd darken it or move it to more of a powder blue for a decade or so.

Dragons....good name meaning, good colors, and overall for the 50s
Regels.... I see Mr Regel likes self promotion. Good color choices, the shoulder stripes look good,
Admirals.... Admiral Berwyn chose some good colors. That shoulder stripe looks way to modern for my taste
Ospreys.... Mr Owen Heulog you have yourself your first fan

Can't wait to see the rest

Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated! I made a few adjustments based on your comments.

Abrea%20Dragons%201950%20B_zpsljpjtejg.p

Reduced to a single thin stripe.

Galus%20Admirals%201950%20B_zpsejcvajfx.

I think originally I had in mind like Roman-style epaulets or something, but definitely agree it doesn't fit. I don't want to copy the Colts, so I simplified to a single half hoop and thinned out the sock stripes. Still too modern?

Kastela%20Ospreys%201950%20B_zpsv8brc94a

I'm not too sure about this one but I changed to a more powdery blue for comparison's sake and may stick with this one for a bit. I didn't like it with darker blue, particularly with nearby cities also sporting darker blues.

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I think if you are gonna change the 'Spreys colors you need to change to more of a gold, I'm not feeling the mustard/copper with the powder

Yeah neither was I, so messed with it some more and I think I found a happy medium with a muted blue on the periwinkle side that better fits the league motif.

Kastela%20Ospreys%201950%20C_zpsmrsenjxs

One thing I forgot to mention is the jersey numbers displayed on the team uniforms are of each team's best player. (Primary position is always listed first)

Kastela - #99 TE/CB Elijah Dempsey

Galus - #12 QB/CB Jake Cole

Abrea - #30 S/QB Calvin Clayton

Aswana - #4 QB/MLB Tom Delaney

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Next up, the South Division:

Bloso Voyagers

Bodren Serpents

Codrad Crusaders

Hesken Bombers

Bloso%20Voyagers%201950%20B_zps5pk6sbcg.

Bloso is a seaport that has been widely known for its shipyards and fishermen going back several centuries. In recent years the city has transformed into more than just fish as many large business have relocated there for its stability and easy international connection. Owner Andrew Howell, a successful investment banker, is one such example, and called upon Bloso’s rich heritage of sending out exploratory ships for a team name. Bloso features a unique yoke and is the only team with a single uniform option

Best Player: DE/LG #50 Ray Buchanan

Bodren%20Serpents_zps8k7q7trl.png

Bodren is a seaside public university town more known for independent spirits partying on its sandy beaches than serious study. In congruence with the city’s personality, owner Mike Blevins is the oldest in the league but was an international soccer player known for his revelry and gaudiness in his younger years. The name Serpents is in reference a local myth, similar to the Loch Ness Monster of a snake-like sea creature that supposedly lived in the channel between Bodren and Hesken.

Best Player: LG/DT #58 Floyd Bender

Codrad%20Crusaders_zpsxtczihra.png

Codrad is a quiet, industrious inland city featuring many skilled craftsmen and tradespeople. Owner William Cadwall is one of the youngest in the league but a man of many interests. First an apprentice shoemaker under his father, Cadwall moved to retail and founded a chain of big box stores and then became a journalist and is currently the editor of one of the area's most popular newspapers. He chose Crusaders as the team name and adopted the Maltese cross as their symbol.

Best Player: DT/TE #75 Oliver Dudley

Hesken%20Bombers_zps8cbvrvrh.png

Hesken is an aviation town on the island province of Esha and experienced a boom during the World Wars as the demand for airplanes exploded, featuring both manufacturing and a Bren air force base. Owner Allan Lloyd rose to prominence through racing and selling automobiles and subsequently building engines for bomber planes which was his inspiration for the name. A simple single-wing plane is the team symbol and the uniforms were based on the iconic look of a WWII bomber jacket.

Best Player: CB/QB #22 Louis Whitaker

First season results will be next pending further uniform tweaks. I welcome your feedback!

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Voyagers... Unique, but good

Serpents... Simple but very 1950

Crusaders... The most modern team in here, but still good for the 50

Bombers... Not sure about the name but I never thought I would like a team wearing the Padres colors

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1950 Season

1950%20Season%20Standings_zpsrl8847j5.pn

The inaugural BEFL season kicked off with a highly anticipated first matchup between the Abrea Dragons and Aswana Regals at the brand new stadium built by Tom Regal in Aswana. The fans were awed by the venue but the game itself was a sloppy affair as the Dragons came away with a road win. Both teams would keep pace at the top in the North behind the strength of their quarterbacks, S/QB Calvin Clayton in Abrea and QB/MLB Tom Delaney in Aswana, Delaney being one of the few pure quarterbacks in the new league. The Galus Admirals faltered early and look overmatched in many of their games. The Kastela Ospreys, led by talented TE/CB Elijah Dempsey, hovered around the .500 mark and gave chase for the second place, but their lesser record against common opponents came up short compared to Abrea.


In the South, the first matchup was between the Hesken Bombers and Bloso Voyagers and proved to be a misnomer, as Bloso won but steadily declined and Hesken leaped forward to 7 wins, good for tops in the league. Despite Hesken’s lack of skill players outside of CB/QB Louis Whitaker, coach John Baines’ I-form power running offense made the most of a big offensive line. The first tie game occurred between Bloso and the Bodren Serpents which paved the way for the Codrad Crusaders to slide into second place despite a late season slump. Codrad’s overall lack of talent level was immediately apparent, but coach Alfred Bowen proved to be top-tier as he miraculously kept the team in the thick of it until the end which paid off with a first playoff berth.


Playoff Preview:

With the first playoff matchups set, the road to Crea Crua and the inaugural Castle Match for the Bren Crown produced enough excitement that several radio programs added sports predictions to their schedules in the weeks leading up to the Division Championships.


Abrea Dragons vs Aswana Regals

These two teams have formed an instant rivalry as they split their division games and are meeting for a third time already. The Regals gained steam throughout the season while the Dragons had a three-game losing streak in the latter half of the season but were able to hang on to a playoff spot. The Regals are favored but since the Dragons have already won in Aswana many are giving it a 50/50 chance.


Codrad Crusaders vs Hesken Bombers

Despite having an identical divisional record, the Crusaders lost both division games to the Bombers, who are the heavy favorites to take the first South title and advance to the Castle Match. Coach Bowen has proved to be a highly capable coach, but Hesken’s powerful rushing offense has been difficult to slow down.

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Dang Kastela was so close!!!! Dempsey TE/CB that's an odd combo. I'm voting Abrea with the upset and Hesken with the big win

Will there be a rookie draft?

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Dang Kastela was so close!!!! Dempsey TE/CB that's an odd combo. I'm voting Abrea with the upset and Hesken with the big win

Will there be a rookie draft?

I randomly generate everything about players: names, positions, jersey numbers and skill level unless it just makes no sense and I'll regenerate. I figured there would be some unusual combos which I'll allow if they have higher skill levels. So with Dempsey being one of the highest skill levels, I allowed the combo and you can imagine him to be a like a Rob Gronkowski/JJ Watt type of physical specimen, at least for his era.

Yes there is a rookie draft. I'm doing one round at the end of each year based on reverse order of overall regular season standings. (playoff finish isn't counted) 8 sets of names, hometowns, positions and jerseys are generated and put into a random order that is a rough "Big Board" and teams typically draft according to need + BPA. Players higher on the list are considered more highly regarded. The first place team gets whichever player is remaining of the 8. As we all know, football drafts are typically crapshoots so once the players have been selected I then generate the skill levels to see who got what. I'm working out a "weighted" system based on draft position but currently just using randomized lists, there have been several #1 overall busts already, which is pretty true to life.

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1950 Playoffs

1950%20Playoffs%20-%20Abrea%20vs%20Aswan

The highly anticipated third matchup between Abrea and Aswana was as advertised. The Dragons won the kickoff and instead of their usual air attack, came out pounding on the ground behind bruising FB/NT Bernard Haines for big chunks of yards, including a 27-yard run on 3rd down where Haines broke five tackles en route to a first down inside the 15 yard line. The Regals defense stiffened at the goal line and the Dragons were forced to kick a short field goal. Aswana QB/MLB Tom Delaney marched the Regals offense down the field on their first drive for a 8-yard touchdown to WR/OLB Frank Snyder. The remainder of the game turned into a field goal show as neither team could capitalize in the red zone. The back and forth battle was described as “beautiful” and “intense” by the media who were catching football fever. Regals RG/DE Anthony Burch twice made touchdown-saving tackles to force Abrea field goals in the 3rd quarter. The early touchdown proved to be the difference as the Regals also scored two field goals in the second half to take the game.

1950%20Playoffs%20-%20Codrad%20vs%20Hesk

The talk of the week was how Codrad wouldn’t be able to slow down the powerful Hesken ground attack but coach Alfred Bowen changed his entire defensive scheme for the game and it paid major dividends as his undersized defense played inspired and dominating football. The Bombers vaunted line looked confused from the outset, particularly a beleaguered LG/DT Jerry Howard who was abused for three sacks and five tackles for loss by a combination of TE/DT Oliver Dudley and LG/OLB Theodore Clarke. After a scoreless first half, Hesken coach Oliver Reese switched to attacking through the air but they had no luck as CB/QB Louis Whitaker threw two interceptions, one to counterpart SS/QB Simon Spence. The Crusaders offense helped the goose egg stand up in the middle of the 3rd quarter as Spence threw a touchdown pass to Dudley. The extra point was missed which gave the Bombers some late hope to still win the game but they they missed a 45-yard field goal on the ensuing possession and then with a last chance late in the game Whitaker was sacked on fourth down to seal a Crusaders win.

1950%20Crown%20-%20Codrad%20vs%20Aswana_

The first ever Castle Match of the fledgling BEFL pitted together two very different teams perhaps best described by the personalities of their owners. The Regals gave off a similar vibe as their namesake, Tom Regal: loud and rambunctious. The Crusaders were an all-work no play team, a no-nonsense squad like William Cadwall. But when the kickoff finally started the game it was nothing like their so-called personalities. It was hard-hitting from the beginning as the Crusaders allowed their defense to do the talking. Aswana’s opening drive was torpedoed as Codrad TE/DT Oliver Dudley delivered a crushing blow to QB/MLB Tom Delaney on 3rd down at the 49 yard line. Delaney laid on the field for several minutes before being helped to the bench. With Delaney sidelined and the Regals reeling, the Crusaders offense struck uncharacteristically fast and decisively as S/QB Simon Spence launched a 38-yard touchdown, and after a 3-and-out by Asawna, Spence struck again on a 46-yard pass to Dudley to set up a rushing touchdown.

Already down 14 points, Delaney hobbled back on the field and gutted out a short drive to get in field goal range which was converted. The Regals defense responded by shutting down Spence and to get Delaney back on the field, who in turn directed a long time-consuming drive that he capped off with a 4-yard touchdown strike to WR/OLB Frank Snyder to make it 14-10. Opening the second half, coach Bowen again made brilliant adjustments as Spence used his legs to sustain the drive and ran in a touchdown himself. Sporting a protective wrap around his ribs, Delaney responded with a field goal drive but the offense sputtered after that as the Crusaders defense took over and knocked him out for good with 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter. With a score of 21-13 the 5-5-0 Codrad Crusaders became the first ever BEFL champions and winner of the first Bren Crown.

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