Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1991 Postseason: Semifinals)

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In the real world, in 1990 I was 7, and those Warriors unis would've been SO AMAZING to 7-year-old me.

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I would have been 3, so I wouldn’t have actively wanted one, but I’d probably wear those socks now.

 

Edit: now that I think about it, as a three-year old from Indianapolis, I almost certainly would have worn rainbow Warriors gear at some point.

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This isn't one that I normally ask for feedback on in advance, but I'm not sure what to do with the Victory Bowl logo for this year.  I know that I want it to be out there, because the Miami Suns are the host franchise.  I want it to feature a sun, I want it to break the red, white, and blue logo tradition, and I want it to be somewhat rough around the edges.  Here are three options that those thoughts have led me to.  The font used is Matisse ITC, which is inspired by the great artist Henri Matisse.

 

45th_victory_bowl_logo_options_by_verast

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To answer your question, I vote for the one on the left, but you should be using XLV, not VL.

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Damn. I knew that wasn’t  right when I did I, too. I’ll fix it the next time I have my laptop

 

Thanks for the correction.

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"VL" is not a Roman Numeral. I checked.

 

Next time, refer to this Roman Numerals Chart

 

Also, when we get to 1995, we should use the Arabic number "50" instead of the Roman number "L" for the 50th Victory Bowl (similar to how the NFL branded Super Bowl 50).

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The proper Roman numeral would be XLV.

 

DISREGARD: @Goran The Man beat me to it.

 

As for designs, I'm going to with the one on the right as it clearly shows the text as well as being closest to representing the Suns logo. The middle design looks more fitting for a '96 or '97 Victory Bowl IMO and the text is hard to read. The one on the left is admittedly a close second and would be a great logo if chosen. 

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I vote for left. It's the best looking of the three, and, for whatever reason, I find the "Victory Bowl" more readable on that logo than the others.

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Wow! Those Warriors uniforms look awesome! I am so excited to see what the 90's brings in both leagues. For the VB logo, I like the left the best. Without reading your post and my first glance, I thought the logo on the right was a hurricane. The one in the middle I am not a fan of. I don't think Florida when I look at it, it looks more Arizona inspired to me. I am really excited to see what you have coming now that it seems this post is gaining some speed again!

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1990 Offseason

 

Coaching Changes

More than 1 in 4 AFA franchises would see a change at the head coach position.  Interestingly, many of the firings were of coaches who were part of the 1987 class of hires, with New Orleans’s Nelson Bursey, Chicago’s Chris Colville, New Jersey’s Bob Lussier, and New York’s Peter Langtree being let go after only 3 years on the job.  The Stallions gave Danny Mouton even less time, dumping him after he led the team to a 4-28 record in two years.  The Railers, Destroyers, and Centennials also decided to move on, with the latter coming as a particular surprise, despite the team’s 3-13 record.  Head coach Billy Schlessinger had been running the team for 5 years, but had been around since 1978 as defensive coordinator and had earned two rings in Denver.

 

Part of the motivation for the firings was the desire to hire Detroit offensive coordinator Joel Snow.  The 35-year old wunderkind was the mind behind a prolific offense that had won Victory Bowl titles in his first two years.  The Chicago Butchers won the Snowstakes, and proceeded to build an all-star coaching staff that included former Destroyers head coach Keith Shepherd as OC and the Alex Szczepanski (the great-grandson of the legendary Victor Szczepanski, who led the Miners to a title in 1949) at DC.

 

The Stallions also made a bold move, hiring former Boston head coach Darryl Majors, a renowned roster-builder, to whip their young team into shape.  The other hirings were largely unremarkable, with a combination of coordinators and college coaches filling the open jobs.  Perhaps the most notable was Colorado’s choice of Houston OC Johnson Wray, who will look to add a Victory Bowl ring to put alongside the one he earned as a player for the Chicago Butchers in 1956 (to this day, he is widely considered to be the worst starting quarterback to win a championship).

However, changes on the sidelines for the 1990 season took a back seat to an announcement from Pittsburgh.  This will be the final season for the legendary Willie Krause, as the 74-year old future Hall of Famer will retire at the end of the year.  The heir-apparent is Neal Fabbaro, who was hired as assistant head coach from Boston, where he served as defensive coordinator last season.

Stadium News

The Hurricanes said goodbye to Houston Stadium, and will begin play at the new ConocoPhillips Stadium downtown.

 

Several other teams will soon follow in their footsteps.  The Minnesota Angels will open a new stadium in Minneapolis in 1991, and the Gladiators will follow suit a year later.  Interestingly, the Autodome will have to be demolished to make way for their new building, which means the team will play outdoors at The Big House in Ann Arbor for the duration of the 1991 season.  Rather than build a new stadium, the Miners will see significant renovations to the Coal Fields over the next two years, and will remain in that building through at least 2003.  Finally, the Captains signed a shorter extension, and will remain at Kenmore Stadium through 1998.

 

Several more stadium deals are in the works, but two franchises are facing particular difficulties.  The Los Angeles Comets have a lease at the Memorial Coliseum that expires after the 1991 season.  The team believes that the lack of modern amenities renders it obsolete, while state and local officials have balked at the idea of constructing a new stadium when there are so many large sports complexes already in the area.

 

The Atlanta Rebels also face a challenge, as Mayor Andrew Young has insisted that the team change their name and logos to receive any funding from the city.  The more conservative state legislature, on the other hand, has expressed a willingness to help fund a stadium, with the likely result being that the team will move from downtown Atlanta into one of the suburbs, such as Marietta, Sandy Springs, or College Park.  Their lease runs through 1992, but renewal isn’t an option.  Their current home, Austin Stadium, was built to host baseball games, and with a capacity of just under 43,000, falls short of the AFA minimum of 50,000.  Several members of the AFA Owners’ Council are openly hostile to the Atlanta franchise, most notably Milwaukee’s Tommy Danson, and it is unlikely that they could win a vote granting them an exemption.

 

Player Movement

The 1990 offseason marked the first year in which players could become unrestricted free agents, though few big names would move.  Each team had the ability to protect five players, which severely limited the ability of stars to test the market.  Next year should be more eventful, as protected status cannot be applied to the same player in consecutive seasons.

 

Nevertheless, some very good players signed with new franchises.  The New York Imperials were particularly active, signing a number of talented veterans in an attempt to load up for a Victory Bowl run before 38-year old QB Ron Adams retires.  Former Guardian WR Avery Gonzalez will give Adams a solid number 2 option for the first time of his career, and they stacked the defense by luring 1988 All-Star DT Leroy Mulligan from the Whales and FS Doug Martin from the Miners.  Their biggest signing, however, was CB Rick Roudebush, who will return to the AFA after spending two years out of the league.  These moves show that the Imperials believe that they can win a title now, and that they aren’t overly concerned about the future.  The salary cap will not go into effect until 1992, but the team would already be significantly over it.  They seem to be going all in now, at the expense of their medium term future.

 

The rise of free agency also led to a notable shuffling of the league’s quarterbacks.  Dick Katz (NJ), Derril Punch (BAL), and Greg Benham (CAL) were not resigned, putting three signal callers with some history of success on the market.  Katz, who lost the starting job to rookie Nick Horsley midway through the season, was the most accomplished of the three, and the Royals jumped at the chance to sign him.  Punch landed in Los Angeles, where he will compete for the starting job with former number 2 overall pick Andy Stough.  Benham moved up the coast to Seattle, where he will take over for the retiring Todd Mayo.

 

The biggest news of the offseason, however, was not a free agent signing, but a trade.  Baltimore MLB Adrian Doom, one of the league’s best defensive players, demanded an exit from his hometown team.  After weeks of attempting to persuade Doom to stay, he was dealt to the Kansas City Crows, prompting public burnings of his jersey in Charm City.  The Crows will receive a significant boost on defense, particularly when the acquisition of Doom is paired with the signing of former Florida Swamp Monsters FS Steve Curran, who narrowly missed two All-Star Bowls as a member of the Texas Stallions in 1986 and 1987.  The rejuvenated Kansas City defense will make them a serious contender in a stacked Central Division.

 

1990 Draft

Though not as deep as last year’s draft, the class of 1990 had significant star power at the top.  The Stallions kicked things off by selecting Ken Leon (FS-USC) first overall.  The hard-hitting safety is expected to be an immediate difference maker.  The Colorado Centennials took Tom Peterson (WR-Virginia Tech) second overall, and the lanky possession receiver drew immediate comparisons to retired fan favorite Danny St. Mark.  The California Whales then took Bob Foster (FS-Texas) at 3rd overall.  Foster is a human highlight reel, and it was only his history of injuries that stopped the Stallions from taking the local favorite with the top pick.

 

The quarterback class was unfortunately thin.  George Lendzion (Ohio State) was the only passer selected in the first round, going to Baltimore at 6th overall.  He will likely spend a year or two on the bench behind Katz before taking the reins of the franchise.  There were a few interesting QBs available, however.  Roman Harwood (West Virginia), the younger brother of Washington Wasps QB and 1987 first overall pick Troy Harwood, was selected 42nd overall by the Comets; while Edwin Li (Hawaii) who was taken in the 5th round by Milwaukee, became the first Asian-American quarterback in AFA history.

 

USFA

Several teams are struggling financially and could be in danger, most noticeably the Utah Pioneers and California Atoms.  Louisville and Oklahoma City will enter the season as favorites, and this may be the last time the Brawlers have a shot at a title in the immediate future.  Star QB Manny Rowe is in the final year of his contract, and is expected to jump ship to the AFA in 1991.

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How was Boston's Offseason, is Fabbro Pittsburgh bound after this year or would he stay with Boston?

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Boston largely maintained the status quo.  1990 will be Sid Cryer's second year as head coach, and the team really looks like they could be contenders.  They have solid players at every position group, and only a few major holes on their rosters.  The big question is whether or not QB Jon Cliffe is the guy who can get them to the next level.  He appeared to have a lot of potential in the mid-80s, but has been decidedly below-average over the past two years.  Actually, there were rumors that the Captains explored trade talks with New Orleans for Donny Minor and the USFA's Louisville Brawlers for the contract rights to Manny Rowe.  If there is any truth to either story, nothing came of it, but there is no question that Cliffe's play has put him at the lower end of the list of AFA quarterbacks, and he will be on the hot seat if he doesn't bounce back this season.

 

EDIT: Actually, Boston's biggest source of optimism is probably what is happening in the division around them.  With Krause and Adams winding down their careers, the Northeast will almost certainly be a far less brutal place to call home in the very near future.

 

Also, I realized that I forgot to answer you Fabbro question.  He's in Pittsburgh now, taking on a new job for the fourth consecutive year.  He was head coach of the Stallions from 1976 - 1987 before being fired.  He spent a year out of the league, doing some color commentary for college games before signing on as DC for the Captains in 1989.  This year, he's headed back to the Steel City, where his job title will be Assistant Head Coach, and he will almost certainly get the top job a year from now.

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3 hours ago, Veras said:

The Atlanta Rebels also face a challenge, as Mayor Andrew Young has insisted that the team change their name and logos to receive any funding from the city.  The more conservative state legislature, on the other hand, has expressed a willingness to help fund a stadium, with the likely result being that the team will move from downtown Atlanta into one of the suburbs, such as Marietta, Sandy Springs, or College Park.  Their lease runs through 1992, but renewal isn’t an option.  Their current home, Austin Stadium, was built to host baseball games, and with a capacity of just under 43,000, falls short of the AFA minimum of 50,000.  Several members of the AFA Owners’ Council are openly hostile to the Atlanta franchise, most notably Milwaukee’s Tommy Danson, and it is unlikely that they could win a vote granting them an exemption.

 

"hahahaha screw you atlanta" - me, basically every year at this point

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Welcome back!  I LOVE checking out EVERY part of this league's evolution...ESPECIALLY the Atlanta Rebels drama (Love how Tommy Danson is the team owner most adamant about them changing)

 

One thing though...in our universe, Conoco & Phillips didn't merge until 2002, so wouldn't it just be called "Conoco Stadium" until then?

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So a football team in Kansas City is stacked on defense in the 90s. Said defense is led by a linebacker who strikes terror into offenses. Hopefully there is a championship this time. Although, I get more Lawrence Taylor vibes from Doom than Derrick Thomas.

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So glad this got updated again.

Toad's thoughts:

1. I cant believe I'm saying this, but go Miners. Let Krause end his career on a high note, unlike George Halas, Don Shula, and Chuck Noll.

2. Atlanta should change their name (if they have to) "Rebellion" And go for a full star wars theming.  Or just move to Richmond. 

3. Watch New York fall off a cliff like the 2000 Skins or 2011 Eagles, or 1990 Vikings did.

4. In 1992 (once the cap starts), the Northeastern division will become more pathetic than the AFA Western division or the PHL South division.

5. The USFA is doomed, I'm guessing it will cease to exist by 1993 (But Louisville, OKC, and Carolina will have set themselves up as favorites to land the 90s expansion teams)

6. The Northern Division just got a whole lot more cut-throat with Chicago now on the path to competence.

7. Lastly, The Crows are coping the Wolves path to success and will get WORSE, not better, because of it.

 

Also, I vote for the Sun on the left (yellow and blue one like Miami) to represent Victory Bowl 45 (besides, it's not like the Suns are getting to the Victory Bowl anyways with how bad they have over the last 10 years).

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