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North American Football Association (NAFA) Relaunch: Team #4: DC Eagles (29 July 2014)


eagle98

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North American Football Association

I am re-launching my North American Football Association project. I finished a number of teams some time ago, and I am now revisiting a few of them and transferring my uniforms to a new template. I have almost all of the teams designed by this point, and I will try to post teams regularly.

The NAFA is my fictitious league. My sister came up with the original names years ago, but none of these names still exist in the league. Only one team remains in its original location, but its name has changed since its founding.

I have been creating football leagues for a long time now. One of my earliest was my USFL. Click here to see some of my first attempts at logos for the Minnesota Aliens USFL franchise.

My design skills have improved greatly since then, and my fictitious football world has developed into what it is today.

I have tweaked my template since my last attempt. All of the uniforms are manufactured by Delta Athletics (a fictitious company).

And now here is my backstory for my alternate football universe:

Football was brought to America in the early 1920s by immigrants. It was played at sand-lots and became very popular, with informal exhibition games played regularly. It became an official collegiate sport in 1927. At this point, it roughly resembled a game of rugby. In 1935, oil baron and businessman Red Nash sought to capitalize on the sport's popularity. He founded the ten-team American Football League and made modifications to the rules, including the addition of the forward pass. [NOTE: The AFL is a separate league from the NAFA and may be further explained in a future series.] Red Nash’s team, the Barons, still exists today.

The sport was wildly successful in its earliest years, and the league continued to expand, reaching 14 teams by 1938. However, World War II hit the league hard, and by 1943 all but six teams had folded. Following World War II, the league rebounded with two expansion teams in 1947. The league continued to expand through the 1950s and early 1960s, reaching 16 teams in 1962. The membership would remain stable for nearly four decades, as the league instead focused on expanding its television presence. In the late 1990s, following the example of other major sports, the AFL decided to expand once again. They added eight teams in 2000 in what was known as the “Millennium Expansion.” Only four of the eight Millennium Expansion teams remain in their original location today.

In the aftermath of the Millennium Expansion, Eugene Lambert decided to found the NAFA after realizing that there were still several large markets without football teams. In 2005, after nearly four years of work, Lambert had the backing he needed. He planned to begin play in Fall 2006 with ten teams, but after one team withdrew and three more experienced financial issues, the inaugural season was pushed back to 2007. The league played its first games on August 12, 2007.

The Washington Cardinals compiled a 6-1 regular-season record and went on to win the championship.

The league had a team fold after the 2008 season, and the Colorado Rockies folded the following year after posting a horrific combined 1-20 record over three years and seeing sparse crowds with a low of 1,016 at their penultimate home game. Both times, a new expansion team entered the league the following year.

Following the 2010 season, the league saw major changes as a new commissioner was hired. Washington and New Jersey (two of the league’s most successful teams) did not return for 2011. This controversial move was seen as an attempt to avoid the fate that had doomed previous leagues: one or two teams enjoying immense success while the rest of the teams floundered. Meanwhile, there were several relocations and re-brandings. Finally, three new expansion franchises were added. The expansion DC Eagles went on to win the 2011 title.

The league added three more expansion teams in 2012, and the Texas Thunderbirds went on to win the title.

The NAFA had planned to expand to three cities in 2013, but expansion was put on hold, and they currently plan to expand to four as-of-yet-unannounced cities in 2014.

Here is the league logo:

league_logo_zps426ea7f0.png?t=1405617945

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Team #1: Boston Breakers

The Boston Breakers were originally slated to play in the league’s cancelled 2006 season as the California Sharks. However, in a last-minute deal, they were relocated to Oklahoma City and were rechristened the Oklahoma Sharks. They were met with sellout crowds their first season in 2007; however, despite the superb play of quarterback Ethan Ups (nicknamed “Eat-‘em Up” by fans), abysmal on-field play by the rest of the team doomed them to a 2-5 record. The following year, the team scored just 62 points all season, and their 1-6 record put them in last place in their division. Disappointingly, attendance and merchandise sales dropped precipitously, and after the season, the team was sold to Peter Riley, who tried to relocate the team to his hometown of Baltimore. However, unable to secure a stadium deal in Baltimore and unwilling to keep the team in Oklahoma another year, his team played games in Cumberland, MD at Maryland A&M University Stadium. The team was named the Maryland Bears, and Riley continued trying to find a stadium closer to Baltimore. His team enjoyed mild success in its first year, going 4-3 before falling to the Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs. However, due to the team’s remote location, attendance was sparse, and the organization was a financial disaster. 2010 was no better, and faced with the prospect of new competition from the Maryland Americans AFL team, Peter Riley decided that he’d had enough and sold the team. They were then relocated to Boston, where they played one season as the Boston Minutemen. They drafted highly-touted quarterback Jack Revere, who led the team to a 3-5 record before being injured at the end of the season. 2012 saw them rebrand as the Boston Breakers and finish a disappointing 3-8 without Jack Revere. With Revere healthy again in 2013, they were projected to finish highly. Revere was unable to live up to the expectations, and while he played respectably, the defense and receiving corps played terribly, and the Breakers finished a league-worst 2-9. 2014 looks to be another rebuilding year for the Breakers.

The Breakers name is the same as the USFL franchise of 1983. However, the logos were designed by me. The colors are aqua and indigo. Aqua represents water (Massachusetts is the Bay State), and the indigo—which is the same shade used on the United States flag—draws on Boston’s deep roots in the Revolution. I understand that this uniform in nontraditional, but my goal in this series is to think outside the box of traditional football uniforms.

Constructive criticism is appreciated.

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bos_home_zps8e5e1d05.png?t=1405617962

bos_away_zpse13665f5.png?t=1405618048

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Thanks for the feedback.

I have tried putting the waves on the sleeves, but I didn't like it as well.

I did tweak the font slightly. I personally feel that adding more detail to the logo would ruin it. My goal was to have a simple logo that conveyed the image of a wave. I think that some of the best sports logos are the simplest ones.

Here are the two options I came up with when I put the waves on the sleeves (I still like my original uniforms best):

bos_tweaks_zps82fe425e.png

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Team #2: California Quails

The California Quails were originally founded in Tulsa by Griffin Hartigan and were scheduled to play as the Oklahoma Scissor-tails in the league’s cancelled 2006 season. However, when the California Sharks moved to nearby Oklahoma City, the Scissor-tails were forced to move. They moved to San Francisco, which had just been vacated by the Sharks. They were rechristened the Buntings and began play in 2007. They finished 6-1 in their first season but went on to lose to the Washington Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs. They compiled a 3-4 record in 2008 but made the playoffs, losing to the Washington Cardinals again. In 2009 and 2010, they missed the playoffs at 2-5 and 1-6 respectively. They were rebranded as the California Quails in 2011, during which they made the playoffs with a 5-3 record before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual NAFA champion DC Eagles. 2012 saw a disappointing 3-8 record and a 3rd place finish in the Pacific division. Much of their staff was new for the 2013, including veteran coach Martin Walsh and quarterback Gotthold Leyser, who will now be in his 17th year playing football. The 2013 season began with three consecutive wins as Leyser played better than expected. However, things quickly fell apart: Leyser began playing like the past-his-prime quarterback he was, and the Quails lost 7 of their remaining 8 games. Walsh and Leyser remain for the 2014 season, but most agree that there seems to be little potential this year as they have traded away many of their young players for veterans past their prime. The Quails are currently in some financial trouble, as recent ticket sales have not been high enough to finance their newly-constructed stadium.

The California Quail is the state bird of California, so the name is a double entendre, like the Baltimore Orioles. The uniforms feature the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on the sleeves and pants, which was partly inspired by an old SF 49ers concept by theSpungo. The colors of blue-gray and gold are both featured in the quail's plumage.

Constructive criticism is appreciated.

cal_logo_zps00001f8c.png?t=1405702027

cal_home_zpse7a3ae46.png?t=1405702042

cal_away_zpsa03e52b0.png?t=1405702054

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I like the Quails a lot more than I thought I would. I don't think the name would happen in real life- it's more of a baseball name- but the colors look nice and the logo is well done. The striping is even nice, but maybe the stripes on the legs make it look a little lop-sided. For the logo it may be nice to use a smoother neck instead of the scallops, it might look more professional. But overall looks good!

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The four unnamed expansion cities will be revealed once I post the rest of the current teams. All I can say is that 2 are in the US, 1 is in Canada, and 1 is in Mexico (and there's already a team in Mexico City).

Here's a small update to the Quails logo. I agree that it looks better with a smoother neck.

The next team will be the Colorado Centennials. Also, I will be gone for the next week, so even though there won't be any updates, the thread is not dead.

cal_tweak_zps7efd3f78.png

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Team #3: Colorado Centennials

The Centennials are the league’s second attempt at a team in Denver. The first, the Colorado Rockies, folded after three years and a 1-20 overall record. The Centennials were added along with Mexico City and Winnipeg in the league’s 2012 expansion. In their inaugural season, they finished 6-5 and won the extremely weak Pacific division. However, they were blown out by Texas on the road in the first round of the playoffs. The team signed quarterback Charles Bell away from the AFL Philadelphia Liberty, and he has endured roller-coaster years in 2012 and 2013, leading them to another 6-5 finish in 2013 after they dropped their last two games, one of them an overtime decision to Montreal. A solid performance from Bell in 2014 would put the Centennials in playoff position.

The logo is taken from the iconic Colorado state flag, and the font is custom. The uniforms are basically a Colorado adaptation of the University of Maryland’s football uniforms.

Constructive criticism is appreciated.

col_logo_zpsd6f11ac6.png

col_home_zps1f3a1d78.png?t=1405824243

col_away_zps479d9ba8.png?t=1405824259

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the feedback on Colorado. I'll come back and revisit it later (probably after I finish the rest of the teams). I'm considering going back to the drawing board on this one. In the meantime, I would appreciate more perspectives on Colorado.

The DC Eagles identity will be up shortly.

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Team #4: DC Eagles

The DC Eagles were founded as an expansion franchise in 2011, making them the first football team in Washington since the 1938 Washington Politicians AFL team. Behind the high-powered offense of quarterback Evan “Cap” Hill III, the Eagles went 7-1 and won the NAFA title in their inaugural season. They were favored to win the title again in 2012 after finishing the regular season 9-2 but were upset in the first round by Montreal. The 2013 season saw them begin with three consecutive blowout victories, but they hit a slump as Hill battled injuries all season, which forced him to miss the last four regular season games. Hill returned in time for the playoffs and threw for five touchdowns to beat the defending champions Thunderbirds 42-35. In the championship game, he struggled against the powerful Wisconsin defense, but his final drive led them to the game-winning field goal with 1:16 remaining, giving them a 9-7 victory and their second NAFA championship in three years. They are hungry for another championship, and with tailback Bal D’Agle and newly-acquired wide receivers Garrett Dalton and Darryl Indigo, their offense is arguably the best in league history.

The first version of this logo came from an Ed Emberley drawing book. I have since modified the logo to make it my own. I call the mascot the “bureaucrat eagle.” The sleeve striping is based off the Washington, DC flag. The font is a modified version of FFF Forward.

Constructive criticism is appreciated.

dc_logo_zps416bb568.png

dc_home_zpsa66517eb.png

dc_away_zps1f5b0a50.png

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The Eagle logo is just... not good. It looks like a dove or something. It's not dynamic at all, and the proportions don't work. Since you want it to look more government-inspired, I would use this for reference:

american-eagle-hi.png

I think with tweaking this would make a really cool football logo.

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