Alternate History Sports

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9/24/2021 7:59 pm  #601


Re: National Dashball League

Steelman wrote:

NHTR...none hail the Redbacks? Something smells fishy in Cali. I swear it. Screw it. Cali can drown in an ocean. AHTR til die.

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9/24/2021 8:05 pm  #602


Re: National Dashball League

TEXAS LOST LET'S GOOOOOOO!!!!

Congrats to Minnesota for finally getting over the hump and I'm glad to see that the other series were close as well.


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9/25/2021 5:33 pm  #603


Re: National Dashball League

Lets Go Lights!

 

9/28/2021 1:43 pm  #604


Re: National Dashball League

Steelman wrote:

NHTR...none hail the Redbacks? Something smells fishy in Cali. I swear it. Screw it. Cali can drown in an ocean. AHTR til die.

I regret to inform you that sea lions tend to prefer the ocean and would be rather difficult to drown, lol.


Anyway, since it's been a few days and we've all had some time to process (and since I've only barely started writing the next round) I wanted to provide some observations:

1. That line about the Lights not letting the Fugitives sneak by undetected might be my favorite bit of unintentional brilliance I've written in this series.
2. Speaking of the Lights, I mentioned that they were the third team in NDL history to sweep their inaugural playoff series. I didn't think it was worth spending words on this in the post (I had already written more than enough, lmao), but the first two teams were the 2017 Sea Lions, who were participating in the first ever round of the playoffs, and the 2022 Chargers, who were participating in the first round in the old best-of-3 format, so I think Minnesota's accomplishment deserves to be celebrated.
3. I mentioned that California hadn't beaten Texas by 40 or more since 2018, which was true for the regular season, but I just realized that I forgot to check the playoffs, and found that the Sea Lions beat the Redbacks 173-118 in Game 1 of their 2024 semifinal matchup. I've corrected the original post.
4. Those of you who are celebrating (which is most of you) should know that the Redbacks still won a title - that being the Fort Worth Redbacks, who took down Laval in 7 games to win the NDDL crown. AHTFWR.
5. Last but certainly not least: wow, this round was weird. Going behind the scenes a little to look at ratings: Orlando and Texas both had significantly higher ratings than their opponents, and yet both teams were pushed to seven games, and obviously one lost. Meanwhile, Minnesota and Nashville had almost identical rankings, and yet that series ended up a sweep (albeit a very close one). Row-Chargers was the only series where I looked at the result and thought, "yeah, that makes sense." I don't really understand what my simulator was up to, but I want some of whatever it's having.

I clearly had a whole lot to say about this round! I'm sure I'll be back eventually, but now that there's a deadline on AltLB logos, it might be a bit. You'll just have to stay tuned, I guess...

Oh and thanks for reading! I was really excited to post this round because I knew I'd get a lot of fun responses about the upset, and I have y'all to thank for that. Anyway, I've already ruined my cool, mysterious cliffhanger so I'm just gonna leave now ok bye

     Thread Starter
 

10/31/2021 3:03 pm  #605


Re: National Dashball League

Well, it wouldn't be Halloween without something rising from the dead. Hopefully I'll get the Finals up before Thanksgiving 😂 But hey, thanks for sticking around while life gets in the way. Now on with the show...

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Philadelphia Row vs Minnesota Lights
Even after sweeping through their first-ever playoff series, most people expected a date with Philadelphia to be the end of the line for Minnesota. Maybe it was those few extra days of rest, but in any case, the Lights came out strong in Game 1. W/K Richard Singh, B/K Kein Cabanero, and F/ZB Kevin Simmons led a stellar defensive performance, holding the Row to just 103 points. Their offense wasn’t anything special, but it didn’t need to be, as they would win Game 1 by 17 points, taking a 1-0 series lead and tying the record for most consecutive playoff victories in a team’s inaugural postseason (set by the 2017 Sea Lions). They would have a chance to break the record in Game 2, but it became very clear that Philly was having none of it. At the end of the first quarter, the Row already led 38-18, and that set the tone for the rest of the game, and the teams moved to Philadelphia locked up at 1.

Game 3 looked like it might be another dominant win for the Brick and Blue, but they started slipping later on. Before they knew it, a 23-point halftime lead had dwindled to just four, and Minnesota actually had the chance to take the lead late, but second-year B/ZB Ty Foster sailed a pass, and on the Row’s next possession, B/ZB Kenton Snowberger knocked down a shot to put the game out of reach. The Lights would hope that some of that second-half momentum would translate to Game 4, but yet again, they’d get out to a slow start, and this time, they couldn’t recover. Philly would win by 37, and now stood just one win away from their fifth consecutive NDLCS appearance.

Finally, back at home for Game 5, Minnesota woke back up. They still didn’t have their best first half, as they went into halftime down by 8, but it was much better than the previous three games, and it allowed a 16-5 run in the sixth to give them the lead. It would stay tight all the way through to the end. With under 20 seconds to play, W/ZB Leon Leyva sank a basket to give Philly a one-point lead and an opportunity to clinch a Finals berth with a single stop. Lights coach Chase Feller called “Sinker,” a play he would swear was named before it was used against the boat team (“but I do like the coincidence,” he’d later add). The Lights offense overloaded to their right side of the court, with Kevin Simmons and W/ZB Isiah DeJesus in the end zone. B/C Juan Ramos found Kein Cabanero as the closest player to center court, while DeJesus simultaneously ran behind the goal, popping out on the weak side post. With the defense’s attention focused the other way, DeJesus buried what was later confirmed to be the shortest game-winning play in NDL postseason history, giving Minnesota a one-point victory and keeping their season alive. Unfortunately though, it only delayed the inevitable. With a raucous Philadelphia crowd behind them, the Row smoked the Lights, just as they had in every even-numbered game in the series. Minnesota had a great run, but it had come to an end, and the Row would be playing for yet another title.

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California Sea Lions vs Orlando Orbits
Even after seeing them take down Texas, not many people thought that the Sea Lions could last five minutes against the league’s top team. Five minutes into Game 1, however, and California held a 2-point lead. By the time the teams switched squads at the end of the first, Orlando had taken the lead, but the underdogs had and would continue to show that they could hang. The Orbits would not trail for the remainder of the game, but couldn’t push it out of reach, either. At the end of the day, though, a 13-point win is still a win, and they took a 1-0 series lead. They wouldn’t be so happy after Game 2, though. Rather than just hanging around down 2-3 possessions for most of the game, the Lions stuck with the Orbs almost the whole way through. The game was tied going into the final inning, where finally, a few missed opportunities by the California offense left the Sea Lions wondering what could have been and the Orbits wiping sweat off their brows as they escaped with a 2-0 series lead.

On the West Coast for Game 3, not much seemed different. Orlando still led consistently by a score or two for most of the game, at least, that is, until a sixth-inning five-point bucket from Sea Lions W/ZB Jhaton Williams sparked a 24-9 California run. The home team wouldn’t look back and would pick up their first win of the series. Orlando would look to respond in Game 4, but those hopes seemed dire late in the first quarter when B/ZB Khamzat Yusufi, who had been struggling with injury problems already, ran into W/ZB David Surprise, ultimately knocking out Surprise for the rest of the series and Yusufi for the remainder of the playoffs. In the first round, that would’ve spelled doom, but now the Orbits seemed to have more confidence, and the team started playing like a #1 seed. In particular, W/ZB Kanoa Pacheco and B/ZB Mark Shupe stepped up, which in turn freed up W/ZB Frank St. Peter to light up the scoreboard. Just as importantly, though, the team really stepped up on defense, holding the Sea Lions to just 93 points and cruising to a 49-point win.

Unfortunately, even with a chance to move on at home, that confidence wouldn’t spill into Game 5. It was California’s turn to step up, and led by 38 points contributed by B/ZB Dave Sanderson, they’d spoil the party in Orlando with a blowout win of their own. They’d follow that up with an even more impressive performance in Game 6, as Sanderson put up a repeat performance, B/K Kyle Zorya joined him with 36 points contributed of his own, and F/ZB Michael Basch benefitted, scoring 33 as California had fought all the way back to force a Game 7. Even with how dominant they had looked over the past two, though, they seemed to have run out of gas. Frank St. Peter scored 49 points in a game that was never really close. The clock had struck midnight, and the Orbits had survived a second straight seven-game series to advance to the NDLCS.

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     Thread Starter
 

11/04/2021 10:50 pm  #606


Re: National Dashball League

It's a shame that the Lights lost, would've been great to see those beautiful jerseys in the finals. I'm rooting for the Orbits over the Row, it would be pretty great to see.


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11/23/2021 6:26 pm  #607


Re: National Dashball League

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After four straight years of the same two teams battling it out in the Finals and almost a decade straight of Texas, nearly everyone was talking about the Orlando Orbits, though of course, after needing 14 games to defeat the 7th and 8th seeds, it wasn’t always for the right reasons. By the time the first quarter of Game 1 ended, though, there was something new to talk about. About 13 minutes into the game, Orlando B/K Gene Martin and Philadelphia B/ZB Kenton Snowberger found themselves fighting for a pass that was rolling toward the sideline. As a last-ditch effort, Snowy went for a slide tackle, which came up well short and only served to bring Martin to the ground with him. Martin responded by kicking the 36-year-old in the side, fracturing two of his ribs, and at that point, everybody on the court had seen enough. Both teams rushed towards the scene, and before the refs could diffuse the situation, W/ZB Benny Ochoa was able to get in a right hook at Martin, breaking his nose and cheekbone. It would take several minutes for the teams to calm down, at which point Martin, Snowberger, and Ochoa would all be ejected (a bit of a moot point for the first two, as they would be out for the remainder of the series anyway), and Ochoa would be suspended for 4 games, leaving him out for most of the series as well. With this, Philadelphia was down two of their three best players, and Orlando, already without B/ZB Khamzat Yusufi, had lost another key piece.

The game - and indeed the series - would stay chippy throughout, though no more major incidents would occur. One almost did, as Row W/ZB Zebedeo Perilla charged rather aggressively at Orbits B/K Ben Umbs while scoring a goal near the end of the half. The two exchanged talking points for a few seconds before Umbs threw a punch. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, given the circumstances), as Umbs would later claim, “the damn goalpost jumped in front of the punch.” Umbs would leave the game, and the series, with a broken hand, leaving Orlando without both of their starting keepers. Having already turned to their lone backup, 36-year-old B/K Will Baker, the Orbits now had to move B/ZB Skyler Carr into the net. Carr had kept in college and the NDDL, but had no major league experience at the position, and it quickly showed, as the Row increased their 3-point lead to 9 in the 1:30 left before halftime with three shots past Carr. Carr would improve in the second half (granted, even one save would have been an improvement), but even without their top two players, Philly was still a very good team. W/ZBs Leon Leyva and Zebedeo Perilla would combine for 53 on the night, and the Row would pull further away, taking an 18-point win on the road in Game 1.

With more time to gameplan in between games, Orlando would start Game 2 playing a more defensive strategy, which had paid some dividends late in Game 1. Carr came out calmer, cooler, and collected-er, and with a bit more help from the team’s interior defense, he and Baker were able to hold down the fort reasonably well. The Orbits offense wasn’t playing its best either, but even as the Row defense tried to focus an outsized amount of effort on him, W/ZB Frank St. Peter was scoring and dishing well enough to keep the game close. Philadelphia led for most of the game, and up by 5 with time winding down, had a chance to ice it, but F/K Chris Gray couldn’t connect on a pass to Leyva, giving Orlando just enough time to head down the court and score a big one to send the game to overtime. At least in theory. The Orbits tried to set up a screen (or three) to free St. Peter, but W/ZB Alex Krauss, who was filling Ochoa’s vacancy, was able to just get a piece of the inbounds pass. The Row would take a 2-0 series lead and a chance to win the title without needing to return to Orlando.

The Orbits wouldn’t let that happen easily, though. They came out in Game 3 and started strong, going up by as much as 13 early in the fourth inning and holding a 9-point lead entering halftime. Philly, though, was clearly up for a fight, and would battle back, tying the game up just over two minutes into the final frame. From there, it would be a dogfight, as both teams got progressively more physical as a way to prevent their opponents from getting any sort of edge. Finally, with less than a minute remaining in a tie game, Frank St. Peter, who had been double- and triple-teamed all series, finally got shoved just a bit too hard by B/ZB Pompei Garcia. St. Peter lashed out, shoving Garcia back and sending him to the ground, and the benches cleared for the second time in three games. Fortunately, no more bones were broken, but for Orlando, the damage had already been done. Both players were ejected, and both would miss Game 4 due to the series’ fourth and fifth suspensions, shattering the record for a playoff series.

Without their superstar, the Orbs couldn’t seem to stop Zebedeo Perilla. Zeb scored the game-winner in Game 3 with a rocket past Will Baker, and then proceeded to seize Game 4 by the balls. By halftime, he was sitting on 36 points and 14 points assisted, and increased those to 50-25 by the end of the night. The arena was on their feet the entire second half, while Orlando could only watch as their biggest opportunity yet slipped further and further out of reach, barely managing to keep the point differential within a half century. Whatever the circumstances that got them there, the Row had proven that their run was not over yet, winning their third title in four years and, in many eyes, finally taking the title of “dynasty” from the state of Texas.

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     Thread Starter
 

11/24/2021 11:23 am  #608


Re: National Dashball League

Although I was rooting for the Orbits to bring a championship to somewhere other than Texas or Philadelphia, it clearly was not meant to be. Hopefully we start seeing more parity of teams getting into the finals, spreading some success around like cream cheese on a bagel, thick and delicious.


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4/10/2022 10:09 pm  #609


Re: National Dashball League

POLL: IS THE NDL’S HOLLYWOOD PLAN IDIOTIC OR INNOVATIVE?
19 August 2032
by Logan McCall, SB Nation

If you’ve been following the sports news recently, there’s a good chance you’ve heard some buzz around the so-called “Hollywood Plan,” a new playoff format proposed by Los Angeles Sabertooths owner Zackary Alaniz. The proposed rule change springs from the Tooths missing the playoffs with a 37-29 record this past season, and has already become controversial in dashball circles - it earned its nickname from a leaked clip of Orlando Orbits majority owner Robert Culpepper saying that Alaniz had been “blinded by the lights of Hollywood.”

In short, the proposal states that every team with a winning record would make the playoffs, no matter how many such teams there are. Any “extra” teams - that is, teams that don’t fit neatly into an even bracket - would then be matched up with the next-lowest seeds in a sort of play-in round, with the length of the series changing depending on the number of teams in the round. It’s a bit complicated to explain, so here are some examples:

 • In 2032, nine teams would have made the playoffs. The 9-seed Sabertooths would have played the 8-seed Chicago Frost in a one-game playoff to advance to the next round.
 • In 2031, ten teams would have made the playoffs. The 9-seed Minnesota Lights would have faced off against the 8-seed Chicago Frost and the 10-seed Toronto Hogs would have matched up against the 7-seed Sabertooths. Both series would have been best-of-3.
 • In 2030, seven teams would have made the playoffs. The top-seeded Philadelphia Row would have earned a bye, while the remaining series would have remained the same matchups but would have been best-of-5 rather than the usual best-of-7.

Is it a bit complicated? Sure, but I think I’m a fan of it. That said, clearly a lot of people aren’t. I’m sure you’ve got the correct opinion, so let me know by voting in the poll below and/or chiming off in the comments.

SEMARIAS GARCIA OFFICIALLY RETIRES
1 September 2032
by Levi Puffett, New Orleans Times-Picayune

One of the NDL’s all-time greats has confirmed his retirement today. Semarias Garcia announced that he’ll be calling it quits after 16 seasons, all with the Texas Redbacks. There was some speculation that after the Redbacks’ early exit at the hands of the underdog Sea Lions that Garcia would want to go out on a better note, but he had been experiencing a clear decline in his play over the past few seasons and, to quote the man himself, “wasn’t sure there’d be a better note to go out on.”

Garcia retires with one of the best resumes of any NDL player, winning eight titles with Texas to go along with six consecutive Offensive Player of the Year awards from 2023-2028 and an MVP award in 2025. His number 21 is almost certain to join Ares Preciado’s number 9 in the AAC rafters, and is practically a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, should one ever be created. Comparing him to other players who retired this year is almost unfair: the only other players with multiple titles are longtime teammate Joe Day, with six, and a pair of original Sea Lions, Josué Flores and Steve Gibson, each with two. Granted, it’s going to be hard for anybody who was not a part of the Redbacks dynasty to compete, but when you helped create that dynasty, can that really be held against you?

FUGITIVES SIGN AUSTIN CHAMPION AS NEW HEAD COACH
6 September 2032
by Elijah Oliver, The Athletic

Fugitives fans, the day you were waiting for (or perhaps dreading) has arrived. The new man in charge in Trashville is indeed Austin Champion, former assistant and head coach in Seattle. Lots of people were lampooning this decision even before the decision was actually made, which is probably not unfair considering Champion presided over the worst team in the NDL during his last year with the Sawyers. Not only that, but he started with a team that earned the 7 seed the year before his promotion, earned that same seed for two more years, then started getting a lot worse. In fact, there are a lot of parallels between Seattle in 2027 and Nashville going into 2033: both teams had a long stretch of being a top seed in the NDL, coming close to the top but not winning when it really counted, and now seeming to be past that peak. Is Champion really the man the Fugitives want in this position?

Look, I don’t know. All I’ll say is that upon his promotion in ‘27, Champion got a lot of credit for that Sawyers peak. On top of that, he clearly has a better roster than he had toward the end of his tenure in Seattle, and you could make the argument that this is the best team he’s ever had as a head coach. At the end of the day, the Nashville front office clearly liked what they saw in him. He may not have a great resume, but who knows? Maybe a new team is exactly what he needs to live up to his last name.

COMMODORES MAY BE IN HOT WATER
19 September 2032
by Giuseppe Ciofani, Boston Herald

Leaked reports out of Boston suggest that the city’s NDL team is in dire financial straits. Beantown was overwhelmingly supported by the Expansion Board, but the Commodores have not seen anywhere near that same level of support on the hardwood, largely as a result of poor play in a city that expects success - and usually gets it. Phil Frazier has been a dedicated owner thus far, but the team is apparently so far in the red that he’s starting to weigh his options.

The team has been improving, but slowly, and still finished in the bottom three in the league last season. It seems 2033 may be a big season for the club and their hopes of staying in TD Garden. Frazier has said that as long as he owns the Commodores, they’ll play in Boston, but if the city of Boston doesn’t buy in, the team - and the decision - may be out of his hands.

     Thread Starter
 

4/10/2022 10:50 pm  #610


Re: National Dashball League

All for the Hollywood Plan and also moving the Commodores out of Boston because I think both are the funnier option


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