Alternate History Sports

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4/24/2022 10:27 pm  #631

Re: National Dashball League

oops I dropped something


4/26/2022 3:08 pm  #632

Re: National Dashball League

I really like the Hogs new identity, especially the logos; it's a testament to how far so many of these designs have come in this series! Also a big fan of the new uniforms, they seem a lot more cohesive.

5/31/2022 11:50 am  #633

Re: National Dashball League

As the months of the 2033 season crawled past, what seemed at first to be a strange quirk slowly grew into a reality. By August 18th, it was official - the Orlando Orbits and Philadelphia Row, last year’s NDLCS combatants, would be watching the playoffs from home. Orlando got absolutely shafted by injuries - B/ZB Khamzat Yusufi’s knee issues continued acting up, W/ZB Kanoa Pacheco missed time with a broken wrist, and they lost 3 B/ZBs over the span of two weeks in June, most notably DaShaun Russell. While that was an especially tough storm to weather, they were staying in the hunt, hanging around just over .500, largely due to the supreme play of W/ZB Frank St. Peter. Unfortunately, the Orbits had clearly angered an ancient god, because on July 17th, St. Peter tore his ACL and MCL, rendering his season over. The team fell into a nosedive, losing 13 straight and 17 out of their last 19 without their superstar. Curiously, despite not playing a full season, St. Peter won both MVP and Offensive Player of the Year - possibly in part due to how poorly the rest of his team played as soon as he was gone.

Philly’s malady was a bit tougher to figure out. They dealt with some injuries too - most notably B/ZB Kenton Snowberger and W/ZB Ellis Alcala - but still had enough star power that they should have been able to make another run. The biggest problem the Row faced was actually a combination of two problems: the team’s age and their lack of depth. Only two players on Philly’s starting lineup were under the age of 32, and three of their top five players in points contributed were 37. It turns out that playing 64 minutes a game at that age takes a toll, and as a result, the Oarsmen had to lean on their bench a lot more than most teams. With a team of tired millennials and inexperienced backups, the Row slipped from 8 games over .500 in early July to 3 games below it by the 18th, enough to eliminate them from contention.

Stepping into this power vacuum would be an old friend and a new face. The new face wasn’t exactly new, having really broken through last year, but in 2033, the Minnesota Lights proved that that season was not a fluke. F/ZB Kevin Simmons and W/K Richard Singh were a near-unstoppable two-headed monster on offense, and both were somehow even better on defense, with Singh’s play in net netting him a Defensive Player of the Year award. Minnesota finished with the most points scored in the league and the fewest points allowed in the league. All this was enough to finish 48-18 and barely clinch them the top seed on a tiebreaker over that old friend I mentioned.

You might be worried (or perhaps excited) that that old friend was the Texas Redbacks. The Redbacks played well, but not quite well enough - injuries to W/ZBs Larry Whitt and Ricky Parron, as well as aging from many of their former stars (not to mention the ones who have already retired) could only propel them to the #4 seed - not a bad result, but also their worst in over a decade. No, this friend is even older. The California Sea Lions continued their ascent back to the league’s apex, with F/ZB Michael Basch returning to form and B/ZB Dave Sanderson being on top of his game as always. They also got a solid year from B/C Adamo Zorrilla, who still wasn’t quite himself but certainly rebounded, and from 24-year-old B/ZB Isaiah Graves, who broke into the lineup with some extremely reliable defense. With the Los Angeles Sabertooths putting together a 39-27 season - just two wins better than last year, but good enough for four spots higher - the West Division would send three teams into the top 5. (The Sawyers, on the other hand, earned the first pick in the draft with another season of rebuilding.)

The final team in that top 5 were the Nashville Fugitives, who would prove that the hiring of head coach Austin Champion was entirely justified. B/C Kevin Hur and F/ZB Eddie McDonald led the way to the league’s second-best offense, and along with star W/K Will Orleans, breakout W/K Brandon Field, and deadline acquisition B/ZB Tim Morris, also claimed the league’s second-best defense. The team finished in third, just three wins behind the top two teams, but the real test for this team, and particularly its head coach, will be in the playoffs, where they’ll look to rebound from last year's sweep at the hands of the Lights and end their stretch of consecutive series losses at just four.

A lot of the remaining stories came from near the bottom of the league. The Montréal Magma didn’t have a particularly great or bad season at the major-league level, but across the Rivière des Prairies, number 1 overall pick B/ZB Riley Dobbins turned out to be an absolute stud in Laval. GM Daniel Bartz even told media that they nearly called him up to the bigs toward the end of the year to give him some starts against NDL talent but were concerned about rushing him. Atlanta, meanwhile, went full rebuild mode at the deadline, sending off the aforementioned Tim Morris as well as selling W/ZB Isaaq Davis to New York. In total, they made four trades over the first half of the season, picking up several young players, including 24-year-old B/ZBs Luis Kelly and Taylor Quick as well as W/K Josh Child. It didn’t quite come together this season, but the team looks to be heading back in the right direction.

Undoubtedly, though, the biggest story was happening in Boston, where the team was potentially heading out the door. Once the news broke over the offseason, a modest but passionate “Save Our Ships” campaign began, with fan support showing a marked increase, if not a particularly large one. The team on the court mirrored that amount of success, still finishing with the second-worst record in the league, but with a few big wins, including double-digit home victories against the Sea Lions and Redbacks. The jury is still out as to whether it will be enough to keep the team in TD Garden, but they’ve at least given themselves a fighting chance.

All of that, though, would eventually be swamped by the five-team race for the final three playoff spots. In mid-August, Chicago, DC, Miami, New York, and Toronto all found themselves hanging around the .500 mark within just 5 games of each other. DC, who had finally made a legitimate second step forward thanks to B/ZB Ethan Keller and F/ZB Willy DeLuca, couldn’t quite put it all together down the stretch and fell a few games behind, but that only served to tighten the other four contenders even further. Naturally, the race would ultimately come down to the final day of the regular season.

New York had already clinched a playoff spot as the only East team still in the hunt, but needed to beat a still-stumbling Statesmen squad to sew up the sixth seed, and did so. Right on their heels were the Chicago Frost, who had struggled to maintain consistency all year despite a talented roster. Chicago controlled their own destiny, but faced a tough matchup with Minnesota, who still needed to win themselves to secure the first seed. While the Frost had won a couple of times in St. Paul, the Lights would complete a 3-0 tour of the Windy City, leaving the Flakes to watch Toronto and Miami as they both faced off against their geographical rivals. The Palms easily beat a banged-up Orbits team, but the Hogs wouldn’t have it quite so easy against their French-speaking foes, as the Magma held a 6-point lead going into halftime. With 32 minutes to play for their season, head coach Jordan Jones rallied the troops, and Toronto flipped that deficit into a 16-point win, catapulting the Hogs into the 7 seed and leaving Chicago to wonder what could have been.

     Thread Starter

5/31/2022 1:29 pm  #634

Re: National Dashball League

A great season! I love seeing Minny at the top, hoping they can catapult themselves to a ring. Cali being back is neat as well, better than Texas, that's for sure.

Loving the new presentation style, my only hangup is that I cannot understand the bracket at all. I understand how the playoffs work, reseeding and all, but I don't think the bracket conveys that well enough. I think replacing the words on the right side with like "top seed remaining" or something would be clearer and easier to understand. Keep up the good work, looking forward to the playoffs!


5/31/2022 2:05 pm  #635

Re: National Dashball League

Oh boy, my Palms made the playoffs to be crushed by the Lights!

5/31/2022 6:37 pm  #636

Re: National Dashball League

I agree with Quice, the standings graphics and such are fantastic. I think you've really solidified your presentation style here. But the bracket thing was legit confusing, I stared at it for like 10 minutes and still couldn't digest it.

That said, AHTR!
AHS Admin. Creator of the THLPUCHWHA: Redux and Retroliga.

5/31/2022 7:39 pm  #637

Re: National Dashball League

Hey y'all! Thanks for the feedback. I'm really happy with the way the presentation style turned out, so I'm glad you guys are enjoying it too. As for the bracket ... I feel you on that. I'm not super thrilled with it, but I think it accomplishes what I wanted it to, which is to a) be more flexible enough to accommodate reseeding without having to move teams around and b) be able to accommodate numbers of teams that are not eight given recent happenings in the league. As for that bit on the right, those are just there to indicate which teams are playing one another, since that didn't seem clear to me with just the lines. (It'll eventually be filled with the series result; e.g. mia 2 / min 4 if that series goes 6.) If that's making it more confusing, though, I can remove it.

Let me know if you have any ideas to make the bracket easier to read! I'm very open to C&C on this since, ultimately, this is supposed to help y'all.

Last edited by ItDoesntMatter (5/31/2022 7:40 pm)

     Thread Starter

5/31/2022 10:33 pm  #638

Re: National Dashball League

Whoo, nice to see some more shuffling about with the teams and not the usual suspects being consistently back in the finals. Cheering on the Lights in the playoffs.

The standings graphics are beautiful. I really love the clever way of including the division logos within the graphic. 

As for that bracket....Yea it is confusing. I think it does what you hope to accomplish in making it easier for you to move teams around, but it really makes it hard to know the matchups. I certainly prefer the bracket that you used previously for seeing how the playoffs line up. But understanding the desire for something simpler. I would maybe suggest looking at Steel's Torland playoff graphics, which is less bracket-like. I guess maybe there is a way of showing each round less connected where there aren't lines going directly to the next place spot so you don't feel you have to make sure it's super clear. I also think as long as you make it clear what seed each team is there shouldn't be a whole lot of confusion in general.

5/31/2022 10:41 pm  #639

Re: National Dashball League

I honestly think your problems can be solved with adding some color to the bracket. Just a color that connects the two teams playing (i.e. MIN-MIA is NDL blue, CAL-TOR is yellow, etc.) would be enough to indicate what teams are playing each other. I also think you could do a cool thing after the round is over where the team's color makes a line to their new position in the bracket. I think it works so that no matter what four teams move out of the first round, they can make a line to their new seed without overlapping. Just some suggestions.


5/31/2022 11:57 pm  #640

Re: National Dashball League

Okay, so I went back to the drawing board with Wallflower's suggestion and I think I came up with something that's at least much more minimalistic and I certainly think better:

Thanks again to Wally for seeding the idea. Let me know what you guys think!

     Thread Starter

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