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10/08/2021 10:56 am  #141

Re: American Runty Championship: 1957 Season

1956-57 NERC Offseason

NERC Reinstates 4 Clubs after scandal

After the infamous Gambling Scandal the offseason before, the NERC announced that 4 of the 5 teams involved would be suspended for 1 year. They would only be allowed back if they passed a police investigation showing that all parties involved were expelled from the club. 

Throughout the season and first months of the offseason the New York and Boston police departments ran this investigation. On October 12, 1956, the NERC announced that Staten Island, the Bronx, Boston, and Hempstead had all passed the investigation, and were to be reinstated in time for the 1957 season. Commissioner Isidore Spinola had this to say on the matter.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to hear that these 4 clubs have passed their respective police investigations. The North-Eastern Runty Championship looks forward to seeing these teams write new chapters of their history starting this upcoming season.”

As a result of being the ringleaders, the New York Knights were to sit out of the 1957 season as well. They tried to appeal this during the offseason, but were unsuccessful. However, Spinola did say that the league had no plans of increasing the Knights’ suspension.

NERC addresses expansion speculation

With the league set to play with 9 teams for 1957, there was a lot of speculation on whether the NERC would add an expansion team in order to get back to an even number. Isidore Spinola addressed these in a press conference shortly before the start of the 1957 season.

“In an ideal timeline, we would like to have 12 teams by the year 1965, if not earlier. Another goal of ours is to have at least one of these expansion teams be located outside of the New York metropolitan area.”

When asked about more concrete dates for expansion, Spinola said that either 1 or 2  of the expansion teams would start play no later than 1960. When asked about locations for the teams, Spinola did not answer, telling the press to be patient.

NERC Announces Format for 1957 season

With the league going from 4 to 8 teams, there was hope that the schedule would be more simple, like it was before the gambling scandal. Much to the delight of the media, the NERC announced that the league would utilize a home-and-away system, as it had every year prior to 1956. With this system, each team will play 14 games.

Notable Player Movement

Perseus Whitney (BRK >>> HEM)

Whitney, who helped get Brooklyn their first ever Champions Cup, returned to the Clippers as they rejoined the NERC. This finalized the trade they made a year prior, which saw cash get loaned to the Clippers as they recovered from the scandal. This cash was loaned back to the Devils. Whitney kicked 17 goals in 14 games for Brooklyn, leading the team.

Gil Littlewood (BRK >>> HEM)

Just like Whitney, Littlewood returned to the Clippers in a similar deal. He emerged as one of the game’s premier midfielders, as well as one of the best playoff performers the league had seen. He was a key part of the Devils Championship run, his second Champions Cup title. Going back the other way is Devils prospect Brent Sturm, who got lots of playing time in the NYRL with the Clippers.

Manny Ramirez (BRK >>> BUF)

Ramirez, who helped Brooklyn win it all in 1956, signed a 1-year contract with the Panthers as a free agent. He spent his childhood in Buffalo, and analysts believe this contract will close out his career. He’d expressed his desire to play for the Panthers before, so now he gets to finally live out his dream as his career most likely comes to a close.

Pre-Season Picks

First Seed: Buffalo

The Panthers came up short in 1956 despite being the #1 seed, so they’re gonna want to make sure that doesn’t happen again this year. They’re stacked at all ends, and should be able to take advantage of the 4 returning teams.

Champions Cup: Buffalo over Manhattan

Buffalo winning it all is the popular choice, and the Archers should be primed for a good season as well. Despite a first-round exit in 1956, the Archers are still a contender that has what it takes to make the Champions Cup once again. The Devils, while they did win it all in 1956, lose two key parts. They’ll improve, but aren’t a perennial contender just yet.

Leading Goalscorer: Des Samuel (BUF)

He’s the greatest goalscorer the game has seen.

Projected Standings:

1. BUF
2. MAN
3. BRX
4. BRK
5. BOS
6. HEM
7. WST
8. SI


10/29/2021 1:46 pm  #142

Re: American Runty Championship: 1957 Season

1956 NERC Season: First Half

The NERC’s 12th season saw a return to normalcy, with 8 teams set for a home-and-away schedule. At each home opener for the 4 returning teams, there was a pre-game ceremony with an NERC representative formally welcoming the team back to the NERC.


Week 1: Manhattan 33-27 Buffalo
Week 2: Brooklyn 26-28 Manhattan
Week 3: Buffalo 28-31 the Bronx
Week 4: Hempstead 25-31 Westchester
Week 5: Manhattan 43-35 the Bronx
Week 6: Staten Island 28-28 Brooklyn
Week 7: Manhattan 31-27 Westchester

Leading Goalscorer: Spin Roper (9)

Holding the #1 seed through 7 were the Manhattan Archers. Their first half of the year was pretty much perfect, as they won all of their games. Of those games, only one of them was won by less than a goal. In particular, their offense was insane, averaging 34 points a game, However, their defense was also pretty solid, and helped them hold their large leads. Bursting onto the NERC scene was rookie forward Spin Roper, who led the league in scoring through the first half. Adding him to the already scary Archer offense caused trouble for the rest of the league. The Archers sit at 7-0 through 7.

Leading Goalscorer: Carey Hilliard (8)

Sitting in second in their return to the NERC were the Bronx Bears. They won their first 4 games of the year before dropping an offensive shootout to the Archers. That game was their only defeat in the first half, An impressive feat for a group of players who mainly played in the NYRL in 1956. The Bears’ leading scorer for the first half was breakout forward Carey Hilliard, who the Bears actually signed from an NYRL team after being impressed with his play. Through 7, the Bears sit at 6-1, aiming for the top.

Leading Goalscorer: Des Samuel (8)

Sitting in third was the league’s reigning 1st-place team, the Buffalo Panthers. While their first half wasn’t really disappointing, they were still expected to have a firm grasp on one of the top two seeds early on while the other teams got back up to the NERC level. They suffered a major blow in Week 1 when superstar forward Des Samuel went down with a collarbone injury, and missed 3 games. Despite this, he still managed to put up 8 goals through the first half of the year, helping the Panthers get over a rough start. Buffalo sits at 5-2 through the first 7 games.

Leading Goalscorer: Donovan O’Connor (5)

Sitting in fourth through the first half was a major surprise, the Staten Island Islanders. Their first half wasn’t necessarily great, but it also wasn’t bad like it usually was for the Isles. All the games they won were over teams below them in the standings, while all their losses were to teams above them in the standings. Despite still not being considered a top team, Staten Island started to gain a notoriety around the league for being one of the toughest teams to play against physically. What they didn’t have in skill they made up for in determination. The Isles sit at 3-3-1 through one half of the season.

Leading Goalscorer: Joe Blake (8)

Sitting in fifth were the Westchester Racers. After an incredibly disappointing title defense in 1956, the Racers’ goal for 1957 was to get back to their league-best form that helped them go all the way. They hadn’t reached that level through the first half, but definitely showed signs of improvement from their 2-9 record the year before. In particular, Joe Blake helped the team’s offense improve up front, scoring 8 goals. Despite all this, they still lacked consistency through the first half, leading to both blowout wins and blowout losses. Westchester sits at 3-4 through 7.

Leading Goalscorer: Daniel Hart (7)

Sitting in sixth were the reigning champion Brooklyn Devils. While their Champions Cup victory was aided by a shortened season, they were still expected to be better than they were. Through 7 games, they only had 1 victory to show for it, a 14-point win over the Clippers. In particular, their defense was exposed frequently by other teams, as the Devils allowed a league-worst 203 points through 7 games. Despite this very slow start, head coach Ralph Ferguson is confident his team can still make the playoffs. “If we can win a Champions Cup with a 4-7 record, we can definitely make a playoff push”, he said. Brooklyn sits at 1-4-2 through 7.

Leading Goalscorer: David Robbs (3)

Sitting in seventh were the Boston Riders. This was about where they were expected to be, as they weren’t the strongest team before the gambling scandal. Going a full season without top-level competition didn’t help their return either. Despite getting a decent result against Brooklyn in week 1, their struggles became apparent in week 2. They did not score over 25 points for any of the remaining 6 games, and even their one win was by a single point over the league’s worst team. The Riders will have to start scoring if they want to have any chance at the playoffs. Boston sits at 1-5-1 through 7.

Leading Goalscorer: Perseus Whitney (3)

Sitting in last place were the Hempstead Clippers. It was just a hopeless first half of the year for them, as they lost every single game they played. Their offense was even worse than Boston’s, averaging under 21 points per game. Even Perseus Whitney, who was usually near the top of the league in goals, was struggling mightily. They still had some close games, including a 1-point defeat to Buffalo, but it still was not a pretty sight. At this point, the Clippers will be happy if they can come away with a single win this season.

Notable Events:
      -   The NERC announced that as a final punishment to all clubs that participated in the gambling scandal, each team involved was fined $6,500 ($63,500 today). The league then donated around half of the total money given by the 5 teams to the cities of New York, Buffalo and Boston.
      -   With the news that the NERC was looking to add 1 or 2 more New York-based teams, there were several applications sent in from teams in places such as Queens, Harlem, Bridgeport, and Newark. While the league wasn’t officially open to applications, there were reports that some of the applications impressed commissioner Isidore Spinola. The NERC also announced its intent at adding a non-NYC based club.

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