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4/30/2024 6:47 pm  #191


Re: The American Football League

I dig the new teams Dire. I love the Rattlesnakes as a name and mascot, though I am not so excited about their gold uniforms as the primary. However, St. Louis looks sharp. I really like the look overall. They are near the top of the league for my favourite looks. Also I do like the font choice for Louisville. No, not because it looks awesome, more so that it fits with an old school look even with a more 'childish' feel to it. I just think it works well for the past


 

4/30/2024 11:19 pm  #192


Re: The American Football League

I like Philly and STL! Between the two I prefer the individuality of the Rattlesnakes but the consistency of St. Louis' set is very nice. Cant say I'm the biggest fan of the font, though. I understand what you're trying to do with it (and  I like the idea a lot) but I think the U specifically is throwing me off. That's what's giving me the child-like inconsistency rather than a hand-drawn inconsistency, if that makes sense.


 

5/01/2024 9:05 am  #193


Re: The American Football League

I think I finally found my team, the 'Snakes look great



 

5/13/2024 5:27 pm  #194


Re: The American Football League

MitchSwanson94 wrote:

Both new teams look great! Really like the logos for both, they look really cool and appropriate for that era! Hopefully they’ll be on the helmets soon.

Thanks! I'm trying to keep some historical accuracy with the NFL, as only 4 out of the 12 teams had some sort of design on their helmet by the end of the 1950's. We'll definitely see more teams adopt helmet designs as only Pittsburgh and Washington have something besides a stripe or two on their helmet.

Wallflower wrote:

I dig the new teams Dire. I love the Rattlesnakes as a name and mascot, though I am not so excited about their gold uniforms as the primary. However, St. Louis looks sharp. I really like the look overall. They are near the top of the league for my favourite looks. Also I do like the font choice for Louisville. No, not because it looks awesome, more so that it fits with an old school look even with a more 'childish' feel to it. I just think it works well for the past

The Rattlesnakes were originally going to be a primarily blue team, but I then realized that they almost shared the same colors as Cincinnati, so the primary color was changed to the old gold. I figured Philly would be at least a little polarizing due to said change but ultimately I think it will work. I'm glad you like St. Louis though, I was a bit concerned about the similarities to your Louisville Thunder (you know, red/gold horse-themed team), but I think there are enough differences between the two where they hopefully aren't confused for one another.

Wallflower wrote:

Also I do like the font choice for Louisville

You said it not me haha

QCS wrote:

I like Philly and STL! Between the two I prefer the individuality of the Rattlesnakes but the consistency of St. Louis' set is very nice. Cant say I'm the biggest fan of the font, though. I understand what you're trying to do with it (and  I like the idea a lot) but I think the U specifically is throwing me off. That's what's giving me the child-like inconsistency rather than a hand-drawn inconsistency, if that makes sense.

I took a look into the inconsistency with the U, and it appears there's a considerable difference between some of the uppercase and lowercase letters in the font (notably the N and U as you mentioned). I was going to change the font all together, but I moved everything to be uppercase so it fits with the vibe I was going with originally.

Section30 wrote:

I think I finally found my team, the 'Snakes look great

Thanks! Hopefully the 'Snakes are able to perform well in their first season.

C&C Appreciated! I'm still working through the offseason but now that I'm a graduated boy™ I should have more time to work through the AFL. As always, prospect submissions are always welcome (the main class is still being finalized so feel free to submit any last minute players) and any other questions about the AFL or the world itself are welcome.



Founder of the EFL and the AFL
     Thread Starter
 

5/17/2024 2:23 pm  #195


Re: The American Football League

1955-56 Offseason

Retirements
The main retirements leading into the 1956 season are leading the way for new stars to take their place, as they were all former star players realizing that their playing days are far from what they were. Two lifelong Chicago Hogs players exhibit this more than any other retirement this year, with WR Nicholas Kramer and TE Glenn Chambers retiring after 13 and 14 years of play in the Windy City. Each quickly formed a connection with Hogs QB Alfred Walton, and their performances catapulted the Hogs from the other football team to a regular contender, winning 2 World Series of Football titles in the Midwestern Championship and 3 championships in the AFL. Kramer and Chambers decided it was time for them as the offense was less pass-heavy than in their prime and could not play the supporting roles that were asked of them. Chambers was widely recognized as potentially one of the best players to have ever played the tight end position, being nominated for 3 All-AFL teams and had started in 2 All-Star games. Kramer was not the game-changer like Chambers was, but was still a valuable piece to the rise of the Hogs. Buffalo S Wilbert Ritchie is also calling it a career after 4 years of play in the AFL and 12 years of total play, all with the Hammers. Ritchie began his career at nearby Northern New York for college, and the local Hammers signed him to bolster their secondary. It took a couple of years, but Ritchie blossomed into a quality safety, as was proclaimed one of the best secondary players before the Hammers left the NYPL for the AFL. That status went with him into the AFL, where made both the All-AFL team and the All-Star game in his first year in the AFL. That seemed to be the peak of the 4 years in the league, but still put up the same quality in his play that got him spotted to the pros in the first place. Pittsburgh RB Marion Waters played for 12 years with massive shoes to fill, replacing Pittsburgh Shamrock legend Lonnie Douglas at tailback. He had played alongside Douglas for his first few years, but fully came into his own once he got the starting role, becoming the focal point for a team that had routinely been the underdog. His best season was the 1953 season, where he would have been the talk of the league if not for the emergence of a particular Chicago Hogs running back. That 1953 performance seemed to just be a flash in the pan in the AFL, as he got overtaken by the other two running backs on the Shamrocks’ rosters and called it quits just before the draft this season. The final major retirement was Washington LB Christopher Carney, who did not have any of the prolific careers as any of the other players, but is significant for being one of the original stars of the Columbus Buckeyes before they moved to the D.C.. He was the Buckeyes’ star player when they first entered the AFL, and remained in a starting role once new ownership came in to completely overhaul the team once they moved. He played #2 to new star LB Howard Treadaway, and managed to win a championship with the Federals in their miraculous first year in the nation’s capital. With Carney’s retirement, no starter remains from the inaugural Buckeyes team, though only two players from that team remain with the Federals (WR Victor Bird and DB Thomas Finch). Carney may not have impressed like the other stars, but to the people in Columbus he will be fondly remembered as a lone bright spot in an otherwise forgettable team.  

Coaching Changes
In the regime change in Detroit, new owner Florian Riddle wasted no time cleaning house, firing HC Leonard Holland, OC George Wall, and DC Martin Shaw in his first week of official control of the Knights. Holland was seen as an offensive prodigy, leading Chicago to their best stretch of offensive dominance in their brief history. This leadership did not transfer over when he was hired as head coach, leading the Knights to a 6-16 record over just two seasons. The coaching crew that was supposed to revitalize the team instead kept them down in the depths where they regularly occupied, and the younger Riddle wanted a complete change to thrust them out of the basement. Nearing the basement with them is Pittsburgh, who fired DC Steve McDermott after two years of declining defensive play, giving up the third-most points in 1954 and the second-most in 1955. The coaching carousel was also wide open with the Rattlesnakes and Stallions looking to hire their first coaching crew.

The Detroit Knights kicked off the carousel by hiring Washington OC Tommy Park to their vacant head coaching position. In the 3 years Park has been a coordinator, he transformed an awful offensive unit into one that is feared across the league. The Knights similarly went with the offensive lean by hiring Cincinnati assistant OC Lyle Beach to their OC role, as Beach helped revitalize a slacking Rivermen offense on their way to their first title in nearly 20 years. The Knights went to the collegiate level for their DC, luring Texas HC Dean Frazier to the position. Frazier had created one of the toughest defensive units in the AACA for the Roughriders, and shocked the Red River Conference by leaving for the pros. Washington would not look far to replace Tommy Park, promoting assistant OC Randolph Fields to the vacated position.

St Louis had Tommy Park as their top option for head coach, but were unable to lure him to their role. Instead, they took to the collegiate level to hire Michigan A&M HC Archie Mathis as their first-ever head coach. Mathis helped turn the Aggies from an afterthought in the Midwest to a school no one wanted to ignore, granting them a spot in the “mid-tier” conference of the Great Lakes Conference from a lowly independent. They also managed to hire Monongalia State HC Stephen Lawrence to their OC position, who helped the Vandals to 5 conference titles and 3 bowl wins in the past decade due to their offensive prowess, making him a great fit for the burgeoning professional team. Lastly, they would hire former St. Louis State head coach Dwight Kirkland to their DC role. Kirkland was more of a puzzling move, as he had not coached any sort of football in half a decade and was most recently seen as a coordinator in the PAFC with the former St. Louis Arrows. He has been a relatively popular coaching figure in St. Louis, so his hiring may help draw crowds to the new team.

Philadelphia took a fairly defensive approach to their coaching staff, first offering a head coaching position to Chicago DC Anthony Conway. The Rattlesnakes would not hear word back from the Windy City until they received a strongly worded letter from Conway, ending with “the only way I’m leaving [Chicago] is by hearse.” Failing getting their #1 target, they would instead hire Wisconsin State HC Jimmie Crabtree to the same position. Wisconsin State has been home to some of the best defensive talent in the league, sending players such as LB Barry Moore, DB’s Jason and Jeff Brother, and S Tom Meltzger. Crabtree was the mastermind behind that whole operation, and will become the highest paid coach in the league as a result. The ‘Snakes would get their primary coaches to the OC and DC positions, hiring Chicago Christian HC Ray Stevens to the former and Pittsburgh Shamrocks LB coach Alton Long to the latter. Like with Crabtree, they offered a massive contract to Stevens to leave the college game after coaching one of the best teams in the nation for an expansion team, but Stevens did not think twice about taking the new job. The Shamrocks were going to promote Long to their vacated DC position, but the Rattlesnakes scooped him up before Pittsburgh could offer him a better deal. The Shamrocks instead hired LA State head coach Salvatore Weeks to their DC role, who helped develop New York LB Russell Middleton and now-Philadelphia DL Glen Todd to their fullest potential.

Expansion Draft
Similar to last year, the Philadelphia Rattlesnakes and St. Louis Stallions would participate in an expansion draft, though this time a more thorough one to properly build their teams from scratch instead of supplementing weaker rosters with AFL talent. The Rattlesnakes would win the coin toss in similar fashion to the Dragons, but unlike them elected to pick from the first position in the rookie draft, allowing the Stallions to pick first in the expansion draft.

St. Louis elected to build their offense first and foremost, taking backup QB Addison Golden and infamous WR Anthony Wheatland as their first two selections from the defending champion Cincinnati Rivermen. Their offensive line would also get to a decent spot, taking Jim Herman from Washington, Marc Buck from Cincinnati, and Herbert Hale from Chicago. Even though they were focused on building the passing game, the Stallions managed to build a relatively decent front 4 given the limited star power in the position. They build a decent line by selecting Mitchell Curry from Boston, Kerry Haley from Chicago, and Steven Duffy from Pittsburgh. The most intriguing pick by the Stallions would be taking disgraced Detroit QB Terry Kadlec as one of their QB options. The Stallions wanted to take a chance on the young QB to see if he can fight for a starting spot, or otherwise send him down to the ASPFL to get the QB out of whatever funk he put himself in.

Philadelphia on the other hand used the expansion draft to develop the defensive side of the ball, taking DL Roy Kelly from Cincinnati, LB Faolán Doyle from Chicago, and DB Sean Hamby from Cleveland. The Rattlesnakes also seem like they’re building off of the similar model to the Hogs, as they took RB Neal Earnhardt from Cincinnati with their first pick and built their offensive line for him with Phillip Lee from Boston, Donnel Ferguson from Tri-Cities, and Jack Enderle from Detroit. They hold the first overall pick in the draft this year, and will most likely take a pairing for either Earnhardt or to bolster their defensive line. QB’s seemed to be an afterthought for the Rattlesnakes, as they took two QB’s that didn’t have any sort of starting experience in Freddie Hughes and Dwayne Dessena. Dessena briefly started for the Hartford Colts in the ASPFL to a disappointing 5-6 season, while Hughes mostly stayed on the practice squad for the Shamrocks. It will be an interesting battle for the starting position, especially since the Rattlesnakes do not seem to be targeting a QB as an immediate need in the draft.



Trades
Detroit made it clear to the other teams that the number 3 selection was available to teams to trade for, which led to a scramble between a few teams to figure out if they wanted to trade up. The first two picks were already set in stone, and it became clear that neither the Rattlesnakes nor the Stallions were going to draft a quarterback. The Knights would have been in prime position to take a new quarterback to start their new era, but are opting to stick with Mike Major for the time being. Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia quickly became interested in trading up for the 3rd spot, but the Lions and Rattlesnakes backed down soon after New York offered too little and Philly opted not to trade down from the first pick. Boston were gunning for a quarterback regardless if they got the 3rd pick or not, and decided to part ways with their first starting QB in Adrian Alfonso. The Dragons weren’t too pleased with his first season as a starter, going 3-9 last season in a relatively mediocre offensive unit. They didn’t attract many offers, but they were able to coax a 4th round pick out of the team he was taken from in last years’ expansion draft in the Buffalo Hammers. Alfonso will go back to serving as a backup, though this time to budding star Brendan Turnbull.

 

The bidding war commenced between Boston and Pittsburgh for the 3rd overall pick, with Boston offering 4 and two fourth round picks for the 3, while Pittsburgh offered 7, a second rounder, and the contract rights to a minor league player. The Dragons front office would not budge on making a better counter-offer to get the third overall pick, and backed out and began looking for other options. The final deal would see Pittsburgh deal pick number 7 and 19, as well as the rights to Burlington Greens DL Raymond Stone in exchange for Detroit sending number 3 and the 40th overall pick.

 

Pittsburgh now had to go through an ugly divorce with current starter O.J. DeMille, who hasn’t quite lived up to expectations since nearly pulling off an upset win in the 1952 playoffs against the Hammers. He only started for two years, 1954 and 1955, pulling off a mediocre 9-13 regular season record while going one and done in the playoffs. The QB market was dwindling, but St. Louis was able to swoop in and give DeMille a chance to be the first starter for the Stallions. The final deal would see the Shamrocks send DeMille and number 43 to the Stallions in exchange for number 38 this year, a 5th rounder next year, and the contract rights to DL Francis Cassidy and DB Peter Webber on Albany. Now with 4 QB’s on their roster, the Stallions optioned Terry Kadlec to Albany, where they hope he can shake off the yips and live up to what he was to be selected at number 2 for.



Boston would not have to look very far to get their replacement at quarterback, as the Hawks were looking to sell off QB Sam Eagleburger. Current starting QB Gilbert Clay is on the last year of his current contract with Tri-Cities, and they already drafted Rocco Vanthourenhout to replace him. They just happened to take Eagleburger in the 5th round last year on a flier, and he immediately made a difference when sent down to the ASPFL. The young QB won QB and led Providence to a dominating title in the first year of that league’s reorganization. With a logjam at the position with two potential starters, the Hawks made the decision to trade away Eagleburger and continue to develop Vanthourenhout. The Dragons, now not having a starter, would acquire Eagleburger for a 4th round pick in next year’s draft, now not wanting to give up the 4th rounder they acquired from Buffalo.

 

The Knights were not done this offseason, as their moves pointed towards some sort of incoming rebuilding process. They weren’t dealing away any major contributors, but were looking for any interest in some of their veterans. Philadelphia needed some experience in their secondary, and came to an agreement with the Knights to get DB Herman Schmidt for their 4th rounder this year and the rights to New Haven WR Lonnie Lindsey. Schmidt has started every single game for the Knights at DB since joining the AFL, and will most likely pick up the starting role in Philly while he lets some younger players develop.

 

Just when the trades seemed to be dying down, Chicago went and turned the tides by their announcement of acquiring 3 time All-AFL LB Barry Moore from Pittsburgh. After retirements and the expansion draft, the Hogs only had two starting LB’s (Arthur Conley and Jerry Flowers) and were desperate to keep up in the arms race in the West. Their loss to the Rivermen in the Division Finals seemed to fan the flames to reclaim their place atop the AFL, and they would do so by trading for arguably the best linebacker in the league. The price to acquire Moore was not cheap, as the Hogs gave up number 20 and number 58 this year and a first round pick next year, as well as QB Jehoshaphat Murphy. The Shamrocks look like they’re entering a rebuilding period after two relatively disappointing years below the .500 mark, and the capital they gained from this rebuild should put them back in the race for the East title.
 

 



Founder of the EFL and the AFL
     Thread Starter
 

6/06/2024 2:56 pm  #196


Re: The American Football League

1956 Draft Preview

AACA Top 20:
1) Oklahoma - 10-0 
2) Calvert - 9-1 
3) Iowa A&M - 8-1  
4) Georgia A&M - 9-1 
5) Texas State - 9-0-1 
6) Rogers Clark - 8-0-1 
7) Michigan - 7-2 
8) Brooklyn College - 7-2 
9) Wisconsin State - 7-2 
10) Pittsburgh State - 7-2-1 
11) Tryon - 8-2 
12) Minnesota State - 6-1-2
13) Oregon - 7-2-1 
14) Southwestern Christian - 7-3
15) UCleveland - 6-3 
16) Navy - 6-1-2
17) Columbian - 7-1-1 
18) ULA - 8-2 
19) New Jersey - 7-1-2 
20) Nebraska State - 7-2-1 

AACA Bowls:
Tournament of Roses Bowl (Los Angeles, CA) - (13) Oregon 27-21 (19) New Jersey
Palm Bowl (Miami, FL) - (6) Rogers Clark 35-19 (17) Columbian
Magnolia Bowl (Houston, TX) - (5) Texas State 27-28 (20) Nebraska State
Columbian Bowl (Chicago, IL) - (1) Oklahoma 13-7 (3) Iowa A&M
Gold Bowl (San Francisco, CA) - (7) Michigan 27-13 (18) ULA
Cigar Bowl (Tampa, FL) - (2) Calvert 13-0 (12) Minnesota State
Syrup Bowl (New Orleans, LA) - (4) Georgia A&M 14-32 (10) Pittsburgh State
Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX) - (11) Tryon 14-21 (15) UCleveland 
Orange Bowl (Orlando, FL) - (8) Brooklyn College 13-20 (9) Wisconsin State

AFL Top 25 Prospects
1) RB Mickey Greene - Pittsburgh State -  DireBear
2) OL Harvey Leonard - Los Angeles State - DireBear
3) QB Aksel Kahr - Pittsburgh State - Darknes
4) LB Isaac Bullock - Pennsylvania - QCS
5) WR Julian Washington - University of Cleveland - Kingsfan11
6) LB Matt Ross - Texas State- Kingsfan11
7) DB Joe Bellisario - New Jersey - DireBear
8) TE Isaac Vella - Chicago Christian- Darknes
9) S Bobby Loes - Staten Island - DireBear
10) DB Casey Selig - Permian Industrial* - DireBear
11) LB Tim Semptimphelter - Montana State - idm
12) DL Rusty Shankles - Wisconsin State - Dan O’Mac
13) QB Otto Brunswick - St. Paul* - MitchSwanson94
14) RB Andrew Outlaw - Wisconsin State - Kingsfan11
15) LB Hak-Kun Park - University of Los Angeles- Darknes
16) RB Rob Golden - Anaheim State* - DireBear
17) DL Moe Greene - Monongalia State - QCS
18) WR Jimmy Woods - Rogers Clark - Dan O’Mac
19) DL Buford Grant - Utica* - Wallflower
20) LB Gabriel Rose - Trinity - - DireBear
21) S Ernie Haas - Washington State - DireBear
22) WR Vlademar Kahr - Pittsburgh State - Darknes
23) WR Ben Fitzgerald - Brooklyn College - idm
24) QB Johnathan Lewis - Calvert - MitchSwanson94
25) WR Johnathan McDonald - Minnesota State - Kingsfan11

The Stormin’ Tornadoes of Oklahoma put together another undefeated season, claiming another national championship while claiming their second Missouri River Valley Conference title in just two years. Their players would once again get scooped up by the PAFC, and the Tornadoes would head up north to Chicago at the behest of PAFC president Virgil Bradshaw to play the Midwest’s best team in 3rd ranked CAC champion Iowa A&M Fightin’ Monks in the Columbian Bowl. In what would be a prospective bowl for PAFC talent, Oklahoma and Iowa A&M engaged in a defensive battle, where the Tornadoes capped off their undefeated season in a tight 13-7 win. Oklahoma’s traditional place in the Magnolia Bowl would instead be filled by MRVC runner-up Nebraska State Bulls, who had the tall task of playing the 5th-ranked RRC champion Texas State Lonestars. The Lonestars flew under the radar before the season, but had an excellent defense led by LB Matt Ross that propelled them to a 9-0-1 record and their first Red River Conference title in nearly a decade. The Bulls would end up narrowly staving off a fierce comeback by the Lonestars to win 28-27 in one of the bigger upsets in recent bowl memory. Calvert was unfortunately unable to match its undefeated season last year, but still managed a 9-1 year behind strong-armed senior QB Johnathan Lewis. The Terriers’ high-flying offense was lured to the PAFC thanks to hometown support from the Baltimore Barons, but Lewis was undeterred from their offers and instead declared for the AFL. They would be paired up in the Cigar Bowl against 13th ranked Minnesota State Twisters, where WR Johnathan McDonald awaited them in Tampa. McDonald was not the x-factor that the Twisters needed, as he was shut down by Calvert DB Harold Knox as the Terriers cruised to a 13-0 victory. With Calvert going south, the Tournament of Roses Bowl instead featured 19th ranked New Jersey Mallards, who took the bid after the bowl did not want Brooklyn College or either Los Angeles school for the 5th year in a row. Luckily for the Roses Bowl promoters, neither of the LA teams would win the Pacific Coast Conference, with the honor going to 13th ranked Oregon Pioneers. The Mallards were primarily led by a stout secondary headed by the tenacious DB Joe Bellisario, but the Pioneers were able to get past the Mallards to sneak ahead and win the Roses Bowl 27-21. The real underdogs this year were the 17th ranked Columbian Colonials, who would win out in a relatively weak Piedmont Conference, only to be put against the 6th ranked powerhouse known as the Rogers Clark Badgers in the Palm Bowl. Rogers Clark WR Jimmy Woods put up a dominant performance, speeding past the Columbian defense for 3 TD’s as the Badgers soundly defeated the Colonials 35-19. Brooklyn College was invited to the Orange Bowl in Orlando instead of their now-usual spot in the Roses Bowl, where they faced the perennially dominant Wisconsin State Warriors. Each side was not as strong as they had been in years past, but still provided some excellent talent to show off against one another. BC WR Ben Fitzgerald would show off his flashiness early, but Wisconsin State managed to pull ahead and win 20-13 thanks to two TD’s from RB Andrew Outlaw and a critical stop by DL Rusty Shankles. 7th ranked Michigan Beavers would end up finishing second in the CAC and as a result was selected to the Gold Bowl with PCC runner-up and 18th ranked ULA Aztecas, headed by the insanely smart LB Hak-Kun Park, who only recently took up football after his family fled Korea. Park alone would not be enough to stifle Michigan, who dominated them through the arm of QB Chick Buckley for a 27-13 victory. The Sun Bowl pitted RRC runner-up and 11th ranked Tryon Armadillos against Great Lakes Conference champions Cleveland Wildcats, where the Wildcats were highlighted by best WR this year in Julian Washington, a shifty and elusive player who easily torched the Armadillo defense for two touchdowns to put UCleveland above Tryon 21-14. 

What was a relatively normal year was marred by the events surrounding the 1956 Syrup Bowl in New Orleans between the 4th ranked Georgia A&M Chargers and 10th ranked Pittsburgh State Great Danes. Pitt State had rocketed out of nowhere to their first appearance in the top 10 of the polls thanks to a high-flying offense led by QB Aksel Kahr and WR Vlademar Kahr, and this year’s Bernheim Trophy winner RB Mickey Greene. The only problem beforehand was that the Syrup Bowl was one of the last Southern bowl games to still enforce segregation, and the best college player in the nation just so happened to be black. Many of the older bowl promoters wanted either a different team to play or to outright prevent Greene from playing. Pitt State and new bowl promoter Rudy Branthwaite II made their stance very clear: no Greene, no game.  The Great Danes were so adamant about Greene playing that they announced he would travel, eat, live, practice, and live with the team, treating him just like any other player. The Chargers of Georgia A&M received their invitation to the Syrup Bowl after Pitt State did, and their head coach Leroy Edwards polled his players if they were willing to play an integrated team. Every single player voted in favor. The vote made its way to both Georgia governor Marvin Griffin, who had a son attending Georgia A&M, and to Birmingham Steelers owner Gerald Carlisle, who had already hired Edwards to be the Steelers’ new head coach. Griffin had already confirmed the Chargers’ participation in the bowl game, and Carlisle (allegedly at the behest of Virgil Bradshaw) persuaded him to think otherwise for the “integrity of the game”. Griffin then sent a public telegram to the state’s board of regents to prevent any Georgia-based college teams from engaging with any integrated sporting event, regardless of integrated participants or in the stands. That night, a group of Georgia A&M students began a protest against Griffin’s actions, which soon gained numbers and became a riot. The students marched their way from the Georgia A&M campus to the governor’s mansion in Atlanta, hung effigies in Griffin and Carlisle’s names, and ransacked properties until a state representative ensured that the game would be played. Similar protests spread to the other two major colleges in Georgia (Georgia University in Savannah and Baldwin College in Athens), where both protesting bodies stated “for once we agree with (Georgia) A&M.” The news of Carlisle’s and Griffin’s actions would spread after the protests subsided, where nearly everyone detested their actions, including AFL commissioner Donovan Hasenkamp, who called their actions “un-American”. PAFC president Virgil Bradshaw was unsurprisingly the only one at least leaning in favor of Carlise and Griffin, defending the un-American comment from Hasenkamp by stating “football is the most American of sports, and it must stay that way to stand out.” Leroy Edwards would back out of the Birmingham coaching position the morning of the protests in Atlanta and return to coach the Chargers, who would take himself to the Georgia board of regents soon after to argue in favor of Georgia A&M, ending his statement with “...we’re either going to the Syrup Bowl or you can find yourself a new goddamn head coach of Georgia A&M.” The board of regents would end up voting 13-1 in favor of allowing the game to proceed, the lone detractor being a good friend of both Bradshaw and Carlisle. With the Syrup Bowl back on track, it was an offensive showing by Pitt State. Mickey Greene would prove to put on a show, rushing for nearly 200 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns. The Kahr brothers would connect for a touchdown of their own, while DL Buster Wright took down the Chargers’ offense late for a safety to put the game away. Branthwaite would directly hand the game’s trophy to Greene, bringing excitement to New Orleans football not seen in nearly a decade. 

The arguably next best player after Mickey Greene is OL Harvey Leonard from LA State, who might be one of the next best pass blockers in the league to whichever team will take him. Unfortunately, the rest of the offensive linemen in this class aren’t up to the same caliber as Leonard, so there are no clear-cut rookie starters besides him. Sitting with Greene as one of the other best prospects in this class is Pennsylvania LB Isaac Bullock. Bullock has the mental skill needed to play at the position, but the only knock against him is that he lacks a bit of the physicality typically needed at the linebacker position. If teams are willing to further develop that part of his game, Bullock can immediately become a game-changer for whichever team takes him. Rounding out the best players that did not participate in a bowl game includes Chicago Christian TE Isaac Vella, a block-first tight end that will slot nicely into any run-focused offense, and Staten Island S Bobby Loes, who has the ability to fly across the field to get to nearly any play. Although the best at each of their positions, they suffered a bit of stock due to either being part of a rare down Chicago Christian year for Vella or playing for a mid-major and not getting the prime experience at a larger college for Loes. The best players out of the Lower Division this year include DB Casey Selig out of Permian (TX), an excellent man-to-man type of back, RB Rob Golden from Anaheim State, who rarely needs more than one move to get into the clear, and DL Buford Grant from Utica, who is a menace on the offensive line but can get easily angered. 

Outside of Pitt State’s Aksel Kahr and Calvert’s Johnathan Lewis, no other QB clearly stands out as a starting option. Washington A&M’s Chris Bell and St. Paul’s Otto Brunswick both come from smaller schools, and thus could go either way if they are starting caliber or not. Bell prefers to extend plays with his legs, while Brunswick prefers to throw it deep while allowing more time for defenders to get to him in the backfield. These two could either range from great starting QB’s in a pinch to potential backups to ASPFL starters or anywhere else in between. Michigan’s Chick Buckley is similar in style to Brunswick but has a tendency to overthrow his receivers while trying to show off his arm. The other remaining option at QB is UCleveland’s Maximus Richards, whose attitude on and off the field has been detracting his play and would also need some time to develop. 

Draft Picks/Needs:

1 - Philadelphia Rattlesnakes
Picks: 1, 13, 25, 49
Needs: Everything

2 - St Louis Stallions
Picks: 2, 14, 26, 43 (PIT), 50
Needs: Everything
 
3 - Pittsburgh Shamrocks
Picks: 3 (DET), 20 (TRI), 31, 38 (STL), 40 (DET), 55, 58 (CHI)
Needs: QB RB OL WR DL LB DB S P

4 - Boston Dragons
Picks: 4, 16, 28, 45 (BUF), 52
Needs: OL WR TE DL

5 - New York Lions
Picks: 5, 17, 29, 53
Needs: OL WR TE LB DB

6 - Cleveland Crows
Picks: 6, 18, 42, 54
Needs: OL WR TE DL LB DB

7 - Detroit Knights
Picks: 7 (PIT), 15, 19 (PIT), 27, 37 (PHI), 39, 51
Needs: QB OL WR DL LB DB S

8 - Tri-Cities Hawks
Picks: 8, 30 (CLE), 32, 44, 56
Needs: OL WR TE DL LB DB S

9 - Buffalo Hammers
Picks: 9, 21, 33, 57
Needs: QB RB OL WR TE DL DB S

10 - Chicago Hogs
Picks: 10, 22, 34, 41 (NY), 46
Needs: RB OL WR TE DL LB DB

11- Washington Federals
Picks: 11, 23, 35, 47, 59
Needs: RB OL WR TE DL LB S

12 - Cincinnati Rivermen
Picks: 12, 24, 36, 48, 60
Needs: QB RB OL WR DL S



Founder of the EFL and the AFL
     Thread Starter
 

6/27/2024 2:14 pm  #197


Re: The American Football League


Round 1
1 - Philadelphia - RB Mickey Greene - Pittsburgh State - DireBear
2 - St Louis - LB Isaac Bullock - Pennsylvania - QCS
3 - Pittsburgh (via DET) - QB Aksel Kahr - Pittsburgh State - Darknes
4 - Boston - OL Harvey Leonard - Los Angeles State - DireBear
5 - New York - DB Joe Bellisario - New Jersey - DireBear
6 - Cleveland - LB Matt Ross - Texas State - Kingsfan11
7 - Detroit (from PIT) - DL Rusty Shankles - Wisconsin State - Dan O’Mac
8 - Tri-Cities - DL Moe Greene - Monongalia State - QCS
9 - Buffalo - WR Julian Washington - UCleveland - Kingsfan11
10 - Chicago - TE Isaac Vella - Chicago Christian - Darknes
11 - Washington - S Bobby Loes - Staten Island - DireBear
12 - Cincinnati - WR Jimmy Woods - Rogers Clark - Dan O’Mac

Like the year before, the draft was held in one of the new expansion cities instead of the traditional location of Chicago. Philadelphia would both host the draft and have the first overall pick, and there may have been a reason why they wanted the first pick in the rookie draft. They had their sights on one player in particular, and wasted no time in selecting RB Mickey Greene out of Pittsburgh State with the first overall pick. The versatile Greene split his time between running back and linebacker while in college, switching to exclusively being a RB as he was naturally better at that position. Entering college, Greene had no intention of playing football, but a chance trip to Chicago to see a Hogs-Shamrocks game changed all that. He was enamored by the ability of the league’s hottest sensations, and decided then and there that he would play football. As it turned out, Greene would be really good at this football thing and worked his way up the first overall pick in the AFL draft. Following up on the historic 1st pick, St Louis went to fix a particularly weak linebacking core by taking LB Isaac Bullock from Pennsylvania. Bullock may not be the physical type of linebacker that teams look for, but makes up for it with his mental game. The Stallions hope to develop his physical talents so that he can be their version of the prototypical linebacker, but for now it seems he’ll be leading the defense for the young team. Pittsburgh made it very clear who they were taking when they traded up to number 3 overall, taking hometown QB Askel Kahr to be their new starter. Kahr didn’t like to throw deep while at Pittsburgh State, instead using his smarts to throw to the right guy with insane accuracy, making him a perfect fit in the run-first approach of the Shamrocks. The Dragons were quite alright with OL Harvey Leonard falling to them at #4, adding him to what may be one of the best offensive lines in the league. Leonard was a phenomenal pass blocker while at LA State, wearing his opponents down but never seemed to tire as he started every game in his 4 years in college. Defense seemed to be on the minds of every team in the middle of the first round, with New York bolstering their weak secondary by selecting DB Joe Bellisario out of State Island with the 5th pick. A tenacious defensive back, Bellisario never gave an inch when in man-to-man coverage, with good speed to keep up with the league’s fastest receivers. Bellisario should make a good compliment to Jeff Brother, who could turn into the next best secondary duo in the league after Washington’s tandem. Cleveland would attempt to fix one of the league’s worst linebacking corps by selecting LB Matt Ross out of Texas State, who is great at making the stop in space and tracking down a ball carrier to take them down. The Crows haven’t had a great replacement in the wake of trading Arthur Conley to Chicago in 1953, so they’re hoping Ross will pair well with LB Lloyd Motta to at least improve in that area. There were not many elite defensive linemen in this draft, so drafting any would be seen as a reach. For both Detroit and Tri-Cities, they were willing to take the risk to make any sort of improvement to those weak spots. The Knights came first, taking DL Rusty Shankles from Wisconsin State with the 7th pick, a dominant run stopper that can halt any runner coming through just from his size alone. Similarly, the Hawks made an even further reach for a defensive line, taking Moe Greene from Monongalia State. Greene is less gifted athletically than some first round defensive linemen, but makes up for that with his football smarts and the ability to lead a defense with said smarts. He may be a bit of an unorthodox pick, but the Hawks desperately need help in the trenches and hope that Greene will be their number one defensive lineman. Buffalo did not join the defensive trend, instead taking the falling WR Julian Washington from UCleveland. Washington was seen as the best WR in the draft, with his excellent route running ability and great hands make him a great potential pairing for reigning Rookie of the Year Justin Harris, with his small stature turning teams away from taking him. The Hammers seem to be replacing their own WR core with younger talent, and this core may be better than the duo that took them to a NYPL and an AFL championship of Bernard Clark and Ben Farrell. Chicago would go with another falling player, selecting hometown TE Isaac Vella from Chicago Christian. After losing longtime TE Glenn Chambers this offseason due to retirement, Vella appears to be the long-term replacement with a block-first, catch-second mentality that perfectly fits the current Hogs offensive scheme. The Federals would bolster their secondary with the selection of S Bobby Loes from Staten Island with the 11th pick. Loes didn’t attract much attention during his college career, but broke out during his senior year with the ability to seemingly fly across the field to be anywhere that he needed to be. With the potential talent that he has, the Washington secondary could become a unit no team would ever willingly want to face. The defending champions in the Cincinnati Rivermen would finish out the round by taking WR Jimmy Woods from Rogers Clark. Woods could potentially be the speedy receiver the Rivermen had been wanting since acquiring Dunn in ‘51. Nicknamed “The Goods”, Woods blazed past his competition in not only the football field, but also on the hardcourt and on the diamond, with his athletic ability the primary feature that Cincinnati had wanted. 



Round 2
13 - Philadelphia - LB Tim Semptimphelter - Montana State - idm
14 - St Louis - RB Andrew Outlaw - Wisconsin State - Kingsfan11
15 - Detroit - LB Gabriel Rose - Trinity - DireBear
16 - Boston - WR Ben Fitzgerald - Brooklyn College - idm
17 - New York - OL Ted Charles - Alabama A&M - DireBear
18 - Cleveland - DB Casey Selig - Permian Industrial* - DireBear
19 - Detroit (from PIT) - DL Buford Grant - Utica* - Wallflower
20 - Pittsburgh (from CHI via TRI) - LB Hak-Kun Park - ULA - Darknes
21 - Buffalo - S Ernie Haas - Washington State - DireBear
22 - Chicago - DL Perry Winkler - New York State - idm
23 - Washington - RB Rob Golden  - Anaheim State* - DireBear
24 - Cincinnati - OL Russell Bess - UCleveland - DireBear

In a flip of their first round picks, Philadelphia took a linebacker, Tim Semptimphelter out of Montana State, to help a lackluster core and St Louis took a running back, Andrew Outlaw from Wisconsin State, that could potentially become their starter.Teams seemed to also be passing on higher talent to fill gaping holes on their team. New York and Cincinnati in particular passed on the best available at this point to reach for the best offensive linemen they could grab, taking Alabama A&M’s Ted Charles and UCleveland’s Russell Bess respectively. On the other hand, the first players from the Lower Division were taken back-to-back, with the excellent man-to-man DB Casey Selig out of Permian Industrial (Midland, TX) going to Cleveland, and the great run stopper DL Buford Grant from Utica. Pittsburgh would also make a notable selection at 20, taking LA State’s Hak-Kun Park at linebacker to replace the recently-departed Barry Moore. Park is also notable for being the first non-North American player to get drafted into the league, having fled to the states from Korea and taking up football as a way to vent his frustrations and ended up getting really good at it in the process.

Round 3
25 - Philadelphia - DB Harold Knox - Calvert - MitchSwanson94
26 - St Louis - WR Vlademar Kahr - Pittsburgh State - Darknes
27 - Detroit - DB Brad Langham - University of the Bronx - Kingsfan11
28 - Boston - DL Buster Wright - Pittsburgh State - Dan O’Mac
29 - New York - LB Leigh Sunderland - Anaheim State* - DireBear
30 - Tri-Cities (from CLE) - DL Johnny Gwiadkowski - Putnam* - idm
31 - Pittsburgh - OL Dewey Hartwig - Lyons - DireBear
32 - Tri-Cities - LB Jimbo Kimball - Louisiana - idm
33 - Buffalo - DB Mosiah Gore - Central Illinois - DireBear
34 - Chicago - QB Johnathan Lewis - Calvert - MitchSwanson94
35 - Washington - DL Geoff Hopperdietzel - Milwaukee - Dan O’Mac
36 - Cincinnati - OL Justin Horton - Minnesota State - Kingsfan11

The draft continues to see teams focusing on the defensive side of the ball, with 8 out of the 12 teams choosing a defensive player in the third round. The few teams that didn’t include St Louis wanting a young receiver in Vlademar Kahr to out-muscle the defenders on him, and Pittsburgh and once again Cincinnati going with an offensive lineman. Chicago was the notable selection on this side of the ball, taking the slipping QB Johnathan Lewis simply because he was still on the board. With the loss of Jehoshaphat Murphy in the Barry Moore trade, they needed a QB to start in the ASPFL in his stead and develop into a potential future starter for either themselves or another team. Lower Division players this round included LB Leigh Sunderland from Anaheim State going cross country to play for New York to pair with their young core and DL Johnny Gwiadkowski out of Putnam (Athens, OH) going slightly less far to the Tri-Cities to play for the Hawks and their decimated defensive line.


Round 4
37 - Detroit (from PHI) - QB Otto Brunswick - St. Paul - MitchSwanson94
38 - Pittsburgh (from STL) - OL Aston Thorley - UCleveland - Jayhawk
39 - Detroit - WR Johnathan McDonald - Minnesota State - Kingsfan11
40 - Pittsburgh (from DET via BOS) - S Carl Drysdale - ULA - DireBear
41 - Chicago (From NY) - DL Terrance Everett - Ohio - Jayhawk
42 - Cleveland - TE A.J. Lamb - Manhattan State - Kingsfan11
43 - St Louis (from PIT) - LB Joseph Vinson - Franklin College - Kingsfan11
44 - Tri-Cities - OL Herbert Marshall - Buchanan - DireBear
45 - Boston (from BUF) - WR Johnathan Carroll - Ohio - Jayhawk
46 - Chicago - RB Neil Alexander - UCleveland - Jayhawk
47 - Washington - LB Claude Crawford - UCleveland - Jayhawk
48 - Cincinnati - QB Chris Bell - Washington A&M - Kingsfan11

Detroit caught on to Chicago drafting a slipping QB, and drafted the biggest slider in St. Paul’s Otto Brunswick at 37. Brunswick may also need a little bit of time in the ASPFL if the Knights don’t have an immediate need at QB, but will need a few more years to get a starter role somewhere in the AFL. The offensive needs were finally realized a little late into the draft with just 2 rounds remaining, and teams that didn’t take a weapon were scrambling to grab someone. Boston and Detroit each picked up an extra wide receiver with Johnathan Carroll from Minnesota State and Johnathan McDonald from Ohio respectively, Cleveland drafted a potential starting tight end in A.J. Lamb from Manhattan State, Chicago grabbed a backup running back with Neil Alexander from UCleveland, and Cincinnati drafted a backup/ASPFL starting QB with Chris Bell from Washington A&M to end the round. 

Round 5
49 - Philadelphia - DL Daniel Lattimore - California State - Kingsfan11
50 - St Louis - DB Terrance Sparks - Louisiana - Kingsfan11
51 - Boston - OL Jason Collins - UCleveland - Jayhawk
52 - Detroit - RB Lawrence Avis - Rogers Clark - idm
53 - New York - TE Brian Rubadue - UCleveland - Jayhawk
54 - Cleveland - S Brock Thomas - Louisville State - Kingsfan11
55 - Pittsburgh - S Rhett Prescott - Georgia State* - DireBear
56 - Tri-Cities - DB Jake Montague - Ohio- Jayhawk
57 - Buffalo- DL Will Hale - Lyons - Dan O’Mac
58 - Pittsburgh (from CHI) - RB Don Azira - Worcester State - DireBear
59 - Washington - S Stanley Taylor - Clemson State - DireBear
60 - Cincinnati - QB Maximus Richards - UCleveland - Jayhawk

The final round saw teams taking a last player or two to fill out their ASPFL team or their practice squad, generally taking the best player available unless there was a player they desperately needed this late into the draft. Unlike previous years where numerous teams swapped 5th round selections, Pittsburgh was the only team to have multiple selections, taking S Rhett Prescott and RB Don Azira to bolster their ASPFL team in Burlington. The Rivermen would make the final pick in the draft by taking UCleveland QB Maximus Richards to add to their QB depth in their organization.



Undrafted:
QB Chick Buckley - Michigan - Wallflower -> Cleveland
RB Earl Whittle - Florida A&M - DireBear -> Tri-Cities
WR Caleb Harrington - Parsons* - Wallflower -> Cleveland
WR Gideon Upton - Fox River* - Dan O’Mac -> Washington
TE Jackson Burke - Guilford - Cwillnance -> Tri-Cities
TE Peter Dalziel - Connecticut - idm -> Washington
DB Willie Van Dyke - Wisconsin State - Dan O’Mac -> St Louis
S Clifford Holmes - North Dakota - DireBear -> Tri-Cities
K Kevin Finch - St Louis State - Kingsfan11 -> St Louis
K Tyrone Jackson - Ohio - Jayhawk -> New York
P Charles Tillman - Minnesota State - Kingsfan11 -> Buffalo

C&C Appreciated!



Founder of the EFL and the AFL
     Thread Starter
 

6/27/2024 9:46 pm  #198


Re: The American Football League

Jimmy "The Goods" Woods to my favorite team? Hell yeah!

It'll be exciting to see how the QBs that slipped in the draft work out, or if teams were passing on them because there was a reason to pass on them.



2x Alt Champion :: AltLB Champion Oklahoma City Bison - 2022 :: AltFL Champion New York Emperors - 2022

 

6/30/2024 6:26 pm  #199


Re: The American Football League

Nice to see my only prospect drafted lol.


 

7/13/2024 6:14 pm  #200


Re: The American Football League

1956 Season Preview



1 - Cincinnati Rivermen
1955 Record: 8-4 (2nd West)
1955 Result: Won Championship

The core that finally gave Cincinnati their first title in over two decades are still on the team and are ready to challenge the league to claim another title. QB Lester Parker is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and as long as he is at the helm the Rivermen are expected to be in contention for a championship. Their offense is the best in the league, with RB tandem of Perry Ferguson and Billy Garcia plowing through defenses, and WR Alfred Dunn as the best pass-catcher in the league. The defense is also very solid, with one of the best secondaries in the league headed by DB Kerry Lantz. Cincinnati seems like they would be able to challenge the Hogs in the West for years to come, but that time could be coming to an abrupt end. Most of their main starters are nearing the end of their prime, meaning this current core only has another few years to claim another title. Knowing how the Rivermen have been building their team over the past few years, they should be able to stay toe-to-toe with the other best teams in the league and keep the gap between championships a lot shorter.

2 - Chicago Hogs
1955 Record: 9-3 (1st West)
1955 Result: Lost West Division Final

Every time the Hogs suffer a major defeat, they go out into the market and attempt to one-up the team that took them down. Chicago made possibly the biggest move in the offseason by acquiring 3-time All-AFL and All-Star LB Barry Moore from Pittsburgh, maintaining their stellar linebacking core and adding to what already was the best defense in the league. And as long as RB Billy Gould is at the helm, they’ll continue to be among the best. All eyes will be looking elsewhere in Chicago, as third-year starting QB Nathan Aldenberg is starting to get doubts if he can really lead Chicago’s offense without relying on the RB tandem of Gould and Arthur Busch. They’ve won a championship with a majority of these starters, but this new era of Hogs football will be put to the test if they really want to make it further than a division title. There are no doubts that the Hogs will not be near the top of the West, but now there will be some competition to get the much-needed bye week and home-field advantage.

3 - Washington Federals
1955 Record: 8-4 (1st East)
1955 Result: Lost Championship

Now that the Federals got out of the cesspit that was the West, they now have free reign to dominate the now-weaker East Division. With most of the East either rebuilding or expansion teams, it’s really a two-horse race for the division between the Federals and the Hammers, but Washington has a significant advantage over Buffalo. This team now has two championship appearances and a title under their belt, with some media pundits labeling QB Johnnie Sellers as one of the best QB’s ever to play professional football. It’s not a surprise, as he’s surrounded by players like RB Rip Rooney and WR Darius Sanderson to make one of the most lethal all-around offenses in the league. Their defense is no joke either, with what may now be the best secondary in the entire league with the addition of rookie S Bobby Loes. Washington is now facing the same problem as Cincinnati: age. Most of their players are reaching the end of their prime, and now the question for the future is how they will replace said stars. With this team’s experience, they should be a shoo-in to make the playoffs and a heavy favorite to make it back to another title game.

4 - Buffalo Hammers
1955 Record: 8-4 (2nd East)
1955 Result: Lost East Division Final

It’s been a turbulent two years under the helm of QB Brendan Turnbull for the Hammers, having given away division titles in two straight years after late-season collapses. The reason could have been how young the offensive core was, but now with some experience under their belt and with an experienced coach in Vincent Merritt, they made major strides last year, nearly winning the division title in the process. If their young pieces develop as they should, such as WR’s Justin Harris and Harry Chilton, then this team could be a threat in the postseason. Age is once again a limiting factor for the Hammers, as most of their veterans that helped them to their last championship appearance in 1952 are aging out after playing successful careers in two different leagues. Their running back core especially seems suspect, as longtime starting RB Calvin Townsend is in his age 30 season and seems to have lost the luster that made him a 3-time All-Star and 1-time All-AFL selection, and understudy Tyler Dye has shown flashes but hasn’t proven that he can be the long-term replacement at 26. A shift to the passing game may be in store for the Hammers, as they’ll be set to dominate the very weak East Division.

5 - Cleveland Crows
1955 Record: 5-7 (4th West)
1955 Result: Missed Playoffs

If there was one word to describe the 1955 season for Cleveland, it would be disappointment. After a stellar 4-1 start, the team plummeted to a 5-7 record to finish the year after a surprise title run the year prior. With the collapse now behind them, they’ll have another chance to capitalize on that run to get back in the playoffs. Even in a West Division that is more competitive than ever, the Crows seem to have more experience than the other two teams trying to fight for that last spot in the West. It could have been that the team was getting adjusted to new OC Richard Morgan, as QB Denzel Collingsworth struggled a little bit to get the offense to mesh together. Their big acquisition of DL Ralph Rogers didn’t aid the defense as well as they thought it would, though injuries to the other parts of their front seven didn’t exactly help them. This is still a relatively young team, though with another year under their belt they could be ready to right the wrongs that kept them out of the postseason last year. It will be a make or break season for the Crows, ready to prove that their 1954 season was no fluke and that they’ll be in contention to make the playoffs for years to come.

6 - Tri-Cities Hawks
1955 Record: 7-5 (3rd West)
1955 Result: Lost West Division Semi-Final

A surprise playoff appearance from the Hawks last year puts them in an interesting position in the years to come. Longtime starting QB Gilbert Clay is on the last year of his contract that was signed when they won the championship in 1950, and last year’s 3rd overall pick in Rocco Vanthourenhout is waiting in the wings for his turn at the helm. They’ve each shown that they are capable of being the starter, but the question for Tri-Cities is which one to start. The offensive pieces are there for either of them, a good RB duo of Brian Bruce and Spike Roosevelt and a breakout season from WR Max Ausloos made him the favorite target of Clay last year. Their secondary also showed some improvement, led by S Tom Meltzger and DB William Owens. The unfortunate part for the Hawks is that the rest of their team is fairly shallow, with one of the worst offensive lines that severely limited their production and a very lackluster front 7 that gave offenses too much time to make a play. While they addressed the defensive line issue in the draft, the offensive line didn’t change too much, meaning their offense will be stunted once again. With the West as cutthroat as it has ever been, the Hawks will have a tougher time getting back to the playoffs and to another title.

7 - Detroit Knights
1955 Record: 3-9 (5th West)
1955 Result: Missed Playoffs

After a chaotic offseason where original owner August Riddle died and the team nearly moved unauthorized to San Francisco, the Knights may finally have some stability after years of chaos. New owner Florian RIddle promised that Detroit would return to its glory days sooner rather than later, and they made the first move in doing so by cutting ties with former #2 overall pick Terry Kadlec, and allowing a quarterback battle between Mike Major and Mick Casey. Major seems to have won out the battle after starting the latter half of last year, and he’ll take charge of a promising young team with much to prove. The Knights have plenty of good, young players with promise, but inefficient coaching has significantly limited their ability. New HC Tommy Park was hired over from Washington, where he helped turn around a stagnant offense in Columbus to a title-winner in just a single year. They’ve made some good selections over the past 3 drafts, so it may be a matter of time before this team melds together and finally does something good in the AFL. With some teams, this turnaround was done in an instant, but the Knights may take a few more years in such a strong West Division.

8 - Boston Dragons
1955 Record: 3-9 (5th East)
1955 Result: Missed Playoffs

Boston had a rough go-around in their first year in the league, having high hopes as a dark horse in the playoff race that ultimately turned into the worst record in the league. After only one year at the helm, the Dragons moved on from QB Adrian Alfonso and acquired ASPFL MVP Sam Eagleburger from Tri-Cities. Offensively, the team has all the pieces to succeed, running backs Pete Abbott and Jim Riggs are a fairly solid duo, WR Lloyd Lawson is arguably the best wideout in the league, all anchored by one of the best-constructed offensive lines in the league. It didn’t help that the offense last year was without its major starters for a majority of the year, limiting their capabilities. Their defense was also fairly solid, with second-year LB Bob Jessup leading the charge in a relatively inexperienced core, but were also plagued by injuries last year that caused them to plummet to the bottom of the standings. They did address some areas of depth that caused them to go on a long losing streak with, but their starters have to stay healthy if they even want a chance of getting a winning season. If everything goes right with this team, then they have a realistic chance of sneaking into the playoffs.

9 - Pittsburgh Shamrocks
1955 Record: 5-7 (3rd East)
1955 Result: Lost East Division Semi-Final

After a few years of disappointment, the Shamrocks decided it was time to rebuild. They sold star LB Barry Moore to the Hogs for a fairly large return, and sent starting QB O.J. DeMille to St. Louis for some pick swaps and ASPFL players. They spent some of those resources to trade up to the 3rd overall pick to guarantee getting hometown QB Aksel Kahr as their quarterback of the future. It may be a couple of rough years for the Shamrocks, having lost two of their star players to trades and had to move on from longtime RB Marion Waters, who retired after the end of last season. Former Bernheim Trophy winner Paul Barker will take over as the lead running back, now having to carry the remnants of a once-great team. The defense still has a few key pieces, including veteran DL’s Archie Webber and Roy Forbes and DB Jerry Pruitt, but the younger players have not been developing as they should be for them to compete. Pittsburgh made the right move to sell off with the current state of affairs in the East, and it’s just a matter of how far they will continue to fall with a rookie QB and an aging team.

10 - St Louis Stallions
1955 Record: -
1955 Result: -

St Louis will suffer the same expansion woes as its brethren, but they’ll have a slight bit more attention on them for one reason or another. It’ll be a true test of westward expansion, as they’ll be the first new team west of the Mississippi for the fledgling league. The other point of contention is at quarterback, taking a significant risk by acquiring Pittsburgh’s O.J. DeMille to compete for the starting job with former Cincinnati backup Addison Golden. DeMille won the close battle for QB1, and the young team seems to be putting their trust in him for the time being. They managed to build a fairly average defense, which in terms of expansion teams is already a great start. 2nd overall pick LB Isaac Bullock will be in line to eventually become the leader on the defense in a few years, but there will be a few years before he can potentially become an elite player. Even if they were to be competitive, they would have to get through the gauntlet known as the West Division, where it is unlikely they’ll get a winning record within the division. They may be considered a “dark horse”, but their surrounding circumstances will not allow them to get very far barring a major shakeup.

11 - New York Lions
1955 Record: 4-8 (4th East)
1955 Result: Missed Playoffs

The Lions managed to stay in the playoff race until the very last week due to how mediocre the rest of the division was. RB Jeffery Spears made a bounce-back year to make his first All-Star game since 1952, and QB Roy Woodward made some progress to get back to his prime form before the AFL. Their defense got riddled by injuries as well, but New York managed to limp to a decent 4-8 record, setting a low bar for expansion teams to beat. They’ll have slightly more expectations put upon them this year, where the offensive side has progressed towards a more balanced approach after going run-heavy the prior year and the defense has young players who are ready for a breakout year such as DL Leroy Brockhaus and LB Duane Ackerman. Those expectations will have to wait at least a few more years, as the Lions are far from competing for the playoffs barring an explosion somewhere on the team. Expect their record to be somewhat similar to last years’ team, maybe with a win or so of improvement at best.

12 - Philadelphia Rattlesnakes
1955 Record: -
1955 Result: -

Philadelphia will primarily be relying on one man to carry them to any sort of relevance in their first year, that being first overall pick Mickey Greene. Greene has the potential to be one of the best running backs the league has ever seen, meaning Philly can be one of the first expansion teams to leap out of the basement in the near future. However, the Rattlesnakes like the other expansion teams suffer from a lack of experience that both Boston and New York suffered from last year, especially at the QB position. Two of their potential starters, Freddie Hughes and Dwayne Dessena, have never made an appearance in the AFL, only starting games for teams in the bottom half of the ASPFL last year. They attempted to build a defense with the leftovers of the league, and will likely languish at the bottom of the East for a few years as a result. The future in the city of brotherly love seems bright, though it will take several years to even get to where they want to be in the first place.

C&C Appreciated!



Founder of the EFL and the AFL
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