Alternate History Sports

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4/11/2020 9:25 am  #31


Re: All-American Association Football League

The third team to be announced for the AAAFL’s second division, the National Association Football League, was the Detroit Longtails.  They will be operated by the same front-office as their sister squad, the American League Detroit Tigers baseball club.  Club owner James D. Burns announced that the Longtails would play at the newly-constructed Burns Park instead of the Tigers’ primary home, Bennett Park.  Burns explained, “Association football like beer with their football, and Detroit’s blue laws won’t allow us to sell beer to Sunday games at Bennett.  That’s why the Longtails will play at Burns Park.”  Frank McDonald was appointed Club President.

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4/11/2020 10:31 am  #32


Re: All-American Association Football League

The final team to be announced for the AAAFL’s second division, the National Association Football League, was the St. Louis Big Deals.  They are the only club not to be associated with an American League baseball organization.  Local St. Louis real estate magnate Gus F. Diehl impressed the representatives from the other NAFL cities that he had the financial wherewithal to operate a team, without the backing of a baseball organization.  Diehl negotiated a long term agreement to play at Athletic Park, with an option to purchase the facility at a later date.

Diehl appointed Thomas Cahill to be President of the team.  Cahill has been influential in St. Louis soccer circles, forming the power Shamrock club in the St. Louis Association Football League.

The team nickname is a play on the owner’s name and his penchant for large-scale real estate ventures.https://i.imgur.com/XESqiDV.png

 

4/11/2020 10:37 am  #33


Re: All-American Association Football League

1901-1902 Season

The New York Fomorians began the 1901-1902 season with a bang, rattling off 6 six straight wins.  They finished off the fall portion of the season with 3 wins and draw.  Despite the blazing start, they couldn’t put much distance between them and the rest of the pack.  Pittsburgh dropped only 3 games in the fall, and so the Privateers trailed by only 3 points at the break.

Baltimore was 5 points back at the break, but they blasted out of the gate in the spring, winning 8 in a row.  Only a tie in Week 20 to Chicago kept them from having a perfect spring.  The Chimney Swifts claimed the top spot in Week 16 and never relinquished it.  Pittsburgh self-destructed in the second half of the season, claiming only a single victory over Boston.  The Privateers finished a whopping 14 points off the leader’s pace.  As a result, Coach Trevor Montgomery was fired.

New York collapsed down the stretch as well.  The Fomorians ended the season with four straight losses.  They ended the season without Coach Joseph Murray, who was sacked after Week 19’s loss to the Washington Insiders.

Philadelphia got on track in the second half of the season.  The Libbies vaulted all the way to second place by season’s end, albeit 8 points off the lead.  As the season closed, Coach Connie Mack was livid with the Philadelphia front office for not giving him the support that he wanted.  “I had lads hurt, and the bean counters wanted me to put them on the field.  They didn’t want to pay for treatment, they didn’t want to pay for replacements.  I can’t fault my boys, but this organization needs to commit to success, or else I’ll find some place that will do it.”https://i.imgur.com/0bhguSU.png
 
The inaugural season for the second division National Association Football League featured 2 home games and 2 away games for each team in each half of the season.  The Milwaukee Brewmasters easily ran away with the title.https://i.imgur.com/cll30Su.png
In the American Football Association Cup, the top 12 seedings were established based on the AAAFL’s final standings.  The four NAFL squads were seeded in the 13th-16th spots.  The American Football Association set an entry fee of $200 which discouraged any amateur clubs from entering.  The tournament started with the top-seeded Chimney Swifts dismantling the lowest-seeded St. Louis Big Deals.  There were a number of upsets in the first round.  Cleveland topped the Privateers in Pittsburgh.  More surprisingly, the other three NAFL squads all scored upset victories.  New York continued its losiing ways as the Fomorians fell to Milwaukee Brewmasters.  The Detroit Longtails squeeked by the Insider in Washington.  The biggest upset story was in Philadelphia, where the NAFL’s Chicago Southsiders outplayed the Libbies, 2-0.  Coach Connie Mack was apopletic after the game.  “I never blamed the boys before for a loss, but today they played with no heart, no pride.  This entire organization is worthless.”  Mack stomped off and refused to answer any questions from reporters.

The quarterfinal round featured a Chicago Derby with the West Side Kickers traveling to the South Side Park to take on the Southsiders.  The NAFL’s squad’s luck ran out as the West Side Kicks emerged victorious.   In St. Louis, the Detroit Longtails fell at New Sportsman’s Park to the Mounds.  The Brewmasters, however, pulled off another upset by edging the Shipwrights 3-2 in Boston.  Baltimore had no trouble with Cleveland, trouncing the Longlegs 5-1.

The semifinals featured offensive fireworks in the Chimney Swifts – Brewmasters match.  The neophyte Brewmasters took an early 2-0, thanks to some great through balls served by Pat O’Dea to his forward Enoch Churm.    Baltimore finally woke up to slot 3 goals before halftime to take a 3-2 lead.  The Chimney Swifts lost their momentum after the halftime break, as the Brewmasters converted two free kicks into goals.  O’Dea struck from 35 and 40 yards out on shots that keeper/coach A.W. Stewart never had to chance to save.  While Milwaukee tried to retreat into a defensive shell, they couldn’t withstand the continued Chimney Swifts forays at goal.  In the dying minutes, an errant cross from Swift winger Alxander Marks slid through the hands of Brewmaster keeper Oskar Feil for the final goal of the match.

The American Football Association Cup final was held at Union Park in Baltimore.  The Chimney Swifts learned their lesson from the semi-final scare and began attacking with full steam.  The West Side Kicks’ goal was under assault from the first until the 90th minute.  Chicago defended valiantly but eventually a 75th minute through ball to James Holder allowed the Chimney Swift inside left to score.  The West Side Kicks were disorganized after the ensuing kickoff, as they tried to assume a more offensive posture.  Baltimore Inside Right Alexander Wallace found a hole in the Chicago defense in the penalty area during a throw-in.  Right halfback Fred Davies threw him the ball, Wallace turned and found the far post open.  In the waning moments, Chicago scored a consolation goal after the Chimney Swifts’ left fullback slipped trying to track down a through ball.  Chicago’s Chris Fry, Golden Ball and Boot winner, took advantage of the opportunity and beat Stewart on a one-on-one.  With the final whistle, Baltimore thus completed the double – taking both the AAAFL title and American Football Association Cup.

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At the AAAFL Annual Meeting, President Irwin announced that the NAFL section would be expanding for the 1902-1903 season.  “A number of the American League baseball clubs have seen the success and will be fielding association football teams.  I can’t definitively say all of them will at this time, but rest assured most of them will.”

American Football Association President Turner also spoke at the banquet regarding the NAFL section.  “We were encouraged by the success of the NAFL teams in the American Football Association Cup against the AAAFL squads.  If we can have a successful season with a full slate of teams, and we can see continued competitiveness in the American Football Association Cup, I think we’ll be in a position to start having a relegation/promotion process.”

Also at the Annual Meeting, awards were given to the Top 11.

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4/11/2020 10:42 am  #34


Re: All-American Association Football League

1902-1903There was a temporary crisis in Milwaukee, as the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club decided to move to Baltimore.  President Karel and the local leadership in the Brew City was able to negotiate with Blatz Brewery, who had built an association football stadium for the Brewmasters, to take over ownership of the club.

The new Baltimore franchise decided to form their own association football club, despite the presence of the AAAFL's Chimney Swifts.   As to the team's obscure name, Owner Sydney Frank explained, "We were going to go with 'The Banners', since the 'Star Spangled Banner' was composed here.  However, we heard rumors that there was going to be a tennis club of that name.  So we went with 'Banneret' instead, who was a knight who commanded his own troops in battle, under his own banner.  The Bannerets will play in Oriole Park.https://i.imgur.com/A9P0iWy.png

 

4/11/2020 10:42 am  #35


Re: All-American Association Football League

The next NAFL team to be unveiled was Cleveland Forest.  Operated by Charles Sommers of the Cleveland Broncos Baseball Club, the Forest will play in League Park.  Discussions are already underway to have a derby match with the AAAFL's Cleveland Longlegs.  The Team name comes from Cleveland's nickname of "The Forest City."
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4/11/2020 10:44 am  #36


Re: All-American Association Football League

Alongside AAAFL President Arthur Irwin, Washington Senators' owner Ban Johnson announced that he would be fielding a team in the NAFL.  The Washington DC Athletic Club will play at Washington Park.
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4/11/2020 10:45 am  #37


Re: All-American Association Football League

Charles Sommers, who is already the owner of Cleveland Forest, announced that the American League's Boston Americans would also be fielding an Association Football team.  Drawing on the city's Irish roots, the Boston Gaelics will play at the Huntington Avenue Grounds.

https://i.imgur.com/IeLFcsU.png

 

4/11/2020 10:45 am  #38


Re: All-American Association Football League

The final entry in the NAFL was announced in Philadelphia.  Benjamin Shibe, owner of the Philadelphia Athletics Baseball Club, announced that he would be part-owner of the Philadelphia Sports, which would play at Columbia Park.  He revealed that the other part-owner, and manager of the team, would be the legendary Connie Mack.  After a few years of rancor with the Philadelphia Libbies, Mack was lured away with the offer of part-ownership and a free hand in all team operations.  Mack predicted that the Sports would soon rule as the top team in Philadelphia and the nation at large.

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4/11/2020 10:47 am  #39


Re: All-American Association Football League

1902-1903

The AAAFL crowned a new champion in the 1902-1903 season.  The Pittsburgh Privateers climbed into the top spot in Week 9 and never relinquished it.

The Cleveland Longlegs had another dismal year, finishing 21 points behind with a -24 goal difference.  While the Longlegs defense was adequate, the offense was anemic, only scoring 24 goals over the entire campaign.  It wasn't until Week 15 that Cleveland gained a point in the spring season.  Just when things started to look better, they ended the season on a 5-game losing streak.

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4/11/2020 10:48 am  #40


Re: All-American Association Football League

In the NAFL, Connie Mack showed his coaching skill by piloting the Philadelphia Sports to the title.  The Milwaukee Brewmasters came in second place, only 1 point behind.  The Brewmasters had a chance to claim the title in Week 17.  They faced Sports at Columbia Park in Philadelphia, up 3 points but the Sports had a game in hand.  A Brewmaster victory would have clinched the title.  Pat O’Dea opened up the scoring with one of his trademark half-field shots, but the Sports were not to be denied, scoring 4 times in the second half.  In Week 18, the Brewmasters could only watch and hope that their one point lead would hold up.  Sports, with everything to play for, edged the Longtails in Detroit and captured the title.

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