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3/07/2020 12:27 pm  #41

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

August 22, 1989—Los Angeles, CA
“AAFL’s LA Overhaul”
Today at a press conference held at Dodger Stadium, the AAFL announced that they were reintroducing their league to the LA market.  Those in attendance knew that the team would be announcing a new lead owner, after a season in which the team was league-managed, but no one expected the scope of the announcement that was presented.  League Commissioner David Dixon began by welcoming the invited press to Dodger Stadium.  He then invited to the stage David W. Packard, son of the founder of Hewlett Packard, the Palo Alto-based technology company.  Packard was announced as the new lead owner of the LA franchise. 
The two, Packard and Dixon, then announced that there was much more news to be had today.  They called up to the podium Charles Young, Chancellor of UCLA.  It was then that the reason behind the Dodger Stadium location was announced.  AAFL in LA, it was announced, would call Dodger Stadium home for the next two years, a period necessary to construct a new football stadium just off the campus of UCLA in the Westwood area of Los Angeles.  The new stadium would be home to both the UCLA Bruins, who currently play at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.  It will also be home to the AAFL’s Los Angeles Franchise.  The joint venture will see funding from the Packard Foundation, the City of Los Angeles, and the California university system.  It is expected to have a capacity between 60,000 and 70,000 fans.   
David Packard then took the microphone and announced that his goal for the team was to have a club which was agile, aggressive, fun to watch and altogether dangerous on the field.  He announced that the club would go in new directions, and that part of this concept was a new identity for the team which had,  to date, failed to capture the region’s interest.  He unveiled a placard with a new green & red logo for a new team, the Los Angeles Vipers.  The LA monogram logo featured a rattler with its head reared to strike.
But that was not all. Packard then asked one more invited guest to the stage, inviting his new head coach up to the podium to speak.  While many expected that he would be calling up a college coach or a Ram or Raider assistant, the crowd was stunned to see legendary San Diego Charger head coach Don Coryell take the stage.  Coryell, who left the Chargers in 1986 and has been out of football for 3 years, took the microphone.  Known for his innovative passing schemes and the amazing success of Chargers like Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow and John Jefferson, spoke to the gathered press about returning a fun and exciting brand of football to the LA market. 
It was a big day for LA sports, with a new stadium, a legendary coach, and a new team, the LA Vipers for Angelinos to get excited about.

January 13, 1990—Sporting News
“A Wild AAFL Off-Season”
As the All-American Football League gears up for their third season this March, a sigh of relief around league offices.  It has been an offseason to remember, with, for the first time major raids on AAFL talent from the NFL, and an attempt by the fledgling league to strike back, signing NFL free agents as well.  We all knew this was coming, as most of the AAFL contracts signed before the 1988 inaugural season were for 2 years.  With the NFL on a work stoppage that fall, and with most contracts rendered void by a court ruling in spring 1987 the AAFL was able to sign significant NFL talent, but with their 2-year contracts expiring this AAFL offseason, the NFL struck back, signing away some of the league’s biggest names.  Colorado QB Steve Young is the newest Buffalo Bill, while Jim Kelly, the league’s first MVP was snapped up by the Dallas Cowboys.  Another star QB was lost as A-A Bowl winning Neil Lomax was forced to announce his retirement as a hip injury he was dealing with throughouth 1989 has become a serious concern, forcing him from the game.
In addition to top QB talent, NFL also snapped up `1989 MVP, Thurman Thomas, who will join the Chiefs, Atlanta wideout Hassan Jones (now in Cleveland), Oakland’s Vance Johnson (returning to Denver) and Seattle’s Mark Ingram (now a Raider).  On defense too some big names were snapped up by the NFL, not least of which was St. Louis’s star linebacker, Brian Bosworth, who will join the NY Giants.  Buffalo picked up Warriors LB Darryl Talley and LA Stars CB Eric Allen was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 
In an effort not to see a major talent depletion in the league, the AAFL teams used their Salary Waiver slots to bring in some noteworthy NFL talent, though not always equaling value with those departed.  Chicago signed two former Bears in plucky QB Jim McMahon (sure to be a crowd favorite back at Soldier Field) and DT Steve McMichael.  RB’s Larry Kinnebrew and Johnny Hector are now Colorado and Detroit, while receivers JoJo Townsell (Jets to Oakland Sharks), Brett Perriman (Saints to Warriors) and Drew Hill (Oilers to Legion) also jumped ship.  The QB position was the hardest to restock, though the New York Knights seem very pleased to sign former Heisman winner Doug Flutie.  Orlando cannot be as excited about losing Jim Kelly and replacing him with former Raider Steve Beurlein.  In Colorado, where Steve Young will be missed, the Rangers pulled off a trade with Washington to acquire their former starter, Todd Blackledge.
The face of the league was transformed by the NFL-AAFL rivalry as players jumped from league to league this offseason.  Kelly and Young are already paying dividends for their teams as the Buffalo Bills seem to be making a major playoff run and the Cowboys also rebounded from a rough 1988 campaign. 
For the AAFL the key may be signing top talent from the college ranks, rather than trying to raid NFL free agent pools.  Developing young talent will make or break the league, and this offseason, most AAFL teams seemed to focus In this area, with several major signings and a strong pool overall.
To highlight the new faces in the AAFL, here is a breakdown of the current rosters, key losses and new acquisitions:
Key Losses:  QB-N. Lomax, WR.-H. Jones, C-D. Dawson, DT-M.D. Perry
NFL Acquisitions: WR Drew Hill (HOU)
Rookie Signings: QB Reggie Slack (FSU), WR Terance Mathis (New Mexico), DE Bill Goldberg (UGA), K Steve Christie (Wm & Mary)
Key Losses: FB-C. Heyward, T-H. Swayne
NFL Acquisitions: QB Doug Flutie (NE), NT Shawn Knight (Trade from CO), CB Frank Minnifield (CLE)
Rookie Signings: RB Reggie Cobb (Tenn), WR Rob Moore (Syracuse), DT Tony Siragusa (Pitt), LB Andre Collins (PSU)
Key Losses: QB-J.Kelly, WR-R. Nattiel, LB-W. Moss
NFL Acquisitions:  QB Steve Beurlein (Raiders), WR Brian Blades (SEA), DT Dan Saleamua (KC)
Rookie Signings: TE Shannon Sharpe (Savannah St.), DT Jimmie Jones (Miami), CB John Mangum (Bama), S LeRoy Butler (FSU)
Key Losses:  RB-B.Word, WR-G. Clark, LB-D. Talley
NFL Acquisitions: WR Cris Carter (PHI), C Trevor Matich (DET)
Rookie Signings: QB N. O’Donnell (Maryland), RB Chris Warren (Ferrum), WR Reggie Rembert (WVU), DT Tony Savage (Wash St), OLB Jock Jones (Va Tech)
Key Losses: QB-K. Stouffer, T-G. Zimmerman, DT-R. Childress
NFL Acquisitions: QB Jim McMahon (SD), DT Steve McMichael (CHI)
Rookie Signings: RB Anthony Thompson (IU), WR Mike Bellamy (Illinois), Dt John Jurkovic (E. Ill), DE Anthony Pleasant (Tenn St.)
Key Losses: DT-J. Ball, LB-S. Joyner
NFL Acquisitions: NT Bob Golic (Raiders),  LB Duane Bickett (IND)
Rookie Signings: T Richmond Webb (A&M), DT John Randle (A&M), LB James Francis (Baylor)
Key Losses: RB-A. Highsmith, LB-C. Taliaferro
NFL Acquisitions: RB Johnny Hector (Jets), T Duval Love (Rams)
Rookie Signings: QB Scott Mitchell (Utah), FB Larry Centers (S.F. Austin), DE Jim Szymanski (Mich St.), OLB Bryce Paup (N. Iowa)
Key Losses: WR-M. Clayton, LB-B. Bosworth, S-E. McMillian
NFL Acquisitions: WR Brett Perriman (NO), CB Izell Jenkins (PHI)
Rookie Signings: WR Chris Calloway (Mich), DE Lester Archambeau (Stanford), DB Kevin Thompson (Okla)
Key Losses: QB-S. Young, RB-T. Thomas, LB K. Gouveia
NFL Acquisitions: RB Larry Kinnebrew (BUF), DT Carl Hairston (CLE), QB Todd Blackledge (Trade with NY)
Rookie Signings: QB Major Harris (WVU), CB Torin Dorn (UNC)
Key Losses: RB-G. Green, OLB-M. Cotton, CB-E. Allen
NFL Acquisitions: TE Zeke Mowatt (NYG), DT Tim Krumrie (CIN)
Rookie Signings: RB Johnnie Johnson (SJSU), G Keith Sims (Iowa St.), MLB Marvcus Patton (UCLA), DB Ernest Spears (USC)
Key Losses: WR-V. Johnson, DE-A. Noga, S-C. Cecil
NFL Acquisitions: WR JoJo Townsell (NYJ), S Terry Kinard (NYG)
Rookie Signings: QB Andre Ware (HOU), RB Mike Pringle (CSU Fullerton), G Glenn Parker (Arizona), CB Eric Davis (Jack. St.)
Key Losses: WR-M. Ingram, OLB-E. Kumerow, G-B. Habib
NFL Acquisitions: WR Bill Brooks (IND), TE Jay Novacek (ARZ), S Vencie Glenn (SD)
Rookie Signings: RB Steve Broussard (Wash St.), WR Ricky Proehl (Wake F), LB James Singletary (ECU), S Robert Blackmon (Baylor)


3/08/2020 2:48 pm  #42

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

March 10, 1990—USA Today
“AAFL Preview”
It has been a wild offseason in the AAFL, and with some of the league’s biggest stars defecting for the NFL, the upstart spring league is at a crossroads.  Will they be able to keep up the same enthusiasm and fan support without names like Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Thurman Thomas, MarK Clayton,  Brian Bosworth, Ironhead Heyward and Darryl Talley on the field?  League Commissioner David Dixon thinks so, stating “We have some amazing young talent in this league, and some names people have gotten really excited about.” 

With the NFL defections, we are likely to see a power shift, as last year’s playoff teams were hard hit by the transfers.  Orlando and Colorado had some big losses at QB and HB, but so too did Atlanta, losing starting QB Neil Lomax to what appears to be a career –ending hip injury, as well as WR Hassan Jones and DT Michael Dean Perry.  League runner ups, St. Louis, also lost some key contributors in Bosworth, CB McMillian and WR Clayton.   The teams that look to gain ground are those that either had minimal losses or who did their best to replace lost players either through the rookie draft or by raiding NFL benches.   As we look ahead to the AAFL season, kicking off next week, here are some storylines to follow:

        New Faces to Watch:  While the AAFL did not fare well in replacing lost QB’s with new NFL signings, with backup Steve Beurlein (CO) embattled Patriots QB Doug Flutie (NY), and former Bear Jim Mcmahon (CHI), being the biggest names, in other positions there are several players to look out for.  At the WR spot, Bill Brooks (SEA), speedsters JoJoTownsell (OAK) and Brett Perriman (STL) and “TD Machine” Cris Carter (WSH) could all make some noise this season.  At RB look out for former Jet Johnny Hector (DET) and former Bengal & Bill Larry Kinnebrew (COL).  But, perhaps the biggest impact will be felt on defense, where some solid talent came over to the AAFL.  Chief among them is Bengal DT Tim Krumrie (LA) and Browns DT Carl Hairston (COL), but also key are DB’s such as Vencie Glenn (SEA), Terry Kinard (OAK) and Frank Minnifield (NY). 

        Youth will be served:  Ever since the AAFL began by signing players away from voided NFL contracts, this has been a league about youth, and this year is no different.  There are some really exciting rookies to look forward to in 1990.  The New York Knights look to jumpstart their offense with Tennessee RB Reggie Cobb and Syracuse wideout Rob Moore.  Oakland went with record-breaking U. of Houston QB Andre Ware and Seattle added some firepower as well with Washington State RB Steve Broussard and Wake Forest’s elusive flanker Ricky Proehl.  The biggest coup on the defensive side of the ball may be in LA where the newly-dubbed Vipers used their territorial picks to snag to true blue chippers in LB Marvcus Patton (UCLA) and DB Ernest Spears (USC).  Dallas went big, with two picks from A&M in their territorial draft, O-lineman Richmond Webb and D-lineman John Randle.  We are also intrigued by Washington’s picks, which run the gamut from local talent like QB Neil O’Donnell of Maryland and LB Jock Jones of Va Tech, to little known, but intriguing RB Chris Warren.

          Who takes the reins?:  QB Play will be the key to the season, and with Kelly and Young gone, the title of top signalcaller is a wide open race.  We expect to continue to see growth from young guns like Washington’s Don Majkowski, Seattle’s Chris Chandler and Dallas’s Cody Carlson.  We also wonder if a change of scenery will help Todd Blackledge, who struggled in New York but now moves out to Colorado and coach Mouse Davis’s dynamic passing game.  And what about the newcomers.  Doug Flutie will  now lead the Knights after some less-than-stellar seasons in the NFL.  He is joined by McMahon, returning to Chicago, former Raider Steve Beurlein, who is expected to compete with Kerwin Bell in Orlando, and Rookie Andre Ware, who so impressed Oakland coaches that they let Jack Trudeau go.  We don’t expect anything like the fireworks which Young and Kelly provided in the league’s first two seasons, but there is talent here.

          Who is ready to win now?  This is a tough year to predict, with so many teams in flux.  As a general rule, you want to favor teams with established offenses, and that means established QB play, so we expect better seasons from the Washington Warriors, Seattle Sasquatch and Dallas Rawhides now that Orlando and Colorado are seemingly in transition years.  We also like what we see happening in New York and Oakland, but perhaps the biggest potential story is St. Louis, the lone playoff team from last year that looks stronger instead of weaker.  The Rampage have a solid core on offense, with Humphries at the helm, Kelvin Bryant to hand off to, and a deeper WR corps with the addition of Perriman alongside Keith Jackson and Haywood Jeffires.  Add to that a defense that can get to the passer and disrupt the run, and the Rampage may have a chance to take that final step in 1990. 
May 1, 1990—Sports Illustrated

“Majik Time in the AAFL”
We have reached the halfway point of the XFL Season and the excitement has not diminished.  Despite losing significant talent to the NFL, the AAFL seems to have found a formula that works, and the fans continue to file in.  Sure there have been some stinkers, like the truly ugly Chicago-Dallas game, a 9-7 ordeal played in a freezing sleet storm (and drawing only 11,530 fans), but for every one of those there has been an equally fantastic display of football, with perhaps the best game of the year played this week, when Washington, led by elusive gunslinger Dan Majkowski, came back from 14 down with only 6 minutes to play to knock off the LA Vipers in front of a packed Dodger Stadium.  While we have not seen a dominant team like Orlando in 1988 or Colorado in 1989, the parity and overall solid play of the league has made the AAFL fun to watch each week. 
The emphasis on young talent has also kept fans intrigued, as they watch some former college stars take off in the league.  Last year’s top rookies, players like WR Andre Rison in Detroit, RB Marion Butts in Orlando, and even surprise starter QB Rodney Peete in LA, have all been showing great improvement in their sophomore year.   Rookies have also gotten into the act, including Detroit’s Scott Mitchell, who took over for an injured Steve Pelleur in week 3, and NY running back Reggie Cobb, who has overtaken veteran D.J. Dozier in the Knights backfield.  Of all the rookies, however, the most impressive has been unheralded TE Shannon Sharpe out of tiny Savannah State.  He has become Steve Beurlein’s security blanket, and has shown the abilty to make big plays on an offense that sorely needs them.
Injuries have also been a big story so far this year.  In addition to Steve Pelleur, the loss of starting QB’s in Atlanta (Bubby Brister) and Colorado (Todd Blackledge) have thrust young signal callers into the fray, with rookies Reggie Slack and Major Harris trying to keep both teams relevant, but finding the new league a big step up from their days at Auburn and West Virginia.  The other big injury which has hurt their team is in Orlando, where the loss of LB Jesse Tuggle to a season-ending knee injury has left the Tropics’ D without its leader, and in a year when the Tropics need to grind out tough defensive wins, that is a tough loss indeed.
Looking at the standings, it is clear that the predictions many made of a changing of the guard is in effect.  While not every bottom-dweller from last year has risen up, things are looking up in cities that struggled in their first two years of operation.  With new stars rising from the college ranks and some talent brought over from the NFL beginning to shine, the league is having its most competitive and balanced season to date.  Let’s take a look at the standings and wrap up with a quick prediction or two.
NEW YORK            4-3 (3-1)
WASHINGTON      4-3 (2-1)
ORLANDO             3-4 (2-2)
ATLANTA               2-5  (0-3)
ST. LOUIS             5-2 (3-0)
DALLAS                4-3 (2-1)
CHICAGO             3-4 (1-2)
DETROIT              3-4 (0-3)
SEATTLE              5-2 (2-2)
OAKLAND            4-3 (3-0)
COLORADO         3-4 (2-2)
LOS ANGELES    2-5 (0-3)
Looking ahead, here is what we see as the playoff hunt heats up.  From the look of it Seattle and St. Louis are solid across the board.  If they can avoid the injury bug, they should be in good shape come June.  In the East, we are intrigued by both the Warriors and the Knights.  Doug Flutie has not exactly lit things up but his penchant for late game heroics has not gone unnoticed, while in the nation’s capital, Dan Majkowski is playing his best ball, but the lack of a solid running game is making the Warriors one-dimensional.  Cleveland Gary is just not getting it done at 3.2 yards per carry.  Will rookie Chris Warren get a shot to show what he can do?  And one last prediction, based on what we have seen this spring, LA is not going to win a title this year, but their new ownership, led by HP heir David W. Packard, is hitting all the right notes, attracting fans out to Dodger Stadium, with an exciting run-&-shoot offense led by Andre Ware and speedsters JoJo Townsell and Don Beebe.  They may not be winning games, but they are making football fun to watch, and that has pulled the franchise out of the attendance duldroms from last season. 
It looks like an exciting home stretch as we look forward to playoff races and the third All-American Bowl.  Our guess, the game will be held in Seattle, and again the home team will win it all.  We predict Seattle tops St. Louis by 3.
June 17, 1990—Portland, Oregon
“NIKE Gets into Football with AAFL Contract”
Nike, one of the leaders in athletic gear, announced today that they will be getting into the business of outfitting pro football, signing an exclusive arrangement with the AAFL.   Beginning in their 1991 season, the entire AAFL will be wearing Nike uniforms.  Helmets will continue to be made by Riddell, but everything from socks to jerseys will now be Nike’s to design and produce.   Nike also announced that they will work in consort with famed sports branding organization SME to “modernize” and “energize” the look of the league.   SME and NIKE have full control over the league’s look, and plan to roll out new looks for several teams each year as they develop a style for the league which takes it further, in their words, from “the somewhat stagnant, traditional look of both the NFL and the USFL” and towards “something that speaks to the future of football”.   No details yet on what this may mean, but after seeing failed attempts over the years for sports branding to “modernize”, we are all hoping that we don’t see the football equivalent of the Chicago White Sox’s pullover & shorts look, or the integration of the latest gymwear craze, zubaz, into pro football.

Last edited by Wideright (3/08/2020 2:50 pm)


3/10/2020 2:33 pm  #43

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

I have a request for an expansion team in Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the university of Cincinnati, one of the oldest schools the FBS.


3/11/2020 10:36 am  #44

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

GeorgeBryzzo wrote:

I have a request for an expansion team in Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the university of Cincinnati, one of the oldest schools the FBS.

This is one of those posts we try to avoid. It sounds like a great idea, but at this point, there's no guarantee that he's going to expand to Cincinnati.

Typically, the creator of the league has things mapped out, and know where he's putting teams and when. Or they hold a "council" and let people vote on the cities and names.

This is Wideright's vision, we're just getting a look into it.

3/13/2020 7:34 pm  #45

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

July 7, 1990—Sporting News
“AAFL Season Recap”

The third season of the AAFL is in the record books, and what a wild season it was.  From the offseason roster wars with the NFL, to major injuries, and surprise champions, the AAFL did not disappoint.  In their third season the AAFL proved that they are here for the long haul, setting attendance records despite losing some of their biggest name stars to the NFL.  We saw some wild finishes, late playoff runs, and just a little magic this year.  Before we look at the playoffs, let’s recap the season standings and award winners.
NEW YORK                          9-5 (5-1)               Team MVP: CB Frank Minnifield
WASHINGTON:                 8-6 (4-2)               Team MVP: QB Don Majkowski
ORLANDO:                          6-8 (3-3)               Team MVP: RB Marion Butts
ATLANTA:                            4-10(0-6)              Team MVP: RB Herschel Walker
ST. LOUIS                             10-4(4-2)              Team MVP: WR Haywood Jeffires
DALLAS                                 7-7 (3-3)               Team MVP: DE Charles Haley
DETROIT                               6-8 (2-4)               Team MVP: RB Johnny Hector
CHICAGO                             5-9 (3-3)               Team MVP: LB Sam Mills
SEATTLE                               10-4 (4-2)             Team MVP: LB Kevin Greene
OAKLAND                            9-5 (4-2)               Team MVP: RB Christian Okoye
LOS ANGELES                     5-9 (2-4)               Team MVP: WR Flipper Anderson
COLORADO                         5-9 (2-4)               Team  MVP: LB Broderick Thomas
Playoff Recap:  The playoffs began with a wild Play-In game as the Washington Warriors traveled out to the west coast to face the Oakland Sharks.  Oakland started off strong, building a 10-0 lead in the first quarter behind the rushing of league MVP Christian Okoye, who rambled for 73 yards in the first quarter alone.  But, once they got their feet underneath them, Washington roared back on the arm of Don Majkowski, who threw for 4 TD’s, including three to newly acquired wideout Cris Carter.  By the midpoint of the fourth quarter the score was 35-13, and even a late Andre Ware to Don Beebe touchdown felt like too little too late as the Warriors advanced on the 35-20 win.
Washington would next face off against the #1 seed, St. Louis Rampage.  The Rampage, with homefield advantage and more playoff experience than the Warriors came into the game a little cocky, but the Warriors walked right up and cold cocked them in the first quarter with a 13 play, 7 minute opening drive that was capped off by a 2 yard Chris Warren run that seemed to suck the air out of the Rampage. The Warriors went up by 14 when Majkowski hit TE Mark Bavaro for a 7 yard score on their next possession.  But, St. Louis was the #1 seed for a reason, and by halftime they had roared back to tie the game at 14 with a Humphries to Jeffires 37 yard TD and an INT returned for a touchdown, when Majkowski’s pass to Perriman was tipped at the line, caught midair by LB Eric Hill and returned 22 yards to paydirt.   The second half saw both teams trading scores, with St. Louis taking the lead 27-24 with only 1:36 left in the game.  What followed was one of the most amazing plays we have seen in a long time.  In full 2-minute mode, Washington drove down the field against a passive Rampage prevent defense, but on a 3rd and 7 from the St. Louis 38 the Warriors were in trouble.  They lined up 3 wide and Majkowski hit Phil McConkey on a 5 yard out pattern, but just as McConkey was being wrapped up by St. Louis CB Izell Jenkins, the wiley wideout lateraled the ball to a trailing Reggie Rembert, who split the safeties and cruised into the endzone.  Washington again prevailed on the road.
In the other divisional game, New York traveled out west to Seattle.  The Sasquatch looked good early, picking off an errant Doug Flutie pass and getting good yardage out of the RB team of Steve Broussard and Reuben Mayes.  But, they could not get the ball into the endzone, settling for field goals and a 6-0 lead at the half. In the second half Doug Flutie found his groove, hitting Rob Moore for a 17 yard TD pass, and launching a long bomb to Tony Martin which set up a Reggie Cobb 4 yard run to take a 14-6 lead.  Seattle would rebound, with Chris Chandler hitting WR TE Jay Novacek with a 7 yard TD pass to get back in the game 14-13.  New York responded with a long, time consuming drive that passed from the mid-3rd quarter well into the 4th before producing the game’s final score, a 29 yard field goal.  Seattle had two chances to move the ball after that, but simply could not penetrate the New York redzone.  Their last chance ended when NY backer Andre Collins sacked Chandler on a 4th and 5 with 1:21 left in the game. 
1990 ALL-AMERICAN BOWL: So it was the East that shone brightly in the playoffs, and it would be a battle of rivals in the 3rd All-American Bowl, held in St. Louis. 
New York, led by rookie RB Reggie Cobb, NFL and USFL veteran Doug Flutie, and a WR corps that lacked speed but was great at the short game, would face a Washington Warrior squad which lived and died on the arm of Don Majkowski.  The arrival of WR Cris Carter and rookie RB Chris Warren had given new spark to the Warrior offense, and defensive stars like DE Reuben Davis, LB Jack Jones and CB Eric Thomas had made life tough for many teams over the final weeks of the season.
The championship game began with both defenses looking tough.  Both teams began with 3 and outs on offense, and in their second drive both again struggled, gaining a first down each before again having to punt.  On Washington’s third drive, they found a bit of a spark after a defensive pass interference call moved the ball into NY territory.  On a trick play, Majkowski handed off to Cleveland Gary, who then halted mid-sweep, and surprised the NY defense by tossing a floating lob pass to TE Mark Bavaro, who took the ball all the way to the NY 7 yard line.  Two plays later Warren would pound in the game’s first score.
New York, seemingly inspired by the DC score, took the ball at their own 22 and proceeded to pound and dunk the ball down the field.  On a key 3rd and 7, Doug Flutie avoided a Jeff Lageman sack, scrambled to the left, and hit Mark Carrier for a drive-saving 10 yard pass.  Carrier and Rob Moore each caught 2 balls on the drive, and when the Knights reached the 11 yard line, the Warriors opted to double cover both. This left former 49er TE Brent Jones with only LB coverage and he easily blew past the defender and into the endzone for the game tying score.
The teams then traded field goals, leading to a 10-10 halftime score.   After a rousing performance by pop trio Wilson Phillips, the game began again with New York hitting quickly as RB D.J. Dozier took a weakside screen 47 yards for the score.  Washington answered with a quick strike of their own.  On the ensuing kickoff, WR Reggie Rembert broke through the NY special teams and almost scored, getting knocked out of bounds at the NY 16 yard line.  Majkowski hit Carter on the very next play for another game-equalizing score.
With the game tied 17-17 at the end of 3 quarters, Washington again moved down the field and again found paydirt, this time with RB Chris Warren busting through the line on 3rd and goal, for a 1 yard TD run.  24-17 Washington.  New York answered with a 44 yard fieldgoal and gave Washington the ball back, up 24-20 with 3:33 to go in the game.
It was then that coach Pepper Rodgers maybe got a bit too confident.  Choosing to throw the ball on 3rd and 2 instead of using Warren to milk the clock, Don Majkowski’s pass was errant and the Warriors had to punt, giving NY the ball on their own 32, with 2:02 left in the game.   Doug Flutie, no stranger to last second comebacks, knew how to handle the situation, hitting consecutive passes to Cris Carter, Rob Moore and Brent Jones to move the ball to the Washington 19.   There the Knights seemed to lose steam, facing a 3rd and 11 on the 20 with only 17 seconds left to play. 
Taking the ball from under center, Flutie rolled left, pump faked, freezing Washington LB Jock Jones, and took off, squirting under the tackle attempt of Bo Orlando, and evading a diving Eric Thomas as he dove for the pylon.  It was vintage Flutie, and his “Scramble for Daylight” would win the game for New York.
Flutie would be named AA-Bowl MVP, a double dip with the “Offensive Import of the Year” award he had won after the regular season.  Teammates Reggie Cobb and Frank Minnifield also took home trophies this season, as Offensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Import of the Year.  For Washington, the season finale was a bitter one, one that capped a great year for the league Offensive Player of the Year, Don Majkowski. 

Last edited by Wideright (3/13/2020 7:37 pm)


3/14/2020 9:19 am  #46

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

Hopefully Doug becomes a star in this league

3/14/2020 9:30 am  #47

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

August 3, 1990—New York
“AAFL Owner’s Meeting Brings Big News”
The All-American Football League’s annual Summer Owners’ Meeting wrapped up today, and it was an eventful one.  The league made major announcements about the next few years, about player representation and rules changes which will impact the way the game is played each spring.  Here are the key revelations from the meeting.

--The League announced a two year plan to move from 12 franchises to 16 by adding two new franchises for 1991 and for 1992.  In 1991 they will retain a 3-division structure, with 2 divisions having a 5th team.  In 1992, with the addition of a 15th and 16th franchise, the league will move to 4 divisions of 4 teams each, set into an Eastern and Western Conference. 

--With the expanded league, the AAFL will also expand the playoffs from 5 teams to 6 teams, beginning in 1991.  This will eventually lead to 4 Division winners, 2 additional playoff teams (one in in each conference) and 2 Play-In games, where the two “wildcard” playoff teams will face the lower of the two division winners for a chance to face the top division winner in the conference in the Conference Championship. 

--The league agreed to assist players in the formation of a player union, to be called the All-American Football Player’s Union (AAFPU).  Each team will have 3 representatives on the Union’s executive senate, with elections held for an executive team.   The league announcd that they hope to have a comprehensive AAFL – AAFPU Collective Bargaining Agreement in place by the 1992 season. 

--The League also announced an enhanced agreement with ESPN and ABC Sports.  The league will see more games now on ABC, with weekly Sunday games on the flagship network, while ESPN will cover a weekly Friday Night and Monday Night game.  With 2 more franchises in the league for next year, moving the league to 7 weekly games while retaining their 14 game season, ABC will carry 2 games per week (Sunday noon & 4pm games), ESPN 2 games (Friday 8pm and Monday 8pm) and FOX 3 games (Saturday noon, 4pm and 8pm games). 

--With expansion to 16 teams in 1992, Fox will gain a 4th game, expected to be a Sunday night game, and the league will expand from a 14 game season to 16 weeks. Paralleling the NFL’s 16 game season, and running from late February through June, with the playoffs still set up for a July 4th Championship game.  So, expect more cold games in late February to make things interesting, though, we must admit, the league has been very successful in planning the early season through a combination of dome games and warm weather locations to largely avoid cold snow games in the North.

--The league’s branding and uniform contract with Nike and SME Branding has brought about its first fruits, as the new branding for the Colorado Rangers, Washington Warriors, and Dallas Rawhides was presented to the media on the last day of the meetings.  All three of the teams will retain their prior identities, but modified logos and uniforms were introduced for all three.  Dallas saw the largest shift, as their logo moved from a Texas silhouette with charging bull to a bull’s head logo.  Colorado shifted their crest to include a profile of the Rocky Mountains, and Washington added the icon 3-star iconography from the flag of D.C. to their shield, Star & Stripes logo.  Images of the new logos and uniforms are available below.

--The Oakland Sharks, citing difficulty with ongoing contractual disputes with the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum have announced that they will rebrand as the “Golden Bay” Sharks, and will split games between Cal’s Memorial Stadium, San Jose State’s Spartan Stadium, and San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.  The hope, expressed by team owner F.E. Mars, is to represent the entire Bay Area, allowing fans in each region of the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose triangle to experience the club with “local packs” of 2 or 3 games, while also selling full 7-game packages to those willing to travel to each venue.  The Nike and SME team will be presenting the newly dubbed franchise’s new look later this fall.

--The Rules Committee, made up of 5 Head Coaches and 5 team owners announced 4 new rules which they believe will add excitement to the game.  Firstly, the league will change Pass Interference rules so that there are two versions of DPI, a non-flagrant DPI, which will result in a 10 yard gain (with no automatic first down), and a flagrant DPI, which will be a spot foul with automatic firstdown.  The second rule change also relates to the passing game, as the AAFL will now require only 1 foot in bounds for a completed catch.  The college rule, they say, will reduce the number of controversial calls and improve the passing game.  Finally, the league announced that it would expand the current timing rules found within the final 2 minutes of each half to the final 5 minutes of each half, creating a greater period for potential comebacks.  Finally, the league has decided to try to eliminate the “Victory formation” by having the clock stop on any play within the final 5 minutes of each half which does not gain positive yardage.  Teams will now be forced to try to run the clock out by running actual plays rather than taking a knee.

--Finally, returning to the expansion news, the league announced on Friday that they will be looking for ownership groups limited to Top 25 Metropolitan Statistical Area markets, a move which will help them retain strong negotiation positioning with their television partners.   Early favorites within the pool potential suiters include Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Phoenix, Houston and the Twin Cities.  It is well known that Philly real estate mogul Saul Goldman has been inquiring about bringing a team to the City of Brotherly Love, and that Florida citrus magnate James E. Evans has also been asking around the league, so our early bet is that Philly and Miami may be our next two AAFL locations.   
And now, as promised, here are the new looks for the Rangers, Rawhides and Warriors.

Last edited by Wideright (3/14/2020 9:31 am)


3/14/2020 9:33 am  #48

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

And the Uniforms for each club.  Nike is definitely adding some new features to the AAFL, with side panels on jerseys, tapered striping, and custom number fonts.



3/14/2020 10:47 am  #49

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

These all look great! I'm kinda surprised Dallas doesn't use the horns as the helmet decal, like the Rams.


3/14/2020 1:38 pm  #50

Re: AAFL 1988 (V.2)

QCS wrote:

These all look great! I'm kinda surprised Dallas doesn't use the horns as the helmet decal, like the Rams.

Hard not to look like the Vikings when you do that. 


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