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1/21/2024 2:28 pm  #2591

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Congrats, Louisville! I suppose I can't be too upset about Providence losing to the eventual champs.


1/24/2024 6:35 pm  #2592

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

1971 NAAF Awards

Most Outstanding Player
QB Louis Vaughn - Pittsburgh Blacksmiths

It was a close vote between Vaughn and RB Tyler Kuhn. The two would tie on total voting points (2 points for 1st place vote; 1 point for 2nd place vote). However, with more 1st place votes, Vaughn would take home his second MOP/MVP win. He joins RB RB Élisée Marchal, QB Jean Matieau, QB Riley Kiernan, LB Scotty Williams, and QB Charles Lemieux as 2-time winners. Vaughn has continued to prove to the rest of the NAAF that he is at the top of his game right now. His 27 passing touchdowns and the 2nd most passing yards, were only second to division rival QB Buck Murphy. However, Vaughn was much better when protecting the football, only throwing 12 interceptions to Murphy’s 22, as well as having his output despite missing several of his starting WRs for portions of the season.

Playoff Most Outstanding Player
WR Casey Coleman - Louisville Thunder

DL Aaron Henderson was the other player who had a strong enough playoff performance to warrant Playoff MOP consideration, but when you compared the two, Casey Coleman’s 4 touchdowns and over 300 yards receiving in 3 games was just a bit more outstanding. Coleman of course also caught the championship-clinching touchdown that earned him McCallister Cup MOP.

Offensive Player of the Year
RB Tyler Kuhn - Minnesota Serpents

While Kuhn came up just a hair short of winning the MOP, with Vaughn out of the picture in the OPOY race, it wasn’t even close. Kuhn earned 9 out of 10 first-place votes, easily handing the young RB his first major award of his career. Kuhn has been a rising star for the Serpents over the last couple of seasons and after a fully healthy season, he has broken through as one of the league’s best running backs. He managed to eclipse 20 touchdowns on the season while leading the league in rushing yards. It certainly helps being in such a run-heavy offence, but he is the main reason they are. 

Defensive Player of the Year
DL Bartolo Cruz - Providence Gold Stars

Much like Kuhn’s rout in the OPOY voting, Cruz easily won the DPOY, earning 9 out of the 10 first-place votes. The only other vote going to his teammate LB Kurt Warlock. Cruz becomes the 4th D-lineman to win the award joining Sean Bowen, William Sanderson, and Bernhard Hartmann. Cruz had a fantastic career-defining season. On the D-line, he was a nuisance to every QB in the league. It was a rarity if Cruz didn’t reach the QB at some point during a game this season. He earned 2 Player of the Week nods this season. He was a constant force that made offences uneasy when going up against the Gold Stars and may have been one of the biggest factors to the team’s #1 defence this season. On top of everything, he led the league in QB pressures and tackles for loss. 

Special Teams Player of the Year
K Sterling Brooks - Vancouver Wolves

Early on it was clear that Brooks was going to be a front runner for the STPOY award as he was leading the league by 10 field goals at one point this season. While his production did slip in the second half of the season, although for the team that was due to more touchdowns being scored, Brooks remained a reliable and productive scorer for the Wolves this season. Despite slowing his scoring in the 2nd half of the season, Brooks ended up still having 18 more points than any other kicker in the league. 

Offensive Lineman of the Year
OL Erik Nelson - Pittsburgh Blacksmiths

It was a close vote for the OLOY with all 3 nominees earning a fair share of the votes. In the end, Erik Nelson (12 pts) would finish in first ahead of Carlton Vanderbilt (10 pts) and then Elias McCarren (8 pts). The former 1st overall pick earns his first OLOY award after a solid season. Last season, Nelson provided a lot of help to a lacklustre backfield that got boosted by the star’s physicality. With RB Max Tracy there this season, the run game was miles better with Nelson leading the charge. He also continued to be a perfect protector for QB Louis Vaughn. 

Coach of the Year
Malachi Knowles - Montreal Rouge

Solid years from Ted McMahon and Tommie Warner earned both coaches a lot of praise and votes, but the redemption story from Malachi Knowles would ultimately gain the support to earn him the Coach of the Year award. For a refresher on the story, the last time Knowles coached a team was only a couple of years ago in 1969, when he led the Louisville Thunder to an 0-12 season. The disappointing season certainly hurt Knowles’ reputation, but this season, Knowles completely redeemed himself, earning each and every one of those 12 games back with a 12-win season in Montreal. Knowles’ “QB Whisperer” moniker returned as well as he rejuvenated veteran QB Gene Bishop’s career after he had been struggling for the last couple of seasons. An all-around huge bounce-back year for Knowles.

Rookie of the Year
DL Butcher Callahan - Regina Wheat Kings

Another vote that ended up being pretty clear was Butcher Callahan winning Rookie of the Year. Considering he was also nominated for DPOY, it was not surprising that he would likely garner a lot of votes. While WR Ben Graham also had his fair share of support, Callahan’s fantastic season was just far too good. Callahan’s rookie season is one that will likely be remembered with his ability to make just about anything happen on defence. He was constantly in the backfield and all over the opposing team’s QB. His 6 forced fumbles and 2 safeties pair nicely with the 2nd most sacks in the whole league. Callahan proved that he is a star for the future. 

Breakout Player of the Year
DL Alan Franjkovic - Montreal Rouge

The BPOY would be another close vote, but with 12 points, DL Alan Franjkovic would take home the award. WR Matthew de la Cruz would finish 2nd with 10 points, and then DB Davey Woods with 8 points. Franjkovic has slowly developed into a star for the Rouge on the D-line. The former 2nd Round Pick has blossomed into a powerful edge rusher. He had very solid numbers this season, though still behind that of the top guys in the league, but it was a breakout season to show the league that Franjkovic is here to stay.

54th McCallister Cup - Milton Charles Stadium - Buffalo, NY - Capacity: 54,000
The McCallister Cup game is headed back to Buffalo for the 3rd time. Milton Charles Stadium will host its second game in 1972, the last being in 1965, where the Long Island Raiders defeated the Louisville Thunder 17-10. One of the league’s best fan bases will likely bring the passion to the big game once again. Also to note, it was in 1952 that the first neutral site host for the McCallister Cup was selected. It was Buffalo that would host the big game that ended up being the 34th McCallister Cup, where Buffalo would beat Boston 21-16. 20 years later, the game returns to Buffalo once again.

1971 All-Star Teams

QB Kevin Westwood VAN (2)
RB Tyler Kuhn MIN (1)
OL Charles Creighton EDM (2)
OL Jordan Bryson MIN (1)
OL Elias McCarren MIN (3)
OL Aaron Wilkinson VAN (1)
OL Charles Schwartz CGY (1)
WR Keshawn Johnston VAN (2)
WR Terry Upshaw WPG (2)
WR Sebastian Dassler MIN (2)
TE Johnny Temple VAN (2)
DL Albert Sullivan MIN (2)
DL Butcher Callahan REG (1)
DL James Chambers EDM (1)
DL Damien Battles CGY (2)
LB Junior Abbott CGY (1)
LB Claude Clarke WPG (2)
LB Brett Pride REG (2)
DB Austin Sherebernikoff MIN (1)
DB Chris Berrymore EDM (2)
S Nick Palmer VAN (2)
S Vernon Redgate WPG (1)
K Sterling Brooks VAN (2)

QB Louis Vaughn PIT (2)
RB Max Tracy PIT (3)
OL Jean Baptiste Francois PIT (2)
OL Erik Nelson PIT (5)
OL Gordie Hammarstein LOU (1)
OL Artem Sobakov BUF (2)
OL Viktor Stahl IND (5)
WR Casey Coleman LOU (4)
WR Tracy Driscoll BUF (2)
WR Jake Abbredezzi IND (2)
TE Rex Williamson LOU (1)
DL Mo Kahn LDN (2)
DL Eugene Case IND (1)
DL Matthias Hartmann PIT (1)
DL Aaron Henderson LOU (3)
LB Judge Barrett TOR (2)
LB Reuben James LDN (1)
LB Patrick Hamilton PIT (2)
DB Neville Falkner IND (11)
DB Zed McLaughlin PIT (3)
S Jarrett Sutherland PIT (1)
S Tom McDougall LOU (1)
K Nimrod Handsworth LDN (6)

QB Nathaniel Braddock BOS (6)
RB Reggie Whitehead BOS (3)
OL Carlton Vanderbilt BOS (1)
OL Kane Warwick HFX (3)
OL Emil Jennings PRO (7)
OL Matt Helmut OTT (2)
OL Elliot Barrett MTL (3)
WR Taylor Karis MTL (8)
WR Marshall Leonard OTT (2)
WR Frank Drysdale LI (1)
TE Luiss de Brands OTT (3)
DL Bartolo Cruz PRO (3)
DL Newton Dalton PRO (2)
DL Wayne Baxton BOS (9)
DL Pat Butler HFX (5)
LB Kurt Warlock PRO (3)
LB Byron Turner BOS (4)
LB Jean-Christophe Bain MTL (1)
DB Sergio Alvarez OTT (4)
DB Lamar Brown MTL (2)
S Ernie Osborne BOS (1)
S Mathieu Cazenave MTL (2)
K Albert Wickerweaver HFX (1)

Last edited by Wallflower (1/24/2024 6:59 pm)

     Thread Starter

1/25/2024 8:55 pm  #2593

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Shame Carlton lost the vote, but he is in good company. Can't wait for the Draft!


1/26/2024 1:43 pm  #2594

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Interested to see what happens in the offseason with the proposed Kansas City team and what will happen with the former Western League teams. 


1/28/2024 8:38 pm  #2595

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

MitchSwanson94 wrote:

Interested to see what happens in the offseason with the proposed Kansas City team and what will happen with the former Western League teams. 

The WFU teams are officially part of the NAAF.  If KC is coming, then the league will have to bring another team with them to even out 20, Maybe Quebec City, Omaha, or possibly a Columbus, OH team

EDIT: The NAAF could use WFU as a Thrid Colleigate Confernce for Hybrid Football, Adding Western Canadian and American school fighting for the Makenzie Cup

Last edited by ZO82 (1/29/2024 10:01 am)


2/04/2024 7:37 pm  #2596

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

1972 NAAF League Meetings

In the last three seasons, the NAAF has gone through a massive change from 12 teams up to 18. The last two focused on the NAAF’s merger with the Western Football Union adding the 5 Western Canadian teams as a consequence of the failed attempt to bring a team to Kansas City, MO. The massive change in plans has left a giant question mark surrounding the new direction of the potential KC team.

Jacob Cross, the man who was incharge of the Kansas City Expansion bid came to speak about the current state of the expansion bid and stadium project. A little recap, back in 1968, Kansas City was selected alongside Minneapolis as expansion city for the NAAF. Jacob Cross led the bid for Kansas City along with a partnership with a local agriculture business, Powell Mills. The stadium that Powell Mills was helping Cross and the city fund, was being built during the summer of 1968. Unfortunately, a major drought would strike the central US. The combination of the bad year and paying for the stadium, Powell Mills could not continue to commit funds to the project and eventually had to pull out to try and stay alive as a company. Cross and the city attempted to continue construction, but there just was no way with how ambitious the project had been. The stadium had to stop construction at about 50%, which would ultimately delay the team in Kansas City. In 1969, the Minnesota Serpents would join the league alone. 

Over the next year, Jacob Cross attempted to find another partner to help complete the stadium. He failed to garner any interest as many businesses were scared of making the attempt, especially after Powell Mills failed to recover from their issues and would eventually be bought by a much larger agriculture business in Great West Agriculture. After the purchase, Cross did approach the larger company with his situation, however, the Chicago-based company that already had ties to the GLFL’s Chicago All-Pros was not interested. There was rejection after rejection for Cross over the next few seasons, which wasn’t helped by the NAAF’s full merger with the WFU last season, as any interested investors now raised the question of where KC fits if the NAAF has 18 teams now. 

The entire process has been very frustrating for Cross. He has started to feel stuck and is on the brink of dropping the bid altogether. However, the NAAF turned and said they are going to start shifting their focus back to a Kansas City expansion team, as well as another expansion partner to join them. The league has met with a few prospective owners in their old stomping grounds as well as in the West, so there is certainly a chance the league will have a new team to pair up with a KC squad. With that news, Cross is hoping that if the NAAF can nail down an expansion partner for Kansas City, investors will be more willing to buy into the team and get them one step closer to getting onto the field. 

Before any further discussion on the league’s future plans, Boston Independents’ owner Benjamin Harris made an announcement. The 73-year-old owner announced that he would officially be stepping away from football and league operations following the conclusion of the 1972 NAAF meetings. Benjamin Harris officially took over the team in 1954. He had been slowly beginning to take over operations from his father, Glen Harris, in the years leading up to the official change of ownership. Since taking over, Benjamin has led Boston through some difficult years in the mid-1950s and the late 1960s but has also led them through some great years in 1954, and in the early 1960s, including a championship in 1961. Within the NAAF, Harris has been a great leader amongst the ownership group, often being one to offer a helping hand to other teams in the league. His strongest relationship has been with Elliot Hudson and the Halifax Mariners, helping them with the move to Halifax. Harris also had a very important part in the Atlantic Coast Football League’s failed expansion into Boston. The Boston Shamrocks had been allowed to play at Richardson Stadium when they moved into town. While the deal was a risk to the NAAF initially, Harris had faith it would work in their favour. The Shamrocks had to pay a hefty price to the Independents to play there and they had no staying power competing with the much more popular Independents. In the end, the Shamrocks would eventually be merged into the Pittsburgh Hammers once Don Soriano took over for Stephen Van Fossen as the Commissioner of the ACFL. The plan had gone perfectly in Harris’ eyes as he not only proved his team owned the market but also took home extra revenue, some of which was passed along to Halifax and the NAAF when needed, notably in the development of Midgard Stadium in Minneapolis.

Harris is expected to remain the team’s owner in the immediate future, the look for new ownership will be his primary goal over the next while. In the meantime, Robert Albertson will take on football operation duties. Albertson has been within the organization as an assistant to Harris for about half a decade now. There is clearly plenty of faith in Albertson’s ability to manage the organization. 

Following Harris’ announcement, the league would take a look at the former Western Football Union teams and how they had fared so far in the transition into the NAAF. Over the first two seasons of being included in the NAAF, the WFU teams have gone through some significant changes. Not only in the new set of rules but also in the costs for the teams. Further travel and higher players' salary regulations have both played a factor in raising the cost for the teams. Now, they have been able to counter those rising costs with more revenue through TV, advertisements, ticket sales, and some revenue-sharing help. In the 1970 season, the Vancouver Wolves were able to keep up with most of the NAAF with a trip to the McCallister Cup. Edmonton and Calgary fared well and made a good amount amongst the rising cost and a miserable 1-11 season in Calgary. Winnipeg teetered on breaking even, while Regina, to not a lot of surprise, lost a decent amount. 

In 1971, there were significant improvements across the teams. Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg all had much stronger showings, Vancouver did take a little bit of a dip from last year, which was expected when the team didn’t make the trip back to the McCallister Cup, and Regina improved but was still a decent way back from the rest. Regina’s situation was becoming a concern. The team is obviously in the smallest market in the league with Regina having about half the population of the next smallest market in Halifax. They also have the smallest stadium, only seating 19,000. While the stadium size isn’t the biggest concern as Winnipeg, the next smallest (23,520), is managing just fine. However, the bigger problem is with how many fans actually attend the game. Despite having the smallest stadium, Regina has the lowest attendance percentage in the league, sitting at 77% for tickets sold and about 74% for actual attendees. While they have been helped by a couple of strong games, like a sellout against Winnipeg and a solid 83% sale against Calgary, most of the games are trending closer to 70% in sales. Luckily, the team does have a very wealthy owner in Bill Kingsley, who owns King’s Crops, a very successful agribusiness in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba. 

Kingsley, who did show up a day late to the meetings, came forward to address the situation. In his statement, he explained how he was having a tough time keeping up with the team, especially during his busiest season for his other business in the summer. In order to keep the Wheat Kings afloat, he would need to make sure he maintains his primary business. Of course, that means devoting more time and effort to King’s Crops than the Wheat Kings. The league understood the concerns put forward by Kingsley, so they agreed to help. The rest of the owners began to put together a plan to try and help the Wheat Kings into the future, and take some of the load off of Kingsley’s shoulders. 

William Braddock and the Pittsburgh Blacksmiths are prepared to go to the negotiation table with the City of Pittsburgh. After the 1971 ACFL season concludes, the Pittsburgh Hammers’ lease is up at Riverfront Stadium of Pittsburgh. Along with the end of the lease, the Blacksmiths’ deal with the Hammers will also be lifted finally allowing the NAAF franchise to freely negotiate with the city over either their own lease with the stadium or for a new stadium. When the Blacksmiths became a team in 1965, their only available stadium was Riverfront Stadium. The deal they had signed with The Hammers had some similar features to the one signed between the Independents and the Shamrocks. Ultimately, the Blacksmiths were locked into the deal as long as they wanted to remain in Pittsburgh and would not be able to build a new stadium without their approval while also having to pay them to use the stadium. Also, due to the deal, the NAAF has so far avoided having events in the city like the McCallister Cup. If the lease ever ended for the Hammers, the deal would end until either a new one is negotiated or the Blacksmiths take over. 

Over the past year, the Hammers reportedly have already been negotiating for an extension of the lease. The ACFL has been heavily involved in the negotiations to attempt to maintain control of the city. So far they have been unsuccessful. Due to the recent success of the Blacksmiths that have seen the highest attendance numbers in the city in a while, it is expected that the Blacksmiths will at least have the chance to make their pitch to the city. However, no deal can be negotiated until the lease is officially lifted in January. More to come at a later date.

- Jacob Cross, head of KC expansion bid, has not found new investors to continue the stadium project; holding onto hope that if the NAAF can find a new expansion partner, investors will be more willing to help
- Boston owner, Benjamin Harris is stepping away from football operations and is beginning the process of transferring ownership
- The former WFU teams have all had success, except Regina, which had begun to slip behind; Owner Bill Kingsley has asked for help managing the team while he manages his primary business and the NAAF is developing a plan to assist
- The City of Pittsburgh will negotiate with the Pittsburgh Blacksmiths and Pittsburgh Hammers over a stadium lease following the conclusion of the ACFL season. 

Last edited by Wallflower (2/05/2024 7:30 pm)

     Thread Starter

2/08/2024 2:46 am  #2597

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Just a thought, and you've been very helpful with world building questions before, but with the talk about Regina, I was wondering about the state of football (Canadian or Hybrid) in the city of Saskatoon. To my knowledge, the city is larger than Regina, and has OTL history with Junior Football. But in the world at large in this TL, since the WFU joined I don't think I've heard much about Saskatoon.

Thanks in advance.


2/08/2024 11:11 am  #2598

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

TheEnigmaticOne wrote:

Just a thought, and you've been very helpful with world building questions before, but with the talk about Regina, I was wondering about the state of football (Canadian or Hybrid) in the city of Saskatoon. To my knowledge, the city is larger than Regina, and has OTL history with Junior Football. But in the world at large in this TL, since the WFU joined I don't think I've heard much about Saskatoon.

Thanks in advance.

I will preface this with, you will get a little more about Saskatoon in upcoming posts (yes, this is not it for the world of football, just spreading all the information across a few different posts). The main thing is Saskatoon houses one of the strongest football programs at Saskatchewan Provincial University, with a good local following and a lot of solid talent. They do have solid support for the Wheat Kings but certainly were more invested with the previous "Threshers" name and owner. However, the support is more limited with the team being specifically Regina's team. 

Going more into the city sizes. In fact, yes, Saskatoon is bigger than Regina, however, it isn't by much. In 2021, Regina's population was 226,404, and Saskatoon was 266,141. Like it is true, but it's not a substantial difference. That being said, in 1971, Regina was the bigger city... by even less... but still. They are both about the same size (and well much smaller than most other markets, which makes the Saskatchewan Roughriders' success all the more impressive how they have easily one of the two best fanbases in the CFL which I think flops between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg based on which is more successful on the field.) I guess to expand on how Saskatoon and the province operates in terms of football, is they love it. It's a passion. The whole province loves the game just like they do in OTL. 

     Thread Starter

2/09/2024 6:53 pm  #2599

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Here are some predictions for what will happen next in the offseason: 

1. Some place in the western US will join Kansas City in the NAAF (I'm guessing Denver since they don't have any major professional sports teams in this universe yet IIRC, not to mention it would reduce travel costs for the former WFU teams).
2. The ACFL Hammers are forced out of Pittsburgh's Riverfront Stadium, thus they pack their bags and assuming that merger with the SFL is still on the table, will move to some market in the southern US (Not quite sure where though that would be big enough in the 1970s to support a team). 

And while it's fresh in my mind, assuming this hasn't been brought up before, what are the Olympics like in the NAAF universe?


2/09/2024 6:59 pm  #2600

Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

1972 NAAF League Meetings Wrap-Up

Before joining the NAAF, the Vancouver Wolves had made some connections across the Pacific in Japan. Football has been a growing sport in the island nation for many years. Plenty of schools in the country were now playing a version of North American Football. Many take rules from the American game, some even tying in Canadian rules with Vancouver’s influence. However, with the NAAF’s assistance, the country was ready to move forward with a professional league that would combine the rules and play a hybrid game, similar to that of the NAAF. The new league will kick off its first season in 1972, containing 6 teams to start. If the league does well, it is likely that schools will switch over to the hybrid rules to help grow the game and grow talent in the country to play in the pro league.

Additionally, the NAAF is also working on a pipeline to allow for more scouting in the country and potential opportunities for Japanese players to make the jump up to the top league in North America. It is likely this pipeline will assist players with the transition cost-wise of moving over to North America if teams in the NAAF sign them. The agreement is a special one showing that the NAAF is not going to be limited by the borders of their home continent.

The NAAF’s plan to help Wheat Kings’ owner, Bill Kingsley, is to appoint someone to be in charge of football operations in Regina, handling the team, marketing, and any other operations at play. Since Kingsley asked for help on this, the NAAF is going to be the one taking the lead on the search for a candidate for the position. Kingsley will be informed of any decisions made and can help in choosing who will take up the position, but he can also allow the NAAF to make the final decision on who is hired. The hiring process will begin ASAP and an announcement of an appointment will be made once a decision has been made. 

     Thread Starter

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