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4/04/2021 4:24 pm  #921


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

1971-72 NFA Quarterfinals - Washington Pirates at Pittsburgh Ironmen
It was a disgusting day in Pittsburgh leading up to the game. While it would clear up by kickoff, it seemingly was a sign of things to come for Washington. QB Ron Murray would throw 3 interceptions and get sacked a season high amount. RB Charley Rodgers would leave with a minor ankle injury at half time and the running game wouldn’t be the same. The Pirates would get out played on both sides of the ball, leading to a 26-10 whooping by the Ironmen.

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1971-72 NFA Quarterfinals - Miami Stingrays at Milwaukee Barbarians
While the rain would stop before kickoff in Pittsburgh, the snow wouldn’t let up before the game in Milwaukee. The game would be pushed back half an hour in hopes it would start to stop, but eventually they went ahead and started playing as the end to it wasn’t in sight. Milwaukee would get the jump on the Stingrays at the beginning, who seemed off their game thanks to the snow. The first quarter was all Barbarians as Miami would only see the ball once, on a three and out. Milwaukee would start to try and pull away early in the second when they scored their second TD on a pick six from Joshua George INT, which made the score 17 nothing. But something must’ve switched on for Miami. The Stingrays would score before the half ended, making it 17-7 going into the break, but would outscore the Barbarians 23-3 in the second half, shocking Milwaukee and surviving the snow to push onward to the second round. 

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1971-72 NFA Quarterfinals - Los Angeles Tigers at San Francisco Whales
This matchup featured no extreme weather, but it did feature two tight west coast rivals. This game would be a classic shootout between two teams who are known to run up the scores in the playoffs. In fact, the combined 31 points in the first quarter are the most in any playoff game, and it set the stage for the rest of the game. By half time the scoring had slowed a little bit, with the score settling at 28-20 at the break. Both teams had pick sixes and both RB’s had reached the end zone, Sid Snell had reached it twice. But the second half would never recover quite the pace of the first quarter. Los Angeles would bring it within one point a few minutes into the 3rd when QB Keith Lincoln was subbed in to make the ten yard score. But the Whales wouldn’t let it get any closer. They’d retaliate immediately putting 3 on the board before following it up with another trip to the end zone for Snell. As we entered the 4th, the Whales led 38-27. Los Angeles would get close to scoring again but QB Patrick James had other ideas as he gave up another pick six to make it 45 for SF. The Tigers would sneak a field goal in, but before the game ended the Whales would score one more time, which many Tigers fans called unsportsmanlike. The final score was a ridiculous, 52-30, an unheard of combined total of 82 points, which is the most in postseason history.

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1971-72 NFA Quarterfinals - Houston Explorers at Philadelphia Hornets
These two met up in a similar situation a couple years back. If you remembered correctly, Houston was trampled as Philadelphia advanced to the next round. This time however, the Explorers would get revenge and shock the Hornets. It was quite the slow game, with neither team scoring in the first 20 minutes of the game. But as we got into the thick of the second, the Hornets jumped out to a 7-0 lead. But that was the last lead they had. Before half Houston would tie it at 7, but, on the first play of the second half they’d take the 14-7 lead when QB Zach Ingram found his receiver for a 75 yard touchdown. Philadelphia would only manage a field goal in return. Houston would make it 21 early in the fourth and Philadelphia, when faced with a dramatic 4th and 6 would fail to convert. Unfortunately for them, their defense wouldn't hold either and Houston would knock 3 through to make it 24-10. A last ditch effort for Philly would come up with a score but it was too little too late, because as WR Willie King dove into the end zone for the score, the clock hit 0. The Hornets elected not to kick the extra point and so ended their season, upset by the Explorers 24-17.

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Worth noting that 3 of the 4 final teams here are '67 expansion teams. This got me super interested, so I went back and checked and it's the first time that the semifinals haven't included one of the original 6 teams, the semifinals includes the old conference championship format that existed from 1957-64. It's quite the big deal. 
C&C of course, is always appreciated.

 

4/04/2021 5:45 pm  #922


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

Great day for Pittsburgh, not so much for Washington. Is this the end of an era in DC?

Quite the comeback by the Stingrays in Milwaukee, not surprised though as Miami is one tough team.

Now that’s what I call a game! LA and San Fran going back and forth but the Whales were just better, 52-30 is just ridiculous.

Houston, we do not have a problem! Big upset there over Philly (wonder if there was any boing after the game by any Hornet fans)

Going with Miami over Pittsburgh and San Fran over Houston in the semis! Feels weird not to see any of the original 6 teams or Chicago in there.


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4/07/2021 9:32 pm  #923


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

1971-72 NFA Semifinals - Miami Stingrays at Pittsburgh Ironmen
Is this familiar? It should be, because it certainly is for these two teams. Last season Miami, the number 1 seed, was upset at the hands of Pittsburgh, the 8 seed of the tournament. This time however, Miami was the lower seed, already having upset Milwaukee at their home stadium. Pittsburgh was tougher than they were last year though, and they were eager to send the Rays home for a second postseason in a row. The first half wouldn't even be close though. Miami came out swinging while Pittsburgh stuttered and couldn't get going. At half, Miami was already up 13-0, and tensions were high. When the first half concluded a skirmish amongst the benches occurred at half field, with star RB Wendell Granger at the center of it for the Ironmen and star DE Ted Brewer going at it for the Rays. Both would be ejected after starting the fight. The huddle would be taken care of and both teams sent to the locker rooms for an extended half time break. Coming out of the half, the teams were more ready than ever. Pittsburgh would start off with the ball and confidently march down the field before QB Sam Powers scrambled into the end zone for the score, immediately sending the message that the Ironmen weren't just going to roll over for Miami. They'd send the message on defense too when an excessive hit on QB Joshua George got the two teams tangled up and yelling at each other again. The Stingrays would end up punting on the drive and Pittsburgh would capitalize by taking the 14-13 lead not long later. But Miami would recover and take the lead back by the start of the fourth. As we started to approach the end of the game each possession became wilder and wilder. Each team started full on taking shots at each other as tensions continued to climb. Pittsburgh would take the lead back and set the score at 21-20 with just enough time for one last game winning drive for Miami. Later known as the Miami Miracle, this drive would go down in Stingrays history. The drive wasn't pretty. They started at their own 18 and faced a third down at every possibility. With only 1 minute to go they still had 45 yards they needed to cover. But then it happened. After failing to convert a 3rd and 2, when he only needed 2 yard, RB Elijah Boone had one of the most memorable runs in NFA history. He was met at the line but broke the tackle, got the first and was met a second time before shaking him off. By now his speed was at max, he avoided the third defender and had nothing but open field in front of him. “The 30, the 20, the 10.” the announcer cheered. With just over 30 seconds on the clock left he jogged into the end zone, putting Miami up 27-21. Pittsburgh wouldn't have enough in the tank after to come back and Miami would be sent to their second ever Champions Bowl. 

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1971-72 NFA Semifinals - Houston Explorers at San Francisco WhalesMuch like the Explorers quarterfinals matchup, they would once again get a rematch between a team that beat them previously in the postseason. Houston got obliterated by San Francisco two years ago in the quarterfinals 44-14. This time however, it would be Houston winning by the big margins. San Francisco would take an early 7-0 lead, but thanks to an injury to RB Sid Snell on their subsequent drive, the Whales offense would stall for the rest of the game. The defense would hold for a bit, giving the offense more opportunities, and keeping the game close at 10-7 at half, but they'd completely break down in the second. Houston would take revenge for the last meeting between these two. They'd explode for 17 points in the third and tack on another 3 before it ended. San Francisco on the other hand would only get 10 more. Houston would take down the reigning champs on their way to their first ever Champions Bowl 30-17.

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Also, I'd like to correct myself on something I'm shocked I got wrong. This wasn't the first semifinal without an original 6 team. Pittsburgh adopted their history back from Milwaukee when they were resurrected, so we had an original team in the semifinals. That said, it is still impressive that 3 of the teams in the semifinals were the 67' expansion teams. All that said, we're now getting just the second ever Champions Bowl matchup between two expansion teams, it's also a matchup between 2 of the most recent expansion teams, which makes it all the more exciting. We'll get back to back first time winners for the first time since the Tigers and Ironmen won it in 50' and 51'.
C&C appreciated, got any Champions Bowl predictions?

     Thread Starter
 

4/07/2021 10:06 pm  #924


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

Quite the game in Pittsburgh, Boone with that run gave me chills at the end. Houston also going on a revenge tour it seems taking out Philly and San Fran, two teams that have obliterated them in the playoffs before. Both seem like a team of destiny but going with Miami in this one 28-23.

Interesting note: This is the first time since 1947 we are guaranteed to have first time champion.

Last edited by Rugrat (4/08/2021 11:37 am)


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4/08/2021 7:33 am  #925


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

Show the rays our sting Houston! Explore a new area: CHAMPION’S ROAD!!!


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4/08/2021 11:16 am  #926


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

I think its gonna be a close one but Houston is gonna pull off the upset and win their 1st championship


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4/08/2021 8:59 pm  #927


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

Excellent!  Super thrilled with this championship matchup!  Pulling for Miami, since they've been close a couple of times now, this feels like their time!  Also, love the exciting finish Miami and Pittsburgh had, looking like a new rivalry on our hands!


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4/09/2021 6:38 pm  #928


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

1971-72 NFA Champions Bowl - Houston Explorers vs Miami Stingrays

It only took 4 years, but we’ve already got a matchup between 2 of the 1967 expansion teams. This is also only the 2nd time a Champions Bowl matchup didn’t include one of the original 6, the first time being in 1959 when the Zephyrs beat the Rangers. This matchup would also be played in the state of the art Steeldome in Pittsburgh, meaning it’s the first Champions Bowl to be played indoors. The game would live up to the hype as well. Starting on the kickoff, WR Dave Maxwell would return it all the way back to the endzone for 7 for the Stingrays. Things would slow down a bit after this though, Houston would get down the field and miss a field goal, and then both teams would exchange punts, closing out the first quarter in melodramatic fashion. Miami would finally return to the redzone on their next drive, but have to settle for 3. Houston too would get down the field but would turn the ball over on the 6 yard line. QB Zachary Ingram’s pass would be a bit too hard for his receiver, causing the ball to ricochet into the hands of a Stingrays defender. Miami would capitalize on this and close out the half with another field goal as time expired, sending them into the half with a 13-0, just like against Pittsburgh. Coming out of the half, the Explorers would finally turn it on. On the first drive of the third quarter, they would take up 8 minutes to put their first points on the board, making the score 13-7. They’re defense would keep up the momentum and manage to stop Miami and force them to punt for the second time. Houston would turn this into another long winded drive, and capped it off with a second RB Ollie Smith touchdown to put them ahead 14-13 as we entered the 10 minute mark. Miami, facing a similar situation to that of last week, looked to RB Elijah Boone, who’d be quiet all game. Luckily for them he’d put them on his back and put together a great drive that would end in a touchdown, regaining the lead. But there was still enough time on the clock for a Houston game winner. Miami would shut it down however when Ingram would have his second pick of the day, sealing the game for the Stingrays. After a long fought journey, the Miami Stingrays, led by one of the best running backs in recent history, finally have a ring. The final score would be 20-14 and Boone would win his first Champions Bowl MVP.

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C&C Appreciated! Miami is the 11th different team to win the Champions Bowl. It was a longtime coming for the Rays.
Congrats to Stickman for calling it from the get-go too!

     Thread Starter
 

4/09/2021 6:56 pm  #929


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

What a game by both teams and congrats to Miami on winning their 1st championship


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4/09/2021 6:58 pm  #930


Re: History of the National Football Association - 1972 Offseason

Elijah Boone getting it done and the Rays win! Congrats to them, wouldn’t be surprised if they stay competitive for the next couple years. Should be a good offseason as well.

Last edited by Rugrat (4/09/2021 6:58 pm)


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