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5/05/2021 5:53 pm  #1481


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

1963 League Meetings

NAAF Draft Expansion
Over the last several seasons, the popularity of the NAAF has increased, not only for the fans but for players looking for a professional option. Because of this, the NAAF has received significantly more players looking to jump into the league via the draft. To compensate, the league has announced the addition of a 5th round to the draft starting this season. Each team will receive a 5th round draft pick at the end of the meetings (which signifies the start of the new season). Once they have the selection, they have the ability to trade those picks if they desire prior to the draft. 

Ontario Football Union Expected to Fold
Last season, the NAAF came to an agreement with the OFU after the OFU’s Halifax expansion team decided to shift their focus and purchase the Worcester Athletics. Due to the financial struggles of the OFU, the NAAF compensated them financially, but less than a year later, the OFU has pretty much burnt through the financial boost. The fans have started to become more and more attached to the NAAF, as the season runs during the same time and both the Ottawa Royals and London Tigers have had boatloads of success. On top of that, more and more players that would normally enter the OFU have shifted to the NAAF, most notably RB Corbyn Knight. 

Commissioner and Toronto Lakers’ owner Jerry Anderson has been able to help the league survive since taking over, but it has been a losing battle each year. He has decided that the best thing for the people involved is to look at other options. His relationship with Ryan Jameson and the NAAF has been good since he took over and even more so over the past year. With that blooming relationship, Anderson has now begun talks with Jameson about potentially merging the OFU into the NAAF. The talks are very early, but the NAAF is certainly on board with the opportunity to add more teams to its league especially with the ACFL looking to break into NAAF markets. 

The direction of the OFU has not been taken well by everyone. Hamilton Steelers’ owner Arnold Gibson has been against the decision. He loves the game and has always seen the OFU as his league; the one he has devoted the most time to. It stems back to his relationship with Jerry’s father, Donald Anderson, who was the owner of the Lakers for many years. Donald had also run the league like Jerry currently does, but he was certainly a little more political and direct with this style of commissioning. Gibson had the largest impact on the other owners. He still respects Jerry and his decision, however, he will still try and fight for the OFU throughout the process as a merger is not final. At the end of the day, the OFU has not been able to compete and it may ultimately be best for the league to move towards an NAAF merger.

ACFL’s New Teams Struggled Both on and off the Field
Last offseason, the ACFL made a huge move in expanding the league into Rochester and Boston. The decision was the first major move of new commissioner Steven Van Fossen. In the first season, neither team was able to find much success on the field. The Boston Shamrocks were notably bad in going winless in their first season. They also did not sell well in terms of attendance. Most fans were done with the season by the time the NAAF ended, and while they enjoyed extra football, most fans only attended a game or 2 at most. The Rochester Millers were slightly more successful with 3 wins on the season, however, two of those were against Boston with the other coming against the other weak team in the Pittsburgh Hammers. They have had slightly more attendance than Boston, but they also have a smaller market which means they were expecting some lower-end numbers. 

Despite the lack of immediate success, Van Fossen is calling for patience with the new teams. He is very confident that as the teams get better over the next couple of seasons, fans will see that they have the best product to offer and will be overflowing at the gates to see the ACFL play.


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5/05/2021 6:24 pm  #1482


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

I like the move to five rounds in the draft. It gives teams more draft capital to use or trade and it gives each team a little depth.

The OFU seems destined for a merger, but the question is how many teams would join? I assume both the Lakers and Steelers aren't in the best place financially. Are there more teams that could even join? It feels like the NAAF has hit the major Ontario markets, and adding in Toronto and possibly Hamilton would pack in four teams in the province. Hopefully Gibson and Anderson can come to an agreement that turn out the best for both the OFU and the NAAF.

As for the ACFL, they deserve what they're getting. There's no way the Shamrocks can turn a profit by playing in the Indepdents' stadium and also being terrible. Either they turn it around quickly and get their own place or they suffer. Rochester could work, but it'd be a tight window to make it work and they need to do it quickly. It seems like the ACFL has overestimated their ability to succeed and they're getting burned for it.

Last edited by QCS (5/05/2021 6:39 pm)


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5/05/2021 6:42 pm  #1483


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

I agree with QCS here, the OFU and NAAF both seem to merge at some point but with 4 teams in Ontario, I bet one of those teams would have to move or fold. As for the ACFL, Mr. Van Fossen is probably shooting himself in the foot with Boston. 


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5/05/2021 11:00 pm  #1484


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Very interesting turn of events. I definitely see at least a couple of teams from the OFU joining the NAAF, but definitely not more than 4. The ACFL are definitely screwing themselves with their decisions recently.


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5/05/2021 11:37 pm  #1485


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Wouldn't be surprised if Hamilton join the ACFL out of spite for the NAAF


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5/06/2021 8:25 am  #1486


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

A potential merger if the OFU? Didn't see that coming! Although I am more curious about if that does happen, how OFU teams will adapt to hybrid football rules (Assuming the OFU plays under Canadian rules). As for the ACFL, if Boston and Rochester continue to struggle, what are the chances that it leads to Van Fossen's downfall as that league's commissioner, especially since I have a funny feeling that the ACFL lacks a neutral league office. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. 

 

5/06/2021 6:01 pm  #1487


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Is there a list of current OFU teams? Or ACFL also?


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5/06/2021 6:31 pm  #1488


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Enigmajones wrote:

Is there a list of current OFU teams? Or ACFL also?

Wallflower wrote:

There are 8 Atlantic Coast Football League Teams
(Names were picked prior to the AltBA some there are some repeats)
Baltimore Lancers
Brooklyn Guardians
New Jersey Chargers
New York Bulls Football Club
Philadelphia Rebels
Pittsburgh Hammers
Richmond Lions
Washington Americans

and 7 in the Great Lakes Football League
Chicago All-Pros
Cincinnati Centurions
Cleveland Captains
Columbus Pioneers
Detroit Warriors
Milwaukee Bulldogs
St. Louis Archers

There are also the Southern Football League, the Texas Football League, and the Pacific Football League in the Us and the Ontario Football Union and Western Football Union in Canada. 

Ontario still only has:
Hamilton Steelers
Toronto Lakers
Toronto Brawlers
Kitchener Blue Tigers
 

This is from a couple of seasons ago, the only change is addition of Boston Shamrocks and Rochester Millers to the ACFL. 

Slapshot Kirby wrote:

A potential merger if the OFU? Didn't see that coming! Although I am more curious about if that does happen, how OFU teams will adapt to hybrid football rules (Assuming the OFU plays under Canadian rules). As for the ACFL, if Boston and Rochester continue to struggle, what are the chances that it leads to Van Fossen's downfall as that league's commissioner, especially since I have a funny feeling that the ACFL lacks a neutral league office. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. 

Not sure what you mean by a neutral league office? 

However, the ACFL is very much in Van Fossen's control. He has most of the say in what the league does, and this is mainly because he is still the owner of the New York City Bulls Football Club, which brings in the most revenue for the league out of any team (only Brooklyn really is anywhere close). So any that means there isn't a very great chance that he is removed, besides the fact that he was only made commissioner last offseason as well.

I mean while the decision hasn't worked so far, it is only one season, and not everything will come together immediately. If the move ultimately pays off, it could be extremely damaging to the NAAF, a league Van Fossen has a vendetta against. 

Also yes the Ontario Football Union does use Canadian Rules, but with Hybrid rules starting to take over the majority of Eastern Canada, the Canadian game is, unfortunately, starting to die out. 

I will also comment on ZO82's comment and say Hamilton and owner Arnold Gibson are certainly fighting for their tradition of Canadian football, which is understandable since a move like this would likely kill the rule set in Eastern Canada. I certainly don't see any reason they would shift completely to American rules. 


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5/06/2021 7:23 pm  #1489


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Introducing the Halifax Mariners

Halifax Owner Elliot Hudson was overjoyed to show off the complete rebranding of the Worcester Athletics. He decided quite early on that the team would not retain the “Athletics” name. However, the new name was something that he struggled to come up with. There were several names that were being suggested from the Halifax Highlanders to the Atlantic Admirals, however, Hudson finally landed on the Halifax Mariners. The name made a lot of sense for Halifax because of the heavy navy presence in the city as one of Canada’s main navy hubs, as well as a large number of ships and other ocean-related industries. The aim of the name is to connect to as many people as possible within the city as many have connections to the marine industry. It also, hopefully, can grab some fans from the other Atlantic Canadian provinces with the area being known as the Maritimes. 

The new look is aiming to honour the history of the Athletics (mainly before Chester Paul) and bring in a fresh new feel from Halifax. Hudson decided to maintain the Athletics’ cream from their design, but switch out black for an Atlantic Blue. The logo will simply be the team’s blue helmet with “HALIFAX” in cream on the sides of the helmet. They will switch from cream at home to cream on the road with the addition of an Atlantic Blue home jersey. They will also move the double stripe from the sleeves to the shoulders. The last detail is that they will keep the heart patch to honour Richard Paul, the long-time and fondly-remembered former owner of the Worcester Athletics. 

Lastly, the team will be moving into Atlantic Stadium for this season which will ultimately seat 34,200 people upon opening. It was originally only going to seat 20,000, but with the increase in funding from the other NAAF teams, they were able to expand the stadium by quite a lot. The final size is only 300 seats smaller than Western Fair Stadium in London, Ontario. 
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Buffalo to Open new Stadium with Fan-Chosen Name
The new stadium in Buffalo had broken ground last year and with quick development, the new building would be ready to go for this upcoming season. The new 54,000 seat stadium which will be right on Lake Erie will be the new home for the Blue Wings for the foreseeable future. The Blue Wings’ owner Milton Charles is ecstatic about the new stadium and cannot wait till the home opener. However, there was one thing that he was unable to come up with, and that was a new name for the stadium. He eventually decided that the fans should submit and then vote on a name. They went forward with this and thousands of fans partake. While Milton was expecting the fans to vote in a name like Blue Wings Stadium or potentially Oscar Patterson or Angelo Medina (or another famous Blue Wings player) Stadium, he was surprised to learn that the fans voted to name the stadium after Milton himself. The fans recognize how much he cares about the fans and the city of Buffalo and they wanted to honour the only man to run the Blue Wings. He finally got to introduce the new stadium as Milton Charles Stadium shortly after the league meetings had passed. During the conference, he thanked the fans for the honour, but really they were thanking him for everything he has done. 

Last edited by Wallflower (5/07/2021 9:15 am)


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5/06/2021 8:33 pm  #1490


Re: North American Association of Football - NAAF

Also, final call for prospects for this year's draft if you are still wanting to put players in the hat : )


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