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10/08/2021 10:56 am  #141

Re: American Runty Championship: 1956-57 Offseason

1956-57 NERC Offseason

NERC Reinstates 4 Clubs after scandal

After the infamous Gambling Scandal the offseason before, the NERC announced that 4 of the 5 teams involved would be suspended for 1 year. They would only be allowed back if they passed a police investigation showing that all parties involved were expelled from the club. 

Throughout the season and first months of the offseason the New York and Boston police departments ran this investigation. On October 12, 1956, the NERC announced that Staten Island, the Bronx, Boston, and Hempstead had all passed the investigation, and were to be reinstated in time for the 1957 season. Commissioner Isidore Spinola had this to say on the matter.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to hear that these 4 clubs have passed their respective police investigations. The North-Eastern Runty Championship looks forward to seeing these teams write new chapters of their history starting this upcoming season.”

As a result of being the ringleaders, the New York Knights were to sit out of the 1957 season as well. They tried to appeal this during the offseason, but were unsuccessful. However, Spinola did say that the league had no plans of increasing the Knights’ suspension.

NERC addresses expansion speculation

With the league set to play with 9 teams for 1957, there was a lot of speculation on whether the NERC would add an expansion team in order to get back to an even number. Isidore Spinola addressed these in a press conference shortly before the start of the 1957 season.

“In an ideal timeline, we would like to have 12 teams by the year 1965, if not earlier. Another goal of ours is to have at least one of these expansion teams be located outside of the New York metropolitan area.”

When asked about more concrete dates for expansion, Spinola said that either 1 or 2  of the expansion teams would start play no later than 1960. When asked about locations for the teams, Spinola did not answer, telling the press to be patient.

NERC Announces Format for 1957 season

With the league going from 4 to 8 teams, there was hope that the schedule would be more simple, like it was before the gambling scandal. Much to the delight of the media, the NERC announced that the league would utilize a home-and-away system, as it had every year prior to 1956. With this system, each team will play 14 games.

Notable Player Movement

Perseus Whitney (BRK >>> HEM)

Whitney, who helped get Brooklyn their first ever Champions Cup, returned to the Clippers as they rejoined the NERC. This finalized the trade they made a year prior, which saw cash get loaned to the Clippers as they recovered from the scandal. This cash was loaned back to the Devils. Whitney kicked 17 goals in 14 games for Brooklyn, leading the team.

Gil Littlewood (BRK >>> HEM)

Just like Whitney, Littlewood returned to the Clippers in a similar deal. He emerged as one of the game’s premier midfielders, as well as one of the best playoff performers the league had seen. He was a key part of the Devils Championship run, his second Champions Cup title. Going back the other way is Devils prospect Brent Sturm, who got lots of playing time in the NYRL with the Clippers.

Manny Ramirez (BRK >>> BUF)

Ramirez, who helped Brooklyn win it all in 1956, signed a 1-year contract with the Panthers as a free agent. He spent his childhood in Buffalo, and analysts believe this contract will close out his career. He’d expressed his desire to play for the Panthers before, so now he gets to finally live out his dream as his career most likely comes to a close.

Pre-Season Picks

First Seed: Buffalo

The Panthers came up short in 1956 despite being the #1 seed, so they’re gonna want to make sure that doesn’t happen again this year. They’re stacked at all ends, and should be able to take advantage of the 4 returning teams.

Champions Cup: Buffalo over Manhattan

Buffalo winning it all is the popular choice, and the Archers should be primed for a good season as well. Despite a first-round exit in 1956, the Archers are still a contender that has what it takes to make the Champions Cup once again. The Devils, while they did win it all in 1956, lose two key parts. They’ll improve, but aren’t a perennial contender just yet.

Leading Goalscorer: Des Samuel (BUF)

He’s the greatest goalscorer the game has seen.

Projected Standings:

1. BUF
2. MAN
3. BRX
4. BRK
5. BOS
6. HEM
7. WST
8. SI


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