Alternate History Sports

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

10/18/2023 12:42 pm  #161

Re: The American Football League

Wouldn’t mind seeing the expansion draft as part of the offseason recap, but I think it should be just a list of the teams players and their respective positions, not a full on recap. Also, any chance Milwaukee will get a franchise? (A market that’s right in the leagues bread and butter that has not been mentioned as part of the PAFC) Just seems like a natural fit.


10/18/2023 10:52 pm  #162

Re: The American Football League

MitchSwanson94 wrote:

Wouldn’t mind seeing the expansion draft as part of the offseason recap, but I think it should be just a list of the teams players and their respective positions, not a full on recap. Also, any chance Milwaukee will get a franchise? (A market that’s right in the leagues bread and butter that has not been mentioned as part of the PAFC) Just seems like a natural fit.

Milwaukee does have a PAFC team, the Milwaukee Maroons. I've mentioned them once at the very beginning, but none since. The reason for that is that they've mostly languished as an awful to a very mediocre team since the AFL split off. In the past 4 years, they finished 4th, 4th, 9th, and 6th. Fan interest is beginning to dwindle, and both Chicago teams are looking to expand their presence there. It's possible that the AFL takes a stab at Milwaukee like they did with St. Louis, but it's more likely than not they'll look at larger markets before going to Milwaukee.

Founder of the EFL and the AFL
     Thread Starter

11/14/2023 1:27 pm  #163

Re: The American Football League

1954-55 Offseason

Perhaps the biggest retirement in the brief history of the AFL is Chicago QB Alfred Walton. From when he first signed with the Hogs, his offensive impact was immediate, winning a MWFC title in just his second year. His time as a playcaller brought great stability to a Hogs team without an offensive identity, leading them to 4 MWFC titles and 3 AFL titles. Walton should remain as the prototypical comparison for any young QB entering the world of pro football. Two other key members of those Hogs title runs also called it a career after winning it all one last time, with DL Joel Valentine and LB Douglas Marks retiring after 9 and 11 years as a pro, respectively. Valentine terrorized offensive lines during his career, molding the Hogs defensive unit into one of the best football has ever seen, and his pairing with DL Eric Forbes only furthered this belief. Journeyman OL Alexander Hunt also retired this offseason, spending 11 years between Chicago in the MWFC, and Cleveland and Buffalo in the AFL. He was a reliable and consistent starter for all the teams he played for, setting a record for most consecutive games started at an offensive lineman position at 134 games, never missing a single game in his career. 2-time All-Star DB Jim Farmer also called it a career, playing all of his 11 year career with the Cincinnati Rivermen, never winning a title but came close during the 1951 AFL season. Farmer never won a major award, the closest he came was finishing second to DB Vincent Kelly in 1950 for Defensive Player of the Year. However, he did serve as a great veteran mentor to young Rivermen Kerry Lantz and Adrian Barboza in the secondary, retiring knowing that they might even succeed him as the best secondary players in Cincinnati. Tri-Cities WR Dale Riggs was the final major player calling it a career, spending his entire 11 year playing career with the Hawks. He played a major part in the Hawks’ offensive attack that won them the 1950 AFL championship and won another title in the MWFC in 1945, but slowly got displaced with the acquisition of George Payne from Detroit and the drafting of Max Ausloos. Payne had regressed in the past few years, so Riggs got one final chance to shine before retiring.

Coaching Changes
Only 3 years removed from their last championship appearance and 2 years from last being in the playoffs, Cincinnati fired HC Dean Perkins after going 29-20-1 in the 5 years he coached the team in the AFL. He started out well in the first 2 years, but slumped to a 10-9-1 record with potentially one of the most talented teams in the league not able to get above .500. Buffalo also was in the head coach hunt, as owner/head coach Willis Ware stepped down from the head coaching position to focus on the front office. Ware is attempting to build a playoff contending team after a promising rookie season from QB Brendan Turnbull, and would rather be behind the scenes rather than on the field. Pittsburgh also let go of OC Cleveland Davis after a disappointing offensive season following the departure of QB Clarence Stanley, falling to 4-6 after 2 straight years at 7-3.

Cincinnati would not actively hire anyone from outside the organization, promoting OC Alfred Joseph to the head coaching position and QBs coach Lester Kimball to the newly-vacated offensive coordinator spot. Buffalo elected to go for the experienced hire, taking Cleveland OC Vincent Merritt away to become their new head coach. Before leading the Crows to a turnaround 6-4 championship appearance last year, he led the Tri-Cities Hawks in 1950 to their most recent title, and his experience should help a rebounding Hammers team strike in a weaker East. Cleveland would replace Merritt with University of Cleveland head coach Richard Morgan, who led the Wildcats to their first ranked appearance in school history behind a lethal rushing attack. The Crows hope that he can meld his style of play in the college game to the pro level, with a young offensive core already at the ready for his disposal. Pittsburgh would also take the college route in hiring their new coach, luring away Chicago Christian offensive coordinator Barry Edwards to the same position, hoping to inject life into a hapless offense led by young QB O.J. DeMille.

With the drama surrounding the rebuilding Detroit Knights and his benching during the season, WR Lloyd Lawson demanded out, wanting to play for a team that would actually utilize him well. After spending the past 2 years in limbo of whether to rebuild or not, the aging GM August Riddle finally decided to let the old team go. Lawson was officially allowed to seek a trade, with Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, and New York the teams that had shown some sort of interest. Lawson had stated that he would most like to go to Buffalo, wanting to turn the Hammers back into a contender. In the end, Boston would end up getting the surprise acquisition before the expansion draft had taken place resulting in primarily draft picks being dealt. The Dragons would send their 2nd and 5th round picks this year (selecting 12th and 42nd, respectively) and a 4th round pick in 1956 in exchange for Lawson and Detroit’s 4th round pick selecting 44th. Boston would immediately get to build around one of the league’s best wideouts for a relatively low cost, while Detroit would only further distancing Lawson from the front office by not trading him to where he wanted and only made fans more upset with Riddle’s decision making abilities.

The Lloyd Lawson trade wasn’t the only trade that stopped the presses around the league. The Tri-Cities Hawks have been the other team that has been a massive disappointment in recent years, much to the annoyance of DL Ralph Rogers, who had been through enough with the team and demanded that he wanted to go to a contender. Tri-Cities owner Bert Hester had realized maybe a bit too late that first round picks in the draft are extremely valuable and asked that whoever was to acquire Rogers include their first round pick as part of the trade. Knowing they have to acquire in order to compete with new competition in the West, Cleveland made the massive move, sending OL Jesse Lancaster, a 1st and 5th round (picking 9th and 49th) in this years’ draft, and a 3rd round pick next year for DL Ralph Rogers. The Crows will immediately pair up the 3-time all-star with 3rd year DL Fergus Prendergast, and could potentially be the best 1-2 punch on the line in the league up with Chicago (Eric Forbes and Benjamin Walkins, Jr) and Pittsburgh (Roy Forbes and Archie Webber). The Hawks acquiring picks will be vital to their future, realizing a little too late that they might not be the competitive team they once were. Lancaster should become an immediate starter for the Hawks, and will be a great veteran piece to an offensive line that desperately needs a starter.

Chicago RB Jeffery Spears had an excellent rebound season after a few miserable years wallowing in Detroit’s offensive mess. He played as a compliment back to RB Billy Gould, and attracted a good amount of attention amongst teams that wanted to replicate the Hogs’ offensive style. Knowing that Spears wanted a better contract and a place he could be the feature, the Hogs offered him up for a trade. New York and Washington made the most convincing bids, but the Lions promised the higher salary between the two offers. So, the Hogs sent Spears for the Lions’ 5th round pick this year selecting 41st and a 4th round pick next year, as well as extending Spears to a 2 year, $43k deal. The Lions secured a veteran star for their first year in the AFL for a cheap cost, mainly due to Spears’ abilities in years past. If he can improve upon his ability from last year, he could easily turn New York into a contender.

The Hogs also happened to luck out on the trade of Brian Bruce to the Hawks last year, acquiring a first round pick in this years’ draft as part of the compensation. That would have been the #1 pick if not for Boston and New York being placed at the top, giving Chicago the #3 overall pick and the potential to draft another key player in their machine. Instead of going with what they had, they were willing to shop around the pick to teams desperate for a game-changing player to kickstart a turnaround. This got nearly every team sending some sort of inquiry to acquire the 3rd overall pick, but the team that would win out would be none other than the team that had the pick originally: the Tri-Cities Hawks. Knowing that both Boston and New York would most likely not draft a skill position on the offense with the first two picks, the Hawks desperately needed a signal caller that would either replace or succeed QB Gilbert Clay. They would utilize the 9th overall pick that they acquired from sending DL Ralph Rogers to Cleveland, as well as sending their 3rd round pick this year (23rd) and their 2nd round pick next year to get the 3rd overall pick back. Chicago will now select back-to-back in the first round barring another trade, and will continue to build upon their team, gaining 4 picks over the next 2 years to continue their success in the AFL.

Expansion Draft
The Boston Dragons and New York Lions were able to select two players from the existing 8 teams to build up their inaugural rosters. Teams were able to protect 12 players of any experience plus 4 additional players under the age of 24. Naturally, a lot of the better players were kept by the current AFL teams, but there was plenty of talent left available for selection.

Boston elected to select first in the expansion draft, and primarily selected starter-ready players to either start immediately for them or compete for the starting job. Buffalo backup QB Adrian Alfonso is expected to compete with existing starting QB Dave Spencer, and he might win the job outright over the longtime starter for the Boston Bards in the NEFL. Washington OL Mitchell Beck was surprisingly a protection omission from the Feds, and will become the immediate centerpiece of the young Dragons team, as well as adding 2-year starter from the Detroit Knights in Phillip Lee. Cincinnati RB Pete Abbott and Tri-Cities RB Jim Riggs were selected to  be the 1-2 of the rushing game; Abbott is to be the speedy back while Riggs can fit into almost any role. Those two equally great backs will be the focal point of the offense headlined by top offseason acquisition WR Lloyd Lawson. Their defense was also bolstered by the selection of players such as Chicago LB Killian Graves and S Carl Allyn, Detroit DB Lynn Sharp, and Pittsburgh DL Benjamin Nash and DB Neil Harrington. It seems that Boston is trying to emulate the recent success of the Chicago Hogs, pairing a strong run game with a tough-as-nails defense to stop opponents in their tracks while running them into the ground. It’s tough to gauge how well this strategy will do with the limited sample size, especially since they have to mesh together players who have never played under this style to make it work efficiently. Depending on how well this plan will work out, Boston will be a boom-or-bust team that will either flame out or somehow make the expanded playoffs.

New York, on the other hand, elected to mainly take depth pieces and will try to build up their team through the draft. The most well-known player taken by New York was Detroit QB Roy Woodward, who was essentially driven out of town to make way for Terry Kadlec. Woodward will reunite with former Knight RB Jeffery Spears, who had a career revitalization in Chicago before being traded to the Lions this offseason. Whether he’ll be able to rescue his career after being sent off combined with a team that was essentially assembled from the ground up will have to be seen this year, as New York didn’t assemble star power like Boston did. The offensive line got solid pieces to begin with, as they selected Donald Sparks from Cleveland and Lawrence Acker from Chicago, but neither will be the centerpiece they need on the line. The Lions took the speedy WR David Rice as a deep threat and TE Leon Kurtz to give better protection to both Woodward and the RB tandem of Spears and Bernard Parks. They got a good start building their secondary, selecting the hard-hitting duo of Cincinnati S George Schmidtz and Washington S Thomas Barr to stop any deep threats from getting past them. However, the only other solid player that should still be a starter is Cleveland LB Theo O’Neal, who will anchor the linebacking core until LB Gordon Duffy emerges as the true starter. These depth pieces will definitely make New York fall towards the bottom of the East Division, but if Woodward lives up to his potential and Jeffery Spears continues upon his play from last year, then New York could finish further up than just the basement of the league.

C&C Appreciated!

Founder of the EFL and the AFL
     Thread Starter

11/30/2023 2:46 pm  #164

Re: The American Football League

1955 Draft Preview

AACA Top 20:
1) Oklahoma - 10-0
2) Chicago Christian - 8-1
3) Calvert - 10-0
4) Los Angeles State - 9-1
5) Ohio - 7-2
6) Southwestern Christian - 9-1
7) Mississippi - 8-1-1
8) Atlanta State - 8-1-1
9) St. Joseph’s - 8-2
10) Alabama A&M - 9-1
11) U. Kansas City - 7-3
12) Michigan - 7-2
13) ULA - 6-4
14) Miami State - 6-3
15) U. Cleveland - 9-0
16) Brooklyn College - 6-3-1
17) Texas State - 7-2-1
18) Army - 6-2-1
19) Monongalia State - 8-2
20) Navy - 6-3

AACA Bowls:
Tournament of Roses Bowl (Los Angeles, CA) - (16) Brooklyn College 14-17 (4) Los Angeles State
Palm Bowl (Miami, FL) - (3) Calvert 20-6 (10) Alabama A&M
Magnolia Bowl (Houston, TX) - (6) Southwestern Christian 14-13 (1) Oklahoma
Columbian Bowl (Chicago, IL) -  (2) Chicago Christian 7-0 (9) St. Joseph’s
Gold Bowl (San Francisco, CA) - (5) Ohio 34-14 (13) ULA
Cigar Bowl (Tampa, FL) -  (11) U. Kansas City 25-13 (12) Michigan
Syrup Bowl (New Orleans, LA) - (7) Mississippi 33-20 (15) U. Cleveland
Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX) - (19) Monongalia State 21-14 (17) Texas State
Orange Bowl (Orlando, FL) - (8) Atlanta State  7-6 (14) Miami State

1) OL Chris Cutchen - Iowa A&M - Waldorf Florus - Wallflower
2) LB Duane Ackerman - Oklahoma - Waldorf Florus - Wallflower
3) QB Richard “Rocco” Vanthourenhout - University of Kansas City - Sidney Boggs - DireBear
4) LB Bob Jessup - St. Joseph’s - Sidney Boggs - DireBear
5) WR Justin Harris - Minnesota State - Bernard King - Kingsfan11
6) RB Arthur Busch - University of Cleveland - Sidney Boggs - DireBear
7) LB Cade Masters - Chicago Christian - Johnny Armando - Stickman
8) OL Stevie Cockburn - Ohio - Jimmy Jones - Dan O’Mac
9) DB Sammy Weems - Ohio - Waldorf Florus - Wallflower
10) TE William Hunter - University of the Tri-Cities - Jimmy Jones - Dan O’Mac
11) S Jackson Jones - University of Buffalo - Waldorf Florus - Wallflower
12) S Quinn Keeley - Alabama A&M - Isaac “Deuce” Martin - idm
13) OL Toby Killigan - Michigan A&M - Johnny Armando - Stickman
14) DB Jeff Brother - Wisconsin State - Jimmy Jones - Dan O’Mac
15) WR Al Cannon - Calvert - Isaac “Deuce” Martin - idm
16) DL Martin Stark - Idaho - Sidney Boggs - DireBear
17) DB Jason Brother - Wisconsin State - Isaac “Deuce” Martin - idm
18) QB Sam Eagleburger - Chicago Christian - Isaac “Deuce” Martin - idm
19) DB Ray Furness - University of Cleveland - Sidney Boggs - DireBear
20) DL Leroy Brockhaus - Chicago Christian - Waldorf Florus - Wallflower

Oklahoma once again claimed a piece of the national title after another 10-0 season, even after moving from the Red River Conference to the Missouri River Valley Conference. In their second straight undefeated regular season, they claimed another national title thanks to an incredibly stout defense led by LB Duane Ackerman among others. The captain of the defense was the only player who declared for the AFL, as the other seniors in that defense were scooped up by the PAFC in their rookie signing window. They played in the Magnolia Bowl for the third straight year, and their hopes of the mythical national championship were ruined by former conference mate Southwestern Christian, who had a turnaround season and upset the Tornadoes on a late touchdown to ruin any chances of a national title. The team that ended up gaining a larger claim of the title was Calvert, who also put together their second undefeated season in 3 years and were selected to play in the Palm Bowl against Southern Conference winner Alabama A&M. The Terriers easily disposed of their competition, with WR Al Cannon overpowering the smaller S Quinn Keeley for a 2 touchdown game. The Roses Bowl once again featured Brooklyn College and Los Angeles State, though neither at the same level that they were both at last year. Brooklyn finally regressed though still won the ECC, while Los Angeles State lost their undefeated season to Idaho thanks to DL Martin Stark shutting down the Bulldogs’ offense. The Terriers kept with the Bulldogs for the entire game, though failed to convert on a field goal that would have tied the game and gave LA State the bowl game for the 2nd time in 3 years. Chicago Christian topped the CAC, sporting the next-best defense to Oklahoma and a solid QB-WR combo of Sam Eagleburger and Isaiah Morris. They hosted the Columbian Bowl against the equally defensive St. Joseph’s, whose LB Bob Jessup became the first defensive-only player to receive votes for the Bernheim Trophy, and managed to finish a surprising second place. In a defensive battle for the ages, Chicago Christian came up on top 7-0 on a forced fumble from the overpowering DL Leroy Brockhaus and returned by LB Cade Masters for the touchdown. DB J.T. Marteau would get the game-sealing interception late in the 4th to finish the lowest-scoring Columbian Bowl since its inception. The player that would end up winning the Bernheim Trophy would be UKC QB Richard “Rocco” Vanthourenhout, who almost single-handedly won the Yellow Jackets a conference title if not for a close loss to Oklahoma. Vanthourenhout torched Michigan in the Cigar Bowl 25-13, and looks to be the top QB prospect that teams (specifically Tri-Cities) will need to start a turnaround. Finishing third in voting for the Bernheim was UCleveland RB Arthur Busch, a bruising back that plowed through defenders to keep himself going. He effectively carried the Wildcats to a Great Lakes Conference title, thus earning a bowl bid to the Syrup Bowl against Mississippi. Strong play by DB Ray Furness in the secondary and Busch on the ground was not enough for Mississippi intercepting QB Mick Casey three times and the Wildcats’ underdog season ended in a 33-20 loss. The Gold Bowl was another rematch between Ohio and ULA, and for a second straight year the Buckeyes would run over the Aztecas 34-14. DB Sammy Weems would boost his draft stock by intercepting two passes and returning them both for touchdowns. In the other two bowls not featuring AFL talent, Monongalia State proved to be worldbeaters once again by taking down Texas State 21-14 in the Sun Bowl, while Atlanta State and Miami State fought a rough defensive battle in the Orange bowl with the former narrowly taking a 7-6 win in unpleasant conditions.

The best player in the draft, OL Chris Cutchen from Iowa A&M, should be able to anchor the offensive line no matter where he goes. It would be surprising if he does not get picked within the first two picks, as both New York and Boston need his size and strength to become decent teams in the league. The other two offensive linemen rated in the top 20 will also make great immediate starters, with Ohio’s Stevie Cockburn providing great physical prowess on the line while Michigan A&M’s Toby Killigan is more of a well-rounded lineman. This draft class may not be the best in terms of high-end wide receiver talent, with Justin Harris from Minnesota State and his excellent route-running and catching abilities making him a projected top 5 pick. Besides him, there is no consensus next best after him, meaning that the later rounds will be a wash in terms of who is best at that position. On the other hand, the defensive back position is incredibly deep. Including names already mentioned such as Sammy Weems, J.T. Marteau, and Ray Furness, sibling DB's Jason and Jeff Brother join them near the top. Both were shutdown players while at Wisconsin State, providing a lone bright spot on a down season for that team. Included in the talks for best players in the secondary available is S Jackson Jones from the University of Buffalo. He is able to track down and take down the ball carrier with great ease, though he is getting put lower on teams’ draft boards due to his lack of muscle, relying on other methods to take players down. There’s really only one excellent player coming from west of the Mississippi, that being Idaho DL Martin Stark, a player that has turned heads in more ways than one. He bullied players on the offensive line just by using his size and stature, and looks like a clear lock to be a starter if he can adapt to the pros. However, his attitude issues are a major red flag for all teams, as he assaulted another high schooler after a football game and was suspended for a majority of his junior year for starting a benches-clearing brawl against Montana State. If any of his anger can be tempered by any team, then he would be a surefire top 10 pick, but teams aren’t willing to take the risk if they bring a character like Stark to their team.

Rocco Vanthourenhout is an easy lock to go within the top 5, while Sam Eagleburger and Mick Casey might follow shortly after for any team looking to reach for a QB. Vanthourenhout is larger than average for a QB, allowing him to stay in the pocket for longer and find the receiver he can throw to, able to sling it pretty much anywhere downfield. Eagleburger is more of the prototypical deep passer compared to Vanthourenhout, though he gets dropped down a step for trying to force plays too often and potentially ruin offensive drives. Casey was the QB that Cleveland needed to support its run game, and as such may not be drafted until a team that utilizes the run needs someone like him. The rest of the remaining available QB’s are a mixed bag. Wyoming State’s Dwayne Dessena has incredible football smarts but lacks some of the physical talents needed to be an effective QB. He’s a great leader when under center, but may need some time to develop and learn the offense before getting any sort of starting time. Any quarterback from Ohio would usually be getting more of the spotlight, but Gil Stacy had trouble throwing deep when his primary attribute is having a cannon for an arm. Although he is able to throw it pretty much anywhere on the field, more often than not it’s either too deep or underthrown and in the arms of the secondary. He will also be a project while improving his accuracy under the current starter of whatever team takes him. Massachusetts State’s Salvatore Saab can be seen on equal footing to Stacy, though he seems more starter-ready.

Draft Picks/Needs:

1 - New York Lions
Picks: 1, 11, 21, 31

2 - Boston Dragons
Picks: 2, 22, 32, 44
Needs: WR TE DL LB S

3 - Tri-Cities Hawks
Picks: 3, 13, 33, 43, 49

4 - Detroit Knights
Picks: 4, 12, 14, 20, 24, 34, 42

5 - Pittsburgh Shamrocks
Picks: 5, 25, 35, 45

6 - Cincinnati Rivermen
Picks: 6, 16, 26, 36, 46

7 - Buffalo Hammers
Picks: 7, 17, 27, 37, 47

8 - Washington Federals
Picks: 8, 18, 28, 38, 48
Needs: OL TE DL LB

9 - Cleveland Crows
Picks: 15, 19, 29, 39
Needs: OL WR TE LB

10 - Chicago Hogs
Picks: 9, 10, 23, 30, 40, 41, 50

C&C Appreciated! Any draft predictions?

Founder of the EFL and the AFL
     Thread Starter

Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum