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Zycho32

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  1. NFL All-Decade Teams, Decade-by-Decade

    You know, given that I've done this before, multiple times in fact, decades like this should've been easy for me. Well, apart from losing my data multiple times over the years, having last tried this seven years ago, and trying to delve into better detail than before... aw [BLEEP], forget my griping and let's just get on with it. The 1950's All-Decade Team: At this point, do I need to re-hash the basics? The good news is there won't be any competing leagues to complicate the whole scenario. Team Roster- The Cliff's Notes Version: The Rules: The Coaches and Strategies: The Offensive Lineup: The Defensive Lineup: The Bench: The Discarded: The Scrimmagers: Final Tidbits:
  2. NFL All-Decade Teams, Decade-by-Decade

    Not gonna bother with spoiler tags here. You'll just have to suck it up. The NFL 1940's All-Decade Team vs The AAFC All-Decade Team: The big question would be, why are we settling things in this fashion? Most of us who have seen colossal crossovers in various media have no doubt seen the competing sides oppose one another, if only at first. And you've no doubt agonized over why they didn't just band together from the start. You have to remember that the NFL and AAFC did not have a benign relationship with one another. While the AAFC only had teams competing with NFL clubs for attendance and money in three cities only, and largely set up shop in places the NFL didn't touch or in the case of Cleveland abandoned, they were still competing with one another over the services of players involved. Of equal importance to the competition was the natural pecking order. Can you honestly see anyone from the NFL standing aside for someone from the AAFC? They spent those four years constantly deriding the AAFC and implying they would fall to pieces against the big boys(the common claim was that the Browns would be easily defeated by the worst NFL teams). As for the AAFC, why would they take such criticism and concede anything to the NFL? It's hard to imagine these days, but these were teams owned by guys who for one reason or another wanted to get into Professional Football but were barred from entry by the NFL, with rosters full of players who were either rejected by the NFL, discarded by the NFL, or never would have sniffed the NFL. Would an Alien invasion drastically change the dynamic? One would like to think so. These days we call that sort of thing Competence Porn. You have that impulse every time you watch a sci-fi/horror kind of movie because inevitably either the gathered team breaks down or the solitary heroes make dumb decisions for dramatic reasons. We want to believe saner, more composed people would make better decisions in those areas. I'm a bit more cynical. So we have this solution; have the leagues face each other in a best-of series(which doubles as the remainder of the tune-up schedule) and let the victor take on the Aliens. The Games: I've said it can either be a best-of-three or a best-of-five series. I'll go with the latter, if only because there's a decent chance a best-of-three series will only go two games, leaving only three tune-ups altogether. All games are Broadcast by ABC and commentated by Harry Wismur. Game 1: Polo Grounds, New York City, NY Game 2: Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, OH Game 3: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL Game 4: Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, CA Game 5: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA The Polo Grounds and Cleveland Municipal Stadium are the main venues used by the NFL Team and the AAFC Team respectively. Wrigley Field is the second NFL Venue, used because the Bears play there, and the NFL team is run by George Halas. Kezar Stadium is the second AAFC Venue, chosen largely because we don't need to go to New York a second time(even if it's Yankee Stadium) and the 49ers did end the AAFC as the second best team. The final venue was chosen because it was the lone venue that housed both an NFL(Rams) and AAFC(Dons) team at the same time. It's the best possible neutral ground we will find? So Who Wins?: I'll be honest; I don't see the NFL pulling this off. I would say the AAFC takes it three games to one. I say this, because it sort of already happened in real life. 1950. The AAFC is dead. Three franchises have joined the NFL, one of whom is the Cleveland Browns. Everyone in the NFL camp says the Browns will have a rude awakening. It's set up to be so; their Opening Day matchup is against the defending NFL Champion Philadelphia Eagles. That the Eagles are going to be without Steve Van Buren and Bosh Pritchard, among a couple others, is not seen as a concern. Even Greasy Neale is pooh-poohing the Browns, stating that all they do is pass. Given that he runs a 5-2-4 which is supposed to be good against air attacks, perhaps he has good reason. Cleveland demolishes them 35-10. It's not even as close as the score indicates. Philadelphia's defense is carved up over and over again by the Browns. Even if they were at full strength, Philadelphia would have likely been unable to keep up and would've fallen short, maybe by a score of 35-24 or something like that. It was a humiliating day for the NFL. In truth, it was a humiliating season. While the 49ers and Colts bungled their way to miserable records, the Browns continued to thrive, posting a 10-2 record. Those two losses offered a glimmer of hope and revenge for the NFL, as both came against the New York Giants, who unleashed their newly-created Umbrella Defense(basically a 6-2-2-1 that used the Ends to cover the short passing game) and largely stifled the Browns. The Giants did good enough to meet the Browns in the Eastern Division Playoffs. There they held Cleveland to merely eight points. A fantastic defensive effort... if only their offense didn't suck. Cleveland prevailed 8-3. That left the NFL Championship and the Los Angeles Rams as the lone obstacle. The Rams had an electrifying offense of their own, and the two teams would trade blows with one another for four quarters until a final drive was sealed with the clutchest of clutch field goals by Lou "The Toe" Groza, winning the game for Cleveland 30-28. The upstarts had conquered the NFL. And while they would never be perfect in championship games at the NFL level, they were always the Eastern Division representative through 1955. Given that the AAFC team is basically the best of the Browns with some upgrades thrown in, can an All-Star NFL team pull enough power from its britches to prevail? The key problem is one of strategy. Go back and compare the NFL strategy to the AAFC strategy. The AAFC was far more advanced on offense, not reliant on the talent of singular players to make plays, but designing plays that involved everyone. The Giants stifled them initially because they game-planned heavily around pass defense, something that the NFL Team would struggle to do- even changing to a 5-2-4 defense isn't guaranteed to help, as it didn't help Philadelphia. The NFL defense will be too reliant on the ballhawking skills of Sammy Baugh(and maybe Bob Waterfield), their halfbacks will likely struggle containing Speedie and Lavelli, and while there are linebackers like Charley Brock and Riley Matheson who can defend the pass, they too will have their hands full containing the AAFC halfbacks, especially when the reserves come in and kick things up a notch. The line might be bolstered on the inside with Blozis, Ray, and Kilroy, but Craig will be swallowed up by Rymkus and even if they break the AAFC line they still have to get past Motley's pass blocking and the quick passing game as run by Otto Graham. The NFL offense has a small advantage in that the AAFC defense is more pass oriented and can be beaten somewhat on the ground. But beyond that the offense is more primitive. Ends are expected to be islands unto themselves. Don Hutson will likely be corralled by a combination of Tommy James, Lou Saban, and Cliff Lewis. He'll get free, he'll gain yardage. Pete Pihos can catch contested balls and will make either Tony Adamle or Tom Colella miserable. And there George McAfee. So Sid Luckman has options in the passing game. But all that and the bruising running of Steve Van Buren? It's manageable. It'll be annoying, and the defense will leak at times, but the AAFC can weather that kind of assault. I won't bother with scores. I'll just say that the NFL team could probably take one game from the AAFC when the chips are down, but not two. But What About a Unified Team?: ...alright already! I didn't want to get into this, but... We'll just break this down into separate categories. This won't be a complete and detailed list, merely speculative rambling on my part. You could probably do much better. NFL Dominant Team, Five Year Guideline maintained: The only players on the AAFC Team that spent years in the NFL that qualified(needed to have played in at least half of their team's games in a season) were Bruno Banducci, Lou Rymkus, and Tom Colella. Banducci probably doesn't warrant a spot, as he played in Philadelphia before the 5-2-4 and therefore is a question mark on defense. Rymkus will likely be put at starting defensive tackle, putting out Al Blozis. Colella miiiiight warrant a spot on the bench, or he might replace Richard Todd in the secondary. And while we maintain the guideline we still have exceptions. But assuming the NFL team is willing to have black players, then Marion Motley is the definitive upgrade over Pat Harder. Bill Willis could likely replace Bucko Kilroy, but that'll just move Kilroy offer to Right Guard, bump Ray Bray to the bench, and get rid of George Musso entirely. NFL Dominant Team, Five Year Guideline abolished: Adding onto the above names, Richard Barwegan might unseat Danny Fortmann. Len Ford likely bumps Ed Sprinkle onto the bench and removes George Wilson from the lineup. Arnie Weinmeister bumps either Baby Ray or Rymkus onto the bench, which knocks Chet Bulger from the roster. Tony Adamle could potentially rub out Marshall Goldberg, either by taking his spot on the bench or bumping Ted Fritsch from the starting lineup. Spec Sanders and Buddy Young are electrifying enough to nab a couple of bench spots(Richard Todd and maybe Ward Cuff would be left out). Tommy James could take the remaining defensive halfback spot from Ernie Steele, and Steele would be gone too. Sadly, the Cleveland passing attack is virtually ignored, largely because they would unseat Bears players. AAFC Dominant Team, Five Year Guideline abolished: There aren't too many NFL players, amazingly, who'd jump in on the starting lineup. Steve Van Buren would be questionable as he wouldn't be utilized as much, but he could still be an upgrade at Left Halfback. George McAfee even more so at Right Halfback, thanks to his speed. Bruiser Kinard at Left Tackle and Bulldog Turner at Center are really the only players on the line who could jump in. Larry Craig and Ed Sprinkle are worth consideration against the likes of John Yonakor and George Young, but it's kind of a push. Riley Matheson might be the lone guy at linebacker. Sammy Baugh would be the definitive upgrade at safety, as would Bob Waterfield. On the bench, I could largely see Bucko Kilroy as the backup at Right Guard and Middle Guard. Next up will be the 1950's, without a competing league to boot!
  3. NFL All-Decade Teams, Decade-by-Decade

    The 1940's AAFC All-Decade Team: So there was this guy around the time by the name of Arch Ward. He was the Sports Editor for the Chicago Tribune(a newspaper. A newspaper is news printed on large sheets of foldable paper, in case there were some of you young whippersnappers who DIDN'T know), but moonlighted by creating special sports events. You know the concept of All-Star Games? Those dreary, boring affairs that showcase the supposed best talent in whatever league and sport they come from, but since those games count for nothing the players barely try at all? He created the first All-Star game for Major League baseball in 1933, meant to be a one-time affair that was part of the 1933 World's Fair based in Chicago. Did you use to speculate if the Cleveland Browns could beat the Alabama Crimson Tide? Ward created a special exhibition game in the 1930's where the defending NFL Champions would take on an All-Star team of Collegiates, most of whom where already drafted by NFL clubs but were delayed in joining their teams to fulfill this obligation(one of the smaller reasons why it didn't last). He certainly had the ear of the NFL around this time, and twice would be offered the position of NFL Commissioner(1941 definitely, and I'm guessing 1939). He also lobbied unsuccessfully for a blasphemous-at-the-time idea; Expansion. Expansion is sort of a way of life these days, but back in the 30's and going all the way to the 60's(in the case of Baseball, the entire first half of the 20th Century), the big leagues of any American sport balked at the idea. A lot of it likely came down to massive jitters inspired by the Great Depression, at first. It wouldn't be until the explosion of the 50's when Greed and just-plain-old-fashioned pooh-poohing started to become overriding factors. But anyway, Ward's failures to induce the NFL to expand led him to becoming contentious. Soon his priorities changed; he wanted to create a competing league that might one day take on the NFL in a Championship Game akin to the World Series of Baseball. Sounds familiar, right? Yeah, Ward dreamed of this a full decade and a half before the AFL took off in the 1960's and created the Super Bowl. Ward managed to secure a number of prospective owners who couldn't break into the NFL for one reason or another. Some were in cities competing directly with the NFL(Chicago, New York, newly-arrived Los Angeles), some were in Cities that just lost an NFL team(Cleveland), others in places without an NFL presence(Buffalo, San Francisco, Miami). They even scored an upset by luring an NFL Franchise(the Brooklyn Dodgers). We know how the story ends; the league folds, a few franchises join the NFL, and the grand narrative Ward sought would be delayed for some time. That's the dimestore history of the AAFC. This has been hashed over in the NFL section, but bears repeating; since the AAFC only lasted a mere four years before folding, the five year guideline is rescinded. The overall preference will be for players who spent four or even three years with the league, but exceptions will be made for those who served less time if they are talented enough or come with a unique skill. As the AAFC years took place after the War, there will be no complications on that score. The primary complication will be that of Integration. In the 1920's there were a small number of African-American players in the NFL(none made the 20's Team for various reasons). By the early 30's, they were all gone and a "color ban" of sorts was implemented by the league. This lasted until after the war, when the Los Angeles Rams added a couple of black players to the roster(as far as I can tell, this was a requirement in order for the team to use the Los Angeles Coliseum). Kenny Washington was the most noteworthy of the bunch... but largely the players involved were bit performers in the grand scheme of things. Integration was slow in the NFL, but largely steady. By the 1960's the only team that had yet to sign black players were the Washington Redskins, though many teams had ratios to some degree. By the 70's this was largely done away with and from then on the NFL was, if not a Black-Majority league, then far closer to actual equality than other sports. The AAFC started off challenging the concept of segregation. Or rather, it was primarily the Cleveland Browns that did so. In 1946 players such as Marion Motley and Bill Willis joined the Browns, primarily because they had already played for teams coached by Paul Brown through the college ranks and during wartime. But in the case of Motley and Willis, they were not bit players. They were actual stars and were utilized as such. Motley was the most feared rusher in the AAFC. Willis jumpstarted the Browns defense on the line. Unlike the NFL, Black Players stood a real chance of getting starring roles in the AAFC during these first few years. Guys such as Buddy Young, Len Ford, and Joe "The Jet" Perry would join the fray in subsequent years. It's a great story to be sure, but what it means for our selection process is we have to be on the lookout for players who might really resist the idea of playing with these guys in any capacity(such thoughts do not get crushed period, much less overnight). Team Roster- The Cliffs Notes Version: The Coaches and Strategies: The Offensive Lineup: The Defensive Lineup: The Bench: The Discarded: The Scrimmagers: Final Tidbits:
  4. Kinda feels wrong about it being in Winnipeg. Of course, I only say that because the CFL team that matches the Pack's colors are the Eskimos in Edmonton.
  5. NFL All-Decade Teams, Decade-by-Decade

    HEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!!!!!!!! The 1940's NFL All-Decade Team: The overall guidelines have not changed. This should be taken as a given, but this decade does come with some... complications. The first being a conflict across the world between multiple nations and various alliances, one that had actually been brewing since the 1930's but really picked up steam in this decade, ending in an entire country practically decimated and divided, with another suffering two horrific wounds before the notion of surrender was ever accepted. I am of course referring to the Second World War. In today's age, the thought of NFL Superstars ever being lured into the Armed Services for a war of worldwide proportions is simply unthinkable. This was not the case in the 1940's. Stars of all kinds of sports were pulled into the conflict, including those in the NFL. Many lost years of playing during their careers... some lost even more than that. This creates a noticeable section of players who thanks to the conflict missed too many years to qualify for this decade. Some players, especially on the high end, did in fact avoid service for various reasons(which I will not get into as that's a can of worms in itself), which negates this complication somewhat. The bigger problem comes with the AAFC. There are a notable amount of players who played in the NFL, and then went to the AAFC as a result. Since the AAFC never made it to five seasons, that particular guideline is rescinded(four year players of the AAFC are preferred but players who spent less time can be selected if skilled enough), but it raises the question of determining who qualifies for which league. The formula divised is simple; five years in the NFL is an automatic qualifier for the NFL unless that player also spent more than half of the AAFC's existence in that league. If a player has not spent five years in the NFL, their qualification automatically goes to the AAFC. A player who spent five years in the NFL but also two years or more in the AAFC is a special case that much be looked into on an individual basis, but I don't believe I'll come to that particular problem. Team Roster- The Cliffs Notes Version: The Coaches and Strategies: The Offensive Lineup: The Defensive Lineup: The Bench: The Discarded: The Scrimmagers: Final Tidbits: Now I can get to work on the AAFC Squad! That should actually be faster!
  6. NFL All-Decade Teams, Decade-by-Decade

    I apologize for the extensive delay. Lots of stuff blindsided me. The 1940's All-Decade Teams: Things are going to be different this time around. As mentioned before, there were a couple of "competing" leagues during the history of the NFL that warranted genuine mention. These are the AAFC of the 1940's and the AFL of the 1960's. This is largely for a key reason; franchises in these leagues(or in the AFL's case, all of them) eventually joined the NFL ranks, justifying their importance. Most understand this about the AFL because not only did their merger with the NFL bring in every one of their franchises, but they managed to get the NFL to take them on in a champion-versus-champion game, their version of the World Series. You all know it as the Super Bowl. The AAFC had a different story. They never got to take on the NFL in a Championship game. They also only managed to bring over three of their franchises. One of whom, the Baltimore Colts(no, not those Colts), were a sad sack that folded after one year, only to be replaced two years later with an expansion Baltimore Colts franchise that you know of today in Indianapolis. The second, the San Francisco 49ers(1849 California Gold Rush), proved to be a mainstay of the NFL. But the primary transfer was the crown jewel of the AAFC; the Cleveland Browns. You laugh at the Browns today, but their first decade of existence was as close to perfection as any franchise was likely to get. During the four seasons of the AAFC, Cleveland had 52 wins, 4 losses, and 3 ties, including a genuine 14-0 season in 1948, and won every single championship game. Their stay in the NFL was rockier; from 1950 through 1955, their record was 58 wins, 13 losses, and 1 tie. And while they appeared in six straight NFL Championships, they only won three of them, including their first season in the NFL. That was their first decade of existence. So, what we are going to do is assemble two teams; one from the NFL and one from the AAFC. The aim will be to pit these two All-Star Teams against each other in a game(or best-of-three) to determine which one will face the aliens(otherwise it's just another low-effort Pro Bowl game, y'know?). Since we're doing twice the amount of teams, we're going to split this up into four posts. The first post- this one- will be the introduction and involve the rule changes- which apart from one MAJOR development- are largely negligible. There won't be much of a need for text-hiding on this one. The second and third posts will go over the NFL and AAFC teams, their coaches, players, discarded options, and even at least one 'scrimmage partner' for training purposes. The fourth will simply go over the fated confrontation between the two squads and will be a significantly smaller post than the rest, because I'm not about to type out a play-by-play for a theoretical game(but if any of you were to be interested in doing so....) The Rules: There were actually a good many rule changes that occurred during this decade. A few are of some note, most just establish penalties and yardage and the like, but only one really revolutionized the game; Free Substitution. It would be easy to claim that Football, prior to this point, was played Iron-Man style; 60 minutes both ways, no breaks. It's the personification of that annoying grandpa who'd tell you incessantly about having to march uphill in a blizzard both way to get to school. The truth is a bit more complicated than that. While players could- and sometimes did- play sixty minutes a game, the reality is players could be substituted. Readers of this thread ought to know; it's been mentioned in both the 20's and 30's so far. However, the substitutions had limits; players had to wait until the end of either the quarter or the half to be subbed back into the game. By the 30's rosters had expanded to the point where you could march in an entire second unit in order to keep all the players fresh(New York began doing this in the late 30's, likely creating some copycats in the process), but it wasn't until the onset of World War 2- when the US was drawn into the conflict and the sporting world began to suffer shortages of manpower that the concept of Free Substitution was permitted. It worked like this; players could be subbed into the game and subbed out of the game at any time and for any duration. If you got the wind knocked out of you, you went on the bench for how many plays it took to get your breath back, then you could go back in whenever your coach wanted to. If you needed to take a player out because he had a disadvantage, you could swap him for someone better suited for the situation. If you had a good kicker that honestly wasn't good on offense or defense, you could keep him on the bench until the time you needed to kick and you could send him out. Of course you understand this; you live it with every game you watch. Try this experiment; take your favorite team, and now try to create an eleven-man roster that could go both ways for sixty minutes and fill just about any and every niche of the game that you could think of. Or at the least, a first team of eleven players and whatever substitutes you think could also play both ways. You also understand how this developed into the "Platoon" style. A dedicated squad of players, not as good as the offensive stalwarts, would be assembled into a defensive unit, one that could keep the playmakers on offense fresh. In time, actual defensive stars started to come about and be recognized because of the platoon split, and defenses started to become sophisticated. In addition, the dawn of the specialists was about to arrive, though by a rather piecemeal process. Kickers, Punters, and Returners, they started out as position players from elsewhere, either on offense or defense. For returners, this is still largely the case. The booters, apart from a few true-blue specialists who had no other position, wouldn't become an isolated group until well in to the 1960's. The reason is that while team rosters will expand in this decade from 30 players to 36, the platoon split will create a vastly shallow bench for both units to draw from. This continues well into the 60's, and it's really not until the roster limit is expanded into the 40's that pure kicking specialists become vogue. The NFL first started Free Substitution in 1943. As explained already, this is due to manpower shortages from the war. This will be repealed in the NFL in 1946. The AAFC would only take about a season or two to embrace the concept. By either 1947 or 1948. Free Substitution was used by the AAFC and they never looked back. It became such that the NFL would adopt in again in 1949, for a single year. That single year turned out to be permanent by 1950. The AAFC squad will be using Free Substitution and the overall rules of 1949. The NFL will simply have no choice but to follow suit. Of the remainder of the rule changes, here's what stands out; 1. Offensive pass inference in the opponent's end zone is just a pure distance penalty- it had for a time been a touchback. 2. Coaches and Players on-field are permitted to communicate with one another, as long as coaches remain in designated spaces and don't cause delays. 3. The hashmarks are moved in again! This time twenty yards from the sidelines. 4. T-Formation QBs under center(or really, ANYONE directly behind center and putting their arms underneath) have to receive the snap. It's a false start otherwise. 5. A forward pass that strikes the goalposts is automatically incomplete. The 1945 Championship game between the Redskins and the Rams involved a pass hitting the goalposts. Specifically, the offense(Washington) hit the post in their own end zone and it was ruled a safety. The Rams would win 15-14 thanks to that safety. This rule was put in palce for the next season. 6. The returning team is permitted to return punts and missed field goals from behind their own goal line. Coming up soon will be the NFL Squad for the 1940's.
  7. Jets reveal new uniforms

    Helmet: -The main positive is the color change. As great as the throwbacks were, they lost their luster during this decade. I largely attribute it to the tone of green, which had darkened significantly since the days of Namath and became a Forest Tone. A dark tone. Dark tones, unless properly supplemented by a contrasting color or bolstered by a kind of dominant tradition(think Penn State) will tend to look uninspiring and drab. Even the white of the throwbacks eventually failed to properly compliment the Forest tone. This is a more deep kelly type of green, which comes out much better. -Sadly, the white helmet is replaced, going back to the 80's-90's look that was honestly rather ho-hum as far as designs go. The logo is a step up from the old Jets design of that era, but is honestly no better than the 'Giants' lettering their in-stadium counterparts wore around that same time. -The black facemask fits a little better than gray or green, I will admit. Facemasks are good for contrast. White might've been better though. Jersey: -I'm not terribly offended at the difference between the Helmet color and the Jersey color. I sincerely doubt you're going to find a fabric that jumps off the page like the helmet paint would. -The biggest peeves are the frills. The shoulder swoosh nags at me because the NOB cuts the back end, leaving an asymmetric look(Cleveland has the same exact problem). The New York text is redundant, but so is all jersey text. Thankfully, that's the extent of the bells and whistles. -I do like the accenting on the numbers. I believe this was done during the nadir(I believe that means low point?) of the Jets, during the despicable Kotite years before the switch to the throwbacks. Regardless, it works to add a little more to the uniform. -NOB is now text-standard. I thought the throwback text turned into a font you would see in the old west and looked a bit out of place for a New York outfit(looks okay on Dallas though). Pants: -Rudimentary. Even the wing-tip striping isn't much to speak of- thankfully it's not attached to the jersey by way of lousy side-piping. The good part is the organization seems set on making the Jersey-Pant combo properly contrasted; White pants for green shirts, green pants for white shirts. No promises though; they'll probably try an all-green look for sure, and maybe a boring battle white look for especially hot days in the south(if their opponents don't do so first). I have no qualms with the former, but the latter is yawn-inducing. Black Outfit: -Would've gone better with green pants, but that's the OCD Symmetry coming out of my brain. It's not the eyesore that that San Fran black look was. And the Green accenting jumps out a little better than something like a red or a blue. Even so, it's a mild disappointment. All in all, I would've just gone for a color tone change in the throwbacks, but I'm rather conservative when it comes to innovation.
  8. NFL All-Decade Teams, Decade-by-Decade

    The 1930's All-Decade Team: The Quick Recap for people struggling to read through by Babushka Doll Cluster[BLEEP] of the 1920's, this is a team assembled out of the best players of this decade to do battle with Aliens for the fate of the world. There are limits; the strategies and rules have to be from the decade, aside from some exceptions the players have to have spent five years in the NFL during said decade, and we're employing "Wine Cellar" rules for the players; selecting the best year they've ever had from a performance or talent perspective. Team Roster- The Cliff's Notes Version: The Rules: The Coaches and Strategies: The Starters: The Reserves: Substitution Strategy: The Discarded: The Scrimmagers: Final Tidbits:
  9. NFL All-Decade Teams, Decade-by-Decade

    Just a quick note about what happened- evidently I need more practice with the "spoiler" parts. None of what I wrote is erased... it's just a forum Babushka Doll now. Click one spoiler and reveal the next one at the end, and so on. I also added a 'Cliff Notes' version of the team at the top for anyone who doesn't wanna bother reading, and then a small bit at the end only discussing the designated stadium and weather conditions. I'd be interested to know what else you would like me to discuss during these decades, because I'm out of ideas for additional stuff.
  10. NFL All-Decade Teams, Decade-by-Decade

    Oh Dear. Get ready to drown in text. Lots and lots of text. So much text that your brains will need gills to cope. The 1920's All-Decade Team: There's actually a reasonable excuse to start in the deepest reaches of history rather than the most recent events. As with all beginnings, no matter the league or sport, things are the most basic around that time. The complexities emerge later on, so starting with the 1920's gives both myself and the lot of you the chance to settle into the routine and take each oncoming complexity in proper sequence. This also provides the bonus of a psuedo history lesson; you'll get far better details looking the facts up compared to listening to me, but I'll probably be the foot in the doorway for you. Team Roster- Cliffs Notes Version: The Rules: The Coaches and Strategies: The Starters: The Reserves: The Discarded: The Scrimmagers: Final Tidbits:
  11. So. All-Time Teams. If you followed the history of any particular team sport you liked, then you probably dabbled once or twice in selecting the best of the best. I have too. More than once or twice. As a casual mostly, but at least once where I tried to be more... academic about it. Back on the Draft Countdown forums(dead and erased by the way) in 2012 thereabouts I made a sustained effort to create a series of All-Decade Teams. They weren't casual selections based purely on merit, or at least that was the aim. They were meant to signify what a genuine attempt to make the best possible functioning team out of the pool of available players. These teams would play according to the rules of their times, their strengths and restrictions. They would ideally have an answer for just about everything that could've been conceivably thrown at them from those time periods. These were supposed to be teams that could mesh together and not chafe within the confines of a locker room and the depth chart. But most importantly, these were supposed to be teams that could compete and win under the most brutal and desperate of circumstances. This thread will be a revival of this long-abandoned project. While my ego would disagree, what follows is largely no different from any other attempt at creating All-Time Teams. It's a lot of speculation(though reinforced with lots more research than the average casual go) mixed in with ample doses of the 'wishful thinking' syndrome, funneled through a series of restrictions that can admittedly be more malleable than one would want. This is NOT done by a genuine expert in the field(I was speculated to be one once, which tickled me pink, but still...), but rather a rank amateur trying to make a serious run of things. This is how it's going to work; First, I'm going to provide the general details of what my process is. Then I'm going to work my way up the various decades of existence the NFL has had. I will start from the 1920's and make it all the way to the 2010's(If all goes according to plan, this will admittedly be finished before the 2019 season has ended, so the 2010's may not be 100% complete). I will also respond to collected questions/critiques before each Decade is posted. At the same time, feel free to contribute your own All-Time or All-Decade teams if you wanna just use the thread as a more general All-Time thread. Enjoy. ---------------------------------------------------------------- The Process: (Apologies to anyone reading this verbal diarrhea. If someone could point out how to spoiler the text on this site...) I would say, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, creating an all-time team just means name recognition and personal merit. It makes sense; usually the most well-known players are universally regarded as the best. They are almost always Champions, Hall-of-Famers, Record Holders, Larger-than-Life Characters. Then those names get slapped onto a list. Sometimes(in the more serious ones) they get slapped onto the appropriate position they play instead of a vague indication(Actual All-Time Teams as dictated by early century sportswriters and the like are guilty of this sort of vagrancy. No distinction between the Left Side or the Right Side. And everyone's a Back in the backfield). There's no consideration over the assembled group of players actually competing in a match because there's virtually no need for it. After all, it'd only be in your head(or some bastardized concoction created by Madden's Create-A-Player). My ego claims this will be the 100th time. The concept I run with owes its existence to Bill Simmons and his Book of Basketball, as one of the final chapters discusses an All-Time NBA Team and introduced elements and concepts that revolutionized my way of thinking about this back in 2009. I will be doing a rather sloppy and lousy attempt at paraphrasing his concepts because, quite frankly, I don't wanna copy word-for-word from an actual hardcover book if I can get away with it. The first part is the Martian Premise(which Bill attributed to Bob Ryan, a sportswriter from Boston). Basically, Space Aliens invade the Earth, causing destruction and mayhem. Then they deliver an ultimatum; your sport of choice(in the book, Basketball, Best-of-Seven), you win, you save your planet. You lose, you all die. Those are the stakes. The second part is being given access to a Time Machine in order to go back and retrieve the finest ballplayers at specific moments in their times. This leads to a concept which Bill labeled as a Wine Cellar Team. He explains that most all-time teams are selected largely out of context, paying no attention to specific turning points in certain players' careers. Magic Johnson was listed as the primary example because he evolved multiple times in the course of his career, comparing the year one would select Magic to a particular year for certain wines. He stated that there were three distinct peaks in Magic's career- in '82 he was a sixth man extraordinaire who could be fitted into virtually any position, in '85 he was the man running Showtime as a Floor General, and in '87 he evolved into a deadly clutch performer and offensive dynamo who could win key games in the end. Another example is Michael Jordan, who peaked as an All-Around Dynamo in '92 but peaked as a Teammate in '96. Each of those years weren't just adding new talents to an existing template; those prior skills sorta declined as new ones took over. Jordan in '96 was, what, ninety percent of what he was in '92? So you have to be careful about which year of a certain player you select. Adapting these concepts to Football is both more simplistic and more complicated. The simplicity comes from more than there being only one game for the fate of the world. The concept of peaks is more straightforward here than in Basketball, largely because there is significantly less fluidity. At best most players worth considering have two peaks to speak of; the first peak is their physical peak, and the second is their mental peak. The first peak is often at the early point in their career, before the wear and tear has set in. Unfortunately, since it is usually early on in their career, these players(with elite exceptions) have yet to develop the experience that'll make them better decision makers. The second peak is at the latter point in their careers. They've experienced so much that they can make the correct decisions in split seconds. Unfortunately they have only a fraction of the physical skills they possessed in their youth thanks to age and injuries. There are obvious exceptions to those two peaks, but the standard applies. Pro Football is usually applying polish to what a player already has, with only rare examples of a player being taught something completely new. Sometimes, like Randall Cunningham in 1998, it's more Smoke and Mirrors than genuine development. It looked as if Cunningham evolved into an Elite Pocket Passer from the Runner/Thrower dynamo he was in his youth in Philadelphia... but who wouldn't be an Elite Pocket Passer throwing to Randy Moss? The complications arise from playing styles. Bill derided most Basketball Coaches in his book, saying most were largely useless and once or twice wishing for the Player-Coach to return. Basketball is, no matter what the strategists may say, a rather uncomplicated sport in the grand scheme of things. You can fit players of varying talents together and you can be largely assured they'll pick up the nuances of playing together in practice. Football by contrast is more complex(though the earlier decades will certainly be simple enough), relying upon not just different formations at given times, but teams will often have playbooks with differing levels of terminology to decipher. This is important if you want to assemble a team with a strength beyond 'Pick-up Pub Team trying to compete with Pros' levels. You will get ample practice time to mesh and develop as a unit, but said development isn't going to be some magic wand you can just wave at a group of players and Abracadabra! That will take time and it will take teachers, which means being stuck with coaches- usually an afterthought on All-Time teams. Anyway. We have Space Aliens competing against us in one game for our Challenge. And we have the Wine Cellar rules for selecting players and coaches. I'll finish by describing how these rosters are going to go down. The reason why I'm going with All-Decade teams is largely to shine a spotlight on the decades that will, quite honestly, get shafted. You can go with a single All-Time Team, but I'll level with you. You will have only a precious few players from the 1990's and 1980's, and virtually none from prior decades. The reason is the game evolves at rates that are stupefying if you ever step back and take notice. For Linemen on both sides, the 1980's is largely the cut-off point simply because that was when linemen were reaching the 300 pound threshold. Offensive Linemen who were lighter than that quite simply could not function in the modern game unless it was as a blocking tight-end/extra-fat-fullback. Even skill players have a ruthless cut-off period in the 1980's because of athleticism, though they have a far harsher one waiting in the 2000's thanks to the evolution of Offenses. The West Coast of the 1980's is rather quaint compared to today. And I haven't even mentioned the numerous Rule Changes that will trip up earlier players! Cutting up the All-Time teams into decades nicely compartmentalizes the sport into clear-cut sections, though sometimes the 'eras' will blend. This usually comes from a specific rule change, such as 1978, when the refinement of Pass Interference caused passing numbers to surge, changing what was still largely a run-heavy league into something more connected to passing. At any rate, each All-Decade Team can adapt a specific year for the general rules of the game. Case in point, the 1970's squad can play under the 1978 rules and use the refinement of Pass Interference to create a more successful passing attack. At any rate, I will be starting off with a select year for Rules. Since this was something I did NOT uniformly do in my prior attempt years ago, this will be slightly unfamiliar territory for me. My general attitude is I'll just use the end year of the decade- 1920's would be 1929, etc.- unless a rule change or several turns out to be detrimental. It's not likely to happen, but just to be safe. I will then select Coaches and Assistants. Head Coaches must have coached a minimum of five years within the decade at the NFL level to qualify. Assistant Coaches are under the same rule, but this can be bypassed. What that means is a particular Assistant Coach can have spent less than five years of the decade in the NFL if they have gone on or left from a Coaching job at any level, including a Head Coaching job in the NFL. However, the assistants have an additional restriction- the role they will play is dependent on the year they have been picked. Let's say we're eyeing a talented assistant whose career in the decade was spent half as a QB coach and the other half as an Offensive Coordinator. If I want him as an Offensive Coordinator, then I have to pick a year he was an Offensive Coordinator. Same goes if I want him as a QB Coach. And no, I cannot pick him as an Offensive Coordinator and just have him do double duty as a QB Coach. The only way I can do that is he spent a year doing double duty and I selected that year. On a final note, if there is a coach who started out as an assistant in a decade, then graduated to Head Coach, I cannot have both versions on the staff at the same time. Only one version of a specific coach for that decade(I CAN however, use a coach in multiple decades should it be beneficial to do so). Assistants are likely selected upon what the Head Coach usually relied upon during his career, in roles if not the actual assistants themselves. With the Coaches comes the selection of Play Style, both on Offense and Defense. This is largely a standard formation with a few tidbits. This will depend entirely on the coaches selected- or rather, the years in which they have been selected from. Don Shula of 1972 would run a Run-Heavy Clock Control Offense that can surprise with long-distance strikes from the air... but Don Shula of 1984 would be an Air-It-Out sort of coach thanks to the presence of Dan Marino. However, I can't pick 1972 Don Shula and have him run a 1984 style of offense. Otherwise I could make every All-Decade Team run Modern Game Plans and what would be too much cheese... even for a Wisconsin boy like me. The Coaches and Strategies will have an effect on Player Selection... especially those who did not play under the selected Coaches... or played in any kind of system close to the one I go with. This admittedly won't mean much very early on, when the formations were simplistic enough that getting the hang of them wouldn't take too much effort. But as we climb up through time, the strategies will start to develop a complexity(to say nothing of the Playbook Jargon that will develop) which will put those who played outside them at a notable disadvantage(or at least, a disadvantage that can't be fixed without many months of training). Onto the Players. The breakdown will be Starting Offensive Players, Starting Defensive Players(once Platoon Football is introduced), then the Bench Players. Once legit Special Teams Players(ones without actual positions on Offense or Defense) emerge, their spot will be behind the remaining Bench Players. Special Teamsters with roles on offense or defense will have their role on Special Teams listed as a Secondary Position(so a wide receiver who returns kicks will be found in the Wide Receiver section instead of in the back). The Roster Sizes will be dictated by the Limits set by the NFL in the years of the select decade (https://www.profootballarchives.com/nflrosterlimits.html ), with an exact year selected if there are too many changes within a set decade- the 1920's Team will be limited to 18 players as an example though a couple of years were spent with just 16. As for Inactive Players, I will only pay attention to the Active Roster Limits in general. That means for a Modern Day Team, I can only suit up 46 out of 53 players, so only those 46 will matter on Game Day- and there won't be any pre-game injuries to be concerned about so keeping the extra seven players is excessive. For the most part, Player Guidelines are sort of the same as the Coaches. Only one version of a player allowed on an All-Decade squad. So I cannot select multiple years of a certain player and cram the roster that way. I won't have five different versions of Randy Moss on the 2000's Team, for example. A player can only qualify for a decade if he has spent five years of his career in the NFL in said decade. However that rule can be bypassed for specific reasons, usually the player is by far the best available for his position or he has a very specific skill we need for the team. Those NFL years need to be individually qualified. So a player who has played five years in the NFL for a set decade has to have played in at least half of his team's games for each season. The lone exception to this rule would be candidates for Backup Quarterback- if you want a genuine backup who does not rock the boat while sitting on the bench, then these guys tend not to play as much. For the most part, players will be tethered to the positions they are listed as having during certain seasons(https://www.pro-football-reference.com/ lists each player and the positions he played during his career). Like the five years rule, this can be bypassed... to an imprecise extent. Left Tackles could conceivably play Right Tackle if there was a need for it, and vice-versa. Sometimes information on a player is uncovered that implied he could play multiple positions, though he never did play those positions in an actual game. Such research is acceptable for consideration, though if you need such research to justify playing a player significantly out of position, then there must be a real problem with the player pool(spoiler alert, the 1930's roster is going to have a rather large deformity, so to speak). And once someone shows me the spoiler tag stuff, not only can I place all the mountains of text in an easily hideable window, I can also provide a 'Cliffs Notes' section before the obscenely large breakdowns if that's what you prefer. A quick note about competing leagues. The 1940's section will have an All-AAFC Team as well as an All-NFL Team. Likewise in the 1960's with the AFL. The different All-Time Teams will not be merged together- but feel free to speculate on it anyways. All other 'competing' leagues in the history of Pro Football will not be included, as the AAFC and the AFL were the only ones who had comparable talent to the NFL and lasted long enough to 'qualify'. The only other League that could've conceivably been used was the USFL of the 1980's, but that's only because there were so many players who went to the NFL afterwards and would likely qualify for the NFL Team anyways. The rest- and there are more than you think- are discarded from consideration. I am also not touching either All-College Teams or Pre-NFL Teams from the 1890's on with a ten-foot pole. Stay tuned, for I will have the 1920's Team in place eventually(I've forgotten how long it took to assemble these rosters from the last time).
  12. "Ideal/great slot receiver"

    I see. Now we've gone from 'Role Labeling' to 'Positive/Negative Reinforcement'. I don't mean that as a 'Goalpost-Moving' way, mind you. That's just where the crux of the problem truly lies. But like it or not, the various media that have spoken the term you are annoyed with does so for a specific reason; it's all part of selling the product. Whether it's the NFL selling the game or a local commentator selling his/her team, it's all about conveying a positive image. The negativity you're endorsing is along the lines of a Trollposter on the internet slamming a team he/she hates. And while a team may HAVE a short/slow WR lined up in the slot for reasons other to do with his talent(cheaper price, less of a headcase, smarter gridiron brain, etc.), it's defeatist-talk to ever refer to such a player in that way. Especially if you're selling a product. Hence the positivity.
  13. "Ideal/great slot receiver"

    Would "Slot Specialist" be more appealing to your senses, or is the word 'special' in the term too much of an insult?
  14. Developmental League

    About the best positive such a 'Development' League can provide for the NFL is a stable group of 'Replacements' staying sharp through Game Experience. Granted, the vast majority of these players will be the Undrafted/Training Camp Cuts/Elderly Cast-Offs and thus will lack name recognition. But someone starting for an AAF(name's just an example) club is going to be a rather appealing option for an NFL club to sign once injuries start to weaken the rosters. The problems however are as follows; 1. The expenses of Coach/Player employment and Equipment/Facility costs will be a leviathan wrapped around the neck of this league. This in turn will make NFL franchises balk at assuming any control over an affiliate that involves footing the bill, unless player salaries were at a level seen in Minor League Baseball. But that'll be a problem when it comes to keeping players, who may not earn enough to offset the potential injury issues, to say nothing of the potential quagmire of the NFLPA should this become a labor issue. 2. Playcalling and Offensive/Defensive Strategies are not guaranteed to mesh with the methods used by NFL Clubs, unless Direct Affiliation becomes a reality and an NFL Team is willing to foot the bill. Granted, this is no different than the transition from College Football to the Pros, and the players involved are likely only ever going to be fringe injury-replacements, but this is still a strike that such a league cannot afford. I'm sure if given the choice, an NFL Team would prefer a player who knows a playstyle that is at least close to what they run, though knowing the playbook as an Affiliate would be even better. 3. The technology age has created an atmosphere where fans outside of the NFL Hot Spots can still see the action. In the ages of Television, and Radio before that, you could plant a competing league outside of NFL Cities and draw in natural interest. Even in the eventual failures of the WFL and USFL during the 70's and 80's various teams playing in cities outside of the NFL could develop robust fan bases and find a Television or Cable contract to develop a nation-wide audience. Now with the internet essentially dominating the future of Television broadcasting, anybody sitting outside an NFL City is less apt to view a Minor League, even if said league has a team located right on his/her doorstep.
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