Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just call me Nostradamus...

I was digging through my archives this week and found an interesting little gem.  Back in the year 1985 during my bright college days, I found myself bored to death during a particular lecture and started jotting down my proposal for a 32-team National Football League.  The NFL had 28 teams at the time, but several cities were clamoring for teams, so since it wasn’t my money anyway, I decided to play armchair commissioner…

Just as with today’s NFL, I divided the league into eight four-team divisions (based solely on geography), and one of mine was exactly as it is today—the AFC East, comprised of Buffalo, Miami, New England and the New York Jets.  My scheduling format was quite similar too, with each team playing a round-robin within their own division (6 games), 4 games vs. a division of the other conference and two games each vs. teams from the other divisions of their own conference (determined by the previous year’s standings).

What’s really wild are the expansion teams I granted.  Oddly enough, I didn’t feel sorry enough for Baltimore to grant them a replacement for the recently-departed Colts, but I had the forethought to place a team in Jacksonville, which I called the “Swampers”—sort of an ersatz tribute to J-ville natives Lynyrd Skynyrd.  The Raiders were still in L.A., so I gave Oakland a new franchise and dubbed them the “Enforcers”.  And since we still had the St. Louis football Cardinals at the time, Phoenix got an expansion franchise as well, which I unpolitically-correctly called the “Arizona Shieks” (don’t ask me why!).  Now here’s the scary part:  I awarded the fourth and final expansion franchise to Memphis and named them the “Maniacs”.  Flash ahead to 2001 and the infamous XFL:  the Memphis team in that league was known as the Maniax!

Here were my proposed divisional lineups:

AFC Pacific Division
Los Angeles Raiders, Oakland Enforcers, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks
AFC Midwestern DivisionDenver Broncos, Houston Oilers, Kansas City Chiefs, Memphis Maniacs
AFC Central Division
Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC Eastern DivisionBuffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets

NFC Western Division
Arizona Shieks, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers
NFC Midwestern Division
Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Cardinals
NFC Southern DivisionDallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Swampers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Bucs
NFC Eastern Division
Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

Yours truly,
Commissoner Holland

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