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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yes, I'm still here...

Just wanted to do a quick post before someone does an autopsy on my blog here, plus I wanted to move Lynyrd Skynyrd off the top, as well.

Again, please bear with me for a while longer, as I have not had the time, energy or desire to post anything lately because of my father's grave illness.  It ain't much fun just waiting around for him to die, but that's where we find ourselves at this point.  He's 87 years old, and was hospitalized three weeks ago with his second bout of pnuemonia in two months.  The first bout nearly killed him, and while this second one wasn't quite as severe, his system is just rapidly wearing down, not to mention the fact that he was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, for which he's not a candidate for treatment.  We had him transferred two weeks ago to the hospice facility where my sister (who is a nurse) works to ride out his remaining days.  The good news is Dad's not in any pain at this point, but he's not really cognitive anymore, and is now down to only consuming liquids, thus probably won't last more than 4-5 more days.

I do plan to do a post soon about my Dad and my somewhat-strained relationship with him, which I hope will shed some light on why I am the way I am.  All in good time, after I've had a chance to do some reflection, and I promise this blog will live on eventually...