I always appreciate the effort folks put into off-season content. Unlike content in the fall, off-season posts tend to be more a labor of love. As a token of my gratitude, I figured I’d try my hand at my own post.
Over the past few years, I’ve really gotten into soccer - specifically, the Premier League (EPL). One thing that I’ve found really fascinating is their regulation/promotion system. For those that don’t know, the English soccer league system (which includes the EPL), is made up a number of different interconnected leagues sometimes known as the pyramid. At the top is the EPL which is made up of the best clubs in England (plus Manchester United). Next up is the the English Football League Championship (a/k/a the Championship), which is the second highest division of the English football league system (after the Premier League). After that you have League One (tier 3), League Two (tier 4) and so on and so forth.
Each year, the top teams in the lower tier leagues get promoted to the next tier while the lowest performing teams in all the leagues are relegated to the lower league. For example, the top two finishing teams in the Championship are automatically promoted to the Premier League with a third team chosen via a playoff system (for a total of three teams promoted). Similarly, the bottom three teams from the EPL are relegated to the Championship.
I think you’ll see where I’m going with this. I started to wonder what it would look like if there was a second league below the NFL that had a similar relegation/promotion structure. If so, what would this league look like? And how would it work with our current division/league structure?
CONSTRUCTING THE LEAGUE
I started by looking at the second tier clubs so see where they were located. While there were certainly some outliers (e.g. Burton Albion F.C. in Burton-upon-trent), most of the 2nd tier clubs tended to be in the same large to mid-sized metropolitan areas as top tier clubs. Therefore, it makes sense that a 2nd tier NFL league would mostly spring up in existing markets, rather than wholly new markets.
To account for outliers, I decided to mirror the Championship as closely as possible. I started by looking at the 24 clubs in the Championship and determining their corresponding metropolitan area. I then looked at the rankings of all metropolitan areas in the UK based on population and found the similarly ranked of their metro area by population in the US. Here’s what you get:
|Club||Location||UK Urban Area Population Rank||US Equivalent Metro Areas|
|Brentford||London (Brentford)||1st||New York|
|Bristol City||Bristol||11th||San Francisco|
|Burton Albion||Burton upon Trent||63rd||Albany, NY|
|Cardiff City||Cardiff||17th||San Diego|
|Derby County||Derby||29th||Las Vegas|
|Fulham||London (Fulham)||1st||New York|
|Hull City||Kingston upon Hull||24th||San Antonio|
|Millwall||London (South Bermondsey)||1st||New York|
|Preston North End||Preston||25th||Portland|
|Queens Park Rangers||London (Shepherd's Bush)||1st||New York|
As you’ll see, frequently these clubs are located in smaller cities in a larger metropolitan area (e.g. Bolton is located in the greater Manchester metropolitan area which includes Manchester, Bolton, Sale, etc.). Therefore, I tried my best to find smaller cities in the corresponding US metro areas to for their NFL2 franchise. Here are the cities I came up with:
|US Equivalent Metro Areas||Possible Cities (w/i Metro Area)||Final Choice|
|Chicago||Aurora (IL), Kenosha (WI)||Chicago|
|Chicago||Aurora (IL), Kenosha (WI)||Aurora|
|Chicago||Aurora (IL), Kenosha (WI)||Kenosha|
|New York||Newark, Jersey City, Bridgeport (CT)||Queens|
|San Francisco||San Jose, Oakland||Oakland|
|San Diego||San Diego, Tijuana||San Diego|
|Las Vegas||Las Vegas||Las Vegas|
|New York||Newark, Jersey City, Bridgeport (CT)||Newark|
|San Antonio||San Antonio||San Antonio|
|Dallas||Forth Worth, Irving, Arlington, Plano||Fort Worth|
|Tampa||St. Petersburg, Clearwater||St. Petersburg|
|New York||Newark, Jersey City, Bridgeport (CT)||Bridgeport|
|New York||Newark, Jersey City, Bridgeport (CT)||Trenton|
|Boston||Worchester, Providence, Lowell, Cambridge||Cambridge|
|Boston||Worchester, Providence, Lowell, Cambridge||Worchester|
|Baltimore||Columbia, Annapolis||Washington, DC|
|Chicago||Aurora (IL), Kenosha (WI)||Evanston|
Chicago (proper) finds itself with another franchise, along new franchises for Aurora, Kenosha, and Evanston. In New York, Queens is the first borough with its own franchise while New Jersey finally gets its own teams in Newark and Trenton. Bridgeport, CT rounds out the new franchises in the New York City area. Tennessee gets another team in Nashville (which would mean that the Tennessee Titans would likely have to become the Nashville Titans) and one in Memphis. Atlanta (proper) gets its second team (but don't let this distract you from the fact that the Atlanta Falcons blew a 25 point lead in the Super Bowl). Florida adds two new franchises in St. Petersburg and Orlando. Oakland and San Diego get teams again, while we add another team in Las Vegas. San Antonio also finally gets an NFL team and the Cowboys are no longer the only game in town . The New England Patriots will now be known as the Boston Patriots and will compete to keep fans who might want to start rooting for Cambridge or Worchester’s new teams. Washington, D.C. finally gets a real NFL team (see I made the joke before you could! But seriously, this is our year. HTTR!). Finally, the Buffalo is no longer the saddest football town in New York State, thanks to Albany entering the game.
Next up, I had to come up with team names. First I started by looking up defunct NFL franchises, to see if any of these cities had previously hosted teams. A number of them had and others had franchises very close by:
Chicago Tigers Evanston Legion - Actually this was lifted from a defunct franchise in nearby Racine, WI Aurora Pros - Actually from nearby Hammond, IN Kenosha Maroons Nashville Memphis Queens Newark Tornadoes Bridgeport Blues - OK, technically they were the Hartford Blues, but close enough Trenton Oakland Albany Lumberjacks - borrowed from the Tonawanda Kardex Lumberman San Diego Las Vegas San Antonio Fort Worth St. Petersburg Orlando Providence Steam Rollers Cambridge Bulldogs - Lifted from a defunct Pottsville/Boston team Worchester Atlanta Portland Washington Senators
Next, I looked closer at naming conventions for existing NFL teams. Obviously, the format in the NFL is CITY + PLURAL NOUN. The noun is usually an animal (46.875% of the league) or a class of people, either real or imaginary (37.5% of the league). Generally speaking, if there is any regional significance to the mascot, the team is named after a group of people (the Seahawks being the one exception). Finally, there appears to be a slight premium on alliteration (12.5% of the League).
Based on the ratios above, we should have nine (9) teams named after groups of people and approximately (11) teams named on animals. Three (3) teams should have alliterative names. In order to fill in the remaining names, I looked at the most popular college football mascots in the country and borrowed from there:
Chicago Tigers Evanston Legion Aurora Pros Kenosha Maroons Nashville Knights Memphis Spartans Queens Hornets Newark Tornadoes Bridgeport Blues Trenton Huskies Oakland Owls Albany Lumberjack San Diego Bobcats Las Vegas Cougars San Antonio Wildcats Fort Worth Coyotes St. Petersburg Manatees Orlando Sentinels Providence Steam Rollers Cambridge Bulldogs Worchester Wolverines Atlanta Warriors Portland Pioneers Washington Senators
PROMOTION AND RELEGATION
So now that we have our league, who would get relegated based on last seasons record and who would be promoted?
The first question is easy. The Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears would have found themselves relegated to the NFL2. This leaves an open spot in the NFC North, AFC North and the NFC West.
With regards to who would be promoted, there’s obviously not much we can go on with fictional teams. But for fun, let’s look to which teams were most recently relegated to the Championship and assume that they will be top contenders for promotion. Those were Hull City, Middlesbrough and Sunderland which corresponds to the San Antonio Wildcats, St. Petersburg Manatees and the Washington Senators!
Looks like, once again, the Washington football team wins the off-season!
Submitted May 31, 2017 at 10:11AM by BrooklynLions
via reddit http://ift.tt/2rEHjbA