I'm glad you heard the glitch was a glitch and stuck it out. I'm in my first week Iron League and really enjoying the experience.
I am led to believe that you can re-roll and maintain up to three team in the mode. So you could easily get the slow burn experience you are after.
They also just introduced tournaments which seem to change the experience by putting conditions on your roster composition.
FOOL: NY Panthers1974-88 ; Hyannis Patriots 2037-2055 hiatus
FOOL-H: NY YANKEES 1903-
FOOL-X: Cumberland Defenders 1985-