Front Office Football Central  

Go Back   Front Office Football Central > Main Forums > Dynasty Reports
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read Statistics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-23-2006, 10:31 AM   #51
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Our first few weeks of season six were filled with crucial games. Tampa Bay was considered by many to be our biggest threat to an NFC South title, and we faced the Bucs in week 1. A hard fought defensive battle gave way to our 12-6 overtime win, putting us a game up on the Bucs all year--a game that had playoff significance by the end of the season.

Game two, of course, was our matchup against New England, a team that would prove to be the class of the AFC. Prior to the game, however, some key events began to rattle the Rebel cloisters of power.

Keaton Graves had been struggling to keep the egg off Jeffrey Davis' face. Davis, who had so secretly masterminded his Southern ambition in the early Rebel years, was beginning to get cocky. He had let his ambitions and his political leanings slip in a few bastions of power and country club lunches, and Graves was spinning madly to keep the madman from monologuing his way into trouble. Just as the evil mastermind in comic books and cartoons has to tell the world of his evil genious or he'll bust, Davis was beginning to pop at the seams, looking for someone to pat him on the back for his plan of Southern conquest.

Before the Patriot game, Davis couldn't keep it in any longer. In a public interview on a non-related subject, Davis let it slip in that he was looking forward to "those damn Yankees" coming to town to get "a proper Southern welcome; welcome to go home!" The words got leaked onto SportsCenter, who thought it was fun and games, a tongue-in-cheek story with a wink-wink toward its ability to draw up ire in our "enlightened" day.

Apparently, SportsCenter underestimated both the offense the Patriots would take and the fervency of Southern pride. A couple of the Pats players spouted off about the comments, followed by a rally behind the flag in Birmingham before the game. Suddenly, the pot was stirred.

The police were called in again to Rebel stadium the day of the game--this time, not because of racial tension, but because of geographic rivalry. There were more fights in the stands between Confederate flag wavers and Boston fans than there were in the first couple of tension-filled Rebel games. People came to the game dressed in graycoats and were told by guards they had to leave their muskets at home. "Go home, Yankee" banners and "American by birth, Southern by the grace of God" banners were everywhere. It was a nightmare. It was exactly what Jeffrey Davis wanted all along.

"Finally," he said in the luxury box, "Southerners standing up for their ground against these Northern aggressors."

Keaton Graves, however, was lost. For the first time since I met him, Graves didn't know how to spin out of a sticky situation. Davis was manageable when his ravings and opinions were kept quietly behind a mahogany desk. But when he showed up at the game wearing Jefferson Davis' military dress hat, Graves days of spinning and hiding the truth were over.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.

revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2006, 09:50 AM   #52
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
The New England game itself was littered with fights, unnecessary roughness calls, and even an ejection. The game was looking tough for the Rebels until Birmingham strong safety, Eric Brown, ripped off a 93-yard fumble return for a touchdown. The momentum shifted, propelling us to a 31-23 win.

In the week that followed, an investigative reporter from Sports Illlustrated finally got the dirt.

The phonecall came to my office the Monday after the New England win. "I'd like to ask you a few questions about the Rebels," he said, and we arranged a lunch meeting.

"Is it true that every player on the roster and every coach graduated from a college in the South?"

"You could probably find that information online," I said.

"I have. And it is true."

"Then why ask what you already know?"

"And is it true that every player on the roster and every coach also grew up in the South?"

"Sounds like you've done your research on that, too."

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why are they all from the South, and NONE from north of the Mason Dixon line?"

I stared at him for a moment. I had mulled over my answer to this question or years, waiting for it to finally come. "I'm sorry, is that against the NFL rules?"

"Well, no, but it seems this is something you've done intentionally. It's got to be more than a coincidence; someone must have orchestrated this."

He couldn't have put it any more succinctly for my purposes. "Are you going to do a story on this?" I asked.

"You'd better believe it."

"Then make sure you quote me very carefully here. Here, use my pen. Write this down, word for word. You said, 'This is something you've done intentionally. It's got to be more than coincidence. Someone must have orchestrated this.' To which I answer, 'No, this is not something I have done intentionally.' Write that down. I'll wait. No, this is not something I have done intentionally. Yes, it's got to be more than a coincidence. Yes, someone must have orchestrated this."

"Who then?"

"When you find the answer to that, young man, then you'll have the story you're looking for. I have nothing more to say. Good day."

I got up and left. By Thursday, the young man had the front cover article on Sports Illustrated, "Jeffrey Davis and the Real Rebels". If only he knew the half of it.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2006, 08:37 AM   #53
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
On Friday of that week, I summoned all the Rebels players and staff for a meeting. My exact words weren't recorded, but I said something like this: "By now many of you have heard or even read the most recent Sports Illustrated. The cover article, as you know, makes a claim that Rebels owner Jeffrey Davis has hand-chosen you to be members of this team because you are all Southern natives who have graduated from Southern colleges."

"This undeniable claim," and there I paused to allow the words to sink in, "will likely cause a media frenzy, a flurry of questions unrelated to football, and quite possibly an ownership battle at the end of the season. There will be much to distract you if you let it.

"Now, some of you will be outraged by this revelation. Others won't care. Others may even be proud to be an all-Southern squad. From this point on, however, discussion of this reality is forbidden. Any player attempting to speak in support or opposition to what is an unchangeable reality at this time can expect his pay to be docked down to minimum. Fines and suspensions will follow that. Don't push me. This is not an issue for discussion. If, at the end of this season, you believe a grievance needs to be addressed, I will welcome you to come into my office and discuss it. But not until the offseason. Until then, you are players bound together by contract and by the will and ability to win.

"It is also not an issue for discussion, however, because I did...NOT...pursue you players or you coaches because of your Southern heritage. As General Manager, I did...NOT...settle for you because you're from the South. I sought out you, Daryl Smith, because I believe you are the best Sam backer in the NFL. I sought out you, John Abraham, because I believe you are the best defensive end in football, except maybe for Charles Grant over there. When we drafted you, Spencer Knowles, it was because we believed you would be a superstar in this league. When we traded for you, C.J. Atkins, it was because we believed you would be an all-star middle linebacker, one every bit worthy of a top 5 pick.

You all have been assembled by your owner because you are Southerners. You have been assembled by your general manager because you are, in my opinion, one of the most talented teams of players and coaches ever assembled on an NFL playing field. There is nothing, and no one, that should stand in your way of winning a SuperBowl title this year.

Your opponents will ridicule you this season for being a freak squad. Listen to me now. The best way to shut them up, is to hoist the silver Lombardi trophy. If you refuse to be distracted by your owner's shennanigans, that is what you will be doing in January."

A question arose from newcomer Ahmad Carroll: "Why did you participate in this half-baked strategy? Why did you..."

As he struggled to put words to it, I answered him with a question of my own: "If commissioner Tagliabue suddenly went off his rocker and required all cleats be fitted with pink shoelaces to support breast cancer research, would that be...crazy?" The team nodded. "A half-baked idea?" The team nodded again. "But would you all suddenly stop playing football, break your contracts, and step away from your chance this year of winning a SuperBowl? No, you'd go along with the nutcase in charge if that's what it took to play this game. I think you can see the point of my analogy."

From that day on, until our season was over, no player spoke of the all-Southerner thing. Not to each other. Not to the media. The players instituted a Denver offensive line-like gag rule. On the field, they determined that any team that wanted to make a fuss would simply have to be sent home crying while the Rebels went on to victory.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2006, 01:46 PM   #54
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
When week six rolled around, the Washington Redskins rolled into Birmingham, and went abruptly packing, a 27-13 loss tucked between their legs. Davis had gotten what he wanted, victories over New England and Washington in the same year. As far as he was concerned, we had already won the SuperBowl. "Finish off this year and make me proud," he said to me. At that point, I had gone back to being his "ol' friend" again, but I had not forgotten. I had not forgotten the way he sneered "friend" at me when he told me of how he had manipulated my son's premature birth to blackmail me. I had not forgotten how he ripped the heart out of the people of New Orleans. There was no word "friend" left in my vocabulary for Jeffrey Davis.

The team finished very strongly, many players playing hurt because of our lack of depth. We finished an impressive 13-3, wrapping up home field advantage for the playoffs. The Stars and Bars would be flying, no matter who came to town, and the Rebels were on the edge of the greatest moment in their short history.

Behind the scenes, however, commisioner Tagliabue and some reactionary congressmen were stirring up a hornet's nest that would plunge Jeffrey Davis and the Rebels into a quagmire of controversy.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 11:08 AM   #55
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 11: Our Bittersweet January

At the end of the regular season, Jeffrey Davis was required to make a $48 million dollar stadium payment to the contstruction crew working on our new stadium. With our successful season, Davis easily had the cash to do so.

The next day, however, a team of bankers and lawyers from Kendall Trust Lmtd. showed up for a meeting with Davis. As soon as they arrived, I left for a string of agents meetings on the west coast, so I only heard of the fireworks that ensued when Davis learned he had just lost 49% of the team.

Yet that night, I received a call on my cell from Davis himself. "You swindler," he sneered.

But I was ready for it: "Quit your crying, Davis. You remember what you said, 'Whatever it takes.' This is what it took. But you really have no cause for complaint. It was a simple business transaction, and a win-win transaction at that. You got what you wanted: victories over New England and Washington (and a legitimate shot at a SuperBowl to boot), and I got what I wanted, a slice of the team. It's simple, and good for everybody concerned. Besides, it's like you always said, 'You can't blame a flower for the color you pollinate into it.' What else did you expect of your underlings, o fearless leader? This is the color you pollinated."

There was a pause. Then a laugh. A hearty, gut-wrenching, tension-releasing laugh on the other end. "I suppose you're right! What can I say? I taught you to be a scheming bastard, and now that's exactly what you are! Very good. Congratulations."

"Thank you."

"You do realize, however, that as part owner, I can no longer shield you from your losses. Our little 'arrangement' regarding profit sharing is null and void."

"Yes, I realize that."

"So at the rate of losing $50 million a year, 49% of which you're responsible for, how long are your reserves going to hold up? Can you float those kinds of losses?"

"Still you underestimate me, Jeffrey. Do you really think the Rebels are going to lose $50 million next year? Most of our players are all locked up nicely with bonus money you've already paid them. We'll be doing very well shortly, and with home field advantage through these playoffs, I'll gladly sit back and enjoy half the ticket sales."

Our conversation ended shortly thereafter. Davis had found a new respect for the man he once called slave. Now we were partners, peers, and adversaries. Davis didn't realize, however, that he had underestimated me once again. For very shortly, one of those three roles was going to change.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2006, 11:55 AM   #56
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
The first week of playoffs was our bye week, and one we desperately needed. Not only did we have players on the mend (QB Turtschin's throwing thumb was severely sprained and swollen up like a Louisiana lobster), but we needed some of our opponents to suffer some attrition before they got to us. Notably, our first opponent, Tampa Bay.

The Tampa/Birmingham rivalry had really heated up over the past two years, as our two teams were widely considered the best in the NFC, unfortunately planted in the same division. The previous year, their division win forced us to play wildcard, even though we had the second best record in the conference. This year, we had done the same to them.

Tampa's passing game had eaten us up in previous years, but the Buccs were without tight end Tony Gonzalez (due to injury), enabling us to get by them, 26-15. Our QB, Turtschin passed 18-26 for 269 yards and a pair of TDs, despite his thumb. Turtschin's leadership on the field and grit-iron persona had made him Rebel fans' most celebrated and honored hero. Looking back, Turtchin's numbers were never exceptional, his talent was always a bit questioned, but like many other great quarterbacks, his intangibles and charisma with the fans cause his name to live on in reverence to this day.

Our second game was against Minnesota, the Vikings coming to town for our second consecutive Birmingham-hosted NFC Championship game. The game itself was really rather dull, despite its 45-13 score. Our defense dominated Minnesota, pinning them deep and creating turnovers that consistently gave our offense a short field. Don't let the 45 points fool you; the Rebels had become a defensive superpower. Many people knew the names of our offensive stars, but the defense--DEs John Abraham and Charles Grant, LBs Daryl Smith and C.J. Atkins, our three-headed safety monster of Smith, Grant, and Brown, and many others--was the heart and soul of that Rebel team.

The 45-13 drubbing we gave the Vikings had us riding high. Even Jeffrey Davis was loosening up his scowl and enjoying the success.

Davis would have a whole new reason to scream and shout, however, following the AFC Championship game. Since week 2 of the regular season, the animosity and political uproar over the New England Patriots/"Yankees" vs. the Birmingham Rebels/"Graycoats" had never stopped raging. Though the Rebel players abided by their own gag order, that didn't stop the media and politicians from making all kinds of commentary. Now the commentary would heat up again.

After winning the NFC Championship game, the Rebels had earned the right to play in the SuperBowl...against the New England Patriots.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2006, 09:15 AM   #57
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
The hullabaloo leading up to that SuperBowl was one of the loudest and grandest in NFL history. Some in the media dismissed Davis' comments from earlier as being "blown out of proportion" and poked fun at the Rebels vs. the Patriots, calling it a "North vs. South, Blue vs. Gray all over again." T-shirts were made up on both sides, all in good fun since everybody knows, "We're all past that by now."

But apparently not everyone knew it. Others declared the entire thing an outrage. There were some who tried to return to the "golden days" of villifying white Southerners and Confederates as rednecks and racists. The point struggled to gain much momentum, however, since the focal point of their villification was Jeffrey Davis...who, needless to say, was black himself. That didn't stop some glory hounds in congress and Hollywood from boycotting the SuperBowl and making grand fools of themselves. (In my opinion, politicians and movie stars really are experts at doing just that).

For most of the country, it was like watching a Civil War reenactment. Most folks cheered for the Patriots, while only those that took the time to read something besides spin-doctored high school history books looked with any favor on the scarlet and gray. For those whose grandfathers and great grandfathers died in the original Civil War, there was a twinge of sadness and honor in the proceedings, but most considered it a fun jaunt into reliving the past.

Leading up to the game, Keaton Graves was working feverishly to keep Jeffrey Davis out of the spotlight. The once golden-tongued champion of the "New Black America" had definitely fallen out of favor, besmirching the NFL with his Southerner plot the way Pete Rose besmirched baseball with his gambling. NFL purists looked upon Davis with disdain, the way they looked upon designated hitters in the 70s or interleague play in the 90s. In their eyes, Davis had somehow profaned the great institution of football and needed to be summarily dismissed, if not beheaded for his offense.

The average fan, however, picked up the Patriot blue or Rebel gray and cheered for his or her geographical persuasion. Sports bars across America took sides as "Patriot Outposts" or "Rebel hideouts." Davis thought it was the fulfillment of every dream and grand scheme he had ever hatched. It was good thing Graves kept him out of the spotlight, for his diabolical need to monologue the twisted brilliance of his was out of control:

"At last! An opportunity to prove our cause on a national stage, no an INTERnational stage, some 100 million people watching, as the Confederate army rises again to take her place among the victorious of the world! To right what was wronged, to avenge Atlanta, and to give peace to our fathers and forefathers who gave their lives defending our Southern homeland from the hordes of Northern aggression. Rise up, O sons of the South, and set her free!"

On and on he raved; but thanks to Keaton Graves, he raved behind closed doors. The day would come, however, when Graves wouldn't be able to contain Davis any longer.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2006, 09:28 PM   #58
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
At last, the day of the big game came. New England strolled into Atlanta (the site of the game) boasting a 1700-yard rusher and a 4000-yard passeer, an offense that was capable of grinding opponents into the ground. The defense, however, especially without the services of star DE Trevor Pryce because of injury, could give up plays, especially in the passing game. The Pats were a formidable foe and came into the game a 3-point favorite.

After all the hype, however, the game itself was anticlimactic. By halftime, the Rebels had amassed a 27-0 lead. Our offense was firing on every cylinder, but our defense once again was the story of the day. At the half, New England's league-leading rusher had been held to 11 yards. Our linebackers brought back memories of the Ravens' only championship team, filling every gap, tackling carriers behind the line, and still managing to cover the short-passing game.

At the opening of the second half, it appeared New England was going to turn things around. They drove from the opening kickoff all the way down to our 8-yard line, where they faced a 4th and 1. To this day some have questioned their coach's decision not to get those first 3 points, but down 27-0, the Pats needed to make up ground faster than a field goal. On 4th and 1, Rebel OLB Daryl Smith charged in on a run blitz, only to find the QB pulling a play action. Untouched, he streaked through the line, past the running back, and hammered their QB, driving him down for an 8-yard loss.

The game ended a 34-3 drubbing, Spencer Knowles rushing for 100, Smith amounting an 8-tackle, 2-sack, 1 forced fumble game, and QB Marco Turtschin (who won MVP) throwing for 2 TDs and scrambling in a third. New England was a better team that that. They really were. But on that given Sunday, the Rebels destroyed them with ease.

I had built a championship team. I had done it with crazy restrictions placed on me by a megalomaniacal owner. Somehow, that fact made the victory even sweeter. Since I was a zit-faced teenager, I had dreamed of managing an NFL team. Now I had lived my dream, and lived it to its fullest...or so I thought. Better things were yet to come.

For Jeffrey Davis, the 34-3 crushing was a dream come true as well. The Southern fans who took up the "Yankee, go home" tauntings were exactly what Davis had in mind. I think somewhere in the dark and twisted recesses of his mind, he fully expected the South would secede that night.

Such was obvious in his comments after the game. After every SuperBowl, when the Lombardi is getting passed around, players, coaches, managers, and owners are invited on to a little platform to hoot and holler. Turtschin gave a tough and heart-felt salute to his teammates, something that endeared him to Birmingham fans forever. Daryl Smith lended a "we are the champions" swagger, and coach gave his usual, short answer, a man of few words if there ever was one.

I, however, didn't climb the stage. I knew what was coming. I congratulated the players, then slowly slipped away to the locker room office. I knew the tide was about to turn, and I didn't want to be anywhere near it. In fact, years earlier I had signed and notarized documents--placed into a safety deposit box--detailing my desire to be distanced and many objections to Davis, his scheme, and his restrictions on managing a team.

I won't go into great detail on his comments after the game. His ranting about the "evil, imperial empire of the United States" and "Southern brotherhood above all" carried headlines throughout the country. A couple of times, the sportscasters in the booth tried to cut Davis off, for the embarrassing display, but ABC executives knew a newsworthy story. This one was being broadcast live, exclusively on ABC. With his comments, Jeffrey Davis thought he was giving birth to a new nation, the Confederate States of America. What Davis actually did was alienated every ally he had and seal his own doom, both professionally and personally.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2006, 03:23 AM   #59
tucker342
Pro Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Iowa City, IA
fantastic dynasty rev... keep it up!
tucker342 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2006, 08:54 AM   #60
fantastic flying froggies
Pro Rookie
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sunny South of France
+1
__________________
Detroit Vampires (CFL) : Ve 're coming for your blood!
Camargue Flamingos (WOOF): pretty in Pink
fantastic flying froggies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2006, 08:55 AM   #61
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 13: Aftershock

The celebration in the locker room was ecstatic, with champagne and music and dancing and high-fives and so on. The media covered it for about 15 minutes, then took their cameras and went home. I waited until the last reporter had left. Jeffrey Davis, who had never really cared that much about the players individually, hadn't even come into the locker room once his grandiose speechifyin' was wrapped up on the main stage.

I could tell there were some on the team who didn't let Davis' comments disturb them a bit. They were celebrating a championship and letting the non-football jokers be jokers. Most, to be honest, fell into this category. And while no one seemed truly disturbed about Davis' foolishness, there were a handful whose enthusiasm was curtailed a bit. Some had mixed feelings. Sure, we had just won the SuperBowl, but for who? For Southern revolutionaries? For a nutcase owner? Or for ourselves? It was time to celebrate, but were there other implications? And for those whose contracts were up, would we really be willing to play for Davis again?

After about 35 minutes of whooping and hollering, as some of the guys were stepping out of the shower, I stepped out of the office to address the team. I asked them all to finish showering and getting dressed, and before they left, I asked to address them all, if they would just hang on until everyone was ready.

About 15 minutes later, the players were out of the shower and either dressed or in the process. Again, I made another important speech:

"You have just proven yourselves the greatest football team in the world." The team let out a cheer. "Your owner has just proven himself to be...off his rocker." Laughter. "The time for speeches came, but now is swiftly leaving. Jeffrey Davis' speech came, and now is over. His ownership, consequently, may also be over." Mumbles and whispers. "I am very sorry, for your sake, that you lived and played under the cloud he cast over this team. But that cloud is lifting. In winning this SuperBowl, you shot rays of light through the palor, you proved you were men of mettle who could win under any circumstances, and even if you owner has dishonored himself, you have left no question that you are men of honor, of valor, of courage, and of victory!" Shouts. "Let not your hearts be troubled by Jeffrey Davis. His storm shall quickly pass, but not your glory here this day. 34-3, gentlemen. 34 to freakin' 3!" Shouts. "In every stable there's manure, gentlemen. That doesn't mean the horses that live there aren't champions. You, gentlemen, you are champions! Go forth and celebrate!"

As the men left in a whoop and holler, a few stopped to shake my hand on the way out. Davis did everything he could to damper this celebration, but for a few of the guys, I had just given them their championship back. They could celebrate in freedom. And if everything worked just right, the Rebels would soon be free from Davis completely.

(P.S. to tucker and fff --- thanks!)
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2006, 01:01 PM   #62
thealmighty
Pro Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: heaven
See, the problem with this dynasty is that it's like a TV show. Every post leaves something to look forward to...and then the wait. Actually, it's worse than a TV show 'cuz, unlike a weekly show, I don't know when I'll get my next fix.



(Enjoying this greatly, rev. Keep at it.)
__________________
Check out The Unofficial FOFC Movie Guide Here
thealmighty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2006, 06:54 PM   #63
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
The next day, a hefty brief landed on commissioner Tagliabue's desk. The contents of that brief have never been made public until now. Contained in that file were copies of my dated and notarized objections to Davis' roster restrictions stemming back years, transcripts of recorded conversations where Davis implicated himself in purposefully undermining the NFL's tradition of fair play, and a letter from the Rebel's part-owner (me) requesting the NFL act to ban Jeffrey Davis from being a controlling-interest owner in an NFL franchise.

Not 20 minutes later, I received a call from the commissioner. He informed me that certain members of Congress had already contacted him regarding an investigative commission to determine whether Davis could be charged with treason against the United States of America. I, in turn, informed Tagliabue that anyone seeking to remove Davis from a position of influence might be better served by investigating his investment holdings and purchasing in certain foreign markets, instead.

For the next 3 months, the inquiries and meetings and petitions dragged on. The Congressional hearings, in which both Davis and I were questioned, concluded without much significant action. Many of the congressmen were too intimidated by certain free-speech groups to pin down Davis' words as actually insighting insurgence against the government. In fact, the notion that Davis be subjected to psychiatric evaluation received more support than charging him with any crime.

The IRS investigation did, however, result in 3 indictments on charges of money laundering and foreign investment fraud, charges that are probably still caught up in litigation to this day.

The most significant meetings occurred between NFL owners. The owners of the Patriots and Redskins were adamant that Davis be banned from football altogether. And while most agreed that Davis had given the NFL a black eye, some questioned the NFL's authority in setting a precedent of seeking to remove a man from ownership. In the end, it came down to a close vote. Of the 29 owners that had gathered to discuss them matter, 17 voted that an owner acting in a way shameful to the league and in violation of fair play could be required to surrender controlling interest, while his investment itself could not be removed from him without compensation. Consequently, the NFL owners agreed to purchase 3% of the Birmingham Rebels, thus reducing Davis' share to 48%.

But what, some asked, would happen if Davis refused this purchase offer? Thankfully, I was at the meeting of the owners to help them gain an understanding of Davis' mindset. I suggested that, very simply, if he refused, the NFL would disqualify the Rebels from their SuperBowl victory and give it to New England by default.

You could have heard a pin drop. You could practically hear the jaws drop. "It's as powerful as a trump card, and not just a bluff," I explained. "The most precious and dear possession Davis has is not the Rebels, but a Southern victory over New England in the SuperBowl. He doesn't value the Rebels nearly as much as he despises the Patriots. He would never, never consent to forfeiting his Southern Lombardi to the Patriots. AND," I continued over some protest, "even if he should agree to the forfeit, it would not be entirely out of line. For the Rebels were formed in an unsportsmanlike fashion this season. It wouldn't be out of line with the NFL ethics and fairplay standards to demand the Rebels forfeit the entire season, really. You need not consider this threat a bluff, for you could actually do it. Though you can rest assured, the threat alone will be enough to persuade Jeffrey Davis."

The resolution was passed, and 3 days later Davis was presented with the ultimatum: give up control of the team by agreeing to a 3% buyout, or forfeit the season and the trophy to the Patriots.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2006, 08:50 AM   #64
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
On February 27th, justice was finally served to Jeffrey Davis. He agreed to give up control of the Rebels. Somewhere in the strange world inside his head, he rationalized that he had achieved all his goals and victories, and control of the team wasn't necessary any longer.

On February 28th, however, I received a visit from Commissioner Tagliabue. It seems the NFL ownwers were not entirely satisfied by my documented objections to the way the Rebels had been run. As majority owner, I was still under suspicion, even probation. Tagliabue then clarified yet another ultimatum: "So long as you renounce the 'South Shall Rise Again' agenda, and so long as you immediately bring in players from a variety of colleges, including Northern and Western colleges to start for your team, the NFL will throw its 3% ownership behind you. But should you carry on the Southern agenda, the NFL will extract Jeffrey Davis' 48% and use its combined 51% to oust you from power. Do we have an understanding?"

"Of course," I replied. I considered the ultimatum fair, though unnecessary. Among my peers in the NFL G.M. pool, talk had already turned to how twisted, undeserved, and really invalid my SuperBowl victory had been. The only way to restore my credibility, my record, and my pride was to win another SuperBowl, but this one with a roster that could pass any scrutiny. I inteneded to show not only the other G.M.s, but now my fellow owners, that I was the architect of one SuperBowl winner, and I could do it again--even if I had to do it with all Northerners.

I didn't need such a stipulation upon me, however. No, I would be fair in my construction of the team, but that doesn't mean I wasn't presented with some problems.

For starters, Jeffrey Davis had made a good point about my financial situation. I had 7 million dollars left from that first year of profit sharing. If the team lost any more than $14,285,714.28, I would be broke. My 49% share of the losses would break me. With a 3-year track record of losing $50 million a year, my projections weren't good. But so long as I could financially stay afloat, I could continue my quest for a second SuperBowl.

My other big problem was my relationship with the other G.M.s. Most of them felt scorned, used by my frequent trades. With each trade I had hidden an underlying agenda: get Southerners. Now every manager looked on me with suspicion. Was I still garnering Southerners? Would I overpay for Northerners now? What other agendas was I hiding? I discovered early, when I made a call to Baltimore about trading away a Rebel who was costing us too much in salary, that other GMs weren't going to let me keep trading away. For every offer I made, the other GMs either flatly refused or demanded outrageous compensation in return. In essense, I had been blacklisted by the NFL managers. Not until the Rebels won their second SuperBowl was I ever able to make a trade with any other NFL G.M.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2006, 09:27 AM   #65
RedKingGold
College Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
BTW, Really enjoying this dynasty.

Keep it up!
RedKingGold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2006, 09:35 AM   #66
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 14: Like a Phoenix

Our first season without Jeffrey Davis' control was not nearly as much fun as I had hoped. The best operating projections on earnings suggested we were in deep financial straits. The only way I could avoid bankrupting myself by the end of the year was to deny my urge to re-sign our players for another SuperBowl run. If I spent the money on signing bonuses to re-sign our best players, I wouldn't have it to pay the salaries at the end of the year.

Thus, we started penalized again. I watched helplessly as three of our starting O-linemen defected to sign with other teams that could offer juicier contracts than we could. I had to slap the franchise tag on TE Randy McMichael to stop him from escaping, but in doing so I knew it would be his last year with us. The same would be true of DE John Abraham, who was the heart and soul of our defensive menace. While we could keep him for one more year, the signing bonus he wanted to extend his contract just wasn't there. He was asking for a $16 million bonus--reasonable money for a star of his caliber--but I couldn't afford it.

I also had to hike the prices on our fans. It wasn't something I wanted to do, especially with all the hard feelings over the Jeffrey Davis fiasco. But if I didn't act to stop the bleeding losses, Davis might have found himself back in a controlling interest.

The offseason, therefore, was littered with no inspiring news whatsoever. We watched helplessly as players that could have truly benefited the squad dropped from the free agency board.

Meanwhile, the NFL watched closely to make sure I kept my promise to integrate Northerners into the team. In the eleventh week of free agency, the Rebels signed their first Northern player, RT Trevor Hanshew from a hometown in Utah and a graduate of Stanford. Interestingly, our first round draft pick was also a Utah-bred Stanford graduate.

The draft left us in an odd position. No GM would hear my desperate pleas to move up in the first round and get the tackle we needed so badly. When our pick came around, we needed to draft need as well as best available talent. We also needed to pick cheap. This left us with going after an odd choice, fullback Dave Chambliss. The draft report looked like this:

Rnd 1 - Dave Chambliss, FB, Stanford
Rnd 3 - Jerald McGregor, T, Arizona
Rnd 4 - Corey Wilkins, P, Memphis
Rnd 5 - Lenny Oxford, DE, East Stroudsburg
Rnd 6 - Conrad Reilly, T, Rutgers
Rnd 7 - Ethan Hoffman, WR, Maryland

Not until deep in the draft did we take players from the Northeast, but the Western players satisfied the NFL. OUr only deep South pick, punter Corey Wilkins proved to be an incredible steal at the end of the 4th, as he quickly matured into one of the best punters in the league.

The Sporting News gave us an "A" for our draft, but I was skeptical. We didn't come close to replacing the talent we lost in the desperate attempt to save money.

(p.s., thanks to almighty and RedKing! I love hearing from readers, and by the way...even though the parameters of the challenge have changed--now based on money with a no-trade rule in place--don't think the drama has fizzled. I have completed this dynasty already, so I know where it's going, and the heat's still on. Jeffrey Davis ain't dead yet!)
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2006, 10:18 AM   #67
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
As the year wore on, we struggled to a 9-4 record when injuries decimated the team, leaving us scrambling to sign players. Our stars were out, our line was gone, and anyone trying to play offense was left open to be fresh meat in the grinder.

An easier schedule at end of season enabled us to limp to 11-5, and with Atlanta's surprise loss, we won the division. Most importantly, that gave us a bye in the first round, which we desperately needed to heal our banged up lineup.

Even with the bye, we were forced to play our first playoff game without the help of John Abraham, CJ Atkins, Ahmad Carroll, or Marco Turtschin, who were all still out to injury. It's no surprise we lost to Giants, 20-12.

The surprise came at the end of the year, when the last of the payments were due. We had flirted with insolvency all year long, trying to stop ourselves from losing 14 million dollars--which would have bankrupted the 7 million I had reserved to finish the season (my 7 mil in reserves minus my 49% share of the losses). When the final cash register tolled, the team had lost 12 million. We made it. But barely.

In the next year of operations, I could lose no more than 2 million. I had one million left in the bank. That was it.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2006, 08:30 AM   #68
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 15: Diffusion of Power

As the dawn broke on our next season, the sun rose into a heavy cloudbank. Our future was fuzzy, and there wasn't a single ray of hope shining through.

I had hired a cap manager and several accountants to crunch some serious projections and numbers for me. They brought back to me several scenarios for the upcoming season. The worst case scenario placed me at being broke before we even got to the draft. The best case scenario demanded I refuse to renegotiate anyone, I fail to sign a single free agent (unless he would come in without a signing bonus), and I not sign any of our draft picks. Under that scenario, I wouldn't bounce the first check until the second week of the preseason.

Any way I looked at it, I couldn't make my one million suffice as enough capital to run this team. My days as controlling the Rebels, I thought, were over.

In despair, I slinked into a down-covered bed and slept for two days. The local Winn Dixie ran out of chocolate. I know; I bought it all. If I was half the good ol' boy Jeffrey Davis was, I would have drowned myself in bourbon. But under doctor's orders, I had long ago abandoned the booze, and I was forced to drown in decaf.

The first evidence that the fog was lifting came from a surprise source. On day 3 of my bout with suicidal tendencies, I got a call from Keaton Graves. He wanted to offer me some information, he said, that would help my cause.

"And you would help me because..."

"Because I rather enjoyed being around football. And because Jeffrey Davis fired me."

"And I should believe you, of all people, because..."

"Fair enough." Graves chuckled. "I think the information I have for you would convince you easily enough that my loyalty to Davis has been dissolved. Meet me for lunch in an hour."

"You'd better make it dinner in six," I said. It would have taken me at least an hour to remember what I had done with my razor.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2006, 10:01 AM   #69
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
"You were really more brilliant than you realize," Graves said over dinner that evening. "Your continued losses with the team cost Davis dearly."

"Don't think I don't recognize that ploy to flatter me--'more brilliant than you realize'" I said.

"You really don't trust me, do you?"

"Should I?"

"I asked you first."

I looked at Graves blankly. Then I snickered. The childlike bravado with which we just sparred was laughable. "I asked you first," he had said. What's was I supposed to say next? "Na-na-na-boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo"? My chuckle turned to a guffaw, and soon Graves and I were both laughing.

After a hearty laugh and wiping my tears away, I said, "How about this, you just tell me what you know without telling me how it's good, or what I'm supposed to do, or how I'm supposed to feel about it. You know, just the facts without the spin."

"Very well. When you took over the Rebels, Davis' cash flow had dried up. In fact, that's what you used to engineer your takeover. But afterwards, the Rebels continued to lose money, and at 48% ownership, Davis was responsible for those losses. On top of that, Jeffrey's falling out with the public cost him several clients. 3 months ago, Davis was facing bankruptcy."

"How do you know this, if you were fired?"

"I...still know some people on the inside. Davis can't work in a vacuum, and as it turns out, he can't work where I don't have ears, either."

"Remind me not to cross you."

"Yes, well, bankruptcy would have cost him the Rebels, but a quick sale of some of his 48% share would bring him back up to solvency in a heartbeat. 48% of a $600 million organization is a fair amount of change. The problem, however, was finding a quick buyer. The 'pure Southerner' fiasco scared away a lot of businessmen who might have otherwise considered a piece of the team. Davis needed the cash fast."

"I understand that position."

"Oh? Oh, I see. You're not quite backed to handle the Rebels' losses either. Well, Davis needed the money, but when he found a supplier, he was too proud to just hand over more of the Rebels. He decided instead to play a little game. A very dangerous game."
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2006, 12:14 PM   #70
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
That's when I learned of Jeffrey Davis' connections to organized crime. According to Graves, Davis knew the Rebels' new stadium was going to be finished soon, and the team should begin to turn a hefty profit. Davis didn't want to surrender any of his 48%, so he worked out a simple wager with a very wealthy Italian family. The Family would loan Davis $50 million dollars to weather the next 3 years. If the Rebels succeeded the way Davis expected, he would pay back the Family $75 million at the end of 3 years. If he wasn't able to pay, the Family would be given half of Davis' stake in the Rebels, a 150-million-dollar payoff.

The stakes were very high, but a win-win for the family, so long as Davis kept his end of the bargain.

For me, if I could sustain Rebel losses, I could drive Davis into a hole that would cost him half his stake in the team. The Family would own 24% of the team, Davis would own 24%, the NFL would own 3%, and I would own 49%. It would be a very good arrangement for me. If only I could find a way to keep losing money without losing the team...

"This...Family," I asked Graves. "They have a name?"

"Yes."

"They have a contact I can talk to?"

"Why?"

"Your information, Keaton, is very welcome. But I'm not at all certain I can trust it, let alone make 100-million-dollar decisions on it. I'd simply like to confirm your story."

"I'll get it for you."

A certain unnamed member of a certain Family contacted me a week later. I set up a meet with him and a certain financial backer that may or may not have any connections to any alleged Family and therefore couldn't be suggested was in any way connected to any alleged wrongdoing by any certain party.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2006, 10:44 AM   #71
Grammaticus
Pro Rookie
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tennessee
Quote:
Originally Posted by revrew
"Have you been smoking something?"

"Cubans, actually. Want one?"


Best line yet, keep up the good work.
Grammaticus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2006, 10:45 AM   #72
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Grammaticus: Thanx! Now, on with the update...

"It's very simple," I explained to a certain financier after I had confirmed Keaton Graves' story was accurate. "I require a certain favor, and in return I can ensure a profitable investment becomes an exceptionally profitable investment."

"An offer I can't refuse, eh? Go on."

"You stand to make $25 million net if Jeffrey Davis can garner enough profits from the Rebels to pay you off. You stand to diversify your portfolio with a $150 million investment in a professional sports franchise if Mr. Davis cannot make the necessary profits. In my position, I can ensure Mr. Davis is unable to gain profits from the Rebel franchise."

"And in return, what is this favor we can do for you?"

"I need to remain in control of the team to make that happen. Very simply, I need capital to make it happen. So here's what I propose: I will sell you 10% of the Rebels, at fair market value, which, after calculations, should fall somewhere in the $60-$70 million dollar range. All I ask as a favor, is that you make the...terms...of the purchase favorable for me."

"How so? And how does this help you?"

"If you were to pay me the $60-$70 million in installments, but not take ownership of the investment until the full amount was paid--"

"You'd have the money you need to lose, without losing contol of the team."

"Exactly."

"In the end, we'd have paid $50 million to Davis and $70 million to you. That's 120 million dollars. At the end, we'd own Davis' 24% and your 10%, for a 34% stake in the team. 35% of 600 million is 210 million dollars. 120 million to own 210 million, is that it?"

"In 3 years, I expect the team will be worth quite a bit more than that. The stadium will be built. Team value should exceed 800 million. You'd probably be looking at closer to a 280 million stake."

"Perhaps. But you'd still be primary owner at 39%, wouldn't you?"

"That's what I get out of the deal. That's the favor I need in return."

In every way, my arrangement with this financier was completely legal. I sold 10% of the team through this financier to Marinara Industries, Inc. for $64 million dollars, payable in installments, with ownership being transferred only after the completion of the payment schedule 3 years down the road. That gave me $65 million total to lose before I forced Davis to lose his gamble, and lose big. That gave me $64 million to lose before I turned a profit, if I wanted to keep the team.

If everything worked just right, the family would own 34% of the team, Davis would own 24%, the NFL would own 3%, and I would own a controlling 39%. The family would have bought its 34% at a nearly half-off discount, it would be a major player in a legitimate industry, and I'd still have some money left over to run the team in peace. All I had to do was stop Davis from making a net $25 million in 3 years.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2006, 02:38 PM   #73
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 16: Winners and Losers

Our eigth season began with some tense conversations between the commissioner and I. We made some additions through free agency, but oddly, they were all Southerners or Stanford graduates. RDE Dexter Young was from North Dakota, I argued, but since he graduated from Auburn, the Commish wasn't all that impressed. Our second-round pick was from Oklahoma, I argued, a state Davis had forbidden for me, but the Commish still wasn't impressed. We drafted players from Illinois and Wisconsin, I argued, but 6th and 7th rounders weren't all that impressive to him either. Finally, in the free agency shuffle after the draft, we brought in a starting left tackle from Massachusetts, and Tagliabue was appeased.

We weren't trying to be a "Southern" team anymore, but that year, many of the players we went after just happened to be Southern. Such is life in football.

Rnd 1 - Rusty Stockman, TE, Memphis
Rnd 2 - Quentin Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Rnd 2 - Bart Houston, OLB, Clemson
Rnd 3 - Bennie Sanderson, ILB, Davidson
Rnd 4 - Scottie Lyon, DT, California
Rnd 5 - Jack Lesky, RB, Louisville
Rnd 6 - Ian Vang, G, Illinois
Rnd 7 - Edwin McDowall, S, Wisconsin

Our eighth season was a nerve-wracker. We were uncommonly strong in the early season, led by rookies and newcomers. TE Rusty Stockman looked like he would grow into the kind of TE that would make fans forget about Randy McMichael. WOLB Bart Houston showed flashes that gave us visions of the finest LB corps in the league. Atkins, Smith, and Houston looked like HOF candidates each on paper, and Smith had already proven himself many times over.

The youngsters, however, grew tired at the end, dropping us to a 10-6 record. The fans were still thrilled to have a powerful team, but a key loss to Minnesota lost our tie-breaker, and even at 10-6, we were out of the playoffs. Worse still, our LT went down to a possible career-ending MCL, our center went down to a similar ACL, and MLB C.J. Atkins blew his MCL, too. The dreadful astroturf we were playing on had blown out more knees than any team could afford. Thankfully, the new, outdoor grass stadium was scheduled to be finished the next year...but would it be too late?

At 10-6 with no playoffs, the team lost $38 million. That meant $19 million dollar losses for both Davis and I. Davis' $50 million was down to $31. My $65 was down to $46. One more year like that, and Davis wouldn't be able to recover in time. Two more years like that, however, and even I might get into trouble. The goal was to prevent Davis from profiting, but keep myself afloat.

And, oh, winning another SuperBowl. I was hungry. Hungry for a Lombardi without Davis over my shoulder.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2006, 08:14 AM   #74
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
My ninth season as manager of the Rebels began with a bang. Our draft class was raved about in media outlets, even given an A+ rating by ESPN the Magazine.

Rnd 1 - Bernie Hicks, DT, Vanderbilt
Rnd 2 - Tyrone Tyler, WR, Miami, Ohio
Rnd 3 - Korey Shannon, DT, Missouri
Rnd 4 - Levon Needham, C, Wisconsin
Rnd 5 - Stanley Wang, QB, Southern Methodist
Rnd 6 - Ross Emerson, CB, Alabama
Rnd 7 - Winfred Swift, K, Florida State

The biggest addition, however, was all-star LT Chad Clifton, who finally gave us a fomidable force at the blind corner. Birmingham fans were gearing up for a huge season. Then the preseason hit. Clifton blew out his knee. His career was over in a snap.

Nonetheless, a new hero emerged, new offensive coordinator Jessie Kubicz. Jessie decided--with the loss of Clifton and no solid option at LT--to switch up the offense and put more on Spencer Knowles and less on Marco Turtschin. Jessie wanted to free Turtschin to be efficient instead of pressuring him to be a playmaker. Jessie also did a good job of bringing the O-line together. The Rebs jumped out to 6-0, selling out our new stadium. By halfway through the season, we had sold out every season ticket package available. We were on a roll.

There can be, however, a measure of pain even in a season where you finish 13-3. Two of our losses were to Dallas and Minnesota, who therefore took the tiebreakers from us and robbed us of a bye in the first round. Thanks to Jessie Kubicz's revamped offense, Spencer Knowles had his best season to date: 1586 rushing yards and 8 TDs. Sophomore tight end Rusty Stockman continued the tradition of great Rebel tight ends, topping the league with 12 TD catches and 845 yards receiving.

In our first playoff game against Detroit, 4 sacks by LE Charles Grant led us to a 25-19 victory. But by the time we limped to our rematch against Dallas, 11 of our starters were on the injured inactive list, including our top 2 Quarterbacks. Without Turtschin and half the team, we fought valiantly, but lost 17-20.

In the postseason, our two previous first round picks, FB Chambliss and TE Stockman both won first team honors. RCB Toby Porter, a 5th round pick, won 2nd team honors. Spencer Knowles barely missed the rushing title (he was 2nd in the NFL) and was robbed of honors, as was punter Corey Wilkins, who led the league with a 44.8 punting average.

In terms of team management, however, I had run into a problem. A big problem. I had promised the family that Davis would not be able to repay them. With such a fantastic season in our new facility, the Rebels made 42 million in profits.

The profits were good news for my bank account: With the sale of part of the team and the year's profits, I was sitting with a pretty $67-million cushion. The bad news was Jeffrey Davis also made money, bringing his cash worth up to $52 million. I had promised certain individuals that by the end of our tenth year, Davis would not be able to repay his $75 million dollar debt.

If the Rebels continued their upward streak of earnings, Davis would make his money, and I wouldn't keep my promise. I wasn't exactly sure how the Family would feel about me not keeping my promise.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2006, 10:48 AM   #75
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 17: Intentional Grounding

In the all-out effort to lose money with a popular team in a great stadium deal, we re-upped our coaching staff at hefty salary levels. Then I went into the free agency market to grab the biggest, best, and most expensive free agent in DRE Darrell Houston. Not since John Abraham had the Rebels had such a formidable force at RE. The unfortunate retirement of LDE Charles Grant left us without a perfect pair of DEs, but the pass rush from the right side was a much needed boost.

We also signed one of the best left tackles available, 3-time League's Strongest man, Jackie Hoover.

Rnd 1 - Deron Courage, RT, Texas A & M
Rnd 2 - Skip Vamos, C, Rutgers
Rnd 3 - Mitch LaStarza, SS, Portland State
Rnd 4 - Casey Derlange, QB, Notre Dame
Rnd 5 - Deron Hardon, WR, Florida State
Rnd 6 - Glen Carlisle, DE, Wagner
Rnd 7 - Britt Stanton, DT, Iowa State

Could we actually lose money when the stadium deal and the team's success were so favorable? I doubted it, but if I wanted to keep certain unnamed investors happy (and bring an end to the Jeffrey Davis era), we had to avoid doing TOO well.

By season's end, we had managed to inexplicably drop 6 games, forcing us to play the Wildcard in the playoffs. The 10-6 record did, however, prevent us from landing home field advantage, a financial move that would have proved costily profitable.

Our first playoff game matched us against Seattle, where Spencer Knowles racked up 95 yards and a pair of scores en route to a 31-20 victory. For Knowles, this had been his best statistical year, rushing for 1566 yards, a 5.27 average, and catching a personal best 50 passes. Unfortunately, Knowles suffered a high ankle sprain in the third quarter, benching him for the rest of the playoffs. A SuperBowl run began to slip through our fingers.

We came into the second game like a M.A.S.H. unit--6 of our starters were out with injury--against a well-rested Cowboys squad. Rested as they were, however, they weren't prepared for second-string HB Wendell Osborne, who broke some huge runs on his way to 134 yards, a pair of tuddies, and a 34-10 drubbing of Dallas. The injury bug bit again, however, sidelining star TE Rusty Stockman.

The NFC Championship game in TBAY would be played without Knowles or Stockman, and the Buccs were more than ready for Wendell Osborne. Where would the offense come from? Nowhere. Buccs win, 9-6. Baseball anyone?

In many respects, it had been a successful season. FB Chambliss, TE Stockman, and DE Houston all won first team all-pro. Kicker Winfred Smith won 2nd team. We had charged into the NFC Championship game and came within a score of going to the SuperBowl. But we didn't win the Lombardi. And we made a lot of money. Perhaps too much. As I sat down to tally the books, I knew there was a possibility my dream of winning a legitimate SuperBowl might be dashed by a very angry investor family.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2006, 06:43 PM   #76
Grammaticus
Pro Rookie
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tennessee
Someone is going to be sleeping with the fishes
Grammaticus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2006, 12:54 AM   #77
fantastic flying froggies
Pro Rookie
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sunny South of France
Concrete shoes, anyone?
__________________
Detroit Vampires (CFL) : Ve 're coming for your blood!
Camargue Flamingos (WOOF): pretty in Pink
fantastic flying froggies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2006, 09:48 AM   #78
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
So here's how the final total stacked up. Jeffrey Davis was bankrolled at $52 million, needing just another $23 million to pay off his $75mil debt and get the family off his back. As I sat down to add up receipts and debts, I realized just how important it was that we didn't land homefield advantage. Try as hard as I could, I couldn't lose money. Instead, the Rebs brought in a net $20+ mil, $10 each for Jeffrey and me. I was pleased to have $77 million in my pocket, and Jeffrey was sitting at $62 mil, $13mil short of his payoff amount. Had I not worked so hard to cut profits, Davis would have easily won his gamble and paid off the Family. And with the sale of my 10% to the Family, Davis would have returned to controlling ownership--his 48% to my 39%.

If, however, Davis couldn't come up with the additional unlucky $13 Ms, he would be bound to fork over to the Family half of his stake. That would give Davis 24% of the team, the NFL 3%, the family 34%, and leave me with a 39% controlling interest. At least, that's what was SUPPOSED to happen. Before Davis disappeared.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2006, 03:02 AM   #79
Grammaticus
Pro Rookie
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tennessee
A little insurance policy, eh?
Grammaticus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2006, 07:20 PM   #80
MacroGuru
Coordinator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Utah
All I can saw is wow....what a great read
__________________
"forgetting what is in the past, I strive for the future"
MacroGuru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2006, 02:01 AM   #81
jackyl
H.S. Freshman Team
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
I agree. Thanks for the awesome story.
jackyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2006, 08:49 PM   #82
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Mac, jack, and others--- Thanks! Now, on with the story...
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2006, 08:53 PM   #83
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 18: Back in the Saddle and Off His Rocker

The deadline for Jeffrey Davis' payoff to the Family came and went. Not only did Jeffrey not pay, he didn't show. Anywhere. Davis had disappeared and left no forwarding address.

When I filed my sale of 10% to Marinara Industries, Inc., however I got an urgent call from Commishioner Tagliabue. "Are you crazy?!" he shouted. "You can't sell 10%! That makes Jeffrey Davis controlling owner again. What happened? The Rebels were turning around; you have a model stadium; you're a step away from another SuperBowl; you--"

"Relax, commishioner. I still have controlling interest."

"What?"

"You're basing your assumptions on the premise that Jeffrey Davis still owns 48% of the team. That's simply not true."

"It is as far as the League office knows..."

"The League office doesn't know everything, now, does it? Davis not only doesn't own 48%, but very shortly, he may not own any percentage."

"Who will?" he asked.

"Yes. Will. That's the question. If Jeffrey doesn't have one, the League may have to make an interesting decision."

It took a moment for that to register with the Commish. "A will? As in a will and testament. Davis is dead?"

"No. At least, I don't think so. Not yet. But it's very possible he will be soon. Davis has made some very...shall we say, dangerous connections in an effort to regain control of the team. I suggest the League be prepared in the case Davis has bitten off more than he can chew."

"Mr. Wilson, I do not know what you're implying. But I can tell you, I don't like it. With such talk, you might expect a thorough investigation--"

"No, no, no, Commishioner! You don't understand. I, personally, have been conducting the affairs of the Rebels with the utmost ingegrity. But in my position, it's good to know what Davis has been up to. And I know that he doesn't hold the same level of integrity that I insist upon. I also know that he's gone missing." I gave that a moment to sink in. "Commishioner Tagliabue, I am simply suggesting, based on my knowledge of Mr. Davis' shady character, that the League be prepared should Mr. Davis no longer be in control of his stake in the team. I'm trying to help you, here, Commishioner."

"I, I, don't know what to say."

"You could say, 'Thank you. Thank you for you work in preserving the integrity of the League.' Or, you could just say, 'good bye.' Good bye, Mr. Commishioner." Then I hung up.

Oddly enough, as soon as I hung up the phone, I got another call--this time from Jeffrey Davis.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2006, 02:44 PM   #84
Franklinnoble
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Placerville, CA
Brilliant dynasty, rev!
Franklinnoble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2006, 02:37 PM   #85
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Franklin and others--Thank you for your encouragement. Please remember me at the next Golden Scribes season. Now, on with the show...


"I guess I should be thanking you," Davis said when I answered the phone.

"For what, old friend?"

My remark gave him pause. I could just see his mind reeling back to when he earlier had called me "friend" with a sly sneer. Now it was my time to return the favor, and Davis was just beginning to recognize that something foul was afoot.

"Why, for returning controlling interest of the team to me, of course."

"Really? When did 24% constitute a controlling interest?"

"Twenty...how...but--"

"Or did you find a way to come up with the missing $13 million? Get lucky at the dog track, did you? Been playing some high-stakes hold 'em?"

"You know more than you should," was Davis' response.

"Yes, I suppose I do. But when, exactly, does Marinara Industries Incorporated take control of your other 24%? Has the transaction already happened, or are you still anticipating the pain? Just out of curiosity, you know, are you the majority owner right now? I mean, should I call you 'sir' again, just for old times' sake?"

Davis' mind was beginning to put the pieces together. "Marinara. That's how you know. The Family has been in touch, those dirty double-crossers. I should have known better than to work with a Yankee family."

"Right. The organized crime families in Atlanta are SO much more dependable," I quipped. "So back to my question. When's the transaction?"

"I really don't have anything more to say to you at this time, Kendall."

"Oh, quick! Before you go, do you have a phone number or a forwarding address I can reach you at? I noticed you weren't answering your email."

Click. Davis had hung up, but a few seconds too late by my estimation.

I pushed the button on my desk intercom. "Carmen? Were you able to complete the trace?"

Her sulty voice purred back, "Yes, Mr. Wilson. We know right where he's hiding."
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2006, 07:50 PM   #86
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
I punched in a number I had saved under a code name on my Rolodex. It rang five times before it was answered. "Yes?"

My answer was veiled, but clear: "I'm aware that the disappearance of a certain party has left your associates with less profit than was guaranteed. I'm aware that I share a responsibility in this loss of profit. I would like to offer two million and the whereabouts of the missing party in exchange for the opportunity to negotiate an acceptable payment plan. I am, sir, just a businessman, and I believe I can still conduct a profitable transaction with your associates. Please convey my offer."

"I shall." Click.

Two hours later, I had scheduled a meeting with certain unnamed members of a certain unnamed board governing certain unnamed corporations and familial enterprises. Certain unnamed businessmen were promised a gross profit of $280 million dollars, and, as of yet, they had received only a 10% stake in the Rebels. THe following is an account of how I managed to negotiate for my life:

"In our original transactions, I had guaranteed your operation a gross profit of $280 million for its $120 million in investment. The flight of Mr. Davis has left you without a significant portion of that investment. Shall I take it as understood that Mr. Davis' end of the transaction will not be completed as originally negotiated?"

"You shall," they said.

"Then, I presume, you hold me accountable, even as you hold him, for the loss of profits."

"We do."

"I can recover those profits for you without any additional investment on your part."

"You had better."

"Marinara Industries, Inc., currently owns 10% of the Rebels. The Rebels are valued at $881 million, which means you have $88 million of your $280 million already. The question is the remaining $198 million. I've just handed you a check for $2 mil, which brings us to $196 million."

"You can do math, I'll give you that."

"Upon written agreement of acceptable payment terms, I can immediately send you an additional check for $50 million. The remaining $146 mil, I can take care of, so long as I have...certain guarantees."

"Such as?"

"Simple things, like safety for my person, my businesses, my family and friends. I'm a businessman, sir. I like to keep my business transactions in the business world. I know you might conduct your business differenly, but I like to leave out...my family."

A smile cracked the lips of a certain unnamed board chairperson. "The terms, then," he said. "They're simple. As long as those $50 bills keep comin, we keep the Family out of it."

"$50 bills?" I asked. "Every...two years?"

"Every year, for three years."

"Um...that's not...exactly possible. I only own 39% now--"

"It's about as possible as us forgiving you and Davis for dragging our Family into your business."

The next day, I took my $75 million in cash, cut Marinara a check for $50 mil, (bringing my debt to $150 million), and turned on the evening news. A certain famous Southern personality and former NFL owner of some notoriety was killed in a freakish car accident that evening. Not that I'm saying Davis' demise was related to anything else discussed in this book. I'm not sayin'; I'm just sayin'.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2006, 08:31 PM   #87
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 19: Sweet, Sweet Redemption

Do the math. In order for me to...shall we say, drive safely?...I needed to net profit $50 mil a year for three years with the Rebels. With only a 39% stake in the team, that meant I needed the team to bring in $128 million a year in gross profits. With my bank account where it was, I had a whole $25 million in reserves, just in case the team didn't hit the jackpot. With all apologies to the middle-class fans in Birmingham, seeing a Rebel game was about to get a whole lot more expensive.

With the ticket prices skyrocketing and our coaches locked into contracts, I felt I could afford to sign all-star 6-year veteran F.A. DT Van Lydon, who had held out for huge money but couldn't find a taker. After the draft, we negotiated a reasonable long-term contract that started with a cheap first year to squeeze him under the cap. Lydon looked like the kind of superstar that can anchor a team to championships. And to my great relief, the positive PR with his signing helped us to sell out our season tickets, even with the elevated prices.

Rnd 1 - Damon Pierce, WR, Virginia
Rnd 2 - Herb Ruoff, C, West Virginia
Rnd 3 - Carl Sherman, WR, Bethune Cookman
Rnd 4 - Ernest Gardner, TE, Oregon
Rnd 5 - Jamal Holmes, WR, Washington State
Rnd 6 - Dwayne Wilkerson, T, Tennessee - Martin
Rnd 7 - Matt Hruby, DT, Texas Tech

To my surprise, following training camp that year, all three of our rookie wideouts not only made the team but looked to be contributors. With a beefed up defense and an infusion of young talent into the offense, did veteran stars Spencer Knowles and Marco Turtschin have enough in the tank to fuel us to the Bowl? (And, considering the financial mess I had made...enough to secure home field advantage?)

As the season rolled on, the value of our big free agent acquisition became abundantly clear. We had built a solid, veteran linebacker corps in MLB C.J. Atkins, superstar SLB Darryl Smith, and WLB Bart Houston; but the 'backers had struggled for years to play at the top of their game with an inconsistent line in front of them. DT Van Lydon gave us not only the consistency that our linebackers needed, but the presence to free our defensive ends. Through the first half of the season, our defense was destroying its opponents by destroying the run and terrorizing quarterbacks. With all the pressure up front, our DBs were all enjoying career years in interceptions.

But the defense wasn't the whole story. Going into our bye at 10-0, QB Marco Turtschin led the league in QB rating, and while Knowles handn't really hit big runs like he had in the past, he was unstoppable at the goalline (leading NFL in touchdowns).

By the time we hit 12-0, the Rebel defense was being compared to the '85 Bears. Our opponents were averaging a mere 9.9 points per game, and we were #1 against pass, #1 against run, #1 on 3rd down, and #1 in takeaways. Van Lydon was more than an addition to this defense, he was a multiplication.

At 12-0, however, we lost Knowles to a 3-week injury, and the schedule did not favor finishing undefeated. Our arch-nemesis, Tampa Bay (for now that Davis was gone, the heat over the Pats and the 'Skins had faded) handed us our first loss, taking us to 13-1, and forcing us to wait to wrap up home field. The following week, a 31-6 win over Cincinatti, powered by reserve RB Wendell Osborne and a breakout WR Ethan Hoffman (a fifth-year, 7th round pick who earned the starter's role) wrapped up our home field.

We finished the season 15-1 (only furthering our hatred for TBay) and secured home field. In 12 games starting, QB Marco Turtschin had been a model of precision, completing 66% of his passes, with 21 TDs and only 1 INT. He led the league in QB rating, with a personal best, 107.1. Our future QB, sophomore Casey Derlange completed 65% of his passes, with 5 TDs against 1 pick, for a 92 QB rating. The passing attack set an NFL record for only surrendering 2 INTS the entire year. The defense set a record for fewest rushing yards surrendered, but a couple of high scores at the end of the year lost us the all-time anti-scoring crown.

We upped our prices, won homefield, and were the hands-down favorite to win the Bowl. But with both of our starting guards out for the playoffs, injured in our last two games, could we finally win a SuperBowl in the post-Davis era? Could we celebrate the year our former owner's death by dancing the SuperBowl Shuffle on his grave? And could the team make enough revenue to keep me alive long enough to dance, too?
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2006, 07:33 PM   #88
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
After the bye, who should be our playoff opponent but our dear arch-nemesis? The game was close, as expected, but inside the two-minute warning, Marco Turtschin led the biggest drive of his career, capping it off with a touchdown pass that gave us the final score: Rebels win, 20-17.

Our second game was even closer. Once again, it was our veteran captains that refused to lose. Spencer Knowles rushed for 142 yards, Turtschin passed for 303, and we beat Dallas in overtime, 23-20. On to the Bowl!

Our victory over Dallas came at a price, however. We lost two key cogs in the Rebel machine to injury. Our leading receiver and the best fullback in football, Dave Chambliss, would not be able to play in the big game. Neither would NFL interception leader, CB Toby Porter. I reassured these two men that we would not be in this game were it not for them, and that a victory here would be just as much their victory as anyone else's, but they were understandably grieving their stint on the pine for this one.

The matchup was classic and greatly anticipated. The Chargers mirrored our squad with a pounding rushing attack, efficient passing, and a killer defense. San Diego was clearly the class of the AFC. The big difference between our two team? Turnovers. We led the league in turnover differential, while the Chargers found turnovers their stumbling block.

The game itself was a bone-crushing defensive battle. We sacked the Chargers five times, while they put the brakes on our rushing attack. There were 5 turnovers in the game, not because anyone was sloppy, but because the defenses were primed, poised, and positioned to take over the game. In the end, a kickoff return for a touchdown gave us just the breathing room we needed, an interception gave us the field position we needed, and the Rebels won, 27-16. Our monster DE Darrell Houston--who very quietly led the team in sacks fot he year--won SuperBowl MVP with his 2.5 sacks and 3 hurries.

18-1. SuperBowl champions, and without any of Davis' crazy restrictions. We did it! After the game, I broke down in tears--inconsolable joy and relief. I had proven that I could GM a team to the Lombardi under adverse circumstances, AND under normal circumstances. I had only one hurdle left to clear: GM'ing a team to massive profits in a three-year span. I just needed to stay alive, so I could enjoy the Rebels' fantastic success.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2006, 05:48 PM   #89
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
CHAPTER 20: The Final Sum

18-1. SuperBowl champions. Sold-out stadium, home field advantage. But the Rebels made a mere 81 million.

My 39% share came to 31.5 million. In order to make my $50 million installment, I had to dip into my reserves to the tune of 18.5 million. That left me with a net line of 6.5 million dollars to my name and 100 million in debt, due in two more equal installments. Gulp.

The only way to stay alive was to increase the previous year's profits by 50%. Once again, with my apologies to Birmingham fans, attending a Rebel game was about to get very expensive. My life depended on it.

After winning the SuperBowl, few players were willing to re-sign for anything less than a fortune. I hated to break up a team that had just brought me and the fans of Birmingham such joy, but the skyrocketing signing bonus demands not only pushed us beyond the salary cap, but may have cost me my life. There are some dark roads in rural Alabama. Things happen when you can't repay a 100-million-dollar debt.

Roster cuts, thus, were inevitable. Players that we desperately wanted to re-sign we just couldn't afford. Consequently, we lost a lot of our bench to other teams. We lost a couple of starters. But when the math came due, there was one big release we had to make. For the last two years we had "franchise tagged" SLB Daryl Smith. Daryl's agent was fuming mad about it, refusing to sign a contract voluntarily with us for any amount. To tag him again would have cost more than 5 million, room we didn't have under the cap. With MLB Atkins and WLB Houston under contract, there was no way we could afford to spend that big of a piece of the salary pie on another linebacker. We had to let Smith go.

In eulogy, Smith was our most highly touted, naturally-talented player. He had been for years. But his constant griping about his contract and his falling production never made him a fan favorite, and we hoped WLB Houston could step into his "star" shoes.

Rnd 1 - Neil Hayes, T, Memphis
Rnd 2 - Damon Kanyuh, CB, Boise State
Rnd 3 - Korey Robinson, QB, Auburn
Rnd 4 - Kelvin Alston, OLB, West Georgia
Rnd 5 - Paul Miller, TE, Arkansas
Rnd 6 - Britt Flynn, RB, Nebraska
Rnd 7 - Jeff Roderick, C, Ohio State

The Birmingham fans showed real class in selling out the stadium. The price hikes were obnoxious, and I really feared a backlash. Of course, the media screamed for blood, but in the end, the fans screamed for tickets--and to them I owe my life.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2006, 09:13 AM   #90
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
The season after the SuperBowl was magical. Our roster losses didn't seem to slow us, as we finished 14-2 and won homefield advantage again (to my great relief!). Marco Turtschin defied his aging legs, continued his crafty, veteran play, and finished with a 102 passer rating, his second year in a row with 100+ passer rating. The team again avoided the pick, throwing only 9 INTs all year. Spencer Knowles stayed healthy all year, providing a workhorse effort that garnered 12 TDs and over 1200 yards rushing.

Oddly, our passing attack had settled into an unique pattern: our two leading receivers were a tight end (Randy Stockman with 88 catches) and a fullback (Dave Chambliss with 71). Together, Stockman and Chambliss defined an era in Rebel football. Together with QB Marco Turtschin, the trio of "small-play" heroes became superstars, not because they raced 60 yards for the endzone, but because they pounded six yards for the first down--again, and again, and again. Like "small ball" in baseball, when it's done well it's a surefire way to put points on the scoreboard. For the "small-play" Rebels, it was done well. The team set NFL records for total first downs in a game and in a season. With surehanded receivers that could always gain separation and always fall forward, Turtschin never had to risk the INT when a first down was only 10 yards away.

Just as Bill Walsh created the "West-Coast offense," and Indianapolis created the "three-headed monster," the Rebels created what later became known as "short-down," a style of play that made the ten yards beyond the line of scrimmage an indefensible zone. Turtschin's pinpoint accuracy, the offensive line's ability to move with Turtschin's roll-out style, and most especially Stockman's and Chambliss' ability to sit in every hole and power to the first down created a new era in the NFL. Some found it boring. But to Birmingham fans, it was a joy to watch, a badge of honor that took the game out of the ever-increasing egos of primadonna widouts and divas and put it back in the hands of strategists and powerhouses.

In my mind, Turtschin, Stockman, and Chambliss are not only Hall of Famers, they're also legends, giants of the game that defined an era the way the Steel Curtain, the Purple People-Eaters, or Lombardi's Packers defined their respective eras.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2006, 09:29 AM   #91
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
The 14-2, short-down Rebels welcomed the St. Louis Rams in their first playoff game. The final score, 23-13, did not reflect the total domination by the Rebels in every facet of the game.

In the NFC Championship, Dallas came to Birmingham, but our defense was beat to snot, with our three biggest defensive stars all watching from the bench. Could the offense step up? Knowles, Chambliss, and Stockman did exactly that. Knowles rushed for 142, keeping our defense fresh, and Chambliss and Stockman each caught a TD in our 23-20 overtime win.

Another Superbowl? Could it be?

We faced our once heated enemy, the New England Patriots. Since Jeffrey Davis' antics had been exposed, the steam and lustre had faded from the early Patriot/Rebel rivalry. This game was between the best of the AFC and the best of the NFC, not between North and South.

Unfortunately for Johnny Reb, Marco Turtschin sprained his knee on the first play of the game. We went to backup, Casey Derlange, but unfortunately, Casey wasn't ready for the spotlight. Casey wasn't nearly as accurate in short-down play, his timing just not perfectly aligned as it was with Marco. Casey threw 2 picks in the game. With our defensive front banged up, New England ran down the clock and cleaned ours, 20-3.

Nonetheless, our small-down heroes had become league-wide stars. Chambliss and Stockman both won first team All-pro honors--Stockman's 3rd, Chambliss' fourth. Unfortunately, both would be unrestricted free agents the following year.

Now, time to pay the piper.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2006, 09:50 AM   #92
wishbone
High School JV
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Hillsboro OR
Did the piper get paid and I missed it?
wishbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2006, 05:53 PM   #93
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
wishbone -- As Eyore said, "Thanks for noticing." I just moved and my service was interrupted. But we're now back on the air! And back to the story...


I hesitated as I unfurled the calculator tape. If the Rebels made $128 million, I'd have my $50 mil to give to certain, unnamed Family members. If worse came to worse, I still had a bankroll of $6.5 million to make up any difference.

Of course, if the Rebels didn't make the moola, I'd be due for a little "accident."

I had to read the tape twice. I counted the zeros, just to make sure there were seven of them. There were. Seven zeros...with a 13 in front of them. O, blessed, unlucky, glorious number 13! Put such a lovely number in front of seven zeroes, and you get $130 million!

We needed to make $128 mil, and we made $130. Hastily, I cut a check to my bank for $50 million in small bills. It took a while to get green assembled, but three telephone booths, two cell phone calls, one man in sunglasses and a red baseball cap--and one car trunk--later, I had paid my second installment. One more year's lease on life. And one more $50 million dollar installment to make.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2006, 12:01 PM   #94
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Chapter 21: The Last Hurrah

The following offseason, Rebel fans were dealt a harsh blow to the heart. Running back Spencer Knowles retired after 10 seasons, 8 of which were 1000 yards+, never rushing for fewer than 948 yards in any season. Knowles finished 3rd on the rushing records list with 11,971 yards and 2nd on the list with 102 rushing TDs.

Furthermore, three of our other top stars were all up for new contracts: two of the "short-down" masters, Stockman and Chambliss, along with MLB Atkins. I wasn't sure I could handle the blow of losing Knowles, Stockman, Chambliss, and Atkins all in one year. It would be like like washing Mount Rushmore and watching three of the four faces crumble away.

Our staff was under contract, but I nonetheless faced some cruel decisions. Could I really afford to pony up all the signing bonus money needed to re-sign the stars of the team? On one hand, I had the choice of coasting by, letting the stars go, making my 50 mil--but it would be at the cost of washing away a national landmark! On the other hand, I could spend the money to keep Stockman, Chambliss (and maybe Atkins) but risk my life in the endeavor.

Hmmm...decisions, decisions. Such is the life of an NFL GM with ties to the mafia.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2006, 05:56 PM   #95
Grammaticus
Pro Rookie
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tennessee
Just have your buddies put a horses head in Atkins' bed with a hint to resign at a reduced rate
Grammaticus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2006, 06:00 PM   #96
wishbone
High School JV
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Hillsboro OR
Good to see some updates, I've really enjoyed the story so far!
wishbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2006, 10:20 PM   #97
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
My team or my life. My team or my life. This isn't the kind of decision you make with a magic 8-ball. So, ignoring everything I hold dear for the sake of everything else I hold dear...I chose...my team! The Rebels shelled out big contracts to Randy Stockman, Dave Chambliss, C.J. Atkins. We're bringing them all back, baby!

Furthermore, we renogiated big bonuses to Marco Turtschin and Toby Porter. They can take my life, but they can't have my Rebels!

Unfortuntately, paying the faces of the Rebels cost us the arms and legs. Our Offensive was decimated in free agency.

Rookie Draft:
Rnd 1 - Pat Branch, S, Maryland
Rnd 2 - Tommy Armour, C, Boston University
Rnd 3 - Karl Wiggins, K, North Texas
Rnd 4 - Sedrick Thompson, S, West Virginia
Rnd 5 - Broderick Mascorella, TE, Southern Methodist
Rnd 6 - Matthew Clancy, T, Arizona State
Rnd 7 - Antonio Guest, C, South Florida

What great timing for one of the Rebels' greatest draft classes ever! Pat Branch at the end of the first round proved to be an all-around safety ready to start off the bat. Karl Wiggins easily replaced our overpriced kicker. But best of all, seventh-round Antonio Guest shocked everyone by far-exceeding his estimated talent and anchoring the Rebel O-line for years. In all my experience as a GM, I'd never seen a player break out so suddenly, so strongly. Our star CB Toby Porter was a 5th-rounder who took a few years to show what he could do. Guest didn't wait a few weeks.

The O-line was still a bit thin, so we looked for a tough, reliable replacement for Spencer Knowles. In the leftovers of the free agency market, we saw Neil Fenyhough yet unclaimed. Fenyhough had been Knowles' backup a few years back, and to be honest, we didn't think he ever had a fair chance to prove his worth. I decided to give him his shot.

Now. How exactly was I planning on staying alive again?
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2006, 09:48 AM   #98
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
An infusion of youthful power, added to the stars of last year's SuperBowl team launched the Rebels into a successful campaign. A hungry Fenyhough rushed for 1300 yards and 11 TDs, filling Knowles' shoes quite nicely. Marco Turtschin threw 24 TDs and a mere 5 INTs, leading us to our third consecutive year of leading the league in turnover ratio (+21). Behold the power of "short-down"!

The defense was stellar, our talented players frightening many would-be rushers into the arms of crafty veteran FA pickup, SLB Mo Hoff. Chambliss and Stockman again led the team in catches, Toby Porter rewarded us for his contract extension with 7 picks, and rookie Pat Branch added 5 more.

The Rebels continued to roll, piling up a 14-2 record and securing home field advantage yet again. Maybe, just maybe, playing at home could give us the revenue needed to keep my driving record from taking a serious plunge.

As the playoffs loomed, I knew we needed every win, every penny. I knew a trip to the SuperBowl might guarantee me the last $50 million payment. Doing so would finally make me owner of the Rebels, free and clear. No more Jeffrey Davis. No more Family business. No more threats, no more restrictions, the Rebels would at last be mine. I was so nervous, I threw-up before every game like a freshman guy before going to prom with a senior girl. It wasn't just what I stood to lose, but what I stood to win--free and clear ownership of an NFL franchise. What else could a man want?
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2006, 06:41 PM   #99
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Our first playoff game against the Cowboys was all Marco Turtschin, leading his new team to another victory. Has ever a less-touted, less talented QB been so successful? Maybe not since Joe Montana, whom many compare Turtschin to. Rebels win, 28-17.

The NFC Championship was all Turtschin again, throwing 23 of 29 for 256 yards, 3TDs, and 0 ints. The Rebels rolled to a 30-24 win. Turtschin led the Rebels to his third SuperBowl in a row; would he win his 3rd ring and 2nd SuperBowl MVP trophy?

In the SuperBowl Turtschin did indeed win his third ring, a 23-13 win over Browns. But Marco didn't grab MVP, as the defense stole the show, especially RDT Bernie Hicks, who not only led the team in sacks for the first time this year (with 11), but who also recorded a blazing 3 sacks, 2 hurries, and 5 tackles, earning game MVP. The offense struggled in the game, our inexperienced O-line not quite able to handle all the pressure, but the defense forced 5 turnovers to seal the game...and my fate?
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
revrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2006, 08:28 PM   #100
Audible
n00b
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
is this a novel by Tom Wolfe?
Audible is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:05 PM.



Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.