[AH Fiction] The Game of Driveball

A preview of the Detroit Roadsters' new logo. Still haven't decided on colors just yet.
 
1966 Season
1966 UDA Season

The first season of the newly formed United Driveball Alliance was overshadowed by current events off the field. The Vietnam War draft stripped many UDA clubs of their best stars. In order to maintain 24 teams, the UDA owners voted to play on with rosters filled with 4-F's, scabs and Victorian Football League (VFL) rejects from Australia. American athletes looking to avoid the draft emigrated north to play in the CDL. The team hit hardest by the Vietnam draft was the Minnesota Shockers. Luigi D'Amato, the man who lifted the Shockers to victory in the final year of the CDA's existence, was among many who were deployed into combat.

UDA Standings

National Conference
East
Miami Flamingos 8-4
Philadelphia Brawlers 7-5

Atlanta Aviators 5-7
New York Heroes 3-9

Central
Cleveland Mad Hatters 10-2
Buffalo Lakers 7-5

Chicago Gaels 4-8
Milwaukee Voyagers 2-10

West
Oakland Squirrels 11-1
San Diego Admirals 8-4

Seattle Emeralds 4-8
St Louis Showboats 3-9

Continental Conference
East
Washington Commanders 9-3
Pittsburgh Knights 7-5

Boston Unicorns 6-6
New Jersey Rogues 4-8

Central
Detroit Roadsters 9-3
New Orleans Revelers 7-5

Kansas City Rustlers 5-7
Minnesota Shockers 1-11

West
Los Angeles Jaguars 8-4
Dallas Metros 7-5

Houston Marshals 5-7
San Francisco Dragons 4-8

PLAYOFFS
WILD CARD ROUND
National
(6) Buffalo 33
- (3) Miami 27
(4) San Diego 18 - (5) Philadelphia 12

Continental
(6) New Orleans 39
- (3) Los Angeles 33
(4) Pittsburgh 24 - (5) Dallas 18

SEMIFINAL
National
(2) Cleveland 32
- (6) Buffalo 19
(4) San Diego 42 - (1) Oakland 33

Continental
(6) New Orleans 30
- (2) Detroit 21
(4) Pittsburgh 21 - (1) Washington 18

NATIONAL FINAL
At Cleveland Stadium
Cleveland 36
- San Diego 27

CONTINENTAL FINAL
At Forbes Field
New Orleans 24
- Pittsburgh 15

19th FROSTY MUG
July 15, 1966
At the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Cleveland 36 -
New Orleans 15
TV: NBC
Announcers: Curt Gowdy and Bernie Berman
MVP: Tony Malcolm (Mad Hatters)

Even though the NDA and CDA merged to form the UDA, there was still considerable tension between the two former leagues. This year's Frosty Mug was the very first to be held in Southern California. It would be at this very same stadium where the championship of pro football will be decided in January of 1967. On each bench, there was intense pressure to win the Frosty Mug to establish superiority of their respective conference.

For the fifth year in a row, the New Orleans Revelers reached the postseason. At least 20,000 Revelers fans made the trip from New Orleans to Los Angeles to cheer on their beloved squad.

The Mad Hatters had plenty of support too. Apart from over 30,000 Northeastern Ohioans who flew to LA, the Hatters received some unlikely support from former Denver Mountaineer fans who came just to boo the Revelers. In the front row of sections 121 and 122 of the Memorial Coliseum, a banner seen on millions of TV screens read "REMEMBER DENVER," referring to the Revelers having relocated in 1962 from Denver, where they played from 1954 to '61 as the Mountaineers.

For Mad Hatters forward Tony Malcolm, the journey from Collingwood to Cleveland made him a celebrity on both sides of the Pacific. Having been cut by the Magpies last season, Malcolm seized the opportunity of a lifetime. "The Mad Hatters' fans, my teammates and my coaches treated me very well," Malcolm told NBC after the game, "However, I do wish circumstances that brought me here had been different." Tony Malcolm was just one of many Australian Rules football scabs who came to the US to help the UDA field 24 teams when many of the league's American players were going off to fight in Vietnam.

Malcolm would ultimately be named the MVP of this year's Frosty Mug, punching in 2 goals and 5 overs to win Cleveland its first Mug in 13 years. This victory marks Cleveland's fourth overall Frosty Mug title, tying the New York Heroes with the most.

1966 CDL Season

The influx of American players heading north to avoid draft induction proved beneficial for teams like the Ottawa Lumberjacks and Winnipeg Aces. But the Vancouver Ravens' problems remain the same.

CDL Standings
East
Ottawa Lumberjacks 12-2
Hamilton Maulers 9-5

Montreal Trappers 7-7
Toronto Titans 6-8
Montreal Castors 4-10

West
Winnipeg Aces 12-2
Calgary Bighorns 11-3

Saskatchewan Stags 5-9
Edmonton Barons 3-11
Vancouver Ravens 1-13

East Final
Ottawa 33
- Hamilton 23

West Final
Calgary 18
- Winnipeg 12

Dominion Cup '66
Calgary 33
- Ottawa 30

Calgary's first Dominion Cup win wasn't decided till after Bighorns forward Norm De Groot nailed the post-siren kick for a three point over.​
 
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1966 All Star Game
1966 UDA All Star Game
July 22, 1966
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
TV:
NBC
Announcers: Curt Gowdy and Bernie Berman

1966 was a year of major change in Driveball. The cold war between the two leagues had finally cooled down. A common college draft already existed, but both leagues agreed on limited free agency and a world championship game. Another part of the 1963 merger agreement was the creation of an All Star Game. The first All Star Game reinforced the superiority the former NDA tried to impose on the CDA. The NDA had been seen as a more preppy, clean cut product while the CDA openly embraced the game's mavericks and renegades. The first All Star Game was held the week after the Cleveland Mad Hatters defeated the New Orleans Revelers for the Frosty Mug. That victory gave Cleveland the fourth Mug in the club's nineteen year history. It would be a one sided affair as the National Conference mauled the Continental Conference 46 to 27 before a crowd of 52,000.



National 46 - Continental 27

ALL STAR STARTING LINEUPS

NATIONAL
Goalie

Nick Harris (Flamingos)

Defense
Clarence Bennett (Gaels)
Wayne Cook (Flamingos)
Arthur Russell (Lakers)
Frank Gray (Squirrels)
Ronald Cox (Admirals)

Midfield
Eugene Young (Mad Hatters)
Carl Simmons (Brawlers)
Terry Bell (Heroes)

Attack

Tony Malcolm (Mad Hatters)
Hugh Daniels (Squirrels)
Kermit "Cap" Maynard (Flamingos)
Wilbur Finkle (Emeralds)
Don Van De Kamp (Aviators)

CONTINENTAL
Goalie

Raymond Murphy (Unicorns)

Defense

Roy James (Rogues)
Ernest Howard (Metros)
Henry King (Roadsters)
Walter Morris (Dragons)
Carroll Schneider (Jaguars)

Midfield

Freddie Weaver (Marshals)
Ken Ungar (Shockers)
Cornelius Norton (Knights)

Attack

Ernie Chabert (Revelers)
Aubrey Gregory (Revelers)
Victor Marshall (Commanders)
Wes Matlock (Roadsters)
Leo Quesada (Jaguars)​
 
Driveball back in Denver!!!


Driveball is back in Denver after an absence of just six years. Instead of rehashing the Mountaineer name, the new Denver franchise will call themselves the Majestics, a reference to the purple mountains majesties lyric from America the Beautiful.

The franchise will be owned and operated by Golden, CO based Coors Brewing Company.




Starting in 1968, the Majestics will play their home games at Mile High Stadium (below):
 
Baseball Expansion for 1970
In baseball, the American League owners voted unanimously to accept two new franchises for 1970.

The Milwaukee Brewers, who will be owned by a group led by Allen H. "Bud" Selig. The Brewers will play at County Stadium, where the Braves previously played before moving to Atlanta last season.


In order to keep the league even, the AL will add the Toronto Blue Jays, bringing MLB to Canada for the very first time.


Amidst the excitement, the future of the Sacramento Solons hangs in the balance, with Denver and Vancouver each courting the team for a possible move. The Solons are one of four former PCL teams that were accepted into the American League.
But so far, fan support has lagged behind cross-state rivals Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Oaks.​
 
In baseball, the American League owners voted unanimously to accept two new franchises for 1970.

The Milwaukee Brewers, who will be owned by a group led by Allen H. "Bud" Selig. The Brewers will play at County Stadium, where the Braves previously played before moving to Atlanta last season.


In order to keep the league even, the AL will add the Toronto Blue Jays, bringing MLB to Canada for the very first time.


Amidst the excitement, the future of the Sacramento Solons hangs in the balance, with Denver and Vancouver each courting the team for a possible move. The Solons are one of four former PCL teams that were accepted into the American League.
But so far, fan support has lagged behind cross-state rivals Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Oaks.​
Where is Montreal? Will they or Ottawa get a team?
 
Driveball returns to Cincinnati
In the 1966-67 offseason, the UDA grants its 26th franchise to Cincinnati.

Owned by Taft Broadcasting, parent company of Hanna-Barbera, the Cincinnati franchise will be nicknamed the Gladiators.


 
NBA Expansion Late 1960's
1966-67 NBA Alignment

Eastern Division

Boston Celtics
Cincinnati Royals
Detroit Pistons
New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers

Western Division
Chicago Bulls (Expansion)
Los Angeles Stars
Minnesota Lakers
San Francisco Warriors
St. Louis Hawks

1967-68 Expansion Teams
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC

1968-69 Expansion Teams
Phoenix, AZ
Milwaukee, WI​
 
1967 UDA Regular Season
1967 UDA Season

1967 marked the 20th season of Driveball, but the owners of the UDA elected to wait until 1968 to actually celebrate the anniversary.

As part of its new licensing program, the UDA quietly debuted a new logo (below), depicting a player attempting to score in silhouette with red, white and blue colors. The logo was designed by Alan Siegel and two other artists at the New York-based advertising firm Sandgren & Murtha. Two years later, Siegel would go on to supervise Jerry Dior's logo design for Major League Baseball. Then in 1970, Siegel helped design a similar logo for the National Basketball Association, based on magazine covers with Minnesota Laker Jerry West driving to the basket.


UDA Standings

National Driveball Federation
Eastern Division
Miami Flamingos 8-4
New York Heroes 7-5

Atlanta Aviators 6-6
Philadelphia Brawlers 2-10

Central Division
Milwaukee Voyagers 10-2
Cleveland Mad Hatters 8-4

Buffalo Lakers 5-7
Chicago Gaels 4-8

Western Division
St Louis Showboats 9-3
San Diego Admirals 7-5

Oakland Squirrels 3-9
Seattle Emeralds 3-9

Continental Driveball Federation
Eastern Division
Boston Unicorns 7-5
Washington Commanders 6-6

Pittsburgh Knights 5-7
New Jersey Rogues 4-8

Central Division
Kansas City Rustlers 8-4
New Orleans Revelers 8-4

Minnesota Shockers 4-8
Detroit Roadsters 4-8

Western Division
Los Angeles Jaguars 9-3
Houston Marshals 9-3

San Francisco Dragons 5-7
Dallas Metros 3-9

Playoff teams in BOLD.​
 
1967 UDA Playoffs
1967 UDA Playoffs

Injury problems continued to plague Admirals captain Jerry Rosenbach throughout 1966. But in 1967, Rosenbach hoped to get his career back on track. For a while, things looked good for the eight year veteran. Seven goals and 17 overs in the regular season put Rosenbach second in the UDA behind Cleveland's Tony Malcolm. Malcolm and Rosenbach met in the wild card round at Cleveland Stadium. The Mad Hatter fans were at full throat, hoping their songs and chants would intimidate the aging Admirals. But ultimately, Cleveland's taunts turned to tears when a defensive foul against Mad Hatters fullback Herman Riggs set up the game winning over off the foot of San Diego rookie forward Guy Kirkpatrick.

San Diego management selected Kirkpatrick out of Notre Dame with the intention of having Rosenbach serve as Kirkpatrick's mentor. So far, the younger Admiral has learned plenty. Kirkpatrick provided key assists to fellow forwards Glen Galloway and Bob Stanton to lift the Ads past the Milwaukee Voyagers and an aging Dwight Taylor. Unfortunately for San Diego fans, Kirkpatrick would be brought back down to earth as sixth-seed New York kept Kirkpatrick quiet in a 48-18 blowout loss. That playoff loss in the National Final would prove to be the Admirals' last game at Balboa Stadium. Next season, the Admirals will share the new Mission Valley Stadium with the AFL Chargers. Also moving in to the new facility are the Padres, the longtime PCL franchise that was accepted into MLB last season as part of the MLB/PCL merger.

On July 12, 1967, citing continued injury issues, Jerry Rosenbach announced his retirement in an interview with The San Diego Evening Tribune.

Over in the Continental circuit, the Washington Commanders lacked strong leadership in the immediate aftermath of Bernie Berman's retirement. Washington owner Abe Pollin has sought a successor for the last five years now, and he hopes he's found one in rookie midfielder Milt Hatfield, formerly of Penn State. In the wild card round, the Commanders visited the Boston Unicorns at Fenway Park. Hatfield one goal and five overs to seal the Commanders' win. That victory gave Washington a boost of confidence...or so they thought.

The following week in Kansas City, the Truman Dome would prove to be a House of Horrors for the Commanders. A hard hitting Rustler defense led by fullback Calvin Kurtz came to life after Washington led 18-3 at halftime. In the second half, the Commanders could only scratch out two behinds while KC mounted an impressive 16 point comeback. The final blow was dealt by Rustlers half-forward Jackie Costello. With his team trailing 20-19, Costello nailed the post-siren kick for a three point over that helped KC advance to the Continental final. After three consecutive losing seasons, the Rustlers' fans thought they had reasons for optimism in '67, but first, they had to escape Los Angeles with a win.

The Los Angeles Jaguars were a team of destiny in 1967. Ten years had passed since their last championship, a hard fought victory over the Pittsburgh Knights in the '57 Floyd Cup. Then in 1958, the Jags would return to the Floyd Cup, only to lose the rematch with Pittsburgh. Then, in the 1961 Floyd Cup, Bruno Diaz was a rookie when Bernie Berman and the Washington Commanders stonewalled the Jags. A few losing seasons ensued, including a 1-11 record in 1963.

Finally in '67, Diaz had the supporting cast he had been looking for. Through the draft, the Jags acquired defenseman Russell Sweeney and center Lynn Short. Through trades, the Jags acquired forward Ted Travis from the Flamingos and midfielder Lester Kelley from the Voyagers. When many of the Jags' American-born players were drafted into the Vietnam War, the team brought in Randall Christopher and Wendell Bates from the dregs of the Victorian Football League in Australia. Christopher, 20 in 1967, was let go by the Melbourne Demons after half a season as an interchange player. Bates, also 20, comes to Los Angeles from Essendon after the Bombers cut him during last year's training camp.

New York blew out San Diego on July 8th, and the Jags welcomed the Kansas City Rustlers to the Coliseum the following Sunday. Kansas City played well in the first half, but the heroics of Costello and Kurtz were not enough to overcome the eruption of LA's attack in the second half. Trailing 18-13 with seconds to play in the third quarter, Lynn Short assisted Wendell Bates on a six point goal that gave LA the lead 19-18. With over five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, a defensive foul called against KC's Jackie Costello set up Bruno Diaz's six point goal that made it 25-18. That goal would ultimately win the game for the Jags.

WILD CARD ROUND

NATIONAL


San Diego 44 - Cleveland 41
New York 30 - Miami 27

CONTINENTAL

New Orleans 18 - Houston 12
Washington 34 - Boston 25

DIVISIONAL ROUND

NATIONAL


San Diego 26 - Milwaukee 19
New York 18 - St Louis 15

CONTINENTAL

Los Angeles 30
- New Orleans 15
Kansas City 22 - Washington 20

NATIONAL FINAL at BALBOA STADIUM

New York 48
- San Diego 18

CONTINENTAL FINAL at the LA COLISEUM

Los Angeles 25
- Kansas City 18

20th FROSTY MUG
Sunday, July 16, 1967
Cleveland Municipal Stadium
Cleveland, Ohio
TV:
CBS
Announcers: Ray Scott, Corky Liebowitz and Jimmy Pendelton

The twentieth Frosty Mug was held in the same city where the very first was played. Members of the 1948 Mad Hatters, the very first Driveball champion, were honored at halftime in a ceremony watched by the entire Cleveland Stadium crowd and millions more on TV. On the field, it would be the very first time that Driveball's New York and Los Angeles franchises would face off for the championship. The involvement of the two biggest markets in the country would make this year's Mug the highest rated Mug to date.

New York got on the board first with two six pointers by Alex Grigorian to make it 6-3 in favor of the Heroes in the first quarter. New York would ultimately lead 21-9 going into halftime, but Los Angeles would not take it laying down.

LA inbounded the ball to start the second half. After a seven minute possession, the Jags would give up the sixth tackle in the New York zone, giving the ball back to the Heroes. New York's first possession of the second half was a disaster. Heroes goalie Morris Kaplan inbounded the ball. Kaplan's pass was intended for halfback Rodney Klein, but was intercepted by the Jags' Bruno Diaz, who punched the ball into the net to pull LA to within 6.

For the remainder of the second half, the Heroes would not be able to advance the ball past their own zone. An over by LA's Lynn Short later in the third cut the deficit further 21-18. With under 4 minutes left to play, Bruno Diaz directed another Hollywood ending for the Jags, assisting Ted Travis on the six-pointer that would win the championship for the Jags 24-21.

Jaguars 24 - Heroes 21
MVP: Bruno Diaz (FF - Jaguars)​
 
New Stadiums (1967-68)
For 1967, the Squirrels move into the new Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (below):

Above is the configuration for Raiders games in November and December. To protect the Oaks' outfield grass, the Squirrels will instead orient their Driveball field from home plate to center field.

For 1968, the Admirals move from Balboa Stadium to the new Mission Valley Stadium (below):
 
1967 All Star Game
2nd UDA ALL STAR GAME
July 22, 1967
Cleveland Municipal Stadium
Cleveland, OH

Continental 32 - National 29

STARTERS

CONTINENTAL
GOALIE

Raymond Murphy (Unicorns)

DEFENSE

Carroll Schneider (Jaguars)
Walter Morris (Dragons)
Calvin Kurtz (Rustlers)
Roy James (Rogues)
Ernest Howard (Metros)

MIDFIELD
Lynn Short (Jaguars)
Paul Donaldson (Dragons)
Ken Ungar (Shockers)

ATTACK
Bruno Diaz (Jaguars)
Wendell Bates (Jaguars)
Jackie Costello (Rustlers)
Ernie Chabert (Revelers)
Wes Matlock (Roadsters)

NATIONAL
GOALIE

Nick Harris (Flamingos)

DEFENSE
Morris Kaplan (Heroes)
Wayne Cook (Flamingos)
Arthur Russell (Lakers)
Frank Gray (Squirrels)
Ronald Cox (Admirals)

MIDFIELD
Dwight Taylor (Voyagers)
Eugene Young (Mad Hatters)
Terry Bell (Heroes)

ATTACK
Guy Kirkpatrick (Admirals)
Cap Maynard (Flamingos)
Wilbur Finkle (Emeralds)
Tony Malcolm (Mad Hatters)
Hugh Daniels (Squirrels)​
 
1967 CDL Season
1967 marked the Centenary of the Canadian Confederation, with celebrations taking place up and down the Dominion. One of which was Expo 67 in Montreal (below).


That year was also the fifth season of the CDL. For the second year in a row, American athletes flooding north of the border to avoid the Vietnam draft entered the CDL and CFL depending on roster spot availability.

Eastern Division
Les Castors de Montreal 10-4
Hamilton Maulers 8-6

Ottawa Lumberjacks 4-10
Montreal Trappers 4-10
Toronto Titans 3-11

Western Division
Winnipeg Aces 13-1
Saskatchewan Stags 11-3
Calgary Bighorns 8-6

Edmonton Barons 5-9
Vancouver Ravens 4-10

Playoff teams in BOLD

Western Wild Card at Taylor Field

Calgary 32 - Saskatchewan 42

Eastern Final at Molson Stadium
Hamilton 27
- Montreal 19

Western Final at Winnipeg Stadium
Saskatchewan 18 - Winnipeg 30

Fifth Dominion Cup
Hamilton 33
- Winnipeg 21​
 
Wow, what happened to Winnipeg in the Dominion Cup? Looking at the match on paper, it looked like Hamilton would get creamed. Either way, congrats to the Maulers. They truly deserve this one.
 
Wow, what happened to Winnipeg in the Dominion Cup? Looking at the match on paper, it looked like Hamilton would get creamed. Either way, congrats to the Maulers. They truly deserve this one.

Winnipeg players trash talked the Hamilton squad in the newspapers on the days leading up to the game....and it cost them dearly on the field.
 
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