The deals off! No AFL-NFL merger

Two potential POD's. One is when Al Davis is commissioner of the AFL and instead of being undercut by the secret negotiations done by Tex Schramm and Lamar Hunt he is left to fight the war.

The 2nd would be in the aftermath of the Jets win in SB III where the AFL is feeling flush with success and the NFL is having trouble getting teams to flip.

In OTL the merger was saved because 1. Paul Brown was going to sue if there was no merger because as he put it, 'I did not pay ten million dollars for an AFL team' 2. Carroll Rosenbloom was enticed by a $3m bonus for flipping and 3. The Browns and Steelers were talking into flipping to form a division with the Bengals.




Have at it people.
 
AFL

Two potential POD's. One is when Al Davis is commissioner of the AFL and instead of being undercut by the secret negotiations done by Tex Schramm and Lamar Hunt he is left to fight the war.

The 2nd would be in the aftermath of the Jets win in SB III where the AFL is feeling flush with success and the NFL is having trouble getting teams to flip.

In OTL the merger was saved because 1. Paul Brown was going to sue if there was no merger because as he put it, 'I did not pay ten million dollars for an AFL team' 2. Carroll Rosenbloom was enticed by a $3m bonus for flipping and 3. The Browns and Steelers were talking into flipping to form a division with the Bengals.




Have at it people.
I heard about how Brown would have sued if the merger was called off.

A good thing to happen in a timeline would to have Brown and his ownership group buy the Eagles in 1963, and make Paul the coach. Somebody brought that up on another board.

With Brown out of the way, a Jet win in SB III may have influenced the AFL to call a merger off. There still would have had to be a common draft, though. I don't think that the owners would have wanted to let things go the way they were going.

Also, if Al was commissioner, and if he wasn't undercut by Hunt and Rozelle, that could have been real dangerous for pro football. I think that he wanted to destroy the NFL.
 
I much prefer the original merger deal, 1965 merger with the Raiders moving to Portland and the Jets moving to Memphis.
 
I much prefer the original merger deal, 1965 merger with the Raiders moving to Portland and the Jets moving to Memphis.
What original merger deal? I never heard about that.

I did hear something about the Raiders possibly moving to Portland in the early-60's, but that was contingent on Portland building the Delta Dome. The proposal for that dome was voted down.
 
Maybe without the merger, the NFL would have soon abandoned the 4-C divisional setup for one which makes a bit more geographical sense. Having Dallas in the East and Baltimore in the West was just illogical (although Dallas is still somehow in the East in OTL).

Atlantic Conference
East: New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
Midwest: Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis

Pacific Conference
Central: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota
West: Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco

You could switch the Steelers and Colts; it's either breaking up a Pennsylvania rivalry or a Beltway rivalry, and the Steelers have seniority. Better than picking the alignment out of a glass bowl, anyway.
 
What original merger deal? I never heard about that.

I did hear something about the Raiders possibly moving to Portland in the early-60's, but that was contingent on Portland building the Delta Dome. The proposal for that dome was voted down.
Informal merger talks, held as early as 1964, were rejected by the AFL when the older league wanted the Jets and Raiders relocated—to Memphis and Portland, respectively. Memphis is now part of the market area of the Tennessee Titans, itself a relocated AFL team — they were the Houston Oilers. Meanwhile, Portland is claimed as part of the Seahawks' fan base.
From wikipedia.
 
Posted in my thread, but as a side effect of this, perhaps the WFL could end up lasting. My reasoning is that with the NFL-AFL still in competition, talent in the leagues will be more diluted, with both leagues being forced to split the great players of the time period., and perhaps the WFL will be able to join the aforementioned common draft if it survives a couple of seasons. Of course, it could still fall apart because of it's incredibly incompetent management.

How about expansions? The drafting war might be over, but competition for player markets is going to be fierce. Based on the '65 merger proposal, I can see the NFL establishing teams in Portland and Memphis - perhaps the AFL gains the Sea hawks. Perhaps one league or the other expands internationally. Given the response of Canada to the attempt by the WFL to place a team in Toronto, and the NFL's friendly and equal terms with the CFL, perhaps teams in Mexico?
 
A lot of what might happen depends on the relationship between the two leagues in the wake of the merger failure. If they're still on amiable terms, then things should proceed similarly to OTL. If they're at war, then things will be much different.

Bear in mind that I know far more about baseball than I do about football, but here's a potential scenario for expansion in this TL. The leagues in 1969:

NFL East
Capital: Dallas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington
Century: Cleveland, NY Giants, Pittsburgh, St. Louis
NFL West
Coastal: Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Central: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota

AFL
East: Boston, Buffalo, Houston, Miami, NY Jets
West: Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego

With no merger in 1970, it's possible that the Bengals would jump to the NFL, given Paul Brown's aforementioned desire for NFL team over an AFL one. The addition of Cincinnati as well as the messy divisional structure might results in a realignment similar to the one I proposed above:

NFL East
Northeast: Baltimore, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington
Midwest: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis
NFL West:
Central: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota
"Pacific": Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco

The uneven number of teams in both leagues (NFL 17, AFL 9) might either lead to another team switching leagues (either from the NFL to the AFL or vice versa) or accelerate the next round of expansion. Assuming Seattle and Tampa Bay are chosen as in OTL, perhaps Tampa Bay will go to (and stay in) the AFL as a rival for Miami while Seattle goes to the NFL. In this case, Houston would likely be moved to the AFL West where it belongs.

Beyond that, it's pretty much up to creative license. Will Oakland move to LA, Baltimore to Indy, or St. Louis to Phoenix? Will teams be placed in Nashville, Charlotte, and Jacksonville? Hard to say. The 5-4-5-4 arrangement in the NFL might again prompt another early round of expansion to even out the divisions, though the league didn't seem to care much about the long-standing 5-5-4 setup in both conferences in OTL.

I actually think another merger proposal is likely at some point in the late '70s or '80s. Financially speaking, it's better for both leagues if they cooperate.
 
Will Oakland move to LA, Baltimore to Indy, or St. Louis to Phoenix? Will teams be placed in Nashville, Charlotte, and Jacksonville? Hard to say. The 5-4-5-4 arrangement in the NFL might again prompt another early round of expansion to even out the divisions, though the league didn't seem to care much about the long-standing 5-5-4 setup in both conferences in OTL.

I actually think another merger proposal is likely at some point in the late '70s or '80s. Financially speaking, it's better for both leagues if they cooperate.
I think the leagues would merge eventually, unless they agreed to have a common draft and respect each league's teams' exclusive right to the players drafted.

I do think if the AFL and NFL had stayed separate, you probably wouldn't see the franchise shifts we saw in OTL. I doubt the NFL would want to see one of its franchises switch cities only to have the AFL sweep into the vacated city with an expansion franchise, and vice-versa.
 
Also, if there was no merger, you probably wouldn't have seen the Pittsburgh Steelers become a 70s dynasty. The organization never had a lot of money for talent before the merger and used the $3 million given to the three NFL teams that moved to the AFL to build the squad that became a dynasty.
 
Also, if there was no merger, you probably wouldn't have seen the Pittsburgh Steelers become a 70s dynasty. The organization never had a lot of money for talent before the merger and used the $3 million given to the three NFL teams that moved to the AFL to build the squad that became a dynasty.
That may have helped, but building through the draft and not trading first-round draft picks away helped a lot as well.
 
The Dallas Cowboys in the NFC EAST?

In 2004, The NFL did a realignment with four teams in each division and four divisions in each conference.
16 teams in the AFC and 16 teams in the NFC.

The NFL did great with two exceptions: Dallas in the East ... and Indianapolis in the South.

Here is how it should be:

NFC East: NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, and CAROLINA
NFC North: Minnesota, Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago
NFC South: Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and DALLAS
NFC West: St Louis, Arizona, San Francisco, and Seattle

AFC East: New England, Buffalo, NY Jets, and BALTIMORE
AFC North: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and INDIANAPOLIS
AFC South: MIAMI, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Houston
AFC West: Kansas City, Denver, San Diego, and Oakland
 
In 2004, The NFL did a realignment with four teams in each division and four divisions in each conference.
16 teams in the AFC and 16 teams in the NFC.

The NFL did great with two exceptions: Dallas in the East ... and Indianapolis in the South.
Dallas is in the East because they have storied rivalries with the three other teams.
 
In 2004, The NFL did a realignment with four teams in each division and four divisions in each conference.
16 teams in the AFC and 16 teams in the NFC.

The NFL did great with two exceptions: Dallas in the East ... and Indianapolis in the South.

Here is how it should be:

NFC East: NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, and CAROLINA
NFC North: Minnesota, Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago
NFC South: Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and DALLAS
NFC West: St Louis, Arizona, San Francisco, and Seattle

AFC East: New England, Buffalo, NY Jets, and BALTIMORE
AFC North: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and INDIANAPOLIS
AFC South: MIAMI, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Houston
AFC West: Kansas City, Denver, San Diego, and Oakland
Actually, that re-alignment started in 2002, when the Texans came into the league.

Here are some things that I notice about this alignment:

1. With the Ravens in New England's division, the Pats don't do as well since 2006. Baltimore wins the division in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011.

2. The Colts don't win quite as many division titles in Pittsburgh's division.
 
With Dallas in the NFC South, they'd be in the playoffs, more.

The NFC East is a tough division, and I just don't think Carolina would be able to hang
 
That may have helped, but building through the draft and not trading first-round draft picks away helped a lot as well.
I remember reading that up until they moved over to the AFC, the Steelers had always drafted players they thought they had a good chance to sign, rather than the best player available. That $3 mil gave them the confidence to draft and sign "Mean" Joe Greene in 1970, and then the following year, Terry Bradshaw. The rest, as they say, is history!
 
Top