Gridiron Replay (Bygone Teams): New York (nee Boston) Yanks (aka Bulldogs)

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Team Colors

Note: Names Not Official
Royal Blue
White

Team Existence: 
Boston Yanks (1944–1948)
New York Bulldogs (1949–1950)
New York Yanks (1950–1951)
Dallas Texans (1952)

League:
National Football League

Welcome to Gridiron Replay, where ESF will make eye shadow plays for long gone teams found in the annals of American football.  I will do my best to have correct colors and uniform designs.  However this is not guaranteed because some of these teams played before color photography was readily available.  I recommend the book Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football if you want to read more about American professional football history, especially before the modern NFL.

There are multiple incarnations of the New York football Yankees/Yanks. This particular team came about because the original New York football Yankees folded in the 1920s, and Boston (football) Yanks owner Ted Collins made his wishes clear he wanted a New York team. His wish was granted but the Yanks were awful. Someone bought the Yanks franchise from Collins and moved the team to Dallas. Strangely enough they were named the Dallas Texans. This incarnation of the Texans did not last long. The Texans went under after one season. Baltimore businessmen took what they could of the old Texans team and created the Baltimore Colts in 1953. For some reason the NFL does not acknowledge the link between the Yanks and the Colts. I suspect it’s because of the naming rights to a certain MLB team that’s also in New York.
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Zone Read (Fan Request) – University of Maryland Terrapins

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Team Colors

Red
White
Black
Gold

Welcome to Zone Read, where you can submit a request for me to do an eye shadow play for your favorite sports team, school, superhero, or whatever strikes your fancy. For sports teams, please be as specific as possible (e.g.  home or away uniform, dominant uniform color, and year those uniforms were used). Otherwise I will just pick whatever I like most.

Turnaround for the University of Maryland can’t come fast enough for fans, alumni and the current administration. Former coach Ralph Friedgen was fired for sinking the Terrapins from first to worst in the ACC.  Current coach Randy Edsall still has rebuilding to do. Now that the Terrapins are with the Big Ten (B1G) conference he also has to find his way around a new conference.

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Throwback – Baltimore Ravens

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Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Purple
Black
Gold
White

The Ravens have more helmet mascots/emblems than most teams in the NFL.  Their first helmet emblem was submitted by Frederick E. Bouchat. He was excited to have a football team back in Baltimore. In his excitement he faxed a design concept to the Maryland Stadium Authority. The team showed off their uniforms, with a shield emblem that greatly resembled his original design he faxed not too long ago. Fred sued the Ravens for copyright infringement. He won the case but got only $3 in damages. Later Ravens owner Art Modell changed the emblem to an angry raven with a B superimposed on its head. No doubt this was also done to stop any potential royalties to Fred.

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Throwback – Cincinnati Bengals

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Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Black
Orange
White

The Bengals deserve way more credit than they receive for their role in the modern gridiron football.  These things began in Cincinnati before they were cool:

  • (Game Long) No Huddle Offense – No Huddle Offense is normally used near the end of the first half or the end of a game. The offense would huddle quickly (if at all), then the play is called out in coded words or phrases (“audibles”), and finally the snap is done with a “silent count” (the quarterback makes a gesture such as a toe step or an arm wave as a timer for the offense, rather than shouting a countdown).  Ideally this would tire out the defense and give them no time to settle on the quarterback’s snap count. Sam Wyche, head coach of the Bengals in 1988, is credited for using NHO throughout the game.
  • West Coast Offense – Football was almost exclusively a running offense before the West Coast Offense became popular. WCO has the offense make short yard gains or first downs with quick passes to multiple receivers. Ideally this would spread out the defense and improve the odds of a deep throw connecting. Bill Walsh was the Bengals assistant coach in the early 1970s. Bengals game footage during his time there showed a proto West Coast Offense. Bill went on to refine WCO  while coaching at Stanford University, and it thrived during his head coaching days with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s.
  • Zone Blitz – A response to the West Coast Offense. The play assigns defense players to specific players (or zones).  This extra movement is meant to confuse the offense about the defense’s block assignments and their own play positioning. Zone Blitz was rarely used in professional football until it was made over by Dick LeBaeau, Bengals defensive coordinator in the 1980s.

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Throwback – Cleveland Browns

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Brown
Orange
White

When the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) merged with the NFL, one of the teams that lived on in the updated NFL was the Cleveland Browns.  For about 15 years (1950-1965), the Browns dominated football.  They had deep playoff runs and multiple NFL Championships in their name.   You can thank head coach and namesake Paul Brown for that.   He is credited as the first for using game film, as in actual celluloid film, to improve his players and scout opponents.  His reputation as a dictator was warranted.  No one brought it up because he crafted a winning team.  When things started going sour in the 1960s Brown’s stubborn pride became prominent. He seemed more concerned with his status as Greatest Coach Forever Amen than how his team was performing on the field. Wait, film your dudes and opponents? An insulated coaching process? Tons of head coaching success and national fame? Someone sweeps the bad stuff under the carpet? This pattern sounds familiar. Makes me wonder if current Patriots coach Bill Belichick looks to Paul Brown the way Napoleon idolized Alexander the Great.

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Throwback – Pittsburgh Steelers (né Pirates)

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Black
Yellow

How does a city gain and maintain its own colors?  Pittsburgh has a perfect answer.  Pittsburgh’s flag has black and yellow stripes.  Founder and Pittsburgh native Art Rooney named the football team after the established baseball team in 1933.  Art also adopted the city’s flag colors and design.  This included the black and yellow stripes on the away uniforms for the inaugural season.  Thankfully he placed the stripes only as arm bands the following season.  The Pittsburgh Penguins, the city’s professional hockey team, adopted the black and gold color scheme in 1980.  You have to give it these professional teams for consistency.

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