billsportsmaps.com

February 20, 2018

2017-18 Süper Lig (Turkey/1st division): Map, with titles list & seasons-in-1st-division; with list of largest cities in Turkey and their representation in Süper Lig./Plus, top three scorers in Süper Lig, and the player with the most assists (after 22 weeks of the 2017-18 season).

Filed under: Turkey — admin @ 4:10 pm

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2017-18 Süper Lig (Turkey/1st division): Map, with titles list, seasons-in-1st-division; with list of largest cities in Turkey and their representation in Süper Lig



By Bill Turianski on 20 February 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Turkish SüperLig – fixtures, results, table (soccerway.com).
-turkish-football.com
-Hakan Sukur – Turkey’s fallen hero who can never return home (by Bob Lewis at The Observer on 18 Feb. 2018 via theguardian.com/football).
-{Note: you can see 17/18 Turkish 1st division attendances here, but attendance figures in Turkey are spotty and incomplete. Attendance from past years is also incomplete; the following link is the best that one can find this subject, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm}

I decided to post a map of the Turkish Süper Lig this late in the season, because unlike in England, Germany, Spain, and France, there is an actual title-race going on in the Turkish 1st division right now. Not only is there a title race in Turkey, there is a chance that an untitled club can claim the Turkish title. That club is İstanbul Başakşehir FK. As of 20 February 2018, Başakşehir are currently in 1st place in Süper Lig, ahead of both Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, by 2 points.

İstanbul Başakşehir.
Başakşehir, est. 1990, are a relatively new, municipally-supported team. They are located in the western outer-suburbs of Istanbul, in a district (also called Başakşehir), that has only existed, on paper, for about a decade. Başakşehir play at the 17-K-capacity Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium, a municipal stadium which is 25 km (15 mi) northwest of central Istanbul, and which opened in 2014. {Photos of Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium (arimamimarlik.com).}

In their three previous seasons, İstanbul Başakşehir had back-to-back 4th place finishes, before a 2nd-place finish in 2016-17. Başakşehir have a very small fan-base, drawing only around 4-to-5-K-per-game these days. But, in fact, the team was only drawing about 100 or so before they first joined the top flight in 2006. And, after a relegation, and then a promotion back to Süper Lig in 2014, Başakşehir were only drawing 2.6 K per game. But that was before their recent success in the last couple of seasons, and before a sub-culture of fans latched onto them…students protesting fan-violence in Turkish football.

A very large share of Başakşehir’s new fans are students who support the club out of protest…”The fact that the majority of their supporters, known as the Grey Owls, are mostly university students is an interesting story in itself. Rather than fiercely passionate and loyal fans of the club, they actually began following it simply as a means to protest against the violence that had become the norm among Turkish football fans in the years prior.” {-Quote from The Turkish Leicester City? A look at Istanbul Basaksehir’s rise by Mark Molyneux on 20 Jan 2017 at theroar.com.au.}…”We started to support the club to show that there is another way,” said Basaksehir supporter Alperen. “We wanted to show it’s possible to follow football without conflict.” {-Quote from Istanbul Basaksehir: From crowds of 100 to top of the Turkish league by Steve Crossmann on 25 Nov 2016 at bbc.com/football.}

Başakşehir’s lack of a large and vociferous fan-base has actually helped it attract on-field talent, because many players find the atmosphere so stress-free that they can thrive there. And there are some well-known, if a little bit past-their-prime, players wearing the Basaksehir orange these days…former internationals such as GK Volkan Babacan, DF Gaël Clichy, MF Mevlüt Erdinç, Winger Eljero Elia, AMF Arda Turan, and FW Emmanuel Adebayor. There is also a not-as-well-known, but very crucial player, on Başakşehir right now. That is the Bosnian MF/Winger/playmaker Edin Višća, age 28. Višća was selected by one media outlet as the 3rd-best player in Super Lig in 2016-17, and he currently leads the league in assists (see his photo and caption further below). Başakşehir’s manager, the former Turkish national team coach Abdullah Avcı, has been accused of playing hyper-defensive anti-football. But lack of funds has forced him, through canny transfers on a minuscule budget, to field a defensive-minded counter-attacking side. (Başakşehir, along with Beşiktaş, have the stingiest defenses in Süper Lig, currently, with an average of 0.95-goals-allowed-per-game.) Again, look at the 54-year-old Abdullah Avcı’s results since he took over at Başakşehir (for his second spell there in charge there) in June 2014: 4th place in 2014-15, 4th place in 2015-16, 2nd place in 2016-17, and now 1st place currently [20 Feb 2018].

There is one problem with this quasi-fairy-tale story…İstanbul Başakşehir are funded by the types of anti-democratic reactionaries who are running the Turkish government these days: politicians with close ties to the authoritarian President Erdogan, as well as Erdogan family members. (And Erdogan was at the opening of the club’s new stadium in 2014 to “bless” the whole IBFK project.) So, when all things are truly parsed, Başakşehir are really not so much the well-meaning neutral’s favorite. As this thread on Reddit/soccer attests.

The map page…
The map shows the stadium-locations of the 18 Süper Lig clubs of 2017-18 (also see two paragraphs below for more on that). Alongside the club’s crests are their 17/18 home kits. At the right-hand-side of the map page is the Turkish 1st division (Süper Lig) titles list (1959-2017). I would have shown attendances but you cannot rely on attendance figures from Turkish football; some seasons there are no attendance figures to be found anywhere, and even when there are attendances reported, many games’ crowd figures go unreported {like here}.

At the lower-right of the map-page is a list of the cities of Turkey (with metro-area population estimates from 2015; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Turkey”>source). The 15 largest cities in Turkey are listed, then the rest of the list comprises the other cities in the country which currently have Süper Lig representation. As you can see by the lower portion of that list, the Turkish football pyramid is competitive enough that clubs from rather small cities are able to punch above their weight, and find a way into Süper Lig. Currently, one third of the teams that comprise the Turkish 1st division are from cities whose metro-areas have less than 400,000 inhabitants. And three of those clubs are from cities that have a metro-area population of less than 150,00, including the club from Akhisar (see next paragraph).

There has been quite a lot of new football stadia built in Turkey in the last few years, like 30 new venues, and one venue just opened in late January. Akhisar Belediyespor, of Akhisar, in west-central Anatolia, opened their new 11.4-K-capacity Spor Toto Akhisar Belediye Stadı. Ever since Akhisar won their first-ever promotion to Süper Lig in 2012, the club had been forced to play 50 km (30 mi) away, in Manisa. Despite this, and despite the fact that locally-based Akhisar supporters had to round-trip-travel around 100 km per home game, Akhisar have been able to consolidate their postion in the Turkish top flight. (With finishes of 14th, 10th, 12th, 8th, and 7th place last season [they currently sit 12th].) {Here is an aerial shot of the stadium (haberturk.com).} In case you’re wondering, the green designs on the roof depict olive leaves, which are also seen on Akhisar’s crest, and are a symbol of the city of Akhisar, which is the largest producer of olive oil in the country.

Top three scorers in Süper Lig, plus the player with the most assists (after 22 weeks of the 2017-18 season)…
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Photo credits above – Burak Yılmaz (Trabzonspor), photo unattributed at apasport.az. Bafétimbi Gomis (Galatasaray), photo by Eskim/Icon Sport via lequipe.fr. Adis Jahović (Göztepe/Konyaspor), photo from twitter.com/konyaspor. Edin Višća (Başakşehir), photo by Andy Astfalck/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

___
Thanks to all at the following…
-Blank map of Turkey by NordNordWest at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Turkey_location_map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Turkey.
-Süper Lig (en.wikipedia.org).
-Süper Lig (tr.wikipedia.org).
-Transfermkt.com, for stats.

February 15, 2018

2017-18 FA Cup 5th Round Proper – map with current league attendances & fixture list./+ Update: the 5th Round’s biggest Cup-upset-win and Cup-upset-draw (Wigan 1-0 Manchester City; Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham).

Filed under: >2017-18 FA Cup — admin @ 1:43 pm

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2017-18 FA Cup 5th Round Proper- map with current league attendances & fixture list



By Bill Turianski on 15 February 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-The competition…FA Cup .
-2017-18 FA Cup 5th Round (us.soccerway.com).
-BBC.com/fa-cup.

Update: the 5th Round’s biggest Cup-upset-win and Cup-upset-draw (Wigan 1-0 Manchester City; Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham).
2017-18_fa-cup_map_4th-round_upset-win-_upset-draw_feb-16-19-2018_b_.gif

Schedule for upcoming maps-and-charts…
I usually don’t publish my schedule for posts, mainly because I so often change plans at the last minute. But due to conflicting dates for two competitions (FA Cup 6th Round and NCAA March Madness), both of which will be commencing simultaneously (week of March 11-17), I thought it would be good to spell it out. The further down the list, the more tentative the posting dates are. But I definitely will be posting all of these.
(If you have any comments, tips, requests, or suggestions, or if you notice any errors, etc, you can reach me at twitter.com/billsportsmaps.)
-20 February: 2017-18 Süper Lig (Turkey/1st division): Map, with titles list and seasons-in-1st-division; with list of largest cities in Turkey and their representation in Süper Lig.
-4 March: FA Cup 6th Round – map with current league attendances and fixture list/plus photos of teams’ manager and top scorer(s).
-11 March: 2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) – the 68 teams: map, with team locations and with 2016-17 average attendances listed.
-27 March: NCAA ice hockey tournament: the Frozen Four (illustrations for the 4 teams that qualified).
-5 April: MLB: Paid-Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2017 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2016 and percent-capacity figures.
-21 April: Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2018 location-map with 2017 attendances and KBO titles list (1982-2017); with list of largest cities in South Korea and their representation in KBO League.
-3 May: Japan: NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), 2018 location-map, with profile-boxes of the 12 teams, and NPB titles list (1950-2017); with list of largest cities in Japan and their representation in NPB.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg -Attendances from us.soccerway.com.
-2017-18 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.com).

January 30, 2018

NFL 1958 season, map with helmets & final standings; champions: Baltimore Colts./+ 1958 NFL attendance data & info on 1958 NFL teams’ uniforms.

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NFL 1958 season, map with helmets and final standings; champions: Baltimore Colts./+ 1958 NFL attendance data



By Bill Turianski on 30 January, 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-1958 NFL season
-1958 NFL Championship Game (en.wikipedia.org).
-1958 NFL season (pro-football-reference.com).
-1958 NFL Teams [illustrations of uniforms of the 12 NFL teams of 1958] (gridiron-uniforms.com).

The map… The map, done in the style of 1950s newspaper graphics, shows the primary helmets and jerseys worn by the 12 NFL teams of 1958. Final standings for the 1958 NFL season, along with team-colors worn that season, can be seen at the lower-right of the map page. Home helmets and jerseys are shown alongside the standings. At the lower-right-corner of the map page there is a small section devoted to 1958 NFL attendance data (also see attendance section further below). At the top-right of the map page is a section devoted to the 1958 NFL champions, the Baltimore Colts (also see next 12 paragraphs and the illustration below). And at the far-right-hand-center of the map page, are 1958 Offensive leaders in the following categories: QB Rating and TD Passes: Johnny Unitas, Colts. Passing Yards: Billy Wade, Rams. Rushing Yards and Rushing TDs and Total Yards from Scrimmage and Total TDs: Jim Brown, Browns. Receiving Yards: Del Shofner, Rams.

    Johnny Unitas led the 6-year-old Colts to the 1958 NFL title, over the NY Giants 23-17 (first-ever OT game)

Johnny Unitas, the son of Lithuanian immigrants, was a Pittsburgh-born graduate of Louisville University. At college, he played the dual role of QB and Safety for the Redbirds. Unitas had been a 9th round selection by his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 1955. But Unitas was cut by the Steelers in the ’55 preseason, with Steelers coach Walt Kiesling under the impression that Unitas was not smart enough to run an NFL offense, even though Kiesling (duh) never even let Unitas take one snap during the entire preseason. So Unitas worked in construction jobs in Pittsburgh in the latter half of 1955, to support his family, and he played semi-pro football for 6 bucks a game.

In the following year of 1956, Unitas got a second chance, when, after a successful tryout, Weeb Ewbank and the then-4-year old Baltimore Colts signed him. A few games into the ’56 season, backup-QB Unitas got his shot, when starting QB George Shaw was injured in the 4th game; and in 1956 the Colts finished 5-7. The next year, 1957, with Unitas now the starting QB, the Colts went 7-5…this was the team’s first winning season. And 1957 was also the first time the Colts drew above 40 K per game (attendance in ’57 for the Colts increased by 6.9 K, to 46 thousand per game). In the following season of 1958, the Colts shot out of the gate, winning their first 4, and the fans continued to flock to Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. The Colts saw an eye-popping 16.9-K-increase in crowd-size, to 53.6 K (which was an impressive 93 percent-capacity), at the 57.5-K-venue [which they shared with MLB's Baltimore Orioles]. The Baltimore Colts (a small-market team) had the third-best attendance in the NFL in 1958 (see attendance section on the map-page, as well as the league-attendance section further below).

So in 1958, the Colts won the Western Conference, going 9-3. The Colts had the league’s most potent offense, averaging 31.75 points per game. Unitas led the league in passing yardage and passing TDs (2,007 yards and 19 TDs). Unitas’ three main targets in ’58 were Hall Of Famers Lenny Moore (HB) and Raymond Berry (End/WR), as well as Jim Mutschellar (TE). Lenny Moore, who was a running back and not a wide receiver, gained a league-second-best 938 yards receiving, while Raymond Berry gained 724 yards receiving (which was the 4th-best that season), and TE Jim Mutschellar gained 504 yards receiving. The Colts ground game was spearheaded by FB Alan Ameche and HB Lenny Moore: Ameche gained a league-2nd-best 791 yards (second only to MVP Jim Brown of the Browns), while Moore ran for 598 yards. And Lenny Moore also had a league-best 1,536 yards from scrimmage. So, the Colts offense was dominant in ’58, and the Colts defense was second-best in that year (behind only the Giants). The Colts’ front four featured two future Hall of Famers: DE Gino Marchetti, and DT Art Donovan. And the Colts had the most prolific secondary that season, with 35 interceptions (including 8 pick-offs by both Ray Brown and Andy Nelson, and 7 by Carl Taseff). The dominance that the Colts had in the NFL Western Conference in 1958 can be seen in the fact that the Colts had the league’s best point-differential by far: +178 pd (which was almost triple the Giants’ pd, of +63).

The Colts had clinched the NFL Western Conference title in the 10th week, and thus, crucially, were able to keep key players rested on the bench for their last 2 regular-season games (which they lost). The Colts won the West by a game, over the 8-4 Chicago Bears and the 8-4 LA Rams. That meant the Colts would face the Eastern Conference champs, the 9-3 New York Giants, who featured a tough defense led by DE Andy Robustelli and LB Sam Huff, and a potent offense featuring the wily 37-year-old-veteran QB Charlie Conerly, star Halfback/End Frank Gifford (the 1956 league MVP), and Flanker Kyle Rote.

But, to get to the 1958 title game, the Giants had to play an extra game – an Eastern Conference tiebreaker – versus the Cleveland Browns, and New York had beaten Cleveland 10-0, a week before the Championship game. So the Colts players were much more rested than the Giants players. The Giants had won the title 2 seasons before (in 1956), 47-7 over the Bears, on a frozen surface at Yankee Stadium. Two years later, for this Giants versus Colts title game of 1958, game-time conditions were much better: 44ºF (7ºC) and dry, with virtually no wind. About 20,000 Colts fans from the Baltimore-area had made the trip up to Yankee Stadium for the game, by car, bus, and specially organized trains. There was a full-capacity crowd of 64,185 on hand at Yankee Stadium. The Colts were 3.5 point favorites (probably due both the Colts’ offensive capabilities, as well as the Colts being the more rested squad).

Because of the sheer excitement that the closely-fought game caused, and because it was the first NFL championship game to be broadcast nationally on television (on NBC, to an estimated audience of 10.8 million homes), and because of its pivotal timing in the late 1950s (just as the medium of television had begun to broadcast pro sports nation-wide), the Colts versus the Giants in the 1958 NFL title game came to be known as The Greatest Game Ever Played. From youtube.com, ‘The Greatest Game Ever: 1958 NFL Championship‘ (5:33 video uploaded by vslice02 at youtube.com).

The 1958 NFL title game was the first NFL game, play-off or otherwise, that went to sudden-death overtime. It featured two hard-nosed teams with offenses that had the capability to move the ball down the field with lightning-quick efficiency. The Giants were coached by Arkansas graduate Jim Lee Howell, who coached the Giants from 1954 to 1960. Howell’s two main assistant coaches are both in the Pro Footballl Hall of Fame – the Giants’ defensive coach in 1958 was future Cowboys’ head coach Tom Landry (whom Howell had converted from a Giants LB to defensive coordinator 2 years previous in 1956); the Giants’ offensive coach in 1958 was future Packers’ head coach and football demi-god Vince Lombardi (whom Howell had hired from West Point, where Lombardi was Army’s offensive line coach 4 years previous in 1954). The Colts were coached by Weeb Ewbank, who had got his pro coaching start under Paul Brown at Cleveland, and was hired as the Colts’ head coach in their second season (in 1954). Ewbank gave the Colts an unusual pre-game talk… “Not known for emotional speeches, Weeb gave one to his men before the game, reminding them of how they were unwanted by other teams. ‘Unitas, Pittsburgh didn’t want you. We got you for a 75-cent phone call. Lipscomb, the Rams got rid of you. We got you for a hundred bucks. Berry? One leg shorter than the other, with bad eyesight to boot. … So you should win this game for yourselves’…” {-Excerpt from goldenrankings.com/[1958 NFL Championship Game]).

The Giants/Colts 1958 title game had multiple big plays, swift scoring drives, and changes in momentum – the biggest when, in the 3rd quarter with the Colts leading 14-3, the Giants stopped Baltimore on a fourth-and-goal-to-go on the 1 yard-line, for a 4-yard-loss (see color photo in the illustration below, where Unitas is about to hand off to Alan Ameche for that 4-yard-loss). Then the Giants went 95 yards for a TD in 4 plays. That drive was highlighted by a 86-yard pass play from deep within the Giants’ own territory: QB Charlie Conerly threw to WR Kyle Rote downfield left-to-right across the middle. Rote broke a tackle at mid-field, but then he fumbled when hit from behind at the Colts’ 25…Giants RB Alex Webster, who was trailing the play, recovered the fumble and ran it all the way to the 1-yard line. RB Mel Triplett then scored on a 1-yard TD run, and the Giants were back in it, now behind by only 4 points, at 14-10. The Giants then went ahead 17-14 early in the 4th quarter – Conerly’s 46-yard completion to TE Bob Schnelker set up his 15-yard TD pass to Frank Gifford.

In the dying minutes of the 4th quarter, the Colts took over with 1:58 to go, at their own 14-yard line (after a Giants punt). Unitas then put together one of the most famous drives in football history. After two incomplete passes, Unitas made a clutch 11-yard completion to Lenny Moore on third down. After one more incompletion, Unitas threw three straight passes to Raymond Berry, moving the ball 62 more yards, to the Giants’ 13-yard line (Berry had 12 receptions for 178 yds, the most yards from scrimmage in the game, and an NFL title game record.) A 20-yard FG by K Steve Myhra with 7 seconds left sent the game into sudden-death overtime…the first overtime game in NFL history. In OT, the Giants won the toss but failed in their first possession. Then Unitas and Baltimore drove 80 yards on 13 plays on the tired New York defense, and, aided by a key block at the goal line by TE Jim Multschellar, the Colts scored on a 1 yard TD by Alan Ameche, to win the game 23-17. Here is something that has went a little bit forgotten amidst all the hoopla surrounding this game…Johnny Unitas had called all 13 plays of the winning drive.

The 1958 NFL title game became known as The Greatest Game Ever Played…
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Photo and Image credits above -
Illustrations of Colts and Giants 1958 helmets from gridiron-uniforms.com/[1958]. Game program, unattributed at goldenrankings.com. Screenshot of video [Yankee Stadium, exterior shot], image from video uploaded by NFL at youtube.com, ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’ 1958 NFL Championship: Colts vs. Giants. Photo of Unitas in pocket, photo unattributed at chatsports.com. Raymond Berry diving catch in ’58 title game, photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images at gettyimages.com. Screenshot of Giants D about to stop Ameche on 4th-and-goal, unattributed at sportsblogmovement.wordpress.com. Photo of Unitas passing long, late in game, from baltimorepostexaminer.com. Unitas watches after handing off to Alan Ameche (winning TD in OT), photo by Neil Leifer at neilleifer.com. Colts fans carry Ameche off the field as the goal-posts are torn down, photo by Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated via darkroom.baltimoresun.com.

The broadcast of the game by the NBC television network is credited with growing, almost overnight, the fan interest in the NFL. The 1958 NFL Championship Game marked the start of the popularity-surge for the NFL… a popularity-surge that has not abated to this day. As pro football historian Bob Carroll notes in his book When the Grass Was Real …’The next morning…for the first time in history, the National Football League was the number-one topic at watercoolers from sea to shining sea. Among the oohs over Johnny Unitas’s passes and the ahhs over Sam Huff’s tackles came many plaintive wonderings why “our town” didn’t have its own pro football team.’…{end of excerpt from page 12 of When the Grass Was Real, by Bob Carroll, published in 1993 by Simon and Schuster, available at amazon.com here}.

-Video: The Greatest Game Ever Played – 1958 NFL Championship Highlights – Colts vs Giants (12:31 video [fuzzy color video] uploaded by Savage Brick Sports at youtube.com).
-From Golden Rankings, 1958 NFL Championship Game, Baltimore Colts @ New York Giants [illustrated article in chart form] (goldenrankings.com).

1958 Baltimore Colts: 6 All-Pro players; plus 6 from the ’58 Colts that were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Note: All-Pro, below, means: 1958 AP, 1st team.
-Johnny Unitas: 1958 All-Pro (QB), and 1958 MVL (AP & UPI & Bert Bell Trophy); Unitas was inducted to the HoF in 1979.
-Gino Marchetti: 1958 All-Pro (DE); Marchetti was inducted to the HoF in 1972.
-Jim Parker: 1958 All-Pro (OT); Parker was inducted to the HoF in 1973.
-Raymond Berry: 1958 All-Pro (WR); Berry was inducted to the HoF in 1973.
-Lenny Moore: 1958 All-Pro (HB); Moore was inducted to the HoF in 1975.
-Gene Lipscomb: 1958 All-Pro (DT).
-Art Donovan: (DT) inducted to the HoF in 1968.
-Weeb Ewbank: (Head coach of Colts from 1954-62); Ewbank was inducted to the HoF in 1978.

1958 NFL attendance figures, and notes on stadia.
In 1958, the NFL was in the midst of its steadily-increasing popularity, and broke 3 million total attendance for the second straight year. There were 3,132,346 tickets sold for the 72 regular season games of the 1958 NFL season, making an average attendance of 43,504. The public were being captivated by the NFL, and the turnstiles told the tale: in a 5 year span, the NFL increased its average attendance by a staggering 11.1 thousand per game…in 1954, the NFL averaged 32.4 K; five years later, in 1958, the NFL was averaging 43.5 K.
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Credits above – sources for figures: pro-football-reference.com/years/1958/attendance.htm; packershistory.net/1958PACKERS/GAME9. Helmet icons: gridiron-uniforms.com/[1959]. Chart: billsportsmaps.com.

In 1958, the highest drawing NFL team was, once again, the Los Angeles Rams, who drew an astounding 83.6 thousand per game. Second-best-drawing team was the 9-3 Cleveland Browns (at 67.1 K). The Baltimore Colts drew third-best (at 53.6 K [which was a league-2nd-best 93.1-percent-capacity; only the Packers at their Green Bay venue filled their stadium better]). Two more teams drew above 50-K: the reigning-champs the Detroit Lions (at 53.4 K), and the San Francisco 49ers (at 52.4 K). And two more teams drew in the mid-40-K-range: the New York Giants (45.7 K) and the Chicago Bears (43.9 K). So there you go: in 1958, these were the 7 NFL teams that were drawing big-time crowds…Rams, Browns, Colts, Lions, 49er, Giants, Bears. Then there was a rather large divide between those 7-high-drawing teams, and the other 5 NFL teams of 1958.

1958 NFL attendance: A chasm of 12-thousand-per-game separated the top 7 draws (see above) and the 5 lower-drawing teams (see below).
Just as the NFL was becoming more popular circa 1958, there were still 5 franchises that were under-performing at the turnstile. Each of these low-drawing NFL teams back then had their own reasons for drawing poorly. The Chicago Cardinals drew so poorly because the team was doomed to being the after-thought-team in the Windy City, thanks to the Bears’ predominance there (and so the Chicago Cardinals moved to St. Louis two years later, in 1960). The Pittsburgh Steelers were just so consistently bad back then (or at best, mediocre), and were bad for so long, that their crowd-sizes were perpetually stuck in the mid-20-K-range. But also, the aging Forbes Field, which the Steelers rented from MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates, was pretty decrepit at this point and had a somewhat small capacity of around 41,000. Washington, like the Steelers, also had to rent from an MLB team and play in an outdated venue; plus, Washington in the late-’50s was in the midst of a 13-year-slump without a winning season, and crowds at Griffith Stadium had plateaued to the point that they were drawing only 1.2 K better than they were eight seasons earlier in 1950 (Washington drew only 25.4 K in ’50; and 8 years later in ’58 they were only drawing slightly better at 26.6 K). So, in an 9-season-span (1950 to ’58), while the NFL as a whole increased its average attendance by over 14 thousand per game, Washington increased their crowds by only twelve-hundred or so per game.

The Packers’ low attendance in 1958 is a complicated issue. First off, one would expect a drop-off in attendance for the Packers in ’58, because 1958 was the absolute worst season the Green Bay Packers ever had (1-10-1). The Packers were the only NFL team that had two venues, and from 1933 to 1994, the Packers played 2 or 3 games each season in Milwaukee (they played 4 games in Green Bay and 2 home games in Milwaukee during the 1958-60 time period). In 1958, the Packers were not able to draw higher than the 29.7 K they averaged that season for two reasons: small capacity in their new venue in Green Bay (City Stadium (II), which opened in 1957), and low attendance in Milwaukee. The Packers’ City Stadium (II) [now called Lambeau Field] only had a capacity of 32,500 back then. In 1958, the Packers had the league’s best percent-capacity figure, that is, for their four Green Bay home games. The Packers played to an average of 30.8 K in their 4 home games in Green Bay (which was a solid 94.8 percent-capacity). But in their two home games in ’58 at Milwaukee County Stadium (which had a much larger capacity of 43.7 K), the Packers drew poorly: 24.5 K v Rams in October and then only 19.7 K v 49ers in late November. The Packers fortunes would improve vastly with the arrival of Vince Lombardi in the following season of 1959, and the team would, um, pack even more fans in their soon-to-be-expanded stadium, and by 1961, the Packers were back to their title-winning ways. And despite being located in the smallest NFL market by far, the Green Bay Packers have been playing to basically-full-capacity ever since then. And after the 1994 season, the Packers’ organization came to the conclusion that, because demand for tickets was so great, they no longer needed to play a few of their games each season in Milwaukee. But as early as 1958, looking at the poor support Milwaukee residents gave the (admittedly bad) ’58 Packers, one could say that the small-town Green Bay Packers could already could stand on their own, without the crutch of a big-city venue.

There was one more team that was drawing significantly below the NFL average of 43-K in 1958, and that was the Philadelphia Eagles (see next two paragraphs).

1958: Philadelphia Eagles move into Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania…
Franklin Field dates back to 1895, with its current structure installed in the 1920s. When the Eagles played there (for 13 seasons, from 1958-70), it had a capacity of 60 thousand. It was, and still is, the home of the Ivy League college football team the Penn Quakers. It was also the home of the annual Army-Navy Game from 1899-1935. As the Stadiums of Pro Football.com site says, “Franklin Field is the answer to a trivia question that even the most dedicated NFL fans might not know. It is the oldest football stadium in the country.” {-Quote from Frankiln Field at stadiumsofprofootball.com.} The Eagles move to Franklin Field was beneficial purely because it was a move from a baseball park to a venue designed for rectilinear sports like gridiron football. The Eagles moved into Franklin Field not as renters (the U. of Penn is a not-for-profit organization), but the Eagles donated about $75-to-100-K per year to stadium upkeep. However, the Eagles were not allowed to profit from sales of food and drink, or from parking fees. So, it was not an ideal set-up, and the Eagles later jumped at the opportunity to move into the city’s new multi-purpose venue, Veterans Stadium, in 1971 (which, of course, was also the home of the Philadelphia Phillies MLB team [from 1971-2003]).

Prior to 1958, the Eagles, like the Steelers and like Washington, had played in an MLB ballpark that was antiquated. Since 1942, the Eagles had played at Connie Mack Stadium [aka Shibe Park], which only had a capacity of around 39,000, unless temporary bleachers were installed (as the Eagles were doing during their dual-championship-era of 1948 and ’49). And, like Pittsburgh and like Washington, the Eagles circa the mid-to-late-1950s were also bad, so this contributed to their small crowds. The Eagles drew worst in the league the year before, in 1957, when, in their last season at Connie Mack Stadium, and as a 4-8 team, they drew only 21.6 K. The next year (1958), with the move over to Franklin Field, the Eagles increased their crowd-size by 7.4-K-per-game (to 29.0 K per game). Their attendance had increased thanks to the venue-change, and despite the fact that Eagles were in a re-building mode and were really bad in ’58 (finishing last in the East, at 2-9-1). The next season of 1959, the Eagles, under aging-but-still-very-effective QB Norm Van Brocklin, vastly improved (to 7-5), and that helped to draw 10-thousand-more per game to Franklin Field (the Eagles drew 39.2 K in ’59). And then in 1960, the Philadelphia Eagles would be NFL champions. These days, the Eagles draw very well and have no attendance issues (well, other than a disproportionate amount of unruly fans).

Helmet and uniforms changes for 1958 NFL…
1958 was the second year that the NFL had mandated that all home teams were to wear their dark jersey, and all road teams were to wear their white (or light-colored) jersey. This was to ensure that television viewers watching NFL games on black-and-white TVs would not have trouble differentiating between the two teams.

Below: Washington’s ‘feather-helmet’ (worn from late 1958 through to 1964; replaced by the feathered-spear helmet)
washington-redskins_1958_feather-helmet_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/[Washington 1958]; helmet photos from helmethut.com.

-In 1958, Washington introduced the ‘feather-helmet’, which was worn for the last two games of the season. Washington was the fourth NFL team to introduce a helmet-logo {here are the first three helmet-logos in the NFL}. The feather-helmet was an unusual back-of-the-helmet-oriented logo, of a large feather, in pale-red-and-white, on a brownish-burgandy helmet {1958 Washington}. {Here is a photo from 1960, Washington v Eagles, that shows the feather-helmet from several angles.} The weird feather-logo helmet lasted 7 years, and that was replaced in 1965 by a diagonally-positioned gold-spear-with-feather logo {1965 Redskins uniforms}. Washington’s feather-helmet had the same problem that the original Colts’ horseshoe helmet (of ’54) had…the logo was oriented to the back of the helmet, making it hard to see from the front.

-In 1958, the Chicago Cardinals ditched their alternate red-helmets, wearing only a (plain) white helmet {Cardinals 1958}. The Cards kept the plain white helmet again in ’59, and then upon moving to St. Louis in 1960, introduced their now-iconic frowning-cardinal-head helmet, which in my opinion is one of the best looking helmets ever made {1960 Ken Gray game-worn Cardinals helmet {helmet-hut.com)}.

-In 1958, the Los Angeles Rams ditched their yellow/orange [aka gold] jerseys, which the Rams had worn for some games in every one of their 14 previous seasons (going all the way back to their last year in Cleveland {1945 Cleveland Rams}). {Here is what the Rams looked like in 1957, when they were the only NFL team to sport 3 different jerseys; here were the rather plain 1958 Rams uniforms.} {Here is a photo of Rams HB Frank Arnett from 1958, on the bench during a Rams game at the LA Memorial Coliseum. By the way note, in the background of this photo, the huge crowd at the Coliseum that day; again, this was when the Rams were drawing 83 thousand per game, which was 40 thousand per game more than the league-average.} The Rams have worn yellow/orange jerseys a few times in the modern era {throwback-uniforms in 1994, and an alternate uniform (color rush) in 2014}.

-In 1958, the Green Bay Packers did not wear any gold in their uniforms (no yellow/orange gold or metallic-gold). Green Bay, in ’58, for some strange reason, only wore dark-forest-green-and-white at home, and wore white-and-dark-blue on the road…and their helmet was a plain white helmet with a dark-green center-stripe. This Packers’ alternate helmet-and-color-scheme of white-and-dark-forest-green was worn for parts of 3 seasons (1956, ’57, ’58). Green Bay’s 1958 gear was the only season in the Packers’ history, besides {1922}, when any shade of gold was not in their colors. It was also, coincidentally or not, the Packers’ worst season ever [1-10-1]. {Here are the dreary and eminently forgettable uniforms of the 1958 Green Bay Packers.} {Here is the only color image I could find of this shade of Packers green: photos of Forrest Gregg and Bart Starr from pre-season 1956.} It really is a forgotten period in the history of the Packers. By the way, if you look closely at the ’58 Packers home jersey you can see that the green had a bit of blue in it: a dark-bluish-grey-shade-of-green (ie, forest-green), not the simply-dark-green they have worn since 1959. So, after their strange 3-year-experiment with white helmets and a weird shade of dark-bluish-green, in 1959, with the arrival of coach Vince Lombardi, the Packers began wearing their current color-scheme of gold (yellow-orange) and plain-dark-green. A couple years after that, the Packers’ introduced their football-shaped-G-logo. The Packers’ helmet logo was introduced in 1961…which just so happens to be the year that the Packers started winning NFL titles again.
___
Photo and Image credits on map page…
Baltimore Colts…
Colts’ Raymond Berry-style helmet w/ butterfly-facemask [reproduction of helmet from 1960-63 era], from ebay.com. Johnny Unitas, photo [from commemorative issue of Baltimore Sun, following Unitas' death in 2002], photo unattributed at nflfootballjournal.blogspot.com/[Johnny Unitas feature]. Unitas and Colts offensive line after a snap, Life magazine photo [from 1960], photo unattributed at grayflannelsuit.net/blog. Jim Parker [segment of 1959 Topps card], from ebay.com. Gino Marchetti [photo from 1958 title game], photo unattributed at sportsecyclopedia.com/nfl/[Baltimore Colts]. Raymond Berry [photo from 1958 title game], photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Gene Lipscomb [photo circa 1959], photo unattributed at helmethut.com. Lenny Moore [photo circa 1959], photo unattributed at nflpastplayers.com/lenny-moore. Art Donovan, photo [from 1958 preseason] by Baltimore Sun at baltimoresun.com. Alan Ameche [photo from 1958 title game], photo unattributed at pinterest.
1958 Offensive stats leaders…
Johhny Unitas (Colts) [photo from 1958 title game], photo unattributed at chatsports.com. Billy Wade (Rams) [1960 Topps card], from footballcardgallery.com. Jim Brown (Browns), [action-photo from 1958 game v Steelers], photo by Diamond Images/Getty Images via gettyimages.co.uk. Del Shofner [photo from 1958 game v Colts], photo by Al Paloczy/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images at gettyimages.com.

Map was drawn with assistance from images at these links…
48-state-USA/southern Canada, worksheeto.com/post_50-states-and-capitals-printable-worksheet.
Section of Mexico, as well as coastlines-&-oceans, lib.utexas.edu/maps/hist-us.
-Thanks to the contributors at pro-football-reference.com
-Thanks to the contributors at NFL 1958 season (en.wikipedia.org).
-Thanks to pro-football-reference.com and to packershistory.net for attendance data from 1958; thanks to Mike at sports-reference.com/feedback for swift reply and correction of Packers’ attendance discrepancy, of 1958 week 9 game, at pro-football-reference.com.
Special thanks to Tim Brulia, Bill Schaefer and Rob Holecko of The Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving billsportsmaps.com the permission to use football uniforms illustrations from Gridiron Uniform Database {GUD}.

January 25, 2018

2017-18 FA Cup 4th Round Proper- map with current league attendances & fixture list.

Filed under: >2017-18 FA Cup — admin @ 10:02 am

2017-18_fa-cup_map_4th-round_map-of-the-32-clubs_w-current-attendances-in-league_fixture-list_post_d_.gif
2017-18 FA Cup 4th Round Proper- map with attendances & fixture list




By Bill Turianski on 25 January 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-The competition…FA Cup .
-2017-18 FA Cup 4th Round (us.soccerway.com).
-BBC.com/fa-cup.

Update, 27 Saturday: Biggest upset & the 3 best results for lower-placed teams in 2017-18 FA Cup Fourth Round
(Cup-upset win: Wigan 2-0 West Ham. Cup-upset-draws/replays…Newport County 1-1 Tottenham, Notts County 1-1 Swansea City, Millwall 2-2 Rochdale.)
2017-18_fa-cup_map_4th-round_upset-wins_upset-draws_jan-27-2018_wigan_notts-co_rochdale_newport-co_c_.gif

Televised matches…
Two of the clubs with the biggest upsets in the 3rd round, 4th-division-sides Newport County and Yeovil Town, were rewarded with televised games. {Here are the 4 biggest upsets from the FA Cup 3rd Round.}

Yeovil Town will host Manchester United at their 9.5-K-capacity Huish Park, in south Somerset, on Friday night (the 26th). The match is sold out (of course). {Tickets for Yeovil Town v Manchester United have SOLD OUT, by Stephen D’Albiac on 24 Jan. 2018, at somersetlive.co.uk.}

Newport County, who had a great escape last May to stay in the Football League, will host Tottenham Hotspur at Rodney Parade in Newport, South Wales, on Saturday the 27th (5:30 pm Greenwich Time/12:30 pm Eastern Time). Rodney Parade, which Newport County play in as renters, is owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union, and home of Pro14 side Dragons, as well as the Welsh Premier Division side Newport RFC. Capacity for football at the ground these past few years had been reduced by about 850, to 7,850. But, with overwhelming demand for tickets, Newport County got permission to erect temporary bleachers, and temporary capacity will be just shy of 10 K. {See this, Newport County get go-ahead for extra 1,000 seats for Spurs FA cup clash, by Andrew Penham on 17 Jan. 2018, at southwalesargus.co.uk.}

The other televised matches are…the early game on Saturday the 27th (3rd-division-side Peterborough United v Leicester City), the last game on Saturday (Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion at 7:45 pm GT/2:45 pm ET), and the two games on Sunday the 28th (Chelsea v Newcastle United at 1:30 pm GT/8:30 am ET; and then 3rd-division-side Cardiff City v Manchester City at 4:00 pm GT/11 am ET). In the USA and Canada, one other match will be televised (3rd-division-side Wigan Athletic v West Ham United, on Saturday at 10 am ET).

___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg -Attendances from us.soccerway.com.
-2017-18 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.com).

January 13, 2018

2017-18 Serie A (Italy/1st division) at winter break: location-map, with 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./ Plus, the 3 promoted clubs (SPAL, Hellas Verona, Benevento).

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 5:22 pm

italy_2017-18_serie-a_map_w-attendances_season-in-1st-div_post_b_.gif
2017-18 Serie A (Italy/1st division) location-map, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed



By Bill Turianski on 13 January 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Teams, etc…2017-18 Serie A (en.wikipedia.org).
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (soccerway.com).
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian football.com.
-Here is a nice and concise article…Serie A Stadiums 2017-18 (by Marcello Furgiuele on 14 July 2017 at calcioefinanza.com).
-An interesting take on the failure by the Italy national team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Italy’s World Cup exit is far from an apocalypse (by T.R. at economist.com/[Game theory blog]).

A brief summary of the 2017-18 Serie A at the January winter break…
Napoli have a chance of unseating 6-time reigning champions Juventus. After 20 matches, Napoli [at 51 points] have a one point lead over Juventus. Napoli’s only loss came at home versus Juventus, though. Interrnazionale [at 42 pts.] sit 3rd. Lazio [at 40 pts.] sit 4th; Roma [at 39 pts.] sit 5th. Italy will once again will have 4 teams qualify for the UEFA Champions League, and, for the other two CL spots, it looks like it will be a battle between three: Inter, Roma, and Lazio, with the 5th-place-finisher having to settle for a UEFA Europa League spot. The other EL spot is up for grabs between a whole host of teams (Sampdoria, the over-achieving Atalanta, Udinese, Fiorentina, Torino, and the dismally under-performing Milan). The relegation battle includes all the recently-promoted sides from the last two seasons…Crotone, Hellas Verona, and Benevento make up the relegation-zone currently, with SPAL only in safety by virtue of goal-difference, and with Cagliari 5 points above the drop. 6 points above the drop are both Sassuolo and Genoa. Chievo, and also Bologna, could get sucked into the relegation fight. The situation at the bottom of the table gives more credence to the argument that it is time for Serie A to reduce to back to 18 teams.


A brief re-cap of the 2016-17 Serie A…
16/17 Serie A champions…Juventus. Juventus are from Turin (Italian: Torino), which is the 6th-largest city in Italy and is located in the Piedmont region, about 46 miles from the Franch border, about 73 miles south of the Swiss border, and 56 miles (98 km) west of Milan. Juventus, which is a Latin word for ‘youth’, is pronounced ‘you-ven-tuss’. Juventus have now won 6 straight Italian titles. Juventus have won the most Italian titles (33, with their first Italian title won in 1905).
Teams that qualified for Europe
17/18 Champions League Group Stage: Juventus and Roma. 17/18 CL GS play-off round: Napoli. 17/18 Europa League Group Stage: Atalanta, Lazio. EL GS 3rd qualifying round: Milan.
Teams that were relegated out of Serie A, into the 2nd division (Serie B), in May 2017: Empoli, Palermo, Pescara.

    Teams that were promoted to the 1st division in May 2017:
    SPAL, Hellas Verona, Benevento

SPAL [Spal is an acronym for Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor]. Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna [northern Italy].
Seasons in Italian top flight: 17 (previously in 1967-68).
Major Titles: none.
Average attendance [as of 13 Jan. 2018]: 11.5 K (at 88%-capacity).
Manager of SPAL, Leonardo Semplici (age 50, born in Florence).

-From ESPN.com, Historic SPAL’s sensational promotion to Serie A (by Michael Yokhin on 13 May 2017 at espn.com/soccer/blog).
-From The Gentleman Ultra blog, Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’: tracing the miraculous revival of SPAL (by Callum Ric-Coates on 22 August 2017 at thegentlemanultra.com).

SPAL are from Ferrara, which is in the region of Emilia-Romagna [in northern Italy]. The population of Ferrara is around 133,000 {2014 figure}. Ferrara is, by road, 31 miles (50 km) SW of Bologna. SPAL wear sky-blue-and-white vertical stripes (done in retro-style thin striping). The oval-shaped badge of SPAL features the black-white shield that is on the coat of arms of Ferrara.

SPAL were a 1st division mainstay in the 1950s and up to the mid-1960s, but after 1967-68, the club was out of the 1st division for 50 years. In fact, prior to 2016-127, SPAL had not even been in the 2nd division for 24 seasons (not since 1992-93). SPAL reached their low point in the early 21st century, when the club went bankrupt and then were re-formed…twice (in 2005 and in 2012). 2012-13 found the once-again re-formed SPAL stuck in the regional 4th tier; they won promotion on the first try, and for 2013-14, SPAL joined the three-league Italian 3rd tier [aka Serie C, aka Lega Pro].

So, SPAL were in the regional third tier 2 seasons ago, and have won two straight promotions since then, doubling their crowds in the process (from 5.1 K to 11.5 K currently; {17/18 Serie attendances can be seen here}). The architect of this double-promotion-run was manager Leonardo Semplici (age 50). Semplici, who during his playing days played primarily in amateur Tuscan leagues, was hired by SPAL in December of 2014, when he had been running the Fiorentina youth set-up. Budget constraints forced Semplici to find a squad on the cheap, and SPAL fielded a squad entirely made up of Italian-born players, several of whom had been with SPAL when they were a 4th-division side. Semplici’s SPAL play a fast-paced, attacking style, usually in a 3-5-2 formation.

In SPAL’s second season in the 3rd tier, and in Leonardo Semplici’s first full season as manager [2015-16], SPAL won the Lega Pro Group B (North and Central), beating second-place Pisa by 9 points. By this time SPAL were drawing 5.1 K. The following season, SPAL joined the second division (Serie B) for the first time in 24 years. Then SPAL won a second-straight promotion by winning the 16/17 Serie B by 4 points over both Hellas Verona and Frosinone, drawing 7.8 K. SPAL’s main offensive force in Serie B was ex-Leeds-United FW Mirco Antenucci, who scored 18 (see photo and caption below), and Antenucci currently remains SPAL’s top scorer.

But now in Serie A for the first time since 1967-68, SPAL are having a tough time of it, and face a relegation battle. At the winter break, SPAL sit 17th (3 wins, 6 draws, 11 losses), above the relegation zone only by virtue of a better goal difference than Crotone.

spal_promoted-to-italian-1st-div-2017_stadio-paolo-mazza_mirco-antenucci_leonardo-semplici_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – SPAL 17/18 jersey, photo from macron.com. Aerial shot of Stadio Paolo Mazza, screenshot from youtube.com video uploaded by SPAL 2013 srl at youtube.com. jpg. Tifo at Stadio Paolo Mazza, unattributed at tripadvisor.com. Mirco Antenucci [photo circa March 2017], photo unattributed at quotidiano.net. Leonardo Semplici, photo by La Presse via sport.sky.it.

Hellas Verona. Verona, Veneto [northern Italy].
Seasons in Italian top flight: 28 (previously in 2015-16).
Major Titles: 1 Italian title (1985) {see illustration below}.
Average attendance [as of 13 Jan. 2018]: 18.5 K (at 47%-capacity).
Manager of Hellas, Fabio Pecchia (age 44, born in Formia, Lazio).

Hellas Verona are from Verona, in the region of Veneto in northeast Italy. With a city-population of around 215,000, and a metro-area population of around 583,000, Verona is about the 12th-largest city and the 16th-largest metro-area in Italy {List of cities in Italy [by population]; List of metropolitan areas of Italy}. Verona is 105 miles (168 km) E of Milan; and Verona is 75 miles (121 km) W of Venice.

Hellas Verona wear navy-blue with yellow trim. Hellas Verona are nicknamed i Gialloblu (the “yellow-blue”). Their oval crest features yellow-and-navy vertical stripes with 5 devices: the club’s name, the Italian flag, two bull mastiff heads in profile facing opposite directions, with a ladder between them, and a blue shield bearing a yellow cross. (The two dogs’ heads form a V-shape, which you can see in an earlier crest in the illustration below.) The mastiffs are a symbol of the renowned 13th century Veronese magistrate, Mastino I della Scala. Then there is the ladder between the two mastiff’s heads. The ladder was more prominently featured on Hellas Verona badges from the past (again, see the illustration below, which shows an alternate crest from the 1980s which features the ladder device). The ladder is another reference this Veronese ruler from the 1200s named Scala. Because “scala” means ladder in Italian {you can also see this Wikipedia page, and specifically the photo there, which shows a carved stone crest that bears the ladder device, which is very similar to the Hellas Verona alternate crest}. Finally, the blue shield with the yellow cross on the Hellas Verona crest is a reference to the flag of Verona. As to the name “Hellas”: that is a nod to the antiquities…‘ Founded in 1903 by a group of high school students, the club was named Hellas (the Greek word for Greece), at the request of a professor of classics’ {en.wikipedia.org/[Hellas Verona/History]}.

The thing about Hellas Verona is that they are from a medium-sized city (again, Verona, with about 583,000 in its metro-area, is the 16th-largest metro-area in Italy). Yet Hellas Verona still have a local rival that also is big enough to be a top-flight club. I am speaking, of course, about Chievo Verona, who share, with Hellas Verona, the same stadium (the 38.3-K-capacity Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi). There are many cities in Italy that are larger, but do not have two 1st-division-calibre clubs (such as Naples, Florence, Bari, Palermo, Catania, Brescia, and Bologna). To give you an idea of how unusual this is, and how it effectively undermines both clubs’ chances of success, let’s compare this situation to a similar one in England…Sheffield. Sheffield is the 8th-largest metro-area in England (including Wales), and Sheffield has about 100 thousand more people in its metro-area than does Verona (with a population of around 680,000). And like Verona, Sheffield has two clubs that are 1st-division-calibre (Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, both of whom have been in the top flight for 60 seasons or more, and both of whom are currently in the English second division). Yet a couple cities larger than Sheffield, specifically Leeds and Newcastle, only have one 1st-division-calibre club. So, the presence of another big club in a city the size of Shefield is going to undoubtably impinge on things like fanbase size and media coverage. And Verona is about 15% smaller than Sheffield. This is the situation that both Hellas and Chievo find themselves in, basically fighting over a limited pool of potential support. Currently, Hellas Verona are drawing 18.2 K, while Chievo Verona are drawing 11.2 K. That cumulatively is 29.7 K {source}. Thirty years ago [1987-88], when Chievo Verona were a 4th-divison club (attendance of which is unavailble), Hellas Verona were drawing 26.8 K {source}). If you throw in a couple extra thousand or so to represent what Chievo were probably drawing back then, the cumulative attendance for the two Verona clubs 30 years ago would be around ~28-29-K. So, the present-day-Chievo have eaten into the present-day-Hellas Verona’s average attendance to the factor of about 7-to-10-K.

In recent years, when they are in Serie A, Hellas Verona have drawn between 18-and-19-K. Back in their glory days in the mid-1980s, Verona were actually drawing in the high 30-K-range, peaking at a basically-full-capacity 40.1-K in their championship season of 1984-85 (which was, incidentally the season that the all-time peak average attendance (of 38.8 K in Serie A) was reached {source}).

Counting 2017-18, Hellas Verona have spent 28 seasons in the first division. Those 28 seasons in Serie A have been spent in 9 separate spells, starting with their first, one-season-spell in the top flight, in 1958-59. Since the early 1970s, Verona have been relegated from Serie A 7 times (in 1974, 1979, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2002, and 2016). Hellas have also been relegated to the 3rd tier twice (in 1941 and in 2007). {See this league-history chart at Hellas Verona’s Wikipedia page.} In other words, Hellas Verona have gotten relegated a lot. Which makes it even more surprising that the club actually won a Serie A title…

Hellas Verona, the unlikely champions of Italy in 1984-85…
-From Guardian/football, The miracle season when Hellas Verona came from nowhere to win Serie A (by Richard Hough/Gentleman Ultra.com on 11 April 2016 at theguardian.com/football/the-gentleman-ultra).
hellas-verona_1985-italian-champions_osvaldo-bagnoli_giuseppe-galderisi_preben-elkjaer-larsen_hans-peter-briegel_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -Verona 1984-85 jersey badge and Verona H-V-ladder alternate badge, images from 1nil.com. Reproduction of Verona 84/85 jersey, photo from hvstore.it. Scudetto shield-patch, photo from classicfootballshirts.co.uk. Verona manager Osvaldo Bagnoli, photo unattributed at feedyeti.com. 4 Verona players celebrating a goal during the 84/85 campaign, photo from Foto Archivio GS at File:Hellas Verona, Serie A 1984-85.jpg. Giuseppe Galderisi celebrates a goal, photo unattributed at footballa45giri.it/calciatore-cantante-nanu-galderisi-45-giri. Preben Elkjær Larsen, photo unattributed at alchetron.com. Hans-Peter Briegel, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Players celebrate immediately after clinching title in Bergamo [12 May 1985: Atalanta 1-1 Verona], photo by Olycom via panorama.it/sport/calcio/30-anni-scudetto-verona-1985-12-maggio. Verona players celebrate a goal in last home match of season (a week after clinching the title) [19 May 1985: Verona 4-2 Avellino], photo by Tutto Schermo via larena.it.

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Photo and Image credits above – Hellas Verona 17/18 jersey, photo unattributed at footyheadlines.com. Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, photo unattributed at tripadvisor.ie Hellas fans’ tifo, photo by Getty Images at Verona Handed Partial Stadium Ban for Racist Chants (informationng.com). Giampaolo Pazzini [photo from Dec. 2016], photo by Valerio Pennicino at gettyimages.co.uk.

Benevento. Benevento, Campania [southern Italy].
Seasons in Italian top flight: 1 (2017-18 is Benevento’s Serie A debut).
Major Titles: none.
Average attendance [as of 13 Jan. 2018]: 12.2 K (at 70%-capacity).
Manager of Benevento, Roberto De Zerbi (age 38, born in Brescia).

Benevento Calcio are from the town of Benevento, in the region of Campania. Benevento has a population of only around 60,000 {2015 figure}, and is located, by road, about 60 miles (97 km) NE of Naples.

Benevento wear red-and-yellow vertically-striped jerseys; their badge has red-and-yellow stripes in a shield-shape, with a black silhouetted image of a witch riding a broomstick. The witch on their crest refers to the legend of the witches of Benevento. This folklore dates back to the 8th century, when the quasi-pagan religious rites of the ruling Lombards [a Germanic tribe that originated in Scandinavia], worshipping Odin, by the Sabato River, were interpreted by some of the local Christian population as acts of withcraft. Which is why Benevento’s nickname is Stregoni (the Sorcerers).

Like SPAL, Benevento also have won back-to-back promotions. Unlike SPAL, Benevento had never even been in the 2nd division before 2015! Benevento started their first-ever season in Serie B in 2016-17 with a new manager, Marco Baroni, formerly the manager of Novara. Under Baroni, in their Serie B debut, propelled by the 21 goals of FW Fabio Ceravolo, Benevento qualified for the 2016-17 2nd division promotion play-offs (by finishing in 4th). Then Benevento beat Spezia in the preliminaries, then they beat Perugia in the semifinals, then they beat Carpi in the finals. And so the Sorcerers of Benevento were the unlikely winners of the 2016-17 Serie B promotion play-offs.

But once Benevento got to Serie A, their essentially small-town-/-lower-leagues status caught up with them fast, and they ended up breaking a record in a bad way…Benevento did not win a single point until their 15th match. By this time, Marco Baroni had been sacked, and the new Benevento manager was former Foggia and Palermo manager Robert de Zerbi, who was hired in late October 2017. The squad started playing better, but continued to lose. Benevento finally won their first point on the 3rd of December 2017, in spectacular fashion…against Milan, with a goal in the 95th minute, by their goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli {see screenshots and caption below, also see video: Dramatic goal scored by Benevento goalkeeper Brignoli against Milan (2-2) (0:51 video uploadedby Football Now at youtube.com)}.

After that, going into the 2017 winter holidays, Benevento went back to losing ways and lost 3 in a row. However, then Benevento won two straight right before the January winter break, beating a mediocre Chievo Verona, and then beating a rather decent Sampdoria side. And so, with the considerable amount of weak teams in Serie A this season, Benevento now actually have a shot a staying up…they sit 8 points outside of the safety zone (well, 9 points adrift, if you factor in their minus-30 goal difference). Here is an article from Guardian/football on that, Can Benevento stay up after Massimo Coda’s golden spell against Sampdoria? (by Paolo Bandini at theguardian.com/football/blog).

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Photo and Image credits above – Benevento 17/18 home jersey, illustration from planetafobal.com/notas/camisetas-de-la-serie-a-de-italia-2017-2018. Aerial shot of Stadio Ciro Vigorito from benevento.zon.it. Tifo, sannionews.it https://www.sannionews.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/curva-benevento-calcio.jpg. Screenshots from youtube.com/[Football Now].

___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Attendances on map page from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-Attendances in text parts of the post: european-football-statistics.co.uk & us.soccerway.com & worldfootball.net.
-Seasons in Italian 1st division: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serie_A#Seasons_in_Serie_A; it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serie_A#Le_squadre.
-Length of current spell in Serie A: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serie_A#Teilnehmende_Vereine_in_der_Saison_2017/18.
-General info, crests, kit illustrations, from 2017-18 Serie A (en.wikipedia.org).

January 2, 2018

2017-18 FA Cup 3rd Round Proper- map with attendances & fixture list./+Graph showing the number of non-League teams that qualified for the 3rd Round each season (1979-80 to 2017-18)./+Update: biggest upsets in 2017-18 FA Cup 3rd Round Proper (6th-7th January 2018).

Filed under: >2017-18 FA Cup — admin @ 3:03 pm

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2017-18 FA Cup 3rd Round Proper- map with attendances & fixture list




By Bill Turianski on 2 January 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-The competition…FA Cup .
-2017-18 FA Cup/3rd Round (en.wikipedia.org).
-BBC.com/fa-cup.

    Update: biggest upsets in 2017-18 FA Cup 3rd Round Proper (6th-7th January 2018)…

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There are zero non-League teams in this season’s FA Cup 3rd Round.
This season’s FA Cup 3rd Round will be the first time since 1950-51 that no non-League teams have qualified.
[Explanation for neophytes: non-League means all the many leagues in the English football leagues system that are below the 4th level (ie, below the Premier League/1st level, and the League Championship/2nd level, and League One/3rd level, and League Two/4th level); see this chart of the English Football Pyramid (myfootygrounds.co.uk).]

While it might be tempting to conclude that this is an example of how the gap between the Football League and non-League is starting to widen, I would say that the real reason for this is how the draw for the 2nd Round went. Because, in the 2nd Round this season, there ended up being zero match-ups between two non-League teams. (By way of comparison, last season [2016-17], there was just one non-League v non-League match-up in the 2nd Round, yet 5 non-League teams still advanced/see 2 paragraphs below).

Granted, many of the teams from non-League that were in the 2nd Round this season played poorly. But don’t forget that nine years ago, in 2008-09, the all-time record for non-League teams qualifying for the 3rd Round was set, with 8 teams. Those teams were…Barrow, Blyth Spartans, Eastwood Town, Forest Green Rovers, Histon, Kettering Town, Kidderminster Harriers, Torquay United. And it wasn’t a case of there simply being a plethora of non-League versus non-League match-ups in the 2nd Round in 2008-09, because 7 of those 8 non-League teams that qualified for the 3rd Round that season beat Football League teams to advance…Eastwood over Wycombe, Kettering over Notts County, Barrow over Brentford, FGR over Rochdale, Histon over Leeds Utd, Fleetwood over Hartlepool, Blyth Spartans over Bournemouth.

And, counting this season, in six of the last ten seasons, at least 4 non-League teams were able to make it to the 3rd Round (including in two of the last four seasons). And last season [2016-17], 5 non-League teams made into the 3rd Round, with 4 of them beating Football League opposition to advance (Sutton Utd over Cheltenham, Barrow over Bristol Rovers, Lincoln City over Oldham, Stourbridge over Northampton). And also last season, 2 non-League teams made it all the way to the 5th Round (Lincoln City and Sutton United), and one of those teams, the now-4th-division-Lincoln City, made it all the way to the 6th Round/Quarterfinals. That hadn’t happened in over a century (when a then-non-League QPR made it to the Quarterfinals, in 1914).

{To get a sense of how, through the years, non-League teams have fared in the FA Cup, see this chart from the FA Cup Factfile’s twitter feed,
Non-League teams into FA Cup 3rd Round, 1926-2018 (by Phil Annets at twitter.com/FACupFactfile).}

Here is a graph I put together which shows how consistent the average number of non-League teams qualifying, per decade, has been…
{Data from from FA Cup Factfile at twitter.com/FACupFactfile.}
fa-cup_3rd-round_number-of-teams_from-non-league_that-qualified_graph_1980-2018_f_.gif
1979-80 to 1988-89: 3.2 n-L teams.
1989-90 to 1998-99: 3.2 n-L teams.
1999-2000 to 2008-09: 3.4 n-L teams.
2009-10 to 2017-18: 3.22 teams [29 n-L teams qualified in a 9-season-span].
So, if 3 non-League teams make it to the 3rd round next season [2018-19], it will be 4 straight decades that at least 3.2 non-League teams have qualified per season. Now, this admittedly introduces an arbitrary factor (the clustering by decades). And, of course, you could cherry-pick the data, and say in the last 10 years, from 2008-09 to 2017-18, an increase is seen, with 4.1 n-L teams per year. But that is thanks to the spike [8 n-L teams] in 2008-09. I think what the data points to is that the level of play in non-League football has been competitive enough with respect to the lower reaches of the Football League…competitive enough to consistently engender more than a couple of non-League Cup-upsets in most every season’s 2nd round. And this has been the case for quite some time. And if anything, the gap between non-League and League is shrinking.
Graph by billsportsmaps/data from FA Cup Factfile at twitter.com/FACupFactfile.

Televised matches. The big news here is that Manchester United’s 3rd round match (v Derby County) will not be televised, for the first time in 13 years. It’s about time; people can see Man United plenty (elsewhere), and it had become a ridiculous situation of the powers that be cramming Man U down the throats of the viewing public, to the detriment of other worthy clubs (the Man U/Derby match will be televised in North America, though].

Meanwhile, there are a couple of big derbies to be televised…on Friday the 5th, Liverpool hosts Everton; and on Monday the 8th, Brighton & Hove Albion hosts Crystal Palace {Brighton–Crystal Palace rivalry (en.wikipedia.org).}. The other televised games are…the early game on Saturday the 6th (Fleetwood Town v Leicester City); the late game on Saturday the 6th (Norwich City v Chelsea); and two games on Sunday the 7th (Shrewsbury Town v West Ham United, and then Nottingham Forest v Arsenal).

A possible Cup-upset could be had by 3rd-tier-side Shrewsbury Town. Shrewsbury, who are managed by Paul Hurst, surprised everyone by starting hot this season, and have only cooled down very slightly (and are in 2nd place in League One, currently). I think this match-up has the potential to be a Cup-upset because the Shrews’ opponents, West Ham, will almost certainly be prioritizing their Premier League campaign. West Ham are mired in a relegation-battle, and they will most likely field a significantly weakened squad for their FA Cup match. And the neutral will hope that Paul Hurst takes a page from Lincoln City’s manager Danny Cowley last season, when Lincoln City (successfully) went all-out for a promotion-run and an FA Cup-run.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg -List of Greater Manchester settlements by population.
-Attendances from us.soccerway.com.
-2017-18 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.com).
-Thanks to Phil Annets at FA Cup Factfile.

December 17, 2017

NFL 1957 season, map with helmets & final standings; champions: Detroit Lions./+ 1957 NFL attendance data & info on 1957 NFL teams’ uniforms.

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NFL 1957 season, map with helmets & final standings; champions: Detroit Lions



By Bill Turianski on 17 December 2017 twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-1957 NFL season
-1957 Detroit Lions season (en.wikipedia.org).
-1957 NFL season (pro-football-reference.com).
-1957 NFL Teams [illustrations of uniforms of the 12 NFL teams of 1957] (gridiron-uniforms.com).

The map… The map, done in the style of 1950s newspaper graphics, shows the primary helmets and jerseys worn by the 12 NFL teams of 1957. Final standings for the 1957 NFL season, along with team-colors worn that season, can be seen at the lower-right of the map. Home helmets and jerseys are shown alongside the standings. There also is a small section devoted to 1957 NFL attendance data. At the top-right of the map-page is a section devoted to the 1957 NFL champions, the Detroit Lions (also see the next 6 paragraphs and the illustration below). At the far-right-hand-center of the map page, are 1957 Offensive leaders in the following categories: QB Rating & Passing Yards & Passing TDs: Johnny Unitas, Colts. Rushing Yards & Rushing TDs: Jim Brown, Browns. Total Yards from Scrimmage & total TDs: Lenny Moore, Colts. Receiving Yards: Raymond Berry, Colts.

The 1957 Detroit Lions are champions, demolishing the Cleveland Browns 59-14, and winning their third NFL title in 6 years.
During the 1950s, in just a 6-year span, the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns faced each other 4 times in the NFL title game. They had previously met in 1952, 1953, and 1954, with Detroit winning in close games in ’52 and ’53, and with Cleveland winning big in ’54. But in 1957, the underdog Detroit Lions won big over the Cleveland Browns, 59-14, thanks to 5 turnovers and the steady leadership of back-up QB Tobin Rote.

The betting line was Browns by 3 points, and the Las Vegas odds-makers probably gave that 3 point edge to Cleveland because it was a case of a veteran coach (Paul Brown) versus a rookie coach (the Lions’ George Wilson). And also, the Lions’ team leader and longtime-QB, Bobby Layne, was out injured. And looking at the regular season stats, Detroit had, on paper, a mediocre +20 points difference, which was only 6th-best in the league that year. But the Browns had never won in Detroit. Plus, the Lions were the hottest team in the league at that point, having won their last 4 games, and 6 of 7 (including beating Cleveland 20-7 in week 11). And the Lions were coming off a Tobin-Rote-led 24-point comeback-win over the 49ers, in the Western Conference tiebreaker playoff game, a week earlier. So, the oddsmkers might have thought Cleveland were favorites, but there were plenty of signs pointing to a Detroit win.

1957 NFL Championship Game: Detroit Lions 59, Cleveland Browns 14…
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Photo and Image credits above – Aerial photo of Briggs Stadium, circa mid-1950s, photo from Virtual Motor City via photos.metrotimes.com. Detroit Lions 1950s-era logo [2014 retro-redesign], image from irononlogo.com. Interior shot of Briggs Stadium, circa mid-1950s, photo by Wayne State University via Virtual Motor City via photos.metrotimes.com. Photo of Tobin Rote [in 1957 NFL title game], by Marvin E. Newman at gettyimages.com. Illustrations of Lions and Browns 1957 helmets, by gridiron-uniforms.com/[1957]. Bobby Layne, on crutches, hugs Tobin Rote post-game, photo by AP via freep.com. Detroit Free Press front page [Dec. 30 1957], photo from freep.com.

Aided by two 1st-quarter turnovers (1 FR, 1 INT), all 3 possessions by the Lions in the first quarter led to scores (1 FG, and then two 1-yard-TD-runs: the first by QB Tobin Rote, and then another 1-yard-TD by HB Gene Gedman). Then, early in the 2nd quarter, Detroit pulled a trick play…Tobin Rote, who was also the place-holder for Field Goal attempts, called for a fake-FG in the huddle. It resulted in a 26-yard TD pass to End Steve Junker. That made it 24-7, and the rout was on. A 19-yard interception for a TD, by Lions DB Terry Barr, gave the Lions a 24-point lead at halftime (31-7). In the 2nd half, the Browns scored an early 3rd quarter TD, but the Lions answered with 4 TD passes, 3 by Rote, and the final TD pass by 3rd-string QB Jerry Reichow. In the 3rd quarter, Rote threw a stupendous 78-yard-pass to End Jim Doran, and then a 23-yard-TD-pass to Steve Junker. In the 4th quarter, Rote threw a 32-yd-TD-pass to End Dave Middleton. And so, with the game safely in hand, Rote was substituted for Reichow, who then threw a 16-yard TD pass to HB Howard ‘Hopalong’ Cassady. Final score: Lions 59, Browns 14.

The 45-point margin of victory by the Lions made it the most lopsided NFL title game since the Bears’ 73-0 win over Washington in 1940. The Lions had won their fourth (and last) NFL title.

1957 Detroit Lions: 3 All-Pro players; plus 7 from the ’57 Lions that were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Note: All-Pro, below, means: 1957 AP, 1st team.
-Jack Christiansen (DB/KR): 1957 All-Pro; Christiansen was inducted into the HoF in 1970.
-Joe Schmidt (MLB): 1957 All-Pro; Schmidt was inducted into the HoF in 1973.
-Lou Creekmur (OT): 1957 All-Pro; Creekmur was inducted into the HoF in 1996.
-Bobby Layne (QB); Layne was inducted into the HoF in 1969.
-Yale Lary (DB/P); Lary was inducted into the HoF in 1979.
-Frank Gatski (C); Gatski was inducted into the HoF in 1985.
-John Henry Johnson (FB); Johnson was inducted into the HoF in 1987.

Two games into the next season (1958), the Lions front-office decided to stick with Tobin Rote, and part with the older and more expensive Bobby Layne. Layne was traded to the basement-dwelling Pittsburgh Steelers, and it is said that an incensed Layne predicted that the Lions would not win another championship for 50 years. He was right. The Detroit Lions have gone 1-10 in the playoffs since 1957, and are the oldest NFL franchise that has never won a Super Bowl title. They haven’t even made it to a Super Bowl: the closest that the Detroit Lions have ever got to a Super Bowl appearance was a loss to Washington in the 1991 NFC championship game. As of late December 2017 [with the Lions failing to qualify for the playoffs], it has been 60 years and counting since the Lions have been the NFL champions. There is just one thing I don’t understand…why is the player who led the Lions to their last NFL title, Tobin Rote, not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? (See following link.)

-From the Detroit Athletic blog, Tobin Rote belongs in Canton (by Howard Bak at detroitathletic.com/blog).
-From the Detroit Free Press, 1957 Detroit Lions: Full 60th anniversary coverage (freep.com/story/sports).
-From Golden Football Magazine site, NFL Championship Games: 1957, Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions [illustrated chart-style article] (goldenrankings.com/nflchampionshipgame1957.html).
-Video of 1957 NFL Championship Game (at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, MI), Detroit Lions 56, Cleveland Browns 17 [1957 NFL Championship - Lions vs. Browns - Vol. 1]; [1957 NFL Championship - Lions vs. Browns - Vol. 2]; [1957 NFL Championship - Lions vs. Browns - Vol. 3] (videos uploaded by Vol Brian at youtube.com).


1957 NFL attendance.
Note: also see the 1957 NFL Average Attendance chart at far-lower-right of the map page {source: pro-football-reference.com}.
In 1957, the NFL was in the midst of its steadily-increasing popularity, and broke 3 million total attendance for the first time. There were 3,062,449 tickets sold for the 72 regular season games of the 1957 NFL season. That averaged out to 42,534 per game (up an impressive +3,914 per game or up 10.1%, from 1956). The highest drawing NFL team was once again the Los Angeles Rams (at 68 K). Second-best draw was the 8-4 San Francisco 49ers (at 65 K), who drew 19-thousand-more-per-game than in 1956 (a league-best 43.9% increase). The 49ers drew so well in ’57 because they had an almost-championship-caliber team, one that came very close to winning the Western Conference (Detroit beat them in a rare conference [divisional] playoff tiebreaker game). So Bay Area fans responded by flocking in droves to Kezar Stadium, to see the Niners. Third-best attendance in 1957 was Detroit (at 55 K). The Detroit Lions of the 1950s, who won 3 NFL titles in that decade (1952, 1953, 1957), really packed them in at Briggs Stadium [aka Tiger Stadium], back then. Fourth-best crowd-size in 1957 was the much-improved Cleveland Browns (at 54 K), who featured rookie sensation Jim Brown (rushing yardage-leader & Rookie of the Year). The Browns had the second-best attendance improvement (17-thousand-more-per-game or +36.2%, from 1956). The other NFL teams of 1957 which drew above 40-thousand were: the reigning champions the New York Giants (at 48 K), the Baltimore Colts (at 46 K), and the Chicago Bears (at 44 K). The Colts are noteworthy here, as it was the still-young franchises’ first plus-40-K-attendance season (6.9-K more per game than in 1956). Their increase in attendance came thanks to the galvanizing presence of Johnny Unitas, who, in his first full-season as their starting QB, led the Colts to their first winning season (7-5). Unitas led the NFL in passing yardage and QB rating in 1957. In the following two seasons (1958 and ’59), the Colts would be champions.

New stadium for Green Bay in 1957. One more thing with respect to attendances deserves a mention…1957 was the first season of Green Bay’s new City Stadium (II) [renamed Lambeau Field in 1965]. The stadium the Packers had played in from 1932 to ’56, the bare-bones City Stadium (I), had just a 25,000-capacity {see this aerial photo circa mid-1950s}. A few years previously, the then-basement-dwelling Green Bay Packers had been told by the league office to either build a bigger stadium or move full-time to Milwaukee (Green Bay played 3 of their 6 home games, each season, in Milwaukee, during this era; in 1958 they started playing 4 in Green Bay and 2 in Milwaukee). When the Packers opened their new stadium in 1957, City Stadium (II) had a 32,500 capacity. {Here is an aerial photo of the first game played at what is now called Lambeau Field, from Sept. 29 1957.} The Packers were drawing 22.4 K in the last 3 games at the old stadium in 1956 (which was 89.7 percent-capacity). In 1957, the Packers drew to almost full-capacity for their first 3 games in the brand-new City Stadium (32.1 K at 98.7 percent-capacity). And remember, this was when the Packers were really bad (3-9 in ’57; 1-10-1 in ’58). The next year of 1958, the Packers drew 27.9 K overall, averaging 30,824 in their 4 home games in Green Bay (which was a solid 94.8 percent-capacity), but in their two home games in ’58 at Milwaukee County Stadium [capacity: 43.7 K], the Packers drew worse: 24.5 K v Rams mid-season and then only 19.7 K v 49ers in late November. So their brand-new and 7.5-K-larger stadium was being filled pretty well, despite how bad the Packers were in this era. The problem was the Packers’ Milwaukee games in the 1956-58 time period: they were getting lousy attendance (like less than 50 percent-capacity in the 43.7-K Milwaukee County Stadium). One might be tempted to say that that was an example of how the small-town Packers were no longer able to hold their own in the modernizing NFL of the late 1950s. But the problem wasn’t in their small-town venue (in Green Bay). The Packers’ attendance problem was in their big-city venue, in Milwaukee. (How ironic, and a foreshadowing of the fact that the Packers, way down the road, in 1995, stopped playing games in Milwaukee, because they could sell out Lambeau Field easily and they did not need the crutch of the big-city venue in Milwaukee anymore.) Today, the only thing that still remains from Lambeau Field’s original structure of 1957 is some concrete that comprises the nearest stands to the field, and the structural steel below that. {For more on that, see this article with a great photo of old City Stadium (II)/Lambeau Field circa early 1960s, Lambeau Field started with a chain-link fence around it (by Cliff Christl, Packers team historian, at packers.com)}. Lambeau Field is the oldest continually-operating NFL stadium, and after the Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Park and the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field, Lambeau Field is the third-oldest continually-operating major league venue in the USA and Canada. (Lambeau Field now has a 81.4-k-capacity.) The next NFL team to change their venue would be the Philadelphia Eagles in the following year (1958), when the Eagles moved from the decaying Connie Mack Stadium [aka Shibe Park], into the much-larger Franklin Field.


Helmet and uniform changes in the NFL in 1957.
{1957 NFL uniforms at Gridiron Uniform Database site.}
-In 1957, it became mandatory in the NFL for home teams to wear their dark jersey, and for the visiting team to wear their white (or light-colored) jersey. Previously, NFL teams could wear whatever colored jersey they wanted, even if the two teams both ended up wearing dark-colored jerseys. And some teams only wore one jersey the whole season (as the Bears, the Lions, and the 49ers did, the season before, in 1956). This rule change showed the growing influence that television had on the NFL…the rule change was necessary because, on their black-and-white televisions, viewers at home could not distinguish between the two teams when both were wearing dark-colored jerseys. So home-team-dark-jerseys, and visiting-team-whites, was mandated.

-In 1957, the Baltimore Colts would introduce their large-horseshoe-in-center-of-helmet logo, which the Colts franchise still uses to this day; likewise the Colts new jersey design which featured arced shoulder stripes {1957 Colts}. The Colts had previously worn a small-horseshoe-on-the-back-o-f-the-helmet {see this illustration I made for my 1956 NFL post}. Sixty years later, the Colts wear still this exact same helmet-design, with only the dark blue color having changed (and only very slightly, see this illustration I made in 2013, Baltimore/Indianaplois Colts: the 4 shades of blue the Colts have worn}.

-In 1957, the San Francisco 49ers switched their helmet-color from white to gold (a blank metallic-gold helmet), and they also switched to gold pants {SF 49ers 1947-48 gold helmets/3-stripe-red-jerseys [YA Tittle]}. Both the gold helmets and gold pants had been first worn by the 49ers back in 1949, when the team was in the AAFC. Also in 1957, the white jersey of the 49ers had a unique red-gold-red striping {1957 49ers}; {here is a very nice color shot of the 1957 49ers [running out onto the field v Rams at LA Coliseum}...a very nice look, but in the following season of 1958, the Niners went back to their plain-one-color-striping on the sleeves of their white jerseys, which was in the same style as the red jersey's striping, and which dated back to 1950, and which is still worn to this day. The 49ers would keep the gold-helmets-and-pants for one more season ['58], before switching back again to silver helmet and pants (and then introduced the S-F-in-football-logo on that silver helmet in 1962), then the Niners switched back to gold helmet and pants once again, for good, in 1964.

-In 1957, the Chicago Bears, because of the new dark-jerseys-at-home/light-jerseys-away rule, wore white jerseys for the first time in 17 years (worn last in 1940) {1957 Rick Casares game-worn jersey.} (The Bears still wear essentially the same white jersey to this day.)

-In 1957, the Cleveland Browns added jersey-numbers to their orange helmets. {Reproduction of 1957 Jim Brown helmet (pasttimesports.biz).} {1957 Browns.} {black-and-white photo of 1957 Browns helmet w/ jersey-numbers [Jim Brown].} This was the first instance of the color brown on the Browns’ helmet (brown stripes flanking the center-white-stripe appeared in {1960}). The Browns would only wear this jersey-numbers-on-helmet style for 4 years (1957-60).

-In 1957, the Green Bay Packers’ alternate helmet-&-color-scheme of white-and-dark-forest-green was worn (this color-scheme existed for 3 seasons for the Packers [1956, '57, '58]). The Packers wore this white-and-dark-forest-green gear only once in ’56 (on opening day). But here, in 1957, when the NFL introduced the aforementioned rule that said home teams must wear dark jerseys at home and light-colored jerseys on the road, the Packers wore the white-and-dark-forest-green colors for all 6 of their road games {1957 Packers}; {1957 Packers at Rams, with Packers in white helmets-and-jerseys-with-dark-green-trim}. Then, in the next season (1958), the Packers wore white-helmets-with-dark-forest-green-jerseys for all 6 home games (and wore a very similar-looking white-with-dark-blue-trim for all 6 road games), making it the only season in the Packers’ history, besides {1922}, when gold (yellow-orange or metallic-gold) was not in their colors. 1958 was also the Packers’ worst season ever [1-10-1]. {Here are the dreary and eminently forgettable uniforms of the 1958 Green Bay Packers.} In 1959, with the arrival of coach Vince Lombardi, the Packers began wearing their current color-scheme of gold (yellow-orange) and dark-green. And were much better.

-In 1957, the Los Angeles Rams wore white jerseys for the first time ever (they only had worn yellow/orange or blue or red/black ['37] or red ['49] jerseys previously). Like the Bears, the Rams had been wearing only one uniform for several seasons (the Rams wore just a yellow/orange jersey from 1951 to ’56). The Rams were the only NFL team in 1957 that had three jerseys (blue, yellow/orange, white) {1957 Rams}.

-In 1957, the New York Giants introduced a subtle alteration of their helmets, placing jersey-numbers on the front of their blank-dark-blue-helmet-with-red-center-stripe. This helmet-design does not get noted at Gridiron Uniforms Database, but at MG’s Helmets, and at the Helmet Project site, the numbers-on-front-of-helmet design for the Giants of this era is noted, but just not by a specific year [when the design originated]. Well, I’ve looked at plenty of 1950s-era Giants helmets recently, and I can tell you for sure that the numbers were added to the front of Giants’ helmets in 1957 (and the jersey-numbers stayed on the front of Giants helmets all the way up to 1974). All you have to do is look at this photo from the Giants’ 1956 title-march {1956 NY Giants on the bench: Gifford, Beck, Conerly, Webster}, and then look at this photo from 1957 {Giants defense takes down Jim Brown, 1957}. The Giants put those jersey-numbers on the front of their helmets in ’57. Even without the Giants’ small-case-NY logo {which wasn’t introduced until 1961}, that ’57 Giants helmet-design with the jersey-numbers on the front was a pretty solid look. I wish more teams would utilize that look (like the Steelers do; see below).

-In 1957, the Pittsburgh Steelers, like the Browns, introduced jersey-numbers on their yellow/orange-gold-with-black-stripe helmets {1957 Steelers}. The Steelers wore this style for 5 years, from 1957-61 {The next link show this style of helmet, 1960 Steelers [Bobby Layne in Steelers huddle].} In 1962, the Steelers got rid of the large-jersey-numbers-on-the-side-of-helmet, and kept the plain yellow/orange-gold-helmet-with-black-stripe, and then later in the ’62 season they finally introduced a logo…the Steelers’ US-Steel-with-starbursts logo (Nov. 1962). {Here is a shot of safety Willie Daniel in the 1962 Steelers’ gold-helmet with US-Steel-and-starbursts logo, which was worn for the last 5 regular season games in 1962.} The US-Steel-logo-with-starbursts on a black helmet was introduced in Jan. 1963. The US-Steel-with-starbursts logo has always been worn on only the right-side of the Steelers’ helmet. In 1963, along with the introduction of the modern-day black-helmet-with-US-Steel-logo, the Steelers re-introduced jersey-numbers on the helmet, but smaller numbers worn on the front of the helmet…a look that the NY Giants pioneered in 1957 (see Giants’ section above). The Steelers have worn the small-jersey-numbers on their helmets ever since 1963…{Steelers helmet circa 1963 (John Baker)}; { Steelers’ helmet ca. 1980 (Jack Lambert)}; {Steelers’ helmets ca. 2016}.
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Photo and Image credits on map page…
Detroit Lions…
Detroit Lions mid-1950s-era leather helmet and plastic-shell helmet, photos unattributed at The Football Book published by ESPN via uni-watch.com/2007/10/30/uni-watch-book-club-the-football-book/. Bobby Layne, 1st photo (color) by George Gellatly at nfl.com. 2nd photo of Bobby Layne, photo unattributed at nflpastplayers.com/bobby-layne. Lou Creekmur, photo by Frank Rippon/NFL at nfl.com. Color photo of four 1957 Lions players [Charlie Ane, Howard Cassady, Tobin Rote, Yale Lary], photo unattributed at helmethut.com. Tobin Rote, 1st photo: 1959 Bazooka trading card from footballcardgallery.com. 2nd photo of Tobin Rote: photo of Rote from 1957 NFL Championship Game, by Marvin E. Newman at gettyimages.com. John Henry Johnson, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Joe Schmidt, photo unattributed at sportsattic2.com/nflphotos/Schmidt,Joe. Jack Christiansen, photo unattributed at profootballhof.com/players/jack-christiansen.
1957 NFL Offensive leaders…
Johnny Unitas [photo from preseason 1957], photo by Ozzie Sweet/Sport magazine [Dec. 1958] via nflfootballjournal.blogspot.com/[Johnny Unitas feature]. Jim Brown [photo from 1957 v Cardinals], photo by Cleveland Browns via waitingfornextyear.com. Lenny Moore [photo from preseason 1957], photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Raymond Berry [photo of 1957 Topps card], from myalltimefavorites.com/indianapolis-colts.

Map was drawn with assistance from images at these links…
48-state-USA/southern Canada, worksheeto.com/post_50-states-and-capitals-printable-worksheet.
Section of Mexico, as well as coastlines-&-oceans, lib.utexas.edu/maps/hist-us.
-Thanks to the contributors at pro-football-reference.com
-Thanks to the contributors at NFL 1957 season (en.wikipedia.org).
Special thanks to Tim Brulia, Bill Schaefer and Rob Holecko of The Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving billsportsmaps.com the permission to use football uniforms illustrations from Gridiron Uniform Database {GUD}.

December 5, 2017

Germany/2nd division: 2. Bundesliga, location-map for 2017-18 season, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./+The top two teams in 2. Bundesliga as of 5 December 2017 (Holstein Kiel and Fortuna Düsseldorf).

Filed under: Germany — admin @ 3:10 pm

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Germany/2nd division: 2. Bundesliga, location-map for 2017-18 season, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed



By Bill Turianski on 5 December 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Teams, etc…2017-18 2. Bundesliga (en.wikipedia.org).
-English-speaking Bundesliga coverage…bundesligafanatic.com.
-Official site of the Bundesliga in English (offizielle webseite der Bundesliga)…bundesliga.com/en/.
-2. Bundesliga site (in German)…bundesliga.com/de/2bundesliga.
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…2. Bundesliga [2016-17] Summary (us.soccerway.com/national/germany/2-bundesliga).

-From The Set Pieces.com, Doing It Their Own Way – the Union Berlin Story (by Daniel Rossback on 2 May 2017 at thesetpieces.com).

-From bundesliga.com/en, here is an informative illustrated article, Fan-friendly Bundesliga the best attended league in Europe.

2. Bundesliga, the second division of German football, was instituted in 1974-75. 2. Bundesliga replaced the five Regionalligas that comprised the German 2nd level, from 1963 to 1974. Like the German 1st division (the Bundesliga), there are 18 teams in 2. Bundesliga. The top two teams win automatic promotion to the Bundesliga each season, while the 3rd place finishers in the second division play in a two-legged Relegation play-off with the 16th-place-finisher in the 1st division. But usually, the 16th place finisher from the Bundesliga wins that play-off, and only 2 teams get promoted (which is what has happened for the last 5 seasons). As for relegation, the same format described above also applies between the 2nd division and the 3rd division (which is called 3. Liga).

2. Bundesliga is one of the two the highest-drawing second divisions in the world. In terms of drawing power, only the English Football League Championship is comparable. There really are no other second tier leagues – anywhere – that even come close. (The next closest are drawing about 10-K-per-game less: Spain’s 2nd tier and France’s 2nd tier both draw in the 7-K-range.) Both the English 2nd division and the German 2nd division draw in the 17-to-21-K range, depending on the precise make-up of the clubs in the two leagues each season. The two alternate as the top-drawing second division, with the amount of big clubs stuck down in the 2nd tier in any given season being the difference. So when Newcastle (as well as Aston Villa) were stuck in the 2nd tier in 2016-17, the Championship drew 20.0 K overall. And meanwhile, last season saw two big-and-high-drawing German clubs also stuck in the 2nd tier (Stuttgart and Hannover), and so in 2016-17, the German second division’s overall average attendance was a staggering 21.7 K. That was higher than the French 1st division! This season, the EFL Championship is on pace to draw in the 20.1 K range; while 2. Bundesliga is on pace to draw in the 17.1 K range. The reason for the ~4.6-K-drop in overall average attendance in the German second tier this season is because there are a whole bunch of smallish clubs now in 2. Bundesliga that don’t draw above 11 K, yet are punching above their weight, such as Holstein Kiel and Jahn Regensburg and Sandhausen and Heidenheim. Plus, last season, 1860 Munich imploded and were relegated [and then were further relegated down to the 4th division for financial reasons], thus putting even more of a dent in the overall average attendance of the German second tier (for now). (Three seasons ago, in 2015-16, when there were fewer large clubs down in both of these 2nd tiers (and fewer minnows), the German 2nd division drew 19.7 K overall, while the English 2nd division drew 17.5 K overall, and one could look at those figures as a sort of crowd-size-baseline for the two leagues.)
{Sources for attendance figures: european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn; en.wikipedia/[17/18 EFL C'ship]; en.wikipedia/[17/18 2.Bund.].}

The promotion race in 2. Bundesliga…Last season in the German second division, both teams that won promotion were large clubs, both of which bounced straight back to the Bundesliga (the aforementioned Stuttgart and Hannover). But so far in 2017-18, among the promotion contenders in 2. Bundesliga, there is an interesting mix of a few would-be-Bundesliga-newcomers (Kiel, Union Berlin, and Jahn Regensburg), several clubs that have had multiple stints in the 1st division (Düsseldorf, Nürnberg, Bielefeld, and Duisburg), and one newish club with a recent-two-season-spell in the top flight (Ingolstadt). And it bears mentioning that one of those that I just listed above is a club that was in the 4th tier two seasons ago…Bavarian side Jahn Regensburg, who have currently won 13 points out of a possible 15, and have now moved up to 7th place, 7 points off the play-off place. And the 6th through 3rd places have been gaining on the automatic promotion spots. So, in other words, this season’s 2. Bundesliga promotion race is shaping up to be a compelling one. Below are short profiles of the top 2 teams as of the second week of December 2017.

    The top two teams in 2. Bundesliga as of 5 December 2017 (Holstein Kiel and Fortuna Düsseldorf)…
    Holstein Kiel.

Seasons in German top flight: none.
Major Titles: 1 German title (1912).
Average attendance [as of 5 Dec. 2017]: 10.4 K (at 78%-capacity).
Manager of Holstein Kiel, Markus Anfang (age 43, born in Cologne, W Germany). After running Bayer Leverkusen’s youth team and then their U-17 team, Anfang was hired by Holstein Kiel in the summer of 2016. In 2016-17, Anfang’s Kiel had the best defense and the second-best scoring rate in the third tier, and won promotion to the second division.

The biggest surprise of the German second division this season is Holstein Kiel.
Holstein Kiel won a German title a little over a century ago, in 1912, beating Karlsruher 1-0. (This was back when the German title was decided by the regional winners playing in a round-robin format.) Kiel regularly made the national playoffs in the 1920s. In 1930, Kiel almost won their second national title, losing in the final 5-4 to Hertha Berlin. But since the Bundesliga was instituted in 1963-64 and the lower leagues were re-organized, Kiel has been primarily a third-or-fourth-tier side, with only one 3-season-spell in 2. Bundesliga (1978-81), and zero appearances in the top flight. Kiel were in the 3rd division for 36 seasons before winning promotion from 3. Liga in May 2017 (as 2nd-place-finishers behind MSV Duisburg).

Now, in their first season back in the second division since 1980-81, Holstein Kiel have come out of nowhere to lead the German second division, with 47% of the season played (16 of 34 matches played). Kiel leads the second division in scoring, with 2.25 goals per game (36 goals). The team has been propelled to the top of the 2. Bundesliga table with the help of two players: 23-year-old FW Marvin Ducksch, who is on loan from FC St Pauli, and 27-year-old FW Dominick Drexler (see photos and captions further below). Ducksch has scored 10 goals (2nd-best) and has made 2 assists, while Drexler has netted 8 times plus made 4 assists. Both players had been instrumental in Holstein Kiel’s successful promotion campaign in the 3rd division in 2016-17, and now both are doing it again in the second tier. The only problem is, should Kiel win an unexpected second consecutive promotion, Marvin Ducksch will not be part of Kiel’s Bundesliga debut, as FC St Pauli intends on re-calling him back for the 18/19 season.

Holstein Kiel are from Kiel, which is a port-city on the Baltic Sea. Kiel is the largest city within the German portion of the Jutland Peninsula. Kiel has a city-population of around 246,000 and a metro-area population of around 643,000 {2015 figures}, making it about the 29th-largest city in Germany {source}. Kiel is, by road, 60 miles (97 km) north of Hamburg, and Kiel is about 60 miles south of the border with Denmark. Kiel is the largest city of the northern-most state of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein.

The area around Kiel was first settled by Vikings or Normans, and Kiel was founded as a city in 1233. Kiel was a member of the Hanseatic League for over two centuries (1284-1518). Kiel was capital of the duchy of Holstein, which was the northern-most territory of the Holy Roman Empire (up to the late 18th century). Kiel was situated only a few miles south of the Danish border then, and the duchy to the north, Shleswig, was part of Denmark back then. But from 1773 to 1864, Kiel and all of Holstein, though comprised of a German-speaking majority, was owned by (but not administered by) the Danish crown, in a complex arrangement {see this: Schleswig-Holstein Question}. This was only resolved by the two Schleswig wars of the mid-1800s (1848-51: Denmark v Prussia; 1864: Denmark v Prussia/Austria). Kiel and its larger region (duchies of Shleswig and of Holstein, as well as a northern part of Lower Saxony) was won in 1864 by the German Confederation, in the Second Schleswig War, and became part of the Kingdom of Prussia.

Holstein Kiel wear Royal-Blue-and-White with Red trim, and wear a blue circular badge that features the coat of arms of Kiel, which is a stylized nettle [the symbol of Holstein] (the outer red-white-jagged-edge badge-shape), and a curved Viking ship (the black crescent-shape in centre: “the boat refers to the name of the town, kiel being German for keel” {-excerpt from crwflags.com}). You can see the coat of arms of Kiel in the illustration below.

Holstein Kiel, as befitting a club that has just been promoted after more than three decades in the 3rd tier, are not that big of a club, and play in a small-but-well-maintained 13,400-capacity venue, called Holstein-Stadion (see below). Kiel are currently drawing just 15th-best in the second tier, at 10.4 K (78-percent-capacity). Nevertheless, locals have responded to Kiel’s great form this season, and average attendance is up by 4.7 K, meaning that Holstein Kiel have almost doubled their crowd-size this season (Kiel drew 5.7 K in 2016-17).

Holstein Kiel’s last match, on Saturday the 2nd of December, was a battle between 1st and 2nd place, and Kiel ended up drawing with Fortuna Düsseldorf, 2-2, in front of 11.7 K at Holstein Stadion. So Kiel, as of 5 December, have a 3-point lead on 3rd place and a 6-point lead on 4th. Of course there is much more to be contested in the German second tier this season, but Holstein Kiel have an excellent chance to finally win promotion to the top flight, and bring Bundesliga football to the Jutland Peninsula for the first time ever.

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Photo and Image credits above – Holstein Kiel 17/18 jersey, photo by holstein-kiel.de/fanshop jpg. Aerial shot of Kiel, photo by Klaas Ole Kürtz at File:KielerStadtzentrumLuftaufnahme.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Holstein-Stadion, photo by Ulf Dahl via kn-online.de. Holstein Kiel fans with banners, photo by groundhopping.se/HolsteinKiel. Marvin Ducksch, photo from fcstpauli.com. Dominick Drexler, photo by Oliver Hardt/Bongarts via zimbio.com.

    Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Seasons in German top flight: 23 (previously: a one-season spell in Bundesliga in 2012-13).
Major Titles: 1 German title (1933). 2 DFB-Pokal titles (1980).
Average attendance [as of 5 Dec. 2017]: 26. K (at 48%-capacity).
Manager of Fortuna Düsseldorf, Friedhelm Funkel (age 64, born in Neuss in the Rhine-Ruhr metro-area of North Rhine-Westphalia). Funkel is a well-traveled manager who has had stints leading several top flight and second-tier clubs (KFC Uerdingen, Duisburg, Hansa Rostock, Köln, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hertha Berlin, Bochum, Alemannia Aachen, and 1860 Munich). He has been managing Fortuna Düsseldorf since March of 2016. Düsseldorf finished in 11th place in 2. Bundesliga in his first full season at the helm, in 16/17.

Currently [5 Dec. 2017], Fortuna Düsseldorf are in second place, but the team has not won in 5 matches (3 draws and 2 losses). And meanwhile, Nürnberg, Union Berlin, Arminia Bielefeld, Ingolstadt, Jahn Regensburg, Duisburg, and Braunschweig are all gaining on them. And cause for alarm can seen in Fortuna’s home loss in the last week of November to Dynamo Dresden, by a 1-3 score, with the then-relegation-threatened Dynamo Dresden scoring three times in the first 10 minutes.
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Photo and Image credits above – Fortuna Düsseldorf 17/18 jersey, photo by otto.de jpg. Esprit Arena, aerial shot, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Esprit Arena, exterior photo by Jörg Wiegels at File:ESPRIT arena in Duesseldorf-Stockum, von Sueden.jpg (en.wikipedia.org). Esprit Arena, close-up exterior photo, by groundhopping.se/[Dusseldorf]. Fortuna Düsseldorf fans, photo unattributed at footballtripper.com.
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Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Germany by NordNordWest, File:Germany location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2016-17 stadium capacities (for league matches) from Fußball-Bundesliga 2016/17 (de.wikipedia.org).
-List of German football champions (en.wikipedia.org).
-Seasons-in-1st-division data from All-time Bundesliga table (en.wikipedia.org).

November 25, 2017

2017-18 FA Cup 2nd Round Proper- map with attendances & fixture list./+ Oxford City over Colchester Utd (biggest upset in 1st round).

Filed under: >2017-18 FA Cup — admin @ 3:00 pm

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2017-18 FA Cup 2nd Round Proper- map with attendances & fixture list




By Bill Turianski on 25 November 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-The competition…FA Cup .
-2017-18 FA Cup/2nd Round (en.wikipedia.org).
-BBC.com/fa-cup.

-From FA Cup Factfile, FA Cup 2017-18 2nd Round Stat-packed Preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).

    The biggest Cup-upset in the 2017-18 FA Cup 1st Round: Oxford City over Colchester United
    (Oxford City beats a team 2 league levels & 56 league places above them)

The biggest upset in the 1st round was on Saturday the 4th of November, at Weston Homes Community Stadium in Essex, with 6th-level minnows Oxford City winning away versus 4th-division side Colchester United, 0-1. This is only the second time that the 135-year-old Oxford City have qualified for the FA Cup 2nd Round (their first time into the FA Cup 2nd round was in 1969, when they beat Cheltenham Town, away, 0-2). 153 Oxford City supporters, which is slightly more than half their current home-crowd-size, made the 128-mile road trip east to Colchester, to cheer on their club. FW Matt Paterson’s 46th-minute header was the difference; this after the Scotland-born Paterson had hit the cross-bar on an earlier free kick. Former Forest Green MF Rob Sinclair powered through to the edge of the box, and laid it off for former Chesham MF Dave Pearce, on the left wing. Pearce’s crisp low cross was deftly headed into the bottom-left-corner of the net, by Paterson (see photo-and-caption, further below). (You can watch that goal, in the link below, at about the 0:45 point into the embedded video.) Oxford City then held Colchester at bay for the rest of the second half. And so Oxford City, who were at that point second-bottom in the National League South (and winless since August), beat a team 2 league-levels and 56 league-places above them.

{VIDEO: Highlights as Oxford City earn shock FA Cup win but Oxford United are knocked out (article with embedded youtube.com video [1:20] at thisisoxfordshire.co.uk).}

Going back a century, Oxford City had their greatest moment when they won the 1906 FA Amateur Cup, beating Bishop Auckland 3-0 at Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham. Oxford City, playing at their old White House ground, right in the city centre of Oxford, regularly drew in the thousands as a pre-war Isthmian League side. But in the post-war era, Oxford City began being overshadowed locally by Headington United [precursor-club to Oxford United]. Headington turned pro in 1949, then changed their name to Oxford United in 1960, and were elected into the Football League in 1962. Then, a couple decades later, Oxford United had their heyday in the 1980s, with a 3-season-spell in the First Division, and a League Cup title in 1986. Currently, Oxford United are an upper-mid-table 3rd division side, who draw in the 7-to-8-K-range. And meanwhile, Oxford City had remained firmly entrenched in non-League football, and reached their nadir in 1988, when they were evicted from their White House ground by the owners of the land, Brasenose College (who sold it off for housing). Oxford City were forced to stop fielding a senior team the next season, and resign from the Isthmian League. Since then, Oxford City have worked their way up the pyramid to the 6th level, but seem to have hit a ceiling not only in league-level, but also in fan-base-size: their crowds remain in the lower three figures. But, right now, Oxford City have some modicum of bragging rights in town, because they have just qualified for the FA Cup 2nd round, while Oxford United are out of the FA Cup. And, as the FA Cup Fact File blog points out, ‘1950/51 was the last time Oxford City went further in the FA Cup than Oxford United’ {see this article, Bite-size Stat-packed Review of FA Cup 1st Round 2017-18 (by Phil Annets at facupfactfile.wordpress.com)}.

Oxford City wear blue-and-white, and are (now) from Old Marston, which is 2 miles NE of central Oxford. Oxford City play at Court Farm Place (Marsh Lane), which has a capacity of 2,000 (529 seated) {Oxford City’s Marsh Lane (footballgroundguide.com)}. This season [2017-18] is the 5th consecutive season that Oxford City have been in the 6th level, but they are in a relegation fight, as they currently sit fourth-from-bottom [19th] in the National League South. Oxford City is managed by Mark Jones (age 38), who made over 100 appearances for the club, and who previously worked at Watford as youth development coach.

To get to the 2nd Round…Oxford City beat 6th-division side Whitehawk, away, 1-3, in the 2nd qualifying round. Then Oxford City beat 7th-division side Leiston, 4-2, in the 3rd qualifying round (in front of 185 at Marsh Lane). Then Oxford City beat 6th-division side Bognor Regis Town, 1-0, in the 4th qualifying round (in front of 406 at Marsh Lane). Then Oxford City beat Colchester in the 1st round.

In the 2nd round, Oxford will play away to 4th-division leaders Notts County, at Meadow Lane in Nottingham, in a match which has been selected to be televised. It will be the early game on Saturday the 2nd of December, at 12:30 Greenwich Time (7:30 am ET). The television revenue from the broadcast will be a big financial windfall for Oxford City, a club that, while part of the 6th tier, draw crowds more analogous to the 7th or 8th level. Oxford City drew 302 per game last season [2016-17], but, thanks to their poor league-form this season, Oxford City are currently drawing lowest in the National League South, at 249 per game (in league matches). Although the cup-upset has created a slight buzz in Oxfordshire, and Oxford City drew about 100 more to their most recent home fixture (a 3-2 win over Wealdstone in front of 349).

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Photo and Image credits above – Oxford City jersey 2017-18, from macronstorecardiff.co.uk/oxford-city-fc. Dead Man’s Walk, Oxford, photo by Isisbridge at flickr.com via pinterest.com. Old Marston, Welcome sign, photo unattributed at writeopinions.com/old-marston. Victoria Arms pub in Old Marston, Oxford, photo unattributed at pinterest.com.
Court Place Farm, photo unattributed at non-leagueclubdirectory.co.uk/oxford-city. Court Place Farm, action-shot circa 2014, photo by FA via Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk. Matt Paterson heading in winner, photo by Oxford City at oxfordcityfc.co.uk/[match-centre/4-11-2017]. Oxford City neon-green-alternate-away- crest 2017-18, from macronstorecardiff.co.uk/oxford-city-fc. Traveling Oxford City fans & players celebrating post-match, photos by Oxford City at oxfordcityfc.co.uk/[match-centre/4-11-2017].

___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Attendances from us.soccerway.com (3rd/4th/5th/6th levels) & nonleaguematters.co.uk (7th/8th levels).
-2017-18 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.com).

Thanks to FA Cup Factfile for the re-tweet.

November 9, 2017

NFL 1956 season, map with helmets & final standings; champions: New York football Giants.

Filed under: NFL>1956 map/season,NFL/ Gridiron Football,Retro maps — admin @ 1:06 pm

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NFL 1956 season, map with helmets & final standings; champions: New York football Giants



By Bill Turianski on 9 November 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-1956 NFL season
-1956 New York Giants season (en.wikipedia.org).
-1956 NFL season (pro-football-reference.com).
-1956 NFL Teams [illustrations of uniforms of the 12 NFL teams of 1956] (gridiron-uniforms.com).

The map… The map, done in the style of 1950s newspaper graphics, shows the primary helmets and primary jerseys worn by the 12 NFL teams of 1956. Final standings for the 1956 NFL season, along with team-colors worn that season, can be seen at the lower-right of the map. In the bottom-right-corner are 1956 NFL attendance figures by team. At the top-right of the map is a section devoted to the 1956 NFL champions, the New York Giants (also see next 9 paragraphs below). At the right-hand-center of the map page, are 1956 Offensive leaders in the following categories…QB Rating: Ed Brown, Bears. Passing Yards & TD passes: Tobin Rote, Packers. Rushing Yards & total TDs: Rick Casares, Bears. Total Yards from Scrimmage: Frank Gifford, Giants. Receiving Yards & TD receptions: Billy Howton, Packers.

The New York Giants demolished the Chicago Bears in the 1956 Championship Game, 47-7 (played at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 30, 1956). The Giants were coached by Jim Lee Howell (Howell is best known for, in 1954, giving both Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry their first NFL coaching jobs). In 1956, the Giants had a balanced team, with the league’s 3rd-best-Offense and the 4th-best-Defense. They were led by the then-34-year-old, and long-time-Giants-QB, Charley Conerly, and featured the 1956 NFL Most Valuable Player, halfback Frank Gifford. The Giants’ defense was spearheaded by a bruising front four that included DE Andy Robustelli (who had just been traded from the Rams). The ’56 Giants had a swift-and-hard-hitting linebacker corps that featured that season’s Rookie of the Year, Sam Huff, and a defensive backfield that included a veteran interception specialist, Emlen Tunnell. (Tunnell had been the first black player to play for the Giants, eight years previously, in 1948.)

In the 1956 final, the New York football Giants faced a team which had the NFL’s highest-scoring offense that year – the Chicago Bears. There was mixed-snow-&-freezing-rain falling before the game, and by game-time, the field was frozen solid. After checking the field conditions, coach Howell ordered the whole team to leave their cleats in the locker room and wear sneakers, for better traction on the frozen field. The Bears, repeating something that happened 22 years earlier [in the 1934 NFL title game in NYC, which they also lost], did not wear the sneakers they had brought. {See this article from the Chicago Tribune, Carved In Ice: Bears-Giants ‘Sneaker’ Title Game}.

So the Giants, in their Pro Keds sneakers, on that frozen field at Yankee Stadium, ran circles around the Bears. Charlie Conerly threw two TDs, including one to Frank Gifford. Gifford was the main offensive force, with 161 yards from scrimmage including a 67-yard pass play. Giants fullback Mel Triplett rushed for 71 yards and a TD. And fullback Alex Webster racked up 103 yards from scrimmage, and ran for 2 TDs. {You can see a photo of FB Alex Webster (in sneakers) on a big-gain pass-play in the 1956 title game, in the photo-section at the top-right of the map page.} The blowout was pretty much sealed late in the 2nd quarter, after Giants DT Rosey Grier had sacked the Bears’ QB Ed Brown for a 9-yard-loss on the one-yard-line, forcing the Bears to punt. The punt was blocked by Giants guard/lineman Ray Beck, and was recovered in the end zone for a TD by Giants rookie DB Henry Moore. That made it 34-7 for the Giants at halftime. And then the Giants scored 13 unanswered points in the 2nd half, to make it a 47-7 final score.

Video: 1956 Football Championship (27:50 video uploaded by Newton Minnow at youtube.com).

1956 was the first year the New York football Giants played in Yankee Stadium. (The New York football Giants, as a renter of the New York baseball Giants, had played at the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan ever since the gridiron football team was formed, in 1925.) They left the decaying Polo Grounds and moved the mile east, across the Harlem River, to the South Bronx and Yankees Stadium. And with that move, the Giants’ attendance increased a whopping 26 thousand per game and more than doubled – from 21 K in the Polo Grounds in 1955, to 47 K at Yankee Stadium in 1956. (The New York football Giants would play 18 seasons at Yankee Stadium, before the 1973-76 Yankee Stadium renovation forced them to seek a temporary venue in New Haven, CT at the Yale Bowl [the Giants played in New Haven for the latter-part of the 1973 season and all of the the 1974 season], then the Giants played one season at the New York Jets’ venue [Shea Stadium in Queens, NY]. Then the Giants moved into Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ in 1976.)
http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/new-york-football-giants_move-from-polo-grounds_to-yankee-stadium_1956_r_.gif
Photo credits above – Photo of the Polo Grounds in NFL configuration [photo circa 1955], photo unattributed at football.ballparks.com/NFL/NewYorkGiants. Shot of Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium [photo circa 1956], photo unattributed at bigblueinteractive.com/2015/05/30/the-1956-new-york-giants. Photo of New York Giants playing at Yankee Stadium [photo from 1960], photo by Neil Leifer at neilleifer.com/new-york-giants.

In the 1956 NFL season, the Giants had finished 8-3-1, which was a game-and-a-half better than the 2nd-place-Eastern-Conference-finisher, the Chicago Cardinals. Their win over the Bears in the 1956 Championship Game got the Giants their first NFL title in 18 years, and their fourth NFL title up to that point. The Giants would not win another NFL title for 30 years (1986 season). (The Giants now have won 8 NFL titles including 4 Super Bowl titles [last in the 2011 season].) The 1956 New York Giants featured 5 Pro Football Hall of Fame players on their roster (Emlen Tunnell, Andy Robustelli, Rosey Brown, Frank Gifford, Sam Huff), as well as two coaching greats who were early in their careers, and who also were later inducted into the Hall of Fame: Vince Lombardi (Giants’ Offensive coordinator) and Tom Landry (Giants’ Defensive coordinator) {photo of Lombardi & Landry circa 1956}.

6 New York Giants players made the 1956 NFL All-Pro team…
-Frank Gifford (Halfback). Frank Gifford was voted 1956 Sporting News & UPI Most Valuable Player [Pro Football HoF, 1977].
-Sam Huff (Linebacker). Sam Huff was named 1956 NFL Rookie of the Year [Pro Football HoF, 1982].
-Emlen Tunnell (Defensive back) [Pro Football HoF, 1967].
-Andy Robustelli (Defensive End) [Pro Football HoF, 1971].
-Rosey Brown (Offensive Tackle) [Pro Football HoF, 1975].
-Rosey Grier (Defensive Tackle).

Here is a detailed and comprehensive look at the title-winning 1956 New York football Giants,
From Big Blue Interactive.com, The 1956 New York Giants [illustrated article] (by Larry Schmitt on May 30 2015 at bigblueinteractive.com).


1956 NFL Attendance
Home average attendance (6 home games)
Los Angeles Rams: 61,189.
Detroit Lions: 55,161.
Chicago Bears: 48,476.
New York Giants: 47,063.
San Francisco 49ers: 45,314.
Baltimore Colts: 39,745.
Cleveland Browns: 36,941.
Washington Redskins: 29,148.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 28,392.
Philadelphia Eagles: 24,431.
Green Bay Packers: 24,054.
Chicago Cardinals: 23,545.
Source: pro-football-reference.com/1956/attendance.


Helmet & unifom changes for 1956 NFL…
As of 1956, NFL teams could wear their dark jersey and the visiting team could actually also wear their dark jersey for the same game. Circa the mid-1950s, because of the increasing importance of televised broadcasts of NFL games, that would soon change. You see, if both home and road teams were wearing dark colored jerseys (or both wearing light-colored jerseys), it made it very hard for television viewers to differentiate between the two teams (this was the era of black-and-white television). Here, at gridiron-uniforms.com/[1956, week 1], is an example of color-clashes in NFL games, from the opening week of the 1956 season; note in this link that you can see that 4 of the 6 games in that week would have been very hard to watch on a black-and-white television. That would change the next year (in 1957), when it became mandatory in the NFL for home teams to wear their dark jersey, and for the visitors to wear their white (or light-colored) jersey.

In 1956, three teams ended up wearing their white jerseys more of the time than their dark jersey….the Browns (eleven times in white, including all their 6 home games), the Giants (8 times in white, including 4 of their 7 home games [including the Championship Game versus the Bears]), and the Eagles (7 times in white, including 3 of their 6 home games). The Colts wore their white jersey six times, including in 3 of their home games. The Colts also changed their helmets in 1956 – from a blue helmet to a white helmet, and the Colts continued to feature their prototype-horseshoe-logo – worn on the back of their helmet (see illustration below). In 1956, four teams did not wear a white (or light-colored jersey): Bears, Packers, Rams, 49ers, and three of them only wore one jersey…the Bears (midnight-blue jersey), the Rams (yellow jersey, and the 49ers (red jersey). The Packers wore a dark-forest-green-and-white jersey for their first game, and then wore dark-greyish-blue-and-gold jerseys for the next 11 games (see more on that further below).
[To see info on who wore what, and when, in 1956, go to gridiron-uniforms.com/[1956] and then click on numbers “1|2|3|4…[etc]“, found below the header that reads “1956 NFL Teams”.]

-In 1956, the Baltimore Colts went from blue to white helmets, retaining the small-horseshoe-at-back-of-helmet logo (see images below for the prototype-Colts-horseshoe logos from the 1954-56 era). Some players on the ’56 Colts wore a dark-blue facemask (see following link). {Here are photos of a reproduction of a 1956 Colts helmet (helmethut.com).} (In the next year of 1957, the Colts would introduce their large-horseshoe-in-center-of-helmet logo, which the Colts franchise still uses to this day.)
baltimore-colts_helmet-and-uniform-changes_1955_1956_1957_d_.gif
Above: helmet and jersey illustrations by Gridiron Uniform Database at gridiron-uniforms.com/[Colts].

-In 1956, the Green Bay Packers wore white helmets for the first of three seasons (1956-58); and in 1956, the Packers’ alternate color-scheme of white and dark-forest-green was introduced, and it too only lasted for 3 seasons (1956, ’57, ’58). {Here is the only color image I could find of this shade of Packers green: photos of Forrest Gregg & Bart Starr from pre-season 1956.} It really is a forgotten period in the history of the Packers. {Here is a black-and-white photo of Packers QB Tobin Rote in the 1956 Packers dark-green-and-white uniforms (it is from that aforementioned 1956 opening day game of Packers v Lions.} {Here are Gridiron Uniform Database’s illustrations for the uniforms of the 1956 Green Bay Packers.} The Packers wore their dark-forest-green-and-white gear only once in ’56 (as mentioned, on opening day), but in the following season of 1957, when the NFL introduced that rule that said all teams must wear dark jerseys at home and light-colored jerseys on the road, the Packers wore the white-and-dark-forest-green for all their 6 road games {1957 Green Bay Packers}. Then, in the season after that (1958), the Packers wore dark-forest-green-and-white for all 6 home games (and wore a very similar-looking white-with-dark-blue-trim for all 6 road games), making it the only season in the Packers’ history, besides {1922}, when gold (yellow-orange or metallic-gold) was not in their colors. It was also their worst season ever [1-10-1]. {Here are the dreary and eminently forgettable uniforms of the 1958 Green Bay Packers}.)

-In 1956, the San Francisco 49ers switched their helmet-color from dark-red, to white, and wore gear that basically emulated the nearby Stanford college football team (ie, just white helmets and red jerseys, with no silver or gold at all…a very plain look). {Here are photos of 1956 49ers trading cards ; here is the uniform of the 1956 San Francisco 49ers.} The Niners not only looked dull in 1956, but they also looked too much like the Chicago Cardinals of 1956. (The 49ers’ helmets would change again the following season of 1957, to metallic-gold, before switching again back to silver, then to back gold once again, for good, in 1964.)

-In 1956, Washington changed their helmets (yet again), from burgandy, back to metallic-gold. In the early 1950s, Washington had worn a metallic-gold helmet with a burgandy-red center stripe, but in 1956 and ’57 Washington wore a Notre-Dame-style all-metallic-gold helmet {see this 1958 Gene Brito trading card, with Brito in the ’57 Washington uniform}. {Here is a page that shows many color photos of Washington uniforms circa 1950 to ’80, mikestanhope.com/[Washington].} (Washington would keep the gold helmets until late in the 1958 season, when the team introduced their feather helmet [white-and-red-feather on back of burgandy-colored-helmet/used from 1968 to 1964].)
___
Photo and Image credits on map page…
1956 New York Giants…
Helmet, photo by sports.ha.com/mid-1950-s-new-york-giants-helmet-attributed-to-charlie-conerly. NY Giants players on bench [photo from 1956]: Frank Gifford (16), Ray Beck (61), Charley Conerly (42), Alex Webster (29), photo unattributed at bigblueinteractive.com/2015/05/30/the-1956-new-york-giants. Frank Gifford [photo ca. 1956], photo unattributed at bigblueinteractive.com/2015/08/09/frank-gifford-passes-away. Sam Huff [photo ca. 1958], photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Charley Conerly, [Dec. 3 1956 issue of Sports Illustrated], photo unattributed at bigblueinteractive.com/2015/05/30/the-1956-new-york-giants/. Rosey Grier [photo ca. 1957], photo by Robert Riger at gettyimages.com. Andy Robustelli, [1981 retro-trading-card], from ebay.com ar. Emlen Tunnell [photo circa 1955], photo by Associated Press via nytimes.com/football. Alex Webster [photo from 1956 NFL Championship Game v Bears], photo unattributed at bigblueinteractive.com/2015/05/30/the-1956-new-york-giants/. Rosey Brown [photo circa 1955], photo by David Durochik/Associated Press via nfl.com/photoessays.

1956 NFL Offensive leaders…
Ed Brown (Bears), 1956 Topps trading card, photo from psacard.com. Tobin Rote (Packers), [1955 action photo v Browns], photo from Bettman Archive via Getty Images via packershistory.net/[1955 Packers, game 5]. Rick Casares (Bears) [1957 color photo], original photo unattributed at windycitygridiron.com/forgotten-bears. Frank Gifford [1955 action photo v Colts], photo unattributed at bigblueinteractive.com. Billy Howton (Packers) [1954 photo], photo by Vernon Biever via si.com/nfl/photos/2010/10/20rare-nfl-photos-by-the-late-vernon-biever.

-Map was drawn with assistance from images at these links…
48-state-USA/southern Canada, worksheeto.com/post_50-states-and-capitals-printable-worksheet.
Section of Mexico, as well as coastlines-&-oceans, lib.utexas.edu/maps/hist-us.
-Thanks to the contributors at pro-football-reference.com.
-Thanks to the contributors at NFL 1956 season (en.wikipedia.org).
-Special thanks to Tim Brulia, Bill Schaefer and Rob Holecko of The Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving billsportsmaps.com the permission to use football uniforms illustrations from Gridiron Uniform Database {GUD}.

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