billsportsmaps.com

November 29, 2011

2011-12 FA Cup, Second Round Proper./ + Sutton United’s FA Cup Giant Killing – January, 1989 – Sutton United 2-1 Coventry City.

Filed under: 2011-12 FA Cup,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 8:01 pm

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2011-12 FA Cup Second Round Proper


bbc/football/FA Cup.

Here is the league breakdown of the 40 clubs left in the competition at this stage. [Note, Premier League/1st Level clubs, and Football League Championship/2nd Level clubs (64 clubs) will enter the competition in the next round, the Third Round Proper, in the first weekend of January, 2012]…
Clubs in the 2011-12 FA Cup Second Round Proper -
28 clubs are from the Football League, with 13 clubs from League One (the 3rd Level), and 15 clubs from League Two (the 4th Level).
12 clubs are Non-League Football clubs (from Levels 5 through Level 8), with 6 clubs from the Conference National (the 5th Level), 3 clubs from the Conference South (a 6th Level league), 2 clubs from the Southerm League Premier Division (a 7th Level league also known as the Evo-Stick Southern), and 1 club from the Isthmiann League Division 1 North (an 8th Level league, also known as the Ryman North).

As in the First Round, the lowest-placed club still alive in the competition is Redbridge FC, who are from East London and are an 8th Level club in the Isthmian League Division 1 North. Redbridge FC currently average 125 per game (from home league matches to 26 November, 2011). In the First Round, the Motormen drew 0-0 with the 6th Level/Conference South club Oxford City, and won the replay in Oxford 2-1 after extra time. Redbridge will play at Crawley Town in the Second Round.

Listed below are the 3 matches to be televised live in the USA & Canada and/or the UK, with photos of the home grounds and info on the clubs involved…
Friday, 2 December at 7.30pm GMT – Fleetwood Town v Yeovil Town – ESPN (UK).
Fleetwood Town are a coastal Lancashire-based Conference National club [5th Level], who currently [28 Nov., 2011] lead the Conference by 3 points over Wrexham (though Wrexham have a game in hand and a higher goal differemce). Fleetwood Town had the biggest upset in the First Round Proper, beating a Football League One club – Wycombe Wanderers – that was 2 league levels and 27 places above them. Fleetwood Town currently average 1,712 per game (home league matches to 28 November, 2011)).

Last May, Fleetwood Town made the Conference play-offs, but were schooled by eventual promotion-winners AFC Wimbledon, by an aggregate score of 8-1. But I’ve got a feeling that if the Cod Army don’t win automatic promotion this season, they won’t be embarrassing themselves in the play-offs this coming May. This is a club whose trajectory is pointing straight up. In a 7-season span between 2004 and 2011, Fleetwood won promotion 4 times. Fleetwood Town are in only their second season in the 5th Level, and their ambition is evident in two ways. The first way one can see that Fleetwood has their sights set on the Football League is in the number of high-profile signings they have made recently, such as ex-Wrexham FW Andy Mangan (who led the Conference in scoring when he was on Forest Green Rovers in 2008-09, and who scored 16 goals for Wrexham in 2010-11, and who currently has 6 league goals for FTFC this season so far). Mangan scored one of the goals in the First Round victory over Wycombe on 5th Novembe, on a nice volley. Highlights here…’Fleetwood Town vs. Wycombe Wanderers [Fleetwood Town 2-1 Wycombe]‘ (Footytube.com). Another big move Fleetwood Town made recently was in securing the services of FW Richard Brodie (Conference leading scorer in 2009-10, when he was on York City, and scorer of 12 league goals for the promotion-winning Crawley Town last season), on loan from Crawley Town. [Brodie actually contributed in a negative way in the Cod Army's upset win over Wycombe - he was sent off right before the end of the first half, and Fleetwood had to play the second half with 10 men.] Fleetwood Town also boasts the 3rd-highest scorer currently in the Conference – ex-Halifax Town FW James Vardy, who has scored 13 goals in 13 league games this season for Fleetwood (plus 4 goals total when at Halifax Town at the start of the 2011-12 season). Vardy is the subject of transfer speculation, but Fleetwood would do well to hold off selling him until their promotion-run is sorted. Rounding out the club’s scoring threats is FW Magno Viera, a Brazilian, who was fourth best on the list of 2011-12 Conference scoring leaders, with 22 goals.

The second way in which Fleetwood Town’s ambition to become a larger and higher-placed club is apparent is in their new stand at their Highbury Stadium – the Parkside Stand – which has a capacity of 1,841 (all seated), plus 40 luxury boxes. The roof’s not too shabby either (see below). Fleetwood Town will host Yeovil Town in the FA Cup Second Round. Yeovil Town, from Somerset, in the West Country, are a League One [3rd Level] club who currently sit 22nd, in the relegation zone. Yeovil Town never had League history prior to 2003, when they won the Conference National. The Glovers then won promotion to the third tier two years later by winning League Two in 2004-05. This is a club who has been punching above their weight since then, ending up in the bottom half of the table in 5 of their last 6 seasons. Yeovil have a rather small fan base for the 3rd Level – they currently are averaging 3,813 per game.
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Photo credit – http://www.fleetwoodtownfc.com/club/highbury-stadium/.

(Early game on) Sunday, 4 December 12.30pm GMT – AFC Totton v Bristol Rovers – ITV1 (UK).
AFC Totton, nicknamed the Stags, are a Hampshire-based club in the Southern Premier [a 7th Level league], and currently sit 2nd in the league, in the play-off places, one point behind Leamington, with 2 games in hand. Totton is a western suburb of Southampton, on the eastern edge of the New Forest. The club have a brand-new ground, the 3,000-capacity Testwood Stadium, which opened on 9 February, 2011. The opening of their new ground was timed fortuitously, because 3 months later that season, AFC Totton won promotion, by winning the Southern League Divsion 1 South by 2 points over local-Greater-Southampton-rivals Sholing FC.

AFC Totton had never been in the FA Cup Proper before this season, and their first appearance in the First Round was a memorable one – they hosted, and demolished, Bradford Park Avenue (also a 7th-Level-club) by a score of 8-1. A club-record 2,315 attended the match. Totton’s current average attendance (home league matches to 26 Nov., 2011) is 383 per game. Totton will host Bristol Rovers in the Second Round. Bristol Rovers are from Horfield, which is a northern suburb of Bristol. The Gas are a League Two [4th Level] club, and currently sit 18th. Bristol Rovers currently draw 5,873 per game.
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Photo credit – Southdinista at Flickr.com. Southdinista’s Photostream.

(Late game on) Sunday, 4 December 5.00pm GMT/12:00 noon ET – Sutton United v Notts County – ESPN (UK) and Fox Soccer Plus (USA & Canada).
Sutton United FC are a just-promoted Conference South club, from southwest London (but from an area that historically was part of the County of Surrey). The U’s currently sit 3rd in Conference South, in the play-off places. Sutton United are averaging 776 per game (home league matches to 26 Nov. 2011).

Notts County FC, the oldest professional association football club in the world, are these days an upper-mid-table 3rd level club. The Magpies currently sit 6th in League One, in the play-off places; and average 6,210 per game. The random element of the FA Cup draw has seen these two clubs match up three times now in the last 18 FA Cup competitions (Notts County hosted and defeated Sutton United in the 1993-94 FA Cup Third Round; and also in the 2008-09 FA Cup First Round).
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Image and photo credits – Bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.
Areedef at en.wikipedia.org/Borough_Sports_Ground.
Chris Hayes at Flickr.com/ Chris Hayes’ Photostream.

    Sutton United’s FA Cup Giant Killing – January, 1989 – Sutton United 2-1 Coventry City

23 years ago, on 7 January, 1989, Sutton United claimed one of the biggest scalps in FA Cup history, when they upset the 1987 FA Cup winners Coventry City. In 1988-89, Sutton United were a mid-table 5th Level Conference club, while Coventry City were a very solid top flight club in 1988-89…Coventry finished in 7th place that year in the old First Division, and the Sky Blues were in the middle of a 34-season-straight-run in the First Division / Premier League (from 1967-68 to 2000-01).

An overflow crowd of over 8,000 attended that match at Gander Green Lane in early 1989, with more watching from gardens and second-story windows of adjacent buildings. Sutton won 2-1, with bricklayer-by-trade Matthew Hanlan winning it in the 60th minute with his far-post volley off a cross from Phil Dawson, who had collected the ball from a short, decoy corner-kick. You can see images from that historic upset below.
From Youtube, posted by hammerfalljag, ‘Sutton Utd v Coventry City FA Cup 1988-89 Highlights‘ [4:43 video]…1st goal (Sutton United, Tony Rains, 42′) at 1:08 of video. 2nd goal (Coventry City, David Phillips, 52′) at 2:05 of video. 3rd and winning goal (Sutton United, Matthew Hanlan, 60′) at 2:50 of video.
sutton-united_gander-green-lane_1989-fa-cup-3rd-round_upset_sutton-united2-1coventry-city_v.gif
Screenshots (4) from Youtube video posted by hammerfalljag, ‘Sutton Utd v Coventry City FA Cup 1988-89 Highlights‘ [4:43 video].
Photo credits – Hanlan goal; and Rains and Hanlan celebrating, from http://www.suttonunited.net/info_history.html

Thanks to SuttonUnited.net.
Thanks to FleetwoodTownFC.com.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011-12 FA Cup‘.
Thanks to ESPN Soccernet for Football League attendance figures (link set at League One attendance).
Thanks to Soccerway.com for Conference attendance figures (link set at Conference National).
Thabnks to NonLeague.co.uk for attendance figures for 7th and 8th Level leagues.

November 21, 2011

National Hockey League, 1979-80 season, with four teams added (all from the WHA): the Edmonton Oilers, the Hartford Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets (I).

Filed under: Hockey,Hockey-NHL and expansion — admin @ 9:03 pm

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1979-80 NHL




Note about the map page…teams are listed not by divisions, but alphabetically – with 1979-80 NHL teams starting with the letters A through M on the left side of the map page; and 1979-80 NHL teams starting with the letters N through W on the right side of the map page. The explanation for this is in the following paragraph.

[In all the other installments of this series (Hockey - NHL and Expansion]) I have grouped the teams on the map page by divisions and conferences. But for this map, I have listed the NHL teams by alphabetical order, going from ‘A’ at the top left, to ‘W’ at the bottom right. I did this because the league format that the NHL created in 1979-80 rendered the divisional set-up meaningless. For two seasons, 1979-80 and 1980-81, the 21-team NHL had a balanced schedule with all teams playing other teams 4 times (80-game regular season), and, crucial to my point here, all the playoff teams (16 playoff teams) were seeded. In other words, for two seasons, the NHL’s divisions were pointless, because the only way that divisional status had an impact was this: the divisional winners automatically qualified for the playoffs (as did the 12 next-best teams as wild-cards). But since over three-quarters (76%) of the teams qualified for the playoffs back then (talk about watering down your product), the divisions meant nothing. That is because the only way this “divisional” format would have come into actual relevance was if one of the divisional winners had a worse record than one of the 5 teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs. And both seasons, of course, this did not even come close to happening.

The NH:-WHA merger, officially known as the NHL’s 4-team expansion of 1979-80
Only 4 teams survived all 7 seasons of the World Hockey Association. Those 4 WHA teams would become NHL expansion franchises in 1979-80.
[Note, if you want to know more about the WHA, you can see my map-and-post on it {here (billsportsmaps, Feb. 10, 2010)}, and/or you can read this brilliant article from SI.com/vault, from May 28, 1979, by Reyn Davis, 'A Nowhere Ride'.]

The NHL had had talks with the WHA about some kind of merger almost from the start of the rebel-league’s existence in 1972-73. The first talks, in 1972, had the NHL offering to buy each WHA team for $4 million, provided all lawsuits were dropped. That got nowhere. Subsequent sets of talks over the next 5 seasons had various proposals – for 6 WHA teams to join the NHL; or for 4 WHA teams to join; or for 2 WHA teams to join; or even for just one team (the Houson Aeros) to join the NHL. These all went nowhere. The one constant, from the NHL owners’ bargaining position, was that there was a small and obstinate faction of NHL owners (Boston’s Paul Mooney, and Toronto’s Harold Ballard especially, but also initially including Chicago’s Bill Wirtz), that were blocking any attempt at coming to an agreement. Those three owners wanted revenge, because the Bruins, the Maple Leafs, and the Black Hawks were the among the NHL teams that got hurt most by the WHA’s existence.

Most WHA teams lived hand-to-mouth. By 1976 or so, it was obvious to WHA owners that “the game was to hang on long enough to get into the NHL,” as former-Edmonton Oilers’ owner, future-Calgary Flames’ owner, and then-Indianapolis Racers’ owner Nelson Skalbania said.

But for the first 5 years of the WHA’s existence, any kind of merger with the NHL just wasn’t going to happen, because NHL president Clarence Campbell was steadfastly opposed to a merger, insisting that the WHA had set out to destroy the NHL. So real merger discussions were only really possible when John Zeigler replaced Clarence Campbell as NHL president in 1977. Talks got more serious, and it looked like a 6-team/quasi-merger was set to take place after the 1977-78 WHA season ended in May, 1978. This deal would have included the 4 WHA teams that eventually joined the NHL, plus the Cincinnati Stingers and the Indianapolis Racers – and would have had those 6 teams play in the NHL in a separate division, playing only versus themselves, and then to slowly begin playing a combined schedule with the NHL-proper over a 5-year-period. But the Ballard-Mooney-out-for-blood-faction got some other NHL owners to switch at the last minute, and this plan was defeated by one single vote.

The WHA owners were so incensed by this sabotage of their agreement that they decided on some hard-ball tactics, and to hit the NHL where it would hurt the most…by signing under-age juniors [at that time, the NHL did not allow players under the age of 20]. The Birmingham Bulls signed 6 teenagers, and several other WHA teams like Cincinnati and Indianapolis also signed teenagers. So that is why Wayne Gretztky and Mike Gartner and Mark Messier – all Hall of Famers – got their starts in the WHA. And that is really why the NHL finally got serious about letting WHA teams join their league – they wanted the WHA’s future stars, and were not prepared to see top-shelf talent like Gretzky play in a rival league.

Below: in honor of Mark Messier, who in 2004 was the last active WHA player playing in the NHL…
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Photo credits -
lowetide.blogspot.com, hhof.com/Messier, canadacardworldblog.com, Doug Pensinger/Allsports via espn.go.com/readers/beloved/newyorkers, brothersoft.com/mobile/.

The WHA’s last season (1978-79)
When the WHA’s Houston Aeros learned that the NHL did not have intentions of expanding south into the Sunbelt (not yet, anyway), the Aeros, one of the stronger WHA teams, cut their losses and folded after the 1977-78 season. That left a 7-team WHA to limp through their final season of 1978-79. Midway through that last WHA season, the Indianapolis Racers folded. The Indianapolis Racers are today best known for being the first pro team of Wayne Gretzky, who was 17 years old then. Gretzky only played 8 games for the Racers, then Racers’ owner Nelson Skalbania, who earlier that year, on the advice of Brmingham Bulls’ owner Tom Bassett, had signed Gretzky (to a 7-year personal-services contract worth $1.75 (US) million), sold Gretzky to the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky, as a 17/18-year-old, then went on to finish third in scoring that season (behind Robbie Ftorek and Réal Cloutier), and helped lead the Oilers to the Avco Cup finals, which they lost to Winnipeg. It was the Winnipeg Jets’ 3rd Avco Cup title. [The Winnipeg Jets won the most titles in the 7-season WHA; the second-most was the 2 Avco Cup titles won by the Houston Aeros (last in 1975); and the other Avco Cup title winners were the Quebec Nordiques (in 1978) and the New England Whalers (in the first WHA season in 1973).] The $750,000 Skalbania got for Gretzky wasn’t enough to keep the Indianapolis team alive, though, and the Racers folded in December, 1978. The WHA finished their final season with just 6 teams – the Birmingham Bulls, the Cincinnati Stingers, the Edmonton Oilers, the New England Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets (I).

The NHL/WHA merger seems scuttled, until the power of the people (Canadian-style) prevails
In March, 1979, another merger proposal – the one that eventually passed – was again voted down by one vote. The 5 NHL teams that voted against the merger on March 17, 1979 were the Montreal Canadiens, the Vancouver Canucks, the Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Los Angeles Kings.

The reasons why those 5 NHL teams initially voted against the merger with the WHA…
Boston: did not want to share New England with the Whalers, plus the owner (Paul Mooney) never forgave the Whalers for signng so many ex-Bruins players circa 1972-75.
Montreal: see above, with respect to the fact that the Habs did not want to share the Francophone hockey fan base in Canada with the Quebec Nordiques. Plus, just as when, circa 1969-70, Montreal and Toronto tried to keep Vancouver out of the league because the 2 Canadian NHL teams then didn’t want to lose their lucrative slice of the pie from Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts, now those 3 Canadian NHL teams didn’t want to share that revenue 6 ways. In other words, the Montreal (and Toronto and Vancouver) top brass turned their backs on fellow Canadians by being Canadian citizens who did everything in their power to prevent Canadian hockey fans in 3 provincial cities the chance to be able to continue having local major-league-hockey teams.
Toronto: see Montreal, above, second and third sentences. Plus factor in how angry Leafs’ owner Harold Ballard was at the WHA for raiding the Leafs’ roster in the early days of the WHA (circa 1972-75), plus factor in what an unreasonable person the felon Ballard was.
Vancouver: see Montreal above, second and third sentences. In other words, the Canucks’ top brass were hypocrites, because in 1970 they almost didn’t get into the NHL for the same reason – now they were on the other side of the fence trying to keep other Canadian teams out. Plus they were afraid gates would suffer because they would not have as many home games versus Original 6 teams.
Los Angeles: See Vancouver, above, second sentence.

So what changed it? What got some of those teams to reverse their position and let there be major-league-NHL-hockey in Alberta, in the Canadian prairies, in the frozen north of Quebec, and in the state of Connecticut? A fan boycott. Over Molson Beer products, first organized in Edmonton, Quebec City, and Winnipeg, then spreading swiftly across all of Canada. Period.

From en.wikipedia.org/NHL-WHA merger,
{excerpt} …”The Canadiens were owned by Molson Brewery, and the Canucks served Molson products at their games. Fans in Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Quebec City, believing that Molson was standing in the way of their cities remaining big-league hockey towns, organized a boycott of Molson products. The boycott quickly spread nationwide. The Canadian House of Commons weighed in as well, unanimously passing a motion urging the NHL to reconsider. A second vote was held in Chicago on March 22, 1979, which passed by a 14–3 margin as both Montreal and Vancouver reversed their positions. Both teams’ hands were forced by the boycott, and the Canucks were also won over by the promise of a balanced schedule, with each team playing the others twice at home and twice on the road…”
{end of excerpt}.

The 1979 merger between the NHL and the WHA
The NHL did not see Cincinnati or Birmingham as viable locations for franchises, and the Stingers and Bulls were paid to disband by getting $1.5 million apiece in parachute payments, then joining the Central Hockey League, the NHL-owned minor league, for one season each. The Stingers lasted just 33 games in the CHL in 1979-80; while the Birmingham Bulls played two full seasons in the CHL, folding after the 1980-81 season. Meanwhile, at the insistence of the Boston Bruins (again, one of the teams most hurt by the WHA), the New England Whalers were forced to change their name to the Hartford Whalers [the Whalers also got rid of their whale-harpoon-with-the-letter-W logo, and replaced it with a logo that had a white H and a green W under a blue whale fluke; plus the Whalers changed their colors to kelly green with blue trim (instead of dark green with yellow-orange trim) - see this, Hartford Whalers logos, from Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.net/Hartford Whalers].

So the 4 hockey franchises that moved over from the WHA to the NHL – as expansion teams – for the 1979-80 season were the Hartford Whalers, the Edmonton Oilers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the Winnipeg Jets (I).

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The NHL really got the better of the WHA teams, to the point where it was officially called an expansion, not a merger. The WHA teams were stripped of almost all their players, and were only allowed to keep 2 goaltenders and two skating players. The four ex-WHA teams had to rebuild their rosters through the re-entry draft at $125,000 per player. [Note: that makes the fact that the Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup title in just their fifth season in the NHL (in 1984) all the more impressive.]

The 1979-80 NHL season

Protective helmets were declared mandatory for all players, with players who signed contracts before June 1, 1979 having the option to not wear helmets (once they signed a waiver).

In December, 1979, the Detroit Red Wings moved over from the Detroit Olympia (capacity 15,000) to the Joe Louis Arena (capacity 19,875 [now it has a 20,066 capacity]).

The New York Islanders had a 25-point drop from the best-regular-season-points-tally of 116 in the previous season, to 86 points in 1979-90. But in the post-season, where it mattered, the Islanders 5th-seeding in the playoffs did not hold them back at all. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Flyers improved by 21 points over the previous season, and, propelled by a still-North-American-major-league-sports-record 35-game unbeaten run from mid-October to mid-January (25-0-10), the Flyers ended up with the best regular season record in 1979-80, with 116 points. The Buffalo Sabres finished as the second seed in the playoffs, with 110 points. Leading scorers were Marcel Dionne (of the Los Angeles Kings) and the 18/19 year-old Wayne Gretzky (of the Edmonton Oilers), both of whom had 137 points (with Dionne winning the Art Ross Trophy by virtue of having scored 2 more goals [53 goals] than Gretzky). Bob Edwards and Bob Suave of the Buffalo Sabres combined for the lowest goals-against-percentage and won the Vezina Trophy. None of the 4 new teams that had come over from the WHA had winning records, which came as no surprise, seeing as how the 4 “expansion teams” were stripped of all but 4 players each when they joined the NHL. Hartford and Edmonton did make the playoffs, though, as the 14th and 16th seeds, but both were swept in the 1st round of the playoffs.

1979-80 Stanley Cup Finals
The Philadelphia Flyers met the New York Islanders in the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals. It was the then-8-year-old-Islanders’ first Finals appearance. The Islanders were led by the “Trio Grande” line of C Bryan Trottier, LW Clark Gilles, and RW Mike Bossy (all Hall of Famers), and featured 2 other future Hall of Famers in D Denis Potvin and G Billy Smith. The Flyers had the second-best offense that season, with 327 goals (Montreal had 328 goals), and it was a real team effort as there were no Flyers players in the top 10 in scoring, although RW Reggie Leach had 50 goals (7th best); and Bobby Clarke and Ken Linseman both had 58 assists (tied for 8th best). Philadelphia also had the most players in the All-Star Game that season, with 7, including Leach, Rick MacLeish, and Bill Barber.

In Game 1, in Philadelphia, Denis Potvin won it for the Islanders with a power-play goal in overtime, for a 4-3 score. The Flyers answered with a flurry of goals in the second game, winning 8-3. The series resumed, at the Islanders’ home ice in Uniondale, New York, and saw the Islanders take control with a 6-2 win in Game 3; and then a 5-2 win in Game 4. Back at the Forum in Philly, the Flyers got back into it with a 6-3 win in Game 5. Back on Long Island for Game 6, Philadelphia looked poised to send the series back to Philadelphia and a seventh game, when they scored two late goals in the 3rd period – and the game went to overtime knotted at 4-4…

Via Youtube, here is Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals (Youtube video posted by Hockey Videos, a 3:46 video), which, at the 1:55 mark of the video, shows Isles’ C Lorne Henning, near the center-circle, threading the needle to fellow-third-line left-winger John Tonelli, whose goal-mouth-cross to RW Bob Nystrom is re-directed and floated over Flyers’ G Pete Peeters’ blocker pad, making the New York Islanders the champions. The Islanders would go on to establish themselves as one of the great dynasties of the NHL, winning four consecutive Stanley Cup titles…over Minnesota in 1981; over Vancouver in 1982; and over Edmonton in 1983. That 4-consecutive-Stanley-Cup-titles-run by the New York Islanders (1979-80 through to 1982-83) is surpassed only by the Montreal Canadiens, who won 5 straight Stanley Cup titles in the Original Six era, from 1955-56 through to 1959-60; and who also won 4 straight Stanley Cup titles from 1975-76 through to 1978-79.
new-york-islanders_4-stanley-cups-logo_.gif

The Islanders’ victory over the Flyers in Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals was the last NHL game to air on network television in the United States for 9 years.

The following season, 1980-81, ex-WHA owner Nelson Skalbania purchased the foundering Atlanta Flames’ franchise and moved the team north, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as the Calgary Flames (NHL, 1980-present).
atlanta-flames_move-to_calgary_flames_1980.gif

The season after that, 1981-82, the NHL went to geographically-oriented divisions and conferences.

The season after that, 1982-83, the Colorado Rockies were purchased by an East Coast-based consortium, and moved to northern New Jersey, as the New Jersey Devils (NHL, 1982-present).
kansas-city-scouts_move-to_colorado_rockies_move-to_new-jersey_devils_.gif

The season after that, 1983-84, the Edmonton Oilers, with Wayne Gretzky as team captain and league-MVP, won the first of their 5 Stanley Cup titles.
{Old content disclaimer…the image-sequence below first appeared on this site here (The World Hockey Association, 1972-73 to 1978-79: map of all 26 teams, with attendance figures and notes.)}.
Below is a tribute to the WHA-era Edmonton Oilers, and to Glen Sather and Wayne Gretzky, the two people most responsible for bringing the Stanley Cup to Edmonton

wha_alberta-oilers_edmonton-oilers_edmonton-gardens_al-hamilton_northlands-coliseum_rexall-place_glen-sather_wayne-gretzky_indianapolis-racers_si-cover1984_.gif

Photo and image credits –
Al Hamilton, HFboards.com/thread.
Old Oilers jersey illustration, http://whauniforms.com/.
Edmonton arenas: Edmonton Gardens (aka Livestock Pavillion), hockey.ballparks.com; Northlands Coliseum, http://hockey.ballparks.com/WHA/AlbertaOilers/index.htm
Gretzky on Indianapolis, 1978-79 indianapolis racers wayne gretzky jersey photos.
Wayne Gretzky on Sports illustrated cover, Wayne Gretzky Sports Illustrated covers gallery [12 SI covers between 1981 and 1999]..
_

Thanks to the JerseyDatabase.com site, for the jersey illustrations on the map page. As great as this site is, it is rather hard to navigate, so here is the page that will get you to NHL teams’ jerseys, http://www.jerseydatabase.com/browse.php?sport=nhl.

Thanks to NHL Uniforms.com, for bits of jerseys I needed to fill in (1979-80 Edmonton Oilers and 1979-80 Winnipeg Jets) because of gaps in the aforementioned database…www.nhluniforms.com/1979-80.

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net/NHL.

Thanks to WHA Hockey.com. Birmingham Bulls at WHA Hockey.com.

Thanks to WHA Hockey.tv. [Note, lots of Whalers' content here.]

Thanks to Ed Willes, for his book on the WHA…‘Rebel League, the short and unruly life of the World Hockey Association’, published by McLelland & Stewart, Toronto, 2004 {at Amazon, here}.

November 14, 2011

NFL, 1966 and AFL, 1966: location-maps, with final standings / Plus NFL, 1970: location-map with final standings / Plus a short article on the 1966 agreement which led to the 1970 AFL/NFL merger.

Filed under: NFL>1966/'70 helmet maps,NFL/ Gridiron Football — admin @ 9:11 pm
    NFL, 1966 location-map with final standings…

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    AFL, 1966 location-map with final standings…

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Helmet illustrations seen above and on 1st, 2nd and 3rd map pages from MGhelmets.com/nfl.




In 1970, the 16-team National Football League merged with the 10-team American Football League [AFL (IV, 1960-69)]. The agreement to merge had been in place since June, 1966. The first aspect of the merger was the institution of a deciding-game between the two leagues. This game was initially called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, and matched up the champion teams of each league, beginning in January 1967 [with the teams playing for the AFL/NFL championship title of 1966]. The first of these games was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and was, strangely, broadcast simultaneously by NBC and CBS, and was not a sell-out. In that game, the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 to win AFL-NFL World Championship Game I.

This gridiron football championship game, which was signified by the rather pompous use of Roman numerals to differentiate each subsequent game, would eventually become known as the Super Bowl. [The NFL's 2011 season will be decided on February 5, 2012, in Super Bowl XLVI (Super Bowl 46), at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.]

Almost from the start, circa 1966-68, many media outlets were referring to the game as ‘the Super Bowl’, but the first game officially known as the Super Bowl was the third one [Super Bowl III, January 1969 (Jets vs. Colts).]

Here is a cool advertisement from 1966 which shows the NFL teams’ helmets back then (note: the illustrator of this Norelco ad made an error with the Cowboys helmet-logo, making the points on the Cowboys helmet-star too wide, but otherwise this is a great illustration that even correctly shows the Bears’ and the Lions’ and the Cardinals’ unusual facemasks of that era) {thanks to this blog, packerville.blogspot.com for that}.

Below is a really nice set of illustrations of 1967 NFL home uniforms. I have no idea who drew the artwork or even which publication the images originally came from, but it was sent to Uni Watch Blog in early January 2016 by Todd Radom {here/about halfway down the post, there}. As far as accuracy with respect to 1967 uniforms, the illustration below is about 99% accurate, with the then-expansion-team the New Orleans Saints’ helmet the only major inaccuracy (in the illustration below, the Saints’ helmet color is a shade too light and not “old-gold” (or brownish) enough, plus there is no black-white-black center-helmet-stripe).
nfl_1967_uniforms_c_.gif

Between 1966 and 1969 (4 seasons), the NFL and the AFL played separate regular seasons, as well as separate playoff formats. At that time, the NFL had 15 teams in 1966, then 16 teams from 1967-69, with the addition of the New Orleans Saints in ’67. At that time, the AFL had 9 teams in 1966, then 10 teams from 1968-69, with the addition of the Cincinnati Bengals in ’68. In this time period (the 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969 seasons of both the NFL and the AFL), the Green Bay Packers won AFL-NFL World Championship Games I and II, while the New York Jets won Super Bowl III, and the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl IV. It is worth noting that circa 1959 to 1964 or so, many, many people associated with the NFL (the owners especially) considered the AFL to be a joke league that was way weaker than the NFL. But the AFL got the last laugh…the NFL lost the last two match-ups between an NFL-championship-game-winner and an AFL-championship-game-winner, with Broadway Joe Namath and the Jets under Weeb Ewbank stunning the Baltimore Colts in the 1968 season finale (in Super Bowl III, in January 1969); and the Kansas City Chiefs under Hank Stram similarly up-ending the favored Minnesota Vikings in the 1969 season finale (in Super Bowl IV in January, 1970).

When the 1970 NFL season rolled around, 3 teams had moved over from the pre-1970- NFL to the AFC, in order to even out the size of the 2 new conferences (at 13 teams each). Those three teams that moved over from the ‘old’ NFL to the new AFC were the Pittsburgh Steelers (1933-present), the Cleveland Browns (1950-1995; 1999-present), and the Baltimore Colts (1953-1983/moved to Indianapolis, IN as the Indianapolis Colts, 1984-present).

    NFL, 1970 – Location-map

nfl_1970_map_helmets_final-standings_mg-helmets_segment_.gif
NFL, 1970
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Thanks to MG’s Helmets, http://www.mghelmets.com/, for the helmets on the NFL, 1966 map; the AFL, 1966 map; and the NFL, 1970 map.
Thanks to Adsense admin.
Thanks to thefind.com/merchandise; thanks to ebay.com.
Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net.
Thanks to LogoShak.

November 8, 2011

2011-12 FA Cup, First Round Proper.

Filed under: 2011-12 FA Cup,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 4:47 pm

211-12_fa-cup_first-round_post_1.gif
2011-12 FA Cup First Round Proper


FA Cup – Fixtures, Results (bbc.co.uk/FA Cup/Fixtures).

Non-league sides cause shocks to reach FA Cup second round‘ (BBC/Football).
[Note the following list of upsets in the First Round Proper, and the link to the article above, and the 8-photo-gallery below, were all inserted here 4 days after this post was originally posted.]

FA Cup First Round Proper, Saturday 12 Nov. 2011 – 8-photo-gallery from ESPN Soccernet.
With respect to league placement of all clubs at that point in time [12 November, 2011], here are all the upsets from the 2011-12 FA Cup First Round Proper, on Saturday the 12th…(note: the club that produced the upset is in bold, and Difference in league placement and levels is listed for each)…

Fleetwood Town 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers. Difference: 27 places and 2 levels/ mitigating factor, Fleetwood Town have (probably) the highest wage bill in the Conference this season.
Swindon Town 4-1 Huddersfield Town. Difference: 25 places and 1 level.
Bradford City 1-0 Rochdale. Difference: 25 places and 1 level/ mitigating factor, Bradford City are a larger club (Bradford’s average gate is 10,199, while Rochdale’s is 2,770).
Tranmere 0-1 Cheltenham Town. Difference: 19 places and 1 level.
Chesterfield 1-3 Torquay United. Difference: 15 places and 1 level.
Luton Town 1-0 Northampton Town. Difference: 12 places and 1 level/ mitigating factor, Luton Town are a larger club (Luton’s average gate is 6,128, while Northampton’s is 4,211).
Bury 0-2 Crawley Town. Difference: 12 places and 1 level/ mitigating factor, Crawley’s wage bill is higher than most clubs in League One (like Bury).
Chelmsford City 4-0 AFC Telford United. Difference: 11 places and 1 level.
Sutton United 1-0 Kettering Town. Difference: 8 places and 1 level.


The FA Cup First Round Proper
The FA Cup [Football Association Cup] is the oldest knock-out competition for association football in the world. The first season of the competition was in 1871-72. The FA Cup competition pre-dates the formation of the Football League by 17 years. The 2011-12 FA Cup is the 131st season of the competition. 763 football clubs in England (and Wales) entered the 2011-12 FA Cup. There will be 14 rounds – 6 preliminary rounds have already been played.

Holders are Manchester City FC. Manchester City beat Stoke City on 4th May, 2011 by a 1-0 score at Wembley, with the winner scored in the 74th minute by City MF Yaya Touré. To get to the Final, Manchester City had beaten Leicester City (in a replay), Notts County (also in a replay), Aston Villa, Reading, and Manchester United.

The map page shows all 80 English (and Welsh) football clubs that have qualified for the 2011-12 FA Cup First Round Proper. Average attendances and levels of the 80 clubs in this round of the competition are listed at the far left of the map page (figures from home league matches to 31st Oct.2011). At the far right of the map page are all the ties for the First Round Proper. The map shows the locations of the 78 clubs in this round of the competition from England, and the 2 clubs in it from Wales (Newport County AFC and Wrexham FC).

The lowest-placed club still alive in the competition has won 5 matches to get here. That club is Redbridge FC, of East London. Redbridge is an 8th Level club from the Isthmian League Division One North. [Further down in this post, there is a bit about Redbridge FC.] Redbridge beat Cockfosters, Wingate & Finchley, Bury Town, Dunstable Town, and Ebbsfleet United to get to the First Round Proper.

In the First Round Proper, Football League clubs from the 3rd and 4th Levels (Football Leagues One and Two) enter the competition.

Stadium photos and info on televised matches
Here are the grounds (photos of 6 grounds below) that have live televised 2011-12 FA Cup First Round Proper matches (in the UK and/or in the USA & Canada)…

Friday, 11 November, 2011 on FSC (USA & Canada), Cambridge United v. Wrexham at Abbey Stadium in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Abbey Stadium, capacity 10,847 (4,948 seated). Opened August, 1923. Last renovation was in 2002, with the new all-seater South Stand. Cambridge United’s current average attendance – 2,509 per game.
Cambridge United are in the play-off places, at 3rd, in the Conference National. Wrexham are in the play-off places, at 2nd, in the Conference National.
cambridge-utd_abbey-stadium_c.gif

Photo credits – Bing.com/maps. Hugh Venables via Geograph.org.

[Early game on] Saturday, 12 November, 2011, on ESPN (UK) and on FSC (USA & Canada), Newport County AFC v. Shrewsbury Town at Newport Stadium in Newport, South Wales

Newport Stadium, capacity 5,500 (3,300 seated). Opened 1994. Afflicted with a running track since 1994. Newport’s current average attendance – 1,444 per game.
Newport County are in the relegation zone, at 22nd, in the Conference National. Shrewsbury Town are in the play-off places, at 4th, in League Two.
newport-county_newport-stadium_d.gif
Photo credits – Bing.com/maps. The Amber Terrace’s Photostream at Flickr.com.

Saturday, 12 November, 2011, on FSC (USA & Canada), Alfreton Town v. Carlisle United at North Street in Alfreton, Derbyshire

The Impact Arena [aka North Street], capacity 3,600 (1,500 seated). Alfreton, Derbyshire. Opened 1959. Alfreton’s current average attendance [home league matches to 5 Nov.2011] – 775 per game.
Alfreton are in the relegation zone, at 23rd, in the Conference National [this is their first-ever-season there in the 5th Level]. Carlisle United sit 10th in League One.
alfreton-town_impact-arena_north-street_.gif
Photo credits – Stephan Harris at Panoramio.com. Bluesquarefootball.com. Thefootballnetwork.com. David Purseglove at alfretontownfc.com (link goes to match report/photos for 4th Qualifying Round).

[late game on] Saturday, 12 November, 2011, on FSC+ (USA & Canada), Swindon Town v. Huddersfield Town AFC at County Ground in Swindon, Wiltshire

The County Ground, capacity 14,700 (all-seated). Opened 1896. Future expansion/renovations shelved after Swindon Town’s relegation to League Two in 2011. Swindon Town’s current average attendance – 7,967 per game.
Swindon Town are in the play-off places, at 6th, in League Two. Huddersfield Town are in the play-off places, at 2nd, in League One.

swindon-town_county-ground_b.gif

Photo credits – Swindonweb.com. Bing.com/maps. Richard Corbin, ‘County Ground/Fast Plant Town End’(en.wikipedia.org).

Sunday, 13 November, 2011, on FSC+ (USA & Canada), FC Halifax Town v. Charlton Athletic at The Shay in Halifax, West Yorkshire

The Shay, capacity 10,476 (5,830 seated). Opened August, 1921. Latest renovation – the new East Stand, capacity 3,500, built between 2000-02 & 2008-10. ['Shay', in old English, means small wood, thicket or grove.] The East stand sat forlorn and only partially-rebuilt for over 5 years after the relegation from the Football League in 2002 of the now-defunct Halifax Town AFC (1911-2008). In 2008, the local Council of Calderdale stepped in and put 4.5 million pounds towards the re-build. The new East Stand opened in March, 2010. FC Halifax Town’s current average attendance is 1,453 per game.
FC Halifax Town sit 10th in the Conference North. Charlton Athletic are the highest-placed team in the First Round Proper – they sit first in League One.
fc-halifax-town_the-shay_2d.gif
Photo credits – Bing.com/maps. the Dribbling Code.wordpress.com, ‘Tue 19 April 2011, FC Halifax Town v Frickley Athletic (NPL Prem)‘. 100 Grounds Club.blogspot.com, ‘My Matchday – 243 The Shay [6 March, 2010]‘. Halifaxafc.co.uk.

[late game on] Sunday, 13 November, 2011, on ESPN (UK) and on FSC (USA & Canada), Morecambe v. Sheffield Wednesday at the Globe Arena in Morecambe, Lancashire

Globe Arena, capacity 6,476 (2,247 seated). Opened August, 2010. Morecambe FC’s current average attendance – 2,509 per game.
Morecambe are in the play-off places, at 5th, in League Two. Sheffield Wednesday are in the play-off places, at 3rd, in League One.
morecambe-fc_globe-arena_.gif
Photo credits – globearena.co.uk.

As usual, I am featuring the smallest clubs who have qualified for the FA Cup First Round Proper, and this season the two lowest-drawing clubs which have made it to the FA Cup’s first round are Redbridge FC and Arlesey Town FC. Redbridge FC are an 8th Level/Isthmian League Division One North club, and are East London-based. Redbridge FC currently are drawing 125 per game. Arlesey Town FC are a 7th Level/Southern League club, and are from Bedfordshire. Arlesey Town are currently drawing 137 per game. Both these sides punched above their weight and beat 5th Level/Conference National clubs to advance to the FA Cup First Round. Redbridge have been to the First Round twice before, both times as Ford United, in 1998-99 and in 2003-04. This will be Arlesey Town’s first appearance in the FA Cup Proper.

29 October, 2011 – Redbridge 2-0 Ebbsfleet United
redbridge-fc2_0ebbsfllet-united_2011-12fa-cup-4th-qr_b.gif
Match photos by David Horn at Redbridge FC site, http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/redbridge/s/results-reports-18804.html?official=0&fixture_id=911716.

From the FA.com site, ‘Motormen roar past Ebbsfleet‘.
On Saturday, 29 October, in a 4th Qualifying Round match at Redbridge’s 316-seat ground Oakside, in the East London borough of Redbridge, before a crowd of 442, the Motormen scored two late goals to defeat Ebbsfleet United 2-0. Above are photos of the two goals, which were scored by Ryan Murray in the 80th minute and Joe Gardner in the 89th minute. Note; above in the second picture (middle row, left), you can see the ball, en route to the goal, after Ryan Murray’s flick-on header…by the left elbow of the number 6 Ebbsfleet player.

Redbridge FC are nicknamed the Motormen because their club evolved from football clubs associated with the car industry (an industry that has long had a presence in the East London/Essex area). In keeping with the automotive theme, the crest of Reddbridge FC, as you can see {here (Redbridge FC site)} looks like a hood ornament. Redbridge ground-share with Barkingside FC (a 9th Level club), in an arrangement dating back to 2001 which saw Ford United (future-Redbridge FC) buy the lease to Oakside Stadium from Barkingside FC, refurbish the ground considerably, all the while allowing Barkingside FC to maintain a permanent ground-sharing agreement. In July 2004 Ford United FC changed their name to Redbridge FC. This occurred right after they had finished in 13th place in the 2003-04 Istmian League, and this meant they would move up to be one of the 44 clubs to fill the new Conferebnce North and Conference South leagues. So for the 2004-05 season, Redbridge FC became a charter member of the Conference South [6th Level]. However, as the club’s website says in it’s History, this proved to be a bridge too far, and Redbridge were relegated from Conference South in 2005, and the following season the club suffered a second-straight relegation, to the Isthmian Division 1 North. The club stabilized, and in 2007-08, under player/manager Dean Holdsworth, they narrowly missed out on promotion, losing in the play-off final on penalties 5-4 to Canvey Island. But 8th place, 18th place, and 16th place finishes have followed, and currently [7 Nov.2011] Redbridge again are in a relegation battle, in 15th place in the Ryman North. Redbridge’s manager is Terry Spillane, who moved over to Redbridge after a solid-second-place finish managing 9th Level/Essex Senior League club Stansted FC in 2010-11. On the BBC London Non-League football Show, Season 5, Episode 13 (31. Oct.2011) {here}, Terry Spillane told host Caroline Barker how hard it was for him to get his head ’round the fact that they have made it to the FA Cup’s first round [the segment with Redbridge and Spillane stars around 10:30 into the 55:19-long episode], and that the chairman paid the tab for the lads to have a night out at a Chelsea night club. The great thing about this story is that Redbridge have a solid shot at advancing, because they have drawn a home tie versus opposition just one level above them – Oxford City, of the Evo-Stik (Southern) Prem [7th Level]. Although in fairness to Oxford City, they are in a promotion-campaign, level on points with Evo-Stick leaders AFC Totton (who also qualified) and the 2nd place team, Cambridge City. If anything, qualifying for the FA Cup First Round will increase the profile of Redbridge FC in their borough, and hopefully, get their gate figures to rise a bit.

Redbridge FC are not to be confused with the former club Redbridge Forest FC (who played in Redbridge Borough, merged in 1992 with Dagenham FC, and moved a few miles south and east to Dagenham FC’s ground in Barking and Dagenham Borough, and then won promotion to the Football League in 2008 [you can see Dagenham & Redbridge's in East London location on the map page]).

On 12 November, in the 2011-12 FA Cup First Round Proper, Redbridge will host 7th Level/Southern League side Oxford City.

redbridge-fc_oakside_b.gif
Image credits – Bing.com/maps. London boroughs map from en.wikipedia.org,’London Borough of Redbridge‘.

Also on 29 October, in another 4th Qualifying Round match, Arlesey Town came from behind to beat Forest Green Rovers 2-1, with the equalizing goal from the spot by Chris Dillon with 5 minutes left, and an extra-time winner from a free kick by David Denney. Arlesey Town are from Arlesey, in Central Bedfordshire near the border with Hertfordshire, 55 km. (34 miles) north of central London. Arlesey has a population of around 5,600 {2007 estimate}.

On 12 November, in the 2011-12 FA Cup First Round Proper, Arlesey Town will travel to Wiltshire to play 6th Level/Conference South club Salisbury City.
http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/arelsey-town-fc_hitchin-road_b.gif
Image credits – Bing.com/maps. Kit illustration from en.wikipedia.org, ‘Arseley Town F.C.‘. Hitchin Road ground photos from Non-League Football Ground Blogger, ‘13/01/2007 – Arlesey Town 2 Potters Bar Town 1‘.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011-12 FA Cup‘.
Thanks to ESPN Soccernet, for attendance figures for League One and League Two clubs [Levels 3-4] (48 clubs in the First Round Proper).
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for attendance figures for Conference National, Conference North and Conference South clubs [Levels 5-6].
Thanks to the Nonleague.co.uk site for attendance figures for clubs in Levels 7-8.
Thanks to the FA Cup silversmiths, Thomas Lyte Silver, for the photo of the FA Cup trophy, here.

November 1, 2011

2011-12 League One: Stadia map.

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2011-12 League One, Stadia map


Note: to see my latest post of English 3rd division, click on the following, category: Eng,3rd Level/League One.

As of 1 November, 2011, after all clubs in the league have played 16 games, Charlton Athletic lead over Huddersfield Town by 3 points; with Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, MK Dons, and Notts County in the play-off places. Rochdale, Chesterfield, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town make up the clubs in the relegation zone.

charlton-athletic_the-valley_.gif
Large aerial photo by Dean Nicholas via SFist.com. Small aerial photo of The Valley by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Zimbio.com/Aerial Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery].

Football League One is the 3rd Level of the English Football system. League One is the league which, most seasons, has the widest disparity of club size (as measured by average attendance). To be very general about it, you can divide the sort of clubs that are in any given League One season into 3 categories…

A) Medium-to-medium/large-sized clubs with more than 2 dozen seasons in the top flight, that have maybe won a few major titles, and have (and maybe at a stretch) the ability to average near or above 20,000 per game. In this category, this season, there are 5 clubs that fit this criteria – Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town AFC, Preston North End, Sheffield United, and Sheffield Wednesday. These clubs have fallen on hard times and now must rub shoulders with clubs who don’t even have stadiums larger than 10 or 12K capacity – clubs who have never even made it to the second division, let alone the top tier.

B). 3rd Level/League One mainstays. Clubs who have historically been found at the 3rd Level more than any other level, or who have slightly more seasons-spent in the 2nd Level (2 clubs, denoted in the following list by an asterisk). The 11 clubs in this category [for 2011-12] are Bournemouth, Brentford, Carlisle United, Chesterfield, Colchester United, Exeter City, *Leyton Orient, *Notts County, Oldham Athletic AFC, Tranmere Rovers, and Walsall. These clubs generally average between 4,000 to 7,000 per game. The higher-drawing of these 11 clubs are Bournemouth, Chesterfield and Notts County, who these days usually draw in the 6K to low-7K region. The middle-drawing of these 11 clubs are Tranmere, Exeter, Carlisle, Brentford, and Oldham, who usually draw in the mid-4K to mid-5K region. And the lower-drawing of these 11 clubs are Walsall, Colchester, and Leyton Orient, who these days usually draw in the high-3K to mid-4K range.

C). Clubs who have punched above their weight to get here, and who draw lower than the clubs listed above (usually drawing between 2,500 to 5,500 per game) and whose realistic goal, most seasons, is to remain at this level (7 clubs). Of course, these clubs can try to live the dream, as it were, and that is what you could call Scunthorpe United’s run for the last 6 seasons, which has included 2 spells and 3 seasons in the 2nd Level (the League Championship) for the plucky North Lincolnshire side – this from a club that has spent 39 seasons in the 4th Level, just 19 seasons in the 3rd Level, and only 9 seasons in the 2nd Level, 6 of which were before 1965. You also will find clubs in this category who have been in the 2nd Level somewhat recently (like Bury, last in 1999), or clubs that just fell short of a Cinderella-story promotion to the second division (like Yeovil Town, in 2006-07). You can sub-divide this category into C-1), Clubs who have been in the Football League for decades; and C-2), Clubs who never had a shot at the Football League until 1979-80, when automatic promotion/relegation was instituted between Non-League football and the 4th Level of the Football League. For the 2011-12 League One season, those C-1 clubs would be Bury, Hartlepool United, Rochdale AFC, and Scunthorpe United; the C-2 clubs are Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town. It is worth noting that these latter 3 clubs have all spent more seasons in the 3rd Level/League One than in the 4th Level/League Two.

That’s 23 clubs, what about the 24th?. Well, MK Dons belong in a special category all their own (thank goodness) – a club that stole another club’s league placement and history (Wimbledon FC), then moved the ‘franchise’ out of that club’s area (South London) into another area (in 2004, to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, which is around 71 km./44 miles north of London).

The map page shows an exterior or an aerial photo (or satellite image) of each football club’s ground. 2010-11 average attendances, 2009-10 average attendances, and league movement (if any) are listed at the lower right of the map page. Above that is a location-map of the 24 clubs in the 2011-12 League One season. By each club’s stadia photo is club and stadium info, 2011-12 kits, and the 5-level league history of the club.

I added 5th-Level-history because 3 clubs – Carlisle United, Colchester United, and Exeter City – have had a season or two (or five) in the wilderness of Non-League Football recently; and because 3 clubs – Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town – never had any League history before 1979-80. That season was when election to the Football League was replaced by the more democratic on-field promotion and relegation system that had already been in place in the Football League then for almost a Century. Since the elimination of that barrier, clubs like Stevenage, Wycombe Wanderers, and Yeovil Town have moved up the ladder and firmly established themselves in the Football League. You could call these 3 clubs the best argument for why there should be 3, and not just 2, clubs promoted from Non-League football each year.

Below are the top 3 scorers in the 2011-12 League One season after 16 games – Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gary Medine, and Jordan Rhodes…
football-league-one_scoring-leaders_1november2011_bradley-wright-phillips_gary-medine_jordan-rhodes_c.gif
Photo credits – CAFC.co.uk. SWFC/galley. Bruce Rollinson/thestar.co.uk.


Image credits on map page –
Carlisle United, aerial photo of Brunton Park from VisitCumbria.com.
Preston North End, http://www.deepdalestadium.co.uk/stadium_gallery/.
Huddersfield Town, satellite image from Bing.com/maps [found at each club's stadium page at en.wikipedia.org/click on the (blue-lit) coordinates of stadium/click on Bing.com's Bird's Eye satellite view, here.
Hartlepool United, Fanzone.co.uk.
Tranmere Rovers, Tranmererovers.co.uk.
Bury, 'Flightsandlessons.com'.
Rochdale AFC, Bing.com/maps.
Oldham Athletic AFC, Bing.com/maps.
Scunthorpe United, Bing.com/maps.
Sheffield Wednesday, the photo of Hillsborough was taken from by a camera suspended from the frame of a manned kite glider, Rob Huntley-Kite Aerial Photography.
Sheffield United, pparry at Photobucket.com.
Chesterfield, chesterfield-fc.co.uk.
Notts County, Bing.com/maps.
Walsall, Mediastorehouse.com/Bescot Stadium.
MK Dons, Bing.com/maps.
Stevenage, Bing.com/maps.
Colchester United, Colchester.gov.uk.
Wycome Wanderers, photo by DipseyDave at 'Adams Park' (en.wikipedia.org).
Brenrford, Bing.com/maps.
Leyton Orient, photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Zimbio.com/Aerial Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery]
Charton Athletic, photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via Zimbio.com/Aerial Views Of London Football Stadiums [Gallery].
Exeter City, Bing.com/maps.
Yeovil Town, ytfc.net.
AFC Bournemouth, Bing.com/maps.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football League One‘.

Thanks to European-football-statistics.co.uk, for attendance data.

Thanks to these two sites…
1). Data for ‘Seasons spent in Levels’ lists, thanks to http://stats.football365.com/hist/tier3/attable.html [data up to 2001-02].

2). For league placement data from 2002-03 and on, plus general data on the clubs’ league placement through the years, thanks to Footy-Mad.co.uk sites of each club, usually [at the top menu bar there] at ‘Club/League History’. Example, Carlisle United’s Footy-Mad page/Club/League History.

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