November 30, 2013

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Algeria (CAF), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Algeria).

Filed under: Algeria — admin @ 9:50 pm

Algeria national team. CAF (Africa). Nickname: Les Fennecs (The Foxes). Home jersey: white with green and red trim.
-Algeria is in Group H (with Belgium, South Korea, and Russia). ‘2014 FIFA World Cup/Group H‘ (
FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Algeria’s 4th qualification out of 19 tries.
Algeria has qualified for the World Cup in: 1982, 1986, 2010, 2014. Previous World Cup appearance: 2010, 1st Round / 0-1-2. Highest World Cup finish: 1982, 1st Round / 2-0-1.
Population of Algeria: 37.9 million {2012 estimate}. Capital and largest city: Algiers, pop. 3.4 million {2011 figure} [location of Algiers shown on globe-map below].

Coach of Algeria national team: Vahid Halilhodžić. ‘Vahid Halilhodžić‘. Halilhodžić was born in the former People’s Republic of Yugoslavia – he is an ethnic Bosnian, and his primary residence is in Lille, France. A former Velež Mostar and Nantes forward, he helped Nantes win the 1983 French title and was leading scorer in France two seasons later {‘1984–85 French Division 1′}. Halilhodžić’s coaching career includes stints at Lille, Rennes, PSG, and Trabzonspor, and he was Ivorry Coast coach from 2008-10 (following Ivory Coast’s poor showing in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, he was fired four months before the start of the 2010 World Cup, and replaced by Sven-Göran Eriksson). After one year in charge of Dinamo Zagred, Halilhodžić was given the Algeria job in June 2011.

Captain of Algeria squad: DF Madjid Bougherra. ‘Madjid Bougherra‘. Like many players on the Algeria squad, the 31-year-old Bougherra was born in France – in Longvic, in the Burgundy region in east-central France – and he grew up in nearby Dijon. Bougherra opted to play for Algeria, where his grandfather was born. Bougherra got his pro start in 2002 with the nearby then-3rd division French club Gueugnon. After 4 years there, Bougherra was loaned out to (current English 3rd division English/then-2nd division) Crewe Alexandra, in the latter half of 2005-06. Bougherra then spent the next 7 seasons in Great Britain, next with Sheffield Wednesday (2006–07), then with Charlton Athletic (2007–08), then with then-first division Scottish giants Rangers – for 3 seasons (2008-11), where he was part of the three title-winning Rangers teams of 08/09, 09/10, and 10/11, made 81 league appearances and saw Champions League action. 11 months before Rangers (I) imploded and liquidated (in June 2012), Bougherra still had a year left on his contract with Rangers but the Glasgow club wouldn’t offer the central defender near what he wanted {see this, ‘Madjid Bougherra: Rangers’ offer of two-year deal made me sick‘ ( by Allan Marshall on 9 Aug. 2011)}, so Rangers sold Bougherra to Qatar side Lekhwiya for £1.7 million. Bougherra continues to play his pro career in well-paid irrelevancy in Qatar. His contribution to the national team recently has been immense, though, as his goal on 19 November 2013 against Burkina Faso sends Algeria to the World Cup in Brazil, and now Algeria has qualified for World Cup for the second straight time {see this, ‘Bougherra hands Algeria final ticket‘ (}. {Celebrating Bougherra’s World Cup-appearance-clinching goal, see this photo by menosultra at}. Here is an article on that decisive CAF World Cup qualifying match, from the Algerian national team fansite, by Maher M. on November 24, 2013. ‘Algeria 1-0 Burkina Faso: A statistical analysis‘ (

Photo and Image credits -
Map of Algeria on globe, by L’Americain at Algeria.
Algeria home jersey, photo from
V. Halilhodžić, photo from
Raïs M’Bolhi (CSKA Sofia), photo by Biso at
Essaïd Belkalem (Watford),
Madjid Bougherra (Lekwiyah), photo from
Carl Medjani (Olympiacos), photo by EuroFootball/Getty Images Europe via
Djamel Mesbah (Parma), photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images Europe via
Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via
Saphir Taïder (Internazionale), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via
Hassan Yebda (Granada), photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe via
Mehdi Mostefa (Ajaccio), photo from AC Ajaccio via
Islam Slimani (Sporting Club Portugal), photo from
El Arbi Hillel Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb), photo from

Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Algeria national football team‘ (
Thanks to for several of the photos used here plus the article on the Algeria squad.

November 20, 2013

England, 4th division: Football League Two – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges, featuring top 4 in the table after 16 games: Oxford United, Chesterfield, Rochdale, Fleetwood Town.

England, 4th division: Football League Two – 2013-14 Location-map, with attendance data & 2013-14 home kit badges

Note: to see my most recent post on the English 4th division, click on the following: category: Eng-4th Level/League 2.

On the map page
Facsimiles of each clubs’ home jersey badges for the 2013-14 season are shown, in alphabetical order, across the the top of the map page. Below that, at the lower left, is a location-map of the clubs in the 2013-14 Football League Two. At the right-hand side of the map page is attendance data for current League Two clubs from the two previous seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13). Change (by percent), as well as percent capacity (ie, how much the club filled their stadium on average), from last season, are shown. League movement (if any) of the clubs is shown as well.

The 2013-14 League Two
The 2013-14 League Two has been a very tightly-contested affair, with just over one-third of the season having been played so far (16 games played out of 46, for most clubs). To give you but one example of how evenly-matched the clubs in the fourth division are currently – and not just the clubs in the top half of the table – last week’s league leaders Fleetwood Town lost away to last-place Northampton Town 1-0 on Saturday 16th November 2013 (with a goal by the Cobblers in the 93rd minute)…and Fleetwood dropped clear out of the three automatic promotion places into 4th place with the loss, as Oxford United, Chesterfield, and Rochdale all won.

So currently, Oxford United, Chesterfield, and Rochdale all have 29 points and are separated at the top of the table by goal difference. Clubs like Portsmouth and Cheltenham Town, who are currently in 16th and 17th places on 20 points, find themselves in a simultaneous promotion campaign/relegation battle, both being at present 6 points above the relegation zone and 6 points below the play-off places. I wouldn’t say anyone could win promotion this season in the fourth tier, but there are certainly more than a dozen sides with a good chance of being one of the 4 clubs to gain promotion, and there are probably more than 16 sides that could feasibly win promotion.

Below are brief illustrated profiles of the top four clubs in League Two as of 17th Nov. 2013, with: a brief write-up of each club’s manager and 2 featured players; a photo and caption for each club’s manager; a photo for each club’s current top scoring threats; a photo or two of each club’s ground; plus each club’s league history (with Non-League history noted), as well as a look at each club’s home league average attendance from the last two seasons, plus current average attendance listed (current home league average attendance to 17 Nov. 2013 {via, here}).

    Below, the top 4 in League Two after one-third of the 2013-14 season…

Oxford United FC, currently 1st place (29 points/+12 goal difference).
46-year-old Sheffield-born Chris Wilder, manager of Oxford United since December 2008 (back when they were in the middle of their 3 season spell in Non-League football), has been managing for over a decade now, having got his managerial start with the then-9th-Level (now Conference club) Alfreton Town, back in 2001-02, when Alfreton were in the Northern Counties East Football League, and the then-35-year-old Wilder got them promoted into the Northern League. Wilder then managed then-Conference side Halifax Town for 6 seasons (2002 to 2008), up until Halifax went broke and were liquidated (the Phoenix-club FC Halifax Town is now back in the Conference as of 2013-14). Wilder then worked as Alan Knill’s assistant at Bury in the first part of 2008-09 before getting the job at Oxford. Flash forward 3 years and 11 months later, and Chris Wilder is currently the third longest-serving manager in the Football League {see this, List of English Football League managers‘ (}. In Wilder’s first full season at the helm at Oxford (in 2009-10), the U’s won promotion via the play-offs (beating York City in the final at Wembley). Since then, Oxford United have finished in 12th, then in 9th, and then in 9th again last season (2012-13).

Throughout last season there were calls for Wilder’s dismissal by some supporters, and Wilder knows that probably only promotion will keep him at Oxford past this campaign. With a population of around 150,000 {2011 estimate}, Oxford is basically too big a city to only be hosting a fourth division side. Oxford United draw around 6K to 7K and in the past have gotten up to 10.3K (in 1986-7). Oxford fans would feel at the very least that their club should be in the third tier, and there are probably many gold-and-blue fans who dream of their club one day returning to the top flight – where Oxford United played for 3 seasons in the 1980s (86/87, 87/88, 88/89), when they were owned by Mephistophelian media baron Robert Maxwell, and when the U’s won their only major title, the 1986 League Cup.

Oxford United currently feature a striker who has had a longer spell there than Wilder – the Wiltshire-born 29-year-old James Constable, a classic lower-divisions bruiser of a forward, who has shaken off recent injuries and has scored 5 league goals this season so far. Overall, Constable has scored 85 league goals for Oxford in 216 games going back to the start of 2008-09, when he joined the then-Conference side on loan from Shrewsbury Town (Constable signed for Oxford 10 months later in the summer of 2009). Oxford fans will always love Constable for turning down the chance to almost double his wages – if he had went over to Oxford United’s much-hated nearby rivals Swindon Town. Here is what it says about that at James Constable’s page at Wikipedia…’Oxford accepted an improved offer for Constable from local rivals Swindon on 19 January 2012. Oxford allowed Constable to talk to the club, although he refused the opportunity to discuss the move with Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio.’…{end of excerpt}.

Just last week, Constable became only the third Oxford United player to have scored 100 goals in all competitions for the club {see this, ‘Constable’s century joy‘ (, from 18 Nov.2013, by David Pritchard)}.

An up-and-coming striker also features in Oxford’s current set-up, the 25-year-old Deane Smalley, who signed for Oxford originally in the summer of 2011, but suffered an injury-plagued 2012, then re-signed with Oxford on less terms following a goal-less loan out to Bradford City. Smalley scored 5 goals in 2012-13 for Oxford (such as the one he is seen celebrating below), and has scored 5 league goals this season so far.

Perhaps the biggest impediment to Oxford United’s progression is their stadium situation – they don’t own the Kassam Stadium, nor does the Oxford City Council. It is owned by a shell company of the former club owner Firoz Kassam, and as such is an ongoing thorn in the side of Oxford United (since 2005-06). A sizable chunk of revenue Oxford United makes on ticket sales gets lost because of rent charges. To make matters worse, for the second season now, Oxford United must endure a stadium share with the second division Rugby Union club London Welsh RFC. So the pitch gets torn up, Oxford are more susceptible to injuries, and any attempts at an on-the-turf-passing-style get bogged down (literally) by mid-season.

In the spring of this year, supporters fought back this way…’Oxford fans successfully safeguard their stadium‘ ( from 14 May 2013). In October 2013, this happened, ‘Kassam Stadium owners fail with appeal against community asset‘ (

Here is a recent article by Matthew Derbyshire from the Two Unfortunates site, about Oxford United’s stadium plight, ‘THE COMMUNITY VALUE OF FOOTBALL: OXFORD UNITED’S STADIUM BATTLE‘ (

Photo and Image credits above -
Exterior-view photo of the Kassam Stadium by nodale at ; photos by nodale at
Chris Wilder, photo from
Deane Smalley, photo from
James Constable, photo from

Chesterfield FC, currently 2nd place (29 points/+9 goal difference).
Liverpool-born Chesterfield manager and Football League veteran MF Paul Cook had to wait a while for his second shot at managing an English pro club. Cook had a rough go of it in 2006-07 as manager of Merseyside 5th-division club Southport, this right at the time when the former Football League club had decided to return to professional status after 28 years as an amateur side following their being elected out of the League in 1978. Many players were unable (or unwilling) to make the jump to full-time status, and Cook had to rebuild virtually from scratch, and Southport finished in 23rd and went down to the Conference South (Southport stayed pro and rebounded in May 2010). Cook then signed on as manager of Connacht, western-Ireland-based Sligo Rovers in April 2007, and stayed at the helm of Sligo Rovers for 4-and-a-half seasons, winning two FAI Cups and leaving Sligo in good hands (Sligo Rovers won the League of Ireland title later that season, their first in a quarter century). Cook had left Sligo in February 2012 to take over at his old club Accrington Stanley, and with Cook in charge Stanley survived another year in the League, finishing in 18th in 2011-12. Eight months later, in October 2012, Chesterfield needed a new manager after John Sheridan bolted off to Plymouth Argyle, and they chose Paul Cook to try to get the North Derbyshire club back to the third division (Chesterfield finished in 8th last season).

In the following off-season (last summer), one of Cook’s requests to the CFC board was to sign (on a free transfer) the 28-year-old Liverpool-born MF Gary Roberts, who was playing for Swindon Town then, and whom Cook knew from his latter playing days at Accrington (circa 2005-06). That signing has been paying dividends, as Roberts has scored 4 goals in 14 league matches and has also notched 4 assists this season so far. Another player Cook brought in after past association has also been contributing to the Spireites good form, and that is ex-Sligo Rovers and ex-Hibernian MF Eoin Doyle, who scored 10 league goals in the SPL last season for Hibs. The Dublin-born Doyle is 25. He has scored 3 league goals and made 3 assists this season so far.

Chesterfield, with a population of around 103,000 {2011 estimate} is about 43 km or 29 mi north of Derby and is about 17 km or 10 mi south of Sheffield. Chesterfield FC, which has not been in the second division since 1950, nevertheless has good potential. Both much-larger nearby League clubs from Sheffield – Sheffield Wednesday (in the 2nd division relegation places, currently) and Sheffield United (in the third division relegation places, currently) – are still stuck in the doldrums. So Chesterfield has a real opportunity to attract new fans from the Greater Sheffield/North Derbyshire area, especially because Chesterfield boasts nice new facilities now. After more than a century at the eventually decrepit Saltergate (see photo below), Chesterfield now has a fine new 10K-capacity/3-year-old stadium, which the club itself owns. Currently, Chesterfield can count on a solid 5-6,000-strong fan base, and their support might have the potential to grow. But the Spireites need to get back to the third division, and get ensconced there again, if they expect to grow their fan base any more (their last spell in League One lasted 1 year [2011-12]). Chesterfield first dropped into the 4th division in 1961 (that was the third season that the Fourth Division [est. 1958-59] had existed), and when you add up all their years of League football, Chesterfield are an historically-third-division club, with 52 seasons being spent there, including 12 of their last 20 seasons (going back to 1994-95 and recently having a 6 year stay in the third tier from 2002-03 to 2006-07 {data from CFC-footy-mad site here}). Here is a recent article on Paul Cook and Chesterfield, from from 14 Oct. 2013 by Johnny Phillips, ‘Chesterfield manager Paul Cook could be the next big thing in football, says Johnny Phillips‘ (


CFC’s old ground (Saltergate), photo from
Aerial photo of new stadium by Rob McGann (Robinson Steel Structures of Derby) via
Paul Cook, photo from
Gary Roberts, photo from
Eoin Doyle, photo from

Rochdale AFC, currently 3rd place (29 points/+5 goal difference).
Rochdale AFC play at Spotland Stadium, in Rochdale (which is in the north-eastern part of Greater Manchester, but was historically in the south-eastern part of Lancashire). Rochdale borough has a population of around 95,000 {2001 census figure}. Spotland has a capacity of 10,249, was opened in 1920, and was last renovated in 1999-2000. Ownership of the ground is a three-way split between Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale AFC, and the (just-promoted) second-division rugby league club Rochdale Hornets RLFC. Rochdale AFC, aka the Dale, draw 2.5 K or so in mediocre years and up to 3.5K in good seasons, and have done so for over two decades now {attendances from E-F-S site, here}.

Rochdale AFC manager Keith Hill (age 44), was born in Bolton, Lancashire. Hill was a defender who had 388 league appearances and 11 goals, playing for Blackburn Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Rochdale (for 5 seasons), Cheltenham Town, Wrexham, and Morecambe from 1987 to 2003. Hill is now in his second spell managing Rochdale, after previously getting the club promoted to the 3rd division for the first time in 36 years (in May 2010, seen in photo below). Following that 4-and-half-year spell running Rochdale, Hill was hired by second division club Barnsley in June 2011, but was sacked in December 2012 as Barnsley languished in the relegation zone (Hill’s then-number-two, David Flitcroft [who was also assistant under Hill at Rochdale], took over, and did a fine job of keeping Barnsley in the Champiionship by the skin of their teeth last May).

Keith Hill returned to Rochdale in January 2013, with one objective – to get the Dale back to the third division. Rochdale currently feature twin scoring threats in the Norfolk-born ex-Colchester FW Ian Henderson (age 28), who has tallied 5 league goals this season so far; and a young potential phenom in the 21-year old striker Scott Hogan, who is Manchester-born and previously played for Conference side Hyde. Hogan has scored 6 league goals so far this season.

Photo and Image credits above -
Exterior-view of main stand at Spotland, photo by David Dixon at
Photo of 13/14 RAFC home jersey badge from
Interior photo of Spotland by
Keith Hill celebrating May 2010 Rochdale promotion (during pitch invasion), photo from
Ian Henderson, photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images Europe via
Scott Hogan, photo from

Fleetwood Town, currently 4th place (28 points/+9 goal difference).
Fleetwood has a population of around 26,000 {2001 census figure}. Fleetwood is just north of Blackpool on the Fylde coast of west-central Lancashire.

Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander played 21 years for Scunthorpe United, Luton Town, Preston North End, and Burnley, as a defender and a holding midfielder. Alexander became the oldest player to make his Premier League debut at the age of 37 (when he played right back/defensive midfielder for Burnley in the 2008-09 Premier League). Alexander was also the third oldest goal scorer in Premier League history. A dead-ball specialist, he retired in 2012 with 837 league appearances and 107 league goals (130 goals in all competitions). In Graham Alexander’s final match in April 2012, he scored a 92nd-minute equalizer at Deepdale versus Charlton. Graham Alexander played well over one thousand games in all competitions, second-most as a pro in the English leagues only to Tony Ford {see this ‘Tony Ford (footballer born 1959)‘}.

Alexander made his coaching debut in December 2011 while still a player, as a joint-caretaker manager of Preston North End (along with David Unsworth), following Preston’s sacking of Phil Brown. That position only lasted 5 games, though, as Preston brought in tough guy Graham Westely, to poor results (Westley has slunk back to 3rd-division-but-relegation-threatened Stevenage now). Alexander was appointed manager of Fleetwood Town in December 2012, following the surprise sacking of Mickey Mellon. Mellon had gotten Fleetwood Town into the Football League in May 2012. Fleetwood Town is a former 9th- and 8th-division club which has won 5 promotions in the last decade. This is a club that was drawing just 206 per game nine seasons ago in 2004-05, and now draws in the vicinity of 2,800. Actually, at the time of his sacking last December, Mellon had the Cod Army in the play-off places (in 7th place). But Mellon’s squad had just lost 3 matches in a row including an FA Cup 2nd Round match to Aldershot. Graham Alexander didn’t exactly have too poor a run-in managing Fleetwood for the latter half of last season, but, for all intents and purposes, once the Fleetwood squad knew they were safe from relegation, they coasted, and Fleetwood finished in 13th place in 2012-13, losing their final 4 matches. In the off season there were a few key personnel moves. The headline-maker was the club’s biggest signing ever, of Jamaican-born almost-23-year-old FW Jamille Matt (bought from Kidderminster for an undisclosed sum above £200,000). There was also the signing of 21-year-old play-maker Antoni Sarcevic, a MF with real potential, who was instrumental in getting Phoenix-club Chester FC up into the Conference last season. Both have produced so far, with Matt scoring 5 league goals in 12 appearances and Sarcevic netting 3 times with 3 assists.


Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial photo of Highbury Stadium, from
Photo of Graham Alexander, from
Photo of Jamille Matt, by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe via
Photo of Antoni Sarcevic and Fleetwood teammates celebrating from

Thanks to and Igloo Films, at, for image of Portsmouth 13/14 home jersey badge.
Thanks to for photo of Rochdale 13/14 home jersey badge,
Thanks to Torquay United shop for images which allowed me to assemble a 13/14 TUFC home jersey badge facsimilie { ; }.

Thanks to the contributors at, ‘2013–14 Football League Two‘.

November 11, 2013

NFL, 1948 season, map of the teams with 1948 scoring leaders. / Plus a short article on high scoring NFL seasons and high scoring NFL teams. / Plus the 1948 Los Angeles Rams’ golden-horned helmet designed by Rams player Fred Gehrke – the first helmet logo in the NFL. / Plus the 1948 NFL championship game, aka the Blizzard Bowl. / Plus, all-time helmet histories of the 9 currently active NFL teams from 1948 (Cardinals, Bears, Packers, Giants, Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Steelers, Rams).

Filed under: NFL>1948 map/season,NFL/ Gridiron Football,Retro maps — admin @ 10:49 pm

Please note – All helmet and uniforms illustrations on the map, and in the charts, and in the illustrations here, are from The Gridiron Uniform Database site, and were used by here with permission from

NFL, 1948 season, with offensive stats leaders & helmet histories of the 9 oldest NFL teams (Cardinals, Bears, Packers, Giants, Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Steelers, and Rams)
NFL helmet and uniforms illustrations from Gridiron Uniform Database.

    NFL, 1948 season

From Pro FootbalHall of Fame site, ‘NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1940s‘ (

1948: the highest-scoring season in the NFL
There are 3 reasons why the 1948 NFL season stands out. The first reason is, even though it pre-dated the passing era, 1948 was actually the NFL season that had the highest scoring average – 23.6 points per team (per game). From, from July 10, 2010, by Kerry Byrne, ‘The Spirit of ’48: a mind-blowing statistical orgasm‘. However, a mitigating factor must be mentioned. There were a few really bad defensive teams in the NFL in 1948, and, for example, the Eagles (who went on to be the 1948 NFL champions, and who had the league’s third-best offense in 1948 at 31.3 points per game) scored their season-high of 45 points in 4 games that year, three of which were against the three worst defenses in 1948 – the Lions (33.9 points allowed per game), the Giants (32.3 points allowed per game), and the Boston Yanks (31.0 points allowed per game), [more on the hapless Boston Yanks further down in this post] {see this,}. But to just blame the points surge in 1948, and also in the high-scoring era of 1947-to-1967, on just some bad defensive teams would be a disservice to teams like the 1948 Chicago Cardinals (32.9 points per game), and the 1948 Chicago Bears (31.7 points per game), and the 1948 Philadelphia Eagles (31.3 points per game). These teams, as well as the 1948 Los Angeles Rams and the 1948 New York Giants, really did have some offensive punch and some real standouts in their squads (illustrations of 1948 offensive leaders are shown on the map page {click on image above} and also further below).

    Below – the 20 highest scoring NFL seasons, as measured by average number of points scored per team

The chart below shows the 20 highest-scoring seasons in the NFL – not by total points (because that would skew the list to all the years recently when there have been the most number of teams [32 teams]), but by points per game (per team) average. Note how the list of the 20 highest-scoring seasons includes many of the recent seasons (the 4 most-recent NFL seasons), as well as many seasons from the 1940s (3 seasons), and from the 1950s (5 seasons), and the 1960s (4 seasons) – but zero seasons from the 1920s or the 1930s or the 1970s. In fact, if you go to the link at the bottom of the chart – to the page at where I got the data, you will see that the 17 lowest-scoring seasons in the NFL were all from the 1920s and the 1930s, and that the highest-scoring season from the 1970s was only the 44th-highest scoring year in the NFL (in 1975) [please note, to get the list at to show highest-scoring-average by season, click on the word 'Pts' at the top of the column at the far right-hand side of the chart there].

Please note: chart below will be updated once more, after all the final regular season games are played (ie, after Dec. 29, 2013).

Data for chart above from:

You might be thinking…’the scoring record in the NFL had to have been broken in the last couple years.’ And you would be pretty close to being right, because 2012 was the fifth highest points-per-game average in the NFL, and 2013 was the second highest. The NFL averaged 23.4 points per game (per team) in 2013, which was 0.2 points per game less than the NFL record still standing from the 1948 season.

The recent points-per-game numbers in the last several seasons of the NFL (2007 to 2013 NFL season) is a continuation of a trend towards more points-scored in the NFL…2007 was the 20th-highest (at 21.7 pts. per game), then 2008 was the 12th highest ever (at 22.0), then 2009 saw a momentary dip at 25th-highest ever (at 21.5), then 2010 was the 11th-highest ever at (22.0), then 2011 was the 10th-highest ever (at 22.2), and then last year [2012] was the 5th-highest ever (at 22.8), and now 2013 was the 2nd-highest ever (at 23.4). So it is really starting to look like it is only a matter of time before the team average scoring record set in 1948 is broken.

In case you are wondering, the NFL record for most points per game by one team was set two seasons after 1948 by the 1950 Los Angeles Rams, at a staggering 38.8 points per game {‘1950 Los Angeles Rams‘ (}. But like the situation two years previous [as mentioned in the first paragraph], the 1950 Rams played several games against very poor defenses- 3 of their 12 games in 1950 were against two of the worst defenses ever in the NFL, 2 games versus the 1950 Green Bay Packers, who gave up 406 points (or 33.8 points allowed per game); and one game versus the soon-to-be-defunct 1950 Baltimore Colts [the green-and-silver former-AAFC Baltimore Colts, who folded after one season in the NFL], who gave up 462 points (for a sieve-like 38.5 points allowed per game), went 1-11 and folded. Those green-and-silver Baltimore Colts of 1950 lost to the Los Angeles Rams by a score of 70-27 that season at Memorial Coliseum in LA. Those 70 points the LA Rams scored on October 22, 1950, as well as the 65 points the Rams scored one week later against the Detroit Lions, will always make it very hard for a modern-day NFL team to break the single season average scoring record, especially when you consider that teams in 1950 were playing one-quarter less games – 12 games instead of the present-day 16 games per season – so that 70 points and those 65 points factors in larger. {The 1950 boxscore for that Rams 70, Colts 27 score, plus a photo below the boxscore link (a photo of of Rams’ QB Bob Waterfield running for a TD as the Colts defenders are literally giving up the chase), can be seen in my post on the Cleveland/Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, here, scroll down the page half-way to the 9th paragraph there.}.

{see this, by Joe Dorish at Yahoo contributor network from Oct. 4 2013, ‘Highest Scoring Teams with Best Offenses in NFL History [top 5]‘ (

Illustration of the All-time highest scoring teams (1920 to 2013, regular season/points per game) -
#1: 1950 Los Angeles Rams, #2: 2013 Denver Broncos, #3: 2007 New England Patriots, #4: 1961 Houston Oilers (AFL), #5: 1941 Chicago Bears.

Photo and Image credits above –
Helmet illustrations,
helmet illustrations from The Gridiron Uniforms Database.
1950 Rams,
Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin photo, from Corbis at
Crazy Legs Hirsch, action photo from
Tom Fears, action photo from
2013 Broncos,
Peyton Manning, photo from USA Today Sports Images
Demaryius Thomas, photo unattributed at
2007 Patriots,
Tom Brady. photo from Sports Illustrated via .
Randy Moss, photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images via
1961 Houston Oliers (AFL),
George Blanda, photo from
Bill Groman, photo from
1940 Chicago Bears,
Sid Luckman, photo public domain from
George McAfee, photo from
Hugh Gallarneau, photo from

In 2013 the team average scoring record had a chance of being broken as well, by the 2013 Denver Broncos. The Broncos under Manning finished 13-3 and averaged 37.9 points per game. (Note: also in 2013, Peyton Manning broke the NFL record for TD passes, with 55 TD passes). The Broncos’ 37.9 points per game was 0.9 points per game less than the NFL record set by the 1950 Rams. The Rams of that era had an unusual [read: totally unheard of and unprecedented in NFL history] tandem-QB arrangement of Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin – both played all 12 games and both had over 120 completions. But don’t forget, those 1950 Rams played against two of the worst defenses ever, while the worst defenses Manning and the Broncos have faced were the 4-12 Oakland Raiders, who averaged 28.3 points allowed per game (453 points allowed), the 4-12 Jacksonville Jaguars, who averaged 28.0 points allowed per game (449 points allowed), and the 2-14 Houston Texans, who averaged 26.7 points allowed per game (428 points allowed). That is not as bad as the 1950 Packers defense (about 6-to-8 points-allowed-per-game worse) or the hapless 1950 Colts (I) defense (about 10-to-12 points-allowed-per-game worse). So to be simplistic about it, the 1950 Rams, as potent as their Bob Waterfield/Norm Van Brocklin-led offense was, still ended up having a bit more “inflated” offensive stats by virtue of the cumulatively worse defenses they faced.

The Broncos didn’t break the Rams’ 1950 NFL record for most points scored per game, but the Broncos broke the NFL record for most points scored by a team in a season, with 606 points. That record had been held by the 2007 New England Patriots, who scored 589 points that season, but then ended up losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl that season. Which brings up an important point – the highest-scoring team in the NFL does not usually win the NFL title that season. As the list below shows, the highest-scoring team in a season has won the NFL title in only 26 of the 93 seasons so far (27.9 percent of the time).

Below, NFL, all-time list of seasons that the league’s top scoring team won the title [since 1920], (with the team’s points per game average listed)
1923, Canton Bulldogs (20.5).
1926 Frankford Yellow Jackets (13.6).
1931 Green Bay Packers (20.7).
1932 Chicago Bears (11.4).
1936 Green Bay Packers (20.6).
1941 Chicago Bears (36.0).
1943 Chicago Bears (30.3).
1946 Chicago Bears (26.2).
1949 Philadelphia Eagles (36.4).
1951 Los Angeles Rams (32.6).
1955 Cleveland Browns (29.0).
1958 Baltimore Colts (31.7).
1959 Baltimore Colts (31.6).
1961 Green Bay Packers (27.9) / 1961 AFL champions, Houston Oliers (36.6).
1962 Green Bay Packers (29.6) / 1962 AFL champions, Dallas Texans (27.8).
/ 1963 AFL champions, San Diego Chargers (28.5).
/ 1964 AFL champions, Buffalo Bills (28.6).
/ 1966 AFL champions, Kansas City Chiefs (32.0).
/ 1967 AFL champions, Oakland Raiders (33.4).
1969 Minnesota Vikings [NFL champions but lost Super Bowl IV to the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs] (27.1).
1971 Dallas Cowboys (29.0).
1972 Miami Dolphins (27.5).
1979 Pittsburgh Steelers (26.0).
1989 San Francisco 49ers (27.6).
1991 Washington Redskins (30.3).
1994 San Francisco 49ers (31.6).
1996 Green Bay Packers (28.5).
1997 Denver Broncos (29.5).
1999 St. Louis Rams (32.9).
2009 New Orleans Saints (31.9).

One note – in the list above I included the Vikings’ meaningless 1969 NFL championship title (it is meaningless because, like the Colts’ 1968 NFL championship title, both of those NFL teams went on to lose the Super Bowl that season to AFL teams [Jets and Chiefs]). For the purposes of this exercise, I had to include that, though, and I also felt it necessary to include the AFL seasons (see four sentences below). So there have been 26 NFL titles won by the top-scoring team that year – in 93 NFL seasons (2013 is the 94th NFL season). That means that only 27.9 percent of the time, the top scoring team in the NFL has gone on to be the champions that season. Which only goes to prove, once again, the old adage that Defense wins titles. The wild-and-woolly and high-scoring AFL is an entirely different matter though, seeing as how in 60% of the seasons the AFL played (6 out of 10 seasons), the highest scoring team in their league that year won the AFL title.

    1948 NFL offense leaders (passing, rushing & receiving, with TD leaders noted)


1948 NFL offensive leaders [Note: 1948 NFL was a 12-game season.]
NFL Passing Yardage/TD passes:
-Sammy Baugh (Washington Redskins): 2,599 Yds/22 TD passes (plus 1 rushing TD).
-Charlie Conerly (New York Giants): 2,175 Yds/22 TD passes (plus 5 rushing TDs).
-Tommy Thompson (Philadelphia Eagles): 1,965 Yds/25 TD passes (plus 1 rushing TD) (TD pass leader for 1948, with 25 TD passes).

1948 NFL Rushing Yardage/combined TDs:
-Steve Van Buren (Philadelphia Eagles): 945 Yds/10 TDs (rushing TD leader for 1948, with 10 rushing TDs).
-Charley Trippi (Chicago Cardinals): 690 Yds/10 TDs (6 rushing TDs and 2 receiving TDs and 2 punt-return TDs).
-Elmer Angsman (Chicago Cardinals): 638 Yds/9 TDs (8 rushing TDs and 1 receiving TD).

1948 NFL Receiving Yardage/combined TDs:
-Malcolm Kutner (Chicago Cardinals): 943 Yds/14 TDs (recieving TD leader for 1948 plus overall TDs-scored leader for 1948, with 15 TDs [14 receiving TDs & 1 rushing TD]).
-Pete Pihos (Philadelphia Eagles): 766 Yds/11 TDs.
-Tom Fears (Los Angeles Rams): 698 Yds/4 TDs.

Photo and Image credits above & on the map page -
Sammy Baugh, Anniversary Team.
Tommy Thompson, [1950 Bowman trading card],
Charlie Conerly,
Steve Van Buren, [1950 Bowman trading card],
Charlie Trippi ,
Elmer Angsman ,
Mal Kutner,
Pete Pihos, screenshot of an NFL Films video at via
Tom Fears,
Illustrations of helmets from Gridiron Uniforms Database.

The second reason the 1948 NFL season it noteworthy is because it had the first-ever appearance of a logo on a football helmet
The first helmet logo in the NFL was the famous golden Rams horns worn by the 1948 Los Angeles Rams (and are worn to this day by the franchise [since 1995 known as the St. Louis Rams]). The Rams’-horn logo was created by LA Rams halfback and defensive back and off-season commercial artist Fred Gehrke. Here is an excerpt from the ‘Fred Gehrke‘ page at…
{excerpt}…’In the mid-1940s Gehrke toyed with the notion of painting a football helmet. Rams coach, Bob Snyder suggested that Fred paint a helmet with the ram horns on it that he could present to the team’s owner Dan Reeves. Fred painted two ram horns on an old college helmet and presented the design to Reeves, who was intrigued by the design. Reeves then contacted the NFL for a ruling on legality of having a football helmet painted. It was reported that the answer Reeves received from NFL was “You’re the owner; do what you want!” Reeves then tasked Gehrke to paint 75 helmets at $1.00 per helmet. The project took Gehrke the entire summer of 1948. The newly painted helmets debuted during a pre-season match-up between the Rams and Redskins at the Los Angeles Coliseum before a crowd of [77,000]. Upon seeing the new helmets the crowd began cheering which was followed by a five-minute standing ovation. To this day, Gehrke’s rams horn logo is still worn by the team.’…{end of except}.

Here is a good article on Gehrke and his designing of the Rams helmet logo, from Sports Illustrated, from Sept. 5 1994, by Mark Mandemach, ‘Rembrandt Of The Rams
Fred Gehrke got out his brushes and changed helmets forever
‘ (

Photo and Image credits above -

Before I get to the 3rd way in which the 1948 NFL season stands out from all the rest, I’ll add a fourth reason, an asterisk if you will. 1948 was the last season that the bizarrely-named Boston Yanks played in the NFL. It is kind of hard to believe, but there actually was once a professional sports team from Boston that was called the Yanks. Their owner was a New York City-based talent agent named Ted Collins (he managed the popular singing star Kate Smith). Collins didn’t really want an NFL franchise located in Boston – he wanted to locate the franchise at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, NY (his NFL team finally got to Yankee Stadium 6 years later, but not for long). The Boston Yanks (NFL, 1944-48) wore green and yellow {here are the Boston Yanks’ ghastly 1946 NFL uniforms ( teams). The Boston Yanks played from 1944–1948 to a lopsided losing record of 14-38-3, and to vast public indifference – when most every other NFL team was drawing 20,000 to 30,000 per game back then, the Boston Yanks were often drawing below 10,000 at Fenway Park. But you really could not blame Boston sports fans for not supporting the Boston Yanks – supporting a team in Boston named after the much-hated New York Yankees would be tantamount to treason.

After the 1948 season the Boston Yanks were folded and for a tax write-off the NFL allowed Collins to have a “new” franchise, which he moved to New York City, to become the New York Bulldogs (NFL, 1949), who played some home games in ’49 at the Polo Grounds in northern Manhattan, NYC, NY, and the 1949 New York Bulldogs also played a couple games in Boston. For some reason, the 1949 New York Bulldogs wore sky-blue-and-silver, which made them look more like lap dogs. In 1950, Collins was finally able to get his team to play in Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, NYC, NY, so he (finally) changed the team’s name to the New York Yanks (NFL, 1950-51), but in NYC, the franchise never had a shot at success because they were very bad in 2 of their 3 years in NY (going 1-10-1 in 1949, 7-5 in 1950, and 1-11-1 in 1951), and they had to compete with the vast popularity of the New York Giants’ NFL team.

In 1950, in their second year in New York City and their first year as the Yanks, the team wore sky-blue-and-white (why?) {1950 New York Yanks NFL uniforms}. In the third and last year of the franchise, 1951, the New York Yanks wore the more Yankees-appropriate dark-blue-and-grey {1951 New York Yanks NFL uniforms}. Those uniforms are actually kind of nice. They would be pretty much the same uniforms that the 1952/soon-to-be-defunct-Dallas Texans NFL team wore (see 2 sentences below). But it was too late – the New York Yanks’ debts had piled up and Ted Collins threw in the towel, and the NFL ‘bought back’ (read: took over) the worthless franchise, and folded it. The 12 players who remained on the 1951 New York Yanks’ roster (including future Hall of Famers Art Donovan and Gino Marchetti) were assigned to another soon-to-be-defunct-new-NFL-franchise, the short-lived Dallas Texans of 1952 (who wore almost the exact same uniforms as the 1951 NY Yanks – {1952 Dallas Texans NFL uniforms}). The NFL had to step in again and take over the 1952 Texans (who ended up 1-11 and never drew higher than 17,000 in their 4 home games in Dallas), and once again the remaining 12 players still on the defunct team’s roster (including, once again, future Hall of Famers Art Donovan and Gino Marchetti) were assigned to a new franchise for 1953 – the Baltimore Colts (II) (present-day Indianapolis Colts). That Dallas Texans team of 1952, which had its roots in the failed Boston Yanks/New York Bulldogs/New York Yanks team – that was the last failed franchise in the NFL. Here is a great little article about the Boston Yanks, from April 2009, by Jay Schreiber, from the, er, baseball blog at, ‘Remembering a Team of Rivals‘ (

    Brief summary of the 1948 NFL season

1948 NFL season‘ (
[Note, during this season and during the 1946 to 1949 time period, the NFL was fending off a challenge from a rival pro football league, the All-America Football Conference (the AAFC). For more info on that, you can see my recent post on the Cleveland Browns and the AAFC by clicking on the following, 'AAFC (1946-49) featuring the Cleveland Browns - map with selected uniforms and logos of the teams: Baltimore Colts (I), Brooklyn football Dodgers [AAFC], Buffalo Bisons/Bills (I), Chicago Rockets/Hornets, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Dons, Miami Seahawks, New York football Yankees [AAFC], San Francisco 49ers‘.]

There were 10 teams in the 1948 NFL, and for the second season, teams were playing a 12-game schedule as opposed to the 11-game schedule which the league had from 1937 to 1946. All teams played home-and-away games versus all the other teams in their division (8 games), and they played 4 of the 5 teams in the other division. All the NFL teams (that is to say, all the NFL franchises) from 1948 still exist, except for the previously-mentioned Boston Yanks (the ones that still exist being the Cardinals, Bears, Packers, Giants, Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Steelers, and Rams). This was the last season that players were only allowed to use leather helmets, because, while the new plastic-composite helmets were available and some colleges had started using them, they were banned in 1948 in the NFL because it was felt by the league officials that the much harder plastic helmets were being used more as a weapon than as protection (hmm, that sounds like what some critics say to this day).

Winner of each division would advance to the NFL Championship Game, which was played back then not at the home of the team with the better record, but rather, hosted on a rotating basis between the two divisions. As the Western Division had hosted the previous title game in 1947 (won by the Chicago Cardinals over the Philadelphia Eagles at Comiskey Park (I), by a score of 28-21), in 1948 it was the Eastern Division’s turn to host the title game.

1948 Eastern Division
In the Eastern Division, in the 5th week, the Philadelphia Eagles took a half-game lead on the Washington Redskins after beating them. 5 weeks later, the Eagles took the lead for good with their second win over Washington, putting the Eagles at 7-1-1 and Washington at 6-3. The Eagles finished 9-2-1, and advanced to their second title game in a row (and their second playoff game ever in their 16-year history). The Redskins had won 2 NFL titles at this point in time (their first title coming in 1937 in their first season in Washington DC [following 6 seasons in Boston]; and their second title in 1942). The Redskins were about to enter a long period of futility, with only 3 winning seasons in the next 21 years (up to 1969). As for the New York football Giants, well the Giants were in the midst of a several-seasons slump and, having won their first NFL title in their 3rd year in 1927, and after having won two more titles in a 5-year span (in 1934 and in 1938), the Giants would win only one more title in the pre-Super Bowl era in the NFL (ie, pre-1966 season), in 1956 (though the Giants came close many times otherwise). The Steelers were also in the East then, but the perpetually cash-strapped Steelers were the worst-team-ever in the NFL back then (and were the worst-ever up to the AFL/NFL merger in 1970). Of course, after that, the Steelers became the dynasty they are today, but 65 years ago, the Steelers were also known as the Lovable Losers.

1948 Western Division
In the Western Division, although the Los Angeles Rams were competitive and would finish at 6-5-1 in 3rd place (and would make it to the NFL title game for the next 3 seasons and then win their only NFL title in LA 3 years later in 1951), for all intents and purposes, the 1948 West was really all about the two Chicago teams. The Windy City was the only city in the NFL back then that boasted two NFL teams – the Monsters of the Midway (the Bears) and the perpetually overshadowed Cardinals (who would move to St. Louis 11 years later). The Chicago Bears were the most successful team in the NFL at this point in time, with 7 titles including the 1946 championship (Green Bay had the second-most titles then, with 5, but the cash-strapped Packers were, at this point, about to begin their worst run, with 12 straight seasons without a winning record [and would not have a resurgence until coach Vince Lombardi came to Green Bay starting in 1959]). To round out the NFL teams of this era, the Detroit Lions were horrible in 1948, but were on the cusp of their greatest period ever. The Lions had begun life as the second-to-last small-town team in the NFL – the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans, who played 4 seasons in the NFL (1930-33) and finished in 2nd place twice. The franchise moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1934, changed their name to the Detroit Lions, and won their first title the following year in 1935. After 1948, the Lions began rebuilding and would go on to win titles in back-to-back seasons in 1952 and 1953, and win their fourth and last NFL title four years later in 1957.

For the two seasons of 1947 and 1948, the normal Bears/Cardinals dynamic was up-ended. Following massive player-spending prior to the 1947 season, the Cardinals, led by future-Hall of Fame running back Charley Trippi, were temporarily the dominant of the two (of course it didn’t last, and the Cardinals have never won a title since 1947). Here is an excerpt from the 1948 NFL page at Wikipedia (linked to above),
…{excerpt}…’[T]he Cardinals and Bears both had records of 10–1 going into the final week. A record crowd of 51,283 packed Wrigley Field on December 12 to watch. The Bears took a 21–10 lead, on George Gulyanics’ [touchdown run] as the fourth quarter began. Charley Trippi’s touchdown cut the margin to 21–17, but the Bears had the ball and time on their side. The turning point came when the Cards’ Vince Banonis picked off a pass from Johnny Lujack, and ran the ball back to the Bears’ 19, and [Cardinals' running back] Elmer Angsman scored the winning touchdown three plays later for the Western Division title and the trip to the championship.’…{end of excerpt}.

For the second-straight year, the usually-downtrodden Cardinals had beaten out the usually-dominant Bears for the divisional title. Some say that that 24-20 loss to the Cards in the last week of the 1948 season was one of the worst losses the Bears ever suffered. The gentleman who wrote the following article says it was the worst ever loss for the Bears. From, from Dec. 13 2011, by Captain Meatball, ‘Top 10 Toughest Losses in Chicago Bears History [#1. Chicago Cardinals 24, Chicago Bears 21, 1948]‘ (

    1948 NFL Championship Game

The final reason why the 1948 NFL season stands out is the title game that year
The 1948 NFL Championship Game, featuring the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Chicago Cardinals, was played in a full-scale blizzard in Philadelphia that almost was postponed. It is testament to the hardiness of the Philadelphia sports fan that the inclement weather did not depress turnout – the game drew a sell-out crowd of 36,000. I guess it wasn’t technically a sell-out, because admission was free if you helped shovel snow.

    1948 NFL Championship Game – Philadelphia Eagles 7, Chicago Cardinals 0.

The 1948 NFL Championship Game was played in a blizzard at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 19, 1948. Attendance was a full-capacity 36,309. The game was a re-match of the 1947 NFL final, which the Cardinals had won 28-21 at Comiskey Park (I) in Chicago, Illinois the previous December.

The 1948 NFL title game was the first NFL title game that was televised (by ABC), though it was not broadcast nationwide (the first nationwide television broadcast of an NFL title game was by NBC in 1958). The snowfall that day in Philadelphia was so heavy that the NFL commissioner Bert Bell considered postponing the game, but because broadcast rights had already been given to ABC and because the players on both teams wanted to play despite the snow storm, Bell decided to play the game. (It is very doubtful the game would have been played were it to happen today – and with the NFL now playing a Super Bowl this season in a cold-weather location in northern New Jersey in February 2014, this possibility of a snow-storm-during-an NFL-title-game suddenly now exists again.).

From, ‘Football Championship Game 1948 Eagles Cardinals‘, a 1:15 video uploaded by historycomestolife [no sound] ( [Note: that long pass play by the Eagles, shown in the video, was called back because of an offensive penalty...the reason why it was still featured in the newsreel of the game is that the snowy conditions prevented there being many significant offensive plays that day]. [Note: here is a much longer Youtube video of the 1948 title game, with sound, a 15:41 video uploaded by Caladiscafrosis, '1948 NFL Championship Game'].

The start of the 1948 title game was delayed 30 minutes, as the grounds crew needed the help of both teams’ players to remove the extremely heavy, snow-laden tarp. It snowed so hard all game that the yard-line markers were invisible, and the referee had to basically guess where the ball was to be placed after each down and where the first down line was. The snowfall was so heavy that, at the start of each play, players in the offensive backfield could not even see the opposing defensive backs 15 or 20 feet away. {Here is a classic photo of the freezing Eagles players on the bench that day [in that photo you can see the odd-shaped MacGregor leather helmets that the Eagles wore during the 1944 to '48 time period, which featured a more elongated, quasi-cone-head shape and a different set of seams than the more standard Rawlings leather helmets that most other NFL teams used in the early post-War era] (photo unattributed at[NFL Championship Game 1948]).}

Because of the white-out/blizzard conditions, both teams spent the bulk of their ball possession in three-and-outs and a punt. There was no threat of a score until early in the 4th quarter, when the Eagles recovered a Cardinal fumble on the Cardinals’ 17. Four plays later, Eagles RB Steve Van Buren ran in a 5-yard TD. The Eagles’ defense then held the score, and the Eagles were the 1948 NFL champions.

The Eagles would repeat as champions in 1949, beating the Los Angeles Rams 14-0 in muddy conditions at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with Steve Van Buren rushing for a then-title-game record 197 yards, as well as scoring both TDs. Steve Van Buren played 9 seasons for Philadelphia, and was a 7-time All-Pro, and was the first RB to gain 1,000 yards in a season twice (in 1947 and ’49). Van Buren was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. He passed away at the age of 91 in 2012.

From the New York Times, from Aug. 25, 2012, by Andy Barall, ‘Remembering Steve Van Buren, Hall of Famer for Eagles‘ (

Photo and Image credits above -
Illustrations of Cardinals and Eagles’ 1948 uniforms from
Photo of Steve Van Buren being pursued by Cardinals defenders from Getty Images via
Color photo of Steve Van
Photo of Steve Van Buren scoring winning TD from Cold Hard Football site via
Photo of Eagles’ post-game celebrations from via
Photo of 1948 NFL title game program from

Thanks to Vintage Inclinations, for the base map of United States circa 1940s,

Thanks to the contributors at, ‘1948 NFL season‘.

A big thanks to, for most of the stats used in this post.

Special thanks to Tim Brulia, Bill Schaefer and Rob Holecko of The Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving the permission to use the football uniforms illustrations at

November 1, 2013

2013-14 FA Cup, First Round Proper: location-map, and current average attendances of the 80 clubs, featuring the two lowest-placed clubs who qualified – 8th division clubs Daventry Town and Shortwood United.

Filed under: 2013-14 FA Cup — admin @ 12:48 pm

2013-14 FA Cup, First Round Proper: location-map, and current average attendances of the 80 clubs

FA Cup – news, fixtures, results (

2013-14 FA Cup 1st Round televised games, see this (
Below, the 3 broadcast games [with clubs' division levels noted].
Friday 8 November 2013, AFC Wimbledon [4] v Coventry City [3] at 7:45pm GT/2:45pm ET (on BT Sports in the UK).
Sunday 10 November 2013, Bishop’s Stortford [6] v Northampton Town [4] at 2:00pm GT/9am ET (on ITV in the UK).
Monday, 11 November 2013, Shortwood United [8] v Port Vale [3] at 7:45pm GT/2:45pm ET (on BT Sports in the UK).

The 2013–14 FA Cup is the 133rd season of the competition.
The FA Cup is open to all English clubs (plus 6 Welsh clubs, and now one club from Guernsey, the 8th-Level-and-rising Guernsey FC {see this, ‘FA Cup: Guernsey FC confirmed in 2013-14 FA Cup draw‘ (}. Guernsey won 2 matches in the preliminary rounds before falling to Dover Athletic in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

The FA Cup is the world’s oldest association football knock-out competition. It has been competed for every season since 1871-72, with the exception of 10 seasons, with 4 seasons taken off due to WWI (1915-16 to 1918-19) and 6 seasons taken off due to WWII (1939-40 to 1944-45).

For the 2013-14 FA Cup, 737 clubs were accepted into the competition (down from 758 last season). The 2013-14 FA Cup began on 17 August 2013, with the Extra Preliminary Round. After 6 preliminary rounds, the 2012-13 FA Cup First Round Proper will be played from Friday the 8th to Monday the 11th, November 2013, with the bulk of the matches (35) being played on the Saturday. The First Round Proper features 32 Non-league clubs which have survived the preliminary rounds, and as is usually the case, these clubs which have survived the preliminary rounds are all placed in Levels 5 through 8.

There have been only three 9th Level clubs which have qualified for the FA Cup First Round Proper in the last 6 seasons (since 2008-09): Leiston, of coastal Suffolk, qualified in 2008-09; while in 2010-11, two 9th Level clubs qualified – Hythe Town of coastal Kent, and Black Country side Tipton Town (none of those 3 advanced). To qualify for the 1st Round Proper from the 9th Level (or lower), a club has to win 6 matches (entering in the Extra Preliminary Round). To qualify from the 8th Level (which comprises 6 leagues), a club has to win 5 matches (entering in the Preliminary Round). There are two 8th Level clubs which have qualified for the 2013-14 First Round Proper – Daventry Town and Shortwood United, and they are featured further below. To qualify from the 7th Level (which comprises 3 leagues), a club has to win 4 matches (entering in the First Round Qualifying). There are four 7th Level clubs which have qualified for the 2013-14 First Round Proper – Biggleswade Town of Bedfordshire, Corby Town of Northamptonshire, St Albans City from the northern London commuter belt in Hertfordshire, and Stourbridge from the Black Country west of Birmingham. [It should be pointed out that all of the six just-mentioned lowest-placed clubs in the 2013-14 FA Cup First Round Proper all come from the 3-league/2-levels set-up of the Southern League, so congratulations to the Southern Football League.].

To qualify from the 6th Level (which comprises 2 leagues, Conference North and Conference South), a club has to win 3 matches (entering in the Second Round Qualifying). There are eight 6th Level clubs which have qualified for the 2013-14 First Round Proper. To qualify from the 5th Level, the Conference National (which is the lowest national league in the English football league pyramid and is the highest level of Non-League football), a club only has to win one match (in the Fourth Round Qualifying). There are eighteen 5th Level clubs which have qualified for the 2013-14 First Round Proper.
{see this, ‘2013–14 FA Cup Qualifying Rounds‘ (

The 32 Non-League clubs which have survived after the Fourth Round Qualifying (and the replays) continue on in the competition into the First Round Proper, and are now joined by the 48 clubs in the two lower levels of the Football League – League One (Level 3/24 clubs), and League Two (Level 4/24 clubs). That makes for 80 clubs in the 1st Round. [Clubs from the Premier League (Level 1/20 clubs) and the Football League Championship (Level 2/24 clubs) enter the competition in the Third Round, which usually begins on the first weekend of the new year in January.].
{see this, ‘2013–14 FA Cup‘ (

From Two Hundered, from 27 Oct. 2013, by Ian King, ‘The FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round: St Albans City, For Once, Go Marching Into The FA Cup First Round‘ (

From, from 27 Oct. 2013, by Niall McVeigh,
FA Cup draw: first round pits Daventry against Chesterfield
•Grimsby Town host their local rivals Scunthorpe •Portsmouth visit Stevenage •Wolves face Oldham
‘ (

    Second-lowest-placed (and second-smallest-drawing) club in the 2013-14 FA Cup 1st Round Proper - Daventry Town FC, of Daventry, Northamptonshire.

By beating 9th Level/Combined Counties League side Hartley Wintney in a 4th QR match in Hampshire, Daventry Town FC qualified for the FA Cup 1st Round Proper for the first time ever in their 127-year history. An 8th Level club in the Southern League Division One Central, Daventry Town at present sit 3rd in their league, just 3 points behind leaders Barton United, and with games in hand {table, here}. Third in the 8th Level is the same placement as the club’s highest-ever placement, which Daventry Town achieved 3 seasons ago, in 2010-11 (going on to lose in the Southern League Division One Central play-off final to Hitchin Town that year, before a club-record 1,048 at their Elderstubbs ground [present name of Daventry Town's ground, owned by Daventry District Council, is Communications Park]. Counting only regular season home league matches (and not the play-off home matches), Daventry Town drew 131 per game in 2010-11. Their 2011-12 season was a considerable accomplishment for the club, seeing as how 6 years before that, Daventry Town almost went out of existence following an arson attack at the ground in 2005, which resulted in the destruction, by fire, of the clubhouse. As it says in the recently-written DTFC club history at their website’s forum, ‘Photographs, trophies and other items of historical significance to the club were lost; it was a massive setback for the club, who were also involved in protracted negotiations with landowners Daventry District Council over rent demands and arrears, at the time.’ {excerpt from, written by JWD). Daventry Town were saved when a sponsorship deal with the mobile phone company Go Mobile enabled the club to survive.

The squad in 2010-11, when the club reached its highest placement, was managed by Ade Fuller, who had gotten Daventry Town up from the 9th Level United Counties League the season before. The next season [2011-12], former Daventry Town, Charlton Athletic, and Ireland MF Mark Kinsella was brought in as the new manager, with Fuller expected to be assistant. As one might expect, this did not sit well with Fuller, and Fuller moved 25 km SW to become manager of 7th Level/Southern Premier club Banbury United, taking a large portion of the squad with him. This forced Kinsella to build up a squad from scratch – and the team struggled, finishing in 16th place. Ironically, that difficult season nevertheless saw Daventry Town draw its best in recent years, drawing 184 per game, which was 53 per game more per game than the previous year. That attendance increase was probably attributable to the momentum of the previous season’s play-off run coupled with the return of the club’s most successful player (Kinsella [with the arguable exception of ex-Daventry, ex-Aston Villa MF Lee Hendrie]), but there was also a low cost season ticket on offer that year (of £80, or £3.80 per game), plus one could also factor in the recent re-opening of the fully rebuilt two-story-with-balcony clubhouse (which looks quite nice as your can see below).

At the end of that season [2011-12], the town’s other Non-League club, Daventry United, folded, and their manager Darran Foster moved to Daventry Town as a coaching assistant. However, soon after, Kinsella was relieved of his duties, and Foster took charge of the team, with Foster’s brother Vince becoming club secretary. Last season [2012–2013], Town finished a respectable 8th in the table, but averaged only 101 per game. Much of the 12/13 DTFC squad has returned for the current campaign, and the stability shows, as Daventry continue to get results on the pitch. Attendance has risen a bit this season as the team pushes for promotion – Daventry Town currently average 138 per game. Daventry Town play at the 3,000-capacity Communications Park, which boasts a newly-relaid pitch and whose main feature is the aforementioned new clubhouse, which has a nice second-story balcony offering the best vantage points in the house, and pints starting at just £2.40 (= $3.85 US).

Daventry is a town of around 25,000 in west-central Northamptonshire, 29 km (or 18 mi) SE of Coventry, and 109 km (or 68 mi) NW of London. Owing to its centrality in England, and to it being near the M1 and with good transport links, Daventry has become a warehousing and distribution center. Daventry is home to Britain’s largest diesel engine plant (owned by the Indiana, USA-based Fortune 500 company Cummins, Inc.).

In the FA Cup 1st Round, on Saturday 9th November 2013, Daventry Town travel north to North Derbyshire to face League Two side Chesterfield at the relatively new [opened in 2010] and purpose-built Proact Stadium (owner: Chesterfield FC). This is a tough fixture for Daventry Town, as Chesterfield are flying high (in 4th place) in the currently-log-jammed-at-the-top League Two.
Photo and Image credits above –
DTFC crest from a banner at

    Lowest-placed (and smallest-drawing) club in the 2013-14 FA Cup 1st Round Proper – Shortwood United FC, of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire.

Shortwood United are the smallest drawing and lowest-placed club in the 2013-14 FA Cup 1st Round Proper. This is the first-ever FA Cup 1st Round appearance in the 113-year history of Shortwood United, who play at the tiny 1,500-capacity Meadowbank Ground. The Wood upended 5th Level/Conference (and ex-League) side Aldershot Town by a score of 1-2 in a 4th QR replay on Tuesday 29 October. There were 93 traveling Shortwood fans for the replay, which is a higher number by two than Shortwood United’s current average attendance (from league matches). [Note: the following link has a photo gallery from that match.]. As this article at by John Couch states, ‘Two goals in the space of four minutes at the start of the second half from Duncan Culley and Adam Mann sparked Aldershot’s downfall and earned the Gloucestershire village side a lucrative home tie with League One Port Vale in a fortnight’s time. It was no less than they deserved.’ ( [with photo gallery]).

Shortwood United averaged 88 per game in the 9th Level/Hellenic League in 2011-12, when they won promotion to the 8th Level. Last season [2012-13], Shortwood United again averaged 88 per game, when they finished a solid 8th place in the Southern League Division One South & West. Shortwood currently [1 Nov. 2013] are averaging 91 per game this season, and sit 18th (with games in hand), but owing to an overabundance of cup matches, have not played a league match in a month, and are in danger of being drawn in to the relegation battle (Shortwood are playing their second-ever season in the 8th Level). {Southern Football Leagues attendances here}. At 91 per game, Shortwood United are the second-lowest-drawing club to have reached the FA Cup 1st Round in the last 5 years, and the lowest since Tipton Town qualified for the 2010-11 FA Cup 1st Round while averaging 83 per game.

Shortwood United call the small village of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire their home. Nailsworth, which is located around 146 km (or 91 mi) W of London and 37 km (or 23 mi) N of Bristol, is a small town of around 6,000. Nailsworth is located in the rolling hills of the Stroud Valley in the Cotswolds, and does not have a rail link. As its page in Wikipedia states…’Over the past decade the small town centre has been reinvigorated and besides numerous restaurants and cafes now boasts a number of unusual and high-quality shops, you will find two bakers, a delicatessen with a fishmonger, one hardware store, two butchers, craft shops, bookshops, art galleries and a gardening shop.’ {excerpt from ‘Nailsworth‘ (}. Nailsworth is also the home of the longest-currently-serving 5th Level/Conference club, Forest Green Rovers, aka the Little Club on the Hill, aka the Eco-friendly club, who are in their 16th straight season in the Conference National. The two clubs’ ground are very close by, about .75 km or half-a-mile apart as the crow flies (but about 3 km or 2 mi away by road), and separated only by two fields and a wood (you can see a satellite image of the closeness of the two grounds, with FGR’s ground at the top of the photo and at the top of the hill, and Shortwood’s ground at the foot of the hill, in the image from the link below). As mentioned in the following article, ‘In fact, the cheer that greeted Shortwood’s equaliser that forced a replay against Aldershot on Saturday [Oct. 26] could be heard at the Rovers’ ground.’ [quote from article by Pete Smith, 'Port Vale: Shortwood United game could be switched to Forest Green' (]. Attendance for the Shortwood v Aldershot game was 641, or 7-times higher than the Woods’ average gate.

Shortwood will now face 3rd Level/Football League One club Port Vale of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire on Monday 11 November 2013 in the FA Cup First Round Proper. Only last year, Port Vale were drawn to play Forest Green Rovers away in the 2012-13 FA Cup First Round, so now Port Vale will be traveling to tiny Nailsworth to play in the FA Cup for the second straight year. Port Vale sit 9th in the third tier, currently, making the league-placement difference between the two clubs a whopping 127 places (and 5 levels). The match is scheduled to be played on Monday night November 11 2013 at Meadowbank, Shortwood’s small ground in Nailsworth, and yes, it will be televised – ‘Shortwood will net £67,500 from their live TV FA Cup match against Port Vale‘ ( by Asheley Loveridge). Sixty five thousand quid is a massive sum for an 8th division club. It looks like capacity will be restricted to 1,000 for safety purposes and Port Vale will probably receive a ticket allocation of 250.

Update: that 1,000 temporary capacity for Shortwood’s home FA Cup match got increased by 300, to 1,300, and the tickets sold pretty fast – in 45 minutes…’Tickets for Shortwood United FA cup match sell out in one hour‘ (

Shortwood United are jointly managed by ex-Forest Green Rovers legends John Evans and Alex Sykes, both of whom are PE teachers (though Evans is retired). MF Sykes is a player/joint-manager, and is being groomed to take over sole managerial reins eventually. Clubs this far down the English pyramid (ie, below the 5th Level) are of course all amateur, and the current Shortwood squad features a house-painter in goal (Tom King), and a plumber in the midfield (Tim Haddock) {see this, ‘Shortwood United players speak of joy at being FA Cup history boys after Aldershot win‘ (}. Also, in the squad is a rather unusual part-timer, an ex-international male model, the 25-year-old Darren Cully, who lived in and modeled professionally in Los Angeles for a year before moving back to England and playing Non-League football for the first time this season. Cully has scored 11 goals in 17 matches in all competitions for the Wood this season so far, including the first goal (from the penalty spot) in Shortwoods’ shock win over Aldershot Tuesday night {see more on this from this article, ‘Shortwood United dare to dream of another FA Cup upset‘ (

Shortwood United play at the bucolic 1,500-capacity Meadowbank Ground, which is built on the edge of a hill and features a small roofed main stand (which can be seen below), with another smaller stand on the other side. Other than the small clubhouse, a 5-course cinder-block terrace up against the main stand/hill-side of the pitch (also seen below), and the lighting poles which dominate the ground, that is it. There is a pronounced slope to the pitch at Meadowbank (it is built on the side of a hill, after all). As if to reinforce the spartan and out-of-the-way nature of Meadowbank, access to the ground is only by very narrow country lanes which large vehicles such as bus coaches cannot easily fit through {see this from the official Shortwood Uniterd site ‘Narrow Approach Road to Ground – WARNING‘ (}.

Here is a 22-second Youtube video of highlights from the 4th Qualifying Round match when Shortwood got the late equaliser which forced the replay, Shortwood United v Aldershot Town (Saturday 26th October 2013) [Shortwood United 1-1 Aldershot Town (13/14 FA Cup 4th QR)] ( video uploaded by MUFC1953).

Here is a write-up on Shortwood’s replay win on Tuesday 29th Oct. 2013 from the Stroud News and Journal, by Asheley Loveridge, ‘Shortwood United shock Aldershot Town to set up FA Cup first round home tie against League One Port Vale‘ (

Below, the Meadowbank Ground, home of Shortwood United.
With photos from Shortwood’s 2013-14 FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round match and replay v Aldershot Town,
Shortwood 1-1 Aldershot / Aldershot 1-2 Shortwood (replay).
Photo and Image credits above –
Shortwood Utd crests (13/14 home jersey crest, official crest, and 13/14 away jersey crest) from
Meadowbank at dusk, photo from
Photo of Meadowbank by Brian Rossiter at
Photo of main stand from
Photos of John Evans & Alex Sykes from
Photo of hill-side terrace and stand at Meadowbank from
3 action photos of 26 Oct. match by Brian Rossiter at
1 action photo of 26 Oct. match from
Photo from 29 Oct. of Shortwood squad and the 93 traveling Shortwood supporters celebrating post-match from [Gallery].

Thanks to the following sites for average attendance figures -
3rd Level/Football League One, [L3].
4th Level/Football League Two,[L4].
5th Level/Conference National,
6th Level/Conference North, & Conference South,
7th Level & 8th Level/Southern League,

Thanks to the Shortwood United official site for photos, including their home jersey crest from this photo –
Thanks to Brian Rossiter at and at the Shortwood United official site.

Thanks to Jim Cunneen at the Shortwood United official site, for swift reply about my query on 2011-12 average home crowd figure for the club (when Shortwood were in the Hellenic League).

Thanks to the FA site, for the [gold-colored] FA 150th Anniversary crest, from a banner at
Thanks to cup, for the image of the fixtures list on the map page,
Thanks to the and for the several articles I linked to.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2013–14 FA Cup‘.

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