I have four goals (or “pipe dreams” as they are sometimes called)
for this league. They are:
- Goal #1: transferring two teams from the NBL to the
AABC circa 1949-1950 (so both leagues will have 10 teams and
identical 162-game schedules).
- Goal #2: relocating one team from the NBL East to a
Midwestern city, preferably Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Milwaukee, or Dallas, concurrently with Goal #1 above
- Goal #3: expanding by four teams (to 24 total, 12 in
each league) by the mid-to late 1950's, to include whichever
three of the above four cities are still vacant, plus
- Goal #4: expanding by four more teams (to 28 total, 24
in each league) by the mid-to-late 1960's, to include Atlanta,
Denver, San Diego, and a second team in Los Angeles.
Concurrently with some or all of the above goals some divisional
realignment will occur, and additional league-switching may also
By the conclusion of Goal #4 both Western Divisions will have:
- at least two teams on the West Coast
- a team in Chicago
- no teams east of Chicago
Both Eastern Divisions will have:
- no teams west of Cincinnati
There are countless different paths we could take towards meeting
these goals, and many decisions to be made along the way.
I am partial to:
- Teams switching leagues only as much as is needed to attain
the desired geographic alignment. Switching back and forth
should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
- The most historically successful NBL teams staying in the
NBL, and only those teams that have not been particularly
successful consider switching leagues. So Brooklyn,
Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St.
Louis would most likely be “non-movers”, while Baltimore,
Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit would be “possible
- Boston moving to the AABC. New York and Boston, of
course, are natural regional rivals, but if there is also a
Brooklyn team in the same division, like in our current NBL
East, that sort of makes Boston the odd rival out. Moving them
to the AABC gives them a chance to establish a divisional
rivalry with the other New York team, the Empires.
- Buffalo moving to Kansas City, and (possibly) to the AABC.
Does it have to be Buffalo? No. Does it have to be Kansas City?
No. Kansas City is centrally-located and Buffalo is the NBL's
smallest market, so to me it makes the most sense. But it's just
one way we could possibly go.
- Baltimore and Washington being in different leagues.
When you have two teams less than an hour's drive away from each
other, it's good if you can schedule them so that one is always
at home when the other is on the road. You can't really do that
unless they're in different leagues.
I am ambivalent about:
- Keeping both Canadian teams in the AABC, or transferring one
to the NBL so we have one in each league. I think there are
valid arguments for doing it either way.
- Same with Texas. I'm fine with having Dallas and Houston as
divisional rivals, or with each league having a representative
from the Lone Star State.
- Whether Baltimore stays in the NBL and the AABC gets the
expansion Washington team, or whether Baltimore switches leagues
and the NBL gets the expansion team.
When it comes time to expand, we could also consider:
- The relocate-and-expand trick, as the Washington
Senators/Minnesota Twins did in 1961; the established team moved
to the new market and the expansion team started up in the old
market. We could use this trick in lieu of teams switching
leagues; the NBL keeps the old team and gets the new city, while
the AABC gets an expansion team in the old city.
Of course, all this expansion talk is for nought if we don't have
people wanting to join the league. I have rarely been able to
maintain a waiting list with more than one person on it. I don't
know if that's something that might change as we get more
established, or if it's just the way things go with larger online
leagues. I'm okay with having one or two A.I.-run teams, but five
or six is something I think I'd rather avoid.
So expansion might have to wait for a bit. But while we're
waiting, anybody game for switching leagues? Anyone feel like
packing up and heading to the Midwest?
Let me be clear: nobody is being pressured to change leagues
or change cities. As I said, there are many different paths
we could take towards hitting my goals, or hitting something
similar to my goals. Anyone who chooses to move will be doing so