The (football) League You Need: Demise Of The NFL?
November 23, 2030
Amid persistent allegations of the legally defunct League You Need staging outlawed football games in retired stadiums and other makeshift venues, former NFL great Lenny 'the Moose' Weatherly died today at his home in New Orleans. The Orleans Parish Coroner, Dr. William Arzt, commented that Weatherly's forty-three-year-old body showed signs of numerous partially healed broken bones and several bruised organs. Weatherly had not played in a sanctioned football game since 2018.
October 23, 2026
Star linebacker Billy Halliday's family regretfully announced today that number 45 has passed on - the seventh such report this month. All deaths have apparently resulted from injuries suffered during the LYN championship game, the ColossaBowl, on Labor Day.
September 15, 2026
In an extraordinary move, Congress orders that the junior pro football league, the League You Need (LYN), be banned from promoting, producing or presenting any further sporting or other public events and informed the primary ownership group that they are not to leave the country until further notice. The Attorney General's office is actively investigating possible charges of negligence, manslaughter, coercion and other wrongdoings by the league's officers.
September 8, 2026
The League You Need (LYN) announced that an internal investigation into the events of the previous day have become the sole focus of league personnel and will remain so until satisfactory answers and solutions are discovered and put into place. The league also announced that all players are alive and doing well, despite some reports.
All players on both teams are being hospitalized and kept for observation after a malfunction in the computer system that congregates the data from each player's brain insert caused all players and their avatars to appear to be dead for over three minutes during the second quarter of the contest. Apparently all were saved by the quick action of an anonymous on-site IT technician who hacked into the main stadium control systems and effectively rebooted the computers, the avatars and the players.
September 7, 2026 - Monday - Labor Day
Viewer ratings for the eighth LYN ColossaBowl set new records worldwide, as the hotly debated and anticipated rematch between the Ontario Thunder and Madison Badgers got under way. An offensive showcase throughout the first quarter, the contest promised to be a classic early on. As the Thunder kicked off to the Badgers in the second quarter and the booted ball drifted through the air, the avatars paused … and slumped to the ground en masse.
A stunned silence echoed through the arena as if the remote controller had touched PAUSE, the heartbreaking moment now and forever a part of our legacy and our psyche. Coaches and trainers from both locker rooms abruptly broke the spell, running out of the tunnels frantically yelling for help; that the players were down - "the players are all dead!"
It must have been the master switch of all master switches that got flipped because
the stadium was suddenly black
for a few seconds.
A murmur quietly erupted as the stadium lights again began to glow. Without warning, slowly, one by one, the players revealed themselves from the depths of the tunnels and walked onto the field, met by frantic applause and cheers. The PA announcer stoically informed those present that technical difficulties had made it necessary to postpone the remainder of the game, and asked that everyone head home calmly. In shock from what they'd witnessed, but comforted by knowing that the players were alive, the seventy-three thousand fans in attendance exited the stadium without incident.
August 15, 2026
As the eighth season of LYN football winds down, Joey Reynalda, running back for the Portland Sun, dies under curious conditions. The twenty-four-year-old star ball carrier was on a short vacation in Costa Rica, when while walking on the beach he literally dropped dead in his tracks. Cause of death has not yet been established.
June 27, 2026
Little Rock Condors wide receiver Derrik Correro is seen leaving a local hospital on crutches, exhibiting symptoms that although dismissed as the result of a fall, seem suspiciously similar to injuries that he would have sustained had he taken the hit his avatar received in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game.
May 25, 2026 Monday - Memorial Day
After two seasons of TV-only games, LYN fans are clamoring to watch live action football, and all four stadiums are sold out and filled to the brim for opening day action. The life-size avatars are incredibly real looking, making it very easy for fans to let themselves forget that those are not really their favorite players down on the field.
The human players are in the locker room, each connected to the game synthesizing computer via sensors placed on the skull and a thin, slender device inserted into the cerebellum as well as advanced-tech VR goggles and headsets.
Viewership ratings for the opening day games are the highest for any sporting event ever.
June 17, 2024
During a game between the Guadalajara Babazorros and the Ontario Thunder, a particularly hard virtual hit results in a player's virtual head to become unattached from his virtual body and fly down the field, hitting the virtual Referee in the virtual head, virtually knocking him out. This video clip is played relentlessly on sports shows and is viewed millions of times online.
May 27, 2024 Monday - Memorial Day
Season 6 of LYN games begins. TV games only. All teams now reside in Las Vegas, but maintain their home town names.
Since the players' bodies are not affected by the contact in the game, the play in each game seems to get rougher and more reckless. Viewership takes another big leap, now clearly surpassing the number of old guard NFL viewers. Virtual players are pounded and popped a la Hardy Brown and routinely carried off the field in stretchers, while the human players walk away from each game unscathed.
January 16, 2024
Plans for the LYN's sixth season are revealed today in a lengthy statement from the league office. "The League You Need is proceeding with plans to again fill the LYN stadiums across the continent with live action football games beginning in June of 2026. The games will be played by life-sized, virtually-controlled avatars. This technology, currently in the testing stage, has been in development for several years, and is slated to be ready to use in game situations in time for live action games beginning in season eight.
For the next two seasons, the league will exclusively present TV-only games. These games will be played on side-by-side fields, with each team playing on their own field in order to avoid tangible contact. Players will wear VR gear, the data from which is synthesized to compute the result from each would-be interaction and provide viewers with a watchable football game that contains all the hitting but with the players suffering no ill-effects to their bodies. Games will be displayed on screens in team stadiums so fans can still enjoy tailgating, partying and watching their team with friends.
November 17, 2023
Congress passes a law forbidding public activities that have a greater than 40% chance of resulting in death or serious injury. This legislation is clearly aimed at the LYN.
June 23, 2023
Jerry Bloque of the Tulsa Sooners dies suddenly and mysteriously during a game against the Bombers. Inexplicable puncture marks are found on his thigh, but the toxicity screen shows no poison. It is suspected that someone on the field injected him with an unknown substance during the game.
July 16, 2022
In its fourth season the LYN enhances the elaborate pregame shows that now rival the football game for entertainment. It becomes common for the crowd to get worked up, with violence in the crowd becoming routine. Today marks the first documented case of fans being taken to the hospital as a result of this hostility.
April 19, 2022
Rusty Mauber, the all-star quarterback of the NY Football Giants opts out of his NFL contract and elects to sign with the Babazorros, following several other NFL players. This is seen as a clear indication of the burgeoning business strength of the LYN, contrasted with a considerable decaying of the NFL's fan base and a reduction in the endless stream of money that the senior league has enjoyed for decades.
March 16, 2022
Former LYN player Randy 'The Mallet' Larson and former LYNOA Official Wally Soborno were both banned for life from the LYN today by new Commissioner Jim Brockmire, after investigation proved that Soborno accepted a five thousand dollar bribe to clear a homemade arm guard worn by The Mallet. Concerted use of the illegal arm guard is believed to have led directly to the death of Portland Sun player DeJahn Miller. It is not known if criminal charges will be filed against Larson or Soborno.
November 12, 2021
After 3 LYN seasons, NFL ratings have leveled off at about 67% of pre-LYN ratings. The first whispers of decreasing the number of NFL franchises are heard.
Sep 6, 2021 - Labor Day
LYN's CollosaBowl 3 is a worldwide ratings success. The Hamilton Bombers defeat the Albuquerque Rattler by a score of 35 to 10.
August 30, 2021 LYN Divisional Champ Weekend
Steroid use among LYN players catches a spotlight this week as twenty-six-year-old Troy Webber of the Condors has a heart attack and dies on the field during a nationally televised game. Webber was twenty-six years old. 'Before and After' compilations of player pictures flood the internet as the lack of drug testing in the LYN has again made steroid use commonplace.
May 18 2021
The amount of money being bet in Las Vegas has increased dramatically, as much of the money spent placing bets on LYN games is done so by gambling novices. Some bets, e.g. the over/under on deaths in the league, are criticized. The number of local bookies also increases, eager to fill the supply demanded by LYN fans.
January 7, 2021
After weeks of speculation the AAF announces that it will not field teams for a third season. Without acknowledging it, it is plain that the LYN has won the nation's heart.
December 3, 2020
A new wrestling league is formed that will follow the medical philosophy of the LYN. A marked increase in the popularity of boxing spurs talk of going back to sanctioning 15 round fights.
September 20, 2020
As the end of the CFL season draws near, it becomes clear that the LYN has indeed eaten into the Canadian CFL ratings. The CFL had seemed unscathed throughout the nascent league's inceptual season, but a drop of almost 35% has been recorded this season.
July 23, 2020
Ambulances were the player of the day today in the LYN, as six different players in four games had to be rushed to the hospital in critical condition. In recent weeks there has been criticism that the LYN referees are not calling games as tightly in this, its sophomore season, and point to these injuries as proof. Of the six players, one is in critical condition and not expected to recover and one is paralyzed from the neck down. The other four players are expected to make full recoveries as rumors of retirement swirl around three of them.
May 25, 2020 - Monday Memorial Day
Breaking with national tradition, the LYN opens its second season on Memorial Day, amid a coast-to-coast clamoring for more League You Need football. This season the league has introduced lavish pregame shows, complete with choreographed musical numbers, dancing and fan challenges. These festivities seemed to be designed to raise emotions in the crowd even prior to the game starting. Standard tailgate fare is plentiful and alcohol flows freely.
February 12, 2020 - Wednesday
The Alliance for Safe Athletic Competition Support appears before Congress in an attempt to get an injunction to prevent the LYN from operating on the grounds that the style of play and the lack of any banned substances is not only dangerous but immoral. The new league has stirred debates of all sorts, with groups from Mothers Against Violent Sports to the newly formed International Boxing Coalition taking sides and promoting agendas. Opponents site the death of Joe Conejo and proffer predictions of increased mortality.
February 8, 2020 - Saturday
The second season of Alliance for American Football spring football begins amid limited enthusiasm and weak TV ratings. CBS executives are increasingly concerned, and there is speculation that the network may pull the plug on continuing to televise AAF games.
Feb 2, 2020 Super Bowl 54 in Miami
The Las Vegas Raiders, led by newly crowned King of the Bad Boys Aaron Rodgers, dissected the Philadelphia Eagles in what was sadly one of the most boring Super Bowls ever. A quick 21 - 0 start by the Raiders meant that the Eagles never really contended for the win. Although the ratings for the 54th championship game were higher than the inaugural CollosaBowl, there was a drastic drop in viewership compared to last year's game.
October 14, 2019 - Monday
Ratings for Sunday's NFL games were down again yesterday, as for many fans the thrilling LYN season and ColossaBowl have set a new standard for exciting football.
The NFL this week released a statement declaring that the senior league is and will remain committed to make playing in the NFL as safe as is possible.
September 3, 2019 - Tuesday
The first LYN Labor Day ColossaBowl was played yesterday in Las Vegas. Combined US, Mexican and Canadian viewer ratings surpassed all Super Bowl broadcasts - quite a feat for a new league. In what turned out to be a high-flying affair with a combined 857 passing yards, the West Division's Portland Sun edged the East Division's Ontario Thunder by a score of 47 to 42.
Sep 1, 2019
Amid the commotion and excitement leading up to the first LYN ColossaBowl championship game, the family of the Hamilton Bombers player that was seriously injured in the July 21 game against Little Rock released a statement indicating that the college all-star and LYN standout Jack Conejo died today due to the injuries sustained in that game; he was twenty-four years old. Opposition groups have been warning that the LYN style of play would lead to deaths almost since the league's inception and began calling for its dissolution even before the inaugural game was played.
Football is LYNtastic! The league's maiden season is a hit, with viewership ratings far higher than the AAF's spring season, already putting into question whether or not the fledgling AAF will field a season in 2020 or shadow the again-defunct XFL and be forced to close up shop. Groups opposed to the LYN's tough level of play have sprouted in several cities.
LYN games begin in its inaugural season amid much (league-generated) fanfare. Stadiums in Hamilton, Guadalajara and Portland were completely sold out; the large stadium in Ontario housing the only game for which a few tickets were available at game time.
April 29, 2019
The first AAF Championship game is played. In a grueling battle played in freakishly cold weather for April, Memphis defeats Orlando 23 - 9. Approximately half as many viewers as watched the Super Bowl tune in.
Feb 9, 2019
AAF games begin in its inaugural season to lukewarm ratings and reviews. Coming on the heels of the Super Bowl - theoretically the best the world has to offer - the level of play seems to most fans to be at or below NCAA games.
Feb 3, 2019 Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta
The Green Bay Packers defeat the New England Patriots in a hard-fought game by the score of 47 - 41. TV ratings for the Super Bowl XXXI rematch were the highest in history, which the NFL attributes to the recent rule changes geared toward making the game safer for the players.
May 28, 2018
Along with the recent announcements of the planned resurrection of the XFL and the establishment of the new AAF, it was announced today that another football league - the League You Need, or LYN - will commence play in June of 2019. The LYN will be a continental summer football league, holding its championship games on Labor Day.
The LYN games will incorporate aspects of all brands of North American football / futball. CFL fans will recognize the 110 yard long, 65 yard wide field, altered so that the hash marks are closer to the sidelines, as they were in the NFL prior to 1972. Teams get only 3 downs to make the ten yards required to get a first down, and two of the eleven offensive players may be in motion at the snap, with one legally moving toward the line of scrimmage. Touchdowns scored on punt or kick-off returns of over fifty yards are awarded eight points instead of six. Field goals of less than forty yards are awarded two points instead of three. In case of a tied game, kickers will kick field goals, starting at the 35 yard line and retreating five yards for every made attempt, until a missed kick creates sudden death.
Using the helmet to aide in tackling is legal, and unnecessary roughness and other personal fouls are limited to contact made after a player has stopped moving. The league's philosophy is that each player's health and well-being is a matter between the player and his doctor. Players are certified to play until their physician of record notifies that team that they are not cleared to play. All blood and other tests are done at the player's physician's discretion. Padding is optional and players may wear protective devices of their own design, but any such device must be checked and approved by the Umpire at the start of each game.
It is anticipated that these changes will provide for a lively game, with plenty of old-school bone-crushing pops, hits and pows. The league will begin play with eight teams, four in each the East and West Divisions, with teams in Albuquerque, Guadalajara, Portland, Tulsa, Hamilton, Little Rock, Ontario and Madison.
The LYN is expected to employ both college players that don't make an NFL team, and older NFL and CFL players, unwilling to yet end their careers. The league will also serve as a training ground for coaches and officials, however the league's organizers are quick to admonish that the LYN is not a farm league system for the NFL. "LYN football will not be watered down NFL. The style of play will be as football was meant to be played and will draw fans by the millions," according to the newly crowned commissioner, Kurt Warner.
April 10, 2018
The first sanctioned bare-knuckle fight in more than a century, with fighters wearing only wraps on their hands and not gloves will be held on June 2 in Cheyenne, WY. It is billed as the first legal/sanctioned bare-knuckle event in the United States since 1889.
April 2, 2018
The NFL announced today that beginning in September a foul will be called on an NFL player that lowers his head to initiate helmet-to-opponent contact, which will be penalized by a loss of 15 yards. Replays of the helmet violations will be handled by the officiating command center in New York.
February 5, 2017
The New England Patriots scored 31 unanswered points to stun the Atlanta Falcons and win Super Bowl LI. This marks the fifth Super Bowl win for the Brady/Belichik tandem - perhaps the best coach/QB combo in NFL history.
January 28, 1990
The San Francisco 49ers, led by Joe Montana wins its fourth Super Bowl championship with a 55-10 victory over AFC champion Denver Broncos. The 49ers, who also won Super Bowls XVI, XIX, and XXIII, have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl victories.
January 12, 1969
The New York Jets exposed the myth of National Football League superiority over the junior league as a fallacy today by inflicting a 16-7 beating on the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
A boy in Jamestown, NY watches the NFL on TV with his dad, one of the few things they will ever share, and he learns to love the game of football, the Green Bay Packers and the NFL. How could he know the harm the game would suffer- first for profit, and then for safety?
How could he imagine grass stains and mud on uniforms not being part of football? How could he have envisioned someone other than the quarterback calling the plays? Why would he dream of a season with more than fourteen teams and fourteen regular season games? How could he imagine DBs playing defense when they can't hit the receiver high and they can't hit him low? How could a catch not be a catch?
He loved the mud and the cold and the sting of ball when it hits your hands. He loved Unitas vs. Starr and Jim Brown pounding toward his hundred yards per game. He loved the long field goal attempts by Groza and Blanda and Dempsey and he loved it when they 'brought in the chains' to measure.
He loved the game and could not imagine what was to come.
Top Photo by Crash Underride aka. Crash Underride at English Wikipedia || CC-BY-SA-3.0