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Unlike Secret League, which focuses on races; Secret League Classic focuses on teams for the 2495 season.
The build up to Secret League Classic starts in 2488. The NAF is the most popular it has ever been and 42 teams play under it's umbrella. These teams are split into 2 zones. Auld World and New World, and then split into 3 divisions in each zone. The teams have never been richer, and Blood Bowl has never been so popular!
Then disaster struck, the Commissioner at the time (Nik Three-Horns) runs off with NAF all the NAF funds (and the Darkside Cowboys cheerleaders) to be never seen again. This had a massive effect on the NAF, and by the start of the 2489-2490 season they were no longer in a position to function and were forced into liquidation.
This in turn had just a dramatic effect on the 42 Superstar, super paid teams on the NAF. Such was the funding from ticket sales, endorsements and their cabalvision fees; these teams were working in multi multi million Gold Pieces per season. Without the NAF to run Blood Bowl, they were left in an impossible situation.
All the teams were forced to sell their Stadiums and go freelance. Some were lucky, and got support from their city. Others were not, and had to file for bankruptcy and disappeared off of the Blood Bowl map. All however had to hit the open road, and became travelling Blood Bowl teams.
As the snowball became an avalanche, this of course had further effects on the game we loved. There was no longer the cash to support the Super Stars on super incomes. These were sadly let go, and became 'paid per game' freelancers'. Fan morale were at their lowest, no knowing where and when their team would be playing next. They could be in the town next door, but without the NAF Cabalvision channels with a fixed schedule, it was impossible to tell.
However like a pig bladder in a swimming pool, it's impossible to keep a great sport down. And so Blood Bowl was saved by the 'tournament scene'. The 4 big cups (that never went away) gave focus back to Blood Bowl, some serious money and something for the teams to aim for. Below these a multitude of smaller cups built a pecking order and filled the calendar.
This looked to be the long term future of Blood Bowl. However some of the old NAF teams were still functioning, but not to the level they once were, and these teams were becoming more and more frustrated. Blood Bowl had moved on. Teams were cheaper, rosters were smaller, travel was more frequent and less comfortable and they weren't winning anymore under the new format. Cheaper and more efficient rosters that had materialised in the 'Open Period' were dominating. And so a very unlikely partnership of 5 old teams got together and penned the outline to reforming the NAF and attempt to bring it back to it's heyday.
These 5 teams were the Elfheim Eagles, Naggaroth Nightwings, Middenhiem Marauders, Reikland Reavers and Orcland Raiders. In all the teams cases bar the Nightwings, they had their city's support and their old stadiums were given or bought back for them. However the Nightwings no longer had any support in Naggaroth (The Nightmares were thriving on the independent scene).
At first this posed to be a significant problem to the NAF rejuvenation scheme. However in an act of comradery that you'll never likely to see again between Humans, Orcs and Dark and High Elves the other 4 teams rallied around to help purchase the old and stunning 'field of Nightmares' stadium back for the Nightmares. And so the scene was set.
An incredibly smart advertising campaign started, where the viewers believed they were looking back at the golden age of Blood Bowl and they started to reminisce about how good Blood Bowl used to be. About half way through the advertising campaign, the intelligent promoters started to give little hints that maybe the NAF was returning. The Auld and New World were in an uproar; there was a buzz and the expectation was immense. By the end of the campaign, all games were sold out; the other 5 teams had located, enticed (with some old bones) and bought a stadium (from the ticket sales) for the Westside Werewolves; and the Oldheim Ogres had also jumped aboard. Fed up with the open scene and ludicrously banned from fielding goblins, they were eager to make the first season of the new NAF a 7 team round robin deal.
The first revamped NAF season was moderately successful (it would have been impossible to live up to the hype) and broadcast figures dipped towards the end. However with each new season, old teams are returning. This is keeping the viewers interested. It will never be what it was, however it's developed into a 4 conference affair (2 in the New and 2 in the Auld World). One controversial aspect of the new NAF, is naming the best players after the old superstars. Up and coming stars are being given the names of the team's past greats. This isn't going down too well; particularly with the real Morg and Griff Oberwald!
So, how is the state of Blood Bowl today? The resurgence of the NAF has lead to a 3 way power struggle. The independent tournament cup scene still holds sway (just), but the NAF is growing everyday. The 2 way struggle though has left the door open for the smaller leagues. Leagues are again popular with the viewers, and the smaller league teams can dip in and out of the independent and league scene. Leading the way, is Dungeon College Bowl; who now only allow 4 outside independent teams to enter , that can challenge the existing Dungeon Bowl teams in a 16 team knock out tourney, that has been removed from the Majors (which has been replaced by the FUMBBL Cup). Following in it's wake is the World Edge Superleague, the umpteen Albion divisions and a plethora of leagues in the South of the Auldworld!