At the start of the game, the League Commissioner (Clive Hanson) is seen talking with Franchise in the luxury suite of the Los Angeles Riot stadium as the Riot is playing the New York Nightmare (this may be an exhibition game, as the Riot's expansion year takes place during the first season of play). The Commissioner welcomes Franchise to the Riot, but Franchise refuses to sign, claiming he will only play for his home town, where he played high school and college football. Though the commissioner tries to convince Franchise that he can't choose what team he plays for, Franchise's agent talks to the commissioner and after some persuasion, the commissioner reluctantly agrees to let Franchise play for his hometown team. After a press conference, in which the player selects answers to the press' questions and assigns strengths accordingly, he begins his season in Division III.
When Quentin Sands is added to Franchise's team, Sands spikes his drink with Ultranol at a nightclub after a game. After the Division III season, Commissioner Hanson receives the resulting positive drug test and attempts to blackmail Franchise into joining the Riot. When Franchise refuses, the Commissioner alerts the FBI, who arrests Franchise, who is then sent to Milltown Correctional Facility. Milltown's warden arranges for Franchise's early release if he plays in and defeats the Supermax Prison Facility game. Franchise rejoins his team in Division II and welcomes a captain from one of the Division III teams as his newest star. After the opening game against the Riot, LA team captain Bruno Battaglia reveals to Franchise that Sands was responsible for his drug test and jail sentence, sparking a fight between the two teammates which lasts all season.