Regional Football League

Last updated
Regional Football League
Most recent season or competition:
1999
RFL99.jpg
Sport American football
Founded1997 [1]
Inaugural season1999
Ceased1999
CommissionerJohn "Gus" Bell [1]
Ron Floridia [2]
No. of teams6
CountryUnited States
Headquarters Framingham, MA [3]
Mobile, AL [2]
Last
champion(s)
Mobile Admirals
(1999)
TV partner(s)none

The Regional Football League (RFL) was an American football league formed to be the self-styled "major league of spring football." Established in 1997, the league played a single season, 1999, and then ceased operations.

Contents

History

The RFL season was designed for spring-summer play with teams based primarily in the Southern United States. The debut season was originally slated to begin in March 1998, [4] however this was delayed by a year. [5] The league adopted rules consistent with professional football of the era, with some exceptions: [6] [7]

The league's inaugural (and only) season was 1999, where each of its six teams was scheduled to have training camp and two preseason games in early April, followed by 12 regular season games; a postseason would follow in July. The league held its first regular season games on April 17, 1999. [8] Financial constraints forced the league to reduce player salaries at the end of April, due to low attendance at games. [9] In late May, the league announced that the regular season would be shortened by three games, with the championship game held in late June. [10] Ultimately, the league only played an eight-week regular season. Near the end of the shortened season, the league cancelled a contest between New Orleans and Ohio, and Shreveport forfeited a game, both due to financial concerns. [11] Four teams qualified for the playoffs, [12] and on June 20, 1999, the Mobile Admirals defeated the Houston Outlaws, 14–12, in the championship game, RFL Bowl I, which was played at Ladd–Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. [13]

RFL rosters were limited to 37 active players and five practice squad members with salaries in the range of $30,000 to $65,000 per player and team salary caps of $1,500,000. [3] Players who had been with college football programs of the region such as Jason Martin (Louisiana Tech), Stewart Patridge (Ole Miss), Raymond Philyaw (Northeast Louisiana), Marquette Smith (Central Florida) and Sherman Williams (Alabama) were signed to RFL teams in the hopes that fans would turn out to see former local stars. Patridge, playing for Mississippi, was the all-RFL quarterback, [14] while running back Williams was the league MVP with Mobile. [15]

The first commissioner of the league was John "Gus" Bell, who was succeeded by Ron Floridia in May 1999. [2] The league did not secure a television contract, and only one game was ever televised—the May 8, 1999, New Orleans Thunder at Mobile Admirals contest on WHNO,[ citation needed ] a mainly-religious television station in New Orleans.

Despite some efforts made to resume play for a second season, the league folded after its shortened 1999 season. The announced beginning of the XFL for 2001 precluded any realistic chance of the league resuming operations.

Teams

The league's six charter members were announced on November 12, 1998. [16] They participated in the league's only season, which ran from April to June 1999.

TeamCityStadiumHead coach
Houston Outlaws Houston, Texas Pasadena Memorial Stadium [17] Ray Woodard [17]
Mississippi Pride Jackson, Mississippi Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium Johnny Plummer
Mobile Admirals Mobile, Alabama Ladd–Peebles Stadium Tom Walsh
New Orleans Thunder New Orleans, Louisiana Tad Gormley Stadium Rex Stevenson / Buford Jordan
Ohio Cannon Toledo, Ohio Glass Bowl Jackson Nixon GM / Ken James Head Coach
Shreveport Knights Shreveport, Louisiana Independence Stadium Fred Akers

Source [18]

Regular season

 vs. HOUvs. MISSvs. MOBLvs. N.O.vs. OHIOvs. SHRVForfeitOverall Win pct.
HOU1–00–21–02–02–06–2.750
MISS0–11–11–11–01–14–4.500
MOBL2–01–12–00–11–06–2.750
N.O.0–11–10–20–10–11–6.143
OHIO0–20–11–01–00–1W3–4.429
SHRV0–21–10–11–01–0L3–5.375

Notes:

Playoffs

Semi-finals
June 12
RFL Bowl I
June 20
      
1 Mobile35
4 Ohio 14
1 Mobile14
2 Houston 12
2 Houston27
3 Mississippi 3

Games were hosted by the higher-seeded team.

Projected expansion teams

Proposed for the 2000 season, [8] which was not played.

Dallas and Monterey, Mexico were originally eyed for expansion, but dropped at the initial stages.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Raymond 'Ray' Philyaw is a former arena football quarterback who was most recently the offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League (AFL). He also played for the Cleveland Gladiators Chicago Rush, Kansas City Brigade, Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings and the Albany/Indiana Firebirds, leading the former to the American Conference championship game in 2004 and 2005. Prior to his Arena Football career, he played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League and the Madison Mad Dogs of the Indoor Football League. After leaving to coach with the New Orleans VooDoo in 2011, he attempted a return as a player in 2012 with the San Jose SaberCats, but later became OC for the San Antonio Talons. He holds the record for the highest career TD-to-INT ratio in AFL history and threw a school record 52 TDs while attending Northeast Louisiana.

New Orleans Thunder

The New Orleans Thunder were a professional American football team that played during the 1999 season as part of the Regional Football League. They played their home games at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park in New Orleans.

Paul Buford Jordan is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the New Orleans Saints.

Frank Costa is a former American football quarterback. He played college football for the Miami Hurricanes from 1991 to 1994.

Nicky John Savoie is a former professional American football tight end who played during one season in the National Football League (NFL) with the New Orleans Saints.

Marquette Smith is a former American football running back. Mostly known for his prep and college career, he spent two seasons with the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL), but knee injuries in successive years during the pre-season kept him off the field.

The Mississippi Fire Dogs were a professional indoor American football team based in Biloxi, Mississippi. They played their home games at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. They were a charter member of the Indoor Professional Football League. They played from in the 1999-2000 IPFL seasons before joining the National Indoor Football League in 2001. Their final season was in 2002.

Alfonso Teddy Garcia is a former professional American football player who was a placekicker in the National Football League (NFL) and the World League of American Football (WLAF).

Dameian Jeffries is a former American football defensive end. He played college football for Alabama before being selected in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He appeared in two games for the Saints in 1995. Jeffries later played for the Mobile Admirals in the short-lived Regional Football League in 1999.

The 1941 LSU Tigers football team was an American football team that represented Louisiana State University (LSU) in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) during the 1941 college football season. In their seventh season under head coach Bernie Moore, the Tigers compiled a 4–4–2 record, finished seventh in the conference, and outscored opponents by a total of 119 to 93. The team played its home games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Jason Martin is a former American football quarterback who played two seasons with the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League. He played college football at Louisiana Tech University. He was also a member of the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe in 1998, and the Shreveport Knights of the short-lived Regional Football League in 1999.

Shreveport Knights

The Shreveport Knights were a professional American football team that played during the 1999 season as part of the Regional Football League. They played their home games at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Gulf Coast Premier League

The Gulf Coast Premier League (GCPL) is a United States Adult Soccer Association affiliated Amateur Elite League that includes teams from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The regular season of the GCPL runs May through July. On August 13, 2020 it was announced that the GCPL would be the first "amateur league affiliation" of the National Independent Soccer Association after Gaffa FC and Louisiana Krewe FC competed in the NISA 2020 Independent Cup.

Virgil I. Robinson Jr. is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints. He also was a member of the Houston Texans / Shreveport Steamer in the World Football League. He played college football at Grambling State University.

Mobile Admirals

The Mobile Admirals were a professional American football team that played during the 1999 season as part of the Regional Football League; the Admirals were the league champions. They played their home games at Ladd–Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

Mississippi Pride

The Mississippi Pride were a professional American football team that played during the 1999 season as part of the Regional Football League. They played their home games at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi.

Ohio Cannon

The Ohio Cannon, also known as the Toledo Cannon, were a professional American football team that played during the 1999 season as part of the Regional Football League. They played their home games at the Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio.

Houston Outlaws (RFL team)

The Houston Outlaws were a professional American football team that played during the 1999 season as part of the Regional Football League. They played their home games at Pasadena Memorial Stadium in Pasadena, Texas, a suburb of Houston.

George Doherty American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator

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References

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