1979 NAFL season (Jayverse)

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The 1979 NAFL Season was the 60th Regular Season of the North American Football League

Major Rule Changes

  • Whenever the quarterback is sacked, the clock will be stopped for at least five seconds and then restarted again.
  • If a fair catch is made, or signaled and awarded to a team because of interference, on the last play of a half or overtime, the period can be extended and the team can run one play from scrimmage or attempt a fair catch kick.
  • Defensive linemen can wear numbers 90 to 99.
  • Centers are included as the interior offensive linemen in the uniform numbering system.
  • Players are prohibited from wearing torn or altered equipment. Tear-away jerseys are banned.
  • During kickoffs, punts, and field goal attempts, players on the receiving team cannot block below the waist.
  • The zone in which crackback blocks are prohibited is extended from 3 yards on either side of the line of scrimmage to 5.
  • Players cannot use their helmets to butt, spear, or ram an opponent. Any player who uses the crown or the top of his helmet unnecessarily will be called for unnecessary roughness.
  • In order to prevent incidents such as the Holy Roller game, the following change is made: If an offensive player fumbles during a fourth down play, or during any down played after the two-minute warning in a half or overtime, only the fumbling player can recover and/or advance the ball.
  • Referees were outfitted with black identifying hats, while all other officials continued to wear white hats.
  • For the first time, each official's position was identified on his shirt. The position was abbreviated on the front pocket of the shirt and then spelled out on the back above the number.
  • The numbering system for officials was altered, with officials numbered separately by position rather than as an entire group, making duplicate numbers among officials common.
  • Uprights were extended to 30 feet above the crossbar.

New Officials

Jerry Seeman was promoted to referee succeeding Don Wedge who returned to being a deep wing official, primarily as a back judge.


The 1979 NAFL Rookie Draft took place as the Los Angeles Rams got the first pick to draft Ohio State LB Tom Cousineau

Other Picks taken in the draft were

Philadelphia Eagles draft Jerry Robinson (LB)

Cleveland Browns draft Willis Adams (WR)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft Greg Roberts (G)

Montreal Alouettes draft Nick Arakgi (TE)

Detroit Lions draft Keith Dorney (T)

Hamilton Tiger-Cats draft John Priestner (DB)

Miami Dolphins draft Jon Giesler (T)

Winnipeg Bombers draft Rick House (RB)

New York Jets draft Marty Lyons (DE)

Calgary Stampeders draft Rob Forbes (FB)

Las Vegas Gamblers draft Doug Robertson (QB)

Cincinnati Chargers draft Charles Alexander (RB)

Baltimore Colts draft Barry Krauss (LB)

Houston Oilers draft Mike Stensrud (DT)

San Francisco 49ers draft Joe Montana (QB)

Washington Sentinels draft Don Warren (TE)

Edmonton Elks draft Marco Cyncar (WR)

Chicago Bears draft Dan Hampton (DT)

Buffalo Bills draft Jerry Butler (WR)

Minnesota Vikings draft Ted Brown (RB)

Vancouver Lumberjacks draft Nick Hebeler (DE)

Atlanta Falcons draft Don Smith (DT)

New Orleans Saints draft Russell Erxleben (P)

Denver Broncos draft Kelvin Clark (T)

Saskatchewan Roughriders draft Tim Hook (G)

St. Louis Gunners draft Ottis Anderson (RB)

New York Giants draft Phil Simms (QB)

Ottawa Canadians draft Malcolm Inglis (T)

San Diego Destroyers draft Kellen Winslow (TE)

Memphis Steamers draft Robert Shaw (C)

Boston Patriots draft Rick Sanford (FS)

Kansas City Kings draft Mike Bell (DE)

Kentucky Bourbons draft Mike Deaton (QB)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Greg Hawthorne (RB)

Dallas Texans draft Aaron Mitchell (SS)

Toronto Huskies draft Kevin Powell (T)

Oakland Raiders draft Willie Jones (DE)

Brooklyn Barons draft Drew Hill (WR)

Green Bay Packers draft Eddie Lee Ivery (RB)

Southern California Sun draft George Andrews (LB)

Seattle Orcas draft Manu Tuiasosopo (DT)

Los Angeles Rams draft Kent Hill (G)

Philadelphia Eagles draft Tony Franklin (K)

Cleveland Browns draft Cody Risien (T)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft David Logan (DT)

Detroit Lions draft Mark Gastineau (DE)

Las Vegas Gamblers draft Bob Golic (DT)

Cincinnati Chargers draft Max Montoya (G)

Houston Oilers draft Fred Smerlas (DT)

San Francisco 49ers draft Dwight Clark (WR)

Denver Broncos draft Steve Watson (WR)

St. Louis Gunners draft Roy Green (WR)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Chuck Fusina (QB)

San Antonio Wings draft Kenny King (RB)

Southern California Sun draft Doug Cosbie (TE)

Birmingham Vulcans draft William Andrews (RB)

Miami Dolphins draft Joe Bostic (G)

Cincinnati Chargers draft Dan Ross (TE)

Denver Broncos draft Luke Prestridge (P)

Memphis Steamers draft Dave Studdard (T)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Bill Cowher (LB)


NFC East: Toronto Huskies (10-6), Washington Sentinels (10-6), Philadelphia Eagles (8-8), New York Giants (7-9), Baltimore Colts (6-10), Montreal Beavers (4-12)

NFC North: Indianapolis Racers (12-4), Green Bay Packers (10-6), Detroit LIons (8-8), Milwaukee Mustangs (6-10), Chicago Bears (6-10), St. Louis Gunners (5-11)

NFC South: Dallas Texans (12-4), Kentucky Bourbons (10-6), Jacksonville Sharks (10-6), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7), Mexico City Diablos (7-9), New Orleans Saints (4-12)

NFC West: Seattle Orcas (15-1), Portland Storm (10-6), Sacramento Condors (9-7), Los Angeles Rams (8-8), San Francisco 49ers (5-11), Denver Broncos (5-11), Las Vegas Gamblers (4-12)

AFC East: Brooklyn Barons (14-2), Boston Patriots (11-5), Buffalo Bills (10-6), Ottawa Canadians (9-7), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-10), New York Jets (6-10)

AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6), Winnipeg Bomberrs (7-9), Cincinnati Chargers (6-10), Minnesota Vikings (6-10), Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-10), Cleveland Browns (6-10)

AFC South: Birmingham Vulcans (11-5), San Antonio Wings (9-7), Miami Dolphins (9-7), Memphis Steamers (8-8), Atlatna Falcons (6-10), Houston Oilers (4-12)

AFC West: Southern California Sun (13-3), San Diego Destroyers (11-5), Kansas City Kings (9-7), Calgary Stampeders (7-9), Vancouver Lumberjacks (6-10), Oakland Raiders (5-11), Edmonton Elks (5-11)


AFC Wildcard: Birmingham def. San Diego 38-6, Boston def. Pittsburgh 30-26

NFC Wildcard: Portland def. Indianapolis 16-3, Toronto def. Washington 30-25

AFC Divisional: Birrmingham def. Southern California 20-17, Brooklyn def. Boston 31-17

NFC Divisional: Portland def. Dallas 17-10, Seattle def. Toronto 31-9

AFC Championship: Brooklyn def. Birmingham 27-10

NFC Championship: Seattle def. Portland 40-3

Super Bowl XIV (at The Kingdome in Seattle, WA): Seattle def. Brooklyn 30-9

NAFL All-Star Game (at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI): NFC def. AFC 31-27

League Leaders

Passing Yards - Leslie Vanwinkle (New York Jets) 5,950

Passing Touchdowns - Brian Wood (Seattle) 53

Passing Rating - Brian Wood (Seattle) 124.8

Rushing Yards - Chuck Foreman (Minnesota) 1,572

Receiving Yards - Thomas Hunter (Boston) 2,005

Total Points - Nestor Snipes (Brooklyn) 151

Tackles - Lemar Parrish (Brooklyn), Daniel Stone (Indianapolis) & Keith White (Denver) 120

Sacks - James Prentice (Boston) 19

Interceptions - Jesse Scott (Atlanta) 8