1980 NAFL season (Jayverse)

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The 1980 NAFL season was the 61st Regular Season of the North American Football League.

Major Rule Changes

  • A ten-second runoff will be implemented when a team commits the following actions to conserve time within the last minute of either half or overtime:
    • Fouls by either team that prevents the snap (e.g. false start, encroachment, etc.)
    • Intentional grounding
    • Illegal forward pass thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage
    • Throwing a backward pass out of bounds
    • Spiking or throwing the ball in the field of play after a down has ended, except after a touchdown
    • Any other intentional foul that causes the clock to stop.
    • Any excess time-out taken for injuries by either team.

Teams can take a time-out (if available) to prevent the runoff.

  • Players are prohibited from striking, swinging, or clubbing to the head, face, or neck. The personal foul could be called whether or not the initial contact was made below the neck.
  • A "Guidelines for Captains" section was added to the rules.

New Referee

The league added a 20th officiating crew, promoting Bob McElwee to referee. The league previously had 25 crews in 1976 (when the league expanded to 50 teams) and 1977. After referee Bernie Ulman retired after the 1977 season, the league used only 48 crews for the 1978 and 1977 season, requiring all 48 of them to be on hand for the weekly workload of 16 games.

Oakland Raiders announce future move to Honolulu in defiance of NAFL vote

In 1979, Raider owner Al Davis announced his intention to move the Raiders to Honolulu. Negotiations between Davis and the Oakland Coliseum regarding potential improvements to the facility came to an end in February 1980. At the NFL's annual meeting on March 10, 1980 following Honolulu hosting the Pro Bowl, team owners voted 37-0 against allowing the move, with the Raiders not participating and five teams abstaining. Davis announced he would ignore the vote and move the team anyway.

The Raiders played the entire 1980 season in Oakland. At a Monday Night Football game against the Boston on December 1, 1980, Raider fans protested by entering the Oakland Coliseum five minutes after the start of the game and holding up signs stating "Save Our Raiders" at each half's 2-minute warning. By some estimates, “almost two-thirds” of the Coliseum's seats had been empty at the game's kickoff.

The announced move was involved in four lawsuits: the Aloha Stadium Commission sued the NAFL charging antitrust violations, the NFL sued the Raiders charging breach of contract, Raider season ticket holders filed a class-action lawsuit, and the City of Oakland filed for eminent domain of the team.

In May 1982, a jury ruled that the NAFL had violated antitrust law by attempting to prevent the move. In April 1983, after the team's first season in Honolulu, a separate jury awarded the Raiders $35 million in damages.

However Oakland will not get an NAFL team until 1985 as the league expands to 56 Teams.

Rookie Draft

The Montreal Beavers got their first pick in the 1980 NAFL Draft to get DE Doug Scott from Boise State, The Houston Oilers got their 2nd Choice in the draft to select WR Lam Jones from Texas and the New Orleans Saints get their 3rd pick to select Stan Brock (T) from Colorado

Other Selections chosen in the 1980 NAFL Draft

Edmonton Elks draft Dan Kearns (DT)

San Francisco 49ers draft Earl Cooper (RB)

Denver Broncos draft Rulon Jones (DE)

St. Louis Gunners draft Curtis Greer (DE)

Oakland Raiders draft Marc Wilson (QB)

Chicago Bears draft Otis Wilson (LB)

New York Jets draft Darrol Ray (CB)

Baltimore Colts draft Curtis Dickey (RB)

Vancouver Lumberjacks draft John Pankrantz (WR)

Cleveland Browns draft Cliff Odom (LB)

Atlanta Falcons draft Junior Miller (TE)

Hamilton Tiger-Cats draft Don Ross (TE)

Minnesota Vikings draft Doug Martin (DE)

Cincinnati Chargers draft Anthony Munoz (T)

Winnipeg Bombers draft Vernon Pahl (LB)

Calgary Stampeders draft Mark Nelson (LB)

New York Giants draft Mark Haynes (CB)

Memphis Steamers draft Craig Puki (LB)

Los Angeles Rams draft Johnnie Johnson (SS)

Detroit Lions draft Billy Sims (RB)

Philadelphia Eagles draft Roynell Young (FS)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft Ray Snell (G)

Miami Dolphins draft Don McNeal (SS)

Ottawa Canadians draft Glen Cook (CB)

Sacramento Condors draft Brad Vassar (LB)

Kansas City Kings draft Brad Budde (G)

Buffalo Bills draft Jim Ritcher (G)

Green Bay Packers draft Bruce Clark (LB)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Mark Malone (QB)

Washington Sentinels draft Art Monk (WR)

San Diego Destroyers draft Ed Luther (QB)

Toronto Huskies draft Phil Jones (CB)

Boston Patriots draft Vagas Ferguson (RB)

Dallas Texans draft Bill Roe (LB)

Southern California Sun draft Charles White (RB)

Birmingham Vulcans draft Steve Whitman (RB)

Seattle Orcas draft Jacob Green (DE)

Houston Oilers draft Dave Krieg (QB)

New Orleans Saints draft Dave Waymer (CB)

San Francisco 49ers draft Keena Turner (LB)

Denver Broncos draft Keith Bishop (G)

Atlanta Falcons draft Ray Donaldson (C)

Oakland Raiders draft Matt Millen (LB)

Chicago Bears draft Steve McMichael (DT)

New York Jets draft Lance Mehl (LB)

Cleveland Browns draft LeRoy Irvin (CB)

Detroit Lions draft Eddie Murray (K)

Miami Dolphins draft Dwight Stephenson (C)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Tunch Ilkin (T)

Washington Sentinels draft Jeff Bostic (C)

Dallas Texans draft Jeff Gossett (P)

Birmingham Vulcans draft Joe Cribbs (RB)

New Orleans Saints draft Carlos Carson (WR)

Atlanta Falcons draft Al Richardson (LB)

Final Standings

NFC East: New York Giants (8-8), Toronto Huskies (8-8), Washington Sentinels (7-9), Baltimore Colts (7-9), Philadelphia Eagles (6-10), Montreal Beavers (2-14)

NFC North: Green Bay Packers (12-4), St. Louis Gunners (8-8), Detroit Lions (8-8), Chicago Bears (7-9), Indianapolis Racers (6-10), Milwaukee Mustangs (6-10)

NFC South: Jacksonville Sharks (12-4), Mexico City Diablos (12-4), New Orleans Saints (10-6), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7), Dallas Texans (9-7), Kentucky Bourbons (8-8)

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

AFC East: New York Jets (12-4), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (10-6), Brooklyn Barons (9-7), Buffalo Bills (7-9), Boston Patriots (6-10), Ottawa Canadians (5-11)

AFC North: Minnesota Vikings (9-7), Cincinnati Chargers (8-8), Cleveland Browns (7-9), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-10), Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-10), Winnipeg Bombers (5-11)

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

AFC West: Southern California Sun (11-5), Kansas City Kings (10-6), San Diego Destroyers (10-6), Vancouver Lumberjacks (9-7), Oakland Raiders (8-8), Calgary Stampeders (8-8), Edmonton Elks (4-12)

Playoffs

AFC Wildcard: Birmingham def. San Diego 41-24, Kansas City def. Minnesota 31-14

NFC Wildcard: Green Bay def. New Orleans 35-14, Mexico City def. NY Giants 33-18

AFC Divisional: Birmingham def. Southern California 27-21, NY Jets def. Kansas City 41-20

NFC Divisional: Seattle def. Green Bay 33-7, Mexico City def. Jacksonville 21-14

AFC Championship: NY Jets def. Birmingham 30-27

NFC Championship: Mexico City def. Seattle 15-14

Super Bowl XV (at The New Orleans Superdome in New Orleans, LA): NY Jets def. Mexico City 31-17

NAFL All-Star Game (at Mile High Stadium in Denver, CO): NFC def. AFC 56-45

League Leaders

Passing Yards - Dan Fouts (Birmingham) 5,074

Passing Touchdowns - Leslie Vanwinkle (NY Jets) 47

Passing Rating - Leslie Vanwinkle (NY Jets) 112.2

Rushing Yards - Charles Schwarz (Atlanta) 1,544

Receiving Yards - Julius Tucker (NY Jets) 2,066

Total Points - Richard Shively (Baltimore) 149

Tackles - Randy Gradishar (Denver) 133

Sacks - Irvin Gerald (Indianapolis) 19

Interceptions - Mike Kozlowski (Brooklyn) 10