1994 NAFL season (Jayverse)

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The 1994 NAFL season was the 75th regular season of the North American Football League. To honor the NAFL's 75th season, a special anniversary logo was designed and each player wore a patch on their jerseys with this logo throughout the season. Also, a selection committee of media and league personnel named a special NAFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, honoring the best NAFL players from the first 75 seasons.

The Kentucky Bourbons have been sold to James Orthwein last year and made the decision to force the Bourbons to relocate to St. Louis, MO and became the Stallions for the 1994 Season giving St. Louis an NAFL Team since the St. Louis Gunners left for Baltimore in 1988.

This was also the first season that the league also signed an exclusivity agreement with the new direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service DirecTV to launch NAFL Sunday Ticket, a satellite television subscription service that offers every regular season NAFL game. The package remains exclusive to DirecTV to this day.

This was also the first year of the current practice of whenever Christmas Day falls on a Sunday that most of that weekend's games were played on the Saturday afternoon of Christmas Eve. Every NFL season afterwards with Christmas Day on a Sunday has followed this same scheduling format. Prior to the 1990 introduction of the bye week, Christmas had fallen within the postseason. In years in which Christmas was on a Sunday, that weekend's games would be split between Saturday December 24 and Monday December 26.

The NAFL's salary cap was implemented this season.

Major Rule Changes

A package of changes were adopted to increase offensive production and scoring:

  • The two-point conversion after touchdowns is adopted.
  • The spot of the kickoff is moved from the 35-yard line to the 30-yard line. This rule change would be reverted prior to the 2011 season.
  • The “neutral zone infraction” foul is adopted. A play is automatically dead before the snap when a defensive player enters the neutral zone and causes an offensive player to react.
  • After a field goal is missed, the defensive team takes possession of the ball at the spot of the kick (instead of at the line of scrimmage) or the 20-yard line, whichever is farther from the goal line.
  • During field goal attempts and extra point tries, players on the receiving team cannot block below the waist.
  • The referee shall announce the end of each period on his microphone. Prior to 1994, an official (the line judge from 1965 up to 1993) fired a starter's pistol to signal the end of a period.

Throwback Games and Uniforms

The league also honored its 75th season by having each team wear throwback uniforms during selected games. The designs varied widely in their accuracy; many of them were not completely accurate for a number of reasons:

  • Although no attempt was made to simulate obsolete leather helmets (which were phased out in the 1950s), teams simulating uniforms from the era of leather headgear (Bears, Cardinals, Lions, Packers, Redskins, Steelers, Huskies) simply removed all decals and striping from their regular hard-shell helmets.
  • All jerseys displayed the players' last names on the back, though this practice did not become standard until 1970.
  • The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets' otherwise accurate throwbacks used different colored helmets than their historic uniforms used, being red and green, respectively, instead of white. The Dallas Cowboys wore their then-current helmets with their throwbacks. The Cowboys and the Bills would later adopt a more accurate representation of their 1960s throwbacks as their alternative uniform, while the Jets would move to a style similar to their throwbacks but with a darker shade of green and green facemasks full-time in 1998.
  • In some instances the fonts and typestyles used were only approximate matches at best. The San Diego Chargers and Houston Oilers' throwbacks averted this, being completely accurate replications, including typefaces, of their first uniforms in 1960. The Chargers and the Oilers’ successors, the Tennessee Titans, wore these throwbacks again for the American Football League's 50th anniversary celebration during the 2009 season.
  • On-field officials working these throwback games wore flat caps similar to the ones that NFL officials wore back in the 1920s, but still had on their regular striped shirts instead of the white dress shirts worn during that era.

Some teams occasionally wore their throwbacks in additional games during the season, and the San Francisco 49ers wore them through the Super Bowl. They proved to be so popular that the New York Giants followed the lead of the Jets (who went back to their 1960s logo in 1998) and eventually returned to wearing them full-time, with very slight modifications, in 2000.

Rookie Draft

The Orlando Wizards are the Top Draft Choice in the 1994 NAFL Draft in which they select Ohio State DT Dan Wilkinson

Other Picks Selected in the draft are as follows

Nashville Titans draft Heath Shuler (QB)

Quebec City Voyagers draft Val St. Germain (G)

San Francisco 49ers draft Bryant Young (DT)

Charlotte Panthers draft Dewayne Washington (CB)

Austin Armadillos draft Sam Adams (DT)

Montreal Alouettes draft Vince Danielsen (WR)

Saskatchewan Roughriders draft Chris Adams (T)

Philadelphia Eagles draft Bernard Williams (T)

Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks draft Bucky Brooks (FS)

Calgary Stampeders draft Ed Philion (DT)

Detroit Lions draft Van Malone (CB)

Minnesota Vikings draft Todd Steussie (T)

St. Louis Stallions draft Trev Alberts (LB)

New York Jets draft Aaron Glenn (CB)

Memphis Steamers draft Isaac Bruce (WR)

San Diego Destroyers draft Marshall Faulk (RB)

Kansas City Colts draft Greg Hill (RB)

New York Giants draft Thomas Lewis (WR)

Birmingham Vulcans draft Antonio Langham (SS)

Boston Patriots draft Willie McGinest (DE)

Atlanta Falcons draft Bert Emanuel (WR)

Cleveland Browns draft Derrick Alexander (WR)

New Orleans Saints draft Joe Johnson (DE)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Charles Johnson (WR)

Central Valley Coyotes draft Johnnie Morton (WR)

Miami Dolphins draft Tim Bowens (DT)

Baltimore Ravens draft Larry Allen (G)

Vancouver Lumberjacks draft Stefan Ptaszek (WR)

Los Angeles Rams draft Wayne Gandy (T)

Seattle Orcas draft Kevin Mawae (C)

Portland Storm draft Romeo Bandison (DT)

Winnipeg Bombers draft Mitch Berger (P)

Washington Sentinels draft Tre Johnson (G)

Buffalo Bills draft Lonnie Johnson (TE)

Southern California Sun draft Jason Sehorn (SS)

Denver Broncos draft Allen Aldridge (LB)

Houston Oilers draft Henry Ford (DT)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft Errict Rhett (RB)

Dallas Texans draft Shante Carver (DE)

Indianapolis Racers draft Eric Mahlum (G)

Arizona Cardinals draft Jamir Miller (LB)

Cincinnati Chargers draft Darnay Scott (WR)

Chicago Bears draft John Thierry (DE)

Hamilton Tiger-Cats draft Jeff Garcia (QB)

Halifax Schooners draft Rodney Harrison (S)

Nashville Titans draft Charlie Garner (RB)

Oklahoma City Outlaws draft Jason Gildon (LB)

San Francisco 49ers draft Lee Woodall (LB)

Reno Aces draft Derrick Deese (T)

Austin Armadillos draft Winfred Tubbs (LB)

Saskatchewan Roughriders draft Andrew Greene (T)

San Jose Surge draft Trent Dilfer (QB)

Philadelphia Eagles draft Jeff Wilkins (K)

Calgary Stampeders draft Jay McNeil (G)

New York Jets draft Orlando Parker (WR)

San Diego Destroyers draft Robert Griffith (FS)

New York Giants draft Tito Wooten (CB)

Atlanta Falcons draft Jamal Anderson (RB)

Miami Dolphins draft Tim Ruddy (C)

Los Angeles Rams draft D'Marco Farr (DT)

Seattle Orcas draft Larry Whigham (FS)

Green Bay Packerrs draft Dorsey Levens (RB)

Washington Sentinels draft Gus Frerotte (QB)

Denver Broncos draft Tom Nalen (C)

Jacksonville Sharks draft Mike Hollis (K)

Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks draft Dwayne Carswell (TE)

Central Valley Coyotes draft Jeff Burris (CB)

San Diego Destroyers draft David Binn (C)

Denver Broncos draft Rod Smith (WR)

Green Bay Packers draft Kurt Warner (QB)

Final Standings

NFC East: New York Giants (23-7), Jacksonville Sharks (19-11), Baltimore Ravens (19-11), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18-12), Montreal Alouettes (16-14), Toronto Huskies (15-15), Washington Sentinels (15-15), Hartford Breeakers (13-17), Charlotte Panthers (12-18), Quebec City Voyageurs (11-19), Philadelphia Eagles (11-19)

NFC Central: Chicago Bears (24-6), Mexico City Diablos (18-12), Dallas Texans (17-13), Detroit Lions (17-13), Indianapolis Racers (15-15), Austin Armadillos (15-15), St. Louis Stallions (15-15), Green Bay Packers (13-17), New Orleans Saints (13-17), Kansas City Colts (13-17), Nashville Titans (11-19)

NFC West: Portland Storm (22-8), Seattle Orcas (19-11), Las Vegas Gamblers (18-12), Sacramento Condors (18-12), Denver Broncos (17-13), Vancouver Lumberjacks (16-14), Calgary Stampeders (15-15), Arizona Firebirds (12-18), Los Angeles Rams (11-19), San Francisco 49ers (11-19), Edmonton Elks (9-21)

AFC East: Boston Patriots (19-11), New York Jets (17-13), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (17-13), Atlanta Falcons (17-13), Miami Dolphins (16-14), Brooklyn Barons (14-16), Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks (13-17), Ottawa Canadians (12-18), Halifax Schooners (9-21), Buffalo Bills (8-22), Orlando Wizards (5-25)

AFC Central: Houston Oilers (21-9), Cincinnati Chargers (20-10), Memphis Steamers (19-11), Winnipeg Bombers (18-12), Birmingham Vulcans (17-13), Pittsburgh Steelers (16-14), Minnesota Vikings (16-14), Cleveland Browns (15-15), Saskatchewan Roughriders (14-16), Oklahoma City Outlaws (10-20), San Antonio Dreadnoughts (10-20)

AFC West: San Diego Destroyers (25-5), Oakland Invaders (21-9), Honolulu Raiders (20-10), Southern California Sun (16-14), Reno Aces (15-15), Salt Lake City Pioneers (12-18), Spokane Shock (11-19), New Mexico Rattlers (10-20), Tucson Wranglers (10-20), San Jose Surge (9-21), Central Valley Coyotes (7-23)

Playoffs

AFC Divisional: San Diego def. Honolulu 32-31, Oakland def. Houston 31-25

NFC Divisional: Chicago def. Baltimore 45-17, New York def. Portland 31-17

AFC Championship: Oakland def. San Diego 20-17

NFC Championship: Chicago def. New York 48-13

Super Bowl XXIX (at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena): Oakland def. Chicago 38-28

Pro Bowl: NFC def. AFC 17-14

League Leaders

Passing Yards - John Elway (Brooklyn) 8,805

Passing TD's - Stephen Sewell (Chicago) 77

Passing Rating - Jeff Francis (Honolulu) 108.1

Rushing Yards - Alfred Vogt (Mexico City) 3,035

Receiving Yards - Andre Reed (Boston) 3,301

Total Points - Jay Chaves (San Diego) 275

Tackles - Derrick Thomas (Kansas City) 233

Sacks - Dale Soria (Cincinnati) 27

Interceptions - Vernon Gonzalez (Philadelphia) 16