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Commissioner Danny Hill established a payroll ceiling of $200 per player and $5,000 per team in 1968.  In 1969 new commish Jim Dunn opened the CFL to bid what they could and the Indianapolis Capitols offered OJ Simpson $400,000 to sign with them.  He signed for $1.1 million with the Buffalo Bills.  The NFL-AFL virtually showed their hand to the CFL that they would not be overtaken and they would bankrupt the CFL in terms of contract signings for the college stars of the 70's.

  Continental Football League (1965 - 1969)


A.B. "Happy" Chandler (1965)

Sal Rosen (1966-1967)

Danny Hill (1968)

Jim Dunn (1969)




1965: Charleston Rockets (14-0)

1966: Philadelphia Bulldogs (9-5)

1967: Orlando Panthers (11-3)

1968: Orlando Panthers (10-2)

1969: Indianapolis Capitols (8-4)


The Continental Football League was formed in 1965 with hopes of being a "minor" league counterpart to the major leagues at the time, the NFL and AFL. The league did it's best to adopt a "professional" appearance. Rules were standardized, with 36-man rosters and 5-man taxi squads for each team. The league followed the NFL rules closely, except for a "sudden death" overtime to break ties. Teams were required to meet a $5,000 franchise fee and to post a $25,000 letter of credit.

The original teams came mainly from two semi-pro leagues, the United Football League and the Atlantic Coast Football League. 

In 1966 the league began to move away from league autonomy towards working alliances with the AFL and NFL clubs.  When the league moved in this direction, Commissioner Chandler saw it as moving away from the charter for which he signed up and resigned in January after 10 months.  Sal Rosen, owner of the Newark Bears and league secretary was his replacement.  The "new" tool of television, created a flurry of failed attempts in the preseason to get the Continental Football League games televised.

Expansion to the west coast happened with the absorption of the Pacific Football League.  San Jose featured a young up-and-coming junior college coach by the name of Bill Walsh.

In 1967 teams could carry 36 players on their active roster and a 5 man taxi squad.

The season didn't go too well with teams folding before and during the early parts of the season.

In order to become more "Continental" the league merged with the Professional Football League of America which brought in the Central Division teams like Omaha.

With the absorption of the Texas Professional Football League in 1969, the CFL looked poised to take over as the largest football league in the country and began bidding for USC star OJ Simpson.  The merged AFL-NFL owners opened their pocket books for the 1970 season and began paying salaries the CFL couldn't compete with and the league disintegrated as backers pulled out seeing the writing on the wall.

1967 CFL Pacific Division All-Stars:


Joe Peyton, SE - Seattle

Bruce Smith, SE - Orange County

Jerry Knoll, T - Seattle

Steve Smith, T - San Jose

Jim Killman,  G - Eugene

Mike Giers, G - Orange County

Larry Metevia, C - Orange County

Rhome Nixon, TE - Orange County

Jerry Otterson, QB - Orange County

Les Mueller, HB - Seattle

Bob Jackson, FB - Orange County

Dick Tatley, PK - San Jose

Len Frketich, P - Eugene

Bill Ford,  FL - Eugene


Rob Berger, DE - Orange County

Walt Johnson, DE - San Jose

Skip Diaz, DT - Eugene

Terry Oaks, DT - San Jose

Jack O'Billovich, LB - Eugene

Tim Casey, LB - Eugene

Dick Degen, LB - Orange County

Fred Forsberg, LB - Victoria

Ron Fowlkes, DB - Orange County

Jim Jackson, DB - San Jose

Milt Jackson, DB - San Jose

Darrell Hoover, DB - Orange County


1968 Continental Football League All-Stars:


Joe Wynns, SE - Indianapolis

Mike Capshaw, T - Norfolk

Dick Fitzgerald, T - Omaha

Sam Works, G - Orlando

Dwight Little, G - Indianapolis

Tom Mitrakos, C - Spokane

Rhome Nixon, TE - Orange County

Junior Edge, QB - Norfolk

Eugene Wren, HB - Indianapolis

Bob Jackson, FB - Orange County

Don Floyd, FL - Norfolk


Bob McAdams, DE - Orlando

Bob Hoskins, DE - Seattle

Rich Zecker, DT - Sacramento

Joe Critchlow, DT - Charleston

Leroy Adams, LB - Chicago

Ron Sbranti, LB - Sacramento

Frank Galloway, LB - Charleston

Ron Fowlkes, CB - Orange County

Pete Athas, CB - Orlando

Joe Hightower, S/PK - Norfolk

Darrell Hoover, S - Orange County

Jim Hollingsworth, P - Charleston

Cornell Champion, KR - Orlando


1969 CFL Pacific Division All-Stars:


Rhome Nixon, SE - Portland (Southern University)

Steve Van Sinderen, OT - Portland (Washington State)

Rex Pitts, OT - Seattle (Los Angeles State)

Ray Miller, OT - Spokane (Idaho)

Rich Zecher, OG - Sacramento (Utah State)

Bob Webb, OG - Las Vegas (Mississippi Southern)

Ron Vrlicak, C - Seattle (Washington State)

Joy Peyton, TE - Seattle (University of Puget Sound)

Jerry Ahlin, TE - Spokane (Idaho)

Hugh Oldham, FL - Sacramento (Oregon)

Dewey Warren, QB - Las Vegas (Tennessee)

Noki Fuimaono, HB - Spokane (Arizona)

Bob Jackson, FB - Portland (New Mexico State)

Ron Miller, PK - Sacramento (California)

Hugh Oldham, KR - Sacramento (Oregon)


Nick Kuklica, DE - Sacramento (San Francisco State)

Mike Martin, DE - Seattle (Washington State)

Larry Cox, DT - Las Vegas (Abilene Christian)

Bruce Norton, DT - Sacramento (None)

Mike Hibler, LB - Sacramento (Stanford)

George Jugum, LB - Seattle (Washington)

Mike Foote, LB - Las Vegas (Oregon State)

Leroy Harris, CB - Sacramento (Idaho State)

Mason Mitchell, CB - Seattle (Washington)

Henry King, S - Sacramento (Utah State)

Al Worley, S - Seattle (Washington)

Ron Miller, P - Sacramento (California)

Dave Danish, PR - Seattle (Washington)

1965 West Division  
Charleston Rockets 14-0
Ft. Wayne Warriors 8-6
Richmond Rebels 6-8
Providence Indians 3-11
Hartford Charter Oaks 2-12
1965 East Division  
Toronto Rifles 11-3
Philadelphia Bulldogs 10-4
Springfield Acorns 9-5
Newark Bears 5-9
Wheeling Ironmen 2-12
1966 West Division  
Orlando Panthers 12-2  
Charleston Rockets 10-4  
Montreal Beavers 7-7  
Richmond Rebels 4-10  
Wheeling Ironmen 0-14  
1966 East Division  
Toronto Rifles 9-5  
Philadelphia Bulldogs 9-5  
Norfolk Neptunes 8-6  
Hartford Charter Oaks 6-8  
Brooklyn Dodgers 5-9  
1967 Atlantic North Division  
Norfolk Neptunes 11-3  
Hartford Charter Oaks 5-7  
Montreal Beavers 4-8  
Toronto Rifles 1-3  
Akron Vulcans 1-3  
1967 Pacific Division  
Orange County Ramblers 10-2  
San Jose Apaches 8-4  
Seattle Rangers 7-6  
Eugene Bombers 6-6  
Victoria Steelers 4-8  
Sacramento Buccaneers 2-10  
Long Beach Admirals 0-1  
1967 Atlantic South Division  
Orlando Panthers 11-3  
Charleston Rockets 6-8  
Wheeling Ironmen 5-9  
Richmond Rebels  
Philadelphia Bulldogs  
1968 Atlantic Division  
Orlando Panthers 10-2  
Ohio Valley Ironmen 9-3  
Charleston Rockets 8-3  
Norfolk Neptunes 7-5  
Alabama Hawks 5-7  
Michigan Arrows 1-11  
1968 Central Division  
Indianapolis Capitols 8-4  
Omaha Mustangs 7-5  
Chicago Owls 6-6  
Oklahoma City Plainsmen 5-6  
Arkansas Diamonds 2-10  
Las Vegas Cowboys 1-9  
Quad Cities Raiders 0-2  
1968 Pacific Division  
Orange County Ramblers 11-1  
Seattle Rangers 7-5  
Sacramento Capitols 5-7  
Spokane Shockers 3-9  
1969 East Division  
Orlando Panthers 10-2  
Norfolk Neptunes 8-4  
Jersey Jays 7-5  
Alabama Hawks 6-6  
Arkansas Diamonds 5-7  
1969 Central Division  
Indianapolis Capitols 8-4  
Ohio Valley Ironmen 6-6  
Omaha Mustangs 6-6  
Chicago Owls 5-7  
Tri-City Apollos 2-10  
1969 Texas Division  
San Antonio Toros 7-4  
West Texas Rufneks 7-4  
Texarkana Titans 7-5  
Tulsa Thunderbirds 5-6  
Fort Worth Braves 5-7  
Mexico Golden Aztecs 2-6  
Dallas 1-10  
1969 Pacific Division  
Las Vegas Cowboys 8-4  
Sacramento Capitols 8-4  
Seattle Rangers 7-5  
Spokane Shockers 5-7  
Portland Loggers 3-9  

Famous Alumns:

Coach Bill Walsh - San Jose (49ers/Stanford)

Coach Sam Wyche - Wheeling (Bengals)

QB Ken Stabler - Spokane (Raiders)

T Gary Bugenhagen - Indianapolis (Bills)

T Wallace Dickey - Orlando (Broncos)

C Jim Clack - Norfolk (Steelers
DE Coy Bacon - Charleston (Redskins)

DE Otis Sistrunk - Norfolk (Raiders)

DT Bob Hoskins - Seattle (49ers)

LB Fred Forsberg - Victoria (Broncos)

LB Tim Casey - Eugene (Bears)

LB Ron McCall - Las Vegas (Chargers)

LB Pete Athas - Norfolk (Giants)

PK Garo Ypremian - Michigan (Dolphins)

QB Don Jonas - Orlando (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)