The PDFL was born out of the remnants of the
Level Football League which
was touted to be a "professional" league paying it's players and staff
and having it's games broadcast on Comcast Sports Net.
When that failed to get off the ground, Tom Abbott
approached Mike Erickson of the Oregon Thunderbolts about organizing a
league similar to the NLFL but as an amateur venture in 2009 with hopes
of being "pro" in 2010. They were able to recruit Wes Fishers'
Snohomish County Vikings along with original NLFL start up team, the
Tacoma Cobras. Those four teams would make up the PDFL and fill in
bye dates with various independent teams willing to play "pro" teams.
The Tacoma Cobras shook off a first week set back
against the Thunderbolts to win six straight games, including three over
the Bellingham Blitz to win the PDFL Championship 36-31 over Bellingham.
The Vikings returned to the amateur ranks in 2010
and to replace them the PDFL accepted the Boise Buccaneers.
Nothing changed with the top 2 teams, however a bad
move by the Cobras traveling with a light roster cost them an undefeated
season through a shocking upset at the hands of the Buccaneers.
The Thunderbolts couldn't muster much competition and along with Boise
forfeited games. The Cobras were virtually unchallenged by the
other members of the PDFL as evidenced by nearly half of their roster
(32 players) named as "All-PDFL". The Blitz made up 18 spots,
Boise 4 and Portland had zero selections.
The PDFL announced in November the Salt Lake City
Crush and Bend Mountaineers to replace the Oregon Thunderbolts in the league lineup.
The Blitz never formally announced they were leaving the PDFL, but in
January showed up on the 2011 schedule for the WWFA, a branch off of the
Cascade League where the team originally formed as the Whatcom Raiders.
The Bend team never formed and Salt Lake City failed to make any
scheduled games. Commissioner Theo Hall changed the final regular
season game between Tacoma and Boise scheduled to be played in Tacoma,
into the "PDFL Bowl III" ending the two-team league season a full month
early. Tacoma had lost most of it's players to other teams due in
large part to the collapsing league and the long layoffs between games.
With a makeshift roster, the Cobras easily
dominated the weaker Boise squad 40-7 to lay claim to the 2-team PDFL