The original league consisted of 10 teams in 2 divisions. The league expanded to 12 teams for the 1995 season, however it returned to its roots by operating as a 10 team league in 1996. Six teams returned for the 1996 Season. The league added 3 expansion teams and returned one of the original charter teams from the 1994 season for 1996, and operated as a 10 team league with 2 Divisions containing 5 teams apiece. After operating as the MANATEES for the first 2 years in the league, the N. BUFFALO ownership renamed their team due to poor merchandise sales. They chose a more aggressive nickname and added black to their team colors. Their new name (keeping with the aquatic motif) is the N. BUFFALO STINGRAYS. The CHICAGO ZACK ATTACK (formerly the Orchard Park Zack Attack) relocated to Indiana in 1996 in search of a safe haven from teamsters in local 191. They were also running from back taxes in Cook County (Chicago). After operating as the ZACK ATTACK for two seasons, the owners renamed their franchise the INDIANA INBREDS in 1996, to properly reflect their mutation stemming from their move to Indiana wastelands outside Chicago. The INBREDS moved AGAIN in 1997 and have been RENAMED the NEW YORK TRANSPLANTS. The Annapolis franchise which operated as the Ravens in 1996 in honor of Art Modell, have folded for the 1997 season.
After a 1 year hiatus, the WEST SIDE JACKALS (known as the Buffalo Jackals in 1994) returned with reorganized ownership. Glidden Paint mogul Chuck Saeva took over the reigns and nearly engineered a birth in the championship game. Hamburg received a replacement team in 1996 when the Hamburg Hobos were awarded to replace the now defunct 1994 Hamburg Hurricanes, however the Hobos folded due to ownership in-fighting and will not return for 1997. After two years in the league, the West Seneca HighRollers were sold in 1996 and renamed the WEST SENECA GOODFELLAS. The 1995 Niagara X-Men went bankrupt and were replaced in 1996 by the Williamsville RoughRiders. The 1995 BRIGHTON BLASTERS, whose ownership had splintered off from the 1994 WEBSTER ROADKILL folded and remerged with WEBSTER after a disastrous 1995 campaign for both teams. The franchise charter for the WEBSTER ROADKILL was REVOKED by the league and they were not invited back for the 1997 season since they stiffed the league of their 1996 franchise fee.
The Holland Lumbermen ceased operations after the 1995 season. The Cheektowaga Argonauts (who made the playoffs each of the previous two seasons) were granted a one year leave of absence to reorganize their finances but have since FOLDED. The 1995 Grand Island Vikings also took a 1 year leave of absence for 1996 but returned for the 1997 season. The 1994 Memphis Hound Dogs relocated and returned for the 1997 season as the Orchard Park Pondscum.
The league consisted of 13 teams for the 1997 season with 4 returning teams -- the Depew Skunks (Mike SantaLucia); New York Transplants (Brant Moustis); Sterling StingRays (Dave Saeva); and Tonawanda Marauders (Frank Wozniak) as well as 6 expansion teams -- the Amherst Self High Fives (Bob Andrews); East Aurora Militia (Karl Gaston); Norwalk Intruders (Lenny Stubbe); Prospect Gamblers (Frank Cotroneo); South Buffalo Zygomatics (Bill Kennelly & Paul Krs); and the University Stalkers (Chuck Giglia) and 3 former teams -- the Grand Island Vikings (Vincent SantaLucia); Orchard Park Pondscum (Pete SantaLucia); West Side Jackals (Chuck & Brian Saeva).
The league took a one year hiatus in 1998 and returned in 1999 bigger and better than ever with 14 teams. The 1999 season saw the introduction of the internet and the conversion of all league operations through the world wide web. Six new teams joined the league for the 1999 season, including the Arizona Javelinas (Greg DuBose), the North Buffalo Threaders (Jamie DeWald), the Jersey Toxic Waste (Kyle Clendennen), the Paradise Purple People Eaters (Jeff Hayes), the Southtowns Social Darwinists (Matt Green & Renata Towne), and the Valencia Absolut (Brett Findley). The Depew Skunks were renamed the Great Lakes Bottom Feeders, while the South Buffalo Zygomatics purged an owner and were owned solely by Bill Kennelly. Bill renamed his franchise the Downtown P-T-S. The Prospect Gamblers added an owner (Frank Insera) and were renamed the NorthWest Gamblers.
The 2000 season saw 4 franchises fold or take a hiatus... Arizona (hiatus), Sterling (fold), Orchard Park (fold), and University (fold). The Paradise franchise was relocated and renamed the Ken-Ton Tormentors (same ownership). The Southtowns franchise purged an owner, relocated, and was owned exclusively by Renata Towne (the leagues only female owner). Renata renamed her franchise the Harris Hill Hurricanes. The Great Lakes Bottom Feeders were renamed for the 5th time in 6 years and became the Parkwood Predators. The Grand Island Vikings relocated to the Carolinas and were renamed the Coastal Carolina Breakers just prior to the draft. The Valencia Absolut will be known as the California High Sierras for the 2000 season. The Downtown P-T-S renamed their franchise the South Buffalo Griffins. The North Buffalo Threaders have renamed their franchise the Starin Steelers.
The 2000 season also saw the return of the former Amherst Self High Fives (owned by Bob Andrews) who have relocated to Cincinnati and renamed their franchise the Midwest Maulers. The Northwest Gamblers ownership split into 2 (the North Park Gamblers owned by Frank Cotroneo, and the Wellington Bulls owned by Frank Insera). New franchises for the 2000 season included the Lackawanna Wolverines (owned by Don Picone), and the East Carolina E-Block Killas (owned by Peter Molinari and Kevin Wright).
2001 saw the return of 12 of the 14 franchises. The Harris Hill Hurricanes and Ken-Ton Tormentors ceased operations after a 2 year run. They were replaced by the Southtowns Stallions, owned by Steve Jones, and the Florida Sharks, owned by Marc Cotroneo & Greg McFarland. 2001 also saw the introduction of a keeper format to the league, with the draft order decided by previous years finish and teams eligible to keep up to 3 players each season in exchange for a draft pick 3 rounds earlier than where the player was selected in the draft the previous year. No Keepers were eligible to be kept in 2001 but it's draft was the basis for keepers in 2002.
2002 saw 11 out of the 14 teams returning. The East Carolina E-Block Killas were taken over by Jon Kolt and his Williamsville Koltraines. Bill Kennelly transferred ownership of his South Buffalo Griffins to Mike Minnuto who renamed the squad the Amherst Snobs. The Wellington Bulls (Frank Insera) transferred ownership to Joe Fidster who renamed the team the Boston Fidsters. Further, after a disastrous season season in 2001, the Coastal Carolina Breakers who owned the 1st pick in the draft moved South to the Orlando area and renamed their franchise the Central Florida Peanuts.
2003 saw the attrition of 2 teams, with the league reverting to a 12 team structure for the first time since 1996. The North Park Gamblers and Florida Sharks folded, while the Boston Fidsters moved West to Indiana with new ownership from former NF-FFL owner Brant Moustis (of Moustis Toiletbowl fame) who reinstated the Indiana Inbreds team name he used many years ago. 2003 was also the last year of keepers, as they were voted out for the 2004 season and beyond since they were partially to blame on why replacement owners could not be found for Florida and North Park who had left their franchises with a terrible selection of keepers. 2003 also saw the renaming of a couple franchises, as the Starin Steelers to the Lancaster Rampage... further, the California HighSierras were re-branded with their original name and returned for their 4th NF-FFL season as the Valencia Absolut.
2004 brought expansion back to the league as the NF-FFL expanded back to 14 teams as it had been in years past. But before we could expand, we had to replace the Indiana Inbreds who merged ownership with the defending back-to-back champion Parkwood Predators. The Inbreds franchise was replaced by the Hamburg Havoc, owned by newcomers Chris Boglev and Jason Mead. The 2 expansion teams were the California Crush, owned by Brent Davis, and the Port St. Lucie SandDragons, owned by John Lauter. Additionally, the West Seneca Wolverines moved south and were renamed the North Carolina Wolverines.
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