OFL history and honors

In 1993, unhappy with the other choices in professional football, a small renegade group of players organized a new league, originally called "MCZFL" (Museum of Comparative Zoology Football League—so named because the field was in front of said museum in Cambridge). In January of 1994 the first MCZ Super Bowl was played, to little fanfare.

During the 1994 the season the league expanded to include games on a field on Francis Ave. in Cambridge, although Super Bowl II was played at the original Oxford St. location. Super Bowl II was the first to have the now traditional tailgating postgame party.

The league flourished through the next couple of seasons at the Oxford St. location, codifying the rules, while developing some of the traditions that make the league unique. The first MVP awards were given out and the game recap tradition was begun. Super Bowl IV was a stunning success, with the first ever halftime parade and an end zone celebration dance contest (which ended in a bourbon bottle breaking on the field).

By 1997 it was clear that the league had outgrown its surroundings on Oxford St. The fifth season opened with much fanfare to a new location, Conway Park in Somerville, and a new name, OFL (or "Our Football League"). The '97 season was extremely successful, culminating in a large Super Bowl - all previous attendance records were shattered.

The 1998 season, the league's sixth, began with controversy as the city of Somerville refused to pay for a new stadium and the league moved back to Cambridge, but this time to the Cambridge Commons not three blocks from the location of the very first real North American collegiate rugby game ever played* where it flourished until 2014 when work began on Cambridge Commons Stadium and the league moved to East Cambridge.

*Tufts beats Harvard! June 4, 1875 at Jarvis Field on the corner of Everett and Jarvis Streets. Note, this was a year before Walter Camp's initial rules were published, and clearly was rugby.

Awards (Since 1995)

The Player of the Year is awarded to the player who most significantly contributes to the ideals of the game: Toughness, Selflessness and Community. In the 2013 the award was renamed after Randy Lee Jr. who passed away that year. Randy embodied those ideals and will always be remembered by his teammates.

Superbowl XXIX MVP:
Kyle Pinkerton
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2022/2023:
Nick Nunes
Superbowl XXVIII MVP:
Phil Thurner
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2021/2022:
Lucas Bancroft-Baer
Superbowl XXVII MVP:
Mike Degatano
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2019/2020:
Jeremy Malsch
Superbowl XXVI MVP:
Kyle Pinkerton
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2018/2019:
Michael Gruber
Superbowl XXV MVP:
Matt Carey
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2017/2018:
Richard Raihill
Superbowl XXIV MVP:
Mike Degatano
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2016/2017:
Jesse Lacika
Superbowl XXIII MVP:
Adam Baldinger
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2015/2016:
Mehran Khosrowdad
Superbowl XXII MVP:
Jeff Mullin
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2014/2015:
Brandon James
Superbowl XXI MVP:
Brandon James
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2013/2014:
Rick Roth
Superbowl XX MVP:
Jeff Mullin
Randy Lee Jr. Player of the Year 2012/2013:
Jesse Lacika
Superbowl XIX MVP:
Jeff Mullin
Player of the Year 2011/2012:
Brandon James
Superbowl XVIII MVP:
Prabal Chakrabarti
Player of the Year 2010/2011:
Luke McInnis
Superbowl XVII MVP:
Luke McInnis
Player of the Year 2009/2010:
Jesse Lacika
Superbowl XVI MVP:
Brandon James
Player of the Year 2008/2009:
Jeff Mullin
Superbowl XV MVP:
Prabal Chakrabarti
Player of the Year 2007/2008:
Bryan Devereaux
Superbowl XIV MVP:
Joe Schroeder
Player of the Year 2006/2007:
Randy Lee
Superbowl XIII MVP:
Jesse Richardson
Player of the Year 2005/2006:
Bryan Devereaux
Superbowl XII MVP:
Rick Roth
Player of the Year 2004/2005:
Kevin Nangle
Superbowl XI MVP:
Adam Kahn
Player of the Year 2003/2004:
Kevin Wong
Superbowl X MVP:
Ronnie Broadfoot
Player of the Year 2002/2003:
Richard Raihill
Superbowl IX MVP:
Adam Baldinger
Player of the Year 2001/2002:
Bryan Devereaux
Superbowl VIII MVP:
Bryan Devereaux
Player of the Year 2000/2001:
Conor Nagle
Superbowl VII MVP:
Adam Baldinger
Player of the Year 1999/2000:
Jeff Bellerose
Superbowl VI MVP:
John Mattias
Player of the Year 1998/99:
Richard Raihill
Superbowl V MVP:
John Eichman
Player of the Year 1997/98:
Brian Carman
Superbowl IV MVP:
Dan Belich
Player of the Year 1996/97:
Ronnie Broadfoot
Superbowl III MVP:
Leslie Thomas
Player of the Year 1995/96:
Leslie Thomas

OFL Hall of Fame

This hallowed Ring of Honor includes the following players who added greatness to the league with their enthusiasm and dedication.

Class of 1996

The Big Tree On Oxford Street (inducted in 1996): First star defensive player of the then MCZFL. More batted balls than any other player (or any other inanimate object) in league history.

Class of 1997

Mac "Crazy Legs" Stanfield (inducted 1997): revolutionized the game with cunning offensive strategy.

Class of 1998

Stephanie Bowers (inducted in 1998): revolutionized the art of whining about Ronnie and later Rick. However, she single-handedly won games as both quarterback and receiver.

Victoria Van Cleef (inducted in 1998): revolutionized the art of holding and counting to "five Mississippi" incredibly fast. Second on the all-time sack list at the time of her retirement.

Mike Dyer (inducted in 1998): revolutionized the art of trying to get away from Victoria and the use of ridiculously skimpy outfits on freezing January mornings. Was first on the all-time touchdown list at the time of his retirement.

Class of 1999

Peter Niemeyer (inducted in 1999): A dedicated player who was able to fill in at a number of roles: receiver, quarterback, and pass rusher. He mastered the no-look pass and was one of three players who survived the utterly insane conditions of the "Hurricane of Death Game" of 1997.

Class of 2000

Jeff Bellerose (inducted in 2000): Absolutely dominated all receiving categories for two seasons, smashed all receiving records, forcing major changes in the OFL rule book. One of the most feared offensive players in the history of professional football, despite being an unusually nice fellow.

Class of 2002

Al Janik "The Chicago Kid" (inducted in 2002): While he did not log as much playing time as some others in this Ring of Honor, he was certainly one of the most entertaining players in the history of the league (and there's something to be said for entertainment.) "The Kid" gave us probably the most hilarious (and heads-up) play in the history of football -- an outrunning/outskating/outfoxing of his opponent on a large patch of ice in a late December thriller. While he also gave us perhaps the stupidest injury in all of sports (a career-ending hamstring tear while trying to advance an incomplete pass -- as a sub from the sidelines), he otherwise played doggedly and with grace, wits, and ultimately with as much "football soul" as anyone this Commissioner has ever seen play the game.

Class of 2006

Ronnie Broadfoot (inducted in 2006): Ronnie became the first-ever player to be inducted while still technically active. Besides the Commissioner, Ronnie at the time of his retirement was the longest-playing original player (from year one of the OFL). A multi-award player over the years, Ronnie stoically survived the most horrendous weather and playing conditions, including the Hurricane of Death game. Following in the glorious tradition of Texas-bred football players he played with passion and skill and loyalty to the league and remained true Black and Gold throughout - filling whatever role his team needs him to and doing it well to boot.

Class of 2009

Dan Morgan (inducted in 2009): Dan was often the primary defender guarding Jeff Bellerose, and the two dog-fought for a number of seasons, providing some absolutely classic battles. Dan was one of the more gifted athletes of his day and played with heart and soul and cheer, and was often the first guy to throw himself into a mud puddle. He remains an active enthusiast of OFL football, albeit from afar.

Class of 2010

Bryan Devereaux (inducted in 2010): Bryan was the most dominant player in the league for almost a decade (2000 to 2008), breaking all and any offensive and defensive records. Bryan was capable of anything as a receiver, defender, pass rush, kicker, even quarterback, en route to countless game MVP awards, a Super Bowl MVP award, and three Player of the Year Awards. He recovered from a dangerous blood infection in 2006, only to return the following year to take the Player of the Year Award once again. All the while Bryan was modest in his accomplishments and truly a great teammate.

Kevin Nangle (inducted in 2010): Kevin was a model OFL player in a career that spanned ten years or so. He played tough gritty ball at any position asked of him, throwing himself all over the field. Indeed, he was Player of the Year in 2004/2005 primarily for his contributions in pass rush and pass blocking, the first-ever such player awarded for primarily those contributions. A super sportsman and gentleman, Kevin shoes will likely not be filled again, the old goat.

Andy Foley (inducted in 2010): Andy was a top receiver and pass defender for many years, winning countless MVP game balls and accolades. He performed with dignity and distinction, in the best tradition of a great yet modest athlete. Andy is missed.

Aaron Smith (inducted in 2010): The larger-than-life number 10 was an OFL mainstay for close to a decade. Known as a premier quarterback but also pass rusher, Aaron was astonishingly agile and elusive, gliding out of the pocket to find a downfield receiver or to scamper for a gain. Not sure how he did it, but just know he did, week after week, year after year.

Conor Nagle (inducted in 2010): Despite the howls of protests from thousands of outraged fans, the Hall of Fame committee decided to add Conor to the OFL Ring of Honor. Conor was a new-comer to the game of American football when he arrived at these shores in the '90s. After weaseling his way into the OFL he somehow proceeded to be a good enough athlete and good enough teammate to shine - which he admittedly did for almost a decade. I kid. Sort of. Actually Conor was a beast. Ok, and a very nice guy and a gentleman, and has a great sense of humor. Bastard.

Class of 2013

Randy Lee Jr (inducted in 2013): Randy was an outstanding football player and was truly committed to playing football in any and all conditions, year after year. He could easily take over a game either on offense as a receiver or as a quarterback, or on defense, often as safety but also as a pass rusher. His open-field blocks were devasting. His commitment to playing was extraordinary. Indeed, while he passed away from stage-four cancer in early 2013, he had played throughout the season, never letting on anything was wrong. His passing was deeply felt in our community. The Player of the Year award has been renamed in his honor.

Class of 2016

Rick Roth (inducted in 2016): Rick was the consummate warrior. He played OFL for eleven years and was a multiple game MVP, Superbowl XII MVP, a Tough as Nails award winner, and the Randy Lee Jr Player of the Year for the 2015/2016 season. Rick was outstanding at the quarterbacking position but also excelled at pass rushing and defending at the corner. He survived a number of broken bones playing—including his neck(!)—but returned year after year, performing at the highest levels, until a head injury forced him to retire at age 61.

Class of 2019

Chris Summersgill (inducted in 2019): Chris, a bedrock fixture—typically on both lines—for many seasons, combined stamina, a cool head, mental alertness and outstanding ability to become an exceptional star. He was a joy to play with, playing hard yet always friendly—a model OFL athlete. His career was ended earlier than expected by injuries.

Class of 2020

Jeff Mullin (inducted in 2020): Jeff played OFL for over seventeen seasons. He was a Player of the Year and a three-time Super Bowl MVP. Jeff was a smart, passionate player who excelled at any position, and was a consistent MVP game after game, year after year. Beyond the athletics, however, Jeff was a true sportsman, a gentleman, an unwaveringly dedicated member of the OFL community, and a valuable friend.

Class of 2022

Mike Gruber (inducted in 2022): Mike played religiously for over a decade and his career was only untimely cut short by injury. Mike was an outstanding athlete and football player, standing out at all parts of the game, receiving, defending, and at the line. He was Player of the Year in 2018. Mike was a gentleman, steadfast in his dedication and respect for his fellow players, the game and the OFL community. He was and remains a critical confident.

Jesse "OJ" Lacika (inducted in 2022): Jesse (generally known as “OJ”, partly for coming into the league with another Jesse, but mostly due to his killer instinct..) was a dominant player for 15 years, indeed he may have not missed a single game in those 15 years. He was awarded multiple Player of the Year Awards. He was one of those players opponents needed to account for in every match. He revolutionized the pass rush, but also was a crack receiver and fullback.