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Paydirt Football League Articles

The history of the PFL
By Leonard Barnhart
Special to paydirtfootball.com

Have you ever wondered where the Paydirt Football League originated?
It was a vision I had a long time ago.

The Football Pro Years 1994-2000

In 1994 I bought my first copy of Front Page Sports' Football Pro '95. FBpro95 was a fantastic game for its day. It still has its charm. It was my friend and I (Manny) who discovered that game. Once we realized what a great game it was we decided to join one of the many online leagues available on the web. At that time there were hundreds of FBPro leagues.
We looked them over before deciding on one. but what we saw was not what I thought an online football league could be. Most were simply a place to go for your game file and schedule your game. There were no league articles or appealing sites to complement the league itself and no extras to promote member interaction. I thought it could be done much better.

ECCFL
So after a few months Manny and I quit the league we were in and created one called the ECCFL (The East Coast Computer Football League).
We changed the way FBPro leagues were presented and organized. The ECCFL lasted for about 6 years before FBPro started to fall behind and ultimately faded away.

The Madden Years 2000 to present

There was a small period of time between the ECCFL and Paydirt. But what the ECCFL did was enable myself to devise and create new ideas for the online football community. While there were others notable for their contribution to the Madden community IE: utility creators and sites like Football Freaks, The PFL was here before them and our focus was on creating ways to make a league more interactive, fun, and fair.

At the time of the PFL's creation, Madden leagues that were in existence at the time were very much like what I'd seen in the FBPro community, places to get your file and play. What we would do with Paydirt is very much like what we did in the ECCFL...bring to the table something different.

The first thing needed was a rules system that worked for Madden. While Madden was much more pleasing to the eye than FBPRO, it was not as realistic in its gameplay and offered much less in freedom, designing your own plays etc... The rules systems you see in thew Madden community today is for the most part what the PFL put into place many years ago. We invited our owners to add entertaining articles to the site and to interact in a good-sportsmanship manner. We encouraged interaction in the forums and good-natured razzing.We wanted our league to be an example of fair play, even handed Commissionership (is that a word?) and most of all, a fun place to go.

We wanted our owners to delve into a virtual world where they were indeed the coach and GM of an NFL football team. I think we succeeded in doing so because many other leagues followed our course. But here's what sets us apart from most...

Special care was taken with the Commissioner's post, starting with the PFL's first...myself. As most of you know, there are always those few owners who can test your patience. Who knows what they're like in real life, but dealing with them on a league basis can sometimes be...trying. It is so easy to read into a text message a tone of voice that might not be there. So rule #1 for the Commissioner's post was to always without fail treat everyone with respect and evenly. After all, a league is only a reflection of the person who runs it. I feel this has been one of our greatest successes and one of the reasons for the league's success overall. We are stronger today than we've ever been. The PFL remains full week to week with people in line to take a team if one should become available. No one wants to take a break from this league in fear of having to wait to get back in. for good reason...The PFL is still the best!
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