When Phoenix won the 2010 bid to host Gay Bowl X, founder of the Phoenix Hellraisers Shawn Rea and tournament director Jared Garduno planned the 10-year anniversary event to set a standard for future Gay Bowl organizers.
For the first time there was an opening and a closing ceremony; it also launched the National Gay Flag Football League’s (NGFFL) Hall of Fame, complete with an approval process and a voting formula to honor the first 10 years of Gay Bowl. As the highest honor the league can bestow on one of its players, to be considered for the Hall of Fame a member must have served locally, served nationally and must be a great athlete.
Members of its inaugural class were none other than co-founders of the NGFFL, Jim Buzinski and Cyd Zeigler, also the co-founders of Outsports. In addition to their athletic prowess, their induction celebrated the role they played in organizing the first Gay Bowl played in Los Angeles in 2002.
The Hall of Fame has enshrined the following players to honor their various contributions to the NGFFL:
Class of 2010
Jim Buzinski – NGFFL co-founder, four-time Gay Bowl Champion
Cyd Zeigler – NGFFL co-founder, seven-time Gay Bowl Champion
Class of 2011
Demond Adams – MVP of Gay Bowls I and X, four-time Gay Bowl ChampionIvan Solis – founder of San Diego American Flag Football League, Gay Bowl V tournament director
Thurman Williams – founder of National Flag Football League of Atlanta, national board member, Gay Bowl IV tournament director
Class of 2012
Shane Kinkennon – founder of DC Gay Flag Football League and Denver Gay & Lesbian Flag Football League, two-time Gay Bowl Champion, former NGFFL commissioner
Shawn Rea – co-sponsor of Hall of Fame, Phoenix Gay Flag Football League founder, two-time co-tournament director
Robert Sauer – founder of Boston Flag Football League, original member of Gay Bowl I
Tony Stewart – first non-LGBT member of HOF, two-time Gay Bowl Champion
Class of 2013
Mark Barr – founder of Salt Lake Flag Football League, Gay Bowl VIII tournament director
Wade Davis – three-time Gay Bowl Champion
Molly Lenore – commissioner of New York Gay Flag Football League,co-founder of women’s division,, three-time Gay Bowl Champion
Class of 2014
Alon Hacohen – three-time Gay Bowl Champion, Gay Bowl MVP
Ty Law – participated in six NGFFL Leagues, founder of Hawaii Gay Flag Football League
Class of 2015
Lance Burage – NGFFL head referee, long-time NGFFL board member, former commissioner of National Flag Football League of Atlanta
Chris Whitlow – former commissioner of National Flag Football League of Atlanta
The NGFFL recently announced the names of the five new members of the 2016 class (no honors listed yet). They include:
Doug Komlenic of San Diego
Brandon Waggoner of Washington, D.C.
Rory Ray of New York
Eric Reissner of San Diego
Jared Garduno of Phoenix
They will be inducted as part of the Gay Bowl XVI celebrations in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to the NGFFL and all its Hall of Fame honorees!