New Orleans Breakers Flashback: Johnnie Walton – VIDEO
The New Orleans Breakers wre a United States Football League franchise that played in the Louisiana Superdome for one season, in 1984.
The Breakers began their USFL tenure in Boston, in 1983, but a stadium issue forced a move, allowing New Orleans real estate developer Joe Canizaro to buy the team, and move it to New Orleans for the 1984 season.
In 1984, the Breakers began the season 5-0, but went 3-10 the rest of the way, and missed the USFL playoffs.
New Orleans supported the team well, with the Breakers averaging 30,557 per game, but the USFL opted to move their schedule from the spring to the fall in 1986, and with the Saints in town, the franchise elected to move to Portland for the 1985 season.
All summer long, we’re looking back at former players for the New Orleans Breakers.
Today, quarterback Johnnie Walton.
Walton, who played his college football at Elizabeth City St. University (North Carolina), from 1965-1968, wasn’t drafted coming out of college, and had to take the long road to the NFL.
After playing for the Indianapolis Capitols of the Continental Football League in 1969, and after failing to make the Los Angeles Rams’ roster as an undrafted free agent for four years, Walton played in the World Football League from 1974-1975. He was a back-up quarterback for the Chicago Fire in 1974, and the starting quarterback for the San Antonio Wings, where he was named WFL All-Pro team in 1975.
When the WFL folded following the 1975 season, Walton went looking for a job, and found one, as a back-up quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL, from 1976-1978.
In three years with the Eagles, Walton completed 31-of-65 passes for 338 yards, to go along with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
After being out of football for three years, Walton became the starting quarterback for the Boston Breakers in 1983, passing for 3,772 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Walton owns the USFL record for most passing attempts in a season (589) which was set during the 1983 season.
As the starting quarterback for the Breakers in 1984, at the age of 36, Walton completed 280-of-512 passes for 3,554 yards, along with 17 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
After he retired following the 1984 season, Walton returned to his home state of North Carolina, where he became a teacher, and later became a member of the Elizabeth City city council.
Below is Johnnie Walton, with the New Orleans Breakers, playing host to the Chicago Blitz in week 5 of the 1984 USFL season: