January 7, 1963 - The Houston Oilers representatives to the 1963 AFL All-Star Game. Back Row - Rich Michael, Ed Husmann, Bob Talamini, Charlie Hennigan, Don Floyd, George Blanda. Front Row - Freddy Glick, Jim Norton, Tony Banfield, Bob Schmidt, Charlie Tolar, Al Jamison.

January 13, 1963 - Austin Gonsoulin of the Denver Broncos makes a leaping interception in front of the Houston Oilers Charlie Hennigan, in the second annual AFL All-Star Game.

November 11, 1962 - The San Diego Chargers Ernie Ladd prepares to tackle Cookie Gilchrist, the Buffalo Bills star running back and 1962 AFL Most Valuable Player.

November 15, 1964 - The Chargers defense swarms over Chiefs running back, Curtis McClinton.

November 6, 1964 - George Blanda drops back against the Patriots defense in Fenway Park.

November 23, 1967 - Daryle Lamonica and the Raiders facing the tough Chiefs defense in Kansas City Municipal Stadium.


Ralph Wilson Negotiates Old Rockpile Lease

Ralph Wilson Jr. (Owner)

Ralph Wilson Jr. (Owner)

It was 55 years ago yesterday that Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills, first met with Buffalo-area politicians to negotiate a lease for his team to play in The Old Rockpile.  A short story on this subject was posted yesterday in The Buffalo News, and can be found HERE.

A Visit with Jerry Magee

1964 topps chargers team - jerry magee

This week I had an opportunity to meet with one of the AFL’s great supporters, former San Diego Union beat reporter, Jerry Magee.  An excellent writer who covered boxing, tennis and minor league baseball, began covering the Chargers when the team moved to San Diego in 1961, and kept the beat for more than 30 years.

During his tenure, Jerry Magee became one of the AFL’s most vocal supporters, not only as a writer, but later as a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter and member of the PFHOF Veteran’s Committee.  Magee is now retired, but still follows football actively, from his office decorated with books and photos gathered throughout his career.

read more

Barron Hilton a San Diego Sports Icon

The San Diego Union-Tribune has been running a feature each Sunday this year, recognizing who they consider to be the 52 most important people in local sports history.  This past week they recognized original Chargers owner, Barron Hilton.

The 52: Hilton key to AFL-NFL merger

Let’s Hear it for the Announcers!

One of the areas of AFL history of which I know little is that of the men who are considered the voices of the AFL, the radio and television broadcasters for the league and individual teams.  My lack of familiarity is likely due to my growing up in a different decade, but regardless, my knowledge is not what it should be.

Still, as part of the old AFL, these men are of great interest, especially as they were the ones who brought the games into homes across the nation.

read more

Collecting, Tales and Failed Plans

sid gillman todd tobias

Sid Gillman and I during our first meeting and interview in 1998.

Our community newspaper, The La Mesa Courier, recently interviewed me for an article about the AFL and my collection.  You can find it HERE.