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.
The race was on in early 1960, to obtain talent for the newly-formed AFL teams. Securing a veteran quarterback with leadership experience would, of course, have been a primary goal for all teams. At the time, former Chicago Bears QB, George Blanda, was “retired” from football. This did not concern Los Angeles Chargers coach, Sid Gillman, who wrote up the following review of Blanda early in 1960.
This summer has been busy for me, and I’m sorry to say that it had a direct effect on my AFL postings. Youth lacrosse, freshman football, and much more have had my head swimming. But I’m here today, with a fun, feel-good AFL collecting story that occurred over the course of my summer.
I’ve been collecting sports cards for 37 years now, since getting an unopened box of 1978 Topps baseball cards as a gift from my father at the age of five. Since then I’ve been fortunate to have several interesting card-based experiences in my life, though perhaps none have been as unexpected as a situation leading up to my obtaining an autographed copy of Frank Buncom’s 1967 Topps football card.
I recently came across this cartoon. It was published in The Denver Post on February 4, 1968. Not sure why it wasn’t run during the football season, but it gave me a chuckle.
As a fan of the AFL, I would enjoy the opportunity to interview any of the men associated with the league. However, I have a particular appreciation for the 20 men players who were involved in all 10 seasons of the AFL. Today I had the great fortune to speak with one of those gentlemen. It was a wonderful 40-minute discussion that I am proud to be able to share with AFL fans.
Gino Cappelletti is “Mr. Patriot.” Long before Tom Brady was ever born, Duke was kicking and catching his way into professional football history. He is a five-time AFL All-Star, the 1964 AFL Most Valuable Player, the first player to score 1,000 points in league history, and the AFL’s all-time leading scorer. After his storied career ended in 1970, Gino Cappelletti went on to distinguish himself with by serving as the Patriots’ radio analyst for 32 seasons.
Running back Bert Coan was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1962. After playing in four games with the Chargers, Coan was shipped off to the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the start of the 1963 season. Coan spent six years with the Chiefs where he had a strong, if unheralded career. He led the AFL with 5.4 yards-per-carry in 1966, and finished Top 10 in the league each season in most rushing categories.