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.

 

Sherman’s Battle of the Bulge

Sherman Plunkett played on some fantastic football teams.  As a rookie, he was a member of the Baltimore Colts squad that won the 1958 NFL championship game over the New York Giants.  After leaving the NFL in 1960, Plunkett latched on with the San Diego Chargers for the 1961 & 1962 seasons.  In 1963, he rejoined his old coach, Weeb Ewbank, this time as a member of the New York Jets.

Plunkett was one of professional football’s early big men, weighing more that 300 lbs. back when that kind of size was more the exception than the rule.  But like many of pro football’s biggest linemen, Plunkett’s girth sometimes got away from him.  The following article from Sports Illustrated in August, 1968, covers Plunkett’s last days in the AFL.  He was soon released.  After playing in 132-consecutive regular season games from 1958-1967, Sherman Plunkett found himself out of the game in 1968, a victim of his own voracious appetite.

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New York Titans become Jets

Fifty-one years ago this week saw the death of one of the AFL’s most storied teams, and the birth of another.  Harry Wismer had been the head man of the New York Titans from the franchise’s inception in 1960 through 1962 when the team was taken from him due, ultimately, to his lack of finances.

Famed talent agent, Sonny Werblin,bought the Titans for $1 million.  He changed their name to “Jets,” and after installing Weeb Ewbank as his head coach and Joe Namath at quarterback, had the team playing for a world championship within five seasons.

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Two-Way Player – The Boston Patriots’ Larry Garron

When running down the list of Boston Patriots legends, fans encounter several great AFL personalities – Babe Parilli, Bob Dee, Gino Cappelletti, Jon Morris, Houston Antwine, Jim Hunt, Nick Buoniconti and on and on.  Yet there is another man who was a teammate to all of those players.  He was a four-time AFL All-Star, and a member of the courageous contingent that boycotted the 1965 all-star game in New Orleans.  He is sometimes overlooked at his position by players with bigger names or perhaps better statistics, but he was a member of the Patriots for nine seasons, all in the AFL.  That man is Larry Garron.

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Jacky Lee – Leased to the Denver Broncos?

There are lots of interesting stories that came out of the American Football League, and we try to cover most of them on this site.  One such story is how quarterback, Jacky Lee, went from the Houston Oilers to the Denver Broncos for a two-year spell.  The Los Angeles Times did a bit of digging into AFL history for a story that was published in 2012.

Was Houston QB Jacky Lee leased to another pro football team?

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1960 Los Angeles Chargers Ticket Placard

One of the first pieces that I ever added to my football collection, this 1960 Los Angeles Chargers ticket sales placard remains one of my favorites.  Roughly 8-10 of these have come available on ebay since 2004.

1960 chargers ticket placard