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.
Hello AFL Fans! It’s been a few months since I last posted. A combination of things are to blame for my hiatus. First of all, the 2015 NFL season ended, and with it went much of the focus on football. Secondly, I’ve had a few personal changes over the period (all for the better!), including a new job with PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), where I am tasked with building an online encyclopedia of sports and non-sports trading cards called CardFacts. It is a wonderful opportunity for me, which allows me to make my living working in the hobby that I have enjoyed for my entire life. Lastly, all three of my children play lacrosse, and between coaching, acting as club president, and shuttling them to practices and games, there has been little time for much else. But the season is now coming to a close, and I am settled into my new job, so I can begin cutting out some time to talk AFL!
I made a significant addition to my card collection recently when I located and purchased an autographed 1965 Topps Jim Perkins card.
Ok, so maybe Jim Perkins isn’t significant to 1965 Topps (or the AFL in general) in the same way as Joe Namath, but for autographed card collectors, this comes along, well… so far, once-in-a-lifetime.
Jim Perkins was born in Loyalton, California, on June 16, 1939. According to the 1964 Denver Broncos media guide, Perkins earned 12 varsity letters at Loyalton High School. He studied business administration at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he was a member of CU’s Big Eight championship teams, and was drafted in the 7th round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, and by the Denver Broncos in the 24th round of the AFL Draft of the same year. Perkins earned a starting spot on the Broncos offensive line as a rookie, was single (at least in 1964), and worked as a realtor in the off-season. Beyond that, nothing.
As most everyone has heard by now, the Chargers have been granted the NFL’s blessing to follow the Rams back to Los Angeles. Whether they follow through with that move is up in the air due to Chargers owner Dean Spanos not being granted the opportunity that he had hoped for in Carson. Either way, the possibility of the Chargers leaving San Diego, their home for the last 55 years, has had a profound affect on fans of the team.
George Blanda was one of the great stories of professional football. Twenty-six years in the AFL & NFL will do that. But not only did Blanda endure, he succeeded and late in his career, inspired 40-somethings all over the country with his physical exploits while playing against men literally half his age. While the video above doesn’t necessarily focus strictly on the AFL, Blanda talks about some of his inspirations, and what football meant to him.
I reserve a late post each year for us all to remember those AFL personalities who passed away in the past year. Sadly, we lost many great athletes and men in 2015. Please take a moment to remember the following men, and if you have a story about one-or-more of them, please share it in the comments section below.
January 1 – Bill Keating – Defensive Tackle – Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins – 1966-1967