Monthly Archives: November 2012
HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 19 — SID GILLMAN JOINS THE GOOD GUYS — Professional football coach Sid Gillman (left) of the Los Angeles Chargers doesn’t seem too menacing as he joins Chuck Connors, star of “The Rifleman,” during the filming of an episode for the television series yesterday. It was Gillman’s second appearance as an off-season actor. He quit the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL at the end of last season, and later was hired by the Chargers of the new American Football League.”
Guest blogger Dave Steidel takes a stroll down memory lane, recalling life, Sports Illustrated and the AFL!
In 1966 my parents gave me one of the best birthday presents I ever received, a subscription to Sport Illustrated. I have been a subscriber ever since. The first issue I received was the Sportsman of the Year copy with track star Jim Ryan on the cover. SI covers instantly became my memory bank in which most of the memorable events, of my life, sports and personal, would be stored for safe keeping. Throughout the next thirty years I could look at an SI cover and tell you what was in the magazine that week as well as the events that were happening in my life and in the country. Some people can do that with top 40 songs on the radio, for me it’s SI covers.
There is a feeling among AFL fans that the American Football League players are consistently overlooked for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In truth there are many players, the bulk of whose careers were spent in the AFL, that deserve serious consideration, if not outright induction. In an effort to spark some discussion regarding their hall of fame worthiness, I will occasionally compare AFL players to their NFL (and Hall of Fame) counterparts. The short biographies on the NFL players have been taken directly from the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.
Bob Reifsnyder was a highly-touted defensive lineman from the Naval Academy when he tore his Achilles tendon in his senior year. He played one season in the NFL, and then joined the Los Angeles Chargers of the American Football League in 1960. His time with the Chargers was short, and he was traded to the New York Titans in the preseason. I conducted this interview with Bob Reifnyder in 2002, while researching my book on the AFL Chargers.
I was looking around YouTube for some new AFL videos, and stumbled across this fantastic bit of coverage from the Chiefs locker room immediatley after they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. I had never seen this clip before, and was excited to watch the interviews with Hank Stram, Lamar Hunt and especially Jerry Mays. Mays was a dominant defensive end, and member of the AFL’s All-Time Team, but despite that recognition is largely unknown by younger generations of football fans. Jerry Mays died of cancer in 1994, but this glimpse into the past brings him right back with us.