Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Hall of Fame Comparison – WAYNE HAWKINS

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. read more

1962-63 Salada Coins

1962-63 salada coin - gino cappelletti

Gino Cappelletti

One the neatest of AFL regional “card” issues (at least in my mind) is the 1962-63 Salada coins set.  These small coins (1.5″ in diameter) were packaged with Salada Teas and Junket Pudding.  Of the 154-coin set,33 coins represent AFL players.  Only players from the Boston Patriots, Buffalo Bills and New York Titans are included, no other AFL teams were produced in the set.  The following description of the set can be found in the Beckett Football Card and Price Guide, 27th Edition. read more

Why the Chargers Left Los Angeles

1960 los angeles chargersI have been asked on a number of occasions why the Chargers left Los Angeles.  Really, the answer is quite simple.  They didn’t draw enough fans.  Take a look at the photo of Jack Kemp leaping while being tackled.  See the stands in the background?  This photo was taken during a regular season home game on November 13.

The Chargers played their home games in the Los Angeles Coliseum, which also happened to be home to the USC Trojans and Los Angeles Rams.  At best, the Chargers were the third-tier football team playing at the Coliseum in 1960.  At the time, the Coliseum had a seating capacity of more than 100,000.  The Chargers 1961 media guide lists their 1960 average home attendance as being 15,768, and that does is not differentiating paid attendance from those who attended games with complimentary tickets. read more

October 1, 1967 – Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders

When I first began studying Sid Gillman and the early Chargers, quality AFL information was difficult to find.  I spent many long hours in library archives, sifting through microfilm, hoping to find bits and pieces that would prove important to my research.

There has been an explosion of AFL resources in the years since – web sites, books aplenty, video documentaries, and even a blog called Tales from the American Football League ;-).  It is a real treat (and tremendous time-saver) to be able to find great information on most any AFL subject at your fingertips. read more

1968 Raiders at Bills Video

Here is a great highlight video of the Raiders at Bills game from 1968.  Lots of late AFL stars in this one.  Among my favorite pieces in this highlight film are:

  • Paul Maguire tackling the Raiders George Atkinson on a punt return at roughly the 2-minute mark.  Best tackle by a punter (er…  linebacker) I’ve seen in a while.  Of course, former Chargers Aussie punter, Darren Bennett, could knock someone down when he needed to.
  • Haven Moses.  A San Diego State star who, at least in San Diego, kind of gets hidden in the shadow of Gary Garrison.  Moses was a great receiver for Don Coryell’s Aztecs.
  • Defensive back, Dave Grayson, with the Raiders.  Nearing the end of his career by 1968, but Grayson was a crafty veteran.  He is another guy with San Diego ties, as he grew up here, playing at a local Boys & Girls Club with fellow AFL’ers Art & Charlie Powell, and Willie West.
  • Daryle Lamonica…  He sure threw a great bomb!
  • Lastly, my old buddy, Ben Davidson causing Bills qb, Dan Darragh to fumble, but HoF guard, Billy Shaw, grabbed the bouncing ball and rumble downfield for several yards!
  • read more