Monthly Archives: April 2013

Fire in the Iceman – A Book Review

fire in the icemanIt is not too often that I run across biographies of former AFL players, but I when I do, I always pick them to see what new bits of info I can find.  Frankly, there are just not a lot of them out there.  Beyond several versions of Joe Namath biographies, a few on Al Davis & Lamar Hunt, Jim Otto, Otis Taylor and handful of other individuals, there just isn’t a whole lot available.  But recently I learned about a book called Fire in the Iceman, the autobiography of former Oakland Raiders quarterback and head coach, Tom Flores.  I could hardly say, “no” to a gently-used copy that came my way for 99 cents plus shipping.  It was a nice surprised when I opened the book and found it signed on the inside by Flores. read more

An Interview with Buffalo Bills Historian Jeffrey Miller

rockin the rockpileOne of the joys of being an AFL historian is connecting with my contemporaries across the country.  Thankfully for us all, there are many fans of the American Football League who do their part to document the league’s history and make it available for us all.  Jeffrey Miller is one of those men.  Raised in the Buffalo area, Jeff is a football historian of teams in that region, most notably, the Bills.  His Rockin’ the Rockpile, is the most in-depth study of the 1960s Buffalo Bills that I have ever found, and a must-read for AFL fans.  Miller is also the author of three more books, 100 Things Bills Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die; Game Changers: The Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History, which he wrote co-wrote with Marv Levy; and Buffalo’s Forgotten Champions. read more

1963 All-Star Game Press Release – SUDDEN DEATH SET FOR ALL-STAR GAME

Here is a original press release for the second annual AFL All-Star Game, that was played in San Diego’s Balboa Stadium.  I enjoy items like this, as I always learn something new in reading them.  I found this particular release interesting as the main subject is how a “sudden death” format will be worked into the upcoming game in the event of a tie at the end of regulation play.  It is an interesting note, but it seems like a strange bit of information to be released under a splashy headline.  Perhaps San Diego’s Junior Chamber of Commerce was looking to promote the game by all means, and at this late date was issuing releases continually to help keep the game at the forefront of people’s minds? read more

Tight End Dave Kocourek Dies of Dementia

Autographed 1963 Fleer Dave Kocourek

#71 – Dave Kocourek

Former Chargers, Dolphins and Raiders tight end, Dave Kocourek, died today after a long battle with dementia.  Kocourek, 75, played in more AFL championship games than any other player in history.  He totaled seven championship games, five with the Chargers and two with the Raiders.  Kocourek’s obituary can be found HERE.

Looking For AFL Team Photos

The 1960 Boston Patriots

Hello AFL Fans!  I recently had a reader inquire about AFL team photos.  I have all of the Chargers team photo images from the 1960s, but just a handful from the other AFL teams.  The request got me thinking that a page dedicated to AFL team photos – all teams, all years, all-star games included – would be a great addition to the site.

Now I am reaching out to readers.  Do you have any AFL team photos?  Would you be able to scan and email them to me?  It would be very much appreciated, and you would be sending along the building blocks for another great feature for all to enjoy on Tales from the American Football League. read more