Monthly Archives: May 2013

Full Color Football on Tales from the American Football League

As many of you likely know, back in 2009, NFL Films produced a five-part special on the American Football League called Full Color Football.  It is an excellent series, with hours of wonderful, original AFL footage and interesting interviews.

Ange Coniglio, the man behind the Remember the AFL website (www.remembertheafl.com) and one of the interview subjects in Full Color Football, recently emailed to let AFL fans know that the full five-part series is now available on YouTube.  After conversing with Ange, I have put together a separate page on Tales from the American Football League from which readers can also view the series.  You will find the FULL COLOR FOOTBALL link in the site’s left-hand column, under the MORE GREAT AFL CONTENT! heading.

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Full Color Football Page

full color football

As many of you likely know, back in 2009, NFL Films produced a five-part special on the American Football League called Full Color Football.  It is an excellent series, with hours of wonderful, original AFL footage and interesting interviews.

Ange Coniglio, the man behind the Remember the AFL website (www.remembertheafl.com) and one of the interview subjects in Full Color Football, recently emailed to let AFL fans know that the full five-part series is now available on YouTube.  After conversing with Ange, I have put together a separate page on Tales from the American Football League from which readers can also view the series.  You will find the FULL COLOR FOOTBALL link in the site’s left-hand column, under the MORE GREAT AFL CONTENT! heading.

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My Al Bansavage Autograph Request

One of our readers, 0tt060-74, mentioned in a past comment that his family lived next door to former AFL Chargers and Raiders player, Al Bansavage, in 1966.  0tt060-74 had hoped to reconnect with Bansavage, but sadly, Al Bansavage passed away in 2003.

The mention of Bansavage reminded me of one of the kindest responses that I have ever had from an autograph request.  It just so happened to be from a woman named Helen Walker, who was Al Bansavage’s wife.

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October, 2011 – Gerry Philbin Inucted into New York Jets Ring of Honor

While the Pro Football Hall of Fame has sadly overlooked many AFL players who are deserving of induction, some teams have been honoring those players with inclusion in their own team halls of fame.  In October 2011, New York Jets defensive end, Gerry Philbin, was recognized by the Jets when they added his name into their Ring of Honor.

autographed 1965 topps gerry philbin

#124 – Gerry Philbin

Defensive linemen and linebackers from past eras have a tendency to be overlooked, mainly, I believe, because tackles and quarterback sacks have not always been official statistics.  As a result, it can be difficult to legitimately compare players from these positions.  Still, by all accounts, Philbin was dominant.  A study of game film showed Philbin to have recorded 19 quarterback sacks in 1968 (in a 14-game season), en route to the Jets defeating the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.  When the leagues merged in 1970, Gerry Philbin, along with the Chiefs’ Jerry Mays, was recognized as one of two defensive ends named to the AFL All-Time First Team.

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Hank Stram Didn’t See Black or White

hank stram

Last week we discussed Al Davis’s role in the advancement of the minority athlete (and later minority head coach and front office personnel) in professional football.  Several readers commented that while Davis, and Sid Gillman, were important figures in bringing the black athlete into the forefront of pro football, no coach did more to break down the color barriers that the Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs head man, Hank Stram.  Stram popularized scouting the historically black schools, and went so far as to hire Lloyd Wells to specifically pull talent out of those colleges and universities.  His overall success is seen in all aspects of the Chiefs; two-of-for AFL Super Bowl appearances, being the only coach to represent a team throughout all 10 years of the AFL, a high number of his players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (with many more still deserving of induction).

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