Monthly Archives: September 2015
The 50th anniversary of Super Bowl I is sneaking up on us, and I can only imagine the media campaign that will be unleashed by the NFL. Fortunately, this will also give cause for historians to review the first AFL-NFL championship game (as Super Bowl I was initially referred to) and all of the build-up surrounding the AFL-NFL merger.
A new book titled When It Was Just A Game by oral historian Harvey Frommer, is now on bookshelves across the country, and provides an in-depth look at that earliest of AFL-NFL contests. I’ve just placed my Amazon order, and will be reviewing the book here on Tales. In the meantime, I came across an interesting article about Frommer’s research for the book. Some of these notes are rather well-known, but they still provide historical background on the spectacle that is the Super Bowl.
For many years, fans of the 1960s Buffalo Bills have wondered why former Bills head coach, Lou Saban, had been overlooked for inclusion on the team’s Wall of Fame. Saban led the Bills to their lone AFL championships with victories over the favored-Chargers.
The pro-Saban chants seemed to increase in recent years – several articles were written and an Add LOU SABAN to Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame Facebook page was created. But more years passed, and still Saban remained on the outside.
Most AFL fans understand that Minnesota was originally scheduled to have an AFL team when the league began play in 1960. Through a series of backroom dealings, the Minnesota ownership group backed out at the last minute, after being promised an NFL expansion franchise. This news was brought to the AFL group by New York Titans owner, Harry Wismer, who announced to the crowd, “Boys, it looks like it’s the Last Supper.” In classic dramatic Wismer fashion, he proceeded to call Max Winter, head of the Minnesota syndicate, “Judas,” during a series of heated exchanges.