Monthly Archives: December 2015
I reserve a late post each year for us all to remember those AFL personalities who passed away in the past year. Sadly, we lost many great athletes and men in 2015. Please take a moment to remember the following men, and if you have a story about one-or-more of them, please share it in the comments section below.
January 1 – Bill Keating – Defensive Tackle – Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins – 1966-1967
It has been several years since I’ve received any AFL-related gifts for Christmas, and this year was no different. However, I purchased an autographed trading card on eBay recently, and it arrived in the mail on Christmas Eve, so I’m counting it as a gift to myself.
Collectors of vintage football cards are familiar with the fact that a large number of the players featured in the 1960 Fleer set never actually played in the AFL. The set was produced and released early in the football year, during the AFL’s inaugural season. As a result, player selection for trading cards was a very speculative process, and roughly 25% of the players featured on cards never made their team’s final rosters.
The Louisiana State University football team was dominant in 1958 & 1959. Paul Dietzel’s recruiting classes of 1955 & 1956 paid huge dividends, and led the Tigers to an NCAA championship in 1958, and a third place national ranking the following year. LSU junior, Billy Cannon, took home the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate football star in ’59, and was joined in the Tiger backfield by three other athletes who all went on to play professional football – Johnny Robinson, J.W. Brodnax, and Warren Rabb.
I don’t follow contemporary football very much, but you’d have to live under a rock to not have heard of Odell Beckham. Here is a great recollection of an AFL’er who, for most of us, has been lost to history.
This week has been a great one for interviewing AFL players. First it was the Jets’ Don Maynard, and then today I spoke with longtime Chargers and Bills punter/linebacker, Paul Maguire.
While he is known better by younger generations as an ESPN commentator, Maguire was one of just 20 players to be with an AFL team for the league’s entire 10-year run. He was an excellent punter, and mostly reserve linebacker who has the distinction of having played in six AFL championship games (1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965 & 1966), and being, according to himself, the only player to win three consecutive league championships.