AFL Books

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This list is meant to serve as a reference for books that focus, at least in part, on the American Football League, an AFL player, team, or league-related subject.  I will add to it as older books are located, and new books published.  Please feel free to contact me with possible additions.

LEAGUE HISTORIES
Title Author(s) Subject Publisher Date
The Foolish Club Jim Acho AFL Grid Iron Press 1997
The $400,000 Quarterback or: The League that Came in from the Cold Bob Curran AFL The MacMillan Company 1965
The American Football League; A Year-by-Year History, 1960-1969 Ed Gruver AFL McFarland & Company, Inc. 1997
The Little League the Could; A History of the American Football League Ken Rappoport AFL Taylor Trade Publishing 2010
The Other League; The Fabulous Story of the American Football League Jack Horrigan and Mike Rathet AFL Follett Publishing Company 1970
If You Can’t Join ‘Em, Beat ‘Em Sal Maiorana AFL First Books Library 2003
Going Long Jeff Miller AFL McGraw-Hill 2003
Remember the AFL: The Ultimate Fan’s Guide to the American Football League Dave Steidel AFL Clerisy Press 2008
We Came of Age; A Picture History of the American Football League Jack Orr AFL The Lion Press 1969
Touchdown! The Picture History of the American Football League George Sullivan AFL G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1967
When the Grass was Real; The Ten Best Years of Pro Football Bob Carroll AFL/NFL Simon & Schuster 1993
The League; The Rise and Decline of the NFL David Harris AFL/NFL Bantam Books 1986
America’s Game Michael MacCambridge AFL/NFL Random House 2004
TEAM HISTORIES
Title Author(s) Subject Publisher Date
Relentless; The Hard-Hitting History of Buffalo Bills Football Sal Maiorana Bills Quality Sports Publications 1995
A View through the Lens of Robert L. Smith; The Buffalo Bills Photos 1960-1995 Robert L. Smith Bills Western New York Wares Inc. 1995
Rockin’ the rockpile: The Buffalo Bills of the American Football League Jeffrey Miller Bills ECW Press 2007
Barely Audible; A History of the Denver Broncos Larry Gordon and Dick Burnell Broncos Graphic Impressions, Inc. 1975
Orange Madness; The Incredible Odyssey of the Denver Broncos Woodrow Paide Jr. Broncos Thomas Y. Crowell, Publishers 1978
Charging Through the AFL: Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers’ Football in the 1960s Todd Tobias Chargers Turner Publishing Company 2004
Houston Oilers; The Early Years Kevin Carroll Oilers Eakin Press 2001
Loser Takes All; Bud Adams, Bad Football & Big Business Ed Fowler Oilers Longstreet Press, Inc. 1997
From Cannon to Campbell Mickey Herskowitz Oilers Gulf Coast Graphics, Inc. 1979
The New England Patriots; A Pictorial History George McGuane Patriots JCP Corp of Virginia 1980
Tales from the Oakland Raiders Tom Flores Raiders Sports Publishing, Inc. 2003
Pride & Poise Jim McCullough Raiders Author House 2006
Winning it All; The Chiefs of the AFL Joe McGuff Texans/Chiefs Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1970
Warpaths; The Illustrated History of the Kansas City Chiefs Alan Hoskins Texans/Chiefs Taylor Publishing Company 1999
AFL to Arrowhead; Four Decades of Chiefs History and Trivia Mark Stallard Texans/Chiefs Addax Publishing Group 1999
The Violence Game Bob Curran Titans/Jets The MacMillan Company 1966
Countdown to Super Bowl Dave Anderson Titans/Jets Random House 1969
Gang Green Gerald Eskenazi Titans/Jets Simon & Schuster 1998
Crash of the Titans; The Early Years of the New York Jets and the AFL Bill Ryczek Titans/Jets Total Sports Publishing 2000
The Long Pass Lou Sahadi Titans/Jets The World Publishing Company 1969
Jets; Broadway’s 30-Year Guarantee Daily News Titans/Jets Sports Publishing, LLC. 1999
SPECIAL SUBJECTS
Title Author(s) Subject Publisher Date
AFL Dream Backfield Howard Liss AFL Offensive Stars Cowles Book Company 1969
The Birth of the New NFL; How the 1966 NFL/AFL Merger Transformed Pro Football Larry Felser AFL/NFL Merger The Lyons Press 2008
World Champion San Diego Chargers Strength Program, In and Out of Season Sid Gillman and Alvin Roy Chargers Strength Training Manual Sid Gillman-Alvin Roy Publishing Co. Inc. 1964
Miami of Ohio; The Cradle of Coaches Bob Kurz Coaches Hammer Graphics 1983
Ten-Gallon War; The NFL’s Cowboys, The AFL’s Texans and the Feud for Dallas’s Pro Football Future John Eisenberg Founding of Dallas Cowboys & Texans Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012
Miracle Year 1969: Amazing Mets and Super Jets Bill Gutman New York Sports – 1969 Sports Publishing, LLC. 2004
When it Was Just a Game Harvey Frommer Super Bowl I Taylor Trade Publishing 2015
The Game the Changed Pro Football Stephen Hanks Super Bowl III Carol Publishing Group 1989
From Baltimore to Broadway; Joe, The Jets and the Super Bowl III Guarantee Ed Gruver Super Bowl III Triumph Books 2009
The Uncrowned Champs; How the 1963 San Diego Chargers Would have Won the Super Bowl Dave Steidel 1963 San Diego Chargers Carrel Books 2015
BIOGRAPHIES/AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
Title Author(s) Subject Publisher Date
106 Yards Al Carmichael Al Carmichael C&C Publishing 2006
Just Win, Baby Glenn Dickey Al Davis Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1991
Slick; The Silver & Black Life of Al Davis Mark Ribowsky Al Davis MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. 1991
Black Knight; Al Davis and His Raiders Ira Simmons Al Davis Prima Publishing 1990
Just Win, Baby Murray Olderman Al Davis Triumph Books 2012
Holy Toledo Ken Korvach Bill King Wellstone Books 2013
Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run Charles DeGravelles Billy Cannon Louisiana State University Press 2015
A Miscellaneous Lawyer Bob Baxley Bob Baxley Robert C. Baxley Press 1999
Two Yellows and a Blue; Inside the Locker Room: A Story of Pride, Pain and Pills Bobby Brown Bobby Brown Inverness Press 1982
He Ain’t No Bum Bum Phillips Bum Phillips Jordan and Company Publishers 1979
High for the Game Chip Oliver Chip Oliver William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1971
The Cookie That Did Not Crumble Chris Garbarino Cookie Gilchrist N/A 2011
Cowboy at the Mike Curt Gowdy and Al Hirshberg Curt Gowdy Doubleday Publishing 1966
You Can’t Catch Sunshine Don Maynard and Matthew Shepatin Don Maynard Triumph Books 2010
Tale of the Tape; A History of the Buffalo Bills from the Inside Eddie Abramoski Eddie Abramoski Western New York Wares Inc. 2002
From Pads to Pallette Ernie Barnes Ernie Barnes WRS Publishing 1995
Finding Frank; Full Circle in a Life Cut Short Buzz Ponce Frank Buncom Buzz Ponce 2013
First Down and a Billion; The Funny Business of Pro Football Gene Klein and David Fisher Gene Klein William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1987
What Have You Done Now, Eugene? Gene Mingo, Carol & Glen Strickland Gene Mingo Universe, Inc. 2012
Blanda; Alive and Kicking Wells Trombley George Blanda Nask Publishing 1972
They’re Playing my Game Hank Stram and Lou Sahadi Hank Stram William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1986
The Public Calls it Sport Harry Wismer Harry Wismer Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1965
Be My Guest Conrad Hilton Hilton Family Fireside 1994
Jack Kemp; The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke Jack Kemp Sentinel 2015
The Pain of Glory Jim Otto Jim Otto Sports Publishing, Inc. 1999
A Proud American; The Autobiography of Joe Foss Joe Foss Joe Foss Pocket Books 1992
Namath Mark Kriegel Joe Namath Penguin Group, Inc. 2004
I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow Joe Namath Joe Namath Random House 1969
Taming the Bull; The John “Bull” Bramlett Story John Bramlett and Tula Jeffries John Bramlett Thomas Nelson Publishers 1989
Don’t Hit Him, He’s Dead John McDonough John McDonough Celestial Arts 1978
Confessions of a Dirty Ballplayer Johnny Sample Johnny Sample The Dial Press 1970
Lamar Hunt and the Founding of the American Football League Tom Richey Lamar Hunt Mercury Print Productions 2009
Lamar Hunt David A.F. Sweet Lamar Hunt Triumph Books 2010
Lamar Hunt; A Life in Sports Michael MacCambridge Lamar Hunt Andrews McMeel Publishing 2012
Fourth and One Lee Grosscup Lee Grosscup Harper & Row, Publishers 1963
Len Dawson; Pressure Quarterback Len Dawson and Lou Sahadi Len Dawson Cowles Book Company 1970
Bump and Run; The Days and Nights of a Rookie Quarterback Marty Domres and Robert Smith Marty Domres RobertBantam Books, Inc. 1971
Martyball! The Life and Triumphs of Marty Schottenheimer, the Coach who Really Did Win it All Marty Schottenheimer and Jeffrey Flanagan Marty Schottenheimer Sports Publishing, Inc. 2012
Rememberin’… Life in the Trenches Mike Current Mike Current 1st Books 2002
Violence Every Sunday; The Story of a Professional Football Coach Mike Holovak Mike Holovak Coward-McCann, Inc. 1967
On The Line Norm Evans and Edwin pope Norm Evans Fleming H. Revell Company 1976
Otis Taylor: The Need to Win Otis Taylor and Mark Stallard Otis Taylor Sports Publishing, Inc. 2003
PB: The Paul Brown Story Paul Brown and Jack Clary Paul Brown Atheneum 1979
What’s New, Harry? The Best of Buffalo Courier-Express Ccolumnist Phil Ranallo Paul Ranallo Phil Ranallo No Frills Buffalo 2015
Nothing to Kick About Pete Gogolak Pete Gogolak Dodd, Mead & Company 1973
Rozelle; Czar of the NFL Jeff Davis Pete Rozelle McGraw-Hill 2008
Sid Gillman; Father of the Passing Game Josh Katzowitz Sid Gillman Clerisy Press 2012
The Tobin Rote Story Fred W. Huntington Tobin Rote N/A 1964
Sunday’s Fools Tom Beer Tom Beer Houghton Mifflin Company 1974
Fire in the Iceman Tom Flores and Frank Cooney Tom Flores Bonus Books, Inc. 1992
Guts, God and the Super Bowl Zola Levitt Tom Goode Zondervan 1974
Love, Life, Music and Football Tony DiPardo, Patti DiPardo, Bill Althaus Tony DiPardo Sports Publishing, Inc. 2005
Off Guard Walt Sweeney and Bill Swank Walt Sweeney Silver Threads 2012
The Last Season of Weeb Ewbank Paul Zimmerman Weeb Ewbank Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1974
Todd Tobias (771 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.


9 Responses to AFL Books

  1. Eddie Arminio says:

    Read The Cookie That Did Not Crumble, and Off Guard this summer, both excellent reads. I wish there was book solely about The New York Titans, that would be interesting.

  2. Eddie Arminio says:

    Thanks Todd,I missed that on your list.Thank you also for the great information.

  3. Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

    An Otis Taylor autobiography ? ? ?

    Wow ! ! ! I’m definitely interested in that one.

  4. Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

    Jeff Miller’s Going Long is a very good book. It’s a MUST HAVE for any pro football fan.

    • Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

      Valuable information and cool stories. I enjoyed learning more about some of my favorite players, including George Blanda, Cookie Gilchrist, and Otis Taylor.

      I remember seeing Going Long on the shelf at Book-A-Million in the Summer of 2003. I thought, “Cool ! ! ! A book on the AFL ! ! !” Books on the American Football League weren’t something you saw at your average bookstore.

      I bought Going Long during the Christmas holidays (2003), and I’ve greatly enjoyed it.

  5. Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

    America’s Game, by Michael MacCambridge, is a great book. Its early chapters on the NFL in the ’40’s and ’50’s constitute some of the best writing on pro football I’ve ever read. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of the sections on Paul Brown and the Cleveland Browns, and Tank Younger and the Los Angeles Rams. Then there’s the chapter on Lamar Hunt and his inspiration on the airplane to start a new pro football league.

    I prefer straight prose to the oral history style, and that’s a major reason I rate America’s Game over Going Long. But they’re both fine books that ANY pro football fan should have.

  6. thom30 says:

    My latest book is out – The Lost Super Bowls. What if the Super Bowl had started five years earlier? Here is the link. Available on Amazon.com, as well, around 7/25.

    https://www.createspace.com/6347637

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