An Interview with Harry Jacobs, Boston Patriots & Buffalo Bills
Being a collector of autographed AFL cards has helped me many times in the building of this site. Most recently, I had an experience with former Patriots and Bills linebacker Harry Jacobs. I had written a letter to Jacobs, requesting his signature on a 1964 Topps Buffalo Bills team card. In my letter, I mentioned this site, and how I thought that readers would enjoy hearing whatever memories that he would be willing to share with us. Roughly a week after I sent out my card, I received a note back. Mr. Jacobs signed my card, and also wrote a brief note about how he would like to participate in a telephone interview.
You have a great project that I would enjoy being a part of! As you can see, I am physical problems and have MCI(?), Alzheimer’s and CTE – price I paid for 11 years defensive QB – middle linebacker. God has been good to me and I have some still left. If you want to ask specific questions we might be able to get into a conversation that would lend some good things. I would like to try. Kay, my wife, could help & we might help you put the AFL story together. I remember I played in the very first AFL game and very last AFL game & started at middle linebacker, as in all of them.
I am a born again Christian since 1961.
It was apparent that the note had taken a bit of effort to compose, and so I absolutely did not want to miss out on this opportunity. As I have written previously, Harry Jacobs played all 10 seasons of the AFL, was a two-time AFL champion, and along with John Tracey and Mike Stratton, set a record by playing in 62 games with the the same linebacking corps.
Mr. Jacobs and I recently connected over the telephone, and had an opportunity to talk about the old AFL. First of all, he could not have been nicer. A very polite man, he apologized (unnecessarily) a handful of times, saying that his memory was not what it used to be. And while he may have forgotten a detail or repeated himself, he shared some excellent stories about the Patriots, Bills, Lou Saban, Cookie Gilchrist, and the old AFL. Enjoy!
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.