Category Archives: American Football League

Swapping Stories with Charlie Charger, an American Football League Mascot

charlie charger

George Gross, Scott Appleton, Ron Billingsley, Houston Ridge and Steve DeLong clown around with Paul Fisher (Charlie Charger).

charlie charger

1968 Chargers ticket with Charlie Charger character.

It has been a week since the Chargers announced their move to Los Angeles.  San Diego has been very anti-Chargers since, and understandably so.  But while I can easily write off the current ownership, I cannot cast away the organization in its entirety.  Nor would I want to.  The (first) Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers were the flagship organization in the early years of the American Football League, and while they won fewer games later in the decade, they were no less entertaining.  Hadl to Alworth, Hubbard and Post, hard-hitting Kenny Graham, and the acrobatics of Paul Fisher.

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Dear Abner, The Ref Goofed!

Last month AFL author, Dave Steidel, sent me a couple of new stories that he had written for Tales.  Here is the first, a look back at Abner Haynes’s flub (or not flub?) in the 1962 AFL Championship Game. ~Todd Tobias

Dear Abner, The Ref Goofed! by Dave Steidel

Left or right, vanilla or chocolate, drive or walk, small or large?  Decisions, decisions, decisions!  Something that we are faced with on a daily basis.  But as we all know, they are not always black or white.  Instead of left or right, sometimes we can go straight.  Vanilla or chocolate?  Ever hear of a ‘black cow’?  Drive or walk, how about peddling!  Small or large?  What about medium?  Forced choices are part of narrow band of decisions that gives us only limited options and at times we have to bite the bullet, so to speak, and choose either one or the other base on the information we have available to us at the time.  And you will see in this article, in pro-football, at least in AFL in 1962, the choices when winning a coin toss ARE NOT simply to kick or receive!

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AFL In Memoriam – 2016

This has been a difficult year in many respects, but certainly in the area of cultural icons that have left us.  It was no different among the AFL members.  Please take a moment to remember the following men, read the obituary linked to each, and if you have a story about one-or-more of them, please share it in the comments section below.

January 16 – Joe Hergert – Linebacker/Kicker – Buffalo Bills – 1960-61

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Two Old Patriots

Autographed 1963 Fleer Larry Garron

#01 – Larry Garron

The Boston Globe recently ran an article in which Gino Cappelletti and Larry Garron reminisced about the early days in Patriots history.  Both gentlemen are, of course, AFL legends, and members of the Patriots All-Decade Team for the 1960s.  Garron, now 79, and Cappelletti, aged 82, have been around the Patriots since the team’s initial training camp in 1960.  They played through some rough patches, enjoyed an Eastern Division title, and experienced much individual success.  Cappelletti is the AFL’s all-time leading scorer, and Garron was selected to play in four AFL All-Star Games.

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A Frank Buncom Discovery – 1969 Topps

frank buncom

1965 Topps

I posted recently after learning a bit about the 1967 Milton Bradley football cards.  Since then I’ve picked up more information about another AFL trading card, one which I thought that I already knew all about – the 1969 Topps Frank Buncom.

Those that have been visiting this site for a while know that I have a particular fondness for Frank Buncom.  While living, Buncom was a great linebacker, and by all accounts an even better person.  I have come to know his grandson, Frank Buncom IV, who now plays for Stanford, and I can say without hesitation that he is an equally special individual.  My interest in Buncom the ballplayer naturally (for me, anyway) translated into an interest in Buncom the collectible, and while he is pictured on five 1960s Topps cards, I needed one of each for my autographed sets.

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