Category Archives: American Football League

Hall of Fame Vote Tomorrow! Johnny Robinson & Tom Flores!

Tomorrow is the vote for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.  There are two AFL members that are finalists on this year’s ballot, former Raiders QB Tom Flores and Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson. Although he was the Raiders first quarterback, Flores is likely better-known for his time as head coach of the Raiders when he led them to two Super Bowl victories. Johnny Robinson is the lone senior candidate and thought of by many as the most talented player in the senior pool of nominees. Whatever belief system you have, please put forward good vibes for these two gentlemen. Say a prayer, kiss the Blarney Stone, raise a toast, toss a coin in a fountain, or whatever else you can think of doing that might help get our guys the recognition they so deserve. read more

Johnny Robinson and Our Hall of Fame Quest

Hello AFL Fans!

At this point you have likely heard that on Friday, former Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson was chosen as the senior nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019. Johnny will still be subject to the full voting process in February 2019. However, Johnny is the sole senior nominee this year, and as the Hall of Fame has not had an inductee class that did not include at least one senior nominee since 1976, his chances look very good. read more

AFL Legend Billy Cannon Passes Away

The first major rookie signing of the AFL, Billy Cannon, has passed away. Cannon was the 1958 Heisman Trophy winner at LSU, and was highly sought by both AFL and NFL teams. Cannon signed with both the Rams of the NFL and Houston Oilers of the AFL, leading to a legal affair the result of which found Cannon playing in the AFL. He went on to play all 10 seasons of the league, splitting time between the Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders. read more

Remembering the Chiefs’ Jerry Mays

Amidst hall of fame teammates on offense, defense and special teams played a defensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs by the name of Jerry Mays. Standing 6’4″ and weighing in at 252 lbs, the Dallas Texas native became a local hero when he signed with the hometown Texans out of Southern Methodist University.

By all accounts Jerry Mays was a special person. A phenomenal player with a work ethic that set him apart from most others, he quickly became one of the league’s best at his position. He earned First Team All-Pro honors in just his second season, and was honored with the first of his seven trips to the AFL All-Star or NFL Pro Bowl Games. In fact, so beloved was Mays that when he considered retiring early to join his father in the construction business, a local dairy printed a form letter on the side of milk cartons that fans could sign and send to Mays. He was inundated with requests to rejoin the team, and soon ended his thoughts of leaving the game. read more

Remembering the Chargers Don Norton

I got an email the other day from the family of former Chargers receiver, Don Norton. Don’s brother, Dennis, mentioned how he reads all of the Tales postings and went on to discuss some things that had been done around their hometown of Anamosa, Iowa, to remember Don.

Just wanted you to know that my brother Steve and I wanted to keep our brother Don’s spirit alive and well in the town he grew up in, Anamosa, Iowa. The results were from a scoreboard that was moved to an elementary gymnasium to a monument built at the football field where Don starting playing his high school football career. Remembering “Don Norton’s Football and Athletic Career” was our goal. Nearly 100 individuals helped and / or donated to this memorial. If you include spouses or significant others that number increased dramatically. This included folks from Kentucky, California, Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico and even from a friend who lives in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. In Iowa, we received contributions from individuals living in sixteen cities; fromDes Moines, Iowa to Guttenberg, Iowa to Fairfield, Iowa. The help from individuals building this memorial was nothing but awesome; they dug holes, shoveled and racked rock, helped with the landscaping and much much more! Those individuals even included many members of the 2017 Anamosa ‘Blue Raider’ Football Team! 
 
I hope you don’t mind this email which shows you a different way a family “preserves the legacy of the AFL” and the earliest days of a player who was “An Original Charger”.
Remembering Don Norton now stands for all the young players who will walk by his memorial at a Small Town USA Football Field, look at Don’s image and read about his athletic accomplishments.
  
Finally, a note that Don would have turned 80 years old yesterday (March 13); miss him deeply! Thanks for your efforts in keeping the AFL Spirit alive and well. read more