Category Archives: Bob Dee

January 12, 1965 – AFL Eastern Division All-Star Defensive Line

1965 all-star d-line

1/12/65 – HOUSTON, TEX: A line of scrimmage view of the AFL’s East Team All-Star starting defensive line: Upper L to R: (DT) Bob Dee, Boston; (DT) Tom Sestak, Buffalo; Lower L to R: (DT) Houston Antwine, Boston; (DE) Larry Eisenhauer, Boston.  The American Football League All-Star game originally schedules for 1/16 in New Orleans Sugar Bowl was moved to Houston after a walk out of Negro players who alleged that they had been discriminated against in New Orleans.  UPI TELE read more

Enjoying an old Sports Illustrated Article

siThere are several places that one can go on the internet to find quality information on the American Football League.  First and foremost, www.remembertheafl.com, which is run by Ange Coniglio, has been an old standby for years.  Chris Holmes’s site documenting AFL game programs is another nice place to go.  One of my favorite places for reading up on the AFL is not a league-specific site, but rather the Sports Illustrated Vaults, which boasts of having more than 180,000 articles from past SI issues online.  A reader can search the site for article on nearly every sports-related subject imaginable, and there is a boatload of fantastic, vintage AFL articles. read more

>The Bobs of Boston

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Bob Dee, Bob Lee and Bob Fee of the Boston Patriots.
There were lots of interesting characters at the early AFL training camps in 1960.  Many teams held open tryouts that they advertised in local newspapers.  The result was having every bartender, truck driver, dock worker and other tough guy come out and make an attempt to play professional football.  The Boston Patriots held their initial training camp at the University of Massachusetts, and had their own collection of football-playing hopefuls, including three guys named Bob – Dee, Fee and Lee.

Bob Dee had the greatest career of the three Bobs.  After playing two initial season with the Washington Redskins, Dee re-started his football career in Boston in 1960.  He played on Boston’s defensive line through the 1967 season when he retired to embark upon a business opportunity that was “too good to resist.” Bob Dee left the Patriots as a four-time AFL All-Star who started 112 consecutive games. Years later his number 89 was retired by the Patriots, he was selected as a member of the Boston Patriots All-1960s Team, and he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Bob Lee was an offensive guard out of the University of Missouri.  Lee managed to get into eight games with the Patriots in 1960, after which his professional football career ended. Bob Fee got cut in training camp, and thus never played in a regular season game.  I managed to track him down in an effort to get his football card signed.  After receiving my letter, he called me on the phone from Massachusetts. He said that he had gotten my phone number off of the stationary from my autograph request, and thought he would give me a call. He is now 76 years old, and participates in the Senior Olympics. He has run 31 marathons in his life, but at his age he hates having to do long training runs in the Massachusetts cold, so he now does the 100 and 200 meters. He will be competing in Texas in March. He said that he gets 3-4 requests to sign his card each year and always enjoys doing it.

>The Boston Patriots’ Bob Dee

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December has so far been a good month for me in terms of adding autographed football cards to my AFL collections.  Three or four deals have come across my desk, each of which allowed me to knock one or two cards off of the dwindling numbers that I still need to complete my autographed card sets from the 1960s.  One such card is an autographed 1965 Topps Bob Dee, from the famed “tall boy” set, that I was able to purchase from a trustworthy memorabilia dealer in Ohio.  This was the last card that I needed to complete my 1965 Boston Patriots team set, and it got me thinking about Dee and his contributions to the AFL. Bob Dee was a New Englander through and through, having attended high school in Braintree, Mass., before becoming a three sport letterman at the College of the Holy Cross.  He was drafted by Washington Redskins in the 19th round of the 1955 NFL draft, and played for the ‘Skins in 1957 & 1958 before returning to Holy Cross to spend a year coaching the linemen at his alma mater. The AFL was founded late in 1959, and the City of Boston had an inaugural franchise.  Bob Dee came out of his retirement from professional football to play for the hometown Patriots.  Dee earned a starting position on Boston’s defensive line, and in fact, scored the first touchdown in American Football League history by recovering a fumble in the end zone when the Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills in the league’s first exhibition game. Dee’s successes carried into the regular season, where he quickly built a name for himself as one of the top defensive linemen in the new league.  Not the largest player at his position at 6’4” and 250 lbs., Dee stressed a finesse game, preferring to overcome blockers with moves rather than through brute force. From his defensive line position, Bob Dee became one of the stalwarts around which the Patriots built a punishing defense.  By 1963, Dee and his defensive mates were a feared squad that forced their opposition to throw the ball because of their solid run defense.  Boston also relied heavily on the blitz, sometimes sending their linebackers on a “red dog” more than half of the snaps in a given game. Dee continued his dominance of the AFL’s offensive linemen through the 1967 season, when he retired due to a business opportunity that was “too good to resist.”  Bob Dee left the Patriots as a four-time AFL All-Star who started 112 consecutive games.  Years later his number 89 was retired by the Patriots, he was selected as a member of the Boston Patriots All-1960s Team, and he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Bob Dee died of a heart attack while on a business trip in 1979.  He was just 45 years old.