Category Archives: Clem Daniels
I found this neat bit of film on YouTube recently. It shows the highlights of the New York Jets playing a preseason game in 1963, against the Oakland Raiders. The game, played before a mere 8,317 fans, featured the former Titans in all-white uniforms, before they unveiled the new jet logo.
I was struggling for an article to post last evening. I had bounced around for a while on YouTube, and in frustration, began Googling names of AFL All-Time Team members. I got through a few of them before typing in “Clem Daniels.” Jackpot.
I have long known about Daniels’ exploits on the field; he is the AFL’s career rushing leader, All-Time Team member, and a back who deserves hall of fame consideration. But I didn’t know much about Daniels as a person. Fortunately, I found a great article by Monte Poole, called Former Raider Clem Daniels’ Impact Goes Well Beyond Football. It is an informative piece that discusses what motivated Daniels to greatness, and how he has lived his life as a man who helped implement change and better conditions for African-Americans.
When the AFL began in 1960, the Raiders and Titans (later Jets), were two of the most feeble franchises in the league. However, by the late 1960s, both teams had been completely overhauled, and were among the AFL powerhouses. Dave Steidel takes a look at how these two teams fared against each other in 1967.
Since Joe Namath was a rookie and became a starter late in 1965 the Jets and Raiders have played to final scores of 24-24, 24-14 Raiders, and in 1966, 24-21 Raiders and 28-28. So when the two met in the fourth week of the 1967 season it was as both franchises were on the rise and each ready to establish themselves as the elite team of their respective divisions. After two consecutive 8-5-1 finishes Oakland had finally found their leader in new quarterback Daryle Lamonica whom they acquired in a trade with Buffalo. And Jet coach Weeb Ewbank, who had successfully mentored Johnny Unitas into the best quarterback in the NFL, was becoming more convincing in the change of mindset he felt necessary for his formidable but oft times distracted young play caller.
When the AFL and NFL finally merged after the 1969 season, the Pro Football Hall of Fame went about selecting AFL All-Time Team. The announcement of awardees was made through the newspapers on January 14, 1970. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website, the ballotting was particularly close at defensive tackle and cornerback. The selection of a head coach was also very close, with Weeb Ewbank, Sid Gillman and Hank Stram all in the running. The AFL All-Time Team was officially presented at the last game in AFL history, the All-Star Game that was held in Houston on January 17, 1970.
>As if nodding towards the notion that the AFL was a league based on offensive rather than defensive football, the American Football League succeeded in having not one or two, but rather three Most Valuable Player Award recipients in 1963, and all played on the offensive side of the ball. San Diego Chargers flanker, Lance Alworth, established himself as legitimate pass-catching threat in 1963, his second year in the league. Alworth bounced back from an injury-shortened 1962 campaign by playing a full 14-game schedule in ’63, and helping to lead the Chargers to victory in the league championship game. Among Alworth’s statistics for 1963, were 61 receptions for 1,205 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also returned 11 punts for 120 yards – a 10.9-yard-average. The United Press International selected Lance Alworth as their AFL Most Valuable Player. Someone had to throw all of those passes to Lance Alworth in 1963, and the majority of them came from veteran quarterback, Tobin Rote. Rote came to the Chargers in ’63, after spending successful years in the National and Canadian Football Leagues. He added veteran leadership to a young Chargers team, and guided them to their lone AFL championship. Tobin Rote completed 170 of his 268 passes, for 2,510 yards and 20 touchdowns. His 59.4 completion percentage and 8.78 yards-per-attempt average were both tops in the league. But the pinnacle of his many successes in ’63 was his implementation of Sid Gillman’s masterful game plan in the championship game, which led to a 51-10 Chargers victory over the Boston Patriots. Tobin Rote was voted the AFL’s Most Valuable Player by the Associated Press. Under the guidance of rookie head coach, Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders went from a 1-13 record in 1962, to finishing 10-4 in 1963. The man that was the focus of the Raiders running game was halfback Clem Daniels. Daniels not only led the AFL with 1,099 rushing yards in 1963, but he averaged an awesome 5.1 yards-per-carry, and 22.8 yards-per-reception as well as hauling in 30 passes for 685 yards, and scoring eight touchdowns. Clem Daniels was Named as the AFL’s Most Valuable Player by The Sporting News.