Category Archives: Cookie Gilchrist
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.
Former Denver Broncos PR man, Jim Saccomano, posts fantastic stories on Broncos history to the team website. Recently he detailed the turbulent career of famed fullback, Cookie Gilchrist. Although Cookie played for the Broncos some 50 years ago, Sacco’s praise of Gilchrist is still high, calling him, “by far the greatest Denver fullback and one of the greatest players that many have never heard of.”
…One of the greatest, yet most unknown protest in professional sports took place. On January 11, 1965, 21 African-American football players from the American Football League walked out of the City of New Orleans, refusing to take place in the all-star game because of the discrimination that they had faced. Led by Cookie Gilchrist and Art Powell, these men stood up for their beliefs, and in doing so made a statement that helped bring about integration in the South.
A couple of weeks back I posted an article that drew a connection between the recent Donald Stirling incident and the AFL All-Star boycott in 1965. I still think that the comparison is a stretch, but anytime that the ’65 All-Stars can be recognized for their bravery is fine by me.
An article posted yesterday on The Mile High Report discusses current levels of perceived racism in professional sports, and talks a bit more about the New Orleans situation. I used to be indifferent to the Redskins situation, and thought it was being blown out of proportion. But then a friend’s simple question made me reverse my thinking. “Would you walk up to a Native American and say, “Hi Redskin!”?” Of course I would not. Then why should the Washington football team continue to use the name? History is a reason, I guess. But just because we’ve done something one way forever doesn’t necessarily make it right.
After mostly finishing at the bottom of the western division in years past, optimism was a bit higher in the Denver Broncos camp heading into the 1965 season. Denver had signed two of the league’s greatest running backs in Cookie Gilchrist and Abner Haynes, and with the receiving threat in Lionel Taylor, Bronco fans were hoping for great things to come from their offense. Sports Illustrated acknowledged the improvements on the offensive side of the ball, but had little faith in the Denver defense, and still expected them to finish last in the division.