Category Archives: George Blanda

The AFL All-Time Team Trophy

AFL All-Time Team AwardWhen 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. read more

The Raiders’ Ben Davidson on the New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal

Autographed 1967 Topps Ben DavidsonAsk 10 fans who the meanest, toughest, nastiest player was in the American Football League, and a good number of them will say Ben Davidson.  Davidson loved to hit people.  Running backs, quarterbacks, wide receivers, offensive linemen, referees, opposing coaches…  It really didn’t matter.  Watch old Raiders highlight films, and you will see #83 smacking people around before, during, and long after the whistle. read more

>1961 AFL Most Valuable Player – George Blanda

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Legendary pro football ironman, George Blanda, was more than a year into retirement from an NFL career that had lasted 10 seasons when he decided to strap on his cleats once again and play quarterback for the Houston Oilers of the upstart American Football League.  Blanda, who had played his college football for Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Kentucky, provided veteran leadership to the team that he would lead to the league’s first championship in the inaugural season of 1960. Returning to the Oilers in 1961, Blanda started up right where he had left off, and began throwing the ball around at a breakneck pace.  He completed 187 of 362 passes that season, for a league-leading 3,330 yards.  He was atop all other AFL quarterbacks in the areas of Yards-Per-Attempt (9.20) and Touchdown Passes (36).  Blanda’s top receiver, Charlie Hennigan, led the league with 1,746 receiving yards in ’61, the highest total in the AFL’s 10-year history.  George Blanda doubled as the Oilers’ kicker, in addition to his quarterbacking duties.  In 1961 he topped all AFL kickers with a 61.5% field goal percentage, and converted a league-leading 98.5% of his field goal attempts, connecting on 64-of-65 attempts. Blanda and the Oilers faced the Chargers in the 1961 AFL championship game, a repeat of the 1960 title match.  Blanda led the Oilers to a second-consecutive AFL title with a 10-6 victory in a defenive struggle that saw only one touchdown.  The Oilers points came on a Blanda 25-yard TD pass to Billy Cannon, a Blanda extra-point, and 46-yard field goal. Football pundits across the nation praised Blanda’s efforts in ’61, and he was named AFL Most Valuable Player by all three voting bodies, the United Press International, Associated Press and The Sporting News.