Category Archives: Hank Stram
The 50th anniversary of Super Bowl I is sneaking up on us, and I can only imagine the media campaign that will be unleashed by the NFL. Fortunately, this will also give cause for historians to review the first AFL-NFL championship game (as Super Bowl I was initially referred to) and all of the build-up surrounding the AFL-NFL merger.
A new book titled When It Was Just A Game by oral historian Harvey Frommer, is now on bookshelves across the country, and provides an in-depth look at that earliest of AFL-NFL contests. I’ve just placed my Amazon order, and will be reviewing the book here on Tales. In the meantime, I came across an interesting article about Frommer’s research for the book. Some of these notes are rather well-known, but they still provide historical background on the spectacle that is the Super Bowl.
I was reading through my Twitter feed the other day when I came across a link to the film above. I thought that I had seen most of the early Chargers stuff out there, but this piece from the Chargers vs. Texans preseason game of 1961 was new to me. This 4.5-minute clip contains a lot of interesting stuff, including sideline interviews, unique camera angles, and some great visuals of Balboa Stadium prior to its complete renovation for the Chargers arrival in ’61.
I found this video the other day, and really enjoyed it for the job it did describing Hank Stram as a person. I knew Stram was a nice dresser, and had heard him called a “cocky” and a “peacock,” but this video takes things a bit further. I also found it very interesting that the Super Bowl IV film is still the most popular super bowl film in the NFL Films lineup.
I was looking around the internet the other day, searching for information on the Chiefs postcards that I recently wrote about, when I came across a site called Vintage Everyday. The site features article on all sorts of historic topics, and is something in which readers can easily lose themselves for hours. The particular article that caught my attention, however, showed a number of rare photographs of the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game (Super Bowl I), taken by a photographer for Life Magazine. The photo that I found most interesting was a shot of a downtrodden Hank Stram. It was just such a drastic difference from the way the normally ebullient coach was typically portrayed. Enjoy!
Last week we discussed Al Davis’s role in the advancement of the minority athlete (and later minority head coach and front office personnel) in professional football. Several readers commented that while Davis, and Sid Gillman, were important figures in bringing the black athlete into the forefront of pro football, no coach did more to break down the color barriers that the Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs head man, Hank Stram. Stram popularized scouting the historically black schools, and went so far as to hire Lloyd Wells to specifically pull talent out of those colleges and universities. His overall success is seen in all aspects of the Chiefs; two-of-for AFL Super Bowl appearances, being the only coach to represent a team throughout all 10 years of the AFL, a high number of his players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (with many more still deserving of induction).