Category Archives: Houston Oilers

AFL Legend Billy Cannon Passes Away

The first major rookie signing of the AFL, Billy Cannon, has passed away. Cannon was the 1958 Heisman Trophy winner at LSU, and was highly sought by both AFL and NFL teams. Cannon signed with both the Rams of the NFL and Houston Oilers of the AFL, leading to a legal affair the result of which found Cannon playing in the AFL. He went on to play all 10 seasons of the league, splitting time between the Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders. read more

Dear Abner, The Ref Goofed!

Last month AFL author, Dave Steidel, sent me a couple of new stories that he had written for Tales.  Here is the first, a look back at Abner Haynes’s flub (or not flub?) in the 1962 AFL Championship Game. ~Todd Tobias

Dear Abner, The Ref Goofed! by Dave Steidel

Left or right, vanilla or chocolate, drive or walk, small or large?  Decisions, decisions, decisions!  Something that we are faced with on a daily basis.  But as we all know, they are not always black or white.  Instead of left or right, sometimes we can go straight.  Vanilla or chocolate?  Ever hear of a ‘black cow’?  Drive or walk, how about peddling!  Small or large?  What about medium?  Forced choices are part of narrow band of decisions that gives us only limited options and at times we have to bite the bullet, so to speak, and choose either one or the other base on the information we have available to us at the time.  And you will see in this article, in pro-football, at least in AFL in 1962, the choices when winning a coin toss ARE NOT simply to kick or receive! read more

George Blanda Video

George Blanda was one of the great stories of professional football.  Twenty-six years in the AFL & NFL will do that.  But not only did Blanda endure, he succeeded and late in his career, inspired 40-somethings all over the country with his physical exploits while playing against men literally half his age.  While the video above doesn’t necessarily focus strictly on the AFL, Blanda talks about some of his inspirations, and what football meant to him. read more

1959 LSU Stars Join the AFL

1960 afl yearbook

The Louisiana State University football team was dominant in 1958 & 1959.  Paul Dietzel’s recruiting classes of 1955 & 1956 paid huge dividends, and led the Tigers to an NCAA championship in 1958, and a third place national ranking the following year.  LSU junior, Billy Cannon, took home the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate football star in ’59, and was joined in the Tiger backfield by three other athletes who all went on to play professional football – Johnny Robinson, J.W. Brodnax, and Warren Rabb. read more

Bill Groman – As Good as Odell?

I don’t follow contemporary football very much, but you’d have to live under a rock to not have heard of Odell Beckham.  Here is a great recollection of an AFL’er who, for most of us, has been lost to history.

MEET THE MAN WHO WAS ODELL BEFORE ODELL