Category Archives: Kansas City Chiefs
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.
Running back Bert Coan was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1962. After playing in four games with the Chargers, Coan was shipped off to the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the start of the 1963 season. Coan spent six years with the Chiefs where he had a strong, if unheralded career. He led the AFL with 5.4 yards-per-carry in 1966, and finished Top 10 in the league each season in most rushing categories.
One of the benefits of being an autographed card collector is that when I send a card in the mail to a former AFL player, I also have the opportunity to ask if they would be interested in doing an interview for Tales from the American Football League. I had just such an experience recently when I sent an interesting new RetroCard (more on those in a future post!) to former Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Tom Flores.
One of the central themes of American Football League history is the AFL’s whole-hearted inclusion of minority athletes. AFL teams went into the historically black colleges and drafted immense amounts of talent – Ernie Ladd, Buck Buchanan, Otis Taylor and Willie Brown – just to name a few. In the following article, Chiefs historian Bob Moore talks about Lamar Hunt and his staff’s ideas and actions with black players. The Chiefs were one AFL team, along with the Chargers and Raiders in particular, who attempted to win with the best players they could find, not just the best white players.
When I paired down my collection of AFL memorabilia, I kept those things that gave me the most enjoyment. Autographed trading cards were at the top of that list. But falling in somewhere slightly below were AFL-related postcards. While I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to this branch of collectable, I have learned a bit in my years of collecting. Stadium views are by far the most common theme found in AFL postcards, with individual player and team photo cards being much more difficult to find.