Favorite AFL Images

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1964_chargers_vs_chiefs

I recently picked up an handful of vintage, color slides from various AFL games.  The slides have produced some pretty exciting prints, including this one that really stood out to me.  This particular image comes from the Chargers vs. Chiefs game played in Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium on Sunday, November 15, 1964.  The Chargers scored four touchdowns in the second quarter, and defeated the Chiefs 28-14.  I really like the colors in this image, and seeing Tales from the AFL subscriber, Fred Arbanas, blocking down on the Chargers’ Frank Buncom.

Hey Fred!  Do you remember this game?  What can you tell us about it?

Todd Tobias (775 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.



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16 Responses to Favorite AFL Images

  1. 1967 says:

    Beautiful uniforms both SD and KC – much better than what the teams wear today, my opine (nod my inner Brando’s ‘contenda’, “I coulda been a designer.”)

    Thence, KC sported the original large size helmet arrowhead compared the dinky one they use now – which if anything one would think should be emphasized more than afterthought. Vintage grey facemasks too, no sleeve stripe/piping & black cleated shoes. My approval as well them trashing the horrendous red road pants (they actually started wearing in 1968) and also returning to the original red road socks they once sported in lieu the modern white. The all-white road unis they once wore/still should was a better look too. Alas, seems they prefer the opposite; 2013 one game they subjected viewers an all-red home outfit – jersey AND pants – a giant nosebleed afield.

    SD? 50 years after that picture was taken, still the most artistic sporting outfits ever designed my opine. As the case vintage cars many that same era, the Charger uniforms almost give the illusion of movement taking place even while they’re standing still (must be those lightning bolts.) That SD never thence to my knowledge added little circular lightning bolts to their socks both surprises and pleases my ‘old school cool’ sentiment. Obviously, their creators ‘knew when to say when’, as it were.

    Case the uniforms both teams, a nice clean look sans over-zealous splattering of logos everywhere (NFL shield, manufacturer names, etc.) My opine, uniforms today look too busy, and more so garish, walking billboards some cases. Speak softly and say, all that’s missing are $igns indicate what the modern age has relegated a once quaint game of another time.

    • Paul Seaton says:

      Though I am in complete agreement on Kansas City’s helmet decal (they DO need to go back to the bigger one), I’ve GOT to disagree about your’ opinion of the red road pants & the putrid all white “look”. I grew up watching the Chiefs & the AFL and totally love the red road pants AND the sleeve stripes (both were added in 1968).
      To me, “one color” looks (be it all white or all what ever color) remind me of bad high school teams. the ONLY team who could pull off the “all white” was the Los Angeles Rams of that era.

      • 1967 says:

        It is a subjective matter of course…the feedback that I have received is a majority of Chiefs players that vintage era were not fans of the red pants, for what said is worth.

        One rumor is Hank Stram felt the Chiefs all-white road uniforms were jinxed. Not sure it’s legit or how superstitious Stram was, but in 1967 KC lost on the road/the west coast four times: @OAK, @SD, @LA vs the Rams pre-season and @LA vs GB Superbowl 1 by an combined score of 147-86; maybe beatdown equates ‘jinx’ and was the impetus change.

        Conversely, KC went 8-0 on the road in 1966 wearing all-whites, if one counts the AFL Championship game played @BUFF on 1/1/67. That in 1967 the Chiefs lost 3 home games & only 2 on the road regular season their all-whites leads me to dismiss a ‘we need new road uniforms’ due ‘jinx’ argument, just my guess.

        The other rationale for the change according to Owner Hunt, was that KC needed more contrast in the uniforms, hence, the sleeve striping/piping added as well the (me editorializing) nosebleed red pants. I spoke to Mr. Hunt more than once about the changes in the uniform over the years, and while he was cordial, he did not offer up any rationale other than the ‘contrast’ sentiment. Seeing as Stram was a renowned clothes horse & son of a tailor, I can see his ‘dapperness’ Henry having a say in the sartorial splendor Chiefs uniform styling, whether due road superstition or his idea of refinement. Too, the Chiefs were always dressed like choir boys in their sport coat & tie getup; compare said with the Raiders and their ‘we just fell out of the bus’ look.

        Not that change instantly translated to success on the field: fact is, ’68 the Chiefs lost two of their three games wearing their ‘new’ red road pants – both on the west coast @OAK, one regular season and again in a playoff game.

        1969, they again lost two of their three games regular season @CIN and @OAK, before winning two road games post season @NYJ and @OAK. The coup de gras came with the Chiefs wearing their ‘home’ outfit, red jerseys & white pants, Superbowl IV.

        That pinnacle clumb & the AFL’s demise complete, south flew the Chiefs too, any real success theirs now MIA 44 years & counting; the curse/jinx of the red pants continues?

        • Paul Seaton says:

          I’ve always read that it was all Stram’s doing, going to the red road pants (he’s been credited with designing the club’s uniforms from the beginning in 1960).
          Though I’ve not read anything verifiable, 90%+ of the “theories” I’ve read & heard are strictly that he wanted a better & “sharper” look on the road, which I feel he achieved.

  2. Paul Beaver says:

    Notice the Official in the background with the “Red” striped shirt on.

    (That “merger” agreement in 1966 took all the fun out of Pro football).

  3. Joe Allwood says:

    Love how vibrant the colors were back then…fantastic slides!

  4. Howard says:

    The modern uniforms are not as dynamic as those of AFL yesteryear. The new products are much better as far as materials and safety. The old helmets were pretty, but not as well made as today’s versions.

  5. Richard Hoyland says:

    AFL officials wore the red striped shirts through 1967. In 1968, they took on the familiar NFL zebra stripes.

  6. Mike Garrigan says:

    Great photo of a Western Division battle. Thanks 1967 for the detail on the Chiefs arrowhead. It looks much better bigger than the one they sport now. San Diego on the other hand has had several uniform changes & they are trying to replicate this one. The helmets would look better with numerals on them like #55 in the photo. The ref in red stripes looks cool too!

  7. 1967 says:

    Crotchety old man alert – rant begins in 3, 2, 1… hey, ‘wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick’? I’d settle for an Edsel if it meant being able to drive to an game of football as it was played yesteryear, the sights the sounds the players and the ambiance. Give me the networks NBC & CBS too, football theme songs that opened their broadcasts back in the 1960’s; growing up is hell 🙂

    Am reminded of the new car salesman who kept trying to get me to buy a ‘modern’ Dodge Challenger & to dispense with my 1970 model due to better/more efficient safety, comfort, gas mileage, cooler design (so says he, whippersnapper) yadda, yadda, yadda. I replied, “when they build a Challenger that sounds like, looks like as well makes me feel like the vintage one I’m now driving does, get back to me.” Ditto uniforms, music and [insert other old school laments herein]

    ‘They’ owner$hip, league$, advertiser$ etc. cater to their audience course, & today’s skews younger. Still, if ‘modern’ matched up with old school cool, I would embrace said & so too would others of another era, I am certain. They don’t, so I do not either. Beauty being a matter eye the beholder of course, modern fare makes my eyes bleed, football/uniforms at minimum.

    No doubt younger folks embrace current styling – a poll was taken resulting in the modern Chargers uniform being preferable according those polled. The adage “no accounting for taste” can be applied anyone’s preferences, but having seen /compared then & now up close, ‘Calgon, take me away!’ (and back.)

    Though I wasn’t yet born, also prefer the auto designs the 1930’s & 40’s better than today’s, 1950’s too it should go without saying. Ditto vintage advertising artwork which blows away modern fare which I find too perfect its photoshopped, airbrushed world of make believe.

    According to aphorist EM Cioran “progress is the injustice that each generation commits with regard to its predecessors.”

    One nod to ‘progress’ as some call it: the computer/keyboard. Least far as one can use it type letters, send (e)mail and store information, sans the previous need file cabinet(s), stamped envelope and typewriter; all well & good. As for the ergonomic consequences involved however, repetitive stress & carpal tunnel, eye strain & all the rest, something (health this case) is necessarily lost in the exchange, or at least compromised in the name of progress… football too.

  8. T Lilljedahl says:

    Interesting to see Fred Arbanas’s blocking technique. He was drive blocking instead of “dancing”” with the oppontant in today’s game.

  9. Eddie Arminio says:

    The AFL, I think worked out all of the bad designs in helmets and uniforms after the 1961 season.Starting in 1962,through 1970 the leagues last year,the designs on helmets and uniforms were far superior than today.Also,those colored referee shirts were better looking than todays version.

  10. Tom says:

    Great slides Todd, happy you were able to add them to your library. Nothing like color photography to make people wax poetic.

  11. Fred Arbanas says:

    Hi Todd. I don’t remember the game but I do remember Frank and the whole Charger team. Looks like I got into his body. So called blocking as they do In todays game sure has changed. In my day you blew into a man and drove him out of the way. Today it mostly screening and you can grab the defensive player. The game looks a lot like fast break basketball. Maybe we should have had those rules then maybe we would not have to had our shoulders and hips replaced. I saw young Ernie Wrights post and I do remember his days at Kansas. His fathers college team mate, Jim Tyrer was my room mate for ten years.

  12. roninbolt51 says:

    I remember back in 1994 which was the 75th anniversary season of the NFL when at different times during the season every team wore it’s throwback uniform.For some of the teams to say that their throw backs were hideous would be like saying Rosie O’Donnel is kind of obnoxious.However the fan poll the NFL did asking fans who had the best throw back uniform,was over whelmingly the Chargers powder blue jersey and white helmet.I was glad to see the white helmet brought back,but wish they had just brought the powder blue back along with it aswell.After all,they seem to wear it as much if not more than the dark blue.The Raiders present day and throw back aren’t much different,the Bronkos throwback helmet has a horse logo on it that looked like a 3 yr old drew it(drunken 3 yr old at that)Chiefs,not a whole lot of difference,same with Rams ,Niners,Oilers(when that name was still existant)Pats although their colors and the logo on the helmet are different,still not that far removed.Bengals minor differences,Miami if there is a difference,not obvious enough to really notice.Dallas,mainly the color of helmet and the top of the shoulders of the jersey that had stars on it.Bills,little change except color scheme.Jets big change from when they were the Titans before becoming the jets.Chicago,Greenbay,steelers throwbacks from the 40’s & early 50’s look like an acid induced nightmare in the guise of rugby uniforms,late 50’s through to the present,little change mainly to the Steelers.Colts,no difference other than location,Browns very little change in color scheme,or level of bland ugliness.The powder blue and white helmet however has been voted the best by fans across the NFL and even win out aginst the present uniforms in the league,its just like the P-51 mustang,regardless of the decade they are viewed in,they both look fast,sexy and pleasing to look at.

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