Goose Gonsoulin and East Coast Bias

autographed 1965 topps goose gonsoulin

Much is said about the way AFL’ers are snubbed by the hall of fame voting committee.  We have discussed the subject many times on this site, and thrown out names like Johnny Robinson, Jim Tyrer, Art Powell, Walt Sweeney, and others as deserving HoF candidates.

I stumbled across an interesting article that makes a compelling case for the Denver Broncos’ defensive back, Goose Gonsoulin, to have his bust in the Canton, Ohio, museum.  The piece is called Goose Gonsoulin and East Coast Bias, and was first published on the Broncos Planet website.  Take a look.

Frankly, I think that the piece has merit, and Gonsoulin should be considered for induction.  Along with Lionel Taylor, Gonsoulin was one of Denver’s first stars, and he helped steady a very unstable Broncos franchise with his inspired play.  Additionally, he is just a good guy.  I’ve spoken with Goose several times, and you would be hard-pressed to find a nicer guy.  That doesn’t necessarily translate into HoF votes, but it means something to me.

Todd Tobias (790 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.


7 Responses to Goose Gonsoulin and East Coast Bias

  1. Eddie Arminio says:

    This is a long shot, but a AFL Hall of Fame should be built. This is the only way that former AFL greats will be recognized.I’m sure this will never happen, but it should.

    • John says:

      Agree, good idea!

    • dean boatwright says:

      don’t you know ..nice guys finish last..you got to be a dirty player with a big fat mouth like sapp to get in the hof…can’t let people with class like, robinson, Kramer get in…you have to go all the way across the field away from the play and blindside a player, break his neck..talk a lot of smack with your big fat mouth…that gets you in the hall of shame..thought people would foget that play,didn’t you sapp..not me ,but the voters must have..what a pile of %^%# !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 1967 says:

    One of the ‘cool names’ football cards my youth was ‘Goose’ Gonsoulin (‘Austin William’ just pales in comparison 🙂

    That Goose played for a DEN team that nigh on annually was not elite to say the least was an unfortunate slight beyond his control…that he had the misfortune play not only in the same league but same division with the more revered Johnny Robinson, as well had competition from the likes BUFF’s Saimes too among others is not lost on this Chiefs fan, 1967.

    Still, that Gonsoulin is the AFL’s all-time INT leader and had more INT’s in a single season than Robinson (also more INT’s in one game) states his case very well. That his team/defense might’ve been thrown at more often cannot diminish him, because as the stats affirm he made the plays regardless & was an regular on All-Star teams that era.

    Goose Gonsoulin is but another victim on a too-long list NFL/HOF voters lack of objective integrity & bias towards most everything AFL.

  3. Mike Garrigan says:

    I agree with Eddie’s idea but I also agree it is a long shot at best (funding etc being the big issue) Maybe a select committee of former AFL players & Execs should gather and make some sort of recognition announcement of three players. Maybe it gathers steam and grows.

  4. Tom says:

    When I think of AFL safties I think of Kenny Graham, his career like Goose was not as long as some, both played 7 seasons and Kenny played in 90 games while Goose totaled 108. But if it was possible to put a highlight film of Kenny together with the hits he put on people, him returning punts and his five Tds on ints, you would be witness to one of the All Time greats.

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