New AFL Library List!!

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Thanks to the recent increase in popularity of the American Football League, a number of books have been written about subjects with varying degrees of AFL connection.  New league and team histories, biographies, and specialized subject works are now published on an annual basis.

I have recently compiled a list of titles with AFL connections.  I have tried to keep the list limited to books that have strong AFL connections, and don’t simply contain a line or two, here or there.  The list is broken up into four sections, League Histories, Team Histories, Special Subjects, and Biographies/Autobiographies.

This new list can now be found on the far right of the menu, near the top of the Tales from the American Football League page.  Click on the button for “AFL BOOKS,” and it will take you directly to the page.

I will update the list as I come across new titles, or discover old ones that I had not previously known.  Please feel free to submit titles that you may know of, but do not see on the list.  This should be a great resource for AFL fans and historians alike.


Todd Tobias (789 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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8 Responses to New AFL Library List!!

  1. Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

    An Otis Taylor autobiography ? ? ?

    Wow ! ! ! I’m definitely interested in that one.

    • afl says:

      It’s a good book (Otis Taylor was my second favorite Chief next to Len Dawson.) Author Stallard & Otis describe among other some of the injuries OT dealt with & differences training regimines yesteryear and today. Those injuries, as well differences offensive scheme then KC’s comparison others like OAK, NY & SD & comparison today’s rule-enabled WR’s (no bump & run aft 5 yards) are enough so that #89 will likely never get into the Hall of Fame, I say with disappointment; course, ‘targets’ too would have to be taken into consideration, offensive scheme each player/team, etc.

      Why do I say this? HOF enshrinement (if you can get past the fact be no consistency in the method their madness, voting) is a numbers game: if you don’t have them you aren’t likely merit inclusion. Along these lines, a former AFL receiver ‘not’ in the Hall of Fame actually had better career numbers (albeit slight) than OT an almost identical # of games played/years credited, the two so close in numbers it’s fairly amazing. That one guy had a Hall of Fame WR teammate across from him early days, also interesting.

      Believe I’ve read you are an OT for HOF proponent. When I think of Otis, his highlight reel grabs immediately come to mind, many them game-changers & game winners. His post season stats aside (where he shone brightly), I discovered OT’s career numbers regular season career to be a bit less than former Charger, Gary Garrison. Alworth (Garrison’s HOF teammate, across from him), Don Maynard, George Sauer, Fred Biletnikoff and Warren Wells would’ve been my top late 60’s choices, Otis Taylor good as any of them my opine but his raw numbers not on par the others, generally.

      The question presents: does having an equally great or greater WR other side the field from you open up more possibilities, or, limit opportunities, comparison a WR who does not have the same situation? I think of PIT Steelers Stallworth & Swann; that both got into the HOF (despite Swann’s numbers being lesser than Otis Taylor & Gary Garrison), curious. HOF an ‘Individual’ measure moreso ‘team’ (one would think?), make no sense.

      Garrison was a fine receiver, but I wouldn’t have named him among my Top 5 WR’s late 1960’s AFL or early merger NFL. Yet, final analysis, Garrison and Taylor each played 11 years (though a bit of a misnomer, OT played just 3 offensive snaps ’75 afore his career ended, Garrison just 3 games ’77 his finale.) Difference: just 4 games career (advantage Garrison), difference only 5 catches (advantage Taylor), 1 td (Garrison), 232 yards (Garrison) & a difference of 1 Pro Bowl (advantage Garrison.)

      Garrison 405 7,538 58 18.6 125 games started
      O.Taylor 410 7,306 57 18.1 95 games started

      Upshot: Garrison was ‘better’ than Taylor strictly by most of the numbers… would not have thought so but the numbers affirm. Thus, an argument can be made that Gary should go into Canton before Otis if one or both in fact are deserving. This seems to suggest ‘hype’, ‘PR’ and our own preference ‘style’ can influence perception, no matter stats.
      That it was easy to locate an Otis Taylor highlight package online/youtube (below) but not a Gary Garrison one, seemingly confirmation.

      • Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

        Yes, I scream to anybody who will listen that I want Otis Taylor in The Hall of Fame ! ! !

        When I was a kid in the late ’70’s, I understood O-Taylor to be one of the great wide receivers of the game. He was one of the first AFL players I knew about.

        In 2011, I was shocked to learn he wasn’t in the Hall of Fame. Since becoming a regular on this site in January 2013, I’ve learned about many more deserving AFL players who aren’t in The Hall. (Of course, there are deserving NFL players who aren’t there, either.)

        I don’t know defense as well as I know offense, but it sounds like Taylor’s teammate Johnny Robinson deserves to be there as well.

        Getting back to O-Taylor: I don’t care what the numbers are. Greatness is greatness. Otis Taylor personifies greatness.

        • Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

          Like I said, since becoming a regular on this site in 2013, I’ve learned about many more AFL players who deserve The Hall of Fame. (And certainly, there are deserving NFL players are not in The Hall.)

          My #1 vote for The Hall of Fame goes to Otis Taylor. I’m a sportswriter, and I’ve been following pro football since I was a kid in the late 1970’s. I don’t care what the numbers are. Otis Taylor personifies greatness.

  2. Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

    Jeff Miller’s Going Long is a very good book. It’s a MUST HAVE for any pro football fan.

    • Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

      Valuable information and cool stories. I enjoyed learning more about some of my favorite players, including George Blanda, Cookie Gilchrist, and Otis Taylor.

      I remember first seeing Going Long on the shelf at Books-A-Million in the Summer of 2003. I thought, “Cool ! ! ! A book on the AFL ! ! !” Books on the American Football League weren’t something you saw in your average bookstore.

      I bought the book during the Christmas holidays (2003), and I’ve greatly enjoyed it.

  3. Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

    America’s Game by Michael MacCambridge is a great book. Its early chapters on the NFL in the ’40’s and 50’s constitute some of the best pro football writing I’ve ever read. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of Paul Brown and the Cleveland Browns, and Tank Younger and the Los Angeles Rams. Then there’s the chapter on Lamar Hunt and his inspiration on the airplane to start a new pro football league.

    I prefer straight prose to the oral history style. That’s a major reason I rate America’s Game over Going Long. But they’re both fine books that ANY pro football fan should have.

  4. boomdog02 says:

    You guys missed a great book in your list. Written by the Raiders team doctor Rob Huyzinga: “You’re Okay, It’s Just a Bruise: A Doctor’s Sideline Secrets About Pro Football’s Most Outrageous Team Published in 1995. Its a great look at the behind the scenes worlds of being a team doctor, back in the 70’s and 80’s…talk about the wild west!!! A must for any fan of the silver and black.

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