November 28, 1965… I Remember the Patriots Beating the Jets 27-2

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Guest blogger Bob Swick has been collecting football cards since 1965. He has written about football cards and memorabilia since 1990 for many sports collecting publications.  He is the Publisher and Editor of Gridiron Greats Magazine which can be found at

I was seven years old in 1965, and a big football fan.  I loved opening up wax packs of football cards, the NFL players found in the 1965 Philadelphia brand and my favorite 1965 Topps AFL players which were a larger card than the Philly’s and are known today as the “Tall Boys”.

autographed 1965 topps babe parilli

#017 – Babe Parilli

There was not much to do on fall-turning-into-winter weekends back in North Branford, Connecticut, where I grew up.  I would go outside in the morning and throw my football up in the air and catch it, pretending I was a pro player like Babe Parilli or Broadway Joe Namath or Gino Cappalletti.   On some Saturday mornings we would go to the shopping plaza in town next to us and my mom would go grocery shopping while I went to the McCrory’s Five and Dime store.   While my mother shopped, I would march into the store and see what football packs they had, hoping the larger AFL packs were available, and spend my dime that my mother gave me on two of them.  I would then go back into the car and open the packs to see who I got, and chew that great bubble gum inside of them.  I also would study those cards each day.  On snowy weekend days I would study the local paper and read all the football articles in it.  I also had a scrapbook where I cut those same photos and articles out and keep a collection of them during the season.  And I did paste some of those same cards in that scrapbook.

Then one o’clock came on Saturdays there were usually two college games on television and Sunday’s the same thing.  I was in my glory watching 12 hours of football during the season!

The AFL games were shown locally on Channel 4, the NBC affiliate out of New York.  One must remember we only had six stations to watch back then as compared to the literal thousands in 2012.  Channel 3 out of Hartford showed the NFL games, usually the New York Giants.  And on some Sundays, two games were shown back to back on both stations.  I was always fascinated by the four o’clock game shown usually on the west coast where it looked sunny and warm to me as compared to the growing darkness and gloom of New England.

autographed 1965 topps joe namath

#122 – Joe Namath

The 1965 Boston Patriots caught my fancy; the local papers did an excellent job in covering the three local football teams, the Giants, Jets, and Patriots.  The Jets and Broadway Joe Namath were the talk of the town, while the Patriots had a rough season going 4-8-2.   The Patriots got some good press in the New Haven papers.   I favored the underdog Patriots. Babe Parilli led the team this rough season along with some smooth running from Ron Burton.  Looking back at the ’65 Pats, they were a good team on paper but fought for their four wins that season.  Jim Nance was a natural running back for the team; I always wondered why his rookie card was in found in the 1968 Topps set.

autographed 1965 topps tony romeo

#018 – Tony Romeo

One game still stands out for me that season.  With Patriots going nowhere fast and holding only one victory, they faced the Jets who also were going nowhere but had the star in Namath as quarterback.  On a warm November 28th day in New York over Thanksgiving weekend, the Patriots came from behind to beat the Jets 27-23 on a Parilli two-yard pass to Tony Romeo, who had a pretty good career with the Pats after playing his first season with Texans.  I remember that afternoon my father watched the game with me and he mentioned over the years the game as it was the first time he saw Namath play on TV.  It was a great game from what I remember of it and reading about it over the years.  Two relatively evenly-matched teams with a budding star starting his career.   The game was a seesaw between the two teams, Namath passing for 284 yards in comparison to Parilli’s 183 yards.  The key stat looking back at that game was the Jets losing the ball twice on fumbles.

The Patriots ended up winning the rest of their games that season beating the Broncos and Oilers to finish 4-8-2.  The Jets game sparked a turnaround.  If they had won those two ties they would have been 6-8 for the season.

The memories of the time only sharpen for me the beauty and grace of football from the 1960’s when the American Football League and the Patriots were champions on Sundays to this seven-year-old student of the game.


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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4 Responses to November 28, 1965… I Remember the Patriots Beating the Jets 27-2

  1. Dave Steidel says:

    Nice article Bob – I have similar memories as you describe. Too bad you did not live in my neighborhood, I needed a buddy who appreciated the AFL.

  2. Tom says:

    By coincidence Sunday morning I purchased four 1964 Phillies, PGC. YA Title, Bobby Mitchell, 49ers Play Of The Year card # 168 and Kermit Alexander. From the back of the 49ers card I discovered that in 1963 49ers PFHOF Jimmy Johnson played on both sides of the football. Prior to the 1980’s I knew Chuck Bednarik was credited as being one of the last, I never knew about Jimmy.
    Jimmy is somewhat better known, Olympic Gold Medalist Decathlete Rafer Johnson’s kid brother.

    In 1957 Jimmy Johnson competing for Kingsburg HS in the California State High School Track and Field Championships held at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley finished third in the 120 HH’s, In the same meet LA Mt Carmel HS Mike McKeever set the unofficial National Interscholastic Record in the 16 lb shot put 53′ 4 3/4″, Twin Marlin McKeever was second 50′ 8 3/4″. Pasadena HS Clark Branson set the National Record in the meet with the 12 LB 64″ 3/4. Sadly the McKeever twins have passed, years apart from the same injury, head trauma.

    Kermit Alexander also attended LA Mt Carmel HS and was recently in the news as a leading opponent of Prop 34. Prop 34 the California Ballot Initiative if passed would have eliminated the Death Penalty in the State. Kermit’s efforts were sucessful and the initiative was voted down. Kermit has a personal interest, as the killer of his mother, sister, and two nephews, murdered in their home, the home he grew up in South LA on 58th St between Main St and Broadway, sits in San Quentin on Death Row.

    The Fairground Flea Market I purchased the Phiilies is where Bobby Bonds MLB (Barry’s father) played his last game of organized football. In the 1964 CIF SS 3A Semi Finals Bobby’s Riverside Poly lost on a last second controversial call to San Bernardino Pacific. In High School Bobby, called simply by his last name “Bonds” made a leaping back of the end zone catch, and ruled out of bounds, when the final gun went off and the cries of we was robbed rang in the air. Bobby could jump and was the first ever in CIF SS to Long Jump 25″. In the 1964 California State Track and Field Finals held in the LA Coliseum Bobby made CIF SS history jumping 25″3″. Long Beach Poly’s Earl McCoullough NFL did even better, that year he set the National Record in both the 120 HH and the 180 HH. His National Record setting time of 18.1 in the 180’s still stands. In the 1964 State meet Oakland McClymonds HS Jimmy Hines, later 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist and WR holder, the first to run under 10 secs in the 100 M dash, doubled winning both the 100 and 220. The same year former Utah State Aggie AA and NFL Bill Staley Walnut Creek Las Lomas HS won State in the Discus with an impressive toss of 181’2″.

  3. Doc Doherty says:

    Great article Todd…I did pretty much the same thing. I live just outside of Boston and followed the Patriots. Due to them never selling out in those days they were never on TV unless they played away. My greatest memories are watching the Pats in their all white unis play on the road. Even better was the 4 o’clock AFL game featuring San Diego vs whomever and my favorite was also Lance Alworth.
    Keep up the great work.

    • Todd Tobias says:

      Thanks, Doc! Bob Swick did a great job on this article. I am really fortunate to be receiving articles from some excellent AFL/football historians.

      Lance was something else, wasn’t he? He played before my time, but watching the old highlights films… He was incredible!

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