Talk of Fame Radio Network talks AFL

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Last week I was contacted by the Talk of Fame Sports Network, and asked to be part of a radio show about the American Football League.  This show is hosted by Ron Borges, Clarke Judge, and Rick Gosselin; three selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, two-of-which sit on the senior committee.  Gino Cappelletti and Lance Alworth were also guests for different segments of the show.

In speaking with the hosts prior to the show, I was pleased to learn that all three feel that the AFL has been given short-shrift in the voting process, and that they would like to see that changed.

I’ve posted a link to the show below.  For those that have limited time, the interviews begin at the following times:

Gino Cappelletti – 8:00

Todd Tobias – 23:10

Lance Alworth – 54:50

One of the questions that I was asked was what I felt was the single most important moment in AFL history.  How would you have answered?

Todd Tobias (788 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 Talk of Fame Radio Network talks AFL

  1. Jimax says:

    On the field, I’d vote for Tommy Brooker’s OT FG to win the ’62 title. Off the field, the Namath signing was huge. Hey, can you put in a good work for Otis Taylor and Johnny Robinson?

  2. Eddie Arminio says:

    To me, the most obvious important moment was when the Jets beat the Colts in the Super Bowl. It brought all the critics to their knees.When Al Davis was on the verge of signing John Brodie, Roman Gabriel, and Mike Ditka, was also a huge turning point. Credibility soon followed.

  3. Howard says:

    I believe signing the massive (at the time) TV contract with NBC assured the AFL survived. While the League did a good job in signing draftee’s in the early years, and penetrated new markets, it was still a long short.

    The TV contract allowed the League to pay for Namath and others. While Al Davis forced a merger (not his choice) in 1966, it was bound to happen eventually regardless of Davis actions.

    One mistake AFL fans harbor is that if the merger did not happen, that the NFL, not the AFL would have folded. While some AFL owners were wealthier than some NFL counterparts, the NFL properties were far more valuable than AFL franchises. Larger cities, deeper fan bases, etc. However, the merger was best for both sides. Just ask “lucky sperm club” owners like Mark Davis, how the merger worked out for him?

  4. afl says:

    Can’t disagree with the other comments, but would say there was no one ‘single moment’ per se. Rather, it was an accumulation, incremental steps the new endeavor with each becoming requisite the journey.

    Essentially, if no Lamar Hunt, no AFL, end of debate (though someone else might have done just what he did (had he not), that is mere speculation.) That done, if there had been no players of note, not enough intere$t would have existed (AFL began to sign higher profile players the NFL wanted too long before Namath arrived.)

    Though Namath became an very good player, he was also ‘hype’ which didn’t hurt at the gate or PR department. Hand in hand, the flamboyant AFL was a contrast the more staid NFL. New tv contract mixed in, shake well, and the new league was born, grew, thrived & eventually equaled/caught up to the NFL, arguably surpassing them depending on one’s purview.

    My opine, though Superbowl III was a landmark game, had KC not followed up with a victory Superbowl IV, perhaps the NFL calls Superbowl III a fluke – fact is, some still call it a fluke anyway, both NFL & AFL fans alike. But KC did win Superbowl IV & all that matters is what happened that day, not something that happened or might have thereaft – as the claim BALT would have beaten the Jets 7 x in 10 games if they played that many then, or that MIN had an off day & proved it by beating KC 27-10 the rematch regular season opener very next season.

    • Howard says:

      I would say that the KC victory was the culmination of the AFL efforts. However since the league officially ended about 10 days later, it was a high water mark of the AFL success. My argument is that while KC could have gone into the NFL along with one or three other clubs (See ABA), the fact that the League was able to thrive due to the NBC contract is most relevant.

      Only a handful of wealthy owners who wished to ride out continuous loses would have eventually (perhaps), been offered a place in the NFL. The NBC contract meant all AFL teams had financial wherewithal.

      The whole League was able to negotiate with the NFL as equals and this led eventually to the vast financial powerhouse we see today.

  5. iakcfan says:

    I took a different slant on the question, than the previous commenters. In my mind the most significant event in the history of the AFL has to be the players boycott of the All Star Game in New Orleans.

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

    All the answers are good, but I have go with Lamar Hunt’s airplane ride in January 1959, when he wrote down a spontaneous game plan for a new football league ! ! ! He even had to ask the stewardess for extra paper. Man, is that cool, or what ? ? ?

  7. AFLforever says:

    I think the biggest game in AFL history outside the two Super Bowl victories was the 1968 AFL Championship. It had a truly national stage with a big NBC audience (ironically blacked out in NY). The standing room crowd of 62,627 at Shea Stadium added to big game feel. It lived up to the hype with two great teams playing a brutally physical game in nasty winter conditions. Huge plays that are now of AFL lore determined the outcome. The bomb from Namath to Maynard that lead to the go ahead score in the final minutes is arguably the biggest single play in AFL history (maybe along with Mike Stratton’s hit on Keith Lincoln in 1964)

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