We’re One Year In…

I wanted to use today’s post for a bit of review and to celebrate an anniversary of sorts.  I first began writing Tales from the American Football League in October 2010.  My plan had initially been to create a blog that I could use to connect with fellow AFL fans and share scans of my signed card collections.  Simple plans, which resulted in a simple blog.  I posted very sporadically for about 18 months, sharing stories but having no general purpose.

In the early months of 2012, I got the idea to completely change how I handled the blog.  Work was slow at the time, so I spent my free hours completely rebuilding the Tales.  I am not what you would call a technical wizard, but with the help of my good friend, Niko, I moved the blog to a new platform and got to work adding new pages and features.  Dedicated pages came along slowly at first; I had to learn about this “WordPress thing” as I went.  But I soon had pages for the AFL Record Book, AFL All-Star Rosters, Weekly Standings and of course, my Autographed AFL Trading Card Sets.

My first post under the new format was the 1969 AFL Most Valuable Players – Daryle Lamonica and Joe Namath.  The next post came…  The next day!  That was the biggest change for me.  Everything that I read about blogs said that authors needed to post regularly, so that is what I did.  I began posting daily, and am proud to say that with the help of a few wonderful guest bloggers, a new Tale from the American Football League has been posted every weekday for the past year.  My favorites have been the player interviews and a couple of posts about additions to my collections, but looking at the comment counts, readers seem most engaged by the Hall of Fame Comparisons.

The blog is now growing at a nice, consistent rate.  We’ve had more than 130,000 views in the past year, and 233 readers are now subscribers, many of whom are former AFL players.  There are another 241 fans of our Facebook page, with new people “liking” us regularly.  It really pleases me to see so many people enjoying the site.

As we move forward into our second year of AFL “edutainment” (education + entertainment – love that word!), I have a lot of ideas for new blog features.  After posting the first audio interview on the site, An Interview with Smokey Stover, it appears that we have an roughly equal number of people that like both transcriptions and audio files.  I will now be posting both, though the transcriptions will be posted later as the take me forever to do!  I have plans for an AFL bibliography, interviews with other AFL historians, player photo galleries and more.

Lastly, I want to thank you all, the readers, subscribers and commenters, for sharing this online AFL experience with me.  I figured that I might connect with a handful of fans and autograph collectors when I first began this blog, but I have been surprised and thrilled with how many people check in here for a bit of AFL fun.  Many of you have emailed with kind messages and stories of your own AFL experiences, and truthfully, they mean more to me than you know.

So here is to a fantastic second year for us all.  Thank you for being a part of Tales from the American Football League!

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.


20 Responses to We’re One Year In…

  1. Jeff Miller says:

    Keep up the great work, Mr. Tobias! I enjoy reading your daily musings …

  2. 0tt060-74 says:

    Thank you for all of your efforts, they are greatly appreciated.

  3. 1967 says:

    Long live (Tales From) the American Football League!

  4. Lorne E. Weeks, M.D. says:

    Dear Todd:
    “Tales from the American Football League” has enriched my life because the “Mickey Mouse league” was a huge part of my childhood as a kid growing up in Buffalo, New York. Thank you so muc for creating such an informative blog about the AFL. To this day, I am proud to have been one of its most fervent fans. Let’s chat someday soon.
    All the best,
    Lorne

  5. Lorne E. Weeks, M.D. says:

    Dear Todd:
    “Tales from the American Football League” has enriched my life because the “Mickey Mouse league” was a huge part of my childhood as a kid growing up in Buffalo, New York. Thank you so much for creating such an informative blog about the AFL. To this day, I am proud to have been one of its most fervent fans. Let’s chat someday soon.
    All the best,
    Lorne

  6. John Freeman says:

    Todd: Congratulations, Todd…with each post, you artifully re-capture the legendary tales from an era that shaped our young lives as sports fans…May it never be forgotten. Long live Lance Alworth!

  7. Mike Dugan says:

    Todd I check the site at least every other day. Fantastic and it has spurred me in some recent AFL research and collecting. Thanks!

  8. Right on, congratulations on the significant blog milestones, Todd! Though, this site never really feels like a blog to me…much more like “The Center for Essential AFL Studies & Analysis.”

    I queue “Tales…” with my other essential morning reading on the Chargers and Padres. Since discovering your site I’ve posted about related themes inspired by your research and writing (here: http://tinyurl.com/b3h35pf yes, your corrections were very welcomed, thank you!), read “Bomb’s Away,” and finally found my copy of “Charging Through The AFL” which I’ll pour over soon. You’ve taken historical football analysis to new heights and, I’ve even humored the idea interviewing YOU for an article, should you be willing. : D

    I agree with each comment before and it’s clear: the conscientious football fan is starved for such engaging and unique historical analysis. Again, congratulations and I’m looking forward to much more edutainment!

  9. Todd Tobias says:

    Thank you, everyone, for the kind words. I will keep writing, if you keep reading and commenting! I am really pleased that this site is beginning to grow into a community-type of feel. You guys are great, and often times more knowledgeable than me!

  10. Buzz Ponce says:

    It’s clear that you have tapped into something very special, Todd. And your research and analysis makes it clear that the American Football League was – and is — very special.
    Here’s a thought from left field: how about including the other 50% of the population that enjoys football and its history: female fans? I have no idea, but the bet is that there are some incredible stories about the AFL’s cheerleading squads. I, for one, remember well the Chargers Girls from the 1960’s. Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear some tales from members of that group! Just a thought…
    But more importantly, thank you for creating your wonderful blog.

    • Lorne E. Weeks, M.D. says:

      Hey Buzz:

      Not to mention the Buffalo “Jills” at the old War Memorial Stadium. Now a half century later, the reality is this: the AFL was not merely as good as the NFL, it was better…much better.

      This guy Tobias is a genius!

      Lorne

  11. Mike Metzler says:

    Perhaps you could provide a link to another fun and informative AFL site run by Ange Coniglio, RememberThe AFL.com

  12. I’ve got nothing original to add, except for a comment I made in February: I consider Tales from the American Football League a cyberspace equivalent of Terry Pluto’s excellent book on the ABA, titled Loose Balls. Loose Balls, published in 1991, is a candidate for the best sports ever written.

    Like the AFL, the American Basketball Association (1967-1976) was a regenade league that had creative marketing ideas, a more wide-open style of play, and a colorful cast of players who were good at what they did. Some of those players were more than good–they were legendary, and worthy of The Hall of Fame.

    Both leagues brought their game to cities where the pro game didn’t exist, and both leagues saw their style of play assimilated into the more established league. Both leagues had players who later found success in the more established league.

    These comments are not meant to cast stones at the NFL and the NBA. They are meant to send a cheer and say “thank you” to the men who said “yes” to innovation and pioneering.

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