AFL 50th Anniversary PatchOne hundred posts on Tales from the American Football League.  Funny, but it doesn’t seem like that many.  I would have guessed that we were about 65 stories in, but then again, there was a reason that I was a history major in college.

I began writing this blog for two reasons.  First, I love the history of the American Football League, and I wanted to share that passion with anyone that stumbled across my blog while bouncing around the world wide web.  Secondly, I wanted to share some of the items in my collection with fellow football fans, so I began to write stories and illustrate them with my autographed cards, photos and any of the other AFL-related items I have lying around.  I guess that you could say that I have succeeded in both regards.

My posting schedule was erratic in the beginning.  Once a week…  Once a month…  Whenever I had a bit of inspiration, really.  I would flip open a binder of football cards or photos, find something that I liked, and write about it.  Frankly, I still get many ideas for stories in that fashion.  I guess that I’m just a big kid each time I get some bubble gum cards in my hands.

Somewhere along the line, maybe 50 posts into this thing, I began to realize that there are people who really enjoy these stories.  I had been getting emails from people I had never met, thanking me for bringing back fond memories from their childhood, and urging me to continue writing.  Other times I would scan the blog and find comments left by former players, maybe Chris Burford, George Blair, or Abner Haynes.  I can’t tell you what a treat it is to wake up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down to an email from a complete stranger, or note from a former player, thanking you for your work.  It truly lifts the spirit.

As I continued to write, I felt the need to provide AFL fans with more.  “More what?” you may ask.  Well, more of everything.  More articles, more statistics, more images, more interviews…  More AFL!  I was rather locked into the style and what I was able to offer on the old Blogger page, so I took a leap and began to design this new site that we now enjoy.  Thankfully, my good friend Niko was thrilled with the idea of expanding the blog, and offered his never-ending assistance and encouragement in all things Word Press.  In a couple of crash courses, Niko taught me how to begin building the site.

I started by adding new pages of content with the serious AFL fan in mind.  First it was the Coaches Records.  Next came the Weekly Standings pages, and then the All-Star Game Numerical Rosters (I’m still searching for 1966 & 1970!).  I have begun building the AFL Record Book, and would like to get some form of photo gallery implemented as well.  I recently got approval for an Amazon store, and the idea of a place where fans can go to Build Your Own AFL Archive came to fruition.  I began to loade it with all of the great AFL literature and DVDs that I could find, and will continue to add new items so that folks won’t have to search them out themselves.  Since the move to the Word Press site some weeks ago, I have been designing, posting, editing, adding, subtracting and dreaming about how I can make this site better and better.  My goal is for Tales from the American Football League to be a destination site for anyone wanting to learn about the AFL, be they a casual fan, grandchild of a former player, or dedicated researcher.  I want this site to be enjoyed by fans of all levels.

With that in mind, what would YOU like to see when you visit Tales from the American Football League?  What information would you like access to, that you can’t seem to find anywhere else?  What types of stories would you like to see more often?  Player profiles?  Interviews?  Articles about memorabilia, or individual games, or coaches, or honors?  If you have an idea, please leave a comment below, or contact me via the link on the front page.  What articles have you enjoyed the most?  What have you not enjoyed as much?  How do you like the Email from the AFL series?  What do you think about… Anything?  I would really appreciate your suggestions to help guide the continual building of this site.

So in moving forward, let me just say, “thank you.”  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for commenting.  Thank you for emailing.  Thank you for sharing my blog with your friends.  Thank you for “listening” to my Tales from the American Football League.  This site would not be half of what it is without fans who love the AFL.