Was Joe Namath the Best in the AFL?

1965 Topps Joe Namath It is never easy to determine the best player a sport has ever seen. First of all, positions are so incredibly different that it's difficult to judge which is most important. A quarterback or a running back? A smart middle linebacker or a near-automatic kicker? On top of that, comparing players from across generations is rendered pointless by advancements in training and strategy, rule changes, equipment, nutrition and any number of other factors. Still, we all love a good debate and so the comparisons continue. I recently read an article that proclaimed Joe Namath to be the best player ever in the American Football League. The article gave all of the reasons that one would expect and some that I didn't feel mattered: first round draft choice, rugged good looks, 27,000 passing yards, Super Bowl III, etc. A few good points were made, but I have to say that I just wasn't swayed. I don't see Joe Namath as the best player in the American Football League, although I do believe that he is probably the league's most important player. There is a difference. Namath was important because of the reasons stated above, as well as the fact that his signing brought importance to the [...]

By |December 10th, 2019|Categories: AFL, American Football League, Bobby Bell, Jim Otto, Jim Tyrer, Joe Namath, Lance Alworth, New York Jets, Ron Mix, Willie Brown, Willie Lanier|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Was Joe Namath the Best in the AFL?

Lance Alworth, a Great for the Ages…

You might not have realized it, but there are several excellent Facebook pages dedicated to the American Football League. They contain a lot of random stuff posted by fans, but it seems that someone posts a photo of Lance Alworth at least once a week. It is interesting because regardless of their location or team loyalty, everyone has great things to say about Alworth, and honestly, why wouldn't they? The guy could flat-out play football. And he wore what might the coolest uniform in sports history, played in the San Diego sunshine, caught long passes from John Hadl, had movie star looks, and the list goes on and on. But back to the football part... I stumbled across this article that was posted back in January. It's not exceptionally long or overly-flowery, but I thought it does a great job of presenting the proper lenses through which one should judge Lance Alworth's contributions to the game. The article details changes in the game over the last 50 years and why they account for the inflated offensive numbers we see today, which helps to "even the playing field" when comparing Alworth to more modern players. You can search "Lance Alworth" in this site and find many different articles, interviews, images and more. [...]

By |December 3rd, 2019|Categories: AFL, American Football League, John Hadl, Lance Alworth, San Diego Chargers|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Lance Alworth, a Great for the Ages…

The AFL’s Greatest of Rivalries

There were a number of great rivalries in the old AFL, but the greatest of all might just be the Chiefs and the Raiders. Both teams were dominant in the latter half of the 1960s, and their AFL Western Division battles became the stuff of legend. Their mutual hatred began in the 1960s and carries into today. A few years ago, The Kansas City Star writer, Blair Kerkhoff, outlined his top five reasons why the teams still hate each other in the following piece: There are many reasons for the hatred between the Chiefs and Raiders, here are five More recently The Star’s Kerkhoff and Vahe Gregorian spoke with one of the key members of those old Chiefs teams, Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Bell, to talk Raiders, Chiefs and rivalries. The result is a fantastic interview full of Tales from the Chiefs & Raiders Games that can be found in the link below. Enjoy! Bobby Bell on SportsBeat KC: Chiefs-Raiders, ‘was like a Super Bowl’

By |November 26th, 2019|Categories: Al Bansavage, Al Davis, American Football League, Ben Davidson, Bobby Bell, Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Hunt, Oakland Raiders|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on The AFL’s Greatest of Rivalries

Denver’s Golden Goose (Gonsoulin)

#85 - Austin (Goose) Gonsoulin While the American Football League is best known for its offensive stars - Alworth, Namath, Maynard, Dawson, etc., there were a number of fantastic defensive players that made names for themselves in the old league. In terms of defensive backs everyone remembers hall of famers Willie Brown and Johnny Robinson, but George Saimes, Kenny Graham and Dave Grayson were outstanding in their own right. For many years the Denver Broncos had a safety by the name of Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin who was also among the league's greats. Gonsoulin was a two-time All-Pro, five-time AFL All-Star and was selected as an AFL All-Time Second Team safety. The Talk of Fame Network recently reviewed Gonsoulin's candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and found him to be well within the realm of potential inductees. What's good for the Goose should be good enough for the HOF

By |November 19th, 2019|Categories: AFL, American Football League, Denver Broncos, Goose Gonsoulin|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Denver’s Golden Goose (Gonsoulin)

He was a Terror on the Field, but Ben Davidson was Cool.

Ben Davidson can be a polarizing figure. Raiders fans love him. Most other fans hate him. He is well known for late hits and in fact, is the player who first began to cultivate the Raiders' thuggish image. The funny thing is that off the field you would be hard-pressed to find a nicer guy than Davidson, as least when I knew him during the last 15 years of his life. There are a lot of things that can be said about Ben Davidson, but one of them has to be that he lived life to the fullest. He was a football player, actor, motorcycle rider, world traveler and Miller Lite commercial star, in addition to being a devoted husband and father, and giver of countless hours of his time to charities around the country. I was recently hunting around eBay for cards to add to my collection when I found a card of Davidson in his role as Rexor, in the movie Conan the Barbarian. I bought the card and it arrived today. It got me thinking about Big Ben and the rich life that he lived. I have written about Ben Davidson several times in years past. Here are some of the articles that give a bit of background [...]

By |November 12th, 2019|Categories: AFL, American Football League, Ben Davidson, Oakland Raiders|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on He was a Terror on the Field, but Ben Davidson was Cool.