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.

Abner Haynes – An Early AFL Legend and Key to Football Integration

#073 - Abner Haynes The American Football League was a cutting-edge type of organization. They had to be. As the new kid on the block, the AFL had to take advantage of any opportunity they might find to get a leg up on the NFL. Such was the reasoning behind their outlandish marketing, name the team contests, player names on jersey backs, exciting brand of football and much more. One other thing that the AFL did that the NFL was slow to catch up with was acceptance of the African-American athlete. Stories have long been told about when the NFL had quotas for the black players on their teams, only even numbers of blacks (so as to not have mixed-race roommates on the road) and no black players on the bench, the AFL welcomed in players of all colors and from all areas. The AFL was the first league to tap the wealth of talent in the historically black colleges and universities, and Sid Gillman was the first coach to assign roommates by position in an effort to further integrate his Chargers teams. Abner Haynes might be considered the AFL's first great black player. The 1960 Rookie of the Year AND Most Valuable Player, Haynes was a shifty running [...]

By |November 5th, 2019|Categories: Abner Haynes, AFL, Dallas Texans, Kansas City Chiefs|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Abner Haynes – An Early AFL Legend and Key to Football Integration

The Buffalo Bills Loved Halloween!

#038 - Roland McDole With the spookiest of holidays right around the corner, it seemed a perfect time to share this article with AFL fans. I have seen several snapshot photos of the early Buffalo Bills enjoying themselves at Halloween parties, but really never knew much about the events. The following piece was published recently in the Buffalo News, and is just one more illustration of how much the AFL players truly enjoyed each other and bonded as teams. The Bills of the mid-1960s not only had one of the most talented defenses in league history and a future politician at quarterback, bet they also seem to have thrown the greatest Halloween parties in professional football. Enjoy! Ron McDole on those legendary 1960s Bills' Halloween parties

By |October 29th, 2019|Categories: Buffalo Bills, Ron McDole|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on The Buffalo Bills Loved Halloween!

Autographed Bubble Gum Cards & the AFL

#122 - Joe Namath I've been posting to this blog for more than five years. At some points I have been more dedicated than others, but I  always enjoy the opportunity to write a short piece and get it into the hands of AFL fans across the country. One thing that people may not realize is that my trading card collection was actually the reason that I began this blog and website. Back in 1998, I got my first autographed AFL trading card and somehow a switch was flipped in my mind. From that point forward the majority of my collecting attention was focused on trading cards autographed by AFL players. After building my collection for a while I wanted to share it with others who would also enjoy the cards and so I started this site. I am now at a point where I very rarely find a card I don't already have. Still, opportunities come about on occasion and when they do I am more than happy to acquire a signed 1961 Golden Tulip Potato Chips Paul Maguire card, a 1964 Topps Chiefs team card signed by Norma Hunt or a 1965 Topps card inscribed by Willie Brown with a note about the 1965 All-Star Boycott. While [...]

By |October 22nd, 2019|Categories: AFL, American Football League, Golden Tulips, Norma Hunt, Paul Maguire, Willie Brown|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Autographed Bubble Gum Cards & the AFL

The Team Most Overlooked by the HOF is…

The Vote We ran a survey last week to see which original AFL team Tales readers felt the Pro Football Hall of Fame had most overlooked. Basically, which team had the most players that still deserved to be inducted? A total of 236 voters were cast during the week and the results follow: Bills - 51 votes Broncos - 9 votes Chargers - 35 votes Oilers - 11 votes Patriots - 10 votes Raiders - 14 votes Texans/Chiefs - 84 votes Titans/Jets - 22 votes Tales readers overwhelmingly feel that the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs are the team that has been most-overlooked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Truthfully, the vote wasn't even close. That is a very interesting conclusion when you take into account that the Chiefs also happen to be the AFL team that has THE MOST members already enshrined in the Hall of Fame. There are a total of 10 AFL Chiefs in the HOF, with Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Curley Culp, Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, Johnny Robinson, Jan Stenerud and Emmitt Thomas, with head coach Hank Stram and owner Lamar Hunt. Still, those Chiefs teams were an incredibly talented bunch who won three AFL championships and Super Bowl IV. The Overlooked I looked at the Texans./Chiefs [...]