I recall speaking with Lance Alworth one day, discussing his football career. We talked about the 1963 Chargers, his teammates, opponents, different occurrences during his career, and his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978. At one point I asked Lance what the greatest moment was during his career. His response was quick, concise, and without room for argument.
“The greatest moment of my career,” he recalled, “was when Namath and the Jets won Super Bowl III because it was a win for the entire AFL.”
Think about that for just a moment. Of all the great moments in his career, which include an AFL championship, multiple receiving titles and records, huge games, a Super Bowl victory with Dallas, scoring the first Super Bowl touchdown in Cowboys history, and being the first player from the AFL to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Lance Alworth’s greatest moment in football came from a game in which he was not a participant. That demonstrates the strength of the AFL brotherhood.
Sports Illustrated published an article recently talking about this very subject. It is a great piece, and something that you all should enjoy. The only bit of disappointment that I had when I was finished reading was that the author had not asked Jim Otto his thoughts. Ben Davidson used to tell stories of going to banquets in the Bay Area with Otto and other San Francisco 49ers players. When the 49ers would start poking fun at the “Mickey Mouse League,” Otto would stand up and challenge them to meet him in the parking lot, suit coats and all.
Great stories, great league.