along with the late
Junious (Buck) Buchanan and
you all starred in the American Football League.
In spite of long odds and the
aspersions cast at the AFL, you have achieved Professional
Football's greatest honor, induction to the Pro Football Hall of
I respectfully ask that each of
you reflect on the great team-mates who shared the field with you,
as well as the worthy opponents you faced in those AFL years.
Many of them ALSO deserve to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but
have unfairly been categorized as having played in an inferior
These include, but are not
who has better statistics and more championships than some other
defensive backs of his era who have been enshrined - Robinson should have been inducted in 1977, as soon as he was eligible;
(All-time AFL all-purpose yards),
Cappelletti (All-time AFL scoring),
John Hadl, half of that tremendous aerial attack with
(first receiver in Professional Football history
to catch 100 passes in a season),
(first to break Taylor's record, held
many Professional Football receiving
records for 35 years after his retirement),
(2nd-best to Otto Graham in won-lost percentage).
I could name many more who have been
excluded because they played in the wrong league.
I ask that you, the AFL Alumni in the
Hall of Fame, as a group, lobby that institution to emulate the
Baseball Hall of Fame's action when it recognized an injustice and
inducted a number of Negro Leagues players at the same time.
If "senior" players can be inducted
to the Pro Football Hall of Fame only two at a time, it is unlikely
that many of those deserving AFL stars will be inducted before they
I ask that the AFL Alumni Hall of
Famers request that the Pro Football Hall of Fame, before it's too
late, assemble a special selection committee of former sportswriters
who covered the AFL, and charge them with the task of fairly
evaluating the merits of all those unrecognized AFL stars, with the
goal of inducting A NUMBER of them, en masse. It
would have been nice to have done this for the AFL's 50th
Anniversary Season, but better late than never.
Thanks, Ange Coniglio