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AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (AFL) 1960 - 1969
AFL Announcers


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BOSTON PATRIOTS

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BUFFALO BILLS
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VAN MILLER was the Bills' play-by play man on WBEN Radio when the American Football League first began play in 1960, and he became known as the "Voice of the Bills", calling every single Bills game during the existence of the AFL.

        Miller's enthusiasm, without any 'homer' histrionics, brought the game to life for those unable to attend the games or watch the TV broadcasts.  So many fans who did attend the games at War Memorial Stadium (the "Old Rockpile") brought transistor radios, that Miller's voice could be heard by anyone in the stands.
         Miller went on to become Pro Football's longest tenured (37 years) announcer with the same team, and added to the Buffalo sports fans' vocabulary such phrases as
"Do you believe it?" and  "Fandemonium!!"

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HOUSTON OILERS

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          Early play by play reports were handled by Frank Fallon, with former Baylor and Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Adrian Burk doing color on all home games.

 

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NEW YORK TITANS (1960-1962) / NEW YORK JETS (1963-1969)

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MERLE HARMON
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MIAMI DOLPHINS

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DENVER BRONCOS

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DALLAS TEXANS (1960-1962) / KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1963-1969)  

 

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BILL GRIGSBY
 

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LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1960)/ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (1961-1969)

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OAKLAND RAIDERS

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BOB BLUM

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CINCINNATI BENGALS

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AFL on ABC-TV or NBC-TV

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CURT GOWDY had an illustrious career as a sports broadcaster, but his finest comment was not known to many fans.  He made it near the end of the third AFL-NFL World Championship game, when the Jets were whipping the NFL's over-rated champions, the Baltimore Colts.

        If you can find a copy of that telecast's NBC-TV  'network feed', which stayed on the air during commercial breaks, you can hear Gowdy asking: "I wonder if that son-of-a-bitch Tex Maule is watching?"

A member of the
American Football League
Hall of Fame

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CHARLIE JONES spent 38 years as a Professional Football announcer and play-by-play man, and was one of ABC's original AFL voices in 1960.  He covered the Dallas Texans on radio and is shown at left in a image from a 1961 team photo from Dale Stram, son of Hall of Famer Hank Stram. 

       In his first TV assignment, Jones called the play-by-play the first AFL game ever broadcast, on ABC-TV.  Jones followed the AFL to NBC-TV in 1965, and covered all ten years of the league's existence.

A member of the
American Football League
Hall of Fame

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GEORGE RATTERMAN learned about  Professional Football with the Buffalo Bills, as a quarterback in the All America Football Conference, and then under Paul Brown as Otto Graham's able backup.  He started in TV in 1960 with the inception of the American Football League. . 

        Ratterman was a 10-year AFL television broadcaster on ABC-TV and NBC-TV.  He was teamed regularly with Jack Buck, Jim Simpson or Charlie Jones.  He worked Super Bowls I and III and several AFL championship games on TV and radio

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PAUL CHRISTMAN was a two-time All-American quarterback at the University of Missouri, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1956, whose #44 is retired by the university.  He played Pro Football six years as part of the Cardinals' "million-dollar backfield." 

         With Curt Gowdy, he broadcast AFL games from the league's inception through 1967, first with ABC, then with NBC's "full color network."  He was color commentator for the first eight AFL title games before leaving NBC for CBS in 1968.   He was the first modern football analyst on television, providing detailed commentary of the game as it unfolded, not simply announcing what the viewers could see. 
          Christman's pioneering work was not emulated by the other league until the mid-1960s.

A member of the
American Football League
Hall of Fame

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  JACK BUCK
  AL DeROGATIS

If you have a correction to this page, or information on AFL radio or TV personalities not listed,
please e-mail me at RemembertheAFL@aol.com

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Last revision: 30 April 2012 ~ Angelo F. Coniglio, nospam.RemembertheAFL@aol.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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