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The most recent messages are at the bottom of the page.

From Todd Tobias:
10:46:45 PM EDT

       Hello Everyone    -   I hope this message finds you all doing well.  I am happy to announce that finally after 4 1/2 years, marriage, two kids and a bout with cancer, my book on the Chargers of the American Football League is finally being published.   Charging Through the AFL: Chargers’ Football in the 1960s can now be pre-ordered from Turner Publications.  The book will be shipped sometime this fall, most likely in October.  I will include the link to the web site at the end of this [message].  The pre-publication price of the book is $34.95, a $5.00 discount off the regular price.
       The book will have a general history of the team from 1959-1969, roughly 60 oral histories from the interviews that I did with former Chargers' players and coaches, a game summary from every regular and post season game the Chargers played from 1960-1969, year-end team and individual statistics, and a list of all players and coaches that played for the Chargers during the AFL.  There will also be roughly 280 photos, many of which will be in color.
       For those of you that want signed copies, perhaps something can be worked out.  HA HA HA!!!!
       Thanks again,
Todd Tobias

From J. Turner:
20 Tyler Drive
Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada L8E 4W9
07 Jun 2004
        Good afternoon Mr. Coniglio. Finding your site made my day! My first memory of the AFL was a brawl involving the
Houston Oilers broadcast on the Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW.  For a youngster trying to learn the game, those names on the backs of the uniforms were a big help.
       Growing up in Southern Ontario we had three Buffalo television stations covering the
Bills. I still remember watching Buffalo Bills HighLites and being awestruck at the size of those men. I found AFL football more exciting than the NFL and the excitement increased with the arrival of Joe Namath - nobody could throw a ball like him.
       The AFL fielded more players with CFL experience;
Jack Kemp, Cookie Gilchrist, Babe Parilli, Don Maynard, Art Powell as well as Curt Merz, Ernie Warlick, Roger Hagberg and Pat Holmes.
       My favorite team was the
Kansas City Chiefs. I sadly remember a loss to San Diego in 1967 after a heroic goal line stand by the Chargers. In preseason that year they slaughtered the Bears 66 to 24 which was great after Coach Lombardi had said they weren't as good as the Bears. The Bears center, Mike Pyle said, "We didn't get beat by a bunch of plumbers!"
        I got to know
Pat Matson, a lineman with the Broncos and Bengals. He played on the first AFL team to beat an NFL team. I asked him about Cookie Gilchrist. He said that when Denver played Detroit, Karras was thrown out of the game for kicking Cookie in the head out of frustration!  When the Broncos beat the Vikings, Gilchrist almost killed carl Eller and Jim Marshall with his blocking.
       I loved AFL football and wish NFL Films would offer the complete AFL Films library. We won the battle but lost the war...
         [Sad but true.      Remember the AFL]
From John Caruso:
6/7/2004 12:51:58 EDT
       Your AFL site is great! I grew up in Kenmore in the 60's and the salute to the ‘64 Bills is amazing.  I lived and died with those guys, who only lost two games (fortunately just Boston, Oakland) .   There will never be a league like the AFL and the merger only made football better.
       A couple of names for the hall of fame . . . . Pete Gogolak.    I know he was only in the league a few years, but again the AFL brought about soccer style kickers, I had a chance to play at old War Memorial as a member of the Geminis and there was great atmosphere there for Bills games, it felt like you could reach out and touch them.  My favorite AFL team is the Bills, and the Raiders during the Lamonica years.
       As a boy I had a great book on the AFL which had great pictures it was called "Touchdown".
       Keep up the great site.                                                          John Caruso
[You're right, another AFL first was soccer-style kickers.  But because of Gogolak's role in ending the AFL, I can't bring myself to put him in the AFL HOF.  Click on his name above for my reasons.  The merger may have "made football better", but it wasn't necessary.  All the NFL had to do was RECOGNIZE the AFL.  Wouldn't football be better today if there was still a World Championship Game between the champions of two leagues, similar to the World Series? "Touchdown" by George Sullivan is in my page listing AFL books.   Click on the book's title, above.            Remember the AFL]
From Charlie McMahon:
6/11/2004 9:31:52 AM EST
       I sincerely appreciate you and your site.  In early July of 1960 I was one of about 200 players who passed through the first Denver Broncos training camp at the Colorado School Of Mines campus in Golden, Colo.
       We literally had auto mechanics, farmers, stock clerks, high school football coaches (I was one), Hollywood stuntmen, etc. come out of the woodwork for an opportunity to play pro football.  Some were cut and others fled in the night before another batch would be brought in the next day. It was a revolving door process and no one was safe except two or three guys (Bud McFaddin, Frank Tripucka).
       When I was a sophmore in college I was second in the nation to John Brodie in passing with a senior line and receivers at Texas Lutheram College and received letters from all "eight" professional football league teams showing interest.  With less of a supporting cast the next two years my numbers fell off and so did the interest from the NFL except for one or two teams that invited me for tryouts.  I was recently married with a child on the way so I chose to go into high school coaching in 1959 instead of pursuing a dream.  When the AFL started up in 1960 I was invited to tryout with several teams and since it was in the summer, and I was still drawing a school paycheck, I decided to accept. After calling all of the teams inquiring as to the number of QBs coming to camp on contract vs tryout I decided on Denver.  I was told on the phone that the Broncos had Tripucka on contract and three others coming for tryouts. When I arrived in Golden there were seven tryout QBs there and before camp broke there had been like 15 others pass through.
       The team was going to carry two QBs and it came down to George Herring and myself as Tripucka's backup.  We had an intrasquad scrimmage in Pueblo with Herring quarterbacking one team and myself the other with the team backup to be decided in the scrimmage.  I threw for one touchdown and my team was ahead 7-0 when I was injured in the second quarter.  Fearing injury to Tripucka, the coach Frank Filchock decided to let Herring QB both teams.  While I was at the local hospital getting sewed up Herring won the job and as a result he was also named the team punter.  The team asked me to stay on as the scout team QB on the taxi squad and backup if either QB were injured.  The minimum AFL salary was $7,200 which was twice what I made for 10 months of coaching, so the decision was easy for me.
       Well, Tripucka literally played every single offensive down that season.  The only action Herring saw was punting so I never suited up for a game all season and was released the following season when the team signed a Lousiana Tech QB to a no cut contract (Don Breaux). Buffalo asked me to come up for a tryout but by then we were expecting our second child so I went back to coaching never having played a down in a regular game.
       I tell you this not out of bitterness but with a grateful heart.  The year will always be special to me and my wife. I am thankful to Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams for their foresight, and pocketbooks, for establishing the AFL and allowing all of the journeymen wanna-be's to attempt to live a dream.  If my family had the bucks of the aforementioned gentlemen I would have paid the team to let me continue playing.
       I am in the 1960 team picture but nowhere else in their archives that I can find.
       Thank you again for your site.                 Charlie McMahon

       [Thank you very much for the wonderful message. If I ever write that book on the AFL (as I've been threatening to do for forty years), I'll try to include your thoughts.
       Your comments are similar to many I have received from other AFL players or their families, whether the players were Hall of Famers or hard-working hopefuls. They all seem to feel that they were a part of something special, and they were. For ten years, America had the "Camelot" of professional football, the American Football League, and you are justifiably proud to have been a part of it.                       
     Remember the AFL]
From JD:
Cranford, NJ 07016
17 Jun 2004
       I always was a big AFL fan.  I remember those early title games like the first two between the
Oilers and Chargers.  I remember Curt Gowdy and Paul Christman used to do the games.   I remember watching the '63 playoff game in the snow between the Bills and Pats.  I know the '62 game exists and I really would like to get it.  Do any other title games from '60 to '66 exist? I have been looking for years.  I did not know until recently this site existed.   Fantastic site.  Two favorite players: Cannon-Oilers, A. Haynes-Texans/Chiefs.
From Dan:
8 Marcel Lane
Blackstone, MA 01504
19 Jun 2004
       Anyone have any
Miami Dolphin programs from the 60's?  I need about 10 more to finish them all and any help would be appreciated.   Also, any SI posters from 60's or 70's.
       Thanks, a
Dolphins fan in NE.
From John Arnette:
po box 295
wellsville,ohio 43968
26 Jun 2004
       A fantastic site!!!  Great AFL material, keep up the GOOD work.    I'm interested in obtaining any AFL games on tape.
From PJK:
28 Jun 2004
       WHY ISN'T
[Saban's not there because Ralph Wilson doesn't want him there, and Cookie's not there because he doesn't want to be there.   A week after winning his second American Football League Championship with the Bills, Saban quit, to coach college football.  Wilson apparently never forgave him, even though he once re-hired him.  Gilchrist is still beloved by Bills fans, and has been extended offers to participate in team reunions and even to join the Wall. For personal reasons, apparently tied to what he feels was mistreatment by management during his playing years, he has reportedly refused to participate in Bills' events.                 Remember the AFL]
From Troy Desrosiers:
722 9th Street South
Lethbridge AB T1J2L7 Canada
09 Jul 2004
       Having been born the same year as the
Cincinnati Bengals (1968), I never saw an AFL game.  But from everything I have read on the subject, all the video I've seen, and stories I've heard (plus my natural love for anything different from the norm), I often wish I HAD seen the AFL as a separate league.   This feeling stems from the AFL 25th anniversary season in 1984, in which the 10 AFL franchises wore a special commemorative patch on their uniforms.  I love sports history and this website is great for that!
       I like the idea of two separate but equal leagues that acknowledge each other but respect each other enough not to try to merge. So much for baseball...and hockey...and basketball, each of the last two featuring massacres instead of mergers.  Then there's the American Football League.  They forced the NFL into recognition by the quality of its play and the hardiness of its owners in paying fair salaries to great players.
       Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if the AFL had gotten in touch with my beloved
Canadian Football League, formed a non-raiding pact, and ganged up on the No Fun League?
       Anyway, great website, and I agree that there never should have been a merger! I'd love to see a book on the AFL that ISN'T written/published by the NFL, hint hint!!!
Troy Desrosiers

[There are a few such books, listed on my page of AFL books.              Remember the AFL]
From Dave:
11 Jul 2004
       First off, great website.  I wasn't even thought of when the AFL existed (I was born in '76).  But after watching highlight shows of how the AFL evolved, I have really grown to appreciate it.  The NFL can be very thankful today.  There would be no wide open (passing) offenses such as the west coast or the deep vertical in today's NFL, were it not for the AFL. Sid Gillman was the real catalyst if the AFL's success in the '60s.  Let's not forget too that the AFL was just as hard hitting as the NFL, with many teams running a 4-3 defense and playing a lot of bump and run. As far as my favorite game goes, it would have to be THE HEIDI BOWL between the Jets and the Raiders.   Nevermind the fact that NBC pulled the plug on the game w/a minute remaining.   This was a classic AFL shootout right from the outset.  Going back to NBC - If there's one thing NBC learned from pulling the plug on this game, they found out a lot of people really were watching the AFL and DON'T EVER TAKE MY FOOTBALL AWAY FROM ME AT 7:00 AGAIN!
                                                        Signed - Dave
From Dave Steidel:
11:25:04 PM EST
       If anyone out there has a copy of the 1963 AFL championship game or related items please contact me. I have a ton of AFL videos to trade with anyone.
       Thanks, Dave Steidel

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Last revision: 30 April 2012 ~ Angelo F. Coniglio,