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The American Football League on Thanksgiving

(Originally written on Thanksgiving, 2005)

        In recent years, since the two "traditional" Thanksgiving Day pro football games are in Dallas and Detroit, both Fox and CBS must get their pound of flesh, and the Fox game pairs two NFC teams, while CBS USED TO show an AFC team, which always played "away", at either Dallas or Detroit.
       But the
American Football League played Thanksgiving Day games in each of its ten years of existence, 1960 - 1969.  From 1960 through 1966, one AFL game was played every Thanksgiving.  In 1967, 1968 and 1969, each Turkey Day had two AFL games.  This was another AFL "fan favorite" that was lost in the "merger", along with the AFL's name and logo.  The team with the best record in AFL Thanksgiving Day games?  The lowly New York Titans played in the first three, and were 3 - 0.  The Oakland Raiders were second best, with a 3 - 1 record.
        Perhaps someday, the deep thinkers at the NFL will come up with a schedule of THREE games on Thanksgiving: an NFC-NFC game on Fox, an AFC-NFC game on ABC or another network, and an AFL-AFL game on CBS!
         ***Note:  They didn't do it exactly as I suggested, but at least the NFL channel had an all-AFL game on for their "first" Thanksgiving Day game in 2006!

        Alas, in 2015, the NFL deep thinkers scheduled the following for the Thanksgiving games:  Bears & Packers, Lions & Eagles, and Panthers & Cowboys.  Boooo!!

TEAMS IN CAPS are home teams.
Nov. 24, 1960
NEW YORK TITANS 41, Dallas Texans 35

(Courtesy of Dewey Bohling, Titans halfback who had a two-yard touchdown run late in the game.)

"By Dick Young
            A piping-hot Turkey Day football feast, stuffed with 76 juicy points, whetted the appetites of 14,344 late diners at the Polo Grounds, as the Titans outgorged the Dallas Texans, 41-35.  This was the highest-scoring game of the infant AFL, and so typical of its wide-open play; replete with long passes, longer runs, and virtually devoid of aerial defense."


Nov. 23, 1961
NEW YORK TITANS 21, Buffalo Bills 14


Nov. 22, 1962
New York Titans 46, DENVER BRONCOS 45


Nov. 28, 1963
Oakland Raiders 26, DENVER BRONCOS 10


Nov. 26, 1964
Buffalo Bills 27, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 24

                                                                     Cover image courtesy Todd Tobias

Nov. 25, 1965
Buffalo Bills 20, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 20
     "In two weeks on the west coast against the two toughest teams in the AFL, Buffalo came within 13 seconds of two defeats, avoided both, and clinched no worse than a tie for their division championship. - - - Nobody spots Lance Alworth 5 yards and catches him from behind, but Booker Edgerson did it in the third quarter."    ~ Steve Weller

1965SanDiego2Capsule.gif (47453 bytes)

Nov. 24, 1966
Buffalo Bills 31, OAKLAND RAIDERS 10

Nov. 23, 1967
Oakland Raiders 44, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 22
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 24, Denver Broncos 20


Nov. 28, 1968
OAKLAND RAIDERS 13, Buffalo Bills 10
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 24, Houston Oilers 10

Nov. 27, 1969
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 31, Denver Broncos 17
San Diego Chargers 21, HOUSTON OILERS 17


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Last revision: 22 November 2015 ~ Angelo F. Coniglio,











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