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Notes on American Football League - related Books
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Front Cover


     Here is the first book to tell the story of the founding and the first five years of the American Football League.
     This story takes the reader behind the newspaper headlines into the clubrooms, penthouse apartments, and dressing rooms

On the flyleaf:
For Angie Coniglio
a $400,000 fan
and the sort of gent who
helped bring the league
 in from the cold.
May you be in heaven
three days before the devil knows
 you're dead.
Warmest Regards,
Bob Curran

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

The story of the American Football
League and how it attained its present
eminence is one of the most colorful
and explosive in sports annals.  TOUCH-
DOWN! traces this rousing story from
the bleak early days when the league
was being formed to the glittering
success it is today.
                                      (From the front flyleaf)


George Sullivan, a member of the
Football Writers Association of Amer-
ica, is the author of many books about sports, including Pro Football's Unfor-
gettable Games
, and his well-known syndicated sports column is distributed to daily newspapers in every section of the country.
                                     (From the back flyleaf)



     Ten years after the birth of the AFL, "the other league" is a term spoken with irony, or mirth, or love, or perhaps a touch of bitterness.  These pages record the glorious ten-year history of the league that is no more.
      As a book, THE OTHER LEAGUE covers the total range of American League football: the Foolish Club, made up of those first owners who brought the league into existence, who imperturbably held a draft and chose the players who would lead them to fame, players like Richie Lucas and Gerhard Schwedes . . . the years of AFL-NFL warfare, when a team jumped leagues, when suits were filed and counterfiled, when a championship winner's share came to the grand total of $1,016.42, when Sonny Werblin finally signed Joe Namath for $400,000 and the war stopped . . .

       The book lists the name of every player who ever made an AFL roster, with his college, position, and years played with AFL team(s).

On the flyleaf:
Angelo Coniglio
With appreciation
for your interest in the
AFL  and the sport of pro football.
Lamar Hunt

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     Americans have always loved football, but professional football did not truly come into its own until the games came to television. The resulting huge upswing in the sport’s popularity caught the attention of millionaire Lamar Hunt, who decided to become a part of the game’s growth by purchasing a professional team. But the NFL had no interest in this upstart's notions of expansion.
      Undaunted, in 1959 Hunt established his own league, joined by a fistful of other young entrepreneurs ready to tackle the status quo. Within just a few years, their American Football League had not only won the hearts of fans, but dramatically changed the way the sport was organized, played, and broadcast.
      Bold new on-field strategies thrilled fans and influenced a generation of coaches and players, Exciting young stars like George Blanda and Daryle Lamonica became role models for children who would someday become football stars themselves (today, Joe Montana cites Joe Namath and Len Dawson as his childhood heroes). And when Lamar Hunt pitted his AFL against the NFL in a climactic championship game, he introduced an innovation that would become an American tradition: the Super Bowl.
      Ed Gruver brings the brash young league and its glory days back to life in this detailed year-by-year history, informed by interviews with more than 40 owners, coaches, players, scouts, broadcasters, and writers from the era. Read it - and relive ten years that changed professional football forever.
      Ed Gruver, a professional sportswriter, is a member of the Pro Football Researchers Association. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with his wife Michelle and daughters Patty and Katie.

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     "I'm certain this book will do well. Jimmy Acho is one of the brightest young sports minds I've ever met. Talking to him is like talking to one of my peers - you'd never guess he's as young as he is.  He has the rare ability to spin a yarn with the comedy of a Bill Cosby and the fire of a drill sergeant.  A rare young talent."

 -Tommy Prothro
Former head coach, LA Rams,   San Diego Chargers


        A   Farmington Hills, Michigan native, Jim Acho graduated   from   St.  Francis College,    (Ft.  Wayne, Indiana) in 1993.  A walk-on basketball player in 1989, Acho   co-captained the  Cougars  in  his senior year.   He   claims to hold the school record  in one category: ref heckling from the bench.  From 1994 to 1996, Acho coached and  scouted  at the small   college level, and  has  lectured  at  some of  the nation's top camps and clinics.  Proof  that  guys  who  spend   most  of  their  time  in  school  as  class cut-ups can  indeed absorb  enough  to  become  literate   (you  may question that after  reading  this),  this is Acho's first book ... and if nobody buys it, his last.

GridIron Press
New York, New York


       G. Booth Lusteg played 11 years of Pro Football.  He authored 39 sports and social-issue articles for leading newspapers and magazines around the country, including the Chicago Sun News, New York Times, Washington Post, and Sports Illustrated.

       Booth, (or 'Boots' to his team-mates)  led the American Football League in place-kicking in his rookie year, 1966, when he replaced Pete Gogolak after the side-winding kicker defected from the American Football League to the NFL.

       In this inspirational book, Lusteg uses his Pro Football experience to develop advice for readers on how to face and overcome rejection, and turn negative experiences into victories.

       To send an e-mail inquiring about purchasing the book, click here.


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In 1960, the maverick American Football League challenged the NFL for gridiron supremacy.
"The idea was, 'We're going to whip the NFL.   We're going to wind up as the better of the two leagues.'"
Over the next decade, the two opposing leagues battled it out in David-and-Goliath style.
"The NFL was saying the AFL wouldn't last four years.   It wouldn't last five years.  Six years. . . . Next thing you know, [we] ended up with the Super Bowl Trophy.
n the process, they gave us the game we love today, with wide-open offenses, TV network broadcasts, and Super Bowls we'll never forget.
"They told me to ask Lombardi to kick off again because NBC had missed the second-half kickoff.  I said, 'You've got the wrong guy.   I ain't doing that.'"
This is the inside story of the AFL, told in the words of the men who lived it . . .
"The one lasting thing is the feeling, the physical feeling.  Emotional, mental, and physical.  My body was alive, tickly for God knows how long, that we had won this thing."
. . . the heroes of the American Football League.

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

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Sportscaster Curt Gowdy once said that "the story of the AFL, how the league grew and became popular, is one of the best sports stories of all time." This is that story.
It was 1959 and professional football was gaining popularity. The National Football League had reached new heights when its dramatic 1958 championship game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants went into overtime on national television. But the hide-bound NFL was slow to capitalize on the impact of that game.  When young Lamar Hunt's inquiry about NFL expansion was rebuffed by Bert Bell, and his subsequent attempt to purchase a struggling NFL franchise was denied, Hunt decided to form his own Professional Football league, and when he found seven other wealthy men willing to join the risky but exciting venture, the American Football League was born. 
              It was considered "a joke" by George Halas, and other NFL luminaries predicted a rapid demise for the AFL.  Instead, the rebel league gained a strong foothold in the Pro Football marketplace with its entertaining style of play, and ultimately it forced the NFL to accept the AFL as its equal. The two leagues merged in time for the 1970 season, and it wasn't long before this superpower entity created a seismic shift in this nation's sporting passions as Professional Football surpassed Major League Baseball as our national pastime.
             As part of the merger deal, it was agreed that starting with the 1966 season the champions of both leagues would meet in a World Championship game which quickly became known as the Super Bowl.  And after NFL powerhouse
Green Bay won the first two of these showdowns, the Joe Namath-led New York Jets delivered to the AFL its long-awaited respect with a shocking defeat of the over-rated Colts in Super Bowl Ill. It was one of the defining moments in pro football history and it forever altered the course of the sport. 

through the AFL

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Reading AFL Hall of Famer Todd Tobias' chronicle is like riding the lightning bolts that zigzagged so spectacularly through this phase of the Chargers' history.  Tobias is a true historian.

--Jerry Magee
  Columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune and
Pro Football Weekly, and memmer of the Pro Football
Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors

For original Charger fans, the teams of the 60's will always represent the golden age of football because those same graeat players spent the off-season working or going to school in San Diego.  We met so many of the public that I would estimate we knew half the people in the stands.  Todd has captured that magic and offers more insight into football players and events than any sports book ever written.

--Ron Mix
San Diego Chargers' Offensive Tackle from 1960-1969
and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Foreword by Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth.

(Click here for a special note.)


   Relive the exploits of the Oakland Raiders in a week-in, week-out chronicle of their first ten seasons.  Meet six unique head coaches and the legends who helped to overcome the myriad problems associated with a new pro football team in a new league, and the whirlwind transformation of a young dynamo from coach to commissioner and ultimately to ownership as he built one of the most respected and feared organizations in professional sports.  Packed with statistics, transactions, and forgotten lore, Pride and Poise: The Oakland Raiders of the American Football League is the most complete, accurate, and fair account ever produced of the early Raiders.

Click here for a review.




            September 9, 1960 (Boston,
            MA).   Al Carmichael leads the
      Denver Broncos to a win in the
      first regular-league-season AFL
      game.   Al holds the distinction of
      scoring the very first touchdown in
      American Football League history, on
      a 59-yard pass from quarterback Frank
      Tripucka in a 13-10 win over the
      Boston Patriots.







    The Buffalo Bills of the 1960s represent a special time in the collective conscience of Buffalonians, when their team was twice champion of the American Football League;  Jack Kemp, Billy Shaw, Cookie Gilchrist, Mike Stratton, Tom Sestak, Elbert Dubenion, Ron McDole, and O.J. Simpson captured the imagination of the community.  For three consecutive years, Buffalo's defensive unit was the best in the league, and was one of the best throughout the AFL’s history.  Western New Yorkers loved this team and its successful approach — the Buffalo Bills mirrored the community they represented.
     This near-600-page book is a comprehensive history of the Bills' AFL years, drawn mainly from interviews with nearly 70 men associated with the team during the 1960s.  Billy Shaw, the Bills' Hall of Fame guard, wrote the foreword.       
      With game-by-game summaries, yearly stats, records of the AFL years, complete demographics of every player and coach employed by the team during the decade, and a "Where are They Now" chapter at the end.

(click the cover for a purchase link) 


He lived through it, he writes about it.

      American Football League Hall of Fame member Larry Felser tells the story of "the Merger".  Of how "the Foolish Club", scorned and ridiculed by the football establishment, forged a merger that made the American Football League the only major professional sports league to merge with another without losing a franchise, and in so doing, how the AFL was instrumental in the genesis of modern Professional Football.

        Felser covered the AFL from its inception, through the merger, and through the AFL's convincing victories by the Jets and the Chiefs in the last two true world championship games. The book is filled with first-hand observations and with quotes by the owners and players involved in the biggest sports merger of all time.

In bookstores and on-line now ~ The Lyons Press

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

Click HERE for more about Dave.

     AFL fan and first-time author Dave Steidel, an AFL Hall of Famer, has come up with a great concept: a book that not only tells the fascinating history of the American Football League, team by team, year by year; but which also serves as a challenging trivia test of your grasp of the important and even the not-so-important events of the league that was the genesis of modern pro football.
      It touches on every game played by every American Football League team, year by year.  It is interspersed with images and trivia questions to prod your memory of the the American Football League, the league that was the genesis of modern Professional Football.
     The book is published by Clerisy Press.  The cover at left is just a sample of the visual and factual delights you'll find inside!

Click here to see results of the "Remember the AFL" contest


       American Football League fans will enjoy the chapter that reviews Hall of Fame candidates and discusses a significant number of AFL players and coaches who belong.
       In trying to determine the best available candidates, ESPN's Football Scientist used a system that heavily rewarded consensus All-Pro seasonal picks (as determined by ESPN's Pro Football Encyclopedia), since that is the hardest single season honor to garner. 

        That system shows that Jim Tyrer, Larry Grantham, Johnny Robinson, Dave Grayson and Bob Talamini are all among the top 14 available candidates.

         "Blindsided" also has a blurb about the website

        The book is being nationally distributed by Wiley & Sons and it will be available in bookstores in early to mid- August.  Click on the cover to the left for more details about the book.

               Rob Thompson has written an enertaining book about the buffalo bills that includes sections on the 'electric company' and the O.J. era; one on the more modern era; and of course a section on the American Football League era, with Jack Kemp, Billy Shaw, Mike Stratton and other great AFL stars.

                 Thompson has player interviews about their time in Pro Football, and their views on the current Pro Football Union and its treatment of older retired players.

A revolutionary new approach to football statistics -
with all-time rankings of nearly 1,000 players through
the history of Professional Football


Author and sports statistical genius Sean Lahman takes analytical methods he's developed over the years to look at Pro Football in a groundbreaking, all-encompassing way - and he puts forward new rankings of the best players at each position from the 1920s to the present day.  He also discusses how the game has evolved, and how this must be considered when comparing modern players with players of past eras.
The Pro Football Historical Abstract is a must for everyone who considers football more than just a game.

Fans may be surprised by some unconventionally low ranks for NFL icons, and high ranks for some oft-neglected American Football League players.

Published by The Lyons Press

     COLORS opens the locker room door and offers Professional Football fans a revealing look at what their favorite  team has worn over the years. 
     These colorfully illustrated stories are written by current and former Professional Football executives, sportswriters, and broadcasters who have covered the game for decades. 
      Every AFL team's unis are represented, from the
1960 Broncos' striped socks to the 1969 Chiefs 10-year AFL patch.
takes you on an informative, historical and humorous look at Professional Football attire.

Below is just one example of the AFL images in COLORS.

This Day in Football contains a full football season of facts, featuring historical Professional Football gems from every day, September through January.

It will tell you the day (Ocober 29, 1961) when two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Blanda and Jurgensen) each threw for more than 400 yards; about the longest Professional Football championship game (December 24, 1962), when Abner Haynes chose to "kick to the clock";  and when (November 24, 1968) Joe Willie Namath threw for 337 yards versus the Chargers, on his way to destiny.
T. J. TROUP has coached at both the high school and college level and is one of the nation's foremost historians/researchers of Professional Football. He has written articles for American Football Coaches Monthly and was football coordinator/consultant to George Clooney for the film Leatherheads.
Taylor Trade Publishing
An imprint of
The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group


"We're going to win Sunday.  I guarantee it."

The complete story of the epic game that validated the American Football League as the genesis of modern Professional Football.  From Baltimore to Broadway Joe is the first book that presents the third AFL-NFL World Championship Game from the perspectives of the Jets and Colts players.


(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

      On my AFL webpage, I quote historian Thomas J. Burns as saying: "I am of a mind that the two great sports developments of the post World War II era, the AFL and NASCAR, both deserve a masterful scholarly analysis." 
           Someone else will have to cover NASCAR, but Ken Rappoport's "The Little League That Could", written from the perspective that time now allows, shows the undeniable influence the American Football League had on Professional Football in America.  It is the masterful analysis of the AFL that its fans have long awaited.

            This book is filled with stories and memories of the likes of Billy Cannon, Lance Alworth, Elbert Dubenion and a host of other AFL stars.  Every AFL fan should have it. ~ Ange Coniglio,

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

       Ron Jaworski grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, and his first exposure to Professional Football was  watching American Football League games on television.  The first game he attended was between the Bills and the Chargers.
      In this book, Jaworski critiques seven important Professional Football games, from the AFL thorough the present, with the same expert attention to detail that he shows in his coverage of games as a TV analyst.
      While only one AFL game is discussed (the Chargers' seminal 1963 American Football League Championship game),  in presenting it as the first chapter of the book, Jaworski confirms the influence of Sid Gillman and the AFL as the genesis of the modern game.

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)



(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)


You Can't Catch Sunshine
is the inspirational true story of New York Titans/Jets wide receiver Don 'Sunshine' Maynard, a laid-back speedster from a dusty corner of Texas whose unlikely friendship with a newly minted quarterback named Joe Namath resulted in the greatest  so-called 'upset' in Pro Football history.

In his own words, Maynard examines the milestones of his Hall of Fame career and provides an inside story of the 'upstart' American Football League in its infancy.

See page 241 for his right-on shot at the biased  views of  Sports Illustrated.

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)


"Using the words of Cookie Gilchrist, the author is able to take you
inside the world of the reclusive running back.  The author's friendship with Gilchrist is evident.  This is a must read."

Ken Crippen, executive director, Professional Football Writers Association

"Cookie Gilchrist is a legendary figure in American history.  He was
a subject of intrigue in everything he did, from his domination on the football field to his efforts in the civil rights struggle, and ultimately his long withdrawal from society.  Only a member of Gilchrist's inner-most circle could properly chronicle his amazing story.  Thankfully for fans and historians, Chris Garbarino, one of Cookie's closest friends and confidants, dedicated himself to making sure that this incredible story was told."

Todd Tobias, author of Charging Through the AFL and

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

     Sid Gillman's 'coaching tree' (made up of coaches influenced by him or his students) has won a total of twenty-four Super Bowls.

        Josh Katzowitz covers the life of  the Hall of Fame coach, describing the innovative passing formations and plays that Gillman brought to perfection with the American Football League's Chargers, as one of only two men who coached an AFL team in each of the ten years of the league's existence.

         The author expresses wonder at the fact that today, Gillman 'is unnoticed by the casual fan'.  I think I can tell him why.  Gillman 'made his bones' in the AFL. Today's NFL-dominated media typically ignores the AFL greats.  If Gillman's Chargers had been in the NFL, no doubt Sid would have been sanctified with the likes of Paul Brown* and his NFL cronies.   Even this book, while it does a good job of covering Sid's AFL years, doesn't mention the American Football League on the cover, back cover, foreword or introduction. 

In stores and on-line now ~ Clerisy Press

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)


     The first black field goal kicker in American Professional Football, Gene Mingo was a very versatile player: he played several positions including halfback, place-kicker, and kickoff/punt-returner.   In 1960 he had the first punt return for a touchdown in the new American Football League.   It helped the Denver Broncos win the first-ever American Football League game, as they defeated the Patriots.
Mingo's story is one that will inspire, entertain and engage readers of all ages, as the sports legend and member of the American Football League Hall of Fame revisits different remarkable episodes in his life, including a challenging childhood in Akron, Ohio, a stint in the Navy, and a successful Professional Football career.  

           "On September 10, 1986, as I sat in the Denver City Jail intake facility , in handcuffs, covered in Sally's blood, my tears flowed as I wondered . . . "

Published by

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     "Ten Gallon War: The NFL's Cowboys, the AFL's Texans and the Feud for Dallas' Pro Football Future," officially hits bookstore shelves on Oct. 2, 2012.  Three years in the making and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, it recounts the tale of the rollicking football war that took place in Dallas in the early 1960s between franchises owned by Clint Murchison, Jr., and Lamar Hunt.  Pre-publication reviews in book industry outlets such as Publisher's Weekly have been positive, with Library Journal going so far as to call it "an entertaining and significant football history that should attract a deservedly large readership."





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"Never before and not since has anyone with so many resources spent so much time watching, participating in, and being captivated by the absorbing ritual of sports and the suspended state of play.  His accomplishments would put him in the company of the other giants of American sports . . . . .  Each [of the others] was present at a revolution.  But significantly, Hunt was present at a number of revolutions.  And he was the catalyst for each one." 
                                           ~ From the prologue

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)



Total Patriots is the first
and only comprehensive
Boston/New England Patriots encyclopedia. 

Test your knowledge in
the trivia chapter, or discover
the remarkable achievments
of your favorite players


         "Bob Hyldburg has created a book for football 'fanatics' to savor and help them recall the most memorable moments in Patriots history in amazing detail.  It is sure to be a book that every Patriots fan will enjoy and go back to time and time again to recall a special season, game, player, or play."


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Includes games endorsed by AFLers Paul Brown, Daryle Lamonica, Hank Stram, George Blanda, Joe Namath, and O.J. Simpson

•200 full color pages with over 275 pictured games (80+ more cataloged)

•50 challenging trivia questions including the American Football League

•Brief bios of players forgotten over the years, such as Warren Wells

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)



Consider this a history book on sports, but you will see
that the real story is about the lives that were touched
along the way by my father, Phil Ranallo, a sports
columnist with the Buffalo Courier-Express.  My father
loved his job and the people he wrote about.  Many of
those people are no longer here, yet I wish they could see
what has been done with his work.  While that cannot be
channged, the mark they left has been given new life.

--- Paul Ranallo

$17.95 US/CAN

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

Bears?  What Bears?

   Take a good look at the 1963 Chargers' championship ring, and you'll see that it's inscribed WORLD CHAMPIONS

    During the 1963 NFL season, the Chicago Bears reigned supreme, commanding every team that crossed their path. But were they the best team in football? If you asked the San Diego Chargers of the AFL, that answer would be a resounding "no".
    The Uncrowned Champs
 follows the incredible season of the ’63 Chargers as they transformed their roster from a 4–10 finish in 1962 to a conquering force that ripped through the AFL.
    Unfortunately for football fans, the Bears and Chargers never met on the field that year. But thanks to new technology, we are able to conduct a computer simulation of what would have been the first Super Bowl game and decide who was the best football team of ’63.

by AFL Hall of Famer Dave Steidel,
author of the classic
Remember the AFL

(Click on the image of the book cover for purchase details.)

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)

From the early sixties to the late seventies, defensive end Ron McDole experienced football’s golden age from inside his old‑school, two‑bar helmet. During an eighteen‑year pro career, McDole—nicknamed “The Dancing Bear”—played in over 250 games, including two AFL Championships with the Buffalo Bills and one NFL Championship with the Washington Redskins. 
A cagey and deceptively agile athlete, McDole wreaked havoc on football’s best offenses as part of a Bills defensive line that held opponents without a rushing touchdown for seventeen straight games. His twelve interceptions remain a pro record for defensive ends. Traded by the Bills in 1970, he was given new life in Washington as one of the most famous members of George Allen’s game‑smart veterans known as “The Over‑the‑Hill Gang". Through it all, McDole was known and loved by teammates and foes alike for his knowledge and skill on the field and his ability to have fun off it.
In The Dancing Bear McDole the storyteller traces his life from his humble beginnings in Toledo, Ohio, to his four years at the University of Nebraska, his marriage to high school sweetheart Paula, and his long, accomplished professional career. He recounts the days when a pro football player needed an off‑season job to pay the bills and teams had to drive around in buses to find a city park in which to practice. The old
AFL and NFL blitz back to life through McDole’s straightforward stories of a time when the game was played more for love and glory than for money.

(Click on the image of the front cover for purchase information.)


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