In addition to the above letter to Mr. Hunt, I wrote to
other AFL owners, and to Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The letter to Goodell was the same as the one above, all
about Celebrating the AFL, with no mention of the NFL.
I got a letter back from an NFL PR functionary, saying
"Thank you for your interest in the NFL". I
sent another letter to Goodell, exactly as above.
I got another response from Joe Blow, same answer.
I then sent a letter to Joe Blow, registered, return
receipt requested, saying "Since you answered my
letters to Mr. Goodell, maybe he'll answer my letter to
you." I enclosed a 12" by 18"
AFL bumper sticker.
At the announcement of the 2009
inductees to the "pro football" Hall of Fame, the league
announced that the 2009 Hall of Fame exhibition game
would be between the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee
Titans, the first time two former AFL teams would play
one another in that game. Both the Bills and the
Titans will wear AFL throwbacks, with the Titans wearing
Houston Oilers uniforms. The game will kick off a
season-wide "Celebration of the AFL", in which there
will be "AFL Legacy Weekends" during which each of the
Original Eight will play another, both wearing AFL
There will be features about
the AFL on all networks that carry Professional
Football, and according to Sports Business Weekly, "Some
product is expected to be available by the NFL draft on
April 25-26 when Reebok’s throwback uniforms will be
unveiled. The retro uniforms will also be included in
the next version of EA Sports’ “Madden NFL” video game.
At last week’s show, WinCraft was displaying distressed
wooden signs with old
logos, while Winning Streak showed its usual
well-crafted selection of
And NFL Films
is supposedly going to have special coverage of the AFL.
Maybe they'll even re-do their film of 1969's Super Bowl
III, to show that the Jets actually won!
Below is a photo showing some of the throwbacks, and one
that shows that on-field officials will also be wearing
AFL throwbacks. This is the patch that will be
worn by the Original Eight on their throwback uniforms.
For all games other than the "AFL Legacy"
games, each team will wear its own 50-year patch,
no AFL logo. Also, there will be no AFL versus AFL
match-up on Thanksgiving. Below are the teams'
50-year patches, with my version of the 50th Anniversary
AFL patch. The Oilers' patch is the only one that
mentions the American Football League. To
see my version of the teams' patches
including the AFL logo,
click on each team's logo below.
Although we didn't get
exactly we wanted, I'm happy with the exposure the AFL
will receive in 2009. Hopefully, the network
announcers will mention long-unheard names like
Jim Lee Hunt,
Dave Grayson and
the many others that spark an AFL fan's memories.
Also, there are reports that the playing fields
will be painted similar to the inventive designs that
AFL teams used in the past.
I want to thank and congratulate all the
American Football League fans and former
players who called, e-mailed and wrote
team and league officials, to request
this Celebration of
years after the 'Foolish
Club' formed, a reunion was
held, as reported by Larry
Felser in the the Buffalo
Evening News in June 1979.
Many of the American Football
League principals had thoughts
that are still shared by AFL
fans and former players today,
as we celebrate what would have
been the AFL's 50th season.
Jerry Mays said
"Nobody hated the NFL like I
did. I live in Dallas now
and I still can't root for the
Cowboys. I can root for
the Oakland Raiders, believe it
or not, but I can't root for the
Sid Gillman was asked if
his '63 Chargers could have
beaten the Chicago Bears if a
Super Bowl had been played that
"And the AFL would
have won the next year, too"
said Al Davis, "because
Buffalo had a helluva club with
Tom Sestak, Ron Mcdole, George
Saimes, Kemp, Billy Shaw, Stew
Barber, Cookie (Gilchrist) and
those guys. They would
have beaten Cleveland in '64."
I was pleased that Lamar Hunt
mentioned me, but puzzled that
his staff couldn't find me.
I've had the same phone number
since the 'sixties.