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These AFL Team pages were salvaged from the defunct site aflfootball.tripod.com, which inspired my AFL pages.
They are dedicated to that site's creator, Robert Phillips, who has re-created his site at afl-football.50.webs.com.

Patriots Facts

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Oilers Facts

Jets
Facts

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Chiefs Facts

Chargers Facts

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DALLAS TEXANS
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

In 1959, a 26-year-old Texan, frustrated by his unsuccessful attempts to gain a pro football franchise in the National Football League, embarked on an alternate course that was to drastically change the face of pro football forever. The young man was Lamar Hunt, who founded the American Football League that season and served as the league's first president when its eight new teams began play in 1960.

Hunt's own team, the Dallas Texans, was located in his hometown where he would face direct competition from the NFL's newest expansion team, the Dallas Cowboys. In spite of this opposition from the established NFL, the Texans quickly made their mark as one of the new league's strongest teams. In their third season in 1962, they won the AFL championship with a 20-17 win over the Houston Oilers in a 77-minute, 54-second, two-overtime game, the longest ever played up to that time.

Although the Texans fared well in Dallas, Hunt decided that, for the good of the league, it would be best to move his franchise to Kansas City in 1963. There the team was renamed the Chiefs and it continued to enjoy the success the team had experienced in Dallas. The Chiefs won a second AFL title in 1966 and was the first team to represent the AFL in Super Bowl competition.

Kansas City won another title in 1969 and became the only team in AFL history to win three championships. Although the Minnesota Vikings were heavily favored in Super Bowl IV, Kansas City upset the NFL champions 23-7 to complete the AFL vs. NFL portion of the Super Bowl series tied at two wins each. It was the last game ever played by an AFL team.

The Texans-Chiefs' 10-season AFL record 92 games, 50 losses and five ties was the best of any AFL team. Head Coach Hank Stram became the only man to serve as a head coach throughout the AFL's history. Thanks to Hunt's wise player-procurement policies, his teams were loaded with potential superstars, including five quarterback Len Dawson, defensive end Buck Buchanan, linebackers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier and kicker Jan Stenerud who have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hunt himself was the first Chief elected for his role in forming a new league that caused pro football to grow from 12 teams to 26 teams in the 1960s.

When they first moved to Kansas City, the Chiefs played in 49,002-seat Municipal Stadium. But in 1972, they would move into their new home, 78,097-seat Arrowhead Stadium, considered to be one of the world's finest.

Texans/Chiefs Facts

  • Franchise Granted:
    August 14, 1959 as the Dallas Texans and Charter Member of AFL
  • First Season:
    1960
  • Moved to Kansas City and changed nickname:
    1963
  • Stadiums:
    Cotton Bowl, Municipal Stadium
  • Founder:
    Lamar Hunt
  • Head Coach:
    Hank Stram
  • Super Bowl Championship:
    IV
  • AFL Championships:
    1962, 1966, 1969
  • AFL Western Division Championships:
    1962, 1966
  • All-Time AFL Record (including playoffs):
    92-50-5
  • Retired Uniform Numbers:
    #3 Jan Stenerud, #16 Len Dawson, #28 Abner Haynes, #33 Stone Johnson, #36 Mack Lee Hill, #63 Willie Lanier, #78 Bobby Bell, #86 Buck Buchanan.

Texans/Chiefs' Historical Performance

REGULAR SEASON
YEAR GP W L T PF PA PCT. HEAD COACH
1960* 14 8 6 0 362 253 0.571    Hank Stram
1961* 14 6 8 0 334 343 0.429    Hank Stram
1962* 14 11 3 0 389 233 0.786    Hank Stram
1963 14 5 7 2 347 263 0.429    Hank Stram
1964 14 7 7 0 366 306 0.500    Hank Stram
1965 14 7 5 2 322 285 0.572    Hank Stram
1966 14 11 2 1 448 276 0.821    Hank Stram
1967 14 9 5 0 408 254 0.643    Hank Stram
1968 14 12 2 0 371 170 0.857    Hank Stram
1969 14 11 3 0 359 177 0.786    Hank Stram

Texans/Chiefs Totals 140 87 48 5 3706 2560 0.639  
* - Dallas Texans

 
POSTSEASON
YEAR W L PCT. RESULT
1962* 1 0 1.000 AFL CHAMPIONS
1966 1 1 0.500 AFL CHAMPIONS, LOST SUPER BOWL
1968 0 1 0.000 LOST AFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF
1969 3 0 1.000 AFL AND SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS
* - Dallas Texans

Firsts, Records, and Odds and Ends

  • Original Home/Name:
    The team originally played in Dallas and was known as the Texans (1960-62).
  • First Regular-Season Game:
    A 21-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, 9/10/60.
  • First Regular-Season Win:
    A 34-16 victory over the Oakland Raiders, 9/16/60.
  • First Winning Season:
    1960 (8-6).
  • First Playoff Appearance:
    A 20-17 double-overtime victory over the Houston Oilers for the American Football League championship, 12/23/62.
  • First Super Bowl Appearance:
    A 35-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I, 1/15/67.
  • First Super Bowl Win:
    A 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV, 1/11/70.
  • First to Rush 100 Yards in a Game:
    Abner Haynes, 114 yards vs. the Denver Broncos, 11/13/60.
  • First 1,000-Yard Rusher:
    Abner Haynes, 1,049 yards
  • (1962).
  • First to Pass 400 Yards in a Game:
    Len Dawson, 435 yards vs. the Denver Broncos, 11/1/64.
  • Most Career Passing Yards:
    Len Dawson, 28,507 yards (1962-75).
  • Longest Kickoff Return:
    106 yards by Noland Smith vs. the Denver Broncos, 12/17/67.
  • First Chief Elected to the Hall of Fame:
    Owner Lamar Hunt, 1972.
  • Longest Game Played:
    A 20-17 double-overtime victory by the Dallas Texans over the Houston Oilers in the 1962 AFL Championship game, 12/23/62.
Copyright 1997-2004 Robert Phillips. All rights reserved.

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USA Today ~ July 28, 2009

Chiefs were the toast of the AFL ... after they left Dallas
Chiefs coach Hank Stram led his team to a win in Super Bowl IV, which was the final game in the 10-year history of the AFL before it completely merged with the NFL.
AP photo
Chiefs coach Hank Stram led his team to a win in Super Bowl IV, which was the final game in the 10-year history of the AFL before it completely merged with the NFL.
 
 ABOUT THE AFL SERIES
USA TODAY will celebrate the American Football League's 50th anniversary this summer with a series of retrospectives.

THE AFL, 50 YEARS LATER

 
Seventh in a series exploring the histories of all 10 AFL franchises as the NFL celebrates the league's 50th anniversary.

The history of the American Football League literally begins and ends with the Kansas City Chiefs franchise.

Lamar Hunt not only founded the AFL, which began play in 1960, but he also owned the Dallas Texans, who relocated to Kansas City and became the Chiefs after the 1962 season.

"Before there was a player, coach or a general manager in the league, there was Lamar Hunt," late Boston Patriots owner William Sullivan said at Hunt's Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio, in 1972. "Hunt was the cornerstone, the integrity of the league. Without him, there would have been no AFL."

The Chiefs concluded the AFL's 10-year run by thumping the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV after the 1969 season. The AFL officially merged with the NFL before the 1970 season.

In the decade between the Texans' first game and what remains the Chiefs' only Super Bowl win, the club reeled off an AFL-best 87 victories, won a league-record three titles and developed half a dozen Hall of Famers, all while bringing innovation and integration to the gridiron, much of it courtesy of coach Hank Stram.

Stram found an able triggerman for his offense in 1962 by throwing a lifeline to quarterback Len Dawson, who had been stagnating in the NFL. "A lot of my skills had eroded after not playing for five years," says Dawson, who also had been recruited by Stram to play at Purdue. "(But) he was an excellent quarterbacks coach. … It was a close bond."

Dawson, who still owns franchise records for passing yards (28,507) and touchdown passes (237), knocked off the rust and mastered an offense that featured such wrinkles as a moving pocket, a litany of pre-snap movements and multiple formations. His 182 TD passes between 1962 and '69 are an AFL record.

"As a quarterback, you've got to have an opportunity to play," Dawson says, explaining why he failed to flourish in the NFL but saw his career skyrocket in the upstart establishment. "Back in those days, quarterbacks didn't get hurt. I never got a true shot to play."

But even though Stram and a revitalized Dawson helped engineer a successful title run in 1962 — the Texans knocked off the two-time champion Houston Oilers 20-17 in overtime — the club left Dallas, to the dismay of many players, according to Dawson.

"We had guys from the state of Texas (on the roster) that didn't want to move," he says. "They wanted the Cowboys to leave."

In an attempt to impede the AFL's progress into a market thirsty for pro football, the NFL placed the expansion Cowboys in Dallas in 1960, this after repeatedly rebuffing Hunt's attempts to bring an NFL team to the city.

The Texans and Cowboys began their existence by sharing the Cotton Bowl as their home venue, and Dawson says the Texans players closely monitored the Cowboys' progress in what became a fierce civic rivalry.

And though the Texans went 25-17 in their three seasons and won the '62 AFL title, Hunt ceded the Dallas market to the Cowboys, who struggled to go 9-28-3 and didn't sniff the postseason between 1960 and 1962, long before they laid claim to the title of "America's Team."

"He was more concerned about the league succeeding," Dawson says of Hunt, who moved his team north even though his family's lucrative oil business gave him the financial means to keep the club in Dallas indefinitely.

But Hunt knew the NFL was trying to sink the AFL by dominating a shared market — "(They) tried to kill the league before it started," Dawson says — so he opted for an untapped one.

The Chiefs went 19-19-4 their first three years in Kansas City but returned to their championship form in 1966.

Dawson led the '66 club to an 11-2-1 mark, a second AFL crown and a berth in what later would be called Super Bowl I.

Few gave the Chiefs any chance against the Green Bay Packers, a dynasty coached by Vince Lombardi. But after the first half of the first AFL-NFL championship game, Green Bay clung to a 14-10 lead.

Then it all unraveled for Kansas City. Dawson was intercepted by safety Willie Wood on the fourth play of the third quarter. Wood's 50-yard return to the Kansas City 5-yard line set up a Green Bay touchdown, and the Packers cruised to a 35-10 victory.

Despite the Packers' first-half struggles, Lombardi did little to quell the notion that AFL football was an inferior product, saying afterward, "I think the Kansas City team is a real tough football team, but it doesn't compare with the National Football League teams."

But Dawson didn't think the gap between the leagues was all that wide.

"At halftime, I really thought we could beat these guys," he says. "One mistake by me turned the whole thing around. That was the ballgame. … Of all the passes I've thrown, that's the one I'd like to have back."

The Chiefs got a small measure of payback in the 1967 preseason, thrashing the NFL's Chicago Bears 66-24 in Kansas City. "There was some real animosity and people out to prove something," says former Chiefs linebacker Jim Lynch, who was a rookie at the time.

The Chiefs mascot at the time was a horse named "Warpaint." The gelding would do a celebratory lap around the field after each touchdown. "(Bears Hall of Famer Dick) Butkus said we damn near killed that horse," Lynch says.

However, if the chasm between the leagues was narrowing on the field, even a successful AFL team such as the Chiefs often had to resort to creative means to put fans into the seats.

Rather than relying on the Kansas City news media for exposure, the Chiefs gladly allowed Dawson to become a member of it. He served as the sports anchor on the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. news on the local ABC affiliate.

"The Chiefs recommended it," Dawson says of a gig that forced him to rush to the station after practice ended at 5 p.m. to make the 6 o'clock news. "The Chiefs were interested in selling tickets. … That would never happen today."

Straying from the era's conventional norms also greatly helped the Chiefs field a superior product on the field. At a time when many NFL clubs were still slow to integrate, the Chiefs were scouting players from historically black colleges.

Defensive tackle Buck Buchanan (Grambling), linebacker Willie Lanier (Morgan State) and cornerback Emmitt Thomas (Bishop College) came from historically black schools before their Hall of Fame careers in Kansas City.

Other Chiefs came from the more traditional college pipeline on their way to Canton, including linebacker Bobby Bell, who was also African-American, Dawson and kicker Jan Stenerud. (Hunt and Stram also are in the Hall.)

"He didn't care what color you were," Bell says of Stram. "He wanted to know if you could play. If you could play football, then he wanted you."

Bell also underscores the social significance and the long-term impact on pro football that the Chiefs' equal-opportunity mind-set cultivated.

"That was a time when things changed," says Bell, who would typically count as many as 45 black players in the team's training camp. "We were bringing 'em in from all over. … If it hadn't been for Lamar Hunt, a lot of players at black schools (might) still be looking for opportunities."

Lynch had played at Notre Dame, where his only black teammate was future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Alan Page. Lynch went to Kansas City and found himself battling fellow rookie Lanier for the starting job at middle linebacker in 1967.

Lanier ultimately won the job — becoming the first black player to start at the position in the pros — and Lynch settled in at outside linebacker. But a bond was formed between two men who would become roommates on the road for the next eight years and lifelong friends. "It was news back then, but it shouldn't have been news," Lynch says.

Lynch was in the minority on a defense that only started three white players. "Bobby Bell was the best athlete I've ever physically seen," Lynch says, "until Bo Jackson came to Kansas City to play for the Royals."

The Chiefs effectively employed Stram's stack defense — the linebackers lined up (or stacked) directly behind the defensive linemen rather than in the gaps between them — and used a variety of man-to-man and zone defenses.

By the start of the 1969 season, everything was in place for a championship run in the AFL's final season.

But then Dawson went down with a knee injury in the second game of the regular season.

The defense stepped up while Dawson recovered.

The unit finished first in yards and points allowed in the AFL in 1969. It also scored four touchdowns off turnovers.

"We were probably a team that proved the axiom that you can't win without great defense," Lynch says of a starting 11 that featured four Hall of Famers along with established stars such as safety Johnny Robinson, end Jerry Mays and nose tackle Curley Culp, who revolutionized that position.

Bell says the team's weekly goal was to limit the opposition to one touchdown. The Chiefs almost succeeded, surrendering 16 touchdowns in 14 regular-season games.

Dawson returned midway through the '69 campaign, and the team ultimately finished 11-3. But the Chiefs had to beat the league's previous two champions, the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders, on the road to reach Super Bowl IV.

That path began with a 13-6 win in New York as the defense grounded Joe Namath's Jets a year after their landmark Super Bowl III win against the Baltimore Colts. "The Jets thought they were gonna repeat," Bell says. "We shut 'em down."

The Chiefs then beat the Raiders 17-7 for their third AFL crown, avenging their two regular-season losses to Oakland.

Then it was on to meet the Vikings. And, oddsmakers aside, many Chiefs players didn't think Minnesota stood a chance.

"We had a different attitude," Dawson says when comparing the '69 Chiefs to the '66 team that lost to Green Bay.

Dawson remembers telling his roommate, Robinson, "We're gonna put some points on the board."

Robinson's response?

"We might shut 'em out," Dawson says.

The Chiefs nearly did in their decisive victory, a triumph that would even the championship scoreboard between the AFL and NFL at two wins apiece.

"We wiped 'em out, manhandled them," Bell says.

Everything Stram tried seemed to work that day. His famous "65 toss power trap" call, which resulted in a touchdown, was forever immortalized by NFL Films.

"That was coach Stram, whether he was wired or not," Bell says of the famous play call. "Everybody remembers that: 65 toss power trap. Everybody talks about it. … It worked, oh my gosh — like the movies."

Everything else worked, too. The defense forced three fumbles and picked off three passes. Stenerud kicked three field goals. And Dawson was named the game's MVP.

"With the merger coming, it proved we had arrived," Dawson says. " 'Mickey Mouse league' is what they used to call us. … (But) we dominated that football team."

Just like the Chiefs dominated the AFL for most of the decade, a time that many of the league's players, Dawson chief among them, look back upon with fondness.

"All of us owe a great deal of gratitude to Lamar Hunt," Dawson says, "because of his dream to form a league and own a football team."

          Jim Tyrer, Jerry Mays, Jerrel Wilson, Abner Haynes, Ed Budde, Chris Burford, Curtis McClinton, Dave Grayson, E.J. Holub, Fred Arbanas, Sherrill Headrick: why aren't any of them in the Hall of Fame?
         
Johnny Robinson had
stats virtually identical to those of the NFL's Larry Wilson, and they played in the same era. The only post-season game Wilson ever played in was the NFL's meaningless "Runner-up Bowl". He was inducted almost four decades ago, as soon as he was eligible. Johnny Robinson had three AFL Championship rings and played in two World Championship games, winning SBIV, in which he had an interception and a fumble recovery while playing with fractured ribs. Forty years later, he's STILL not in the Hall of Fame. Why not?. ~ REMEMBER the AFL
 

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USA TODAY Series on the AFL:  

  How the AFL changed the NFL
   Boston Patriots
   Miami Dolphins
     CincinNati Bengals
    Denver Broncos
     Los Angeles/San Diego CHARGERS
    OAKLAND RAIDERS
    New York TITANS/JETS
    BUFFALO BILLS
    HOUSTON OILERS

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