AFL in History

American Football Leagues: AAFC - CFL - NFL - NFL Europe

Events in Sport

  • 1937-09-10 2nd American Football League plays 1st game (LA 21, Pittsburgh 0)
  • 1940-09-15 3rd American Football League plays 1st game (Milw 14, Columbus 2)
  • 1950-03-03 National-American Football League reverts back to calling itself the NFL after 3 months
  • 1959-08-14 First (American Football League) meeting is held in Chicago; charter memberships handed to Dallas, NY, Houston, Denver, LA and Minneapolis-Saint Paul; 'AFL' named following week
  • 1959-08-22 American Football League officially named at a meeting in Dallas, Texas; charter members Dallas, NY, Houston, Denver, LA and Minneapolis-Saint Paul
  • 1959-10-28 American Football League awards Buffalo Bills franchise to Ralph C Wilson
  • 1959-11-05 AFL announced with 8 teams
  • 1959-11-22 AFL's 1st draft - NY Titans choice George Izo, QB, Notre Dame
  • 1959-11-22 Boston Patriots enters AFL
  • 1959-11-30 Joe Foss named 1st commissioner of AFL

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959-12-18 Sammy Baugh named 1st coach of NY Titans (AFL)

American Football Player and Coach Sammy Baugh
American Football Player and Coach
Sammy Baugh
  • 1960-01-26 Oakland Raiders enter the American Football League
  • 1960-02-09 AFL & NFL agree verbally to a no tampering pact
  • 1960-06-09 ABC and AFL sign a 5 year contract
  • 1960-07-30 1st AFL preseason game Boston Patriots defeat Bills in Buffalo (28-7)
  • 1960-08-25 AFL begins placing players names on back of their jerseys

  • 1960-09-09 Denver Broncos beat Boston Patriots, 13-10 in the American Football League's first game before 21,597 fans at Nickerson Field in Boston
  • 1961-01-14 Chic Bear Willard Dewveall becomes 1st NFLer to join AFL
  • 1961-02-10 AFL's LA Chargers move to San Diego
  • 1963-02-08 AFL's Dallas Texans become KC Chiefs
  • 1963-03-28 AFL's NY Titan's become the NY Jets
  • 1964-01-05 AFL Championship, Balboa Stadium, San Diego: San Diego Chargers beat Boston Patriots, 51-10; Chargers RB Keith Lincoln rushes for 206 yards, 2 TDs
  • 1964-01-29 NBC purchases AFL 5 year (1965-69) TV rights for $36 million
  • 1964-11-01 Houston Oilers quarterback George Blanda attempts an AFL record 68 passes (37 completions) in 24-10 loss v Buffalo Bills at War Memorial Stadium
  • 1965-08-16 AFL awards its 1st expansion franchise (Miami Dolphins)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966-04-08 AFL chooses 36 year old Al Davis as commissioner

American Football Coach and Executive Al Davis
American Football Coach and Executive
Al Davis
  • 1966-06-06 NFL & AFL announce their merger
  • 1966-06-08 NFL & AFL announce plans to become NFC and AFC in 1970

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966-11-08 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs anti-trust immunity to AFL-NFL merger

36th US President Lyndon B. Johnson
36th US President
Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 1967-05-24 AFL grants a franchise to Cincinnati Bengals
  • 1967-08-05 First exhibition after AFL/NFL merger, Denver Broncos (AFL) surprise Detroit Lions (NFL), 13-7 at University of Denver

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1904-09-01 Ray Flaherty, American Pro Football Hall of Fame end, coach (3 x NFL Championships; Washington Redskins 1937, 42 coach), born in Lamont, Washington (d. 1994)
  • 1906-08-06 Ken Strong, NFL, AFL halfback (Staten Island, NY Yanks, NY Giants)
  • 1913-06-30 Harry Wismer, American sports broadcaster and AFL team owner (NY Titans), born in Port Huron, Michigan (d. 1967)
  • 1915-04-17 Joe Foss, American fighter ace, football executive (Medal of Honor-1943; first commissioner American Football League) and politician, born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (d. 2003)
  • 1933-02-16 Elbert Dubenion, American football wide receiver and running back (AFL All Star 1964; Buffalo Bills), born in Griffin, Georgia (d. 2019)
  • 1934-03-26 Gino Cappelletti, American football running back (AFL All-Star 1961, 63-66; AFL MVP 1964; Boston Patriots), born in Keewatin, Minnesota
  • 1935-05-25 Cookie Gilchrist, American football fullback (AFL All Star 1962-65; AFL MVP 1962; CFL All Star 1956-60), born in Brackenridge, Pennsylvania (d. 2011)
  • 1936-07-17 Bill Groman, American football wide receiver (All-AFL 1960; AFL C'ship 1960, 61, 64, 65; Houston Oilers, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills), born in Tiffin, Ohio (d. 2020)
  • 1936-12-31 Jerry Sturm, American football tackle (AFL All-Star 1964, 66; Denver Broncos, NO Saints), born in English, Indiana (d. 2020)
  • 1937-07-09 Clemon Daniels, American football halfback and AFL player of year 1963 (Oak, Dallas, San Francisco), born in McKinney, Texas
  • 1937-08-02 Billy Cannon, American College Football Hall of Fame back and tight end (Heisman Trophy 1959, LSU; AFL C'ship 1960, 61, 67; AFL All-Star 1961, 69; Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders), born in Philadelphia, Mississippi (d. 2018)
  • 1937-09-19 Abner Haynes, American AFL running back (AFL MVP 1960; Kansas City Chiefs), born in Denton, Texas
  • 1940-02-22 Larry Eisenhauer, American football defensive end (AFL All-Star 1962, 63, 64, 66; Boston Patriots), born in Hicksville, New York (d. 2020)
  • 1941-04-10 Mike Stratton, American football linebacker (AFL C'ship 1964, 65; AFL All-Star 1963–68; Buffalo Bills; NFL: SD Chargers), born in Vonore, Tennessee (d. 2020)
  • 1941-07-17 Daryle Lamonica, Oakland Raider QB (AFL leading passer 1967)
  • 1942-02-16 Bob Hammond AM, Australian rules key defender (AFL Hall of Fame; North Adelaide; SA) and coach (Sydney Swans 1984), born in Perth, Australia (d. 2020)
  • 1942-06-19 Willie Frazier, American football tight end (AFL All-Star 1965, 67, 69; All-Pro 1965; Houston Oilers, San Diego Chargers), born in El Dorado, Arkansas (d. 2013)
  • 1943-11-10 George Sauer, Jr., AFL player (New York Jets), born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (d. 2013)
  • 1944-04-12 Mike Garrett, American College Football Hall of Fame running back (Heisman Trophy 1965, USC; AFL All-Star 1966-67, KC Chiefs) and executive (athletic director USC 1993-2010), born in Los Angeles, CA
  • 1946-08-09 Jim Kiick, American football running back (Super Bowl 1972, 73; AFL All-Star 1968, 69; Miami Dolphins), born in Lincoln Park, New Jersey (d. 2020)
  • 1989-04-03 Israel Folau, Australian Rugby League, Rugby Union, AFL player (dual international), born in Minto, New South Wales, Australia

Deaths in Sport

  • 1967-12-04 Harry Wismer, American sports broadcaster and AFL team owner (New York Titans), dies after a fall at 54
  • 1991-11-21 David "Sonny" Werblin, AFL owner (NY Jets), dies at 81
  • 2011-01-10 Cookie Gilchrist, American football fullback (AFL All Star 1962-65; AFL MVP 1962; CFL All Star 1956-60), dies of chronic traumatic encephalopathy at 75
  • 2013-09-05 Willie Frazier, American football tight end (AFL All-Star 1965, 67, 69; All-Pro 1965; Houston Oilers, San Diego Chargers), dies at 71
  • 2018-05-20 Billy Cannon, American College Football Hall of Fame back and tight end (Heisman Trophy 1959, LSU; AFL C'ship 1960, 61, 67; AFL All-Star 1961, 69; Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders), dies at 80
  • 2019-12-26 Elbert Dubenion, American football wide receiver and running back (AFL All Star 1964; Buffalo Bills), dies from complications related to Parkinson's disease at 86
  • 2020-01-29 Larry Eisenhauer, American football defensive end (AFL All-Star 1962, 63, 64, 66; Boston Patriots), dies at 79
  • 2020-03-25 Mike Stratton, American football linebacker (AFL C'ship 1964, 65; AFL All-Star 1963–68; Buffalo Bills; NFL: SD Chargers), dies from heart complications at 78
  • 2020-05-30 Bob Hammond AM, Australian rules key defender (AFL Hall of Fame; North Adelaide; SA) and coach (Sydney Swans 1984), dies from Parkinson's disease at 78
  • 2020-06-17 Bill Groman, American football wide receiver (All-AFL 1960; AFL C'ship 1960, 61, 64, 65; Houston Oilers, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills), dies at 83
  • 2020-06-17 Jerry Sturm, American football tackle (AFL All-Star 1964, 66; Denver Broncos, NO Saints), dies from dementia at 83
  • 2020-06-20 Jim Kiick, American football running back (Super Bowl 1972, 73; AFL All-Star 1968, 69; Miami Dolphins), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 73