1961 Boston Patriots season

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1961 Boston Patriots season
OwnerBilly Sullivan
General managerEdward McKeever
Head coachLou Saban (fired: 2–3)
Mike Holovak (interim: 7–1–1)
Home fieldBoston University Field
Division place2nd AFL Eastern
Playoff finishDid not qualify
AFL All-StarsLB Tom Addison
DB Fred Bruney
WR Gino Cappelletti
DE Bob Dee
RB Larry Garron
DT Jim Lee Hunt
 G  Chuck Leo

The 1961 Boston Patriots season was the franchise's second season in the American Football League They finished with nine wins, four losses, and one tie, in second place in the AFL's Eastern Division.


1961 Boston Patriots staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Season summary[edit]

In the off-season, the team acquired quarterback Babe Parilli from the Oakland Raiders, himself a former starter for the NFL's Green Bay Packers. After a 2–3 start and two consecutive losses, the team fired head coach Lou Saban on the night of Tuesday, October 10, and replaced him with offensive backfield coach Mike Holovak, formerly the head coach at Boston College.[1] The change was a positive one, as the team was 7–1–1 under Holovak and finished on a four-game winning streak, capped with a road shutout of the Western Division champion San Diego Chargers in the season finale,[2] the team which scored 38 points on them in Boston in Saban's last game.

The Patriots' 9–4–1 record put them in second place in the Eastern Division, one game behind Houston; the Oilers went on to win the league championship with a 10–3 win over the Chargers. This was the first season in which Boston used their "Pat the Patriot" logo on their helmets.[3]

Draft picks[edit]

Round Player Position College
1 Tommy MasonTommy Mason Half back Tulane
2 Rip HawkinsRip Hawkins Center North Carolina
3 Danny LaRoseDanny LaRose Tight End Missouri
4 Mike ZenoMike Zeno Guard Virginia Tech
5 Fran TarkentonFran Tarkenton Quarterback Georgia
6 Larry EisenhauerLarry Eisenhauer 1 Tackle Boston College
7 Paul TerhesPaul Terhes Quarterback Bucknell
8 Charles LongCharles Long 1 Guard Tennessee-Chattanooga
9 Roland LakesRoland Lakes Center Wichita
10 Richard MuellerRichard Mueller Offensive end Kentucky
11 Mel WestMel West Center Missouri
12 Wayne HarrisWayne Harris Center Arkansas
13 Dan UnderwoodDan Underwood Tackle McNeese State
14 James WrightJames Wright Quarterback Memphis State
16 George BalthazarGeorge Balthazar Tackle Tennessee A&I
17 Ray RatkowskiRay Ratkowski Halfback Notre Dame
18 Tom RodgersTom Rodgers Halfback Kentucky
19 Joe BellinoJoe Bellino Halfback Navy
20 Clarence ChildsClarence Childs Halfback Florida A&M
21 Dan OakesDan Oakes Guard Virginia Tech
22 Bob JohnsonBob Johnson Offensive end Michigan
23 Darrell DeDeckerDarrell DeDecker Center Illinois
24 Don WebbDon Webb Halfback Iowa State
25 Robert MinihaneRobert Minihane Tackle Boston
26 Charles GrangerCharles Granger Tackle Southern
27 Terry HuxholdTerry Huxhold Tackle Wisconsin
28 Bryant HarvardBryant Harvard Quarterback Auburn
29 Ernie McMillanErnie McMillan Tackle Illinois
30 George HultzGeorge Hultz Tackle Mississippi Southern


Regular season[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance Recap
1 September 9 New York Titans L 20–21 0–1 Boston University Field 16,683 Recap
2 September 16 Denver Broncos W 45–17 1–1 Boston University Field 14,479 Recap
3 September 23 at Buffalo Bills W 23–21 2–1 War Memorial Stadium 21,504 Recap
4 October 1 at New York Titans L 30–37 2–2 Polo Grounds 15,189 Recap
5 October 7 San Diego Chargers L 27–38 2–3 Boston University Field 17,748 Recap
6 October 13 Houston Oilers T 31–31 2–3–1 Boston University Field 15,070 Recap
7 October 22 Buffalo Bills W 52–21 3–3–1 Boston University Field 9,398 Recap
8 October 29 at Dallas Texans W 18–17 4–3–1 Cotton Bowl 20,500 Recap
9 November 3 Dallas Texans W 28–21 5–3–1 Boston University Field 25,063 Recap
10 November 12 at Houston Oilers L 15–27 5–4–1 Jeppesen Stadium 35,649 Recap
11 November 17 Oakland Raiders W 20–17 6–4–1 Boston University Field 17,169 Recap
12 Bye
13 December 3 at Denver Broncos W 28–24 7–4–1 Bears Stadium 9,303 Recap
14 December 9 at Oakland Raiders W 35–21 8–4–1 Candlestick Park 6,500 Recap
15 December 17 at San Diego Chargers W 41–0 9–4–1 Balboa Stadium 21,339 Recap
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.


AFL Eastern Division
Houston Oilers 10 3 1 .769 4–1–1 513 242 W9
Boston Patriots 9 4 1 .692 2–3–1 413 313 W4
New York Titans 7 7 0 .500 3–3 301 390 L2
Buffalo Bills 6 8 0 .429 2–4 294 342 L1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.


All of the following players appeared in at least one game for the 1961 Boston Patriots.

Name Position Notes
Tom Addison LB
Houston Antwine DT Rookie
Walter Beach DB/RB
Fred Bruney DB
Ron Burton HB
Gino Cappelletti WR/K/DB Number 20 retired by the Patriots
Jim Colclough WR
Jim Crawford FB/HB
Walt Cudzik C/LB
Bob Dee DE/DT Number 89 retired by the Patriots
Jerry DeLucca T/DT
Larry Eisenhauer DE Rookie
Larry Garron HB
Milt Graham T/DT Rookie
Ron Hall DB
Jim Hunt DT/DE Number 79 retired by the Patriots
Harry Jacobs LB/DE
Harry Jagielski DT/T
Joe Johnson HB/E/WR
Bill Kimber E
Dick Klein T
Chuck Leo G
Paul Lindquist DT Rookie
Ray Lardani T Rookie
Charlie Long T/G Rookie
Billy Lott FB
Rommie Loudd LB
Leroy Moore DE
Ross O'Hanley DB
Babe Parilli QB
Willis Perkins DE/G Rookie
Ray Ratkowski HB Rookie
Frank Robotti LB Rookie
Al Romine DB/HB
Tony Sardisco G/LB
Gerard Swedes HB
Chuck Shonta DB
John Simmerson C
Bob Soltis DB
Butch Songin QB
Thomas Stephens TE/DB
Paper Towns DB
Clyde Washington DB/P
Don Webb DB Rookie
Rob Yates T/C Rookie
Tom Yewcic QB/P/HB Rookie
Players new to the team in 1961 are in bold.

Notes and references[edit]

General references[edit]

  • "1961 Boston Patriots". Football @ JT-SW.com. John Troan. 2002. Retrieved April 11, 2007.. For game-by-game results
  • "1961 Boston Patriots Roster". Football @ JT-SW.com. John Troan. 2002. Archived from the original on April 25, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2007.. For team roster
  • "New England Patriots (1960–present)". Sports E-cyclopedia. Tank Productions. 2007. Archived from the original on April 17, 2007. Retrieved April 11, 2007.. For season summary

Footnoted references[edit]

  1. ^ "Holovak shocked". The Telegraph. (Nashua, New Hampshire). Associated Press. October 11, 1961. p. 20.
  2. ^ "Pats toast of Boston". The Telegraph. (Nashua, New Hampshire). Associated Press. December 18, 1961. p. 17.
  3. ^ "AFC east helmets". The Helmet Project. 2007. Archived from the original on April 2, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2007.