Talk:American Football League

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I'm not sure I agree with this statement: "The eight-team format led to ideal scheduling. In a fourteen-week schedule, each team played every other team exactly twice. Thus, every team had an identical schedule, and the Division Championships were well-deserved".

The problem with giving every team the same identical schedule is that it makes the divisions meaningless. A second place team in one division might have a better record than the first place team in the other one, and since both teams had an identical schedule, why should the first place team with the inferior record go into the playoffs instead of the second place team with the better record? There is no real justification for it. On the other hand, if a team tends to play teams within its own division more frequently than those outside their division, then even if a first place team has a worse record than a second-place team in another division, you can at least argue that it deserves to go into the playoffs as a divisonal representative because intradivisional play figured prominantly into its record as a first place team. So, given that, I don't actually think that it makes sense to say that the divisional championships were necessarily meaningful if every team had an identical schedule. soulpatch

Dear Soulpatch: I guess to an extent, it's a matter of background. First, regardless of whether a runner-up in one division had a better record than the leader in the other division; within each division, the AFL set-up made it strongly likely that the best team finished first. That's what I meant by "the Division Championships were well-deserved".

I'm from a time before "wild-cards", when division titles meant something in almost all sports. There was a rivalry between the East and West, the American Football League and the National Football League, etc. It was an honor to win the Eastern Division Title in football, the Campbell Conference Title in hockey, the "National League Pennant" in baseball, etc. Now only baseball's World Series retains a semblance of those rivalries. The NFL has something called "Wildcard Weekend", in which two wildcards and/or a wildcard and division champion play; and "Divisional Playoff Weekend", in which the combatants can actually be from two different divisions, or wildcards, or from the same division.

If I had my "druthers", there would be no interconference (football) or interleague (baseball) play; schedules would be heavily weighted within divisions; in the playoffs, wildcards would play the leaders of their own divisions and the winner would be the Division Champions. Division Champions would play for the League title, and League Champions would play for the World Championship. I realize that this could mean that divisional runner-ups might have better records than Champions of other divisions, but so what? Should the World Series be played between the two teams with the best records even if they're from the same league, or between the Champions of the two Leagues? RemembertheAFL

I was just going add the same point that soulpatch had already writen about here are two examples

1948 AAFC San Francisco finishes 12 and 2 behind Cleveland's 14-0 both teams are in the west. meanwhile Balt and Brooklyn finished tied 7-7 and have to play a playoff game to determine who will "lose to " I mean play Cleveland. SF played the same schedule as both Baltimore an Brooklyn and finished 5 games of ahead of each

1963 AFL San Diego wins west 11-3, Oakland finishes second in west 10-4 meanwhile in the East Boston and Buffalo finish 7-6-1 each have play a playoff game to see who will represent the east against the Chargers. Again the Raiders played the same schedule as did both Boston and Buffalo and fished 3.5 games ahead of both yet no playoffs for them.

My point is : I don't see what is necessarly so great about the balance schedule that leads to the statement "The eight-team format led to ideal scheduling." In reality a league tha is comprise of 8 teams and plays 14 games (2 times against each oppent) really does not need divisions a single division format would do.

Smith03 23:04, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. "Ideal" scheduling is clearly dependant upon what one thinks is ideal. Speaking from the standpoint of schedule creation, great arguments can be made for many different numbers of teams, divisions, and conference structures. The current NFL configuration of 8 divisions of 4 teams each is "ideal" in that every team in a division can play a divisional rival on the same weekend. Having an even number of teams is "ideal" in that every team can play on a given weekend. However, there are scheduling work arounds for all of these "ideal" situations.
The bottom line is that there is little concensus on what really is ideal because it's in the eye of the beholder on what ideal he wants to strive to achieve. Therefore I recommend to not include such a POV idea in the article. --Don Sowell 00:32, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree, and have removed that paragraph. Further, it seems much more plausible that the AFL had a balanced schedule simply due to logic. Eight teams fit nicely into 2 divisions. Unless someone can produce hard evidence that it really was part of some overall plan on the part of the league, it's nothing more than happenstance. --cholmes75 (chit chat) 19:22, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

The 1939 AFL[edit]

A point of minor correction: the 1940-1941 AFL also played in 1939. Given time, I will post its standings and team roster. -- Mark, 8 September 2006

  • Actually the AFL/APFA of 1938-39 split in 1940 as the Los Angeles Bulldogs left to become a charter member of the Pacific Coast League and three AFL/APFA teams were lured away to become charter members of a new AFL in the coming season. The AFL/APFA (which evolved from the Midwest League, not AFL II) gave up the ghost shortly afterward. (talk) 14:50, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

AFL dot com spaming[edit]

I think people who are associatied this website are using Wikipedia to promote their group. I just removed a para from the NFL which seems to be continously put back into the article. That para appears on this group website as a quote of what others are saying about the AFL. Basically implying that some neutral 3rd party thinks the AFL was so much better than the NFL.

Now I realize we are only talking about a couple of football leagues and not some hugely more important issue but spam is spam Smith03 13:56, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I made the above link into a text only link. The VP does not need to advertise them, either -- Chris 73 | Talk 15:20, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • The paragraph in question seems to be:
The official scoreboard clock, two-point conversion, player names on jerseys, network-televised games, gate and television revenue sharing, and imaginative offenses were all elements of pro football that the NFL adopted from the American Football League. Even its first modern expansion, into Minnesota and Dallas, would likely have taken years longer if it had not been precipitated by the emergence of the AFL as a serious competitor to the NFL.
The first sentence would appear to be an assertion of fact. Is it true, or not? It's a little tendentious but it seems to me to be OK if factual. The second sentence is a little iffier.
The website in question, AFLdotcom, looks like a reasonably rich and interesting resource, clearly an AFL fan site and clearly "pro-AFL." The site's counter contains only 10,000 hits, not an awful lot. However, the site doesn't seem to be selling anything, and the generally amateurish presentation (e.g. they haven't bothered to shell out $9 to one of the GoDaddies of the world for a real domain name) looks to me a like an authentic labor-of-love production.
It doesn't appear to me that anything at all is being sold on the AFLdotcom site. Spam is usually defined as unsolicited commercial email. To me, this is not an issue of spam, it's an issue of whether this is a vanity site and whether it is notable. Personally, I'd leave the link in, because the site looks as if it could be moderately enjoyable for an AFL fan.
As for the paragraph it looks to me like a case for editing, rather than removal. When faced with POV material, one of the best ways to avoid edit wars is to try to edit it so that it still presents the factual point that the contributor was trying to make, while toning down the interpretation. I don't know enough about the AFL or NFL to do this myself. What is the paragraph really trying to say? Something like this?
Fans of the AFL credit the league with pioneering important elements of American football, and complain that the NFL has done little more than copy what the AFL has done. For example, the official official scoreboard clock, two-point conversion, player names on jerseys, network-televised games, gate and television revenue sharing, and imaginative offenses were all elements of pro football that the NFL adopted from the AFL.
Just my $0.02. Dpbsmith 15:23, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the link and site are information filled but if you check all additions that these users add not only to the NFL page but other football related articles, they have an agenda that sadly I believe because it is related to a sport is not being challenged by wikipedias. this comes from there website: It gives the appearence that some other source has come up with this conculsion instead they just wrote, regardless if they are selling something or not they are using wikipedia to further their cause.

Below are excerpts from several sources on the influence that the American Football League has had on modern professional football.

From Wikipedia, on-line encyclopedia:

Some innovative rules changes were also put into place, such as the two-point conversion (later adopted by the NFL in the 1990s); the use of the scoreboard clock as the official game clock (adopted by the NFL when the leagues merged--prior to this time, the official game clock was maintained by an official on the sidelines, and often did not match the scoreboard clock very closely); the use of player names on jerseys, (also adopted by the NFL); and the sharing of gate and television revenues between home and visiting teams (also adopted by the NFL). In short, the NFL adopted virtually every pioneering aspect of the American Football League, except its name.

By the way college football had adopted the two point conversion in the late 1950s, so the AFL "borrowed" that idea from them. One could argue that the talent level in the early years of the AFL was so poor that it lead to point a minute offensives because the defenses was so poor, Someone could write on the AFL page that they borrowed from the NFL the idea of divisions and a championship game, the idea of a college draft, a post season all star game, hash marks, and seperate offensive and defense units, but that would be silly and pointless. I do believe that these users have provided a great deal of information but they have also slip in their agenda that gee the NFL really stoled everything from the AFL. I agree the AFL added a lot to modern day football but don't overstate it. Smith03 18:00, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

That seems a good rule of thumb. This phrase doesn't seem like NPOV to me: "All of these innovations pioneered by the AFL, including its more exciting style of play and colorful uniforms, have essentially made today's pro football more like the AFL than like the old-line NFL." SixFourThree (talk) 16:26, 21 February 2008 (UTC)SixFourThree
I agree, and advocate for its removal. Someone here has a pro-AFL agenda that is detrimental to the article as a whole. Sd31263 (talk) 17:11, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Dallas Cowboys rivalry[edit]

I am making the following changes to this paragraph in the "Legacy" section:

Four Three NFL franchises were awarded as a direct result of the AFL's competition with the older league: the Cowboys, who were established solely to drive the AFL Texans out of Dallas; the Vikings, who were awarded to Max Winter in exchange for dropping his bid to join the AFL; the Falcons, whose franchise went to Rankin Smith to dissuade him from purchasing the AFL's Miami Dolphins; and the Saints, because of successful anti-trust legislation supported by several Louisiana politicians, which let the two leagues merge.

The assertion doesn't make any sense. First of all, there's the unsupportable "solely," which is absurd on its face. The NFL had successfully fought off challenges from other leagues before, and at the dawn of the AFL there was no reason for them to believe that this new league would be any more of a threat than the others. Second of all, the Cowboys were awarded an NFL franchise in January, 1960. The franchise was in the works for at least some time before that, since the owner of the Redskins had tried to prevent it. That Hunt was not able to secure a franchise in Dallas and another group was does not mean that the NFL was so threatened by this new league before it even started playing that they wanted to "drive" a club out of anywhere. --Chancemichaels 17:18, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Chancemichaels

The line was put back in by anonymous user without comment. I have deleted it again, if anyone can support its inclusion please cite it here before changing the original article again. --Chancemichaels 17:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)Chancemichaels
It's better now, but still implies that the Cowboys were placed in Dallas to stave off the Texans, which doesn't seem to match up with the timeline above. I'm going to remove the reference. SixFourThree (talk) 16:28, 21 February 2008 (UTC)SixFourThree
Except that that's exactly what happened. There's a new book coming out from Houghton-Mifflin, summer of 2012: John Eisenberg, Ten-Gallon War: The NFL's Cowboys, the AFL's Texans, and the Feud for Dallas's Pro Football Future. I'm involved in its production, so I've read it already. Can't quote from it yet, though. Editors following this page should take a look at it when it comes out. (And no, this is not a commercial hype. I recommend you get it from your local library!) --Michael K SmithTalk 23:47, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Read History[edit]

"The American Football League", by Ed Gruver, "Going Long", by Jeff Miller, If You Can't Join'em, Beat'em", by Sal Maiorana, and other histories and contemporary media accounts are all clear that in 1959, Lamar Hunt wanted an NFL team in Dallas, either by relocation or expansion, and that he was roundly rebuffed by the NFL owners. Many NFL owners were quoted as saying that the NFL was not interested in expansion at that time. After the absorption of the AAFC in 1950, the NFL had 13 teams, including the New York Yanks and the Baltimore Colts. In 1951, the league dropped the Colts to become a 12-team league. In 1952, it dropped the Colts and added a team in Dallas. After one year, it dropped Dallas and added a Baltimore team once more. From then through 1959, the NFL was a 12-team league, actually smaller than it had been ten seasons earlier. Then the AFL showed that it was for real, and after ten years of avoiding expansion, the NFL suddenly decided to place a team in Dallas. Its purpose WAS solely to drive the AFL's Texans out, and it succeeded. I was on this earth to actually see AAFC and AFL games, and to follow and analyze Pro Football as it was happening, first hand. I don't know if any of my Wikipedia critics can say the same. The NFL was dragged kicking and screaming into the era of modern Professional Football. The "dragee" was the NFL. The "dragger" was the American Football League. If it had just "copied" the NFL game, the field, the stripes, the hash-marks, etc., I admit, the AFL would have simply been a duplicate of the other league. The point is that it introduced innovations in on-field play, uniforms, scoring, time-keeping, TV coverage, revenue sharing, and even playing field markings, not to mention adding two of its own expansion teams and being the root cause of four NFL expansion teams. I believe it is not unreasonable to state that none of that would have happened as soon, if at all, if the NFL had just sat there by itself in 1960, fat and happy and hidebound with its 12 "old-line" teams. SugnuSicilianu (talk) 23:01, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Style of play vesus the NFL[edit]

I was always told that the AFL was a pass happy league with wild scores (35-28, for example) while the NFL was a conservative, run the ball, play good defense type a league. There is no mention of this in this article. It would be interesting if someone would expound on this in the article.

Read the new "Style of Play" section SugnuSicilianu (talk) 23:01, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


I don't think this is an A-class article. I'm not sure if this would pass WP:GA. The page has images that violate copyright and no free images. There are some sections that could use citations like "legacy" and "black players". The end seems very listy with the standings which shouldn't be in the main article.++aviper2k7++ 03:53, 29 May 2007 (UTC) Bold text

The first three AFLs[edit]

Each of the first three AFLs deserves its own article, particularly the first one (1926) as its champion, the Philadelphia Quakers actually competed against the New York Giants that year. Red Grange's New York Yankees team, runner-ups in the AFL's only season, joined the NFL the following year. Eddie Tryon was a star in his own right that year.

The 1936-1937 AFL also had its noteworthiness. While the NFL and the earlier AFL had teams nominally in Los Angeles (they were traveling teams), the Los Angeles Bulldogs (1937 AFL champions) were the first major league professional football team to play their home games there and were the first pro football team to win its league championship with a perfect season (9-0). The Cleveland Rams competed for one year in the AFL (1936) before jumping to the NFL. The same year, the AFL also had a New York Yankees franchise; one named the Cincinnati Bengals joined the league in 1937. The league disbanded in 1938.

In 1940, another American Football League formed from the ashes of a short-lived minor league of the same name. A survivor of the minor league, the Columbus Bullies presaged the dominance of the (later) AAFC by the Cleveland Browns by winning titles in both years of the AFL's existence, losing only two games in the process. Tom Harmon was the league's primary star, with John Kimbrough having his share of headlines. As with the previous two AFLs, the NFL, and the (later) All-America Football Conference, the third AFL had standings listing the New York Yankees (in 1940; they became the New York Americans in 1941). Unfortunately, the onset of World War II killed the league.

I hope this helps... (talk) 00:55, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree. Each AFL was a separate league--I don't think they were officially tied together. Daddy6900 (talk) 10:06, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I also agree.

I don't "think" they were officially tied together, I know there was no connection betwen them and the modern American Football League (1960-1969). The "1940-1941" league, which actually started play in 1939, should be presented on a separate page, as should the 1926 AFL and the 1936-1937 AFL. Otherwise, those leagues may be confused with the American Football League (1960-1969), which, according to the NFL itself (on NFL-licensed products by Reebok) was "THE GENESIS OF MODERN PRO FOOTBALL", and should be treated separately on its own page. The only reference to them on the main American Football League (1960-1969) page should be links to their own separate pages.

I also agree - the various leagues should be split into their own articles, having nothing in common but a name. Maybe we need a disambig page to help keep them all straight, as well. SixFourThree (talk) 16:21, 21 February 2008 (UTC)SixFourThree
Redlinks for the second and third AFL have been added to the Professional Football Leagues in North America template (American Football League (1926) is a redirect). So all that's needed is some movement and filling out... well-referenced, of course. (talk) 02:31, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Count me in as well. Although I am now semiretired (this is my first edit in about 2 months), I might be able to come up with something as a decent start. Working on the beginning of a American Football League (1926) article now, but with only two sources (where's my 1956 Encyclopedia of Sports by Menke?), it will definitely need "beefing up" and additional resources. Also, once I get it posted, I'll need someone to get the citation set up to the current method as I know only a couple of methods that are apparently obsolete. B.Wind (talk) 07:17, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
First one's up. It shows an IP in the history, but I'm the guilty party as my computer is having problems hanging onto cookies. Will someone please double-check for typos and see if we can add a few online citations. I found a couple in Google books, but I'll have to get back to it at another time. B.Wind (talk) 11:21, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Second one's up, but not nearly enough information about the players, teams, or records. Again, it's a start, and I've noticed that the materials that satisfy WP:V and WP:RS are much harder to come by for the latter two AFLs. B.Wind (talk) 04:05, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I added the 1940s version. As above, it's skimpy now but we should be able to flesh it out. That's the last one, so I'm going to delete the information from this article. SixFourThree (talk) 21:26, 29 February 2008 (UTC)SixFourThree


This article still seems to have a decided pro-AFL bias. I think it needs some re-working to eliminate. SixFourThree (talk) 20:47, 22 February 2008 (UTC)SixFourThree

AFL Championship Games[edit]

Error. The Oakland Raiders appear in the wrong ("Eastern Division") color on the 1969 line. That final AFL championship involved crossover playoffs, and indeed featured two Westerm Division teams. WHPratt (talk) 18:48, 16 April 2009 (UTC) Added: I guess they also need a "(2)" added. WHPratt (talk) 14:16, 17 April 2009 (UTC) Or, if the idea is to show the divisional champions, then, put Oakland in pink, and the New York Jets in blue with a footnote that the K.C. Chiefs usurped the Jets' playoff spot in the interdivional playoff round. WHPratt (talk) 13:16, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


I have restored the infobox that was deleted and substed way way back. Please check the contents. Ideally migrate to a better infobox. Rich Farmbrough, 22:38, 29 August 2009 (UTC).

Non-free file problems with File:AmericanFootballLeague.png[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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