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Old 02-15-2019, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago
5,324 posts, read 6,210,553 times
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Throughout the 20th, the National League and American League were huge. Extremely important. They were the Major Leagues, but they were not MLB which didnít yet exist. Each league was its own organizational, winning their penants was a big thing.

When this century began, book h the NL and AL were desolced. They were no longer leagues, but they kept their names.

Football followed a different route. For the first half of the 20th century, pro sports revolved baseball. Nothing like it. Football came of age in the 1959s. The popularity of the NFL lead to competition from a new league, the AFL, bringing the game to cities with no teams.

In the 1960s, he rise of the AFL lead to its absobion into the NFL with the two rival leagues being turned into conferences, NFC and AFC. It was this modelĒ some 40 yeas later that defined how NL and AL became MLB.

Despite the fact that the NL was older, the senior circuit to the ALís junior circuit, the 20th century was virtually with parity. They faced each other as equals. And eachís long history make them mean so much to their fans.

A different dynamic defined football. The NFL was establishment, the AFC the outsiders. The NFL not only had tradition, it had the best cities. Unlike the majors, this wasnít an even playing field.

The 21st century has been different. One baseball league. One football league. And in a short number of years, eqch baseball team will havebplayed aganst all the other 29. The NFL is different, but it has numerous interconference games as well.

With each sport, teqms could be swaped from on league/conference to another. The Brewers and Astros swapped leagues. The Seahawks went frmmAFC to NFL

So that brings me to my quesrion: do these former leagues, NL, AL, NFC, AFC still have any realvrelvance to the fans?
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:00 PM
 
16,370 posts, read 20,550,628 times
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Good idea for a thread! IMO-----

For a long time the NFL/AFL situation absolutely had relevance. But the older people get, the less the newer fan really cares. I hate to come to that conclusion, but the average NFL fan of today looks at a journeyman NFL player being paid 600K a year. But humble beginnings? They have no idea how humble things were. No doubt of that.

The NFL got its start on an official basis, I'd guess you would say, around 1920. Adding clubs to the league wasn't something that a lot of owners wanted. remember, the AAFC (All American Football Conference) gave the NFL a run for its money around 1946, stayed at 8 teams in 1948, and unfortunately folded its tent after the 1949 season. A few clubs were able to join the NFL (Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and the Baltimore Colts), the rest of the teams folded and the players found their way to the NFL clubs, some of them anyway.

Lamar Hunt made the scene around 1958 or so. At that time he wanted to get involved as an NFL owner; at that time the only club that had an owner who gave thought to selling would be Will Wolford, who owned the Chicago Cardinals. As he talked to different owners it was related to him that a few other cities were inquiring about having an expansion team in their cities. Nothing became of that.

But Hunt had a thought-"damn, there's these other cities who want an NFL franchise and they are being shown the door by the NFL owners, well how about creating a new league?" He had known Bud Adams, a Houston oil man who like Hunt had bucks to work with-lots of them. By the Fall of 1959, the league announced eight cities that were to have teams in this new league-the American Football League; Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis, Denver, Buffalo, New York, Boston, and Houston. Seeing this, the NFL and Commissioner Bert Bell went to work. They immediately announced that two new expansion clubs would start; Dallas Cowboys in 1960, and Minnesota Vikings in 1961. The message was simple; the NFL wanted to sink the AFL before they even could start their first season. Hunt stood firm with his Dallas Texans, the Minnesota franchise moved to Oakland. So they started with eight, it was important to keep four teams in each division for the sake of scheduling balance, seven couldn't work, it had to be eight.

The first few years were pretty dicey with some clubs as Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego and the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs. The New York Titans were sold to Sonny Werblin and were renamed the Jets. By 1962 the Oakland franchise was in deep doodoo and about to be taken over by the league but Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson stepped up and lent the Raiders owner $400,000 to cover salaries and other expenses until the ownership issue got resolved. That caught the NFL by surprise because as far as they were concerned the league had two rich guys (Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams) and not much of anything else. Right about the same time Harry Wismer was losing his shirt. The New York Titans had become the club who told their players"cash your checks before they start bouncing." That was a fact. After the 1963 season David "Sonny" Werblin bought the club. He was behind the MCA Corporation (Music Corporation of America). He had a lot of clout in the entertainment business. Among his clients was Jackie Gleason, Alfred Hitchcock, and Johnny Carson.

The NFL despised the AFL but when the AFL landed a huge TV contract with NBC they knew the AFL was staying, no matter what. In fact, the one NFL owner who hit it on the head regarding NBC was Steelers owner Art Rooney who said "They don't have to call us Mister anymore."

I'll talk about the players bidding war tomorrow but a quick note here--people wondered where the AFL was getting their players to start the 1960 season. Well, they signed players from the Canadian Football League, for openers. Those players had been cut by various NFL clubs, went to Canada to make a living playing football, then took off season jobs. Lots of recently retired and waived NFL players came on board, and there were players who were drafted by the AFL that signed with the AFL clubs. Probably the first one that had a real name to him was LSU's Heisman Trophy winner, Billy Cannon. He went to Houston, Bud Adams paid him well. He was good player, not a great player though, but he was a big name, that name had star power to it.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,324 posts, read 6,210,553 times
Reputation: 4862
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
Good idea for a thread! IMO-----

For a long time the NFL/AFL situation absolutely had relevance. But the older people get, the less the newer fan really cares. I hate to come to that conclusion, but the average NFL fan of today looks at a journeyman NFL player being paid 600K a year. But humble beginnings? They have no idea how humble things were. No doubt of that.

The NFL got its start on an official basis, I'd guess you would say, around 1920. Adding clubs to the league wasn't something that a lot of owners wanted. remember, the AAFC (All American Football Conference) gave the NFL a run for its money around 1946, stayed at 8 teams in 1948, and unfortunately folded its tent after the 1949 season. A few clubs were able to join the NFL (Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and the Baltimore Colts), the rest of the teams folded and the players found their way to the NFL clubs, some of them anyway.

Lamar Hunt made the scene around 1958 or so. At that time he wanted to get involved as an NFL owner; at that time the only club that had an owner who gave thought to selling would be Will Wolford, who owned the Chicago Cardinals. As he talked to different owners it was related to him that a few other cities were inquiring about having an expansion team in their cities. Nothing became of that.

But Hunt had a thought-"damn, there's these other cities who want an NFL franchise and they are being shown the door by the NFL owners, well how about creating a new league?" He had known Bud Adams, a Houston oil man who like Hunt had bucks to work with-lots of them. By the Fall of 1959, the league announced eight cities that were to have teams in this new league-the American Football League; Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis, Denver, Buffalo, New York, Boston, and Houston. Seeing this, the NFL and Commissioner Bert Bell went to work. They immediately announced that two new expansion clubs would start; Dallas Cowboys in 1960, and Minnesota Vikings in 1961. The message was simple; the NFL wanted to sink the AFL before they even could start their first season. Hunt stood firm with his Dallas Texans, the Minnesota franchise moved to Oakland. So they started with eight, it was important to keep four teams in each division for the sake of scheduling balance, seven couldn't work, it had to be eight.

The first few years were pretty dicey with some clubs as Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego and the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs. The New York Titans were sold to Sonny Werblin and were renamed the Jets. By 1962 the Oakland franchise was in deep doodoo and about to be taken over by the league but Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson stepped up and lent the Raiders owner $400,000 to cover salaries and other expenses until the ownership issue got resolved. That caught the NFL by surprise because as far as they were concerned the league had two rich guys (Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams) and not much of anything else. Right about the same time Harry Wismer was losing his shirt. The New York Titans had become the club who told their players"cash your checks before they start bouncing." That was a fact. After the 1963 season David "Sonny" Werblin bought the club. He was behind the MCA Corporation (Music Corporation of America). He had a lot of clout in the entertainment business. Among his clients was Jackie Gleason, Alfred Hitchcock, and Johnny Carson.

The NFL despised the AFL but when the AFL landed a huge TV contract with NBC they knew the AFL was staying, no matter what. In fact, the one NFL owner who hit it on the head regarding NBC was Steelers owner Art Rooney who said "They don't have to call us Mister anymore."

I'll talk about the players bidding war tomorrow but a quick note here--people wondered where the AFL was getting their players to start the 1960 season. Well, they signed players from the Canadian Football League, for openers. Those players had been cut by various NFL clubs, went to Canada to make a living playing football, then took off season jobs. Lots of recently retired and waived NFL players came on board, and there were players who were drafted by the AFL that signed with the AFL clubs. Probably the first one that had a real name to him was LSU's Heisman Trophy winner, Billy Cannon. He went to Houston, Bud Adams paid him well. He was good player, not a great player though, but he was a big name, that name had star power to it.
you're too kind....especially in light of the fact I wrote it on my iPad, not my iMac.....big mistake.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,324 posts, read 6,210,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
Good idea for a thread! IMO-----


But Hunt had a thought-"damn, there's these other cities who want an NFL franchise and they are being shown the door by the NFL owners, well how about creating a new league?" He had known Bud Adams, a Houston oil man who like Hunt had bucks to work with-lots of them. By the Fall of 1959, the league announced eight cities that were to have teams in this new league-the American Football League; Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis, Denver, Buffalo, New York, Boston, and Houston. Seeing this, the NFL and Commissioner Bert Bell went to work. They immediately announced that two new expansion clubs would start; Dallas Cowboys in 1960, and Minnesota Vikings in 1961. .
So what you offer up is really another similarity between the major leagues and the NFL. In 1958, New York lost both its NL franchises when the Giants and Dodgers moved west. Only the Yankees remained. The logical and warranted desire for NY to get back into the NL, plus the number of cities in the burgeoning west and south that wanted in the major leagues led to the formation of the Continental League.

This organization which touted itself as the third major league would give New York a second franchise. The rest of the league was composed of cities outside of the majors: Houston, Toronto, Denver, M/SP, D/FW, Atlanta, and Buffalo.

And while that league never played a game (unlike the 5 or 6 year run of the AAFC), it affected MLB every bit as much as the AFL affected the NFL. To combat these interlopers from violating what they saw as their property rights, the NL and AL decided to fight back by picking CL slated cities to get new NL or AL franchises. For the NL, that meant the New York Mets and the Houston Colt 45s (today's Astros). For the AL, double team status was given to explosively growing LA in the form of the Angels. Washington got an expansion team, too....make that Senators two as part of the deal allowed the original Senators to do what they wanted to do....leave Washington for the Twin Cities (which they did and become...um....can't seem to remember the name of that team. to be replaced by the second group of Senators.

Both the AAFC and the CL occurred in the same mid-point of the 20th century era...and both addressed the issue of expanding both sports from their northeast US quadrant (for the first half of the 20th century, the St. Louis Cardinals were the only team west of the Mississippi and, considering their location, an incredibly powerful batter along the lines of Paul Bunyan might have been able to smack a ball out of the park as it flies over the city, the river, and into Illinois on the east side.

Now I get to brag about the honor of my home town. Between the time when the Giants and Dodgers moved west to the time when the LA Angels started to play (a three year era...1958, 1959, 1960), Chicago alone had franchises in the NL and AL. Chicago remains the only city that always, every year had NL and AL teams throughout league history. And since league history ended around the turn of this century, Chicago is the only city that has two MLB franchises that were there for the start of the major league era....so its history in the NL and AL is frozen and that honor is for eternity.

More still: during that part of that era (1958-59), Chicago alone had two teams in the majors (Cubs, White Sox) and two in the NFL (Bears, Cardinals), all four of which are among the oldest franchises in their respective sports. (the Cardinals never really could compete with the Bears and, this being the era of the onset of the AFL, the NFL was interested in picking off cities to keep the AFL out...and the Cardinals were allowed to bring St. Louis into the fold). Timing, I guess, hurt Chicago. The NFL's true coming of age was in the late 1950s, being the first to break the monopoly the majors had on the public's attention. With pro-football on the rise, I would think, the Cards would have had more value and more support and quite likely be in the city today. If I remember, the AFL had some plans for a franchise in Chicago franchise that would play in Dyche Stadium (Ryan Field) on the Northwestern campus in Evanston. I believe that was a rather brief and not overly serious prospect. In fact, through googling, I found no mention of this, lost in the dust pan of history. I also think there was another factor in the Cards move: the 1950s was the start of the NFL on tv and while I don't remember the specifics of the league's agreement with CBS, I'm fairly sure the way it was structured would have made it impossible to be carried out in a two team town (Chicago being the only one)...so I suspect broadcasting was part of the reason the Cards left.

So now I say something virtually no Chicagoan would say (they being of the highly partisan variety):

GO CUBS! GO SOX!

Last edited by edsg25; 02-16-2019 at 07:10 AM..
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,324 posts, read 6,210,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
The first few years were pretty dicey with some clubs as Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego and the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs.
only in America (or only in LA....take your pick):

Los Angeles Chargers > San Diego Chargers > Los Angeles Chargers

Oakland Raiders > Los Angeles Raiders > Oakland Raiders
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:23 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,348 posts, read 822,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post

GO CUBS! GO SOX!

You weren't born in Chicago, were you?




There was no World Series in 1904-- John McGraw refused to recognize the "outlaw" American League. ...There was always a difference in play between the NL & AL- NL was a "curve ball league" and the AL the "fastball league' until the 80s or so. AL also adopted the slugger -style as opposed to small-ball early on.


NFL- Not enough good talent to go around in 1960 when the AFL started up. They remained weak sisters for a decade or more. (NY SuperBowl win in '69 was obviously fixed to give impression of parity for business reasons. GB had clobbered it's opponents in I & II with 2nd & 3rd strings. Another NFL win would have sunk the $ Billion deal. Lack of parity is why NFL teams were switched to AFL back then.


Re: "Importance"---Great line from Tom Landry after winning SuperBowl VI-- asked by a reporter if this was the most important thing in the world, Landry looked at the reporter like he was stupid and said, "Well, considering there's 600 million Chinamen who've never even heard of football, no, it's not very important at all."
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Chicago
5,324 posts, read 6,210,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
You weren't born in Chicago, were you?




There was no World Series in 1904-- John McGraw refused to recognize the "outlaw" American League. ...There was always a difference in play between the NL & AL- NL was a "curve ball league" and the AL the "fastball league' until the 80s or so. AL also adopted the slugger -style as opposed to small-ball early on.


NFL- Not enough good talent to go around in 1960 when the AFL started up. They remained weak sisters for a decade or more. (NY SuperBowl win in '69 was obviously fixed to give impression of parity for business reasons. GB had clobbered it's opponents in I & II with 2nd & 3rd strings. Another NFL win would have sunk the $ Billion deal. Lack of parity is why NFL teams were switched to AFL back then.


Re: "Importance"---Great line from Tom Landry after winning SuperBowl VI-- asked by a reporter if this was the most important thing in the world, Landry looked at the reporter like he was stupid and said, "Well, considering there's 600 million Chinamen who've never even heard of football, no, it's not very important at all."
Definitely an outlier!!!!!

Weren't the first two match-ups in football (1) NFL vs. AFL (not NFC vs. AFC) and (2) not called the Super Bowl (I forgot what it was called.) First one was in the Coliseum, right? And it certainly wasn't a big deal for the Packers because the game that counted for them was the NFL championship (and what was to follow a foregone conclusion)

You were so right about the early talent in the AFL/AFC. It did take Jets to start the turnaround.

As for "Lack of parity is why NFL teams were switched to AFL back then." wasn't it mostly about evening the number of teams in each conference?
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:52 PM
 
16,370 posts, read 20,550,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
only in America (or only in LA....take your pick):

Los Angeles Chargers > San Diego Chargers > Los Angeles Chargers

Oakland Raiders > Los Angeles Raiders > Oakland Raiders
It was kind of an easy decision for Barron Hilton to move his Chargers franchise to San Diego. Playing in the L.A. Coliseum, they're average attendance per game was around 17,000 with the exception of their last home game against the Denver Broncos. That game pulled in a grand total of 9928 fans. Clearly Hilton had to make a decision there. Back then, San Diego was doing a quickie expansion to Balboa Stadium, in fact IIRC they started working on extra bleachers and an upper deck during the 1960 season. Their average went up 50% and in fact a few games they pulled in 33,000 plus for home games.

In the AFL's early years San Diego was playing for a league championship for the first six years with the exception of the 1962 season. One of the things that gave the Chargers credibility right off the get go was naming Sid Gilman head coach who several years earlier was the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams. Gilman had an eye for undrafted players who blossomed (Paul Lowe), outbid the NFL for great players (Lance Alworth), and even though the Chiefs and the Raiders caught up with them by 1966, the Chargers still had winning records for the duration of the American Football League.

The Raiders were a different story. They originally were to be set up in Minneapolis but the NFL awarded a franchise there. In their first year the Raiders played in either Kezar Stadium or Candlestick Park in San Francisco, just whatever was available. They found a home for a few years and played in Frank Youell Field in Oakland which only seated about 21,000. I think of the Raider fans being done wrong in the late 1970's with the Raiders winning the super Bowls in the 1976 and 1980 seasons. A Monday Night game with the Raiders playing the Pittsburgh Steelers to a sold out crowd of 52000 plus and the cameras were panning the crowd and every one was holding a sign saying "Save Our Raiders." And Howard Cosell had a lot to say that night, that's for sure.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:09 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,348 posts, read 822,053 times
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOjJ...layer_embedded


The "real" NFL team won 4 of first 6 Super Bowls and one of the two losses sure looks like the fix was in. Watch the highlight film and you decide. It looked to me at the time like the Colts were beating the snot out of the Jets and could have embarrassed them and polish them off at any time, but the script wouldn't allow it...Pretty easy to effect a fix in football- QB is so important-- an over-thrown pass or unwise target every so often is easy to hide. The Jets really looked over-matched.


Actually, original NFL teams won 25 of first 35 SBs, but that's kinda meaningless given that pro careers only average 3 yrs, so 35 yrs represents many generations.


REAL Chicagoans can't like both the Cubs & Sox-- that's for the Millennial Snowflakes. In fact, as a Cardinal fan, I just couldn't bring myself to become a Bear fan in '59 when the Cards left town. I became a Packer fan-- and it turned out that was a real good time to make the switch.


BTW- I always said George Halas was an important factor in the success of two pro football leagues: he, of course, was an original in the NFL, but he was largely responsible for the success of the start-up AFL, too. They needed to scoop a head-liner from the NFL for credibility, and Halas was too cheap to pay George Blanda what he was worth as either one of the premier QBs of the NFL, or as a punter, or as a top-notch place kicker, let alone for all three. He jumped leagues and that gave the new league the star they needed.

Last edited by guidoLaMoto; 02-16-2019 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:57 AM
 
12,587 posts, read 6,556,298 times
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In 2019, Leagues, Conferences, and Divisions exist to create rivalries. The division teams meet frequently. There are rivalries between the top teams in the Conference/League.

I’m Boston. The Red Sox-Yankees have always been a huge rivalry. The Evil Empire and The Evil Empire Junior with the big payrolls. Even with interleague, the NL is mostly invisible. The Patriots have had rivalries with the other conference power teams because they play once in the regular season and often meet in the playoffs. All those Peyton Manning Colts games. The Pittsburgh games. It’s tough to get worked up about Cleveland every 3rd year or Detroit every 4th year.
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