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Battle For Professional Football


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A young businessman, Lamar Hunt, tried to get a NFL team in Dallas. When the NFL declined him he started up the AFL. The NFL and AFL teams never met, until the first World Championship, latter known as the Super Bowl. The NFL dominated the AFL in World Champions, until Joe Namath and the Jets. The NFL thought that the AFL was a small league that would never last and would change professional football forever.

The AFL wasn’t formed to compete with the NFL and was behind the vision of Lamar Hunt. The AFL brought football to many cities that didn’t have football before. Many teams formed in part of the AFL. The battle over football in Dallas resulted in the Dallas Cowboys being formed and paying Lamar Hunt to relocate his team somewhere else. This move resulted in the Kansas City Chiefs. The AFL signed many black people looking at small and black colleges. The AFL also signed Tom Williams as the first all time black scout. Many NFL rejects had a good career in the AFL. A huge name from the NFL rejects is Len Dawson, who played in the last AFL game and led his Chiefs past the Minnesota Vikings. The Canadian Football League was another source of free agency in the AFL.

The NFL in the 1960s was around for forty years before AFL was created. The NFL in the 1960s added four teams, the Cowboys, Vikings, Falcons, and Saints. The NFL had broadcasting rights with CBS. Instead of having cameramen down on the field they just had a camera at the 50 yard line. Finally, in 1966 the two leagues agreed on a merger so that the winners of the NFL and AFL championship play each other in the World Championship Game. The game featured the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers won the battle 35-10 and Bart Starr won the MVP award.

The World Championship was later renamed the Super Bowl. In the second Super Bowl Green Bay beat the Oakland Raiders. Then a huge surprise happened in Super Bowl III. The New York Jets came into the game an eighteen point underdog against the heavily favored Colts. If the Jets couldn’t win the AFL, NFL merger in a twenty-six team league with ten last place teams the AFL teams would have no revenue.
Well, Joe Namath guaranteed a victory and the Jets won 34-7. This win helped guarantee the AFL teams have a good future. The last game before the NFL merger was Super Bowl 4 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. It was ironic that the last AFL game was with the team whose owner created the AFL. That last game was won by the Chiefs and Len Dawson, a NFL reject, won the Super Bowl MVP award.

The AFL helped create great matchups and improve the league. The longest game happened in 1971 and was between two AFL teams. The AFL was also the first league to include names on the back of player’s jersey. Also, without the AFL there wouldn’t be a Super Bowl. This is how this little league changed how you see professional football today.



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