Click on the logo for the American Football League

BUT FIRST:

         Lance Alworth, Bobby Bell, Elvin Bethea, Fred Biletnikoff, Willie Brown, Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Ken Houston, Charlie Joiner, Willie Lanier, Floyd Little, Larry Little, Don Maynard, Ron Mix, Joe Namath, Jim Otto, Billy Shaw, Art Shell, Jan Stenerud, Emmitt Thomas: along with the late Junious (Buck) Buchanan, George Blanda and Gene Upshaw, you all starred in the American Football League.  

        In spite of long odds and the aspersions cast at the AFL, you have achieved Professional Football's greatest honor, induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

         I respectfully ask that each of you reflect on the great team-mates who shared the field with you, as well as the worthy opponents you faced in those AFL years.  Many of them ALSO deserve to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but have unfairly been categorized as having played in an inferior league. 

         These include, but are not limited to
Johnny Robinson, who has better statistics and more championships than some other defensive backs of his era who have been enshrined - Robinson should have been inducted in 1977, as soon as he was eligible; Abner Haynes (All-time AFL all-purpose yards), Gino Cappelletti (All-time AFL scoring), John Hadl, half of that tremendous aerial attack with Alworth, Lionel Taylor (first receiver in Professional Football history to catch 100 passes in a season), Charlie Hennigan (first to break Taylor's record, held many Professional Football receiving records for 35 years after his retirement), and Daryle Lamonica (2nd-best to Otto Graham in won-lost percentage).  I could name many more who have been excluded because they played in the wrong league.

        I ask that you, the AFL Alumni in the Hall of Fame, as a group, lobby that institution to emulate the Baseball Hall of Fame's action when it recognized an injustice and inducted a number of Negro Leagues players at the same time

        If "senior" players can be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame only two at a time, it is unlikely that many of those deserving AFL stars will be inducted before they die.

        I ask that the AFL Alumni Hall of Famers request that the Pro Football Hall of Fame, before it's too late, assemble a special selection committee of former sportswriters who covered the AFL, and charge them with the task of fairly evaluating the merits of all those unrecognized AFL stars, with the goal of inducting A NUMBER of them, en masse.  It would have been nice to have done this for the AFL's 50th Anniversary Season, but better late than never.

         Thanks, Ange Coniglio ~ REMEMBER the AFL