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AFL FANS: There is no fan like an American Football League fan.  We withstood the slings and arrows of the nfl and its sycophantic media lackeys claiming it was a Mickey Mouse league.  We reveled in the victories by the Jets and Chiefs over two overrated nfl champions in the last two AFL-nfl World Championship Games.  We commiserated with each other when star-struck AFL owners rejected Al Davis' courageous fight and gave up the name, logo and heritage of the league that was the genesis of modern Professional Football, the American Football League.  We still root for former AFL teams whenever they play old-line nfl squads, and look forward to Super Bowls won by members of the old AFL.

I hope to add here the names of true American Football League fans I have become acquainted with over the years.

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DAVE ORR

 David J. Orr was my next door neighbor in the early sixties, living with his wife Doris and kids Jim, Patti and Susan, between our home and that of Ernie and Louise Warlick.

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There are not many men whose passion for the Buffalo Bills and the American Football League matched my own.
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One such person was Dave, whose friendship lasted long after he moved away.   Dave and I agonized over every Bills loss, and we celebrated each victory with gusto.
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Together we watched the Coniglio's new 24-inch RCA color television console, as the New York Jets defeated the overrated nfl entry in the Third AFL-nfl World Championship Game, bringing the title to the American Football League and all its long-suffering fans.  We exulted in that victory as though it had been our own home-town Bulls who had won the game.
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From his hand-made AFL t-shirts, to the AFL mini-helmet collection in his basement, Dave was an American Football League fan through and through.

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A member of the
American Football League Hall of Fame

 


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ANGIE CONIGLIO

My high school sweetheart, and now my wife of 55 years, Angela Bongiovanni Coniglio was with me at the final 1965 regular season Buffalo Bills home game against the Chiefs on 12 December 1965.
She was 8-1/2 months pregnant with our daughter Angela.  Our GP, Doctor Jim Hurley, had seats directly behind us in the Rockpile.  Just after Ed Rutkowski scored on a 47-yard pass from Jack Kemp, Dr. Hurley leaned forward and said "Angie, if you go into labor before this game ends, I'm not leaving."
       
Angie turned to him and said: "Neither am I!"  That's a small example of her devotion to the Buffalo Bills and the American Football League. 
(The fact that Daryle Lamonica was so good-looking may have had something to do with it.)  Angie still shares my passion for the team and the league.  She put up with my rants against the media hacks who put down the Bills and the AFL; she proof-read my countless letters to the editor, AFL owners and officials, Alvin Rozelle, etc., etc.  She collected and preserved AFL memorabilia, like a pristine, mint set of the 1960 Topps AFL football cards, and the classic 1965 Topps "long-boys" which include Joe Namath's rookie card.  Much of the content of remembertheafl.com is due to Angie's preservation of those ephemeral items.     

She has kept the faith all these years, rooting for former AFL teams (except when they play the Bills) and sitting by my side for all the Bills games in all those seasons, whether at home games, road games, or on TV.  She knows the difference between a 3-4 and a 4-3, can name every player on the Bills' 1964 and 1965 AFL Championship teams, and by the way, she cooks a mean baked eggplant!

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The FIRST female member of the
American Football League Hall of Fame

 

More about Angie HERE

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DAVE STEIDEL

 Dave Steidel is from the unlikeliest place for an American Football League fan: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Eagles and NFL country. 

.   But as a boy, he bought a pack of what he thought were NFL 'bubble gum cards' that turned out to be Fleer's 1960 edition of the first American Football League trading cards.  That started a love affair with the American Football League that led to Dave's authorship of the book 'The Ultimate Fan's Guide to the American Football League: Remember the AFL'.
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   The book sold out and is on the wish list of every true AFL fan.  It covers every AFL team in every year, 1960 through 1969, of the AFL's existence.  With action photos, many in color; reproductions of AFL's football cards; interesting trivia quizzes; and analysis of each team's on-field exploits.
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    Not satisfied with just ONE AFL book, Dave has another due for publication in November 2015: 'The Uncrowned Champs: How the 1963 Chargers would have won the Super Bowl'
.  When Dave was approached by NFL Films to appear in Showtime's television series 'Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League', he was a moving force that convinced them to contact me to be in the program as well.

 

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A member of the
American Football League Hall of Fame

 


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TODD TOBIAS

Todd Tobias is a lifelong fan of the San Diego Chargers and the American Football League.  Living in California, he has forged friendships with many former Chargers, and interviewed them for

'Charging Through the AFL'.   It chronicles from the team's inception and first year in Los Angeles, through the move to San Diego, explaining how the AFL's Chargers brought a wide-open style of play to Professional Football, and changed the game forever with a passing attack that is the basis of the modern-day West Coast Offense.
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    It includes many never-before published photos, game summaries and interviews with former Charger players and coaches, from the Chargers' years in the American Football League years before the nfl owners asked to merge with the league that was the genesis of modern Professional Football.  Sid Gillman, John Hadl, Ron Mix, Earl Faison, Ernie Ladd and many more tell of football and life during the most important decade in Profesional Football history.

Todd now runs the best AFL blog on the internet:  'Tales From the American Football League', filled with images of AFL players, pennants, uniforms and other memorabilia, comments from AFL fans and former players, great AFL articles by himself and links to other AFL stories on line.

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A member of the
American Football League Hall of Fame

 


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ANGE CONIGLIO

I must admit, I AM one of the American Football League's greatest fans.  That 'fanship' was kindled ten years before the AFL was formed, in 1950, when the All-America Football Conference died.

   The Buffalo Bills of the AAFC were the second-best team in that league, always being beaten out by the perennial champions, the Cleveland Browns.  But it was MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTBALL in Buffalo, and as a youth I got to see several games, attending with my older sisters.
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    The nfl pooh-poohed the AAFC, just as it would later deride the AFL, and forced it out of existence.  Even though the Buffalo franchise had sufficient financial backing, the nfl refused it admittance, saying 'Buffalo is not a major league town'.  I guess I've disliked the other league ever since.  I was tickled when the nfl-called 'minor league' Browns won the nfl title in their first year in the league, and dominated that league for several years thereafter, proving that the AAFC WAS a Major League.
   I was even happier when the AFL was formed and Buffalo was granted a franchise.  As they had done with the AAFC, the nfl and its sycophantic writers tried to paint the AFL (when they mentioned it at all) as inferior to the old league.

     That was despite the fact that the AFL's best teams were as good as the good nfl teams, and its poor teams were no worse than the dogs of the old league.  But, as Hitler said, "Tell a lie often enough, and people will believe it."
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    The nfl (much like today) had so bamboozled the media that its put-downs of the new league went unchallenged.  So AFL teams, players and fans suffered years of insults and intentional neglect by the sports media, neglect that continues today by 'pro football' Hall of Fame selectors.  Such treatment only made me MORE of an AFL fan.
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* In 1964 I wrote to all Professional Football team owners, urging them to hold a championship game between AFL and nfl champions.  (Only three nfl owners responded: Art Modell, Art Rooney, and Carroll Rosenbloom; the three who would eventually move the the 'AFC'.)
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* I urged boycotts of products that promoted the nfl but ignored the AFL.
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* In 1966, when news of the 'merger' broke. I immediately wrote to all AFL owners, urging them to retain the name and logo of the AFL.  I created the 'Remember the AFL' bumper sticker, one of which is displayed in the 'pro football' Hall of Fame.
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* After all nfl teams wore that damned 'nfl 50' shoulder patch in every game of the 1969 season, I wrote to Lamar Hunt, Jack Kemp and Milt Woodard, urging the AFL representative in the fourth AFL-nfl World Championship game to wear an 'AFL-10' patch.  Kemp supported the idea, Woodard ordered it, and the Chiefs wore it.
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* I have written detailed nominations to the 'pro football' Hall of Fame, supporting the induction of deserving but overlooked American Football League stars.
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* I created this website, and the American Football League Hall of Fame.
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* I had rings created by Herff Jones for AFL Alumni and AFL Fans, and I wear mine proudly.
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* I bugged the nfl, until without crediting anyone but themselves, they put together a celebratory season in 2009 to honor the 50th anniversary season of the AFL.  That year, I appeared with AFL fan Dave Steidel on Showtime's television series 'Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League'.
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* I bugged the Bills management, who never responded to me, but they eventually gave lip service to the 1964 and 1965 AFL Champion Bills, and they finally added head coach Lou Saban to the Bills Wall of Fame.

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A member of the
American Football League Hall of Fame

 


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2003  American Football League Hall of Fame  All rights reserved. Duplicate in any form you like, if you're an AFL fan.
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Last revision: 13 July 2016 ~ Angelo F. Coniglio, nospam.RemembertheAFL@aol.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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