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The Myth of "NFL Rejects"

      The American Football League achieved tremendous success in spite of bias by sports reporters in the print and electronic media.  This bias, fed by misplaced loyalty to the NFL, was expressed in many ways: CBS refusing to give American Football League scores on its broadcasts of NFL games; Sports Illustrated giving AFL games short shrift and black-and-white photos, if any, while it covered NFL games with feature stories and lush color pictures.

      Perhaps the most heinous canard was having newspaper, radio and TV reporters call AFL players "NFL Rejects", implying that if a player had spent time in the NFL and then played with an AFL team, he was "washed up" and not good enough to play in the "superior" NFL.

      To refute that propaganda, one has only to consider the following "NFL Rejects": Jack Kemp Babe Parilli.  Ron McDoleArt PowellJohn Tracey.   George Blanda.  Don MaynardLen DawsonLionel Taylor. They all started their careers in the NFL.  In the American Football League, they all set standards at their respective positions.  At the peaks of their careers, all would have gladly been "taken back" by the NFL teams that "rejected" them.    What they and dozens of others showed was that the inferiority was not in the AFL players, but in the evaluation skills of the NFL teams that let them go.

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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: 10 February 2013 ~ Angelo F. Coniglio, nospam.RemembertheAFL@aol.com
 

 

 

 

 

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