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Thread: AFL: Full Color Football

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football



    AFL Timeline: The First 20 Years(1960-1979)


    Now that we are entering the 1980's and we've reached the 20 year anniversary of the AFL I wanted to pause and just post a timeline of events that led us to where we are. This thread is a bit of a mess to go back and read due to broken photobucket links and the bizarre failed attempt to change format there with the 1978 season where I teased simulating every game every week. I abandoned that format before even finishing that season because it was just too labor intensive and took way too long. I figured I'd just change my mind and move on instead of just letting this project die altogether. So with this post in this timeline I want to give anyone reading a chance to catch up to where we are now without having to dredge through to figure out what the hell is going on here.


    • December 28th, 1958: The NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants goes into sudden death overtime on live primetime network television, producing a climactic finish that triggers a boom in interest in the National Football League. It was in this game where the marriage between football and television was born and the first in a series of events that seen the sport soar in popularity, eventually becoming the most popular in the USA.



    • 1959: The rise in interest in the NFL on TV created a demand for the league in cities across the United States but the tight knit group of 12 NFL owners at the time had no interest in expanding the league with new teams. Lamar Hunt, Bud Adams, Bob Howsam and Max Winter all separately unsuccessfully tried to buy controlling interest in the Chicago Cardinals to move the team to their respective markets but each found themselves left out in the cold after the Bidwell family maintained majority ownership of the club. Lamar Hunt organized Howsam, Adams, and Winter to form their own league, the American Football League. The original group of AFL owners were eventually nicknamed "The Foolish Club" for their brazen attempt to challenge the 40 year old NFL.



    • September 11th, 1960: The inaugural season of the American Football League kicks off with 8 teams, the Buffalo Bills, Boston Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Titans, Houston Oilers, Dallas Texans, Oakland Raiders, and Denver Broncos. The NFL countered the launch of the AFL by launching the Dallas Cowboys franchise in 1960 and stealing away the planned Minnesota AFL franchise for what would become the Minnesota Vikings in 1961. The AFL pulled off a major coup by signing 75% of the NFL's first-round draft choices in 1960, including the Houston Oilers signing Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon.



    • January 29, 1964: the AFL signed a $36 million television contract with NBC(beginning in the 1965 season), securing the financial future of the league and giving it the strength to compete with the NFL. The war between the two leagues reached new heights going into 1965 as both leagues fought for the top talent coming out of college. AFL raided the NFL rosters for veterans and stole away the best college talent such as Joe Namath, who signed the biggest rookie contract in pro football history up to that point when he signed with the New York Jets in the AFL for $427,000 and a new car.



    • June 8th, 1966: Due to soaring player salaries due to bidding between the NFL and AFL several of the owners in both leagues arranged secret meetings to discuss a potential merger in the spring of 1966. The details were worked out and the official announcement for the AFL-NFL merger rocked the sports world on June 8th. The terms of the agreement included an NFL/AFL player draft for college talent beginning in 1967. The plan was made for the two leagues to fully merge in 1970 with NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle remaining as commissioner of the merged league. The two leagues agreed on an "NFL vs AFL World Championship Game" held between the two league champions at the end of the 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969 seasons before the official merger. Another term of the agreement was that the AFL teams had to return all of the veteran talent that had been poached from NFL teams during the 1966 off-season and the AFL would pay $18 million of indemnities to the NFL over a 20 year payment plan.



    Bookerman's notes-

    So if you are reading this everything up to this point was fact, not fiction. This all really happened. The fictional part of this really slowly starts to kick in during this time. In reality during this time Al Davis the Raiders owner was the fiery commissioner of the AFL. Davis was reportedly very unhappy about the merger and it's terms that the AFL agreed upon. Davis stepped down as AFL commissioner in protest of all this on July 25th 1966, with Milt Woodard being named his replacement AFL commissioner. The fiction revision in this history begins here with the question of what if all the AFL owners listened to Al Davis? What if Al Davis didn't step down as commissioner and had more influence over what the AFL did here during this critical time in American Football history? That is one of the key questions I looked to answer in this revision history project. I'm picking this alternate history up after the merger was already announced, the AFL went against Al Davis' will to set it all up but what if Al was able to get the AFL to back out of it all later down the line?

    • January 12th, 1969: Joe Namath follows through on his guaranteed victory as the AFL's New York Jets defeat the NFL's Baltimore Colts in one of the biggest upsets in all of sports history in Super Bowl III, the 3rd AFL vs NFL World Championship of Professional Football. The victory was the AFL's first win over the NFL in the series after being blown out in the first 2 games in 1967(Green Bay Packers 35 Kansas City Chiefs 10) and 1968(Green Bay Packers 33 Oakland Raiders 14). Namath shocked the sports world after the game when he threw down the Super Bowl trophy and declared the AFL Championship Trophy to be the real title in pro football. Namath announced that the AFL would not merge with the NFL and that the AFL was the superior league. Just 1 week after Super Bowl III AFL president Lamar Hunt held a press conference and backed up Joe Namath's claim, announcing that the AFL has decided to back out of their planned merger with the NFL set for the 1970 season. Hunt told the media that the AFL had too much momentum and the owners felt that there was no reason to give that momentum away to someone else. NFL owners and officials were outraged. By the preseason of 1969 lawsuits and countersuits were filed by the AFL and NFL as a legal battle broke out. Both leagues went on with the 1969 seasons as planned and how they went down in real life, nothing on the field is changed here in this alternate reality, not yet. Super Bowl IV goes down with the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs utterly destroying the NFL's Minnesota Vikings to further solidify the renegade league's claims as the premier league in pro football.



    • June 30th, 1970: The AFL wins a major court battle by winning the rights to the term "Super Bowl" to be used for the AFL Championship Game at the end of every season. Courts ruled in favor of the AFL in the battle for the trademarks just one month after the AFL signed an exclusive television contract with ABC to air "Monday Night Foootball" live on primetime on Monday nights starting in 1970. AFL Monday Night Football on ABC becomes an instant hit and solidifies the AFL as the more colorful, charismatic, and entertaining brand of pro football. The two leagues play on as separate entities in 1970 with the NFL Championship Game going head to head with the AFL's "Super Bowl" at the end of the season. The NFL Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Colts goes down as the "Blunder Bowl" in a mistake ridden sloppy outing while the Oakland Raiders thoroughly handle the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl V to win the AFL Championship.



    • January 16th 1972: A major turning point in the ongoing war between the AFL vs NFL occurs when the 1971 NFL Championship went head to head with the AFL's Super Bowl VI. Ratings plummeted during the NFL Championship Game in a boring rematch between the Cowboys and Colts finished with a 17-0 score while ratings for AFL Super Bowl VI soared as a thriller between the Kansas City Chiefs vs Miami Dolphins unfolded as an all time classic that finished in double overtime. This was a major blow by the AFL to the NFL just as they had continued to steal away all top draft picks coming out of college, including #1 NFL pick Archie Manning. NFL 1970 MVP John Brodie was stolen away from the San Francisco 49ers by the AFL's Houston Oilers to add insult to injury. Another major move was for the Oakland Raiders to sign Jim Brown, bringing arguably the greatest player in NFL history out of retirement just days after being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Brown returned to limited action for the Raiders in the AFL in 1971, running the ball 48 times in 6 games for 171 total yards and 2 touchdowns but he was a major attraction that generated excitement and publicity for the AFL. The AFL started to break away from the NFL in 1972, eclipsing the established brand in attendance and television ratings for the first time.



    • 1975: The AFL dominates the NFL at the box office and on television ratings as polls suggest for the first time that the AFL is preferred over the NFL by American football fans. The AFL steals away all the top college talent coming up as well as most of the popular NFL players causing many of the weaker NFL teams such as the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons to fall into financial peril. A planned expansion team in Tampa Bay falls apart at the last second due to financial problems within the NFL and a scandal within the group of investors behind the failed franchise. Meanwhile the AFL completes plans to expand into Seattle Washington with the construction of the new Kingdome and the materialization of the new Seahawks franchise set to debut in 1976. Even as the AFL eclipses the NFL in popularity the hardcore fans of the sport yearned for the return of the AFL vs NFL format of the Super Bowl as the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers emerge as a true powerhouse winning the 1974 and 1975 NFL Championship with one of the best defenses in NFL history. Many fans of both AFL and NFL dreamed of a matchup between the Steelers and three time(74, 75, 76) AFL Champion Oakland Raiders.



    • February 1976: Just 1 week after the end of the 1975 NFL season the Atlanta Falcons announced that they were suspending operations indefinitely due to financial collapse. Later in the offseason the AFL solidified their place as the #1 pro football league in America by inking new television contracts with ABC, NBC, and CBS, in a deal that industry sources considered to be the largest single television package ever negotiated. Just weeks later an earth shattering development unfolded as the Pittsburgh Steelers sue the NFL in an attempt to leave the league to join the AFL. The NFL blocked the move but a federal court ruled an injunction to allow the Steelers to jump from the NFL to the AFL due to a loophole in Art Rooney's original agreement when he purchased the NFL franchise in the 1930's. The Steelers filed the suit under the guise that they were losing money by operating in the NFL due to the league losing it's key television contracts. The move ended up being a crushing blow to the NFL as they were decimated in the ratings during the 1976 season. An opening day meeting between the Raiders and debuting Steelers broke AFL television ratings. The two teams met in a rematch in Super Bowl XI in a game that would go down as one of the most watched sporting events in US Television history. After the end of the 1976 season the NFL's Atlanta Falcons announced that they were filing for bankruptcy while the New Orleans Saints ownership officially folded the team due to mounting debt and lack of fan support.



    • February 1978: The National Football League officially folds after 57 seasons. The AFL purchases the rights to all trademarks and video library of the NFL shortly after. An agreement was made between AFL owners to expand by adding just 2 NFL teams to the AFL in an attempt to prevent watering down the league. Negotiations finished with an agreement to add the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts to the AFL in 1978. A deal is made to handle the influx of free agents in order to keep player salaries from skyrocketing and prevent bidding wars within the AFL clubs with a special "NFL Player Allocation Draft" held for AFL teams to draft the rights to active players under contract with defunct NFL teams prior to the 1978 season. The Kansas City Chiefs selected Walter Payton with the first official pick. Players who held out or where not selected in the NFL Player Allocation Draft were eligible as unrestricted free agents prior to the 1979 season.



    Bookerman's notes-

    So there you have it, that's where we are now. The NFL dies after the 1977 season in this alternate reality, the AFL never merges and ends up winning a huge war between the two leagues in the 1970's. Now the AFL stands tall as the premier pro football league, and maybe it's unrealistic how through this series of events we conveniently get a 14 team league that is identical to what the real life AFC looked like in the 1980's. I did that for aesthetic reasons but I got the idea from the way the NFL handled the little competition they had from the AAFC(All America Football Conference) in the late 40's. The NFL absorbed the AAFC after the 1949 season and instead of a full on merger with all the teams they just brought over the stronger teams in the Cleveland Browns(the most popular and successful AAFC team, won all 4 of it's Championships), the Baltimore Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, the rest of the players from the AAFC were dispersed within the NFL if I'm not mistaken. So you get some of that happening here with the AFL taking over what is left of the NFL's carcass, bringing over just 2 more teams(Colts and Browns same teams that transitioned from AAFC to NFL 30 years earlier), now we have a 14 team league that is tight and compact, only the best of the best elite talent would make it into this league and we're going to maintain the spirit of the AFL through the 1980's and beyond.

    Will be interesting to consider what all will change going forward, how the drafts will go down, what kind of superteams will come together. A lot of what I've determined is based on what type of coaching jobs were open, wherever these coaches land has a big influence over where the players go. I'm sure some other pro leagues would have sprouted up in the NFL's ashes, maybe the CFL would have had a boom where a lot of cast offs that couldn't make an AFL squad in 1978 go to thrive, guys like Joe Thiesman and Tommy Kramer, etc. Hell, maybe the CFL becomes like a developmental minor league breeding ground for AFL talent since there are only 14 pro money teams? I definitely think the USFL would have been a much bigger deal in this reality with some former NFL owners getting in on the action and the surplus of talent that would have been available. I'm not really going to get into all that here in this thread but it's fun to think about the possibilities. But anyways that's a wrap on this timeline, we're about to get into the fucking 1980's for crying out loud, holy hell this is going to be fun. Here we go...






    Super Bowl Results



    Game/Site/Date Winner Loser Score MVP
    Super Bowl I
    LA Memorial Coliseum
    January 15th, 1967
    Green Bay Packers Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 Bart Starr
    Super Bowl II
    Miami Orange Bowl
    January 14th, 1968
    Green Bay Packers Oakland Raiders 33-14 Bart Starr
    Super Bowl III
    Miami Orange Bowl
    January 12th, 1969
    New York Jets Baltimore Colts 16-7 Joe Namath
    Super Bowl IV
    Tulane Stadium
    January 11th, 1970
    Kansas City Chiefs Minnesota Vikings 23-7 Len Dawson
    Super Bowl V
    Miami Orange Bowl
    January 17th, 1971
    Oakland Raiders Cincinnati Bengals 38-13 Daryle Lamonica
    Super Bowl VI
    Tulane Stadium
    January 16th, 1972
    Miami Dolphins Kansas City Chiefs 30-27 Larry Csonka
    Super Bowl VII
    LA Memorial Coliseum
    January 14th, 1973
    Miami Dolphins Oakland Raiders 21-7 Jake Scott
    Super Bowl VIII
    Rice Stadium
    January 13th, 1974
    Miami Dolphins Oakland Raiders 27-14 Larry Csonka
    Super Bowl IX
    Tulane Stadium
    January 12th 1975
    Oakland Raiders Miami Dolphins 28-26 Ken Stabler
    Super Bowl X
    Miami Orange Bowl
    January 18th, 1976
    Oakland Raiders Cincinnati Bengals 34-30 Ken Stabler
    Super Bowl XI
    Rose Bowl
    January 9th, 1977
    Oakland Raiders Pittsburgh Steelers 24-7 Ken Stabler
    Super Bowl XII
    Houston Astrodome
    January 15th, 1978
    Denver Broncos Oakland Raiders 21-17 Bill Thompson
    Super Bowl XIII
    Miami Orange Bowl
    December 31st, 1978
    Pittsburgh Steelers Houston Oilers 35-10 Terry Bradshaw
    Super Bowl XIV
    LA Coliseum
    January 7th, 1980
    Pittsburgh Steelers Houston Oilers 36-33 Lynn Swann
    Super Bowl XV
    New Orleans Superdome
    January 25th, 1981
    New England Patriots San Diego Chargers 16-7 Stanley Morgan
    Super Bowl XVI
    Pontiac Silverdome
    January 24th, 1982
    Cincinnati Bengals San Diego Chargers 21-14 Ken Anderson
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-31-2017 at 10:34 PM.

  2. #42
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    AFL Offseason News

    February 1st, 1980





    AFL expands regular season to 16 games, unveils new division alignment/playoff format

    The AFL unveiled the new alignment along with the announcement that the regular season schedule would expand from 14 to 16 games starting in 1980. The new alignment now breaks the league in half with 2 "conferences" consisting of 7 teams each. The Northeastern Football Conference and the Southwestern Football Conference. The Northeast Conference will have the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Cleveland Browns. The Southwest Conference will include the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Oilers, Denver Broncos, and Miami Dolphins. Each team will play every team within it's conference twice each, one at home and one on the road, with 4 other games against teams in the opposite conference. The playoff format will feature the top 2 teams in each conference squaring off in a Conference Championship Game and the winners facing off in the annual Super Bowl to determine the AFL Champion. AFL spokesperson stated that the 3 division alignment and wild card playoff game were done on an experimental basis in 1978 and 1979 and that the league voted against continuing on with it going into the 1980 season, instead reverting back to a similar format used in the first 18 years of AFL history.


    AFL owners vote to allow Al Davis to move Raiders from Oakland to LA in 1981

    A unanimous vote among AFL owners cleared the way for Al Davis to move the Oakland Raiders to the Los Angeles Coliseum starting in the 1981 season. The league has a strict policy against team's relocating to different cities but the decision was made to allow Davis' move due to the fact that Los Angeles is the 2nd biggest television market in the United States and sits empty without any pro football of any sort ever since the collapse of the NFL in 1977. The Los Angeles Rams were on of the finalists for NFL teams being considered to bring to the AFL but negotiations bottomed out and the team was ultimately retired. The Raiders have won 5 AFL Championship games(1967, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976) while in Oakland and will play their final season in the city in 1980.


    Baltimore Colts fire Ted Marchibroda, defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan promoted to HC

    The Ted Marchibroda era has come to an end in Baltimore as the Colts have decided to move on from their head coach following back to back disappointing seasons in the AFL. Marchibroda led the Colts to the final NFL Championship Game in 1977 where they lost a dramatic nail biter to the Dallas Cowboys in the final NFL game ever played. The Colts were one of two teams that were brought over from the NFL to the AFL in 1978 but Marchibroda struggled to adapt to the different style of play and the Colts found themselves in the bottom of the AFL East division with a combined record of 7-21 record in 78 and 79. The Colts named their defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan the new head coach. Ryan served as defensive coordinator for the Colts last year, prior to that he served as defensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings in the final years of the NFL. Ryan served as defensive line coach for the New York Jets in the AFL from 1968 to 1975 where he was instrumental in the Jets defensive gameplan in their upset victory over the Colts in Super Bowl III.


    Tracking assistant coaching changes around the AFL

    Denver Broncos hire Dan Reeves as the new offensive coordinator. Reeves played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys and took a job as an assistant coach on Tom Landry's coaching staff after retiring. Reeves was a part of the Cowboys coaching staff that won the final NFL Championship in 1977.

    San Diego Chargers hire offensive line coach Jim Hanifan. Hanifan served as offensive line coach for the St. Louis Cardinals in the NFL where he won NFL Assistant Coach of the Year honors in the final NFL season in 1977.

    The Cleveland Browns sign Marty Schottenheimer as new defensive coordinator. Schottenheimer is a former linebacker for the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills in the AFL from 1965 to 1970. Marty served as linebackers coach and then defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in the final years of the NFL.

    The Baltimore Colts signed Jerry Burns as new offensive coordinator. Burns reunites with Buddy Ryan whom he coached alongside with the Minnesota Vikings during Ryan's tenure there in 76-77. Burns was the offensive coordinator for the Vikings from 1968 until the franchise folded after the death of the NFL in 1977. Prior to his tenure with the Vikings Burns served as an assistant on Vince Lombardi's coaching staff with the Green Bay Packers during their 1966-1967 Super Bowl winning seasons.

    New England Patriots hire linebackers coach Bill Parcells and special teams coach Bill Belichick to join Bill Walsh's coaching staff. Parcells comes off of a head coaching stint at Air Force Academy in 1978-1979 as well as successful tenures as linebacker coach at Texas Tech and Vanderbilt. Belichick got his start as an assistant in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts and Detroit Lions before taking a job as special teams assistant with the Denver Broncos in the AFL in 78-79.

    The New York Jets sign Jerry Glanville as defensive coordinator. Glanville coached defensive backs on the historic Atlanta Falcons "Gritz Blitz" team that set new records in the NFL in 1977. Prior to that Glanville served as an assistant on the Detroit Lions coaching staff from 1974 to 1976.

  3. #43
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    AFL Offseason News

    February 21st, 1980





    Raiders trade Stabler, Casper, Tatum to Oilers for Pastorini and 3 draft picks

    A massive trade rocks the AFL as the Houston Oilers have acquired 3 time Super Bowl MVP Ken "The Snake" Stabler as well as all pro tight end "The Ghost" Dave Casper and all pro defensive back Jack Tatum in exchange for Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini and the Oilers 2nd, 4th, and 5th round draft picks. The addition of Stabler, Casper, and Tatum joining 1979 AFL MVP running back Earl Campbell stacks the deck of what is already one of the most talented teams in the AFL going into the 1980 season. The Oilers fell short in each of the last 2 Super Bowls when they were defeated by their rival Pittsburgh Steelers in both games.


    OJ Simpson officially retires, leads charter class of AFL Hall Of Fame enshrinees

    The AFL's all time leading rusher and arguably the greatest player in the first 20 years of AFL history announced his retirement immediately following the 1979 season when "The Juice" called it a career after 11 seasons with the Buffalo Bills. OJ Simpson will be among an elite class of charter members to be enshrined in the new AFL Hall Of Fame this August as he joins Joe Namath, Lance Alworth, Jim Otto, Ron Mix, Billy Shaw, George Blanda, Bobby Bell, Nick Buoniconti, and Willie Brown. Simpson has already signed on as an analyst with CBS for the 1980 season.


    Seahawks defensive back Cliff Harris announces retirement

    Cliff Harris made his retirement official this past Sunday after spending the last two years with the Seattle Seahawks in the AFL. Harris played 8 years in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys where he won 2 NFL Championship titles with the team.


    Buffalo Bills trade Ron Jaworski to Colts for 4th round pick

    Ron Jaworski lost the battle for the starting job in Buffalo and sat the majority of the 1979 season on the bench behind Joe Ferguson. The Bills drafted Jaworski in the 1978 NFL Player Allocation Draft after Jaworski spent the first 4 seasons of his career playing for the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. The Bills traded Jaworski to the Colts for a 4th round draft pick. Baltimore suffered in each of the last 2 seasons after their star quarterback Burt Jones suffered injuries. Jaworski is expected to backup Jones for the Colts in 1980.


    Raiders trade Randy Cross to Patriots for 3rd round pick

    The Oakland Raiders moved center/guard Randy Cross to the New England Patriots for a 3rd round draft pick. Cross played his first 2 seasons playing for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL but found himself out of football after not making an AFL team following the death of the NFL in 1977. Cross played in the CFL in 1978 before signing with the Raiders as a free agent in 1979. Cross came in to start at right guard and played well after a mid-season injury on the Raiders front line.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football




    1980 AFL Draft


    The 1980 AFL Player Selection meeting would go down in history as the very first ever to be aired live in it's entirety on the groundbreaking new 24 hour sports cable network, ESPN. The buzz headed into the draft surrounded the Heisman Trophy winning running back Billy Sims out of Oklahoma. Sims ran for 1,762 yards on 231 carries(averaging 7.6 yards per carry) in 1978, a record setting performance that earned him the Heisman Trophy award for 1978. Sims was a runner up for the Heisman in 1979 with 248 attempts for 1,670 yards, averaging 6.7 yards per carry with 23 touchdowns.



    Notable first round picks:






    With the 1st overall pick in the 1980 AFL draft, the Baltimore Colts select...


    Spoiler:



    Billy Sims, Running Back(Oklahoma)







    With the 2nd overall pick in the 1980 AFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select...


    Spoiler:



    Anthony Munoz, Offensive Lineman(USC)








    With the 3rd overall pick in the 1980 AFL draft the Kansas City Chiefs select...


    Spoiler:



    Art Monk, Wide Receiver(Syracuse)





    Notable later round picks:








    With their 2nd round pick in the 1980 AFL draft the Oakland Raiders select...


    Spoiler:



    Matt Millen, Linebacker(Penn State)








    With their 2nd round pick in the 1980 AFL draft the Miami Dolphins select...


    Spoiler:



    Dwight Stephenson, Center(Alabama)


    Other Notable Picks:


    New England Patriots- Keena Turner, Linebacker(Purdue)
    Miami Dolphins- Joe Cribbs, Running Back(Auburn)
    Baltimore Colts- Steve Mcmichael, Defensive Lineman(Texas)


    Undrafted Free Agent Signings:


    Seattle Seahawks- Dave Krieg, Quarterback(Milton)
    Kansas City Chiefs- Jeff Bostic, Center(Clemson)

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football



    1980 AFL Pre-Season Scouting Report


    The high impact action of the American Football League returns to the field in 1980 with new stars and familiar faces of the #1 rated sports league in the United States. The cream of the crop, the best of the best, the premier world class American football players are here in the 14 teams that comprise the American Football League. Each team will play a new expanded 16 game schedule in 1980 in a new 2 conference alignment that splits the league in half. At the end of the regular season the top teams in each conference will square off for the right to play in Super Bowl XV, live on January 25th 1981 from the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans!





    Pittsburgh Steelers:
    Stadium: Three Rivers Stadium
    Head Coach: Chuck Noll
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Tom Moore(wide receivers)
    1979 Record: 12-2(Super Bowl XIV Champions)



    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Terry Bradshaw
    HB- #32 Franco Harris
    WR- #88 Lynn Swann
    WR- #82 John Stallworth
    C- #52 Mike Webster
    G- #69 Conrad Dobler
    DT- #75 Joe Greene
    OLB- #59 Jack Ham
    ILB- #58 Jack Lambert
    CB- #47 Mel Blount
    K- #3 Mark Mosely


    The Pittsburgh Steelers put the defining stamp on their dynasty when they defeated the Houston Oilers in Pasadena to win Super Bowl XIV in one of the most watched television shows of any form in US history. The win was the Steelers second consecutive AFL Championship, their fourth pro title in 6 years(they won the NFL Championship in 1974 and 1975 before switching leagues in 1976). The Steelers elite players all return to play under Chuck Noll in 1980 as Pittsburgh will play for a 3rd consecutive AFL Championship.





    Houston Oilers:
    Stadium: Houston Astrodome
    Head Coach: Bum Phillips
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Bugel(offensive line), Wade Phillips(defensive line)
    1979 Record: 10-4



    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Ken Stabler
    HB- #34 Earl Campbell
    FB- #44 John Riggins
    TE- #87 Dave Casper
    WR- #00 Kenny Burrough
    WR/KR- #84 Billy Johnson
    T- #72 Leon Gray
    DT- #78 Curley Culp
    DE- #65 Elvin Bethea
    OLB- #52 Robert Brazile
    CB- #28 Ken Houston
    FS- #32 Jack Tatum
    FS- #22 Roger Wehrli



    Bum Phillips Oilers made a move to break through in 1980 when they traded for Ken Stabler, Dave Casper, and Jack Tatum from the Oakland Raiders. Stabler, Casper, and Tatum were a part of the Raiders dynasty that won 3 straight AFL Championships from 1974 to 1976, the last of which was won by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XI. Stabler and Casper will join reigning AFL MVP Earl Campbell on offense while Tatum will play in a dream defensive backfield along with Roger Wehrli and Ken Houston. The Oilers "Luv Ya Blue" phenomenon captured the hearts of the city of Houston in 1978 and 1979 and carried the team to back to back Super Bowl appearances. After losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pasadena in Super Bowl XIV the Oilers head coach Bum Phillips promised the Houston fans that the Oilers would finally kick the door in and capture the AFL title in 1980.





    San Diego Chargers:
    Stadium: Jack Murphy Stadium
    Head Coach: Don Coryell
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Gibbs(offensive coordinator), Ernie Zampese(wide receivers), Jim Hanifan(offensive line)
    1979 Record: 12-2



    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Dan Fouts
    HB- #33 Tony Dorsett
    WR- #89 Wes Chandler
    WR- #83 John Jefferson
    WR- #18 Charlie Joiner
    TE- #80 Kellen Winslow
    DE- #71 Fred Dean
    FS- #41 Charlie Waters


    The San Diego Chargers emerged as one of the fastest and most explosive offensive teams in the AFL in 1979 as head coach Don Coryell's "Air Coryell" strategy put points on the board and led San Diego to 12 wins. San Diego lost a heartbreaking upset to the Houston Oilers in the divisional playoffs in 1979. In 1980 the Chargers will return to the field with a vengeance on a quest for an AFL Championship.





    New England Patriots:
    Stadium: Shaefer Stadium
    Head Coach: Bill Walsh
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Chuck Studley(defensive coordinator), Bill Parcells(linebackers), Bill Belichick(special teams)
    1979 Record: 10-4



    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Steve Grogan
    QB- #16 Vince Ferragamo
    HB- #45 Chuck Foreman
    FB- #39 Sam Cunningham
    WR- #28 Ahmad Rashad
    WR- #86 Stanley Morgan
    TE- #89 Dwight Clark
    G- #73 John Hannah
    C- #51 Randy Cross
    ILB- #57 Steve Nelson
    ILB- #53 Harry Carson
    OLB- #58 Keena Turner(R)
    CB- #40 Mike Haynes


    Head Coach Bill Walsh took the Patriots to a Division title in his first season with the Patriots in 1979. New England suffered their 4th consecutive first round playoff loss when they were dominated by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Walsh will continue to look to improve the Patriots to finally get them over the hump in 1980 and finally win a playoff game and possibly make a run to Super Bowl XV.





    Miami Dolphins:
    Stadium: The Orange Bowl
    Head Coach: Don Shula
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Bill Arnsparger(defensive coordinator)
    1979 Record: 10-4



    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Bob Griese
    QB- #17 Doug Williams
    HB- #20 Joe Cribbs(R)
    G- #66 Larry Little
    C- #57 Dwight Stephenson(R)
    T- #78 Jackie Slater
    T- #67 Bob Kuechenberg
    DT- #54 Randy White
    DE- #77 AJ Duhe
    OLB- #58 Kim Bokamper


    Don Shula's rebuilding of the Miami Dolphins continued with the drafting of running back Joe Cribbs and center Dwight Stephenson in the 1980 draft while veterans Bob Griese and Randy White bring the experience to give Miami the winning edge. Miami returned to the AFL playoffs in 1979 but they were defeated by the Oilers in their Wild Card meeting. The Dolphins balance of youth and experience and arguably the greatest head coach in AFL history will surely make them a legit threat in 1980.





    Seattle Seahawks:
    Stadium: The Kingdome
    Head Coach: Jack Patera
    Notable Assistant Coaches: N/A
    1978 Record: 9-5



    Impact Players:
    QB- #10 Jim Zorn
    HB- #36 William Andrews
    T- #73 Ron Yary
    WR- #80 Steve Largent
    WR- #81 James Lofton
    DE- #77 Lee Roy Selmon


    The Seahawks finished with an impressive 9-5 record in 1979 but missed the playoffs. Seattle lost a major key player on defense when defensive back Cliff Harris announced his retirement in the offseason. Seattle still has the best defensive player in the league in Lee Roy Selmon, the 1979 AFL Defensive Player of the Year. Running back William Andrews ran for over 1,000 rushing yards in his rookie season in 1979, the Seahawks will rely on Andrews to carry the running game in his sophomore season. An improved running game and the best wide receiver in all of the AFL will keep Seattle competitive in 1980.





    Denver Broncos:
    Stadium: Mile High Stadium
    Head Coach: Red Miller
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Collier(defensive coordinator), Dan Reeves(offensive coordinator)
    1979 Record: 8-6



    Impact Players:
    QB- #8 Archie Manning
    HB- #24 Otis Armstrong
    FB- #44 Ricky Bell
    OLB- #57 Tom Jackson
    ILB- #53 Randy Gradishar
    CB- #20 Louis Wright


    Archie Manning continued to play as one of the elite quarterbacks in the AFL in 1979, leading the Broncos to an 8-6 record. The Broncos hired new offensive coordinator Dan Reeves in the offseason. The Orange Crush defense looks to return to prime form that won the Super Bowl XII three seasons ago when they take the field in 1980





    Cleveland Browns:
    Stadium: Cleveland Municipal Stadium
    Head Coach: Sam Rutigliano
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dick Macpherson, Marty Schottenhiemer(defensive coordinator)
    1979 Record: 8-6



    Impact Players:
    QB- #17 Brian Sipe
    HB- #32 Otis Anderson
    WR- #80 Harold Carmichael
    TE- #82 Ozzie Newsome
    T- #75 Dan Dierdorf
    DE- #77 Lyle Alzado
    OLB- #57 Clay Mathews


    The Browns were on the cusp of a playoff appearance in 1979 with an 8-6 record. Brian Sipe lit up the AFL in 1979 and will be one of the quarterbacks to watch in 1980. Cleveland's defense could see improvement under new defensive coordinator Marty Schottenhiemer.





    Oakland Raiders:
    Stadium: Oakland Alameda County Coliseum
    Head Coach: Tom Flores
    Notable Assistant Coaches: N/A
    1979 Record: 7-7



    Impact Players:
    QB- #7 Dan Pastorini
    QB- #16 Jim Plunkett
    WR- #21 Cliff Branch
    G- #63 Gene Upshaw
    T- #78 Art Shell
    DE- #72 John Matuszak
    OLB- #83 Ted Hendricks
    OLB- #41 Phil Villapiano
    ILB- #55 Matt Millen(R)
    CB- #37 Lester Hayes
    P- #8 Ray Guy


    Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Flores became the first Hispanic head coach in pro football last year when he took over for the retired John Madden in Oakland. The Raiders seen the end of an era in the offseason when 3 time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Ken Stabler was traded to the Houston Oilers along with Dave Casper and Jack Tatum. The trade brought over tough quarterback Dan Pastorini from Houston to take Stabler's place. While the offense will be in a rebuilding phase in 1980 the Raiders defense will be one of the toughest in the AFL with Lester Hayes, Ted Hendricks, John Matuszak, and tough rookie linebacker Matt Millen comprising perhaps one of the roughest, most dangerous defenses in Raiders history.





    New York Jets:
    Stadium: Shea Stadium
    Head Coach: Walt Michaels
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Jerry Glanville(defensive coordinator)
    1979 Record: 7-7



    Impact Players:
    QB- #10 Steve Bartkowski
    QB- #11 Phil Simms
    HB- #27 Wendell Tyler
    DT- #73 Joe Klecko
    DT- #67 Dave Butz
    DE- #99 Mark Gastineau


    Walt Michaels will enter his 3rd season as Jets head coach in 1980 with a new defensive coordinator in Jerry Glanville, a former member of the defensive coaching staff that set the record for fewest points allowed in a season in the NFL in the final year of the league in 1977. Steve Bartkowski enters the 1980 season with a ton of pressure on him to produce as backup 2nd year quarterback Phil Simms looked impressive in limited action he seen in his rookie year in 1979.





    Buffalo Bills:
    Stadium: Rich Stadium
    Head Coach: Chuck Knox
    Notable Assistant Coaches: N/A
    1979 Record: 7-7



    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Joe Ferguson
    HB- #31 Wilbert Montgomery
    WR- #81 Mel Gray
    G- #68 Joe Delamielleure
    DE- #85 Jack Youngblood
    ILB- #58 Isiah Robertson


    Chuck Knox fielded a tough and physical Buffalo Bills team in 1979. Joe Ferguson emerged as the Bills starting quarterback and Wilbert Montgomery proved to be worthy of filling in the shoes of the recently retired legend OJ Simpson. Buffalo's defense and running game will be among the toughest in the AFL again in 1980.





    Cincinnati Bengals:
    Stadium: Riverfront Stadium
    Head Coach: Dick Vermiel
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Marion Campbell(defensive coordinator)
    1979 Record: 6-8



    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Ken Anderson
    WR- #81 Drew Pearson
    T- #65 Max Montoya
    T- #78 Anthony Munoz(R)
    ILB- #66 Bill Bergey
    CB- #47 Herman Edwards
    SS- #49 Gary Fencik


    Bengals head coach Dick Vermiel improved the Bengals in his first season at the helm in 1979. Vermiel's offensive system looked as if it revived the sagging career of former AFL MVP quarterback Ken Anderson as the 79 season progressed. Anderson will return to run Vermiel's offense in 1980 to prove that he is still an elite AFL quarterback.





    Kansas City Chiefs:
    Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
    Head Coach: Marv Levy
    Notable Assistant Coaches: N/A
    1979 Record: 6-8



    Impact Players:
    QB- #19 Joe Montana
    HB- #34 Walter Payton
    WR- #81 Art Monk(R)
    C- #53 Jeff Bostic(R)
    ILB- #55 Dewey Selmon
    K- #3 Jan Stenerud


    After winning just 2 games in 1978 the Kansas City Chiefs made major improvements on both sides of the ball to field a much more competitive team in 1979. Rookie quarterback Joe Montana showed poise and potential in his first season while Walter Payton carried the offense on his back to guide the team to 6 victories. The Chiefs added another offensive weapon for Montana when they drafted Syracuse wide receiver Art Monk in the 1980 draft. Marv Levy's Chiefs could surprise a lot of people in 1980 if the defense can improve and their 2nd year quarterback can take the next step.





    Baltimore Colts:
    Stadium: Memorial Stadium
    Head Coach: Buddy Ryan
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Jerry Burns(offensive coordinator), Joe Vitt(strength/quality control)
    1979 Record: 4-10



    Impact Players:
    QB- #7 Bert Jones
    HB- #20 Billy Sims(R)
    WR- #81 Roger Carr
    DE- #65 Harvey Martin
    DT- #99 Dan Hampton
    DT- #76 Steve Mcmichael(R)


    The Baltimore Colts have yet to capture the glory in the AFL that they experienced in their NFL days but the franchise took a major step forward in the offseason by promoting defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan to head coach. Ryan immediately hired former co-coach with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL in offensive coordinator Jerry Burns. Star quarterback Bert Jones returns from injuries that sidelined him for most of 1978 and 1979 with hopes to return to the prime form that won him NFL MVP honors in years past.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-24-2017 at 12:40 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1980





    1980 AFL Standings


    Northeastern Conference
    New England Patriots 13-3
    Cleveland Browns 11-5
    Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
    Buffalo Bills 8-8
    Cincinnati Bengals 7-9
    New York Jets 7-9
    Baltimore Colts 6-10


    Southwestern Conference
    San Diego Chargers 12-4
    Houston Oilers 12-4
    Oakland Raiders 11-5
    Miami Dolphins 9-7
    Kansas City Chiefs 7-9
    Denver Broncos 6-10
    Seattle Seahawks 4-12



    1980 AFL MVP:

    Earl Campbell(#34 Running Back, Houston Oilers); 2,011 rushing yards, 15 tds




    1980 AFL Playoffs


    AFL Southwestern Conference Championship
    vs
    Houston Oilers 17 @ San Diego Chargers 19


    AFL Northeastern Conference Championship
    vs
    Cleveland Browns 17 @ New England Patriots 27







    The Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana, January 25th 1981



    vs
    San Diego Chargers vs New England Patriots


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Chargers 7 0 0 0 7
    Patriots 7 6 3 0 16



    Super Bowl XV MVP:

    Stanley Morgan(7 receptions, 109 receiving yards)







    AFL '80: The Next Generation


    The American Football League entered the dawn of a new decade in 1980 with one of the most exciting seasons in the history of the 20 year old league. New stars shined bright, stars like Baltimore Colts Heisman Trophy winning rookie running back Billy Sims. Sims won AFL Rookie of the Year honors by rushing for over 1,300 yards to help the Colts win 6 games in 1980, their most since entering the AFL 3 seasons ago. Head Coach Buddy Ryan whipped the Colts into a formidable challenger in 1980 with one of the hardest hitting defenses in the league. Meanwhile across the country the Seattle Seahawks took a surprising turn for the worse in 1980. Quarterback Jim Zorn threw over 20 interceptions as the Seahawks struggled to a disastrous 4-12 record. Through it all Seahawks receiver Steve Largent still proved to be one of the best receivers in the AFL with over 1,100 receiving yards. Another one of the elite teams of the past decade that fell on hard times in 1980 were the Orange Crush Denver Broncos. Denver struggled on both sides of the ball as they dropped to 6-10. Another disappointing output came from the Cincinnati Bengals, who were expected to turn the corner under head coach Dick Vermiel's second year with the team. The Bengals struggled after quarterback Ken Anderson fought through injuries all season long, with the Bengals stumbling to a 6-10 finish.

    One team that climbed out of the cellar to become a contender in 1980 was the New York Jets. The Jets quarterback controversy grew as 2nd year backup Phil Simms played impressively in preseason exhibition games. Head coach Walt Michaels stuck with veteran Steve Bartkowski at the start of the regular season and it paid off for the Jets. Bartkowski had the best year of his career and put up some of the best numbers of any passer in the AFL in 1980, throwing for 30 touchdowns and over 3,500 passing yards. The Jets defense continued to improve under first year defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville. Without a doubt the most improved team in the AFL in 1980 would be the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs struggled early on in the season but as their 2nd year quarterback Joe Montana progressed through the season the Chiefs became one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. Walter Payton rushed for over 1,400 rushing yards while Joe Montana came of age starting all 16 games for Kansas City with 3,465 passing yards and 22 touchdown passes vs just 10 interceptions. Montana's best moment of the season was the 24 point comeback victory over the Patriots late in the season where he threw 2 fourth quarter touchdowns and led the game winning drive in the final 2 minutes of the game.




    As the AFL kick started it's 3rd decade in 1980 we seen the end of an era in Pittsburgh as the Steelers failed to make the playoffs for the first time since they entered the league in 1976. Bradshaw, Swann, Franco, and The Steel Curtain defense fought until the bitter end, finishing with a 9-7 despite suffering injuries across the board all year. Pittsburgh proved to still be one of the toughest teams in the AFL but the defending back to back AFL Champions were outgunned by the rising young teams in the AFL in 1980. One of the teams on the rise in the AFL was the Buffalo Bills under head coach Chuck Knox. The Bills lost star running back Wilbert Montgomery to an ankle injury but the defense rallied and carried the team to 8 wins, the most for the Bills since 1974. The Oakland Raiders evolved to survive in 1980, winning 11 games with new quarterback Jim Plunkett taking over for Ken Stabler, who was traded away to the Oilers in the offseason and injured starter Dan Pastorini. The Raiders emerged as one of the best all around teams when they won their final 6 games in 1980 but they fell just 1 game short of the playoffs. Another longtime staple in the AFL evolved to keep up with the next generation when Dolphins coach Don Shula went with youth over experience in 1980. Dolphins AFL Championship winning quarterback Bob Griese went down with injuries early on in the season but Shula stuck with backup Doug Williams even after Griese returned from his injuries later in the year. Williams threw for 19 touchdown passes and over 3,000 yards while rookie running back Joe Cribbs ran for over 1,000 rushing yards and helped guide Miami to a winning record at 9-7.




    One of the leaders of the next generation of AFL superstars is Browns quarterback Brian Sipe, the highest rated passer in the AFL in 1980. Sipe led a resurgence in the Browns third year in the AFL with 30 touchdown passes and over 4,000 passing yards to help guide Cleveland to an 11-5 record and a spot in the Northeastern Conference Championship Game. Cleveland's road to the Super Bowl came to an end on a snow covered field in New England when they were dominated by the Patriots. While Sipe had a dream season with the Browns in 1980 there was another player that ran away with the 1980 AFL MVP award, Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell. Campbell proved to be not only the best running back in all of the AFL in 1980 but perhaps one of the greatest players in AFL history period when he broke OJ Simpson's single season rushing yards record with 2,011 yards. Houston looked like one of the best teams in the AFL throughout the 1980 season, going on to dominate to win 12 games. The Oilers would go on the road to face the San Diego Chargers in a rematch of their colossal upset in last year's playoffs. Houston would fall in heartbreaking fashion in the Southeastern Conference Championship when a missed 48 yard field goal in the final 3 minutes led to a 17-19 defeat at the hands of the Chargers.




    Along with the Oilers the Chargers emerged as one of the most exciting and popular teams in the AFL in 1980 as quarterback Dan Fouts led one of the best offenses in league history. Dan Fouts set a new AFL record with over 4,700 passing yards along with 33 touchdown passes thrown. The Chargers had 3 payers(John Jefferson, Kellen Winslow, and Charlie Joiner) with over 1,000 yards receiving while running back Tony Dorsett ran for over 1,100 rushing yards. San Diego lit the AFL on fire in 1980 going 12-4 and securing home field advantage in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game. San Diego was still haunted by their upset loss to the Houston Oilers in the 1979 AFL Divisional Playoffs but revenge was sweet in the rematch. Houston fought back from a 19-7 deficit to cut the lead to 19-17 going into the final 3 minutes of the 4th quarter. The Oilers drove down the field into field goal range but the game winning kick bounced off of the crossbar, giving San Diego the victory and the trip to New Orleans for Super Bowl XV. San Diego's high powered offense was shut down by Bill Walsh's New England Patriots in Super Bowl XV and the Chargers Super Bowl dreams were dashed in a 16-7 defeat. Even though the Chargers fell short of their ultimate goal they proved that they are the next generation powerhouse of the 1980's AFL!




    The finest team in the AFL in 1980 proved to be the upstart New England Patriots coached by Bill Walsh. Walsh's advanced offense utilized short yardage passing with key weapons in Stanley Morgan and Ahmad Rashad to take the AFL by surprise in 1980. Steve Grogan was benched after a poor performance in week 2 giving way to the rise of a new star in the AFL, quarterback Vince Ferragamo. Ferragamo thrived in Walsh's offense and led the Patriots to an AFL best 13-3 record while a stout defense led by Harry Carson, Mike Haynes, Steve Nelson and rookie Keena Turner played smart mistake free football.




    The Patriots dominated the Browns in the snow to win the Northeastern Conference Championship, one of the most gratifying victories in Patriots history after suffering heartbreak in the playoffs for the last 4 seasons. New England was the underdog against the high powered Chargers but Walsh's game plan eliminated San Diego's deep passing game and held Tony Dorsett to just 32 rushing yards. Dan Fouts was held to just 164 passing yards and was intercepted once while New England nickel and dimed San Diego's defense to a 16-7 lead going into the 4th quarter. New England eliminated San Diego's offense and ran out the clock with Chuck Foreman running the ball 20 times for 75 yards in what turned out to be his final game after announcing his retirement shortly after the victory. The 16-7 win gave the New England Patriots their first ever AFL Super Bowl Championship in only Bill Walsh's 2nd year as head coach of the team.



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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    AFL Offseason News
    February 1st, 1981





    Raiders finalize move to Los Angeles

    The Raiders officially closed their offices in Oakland and will complete the relocation to Los Angeles over the Spring just in time for the 1981 AFL draft. The Raiders will move into the 2nd largest television market in the United States after AFL owners gave unanimous approval for the move in 1980. All of the Raiders home games will now be played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.


    Houston Oilers fire Bum Phillips and hire Chargers OC Joe Gibbs as new head coach

    In a shocking move the Houston Oilers ownership made the decision to move on from head coach Bum Phillips. Phillips led the Oilers to back to back Super Bowls in 1979 and 1980 but the team fell both times to their rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Houston loaded themselves with talent when they traded for Ken Stabler, Dave Casper, and Jack Tatum to make a run for a Super Bowl in 1980 but the team lost a heartbreaker on the road to San Diego in the Southwest Conference Championship game when a potential game winning field goal bounced off of the crossbar. Houston acted quickly after firing Bum Phillips to hire former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs. Gibbs coordinated a record breaking offense for the Chargers in 1979 and 1980. Defensive assistant Wade Phillips(Bum Phillips son) was offered a job on Gibbs defensive coaching staff but he declined to take the job. Richie Petitbon was hired as new Oilers defensive coordinator. Offensive line coach Joe Bugel was the only member of Bum Phillips' coaching staff that was retained by Joe Gibbs.


    Red Miller fired by Denver Broncos, OC Dan Reeves promoted to head coach

    The Broncos new ownership decided to move on from Super Bowl winning coach Red Miller. Miller led the Broncos to a victory in Super Bowl XII with their league leading "Orange Crush" defense in 1977. The Broncos promoted offensive coordinator Dan Reeves to the new head coach. Reeves played and coached under the legendary Tom Landry on the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL before taking the job as Broncos' offensive coordinator last season.


    Tracking assistant coaching changes around the AFL

    The Pittsburgh Steelers hire Tony Dungy as a defensive assistant. Dungy played under Chuck Noll as a defensive back on the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1977 to 1980.

    The Kansas City Chiefs sign Dick Nolan as new defensive coordinator. Nolan was a player in the NFL from 1954 to 1962. Nolan was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 1968 to 1975 before taking a job as head coach of the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League from 1976 to 1980.

    The Kansas City Chiefs sign Emmitt Thomas as defensive backs coach. Thomas played for the Chiefs from 1966 to 1978.

    The Buffalo Bills hire Wade Phillips as new defensive line coach. Phillips served as defensive line coach for the Houston Oilers from 1976 to 1980.

    New York Jets hired Romeo Crennel as special teams coach. Crennel was defensive assistant for Western Kentucky(1970-1974), Texas Tech(1975-1977), Ole Miss(1978-1979), and Georgia Tech(1980).
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 09-30-2017 at 12:00 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    AFL Offseason News
    March 24th, 1981



    AFL Hall Of Fame class of '81 revealed

    Former Buffalo Bills greats Mike Stratton and Butch Byrd have been announced as the latest inductees set to go into the AFL Hall of Fame in August. Byrd and Stratton both played key roles in the Bills' defense that won back to back AFL titles in 1964 and 1965. Other inductees include former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson and Jets receiver Don Maynard. The AFL Hall of Fame was opened last year with the charter class including OJ Simpson, Joe Namath, Lance Alworth, Jim Otto, Ron Mix, Billy Shaw, George Blanda, Bobby Bell, Nick Buoniconti, and Willie Brown.


    Raiders trade up with Colts for 3rd pick in 1981 AFL Draft

    The newly christened Los Angeles Raiders made a bold move to trade their 1981 first and second round draft picks(10th and 24th overall selections), as well as their first round draft pick in the 1982 draft along with outside linebacker Phil Villapiano to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for their first round pick in 1981(3rd overall selection) and an undisclosed conditional draft pick in the 1982 draft.


    Trades around the AFL as teams jockey for position in loaded 1981 AFL draft

    As we approach one of the most talent loaded drafts in recent memory the 14 teams around the AFL made moves to position themselves to build for the future. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded offensive lineman Conrad Dobler to the Buffalo Bills for a 3rd round draft pick. The Bills turned around and shipped all pro offensive lineman Joe Dellamielleure to the Cleveland Browns for their 4th and 6th round picks.


    Griese, Tatum, Armstrong among AFL legends to announce retirement

    A class of legendary AFL careers came to an end this offseason when Miami Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese, former Raiders defensive back Jack Tatum, and Broncos running back Otis Armstrong all announced their retirements over the past week. Other names that called it a career are Bengals defender Bill Bergey, Dolphins offensive lineman Larry Little, Oilers defensive back Ken Houston, and Patriots running back Chuck Foreman.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 10-02-2017 at 11:20 AM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football





    1981 AFL Draft


    The 1981 AFL Draft drew monster ratings on ESPN as fans tuned in to witness one of the most talent loaded drafts in recent times. The hype coming into the draft centered around Heisman Trophy winning running back George Rogers as well as dominant linebacker Lawrence Taylor.




    Notable first round picks:







    With the 1st overall pick in the 1981 AFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select...


    Spoiler:



    Kenny Easley, strong safety(UCLA)







    With the 2nd overall pick in the 1981 AFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select...


    Spoiler:



    George Rogers, Running Back(South Carolina)







    With the 3rd overall pick in the 1981 AFL draft the Los Angeles Raiders select...


    Spoiler:



    Lawrence Taylor, Linebacker(North Carolina)







    With the 4th overall pick in the 1981 AFL draft the New York Jets select...


    Spoiler:



    Freeman Mcneil, Running Back(UCLA)







    With the 5th overall pick in the 1981 AFL draft the Cincinnati Bengals select...


    Spoiler:



    James Brooks, Running Back(Auburn)







    With the 6th overall pick in the 1981 AFL draft the Kansas City Chiefs select...


    Spoiler:



    Ronnie Lott, Defensive Back(USC)







    With the 12th overall pick in the 1981 AFL draft the Houston Oilers select...


    Spoiler:



    Mark May, Offensive Lineman(Pitt)





    Notable Later Round Picks:



    Miami Dolphins- Rickey Jackson, Linebacker(Pittsburgh)
    Pittsburgh Steelers- Neil Lomax, Quarterback(Portland State University )
    Los Angeles Raiders- Howie Long, Defensive Tackle(Villanova University)
    New England Patriots- James Wilder, Running Back(University of Missouri)
    Baltimore Colts- Mike Singletary, Linebacker(Baylor University)
    Cincinnati Bengals- Chris Collinsworth, Wide Receiver(University of Florida)
    Houston Oilers- Russ Grim, Guard(University of Pittsburgh)
    Baltimore Colts- Dexter Manley, Defensive End(Oklahoma State)
    Houston Oilers- Charlie Brown, Wide Receiver(South Carolina State)



    Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

    San Diego Chargers- Sam Mills, Linebacker(Montclair State)
    Buffalo Bills- Everson Walls, Defensive Back(Grambling State)
    Houston Oilers- Joe Jacoby, Offensive Lineman(Louisville)

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football



    1981 AFL Pre-Season Scouting Report


    The American Football League is primed and ready for the 1981 season to get under way. The AFL comes off of a wildly successful 1980 season where new ratings records were set. All three networks posted gains across the board in 1980, with NBC's 15.0 rating being the best in the network's history while both CBS and ABC posted their largest numbers in years. CBS radio also reported a record audience of 7 million listeners for Monday night games. The AFL is #1 in sports for a reason, it's the most action packed, hardest hitting game in sports. The culmination of the 1981 season will be Super Bowl XVI live on January 24th 1982 from the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit Michigan!! Before we embark on our road to Super Bowl XVI lets take you around the AFL to preview all 14 teams for the upcoming 1981 season!





    New England Patriots:
    Stadium: Shaefer Stadium
    Head Coach: Bill Walsh
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Chuck Studley(defensive coordinator), Bill Parcells(linebackers), Bill Belichick(special teams)
    1980 Record: 13-3(Super Bowl XV Champions)


    Impact Players:
    QB- #16 Vince Ferragamo
    HB- #32 James Wilder(R)
    FB- #39 Sam Cunningham
    WR- #28 Ahmad Rashad
    WR- #86 Stanley Morgan
    TE- #89 Dwight Clark
    G- #73 John Hannah
    C- #51 Randy Cross
    ILB- #57 Steve Nelson
    ILB- #53 Harry Carson
    OLB- #58 Keena Turner
    CB- #40 Mike Haynes

    The Patriots surprised everyone when they emerged as the class of the AFL in 1980. Head coach Bill Walsh pushed the envelope with his highly innovative offense in 1980, taking a young unproven former backup in the NFL in Vince Ferragamo and making a star out of him. The Patriots had experienced playoff heartbreak for 4 straight years, starting with the controversial loss to the Oakland Raiders in 1976 when a questionable roughing the passer penalty cost New England a trip to Super Bowl XI. The next year in 1977 it was the Orange Crush defense of the Denver Broncos that brought the Patriots season to an end in first round of the playoffs. In 1978 the Patriots won the AFL Eastern Division title but were upset at home by the upstart Houston Oilers in the playoffs. Following the loss to Houston in the 1978 playoffs the Patriots parted ways with coach Chuck Fairbanks and hired Stanford coach Bill Walsh as his replacement. The result was a second consecutive AFL Eastern Divison title in 1979 but the Patriots suffered their 4th consecutive playoff heartbreak when they were crushed by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Four straight years the Patriots found themselves just 1 game away from Super Bowl glory, and four straight years they were knocked out. In 1980 everything changed. The Patriots short yardage passing game took the AFL by storm as receivers Ahmad Rashad and Stanley Morgan thrived under Walsh's scientific passing system. The running game was as strong as ever with John Hannah leading the way for Chuck Foreman and Sam Cunningham's 1-2 punch up the gut, while the defense played tight and mistake free all season long. The Patriots not only broke through their playoff woes but they dominated the hyped San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XV to capture the franchise's first ever AFL Title. Bill Walsh will look to go back to back with his squad in 1981 with the young superstar Vince Ferragamo returning with a new rookie running back James Wilder filling in for the retired Chuck Foreman.





    San Diego Chargers:
    Stadium: Jack Murphy Stadium
    Head Coach: Don Coryell
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Ernie Zampese(wide receivers), Jim Hanifan(offensive line)
    1980 Record: 12-4


    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Dan Fouts
    HB- #33 Tony Dorsett
    WR- #89 Wes Chandler
    WR- #83 John Jefferson
    WR- #18 Charlie Joiner
    TE- #80 Kellen Winslow
    DE- #71 Fred Dean
    ILB- #51 Sam Mills(R)
    FS- #41 Charlie Waters

    The San Diego Super-Chargers were flying high in 1980 with a record breaking offense led by Dan Fouts. The Chargers avenged their upset loss to the Houston Oilers in the 79 playoffs by defeating them in the 1980 AFL Southwestern Conference Championship Game. San Diego would fall to the Patriots in Super Bowl XV but the core of the "Air Coryell" offense is set to return in 1981 to light up the scoreboards and bring an AFL Championship to San Diego!





    Houston Oilers:
    Stadium: Houston Astrodome
    Head Coach: Joe Gibbs
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Bugel(offensive line), Richie Petitbon(defensive coordinator)
    1980 Record: 12-4


    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Ken Stabler
    HB- #34 Earl Campbell
    FB- #44 John Riggins
    TE- #87 Dave Casper
    WR- #00 Kenny Burrough
    WR- #85 Charlie Brown(R)
    WR/KR- #84 Billy Johnson
    T- #72 Leon Gray
    T- #66 Joe Jacoby(R)
    G- #73 Mark May(R)
    G- #68 Russ Grimm(R)
    DT- #78 Curley Culp
    DE- #65 Elvin Bethea
    OLB- #52 Robert Brazile
    FS- #22 Roger Wehrli


    The Oilers shocked the world when they fired popular hometown hero head coach Bum Phillips immediately following the teams crushing loss to the San Diego Chargers in the 1980 AFL Southwestern Conference Championship Game. Houston acted quick to sign the playcaller behind the Chargers record setting offense when they hired former Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs. Gibbs will look to open up the Oilers' passing game to supplement the best power running game in the AFL in 1981.





    Cleveland Browns:
    Stadium: Cleveland Municipal Stadium
    Head Coach: Sam Rutigliano
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dick Macpherson, Marty Schottenhiemer(defensive coordinator)
    1980 Record: 11-5


    Impact Players:
    QB- #17 Brian Sipe
    HB- #32 Otis Anderson
    WR- #80 Harold Carmichael
    TE- #82 Ozzie Newsome
    T- #75 Dan Dierdorf
    G- #68 Joe Delamielleure
    DE- #77 Lyle Alzado
    OLB- #57 Clay Mathews

    Brian Sipe lit the AFL on fire in 1980 as he put in one of the best seasons of any Browns quarterback since the legendary Otto Graham. Sipe led the Browns to their best record since entering the AFL in 1978 and took the team to the AFL Northeastern Conference Championship Game where they fell to the New England Patriots. Cleveland looks to continue to improve in 1981 to contend for an AFL Championship.





    Los Angeles Raiders:
    Stadium: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
    Head Coach: Tom Flores
    Notable Assistant Coaches: N/A
    1980 Record: 11-5


    Impact Players:
    QB- #16 Jim Plunkett
    WR- #21 Cliff Branch
    G- #63 Gene Upshaw
    T- #78 Art Shell
    DE- #72 John Matuszak
    DT- #75 Howie Long(R)
    OLB- #83 Ted Hendricks
    OLB- #56 Lawrence Taylor(R)
    ILB- #55 Matt Millen
    CB- #37 Lester Hayes
    P- #8 Ray Guy

    The Raiders packed up during the offseason and moved from Oakland to Los Angeles where they will call the Memorial Coliseum their new home starting in 1981. The Raiders gave their Oakland fans something to be proud of in their final season in the city, finishing with an 11-5 record and finishing just 1 game out from making the playoffs. The Raiders made a bold move in the offseason to trade up and steal the hottest prospect in the 1981 AFL draft when they made the move to take linebacker Lawrence Taylor with the 3rd overall pick. Taylor shined in college football as a true phenom at linebacker.





    Pittsburgh Steelers:
    Stadium: Three Rivers Stadium
    Head Coach: Chuck Noll
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Tom Moore(wide receivers), Tony Dungy(defensive assistant)
    1980 Record: 9-7


    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Terry Bradshaw
    QB- #15 Neil Lomax(R)
    HB- #32 Franco Harris
    WR- #88 Lynn Swann
    WR- #82 John Stallworth
    C- #52 Mike Webster
    DT- #75 Joe Greene
    OLB- #59 Jack Ham
    ILB- #58 Jack Lambert
    CB- #47 Mel Blount
    K- #3 Mark Mosely

    Chuck Noll kept his ageless squad of veterans together for one more run for a Super Bowl in 1981. The Steelers fought through several injuries to make it to a 9-7 record in 1980. Pittsburgh will return healthy in 1981 to make a run for a 3rd AFL Championship!





    Miami Dolphins:
    Stadium: The Orange Bowl
    Head Coach: Don Shula
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Bill Arnsparger(defensive coordinator)
    1980 Record: 9-7


    Impact Players:
    QB- #17 Doug Williams
    HB- #20 Joe Cribbs
    C- #57 Dwight Stephenson
    T- #78 Jackie Slater
    T- #67 Bob Kuechenberg
    DT- #54 Randy White
    DE- #77 AJ Duhe
    OLB- #58 Kim Bokamper
    OLB- #56 Rickey Jackson(R)

    The Miami Dolphins began a new era in 1980 when quarterback Doug Williams took over as the full time starter in place of the injured veteran Bob Griese. Rookie running back Joe Cribbs shined in his first season, running for over 1,000 yards and helping Miami finish with a 9-7 record. The Dolphins defense emerged as one of the best in the AFL last year and they added to it when they drafted speedy outside linebacker Rickey Jackson in the 1981 AFL Draft.





    Buffalo Bills:
    Stadium: Rich Stadium
    Head Coach: Chuck Knox
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Wade Phillips(defensive line)
    1980 Record: 8-8


    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Joe Ferguson
    HB- #31 Wilbert Montgomery
    WR- #81 Mel Gray
    G- #69 Conrad Dobler
    DE- #85 Jack Youngblood
    ILB- #58 Isiah Robertson
    CB- #24 Everson Walls(R)

    Pressure is on Chuck Knox as he enters his fourth season as head coach of the club looking for his first playoff appearance with the team. The Bills made strides to improve in 1981. Knox will look to break the Bills through their glass ceiling with the return of Wilbert Mongomery from his knee injury and the addition of all pro offensive lineman Conrad Dobler in the offseason.





    New York Jets:
    Stadium: Shea Stadium
    Head Coach: Walt Michaels
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Jerry Glanville(defensive coordinator), Romeo Crennel(special teams)
    1980 Record: 7-9


    Impact Players:
    QB- #10 Steve Bartkowski
    QB- #11 Phil Simms
    HB- #27 Wendell Tyler
    HB- #24 Freeman Mcniel(R)
    DT- #73 Joe Klecko
    DT- #67 Dave Butz
    DE- #99 Mark Gastineau

    The New York Jets defense earned the nickname "The New York Sack Exchange" when they brutalized quarterbacks in the AFL in 1980. Defensive end Mark Gastineau emerged as a force to be reckoned with as the season progressed. The Jets will look to carry their momentum into the 1981 season and make a move for the playoffs!





    Cincinnati Bengals:
    Stadium: Riverfront Stadium
    Head Coach: Dick Vermiel
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Marion Campbell(defensive coordinator), Dick Lebeau(defensive backs)
    1980 Record: 7-9


    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Ken Anderson
    RB- #21 James Brooks(R)
    WR- #81 Drew Pearson
    WR- #80 Cris Collinsworth(R)
    T- #65 Max Montoya
    T- #78 Anthony Munoz
    CB- #47 Herman Edwards
    SS- #49 Gary Fencik

    The Cincinnati Bengals will debut their new tiger striped uniforms and helmets in 1981 as Dick Vermiel enters his third season with the franchise. The Bengals will enter the 1981 season with questions looming over their aging quarterback Ken Anderson, a former AFL MVP that many feel father time has caught up with. The Bengals brought in new young weapons in running back James Brooks and receiver Cris Collinsworth to support their aging gunslinger in 1981.





    Kansas City Chiefs:
    Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
    Head Coach: Marv Levy
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dick Nolan(defensive coordinator), Emmitt Thomas(defensive backs)
    1980 Record: 7-9


    Impact Players:
    QB- #19 Joe Montana
    HB- #34 Walter Payton
    WR- #81 Art Monk
    C- #53 Jeff Bostic
    ILB- #55 Dewey Selmon
    DE- #72 Too Tall Jones
    CB- #42 Ronnie Lott(R)

    The Chiefs proved last season that the were no longer the punching bag of the AFL. Joe Montana thrived in his 2nd season and Walter Payton proved to be the most versatile running backs in the AFL. The Chiefs looked to improve their defense when they drafted Ronnie Lott in the 1981 AFL draft. Head coach Marv Levy will be in the hot seat in 1981 as the pressure is on for his squad to break through and put up a winning record for the first time in nearly a decade.





    Denver Broncos:
    Stadium: Mile High Stadium
    Head Coach: Dan Reeves
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Collier(defensive coordinator)
    1980 Record: 6-10


    Impact Players:
    QB- #8 Archie Manning
    HB- #38 George Rogers(R)
    FB- #44 Ricky Bell
    OLB- #57 Tom Jackson
    ILB- #53 Randy Gradishar
    CB- #20 Louis Wright

    The Denver Broncos started a new era with a change in ownership in the offseason as well as the promotion of offensive coordinator Dan Reeves to the new head coach. Archie Manning looks to return to prime form after an injury plagued season dragged him down in 1980. The Broncos also added Heisman Trophy winning running back George Rogers in the 1981 AFL Draft.





    Baltimore Colts:
    Stadium: Memorial Stadium
    Head Coach: Buddy Ryan
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Jerry Burns(offensive coordinator), Joe Vitt(strength/quality control)
    1980 Record: 6-10


    Impact Players:
    QB- #7 Bert Jones
    HB- #20 Billy Sims
    WR- #81 Roger Carr
    MLB- #50 Mike Singletary(R)
    OLB- #41 Phil Villapiano
    DE- #65 Harvey Martin
    DE- #72 Dexter Manley(R)
    DT- #99 Dan Hampton
    DT- #76 Steve Mcmichael

    The Baltimore Colts running back Billy Sims torched the AFL in his rookie season in 1980 and will look to do so again in his sophomore season in 1981. Questions hang over the head of Bert Jones, a former superstar quarterback in the NFL who struggled with injuries ever since the team made the transition into the AFL in 1978. Jones will look to return to prime form this season while on the other side of the ball head coach Buddy Ryan has put together a formidable defense that will be a tough test for any offense in the AFL.





    Seattle Seahawks:
    Stadium: The Kingdome
    Head Coach: Jack Patera
    Notable Assistant Coaches: N/A
    1980 Record: 4-12


    Impact Players:
    QB- #10 Jim Zorn
    HB- #36 William Andrews
    T- #73 Ron Yary
    WR- #80 Steve Largent
    WR- #81 James Lofton
    DE- #77 Lee Roy Selmon
    SS- #45 Kenny Easley(R)

    The Seattle Seahawks fell on hard times in 1980 but they looked to turn their fortunes around when they selected Kenny Easley with the first pick in the draft to help strengthen one of the weakest defensive backfields in the AFL. Quarterback Jim Zorn will also be in the hotseat after a disappointing season in 1980 while backup Dave Krieg looked solid enough to threaten for the starting job.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 10-07-2017 at 03:31 AM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    It’s awesome you’re still doing this! I’ve got so much to catch up on.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Fun thread to read. Hope there are more posts coming in the future.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football


    1981



    1981 AFL MVP: Dan Fouts(QB, San Diego Chargers), 4,890 passing yards, 35 touchdowns, 18 interceptions


    1981 AFL Standings

    AFL Northeast Football Conference
    Cincinnati Bengals 14-2
    New York Jets 10-6
    Buffalo Bills 10-6
    Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
    New England Patriots 8-8
    Baltimore Colts 6-10
    Cleveland Browns 5-11

    AFL Southwest Football Conference
    San Diego Chargers 12-4
    Miami Dolphins 11-5
    Kansas City Chiefs 11-5
    Houston Oilers 9-7
    Los Angeles Raiders 8-8
    Seattle Seahawks 6-10
    Denver Broncos 4-12


    1981 AFL Playoffs


    AFL Northeastern Conference Championship
    vs
    New York Jets 13 @ Cincinnati Bengals 24



    AFL Southwestern Conference Championship
    vs
    Miami Dolphins 31 @ San Diego Chargers 34(2OT)






    vs
    San Diego Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals


    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
    Chargers 0 0 0 14 14
    Bengals 7 0 7 7 21


    Super Bowl XVI MVP:


    Ken Anderson(213 passing yards, 2 touchdowns)


    The San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals met in the real life AFC Championship Game in 1981-82 on a frigid ice cold field in Cincinnati in one of the coldest games ever played in NFL history. In this universe both of these teams would have been even better than they were in real life that year. San Diego never trades Fred Dean or Wes Chandler mid-season and they have one of the most dangerous all around weapons in Tony Dorsett their offense would have been even better and their defense would have been just a little bit tougher. With Cincinnati having an even better head coach in Dick Vermiel they would have also been better than they were in real life in 1981. A lot of people think that San Diego would have beat Cincinnati and advanced to Super Bowl XVI if not for the frigid conditions of the 1981 AFC Championship Game played in Cincinnati that year(people forget/don't know that Cincy beat them handily in sunny San Diego that regular season).

    So in this alternate universe these two teams are even better than they were in real life and they clash in the AFL Championship in an indoor stadium on a neutral site. The result that played out on my NFL 2K5 simulation with these two teams was Cincinnati taking a 14-0 lead into the 4th quarter after shutting down San Diego's offense completely. San Diego fights back with 2 Dan Fouts touchdown passes to tie it up late in the game but Ken Anderson drives the Bengals down the field to take a 21-14 lead with 1:21 left in the game. San Diego drives down the field in the final minute to make it to Cinci's 5 yard line for the dramatic finish. Tony Dorsett catches a screen pass and gets tackled just short of the end zone, forcing a dramatic 4th and 10 play at the goal line with :10 seconds left in the game. Dan Fouts dropped back to pass it and hit Wes Chandler in the back of the end zone but he was unable to get his feet in bounds, the pass was ruled incomplete/out of bounds, giving Cincinnati the win 21-14.





    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkADj0TPrJA

    AFL '81: In The Air Tonight


    There was something in the air in 1981. This is the year that MTV launched on the revolutionary new "Cable TV" medium, Space Shuttle Columbia took flight into space for the first time, Rondald Reagan was elected President of the United States, Indiana Jones hit the big screen with "Raiders Of The Lost Ark", and Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight" hit the radio airwaves. On the Gridiron the American Football League had a smash hit season that seen the football in the air more than ever, with the San Diego Super Chargers shattering offensive records all season. Dan Fouts would dominate the AFL and set new marks with 4,890 passing yards and 35 touchdown passes. Fouts was involved in a heated race for the AFL MVP title with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson, an aging old gunslinger who many thought his best days were behind him. Anderson had an amazing comeback season with 3,822 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and an AFL leading 99.2 quarterback rating.




    The 1981 AFL season was full of it's surprises, both good and bad. Nobody expected the Cleveland Browns to finish in last place in the Northeastern Conference. Cleveland was hyped as one of the top contenders after their 11-5 finish in 1980 where they made it all the way to the Northeastern Conference Championship Game on the strength of quarterback Brian Sipe's rocket arm. Injuries plagued the Browns 1981 campaign and their star quarterback struggled to a 5-11 record. The Denver Broncos also finished in last place in the Southwest with a 4-12 record under Dan Reeves first year as head coach. The Broncos fans were given hope by the arrival of rookie sensation George Rogers, the phenom running back that carried the Broncos offense with 1,455 rushing yards to win the Rookie Of The Year award. The Seattle Seahawks found themselves in the cellar of the Southwest Conference with a 6-10 record despite another great season by receiver Steve Largent and running back William Andrews. Seahawks coach Ken Patera and quarterback Jim Zorn find themselves on the hot seat after another disappointing season in Seattle but rookie defensive back Kenny Easley shined bright in his debut season. It wasn't all gloom and doom among the also-rans of the AFL, as the Baltimore Colts fought for their best record yet since they joined the AFL with a 6-10 finish. Head coach Buddy Ryan put together one of the toughest defenses in the AFL with Harvey Martin, Steve Mcmichael, and Dan Hampton being joined by stellar rookies Mike Singletary and Dexter Manley. The Colts defense ranked 2nd in fewest total yard allowed while running back Billy Simms led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,690. The Colts looked to be on the rise in 1981 and ready to finally break through to become a contender in the AFL in the future.

    The Houston Oilers kickstarted a new era under head coach Joe Gibbs but it was the same ole song and dance for Earl Campbell as he ran for over 1,322 rushing yards behind a rejuvenated offensive line. Houston struggled to a 2-6 start but the team rallied down the stretch to win 7 of their last 8 games to finish with a winning 9-7 record. The Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves left out of the postseason for the second consecutive year following their AFL Championship runs in 1978 and 1979. Pittsburgh struggled through key injuries to the defense to a 4-5 start to the season, head coach Chuck Knoll pulled the team together to win 5 of their last 7 games to finish with a 9-7 record. Bill Walsh's defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots also struggled early on in the season as the rest of the AFL adjusted to better defend Walsh's next level "West Coast" offense, which took the league by surprise last year. The defending AFL Champions fought the entire season with a target on their backs, losing key upsets to the upstart Jets and Raiders late in the season that knocked them out of the highly competitive Northeastern Conference race. The Patriots still managed to finish with a 9-7 record and will look to return to the Championship hunt in 1982.

    The biggest story of the AFL going into the 1981 season was the Oakland Raiders move to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Raiders seemed to be effected by the move early on in the season as they struggled to a 1-4 start. The team came together through the course of the season with the emergence of rookie linebacker Lawrence Taylor fitting in with the Silver and Black like a hand in a glove. Taylor dominated down the stretch and single handedly changed the outcomes of games like few linebackers have ever done in AFL history. Taylor went on to earn AFL Defensive Player Of The Year honors in his rookie season. LT was joined by another impact rookie on defense in Howie Long, who along with Lester Hayes and Ted Hendricks led the defense to compensate for an aging offense to score big wins late in the season and finish with an 8-8 record.




    1981 was also the season that head coach Chuck Knox brought the Buffalo Bills their first winning season since 1974. Spearheaded by a power running game led by Wilbert Montgomery and a hard nose Chuck Knox defense, the Bills fought to a 10-6 record. Montgomery was one of the best comeback stories of 1981 as he ran for over 1,000 yards in his return from the knee injury that cut his 1980 season short. Knox's Bills finished 3rd in the Northeast Conference due to tiebreakers with the 10-6 Jets denying Buffalo the spot in the Northeastern Conference Championship Game. One of the biggest surprises in the AFL in 1981 was the New York Jets. The Jets finished with their first winning record since Joe Namath led the 1975 team to an 8-6 finish in one of his last great years. The Jets defensive line led by Mark Gastineau was one of the fiercest pass rushing units in the AFL in 1981 while quarterback Steve Bartkowski was one of the best passers in the league with over 30 touchdown passes and 3,800 passing yards. The Jets secured their spot in the Northeastern Conference Championship Game with a late season win over Buffalo giving them a 10-6 record and the tiebreaker for 2nd place in the conference. The Jets played the Bengals on an icy field in Cincinnati in their first post season game since 1969. In the end the Jets season came to an end in the sub-zero temperatures as the Bengals pulled away with a 24-13 win.

    While the race for 2nd place in the Northeast came down to Buffalo and New York, in the Southwest Conference it was a fierce race between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. The Kansas City Chiefs emerged as one of the best teams in the AFL in 1981 with quarterback Joe Montana maturing into one of the elite quarterbacks in the AFL. Montana had 4 fourth quarter come from behind victories while Walter Payton ran for over 1,200 rushing yards and had over 600 receiving yards. One of the biggest difference makers for the Chiefs in 1981 was rookie defensive back Ronnie Lott, a dominant and physical defender that emerged as one of the best in the AFL in his rookie year. The Chiefs fought to an 11-5 record but fell to 3rd place in the Southwest due to tiebreakers with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins finished strong with an 11-5 record and took 2nd place in the Southwest on the strength of their "Killer B's" defense. Dolphins quarterback Doug Williams and rookie running back Joe Cribbs thrived behind the protection of Jackie Slater and rookie center Dwight Stephenson. Cribbs had a breakout rookie season rushing for 1,255 yards and 8 touchdowns. Miami would go on to face the Chargers in San Diego in stifling heat in one of the greatest AFL games ever played in the 1981 Southwestern Conference Championship Game, a double overtime thriller that would go on to be won by the Chargers with a field goal 34-31.




    The victory over Miami in the 1981 Southwestern Conference Championship Game would be the defining moment for the San Diego Chargers season. The Chargers broke offensive records in 1981 with Dan Fouts having the best season of his career. Tony Dorsett rushed for over 1,000 yards while also catching over 800 receiving yards while 3 of San Diego's receivers had 1,000 yard seasons. Defensive lineman Fred Dean had an All Pro season leading the Chargers defense. San Diego clinched 1st place in the Southwest Conference with a 12-4 record. The triumph over Miami in the Southwestern Conference Championship was short lived as San Diego would fall to the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI, losing their second consecutive Super Bowl in dramatic fashion after a game tying touchdown pass from Fouts to Chandler in the final seconds of the game was ruled incomplete out of bounds.




    Even though San Diego had the best offense in AFL history in 1981 it was the Cincinnati Bengals who emerged as the strongest all around team in the league in 1981, their third season with Dick Vermiel as head coach. The Bengals big storyline going into the 1981 season was quarterback Ken Anderson and the pressure for him to return to the prime form that won him an AFL MVP award back in 1975. Anderson fell off the mountain and struggled badly in 1978 and 1979 but showed signs of improvement under Dick Vermiel's offensive system in 1980. Going into the 1981 season the pressure was on the aging old gunslinger, many thought it could be Anderson's final year if he failed to produce for Cincinnati. Anderson rose to the occasion in 1981 and returned to elite form with the highest passer rating of any quarterback in the AFL, just barely losing out on a second AFL MVP award to Dan Fouts. Ken Anderson benefit from the youth of rookie running back James Brooks and rookie receiver Cris Collinsworth while the Bengals defense led the AFL in fewest total yards allowed. Cincinnati ran away with the Northeastern Conference title with a 14-2 record.

    In the Northeastern Conference Championship Game the Bengals dominated the Jets to advance to their 3rd Super Bowl. Cincinnati shut down the highest powered offense in AFL history when they held the Chargers scoreless for the first 3 quarters of Super Bowl XVI. The Bengals fought off a comeback attempt and Ken Anderson threw the game winning touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter to give them the victory and the AFL Championship. The victory in Super Bowl XVI erased Ken Anderson and Cincinnati's heartbreaking losses in Super Bowl V and Super Bowl X, with Anderson's Super Bowl MVP award making a strong statement about who the real true best quarterback in the AFL in 1981 truly was.


    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-01-2018 at 01:33 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    AFL Offseason News
    February, March, April 1982



    Browns trade Lyle Alzado to LA Raiders

    All Pro defensive lineman Lyle Alzado has been traded to the Los Angeles Raiders for a late round draft pick in the upcoming 1982 AFL Draft. Alzado was a dominant defensive lineman on the Super Bowl winning "Orange Crush" defense of the Denver Broncos. Lyle spent the last 3 seasons playing for the Cleveland Browns. Alzado's veteran experience will be valuable to the Raiders young defense starring Lawrence Taylor and Howie Long entering their sophomore seasons while Ted Hendricks, Matt Millen, and Lester Hayes will be returning to bolster what should be one of the best defensive units in the AFL in 1982.


    AFL expands post season format with 2 additional "Wild Card" games

    The AFL has ruled to bring back the Wild Card Playoff Games for the 1982 season, expanding the post season tournament bracket to 6 teams. The 2nd place and 3rd place teams in both the Northeastern and Southwestern Conferences will play in the Wild Card round with the winners advancing to face the 1st place teams in their respective Conference Championship Games.


    "Mean" Joe Greene, Gene Upshaw, Curley Culp lead class of 1982 retirements

    The legendary Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene has called it a career after 13 seasons in pro football(9 in the NFL and 4 in the AFL). Greene was one of the most dominant defensive players of all time, helping Pittsburgh win NFL Championships in 1974 and 1975. The Steelers transitioned to the AFL in 1976 where Greene continued his dominance, helping Pittsburgh become the only team to win league Championships in both the AFL and NFL when the Steelers won the AFL Super Bowl Title in 1978 and 1979. Other notable retirements this spring include longtime Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Gene Upshaw, former Oilers/Chiefs defensive lineman Curley Culp, San Diego Chargers defensive back Charlie Waters, Houston Oilers receiver Ken Burrough, Raiders defensive lineman John Matuszak, and former Bills/Steelers offensive lineman Conrad Dobler.


    Phil Simms signs with CFL

    The Canadian Football League landed a huge coup when New York Jets backup quarterback chose to sign a contract with the Edmonton Eskimos after losing the starting QB job in New York to Steve Bartkowski in 1981. Simms was neck and neck with Bartkowski ever since he was drafted by the Jets but Bartkowski sealed the starting job after a breakout year in 1981.


    Denver Broncos sign star CFL quarterback Tommy Kramer

    The Denver Broncos appeared to take steps to move on from veteran Archie Manning when they signed Edmonton Eskimos star Gray Cup winning quarterback Tommy Kramer to a contract. Kramer broke CFL records with the Eskimos in 1979 and 1980 after failing to land a job in the AFL. Archie Manning's contract with the Broncos runs through the 1982 season and he is expected to get an opportunity to compete to keep his starting job.


    AFL Hall Of Fame Class Of '82 inductees revealed

    The 1982 AFL Hall Of Fame class of inductees is headlined by the founder of the league and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Hunt. Hunt will be joined in the Hall by his longtime head coach of the Chiefs, Super Bowl IV winning head coach Hank Stram. Other inductees include Super Bowl III winning head coach of the Jets Weeb Ewbank, former Raiders defensive lineman Tom Keating, and former Bills defensive lineman Tom Sestak.


    Tracking assistant coaching changes around the AFL

    The Seattle Seahawks signed Joe Vitt, former strength coach for the Baltimore Colts. Vitt will take on the roll of defensive quality control assistant.

    The New England Patriots sign former New York Jets special teams assistant Romeo Crennell. Crennell will take the job as a special teams and defensive assistant.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Good to see this up and running again. I'll be reading.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football





    1982 AFL Draft




    Notable first round picks:







    With the 1st overall pick in the 1982 AFL draft, the Denver Broncos select...


    Spoiler:




    Chip Banks, Linebacker(USC)








    With the 5th overall pick in the 1982 AFL Draft, the Los Angeles Raiders select...


    Spoiler:




    Marcus Allen, Running Back(USC)










    With the 6th overall pick in the 1982 AFL draft the New England Patriots select...


    Spoiler:




    Mike Munchak, Offensive Lineman(Penn State)










    With the 7th overall pick in the 1982 AFL draft the Pittsburgh Steelers select...


    Spoiler:




    Gerald Riggs, Running Back(Arizona State)










    With the 9th overall pick in the 1982 AFL draft the Buffalo Bills select...


    Spoiler:




    Luis Sharpe, Offensive Lineman(UCLA)










    With the 10th overall pick in the 1982 AFL draft the New York Jets select...


    Spoiler:




    Mike Quick, Wide Receiver(North Carolina State)





    Notable Later Round Picks:



    Los Angeles Raiders- Jim Mcmahon, Quarterback(BYU)
    New England Patriots- Andre Tippett, Linebacker(Iowa)
    Miami Dolphins- Mark Duper, Wide Receiver(Northwestern State)
    Cleveland Browns- Morten Anderson, Kicker(Michigan State)
    Baltimore Colts- Steve Jordan, Tight End(Brown)
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-06-2018 at 07:47 PM.

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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football



    1982 AFL Pre-Season Scouting Report


    The American Football League is ready to kick off it's 22nd season in 1982 with action packed excitement on the gridiron and all of the big time superstars of pro football ready to return to the field. The AFL is coming off another wildly successful season in 1981 and hit 1982 running on all cylinders after signing a new collective bargaining agreement with the AFL Players Association guaranteeing improved health and retirement benefits along with higher player salaries. The big news in the offseason was the addition of 2 "Wild Card" playoff games, one in each conference. Throughout the 16 game regular season schedule and the 6 team playoff tournament all roads this year in the AFL lead to Super Bowl XVII, January 30th 1983 at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena California!





    Cincinnati Bengals:
    Stadium: Riverfront Stadium
    Head Coach: Dick Vermiel
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Marion Campbell(defensive coordinator), Dick Lebeau(defensive backs)
    1981 Record: 14-2(Super Bowl XVI Champions)


    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Ken Anderson
    RB- #21 James Brooks
    WR- #81 Drew Pearson
    WR- #80 Cris Collinsworth
    T- #65 Max Montoya
    T- #78 Anthony Munoz
    CB- #47 Herman Edwards
    SS- #49 Gary Fencik

    The Bengals dominated the AFL in 1981 en route to the very first league title in franchise history. Ken Anderson returned to his prime form that won him the 1975 AFL MVP award, putting to bed all of the talk of him being washed up and too old as he led the entire AFL with the highest passer rating in the league in 1981. Many fans felt like Anderson was robbed the AFL MVP award when he barely lost out to Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts, who set new records in yards and touchdown passes. Cincinnati's defense shut down the record setting San Diego Chargers offense in Super Bowl XVI in the Pontiac Silverdome. Ken Anderson was able to throw a critical touchdown to give the Bengals the lead with less than 2 minutes left in the game. The Bengals were able to hold on to their lead to win and erase the painful memories of their Super Bowl X and Super Bowl V losses to the Oakland Raiders. The Bengals will return in 1982 looking to defend their AFL Title. Dick Vermiel coached one of the most well rounded offensive units in AFL history in 1981 with a powerful offensive line and all star performances by rookie running back James Brooks, rookie receiver Cris Collinsworth and veteran Drew Pearson. In 1982 Cincinnati's offense will return with more experience as they look to make a run for back to back AFL Super Bowl titles.





    San Diego Chargers:
    Stadium: Jack Murphy Stadium
    Head Coach: Don Coryell
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Ernie Zampese(wide receivers), Jim Hanifan(offensive line)
    1981 Record: 12-4


    Impact Players:
    QB- #14 Dan Fouts
    HB- #33 Tony Dorsett
    WR- #89 Wes Chandler
    WR- #83 John Jefferson
    WR- #18 Charlie Joiner
    TE- #80 Kellen Winslow
    DE- #71 Fred Dean
    ILB- #51 Sam Mills

    The San Diego Super Chargers broke AFL offensive records in 1981 with Dan Fouts rewriting the record books en route to the AFL MVP honors. Don Coryell's "Air Coryell" offense was unstoppable in 1981 with Tony Dorsett being one of the most dangerous offensive weapons on the field. All 3 of the Chargers star receiving corps, Joiner, Jefferson, Chandler, and tight end Kellen Winslow will return with Fouts and Dorsett in 1982. On the defensive side of the ball the Chargers will be missing Charlie Waters, all star cornerback who retired after the 1981 season. San Diego has won 2 consecutive AFL Southwestern Conference Championship Games but have fallen short in both of the last 2 Super Bowls. Coryell and Fouts will return in 1982 looking to finally break through and win the AFL Championship.






    Miami Dolphins:
    Stadium: The Orange Bowl
    Head Coach: Don Shula
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Bill Arnsparger(defensive coordinator)
    1981 Record: 11-5


    Impact Players:
    QB- #17 Doug Williams
    HB- #20 Joe Cribbs
    WR- #85 Mark Duper(R)
    C- #57 Dwight Stephenson
    T- #78 Jackie Slater
    T- #67 Bob Kuechenberg
    DT- #54 Randy White
    DE- #77 AJ Duhe
    OLB- #58 Kim Bokamper
    OLB- #56 Rickey Jackson

    There are many who say that Don Shula is the greatest head coach in AFL history. After winning 3 consecutive AFL titles in the 1970's(including the perfect undefeated season in 1972) Shula's Dolphins fell off the top of the AFL mountain. Gradually over the past 5 years Don Shula has rebuilt the Dolphins into a contender again. Last season Miami made it to the AFL Southwestern Conference Championship and lost in a thrilling double overtime duel with the San Diego Chargers in sweltering California heat and humidity. The Dolphins fell short against San Diego but the game will live on as one of the greatest in AFL history, a game that the press recently gave the nickname "The Game That No One Should Have Lost". The loss was a painful one for Miami but perhaps it was one that will unite the team to come back even stronger in 1982, the 10 year anniversary of their undefeated 1972 AFL Championship season. Doug Williams will return with last season's rookie sensation Joe Cribbs playing behind one of the elite offensive lines in the league. The Dolphins strength remains their defense with Randy White, "The Manster" emerging as one of the true savage defenders in the league in 1981. White will lead a unit nicknamed "The Killer B's", Doug Betters, Bob Baumhower, Kim Bokamper, Bob Brudzkinski, and the Blackwood brothers Lyle and Glenn, the Dolphins defense swarmed opponents in 1981 and look to return faster and stronger in 1982.





    Kansas City Chiefs:
    Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
    Head Coach: Marv Levy
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dick Nolan(defensive coordinator), Emmitt Thomas(defensive backs)
    1981 Record: 11-5


    Impact Players:
    QB- #19 Joe Montana
    HB- #34 Walter Payton
    WR- #81 Art Monk
    C- #53 Jeff Bostic
    ILB- #55 Dewey Selmon
    DE- #72 Too Tall Jones
    CB- #42 Ronnie Lott

    The Kansas City Chiefs returned to glory in 1981 with their most wins in a season since their 1969 Super Bowl winning season. Unfortunately tiebreakers kept the 11-5 Chiefs out of the AFL Southwestern Conference Championship but there was no doubt that Kansas City was the most improved team in the AFL in 1981. Head coach Marv Levy looks to continue that improvement going into the 1982 season where the Chiefs are highly expected to be one of the top teams in the Southwestern Conference. Joe Montana shined as one of the biggest stars in the AFL last year after leading the Chiefs to multiple thrilling last second come from behind victories. Walter Payton remains the greatest running back in the AFL while the addition of Ronnie Lott to the defensive backfield made the Chiefs defense legit seemingly overnight. Kansas City was one of the original bedrock teams of the AFL but the franchise fell on hard times in the 1970's. In 1982 Montana and company will look to bring the Chiefs back to prominence as one of the premier teams in the AFL going forward in the 1980's.





    New York Jets:
    Stadium: Shea Stadium
    Head Coach: Walt Michaels
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Jerry Glanville(defensive coordinator)
    1981 Record: 10-6


    Impact Players:
    QB- #10 Steve Bartkowski
    HB- #27 Wendell Tyler
    HB- #24 Freeman Mcniel
    WR- #82 Mike Quick(R)
    DT- #73 Joe Klecko
    DT- #67 Dave Butz
    DE- #99 Mark Gastineau

    The Jets were a surprising success in 1981 after pulling off multiple upsets to steal the 2nd place and the spot in the AFL Northwestern Conference Championship Game. New York fell just one game short of returning to the Super Bowl when their dreams were dashed by the Bengals in sub-zero temperatures. The strength of the Jets going into the 1982 season is Jerry Glanville's defense. The unit earned the nickname "The New York Sack Exchange" last season as Mark Gastineau dominated as one of the best pass rushers in the league.





    Buffalo Bills:
    Stadium: Rich Stadium
    Head Coach: Chuck Knox
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Wade Phillips(defensive line)
    1981 Record: 10-6


    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Joe Ferguson
    HB- #31 Wilbert Montgomery
    WR- #81 Mel Gray
    T- #67 Luis Sharpe(R)
    DE- #85 Jack Youngblood
    ILB- #58 Isiah Robertson
    CB- #24 Everson Walls

    Chuck Knox worked his way off of the hot seat last year by leading the Bills to their first winning season since 1974. The Bills won 10 games by playing traditional Chuck Knox football, power running and strong defense. Wilbert Montgomery had a great comeback from knee surgery in 1981 and will be back even stronger in 1982 while the Bills veteran defense led by Jack Youngblood and Isiah Robertson keeps Buffalo at the top of the food chain in the AFL Northwestern Division.






    Houston Oilers:
    Stadium: Houston Astrodome
    Head Coach: Joe Gibbs
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Bugel(offensive line), Richie Petitbon(defensive coordinator)
    1981 Record: 9-7


    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Ken Stabler
    QB- #1 Warren Moon
    HB- #34 Earl Campbell
    FB- #44 John Riggins
    TE- #87 Dave Casper
    WR- #85 Charlie Brown
    WR/PR- #84 Billy "White Shoes" Johnson
    T- #72 Leon Gray
    T- #66 Joe Jacoby
    G- #73 Mark May
    G- #68 Russ Grimm
    DE- #65 Elvin Bethea
    OLB- #52 Robert Brazile
    FS- #22 Roger Wehrli

    Joe Gibbs first season in Houston got off to a rough start as the defense struggled and the Oilers fell to 2-6. Gibbs rallied the Oilers and led them to win 7 of their last 8 games to finish with a winning 9-7 record. Reports coming out of training camp are that back up Warren Moon could compete for the starting quarterback job with star Ken Stabler. Moon has been a serviceable backup for the Oilers since he was drafted by the team in the late rounds of the 1978 AFL Draft. Ken Stabler struggled late in the 1981 season and many speculate that father time has finally caught up with the former 3 time Super Bowl MVP. Earl Campbell returns in 1982 with help in the backfield from John Riggins, a powerfull fullback/feature back that came on strong in Campbell's 2 game absence due to his ankle injury in 1981. The young offensive line comprised of Mark May, Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, and veteran Leon Gray became collectively known as "The Hogs" and look to emerge as one of the best lines in the league as they enter their 2nd year together in 1982.





    Pittsburgh Steelers:
    Stadium: Three Rivers Stadium
    Head Coach: Chuck Noll
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Tom Moore(wide receivers), Tony Dungy(defensive assistant)
    1981 Record: 9-7


    Impact Players:
    QB- #12 Terry Bradshaw
    QB- #15 Neil Lomax
    HB- #32 Franco Harris
    HB- #37 Gerald Riggs(R)
    WR- #88 Lynn Swann
    WR- #82 John Stallworth
    C- #52 Mike Webster
    OLB- #59 Jack Ham
    ILB- #58 Jack Lambert
    CB- #47 Mel Blount
    K- #3 Mark Mosely

    The Steelers lost one of the all time legends when "Mean" Joe Greene announced his retirement in the off season. Pittsburgh's defense will look to stay competitive as age catches up to their veteran unit. Jack Lambert and Jack Ham will both return in 1982 along with Mel Blount in the defensive backfield. Franco Harris will return and will get some help in the backfield from rookie understudy Gerald Riggs. Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll will again return in 1982 to try to return to the Super Bowl and tie the legendary 1960's Green Bay Packers dynasty with a 5th pro title.





    New England Patriots:
    Stadium: Shaefer Stadium
    Head Coach: Bill Walsh
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Chuck Studley(defensive coordinator), Bill Parcells(linebackers), Bill Belichick(special teams), Romeo Crennel(special teams/defensive assistant)
    1981 Record: 8-8


    Impact Players:
    QB- #16 Vince Ferragamo
    HB- #32 James Wilder
    FB- #39 Sam Cunningham
    WR- #28 Ahmad Rashad
    WR- #86 Stanley Morgan
    TE- #89 Dwight Clark
    G- #73 John Hannah
    G- #63 Mike Munchak(R)
    C- #51 Randy Cross
    ILB- #57 Steve Nelson
    ILB- #53 Harry Carson
    OLB- #56 Andre Tippett(R)
    OLB- #58 Keena Turner
    CB- #40 Mike Haynes

    Bill Walsh's New England Patriots took the AFL by storm in 1980, utilizing an innovative new offense to capture the Super Bowl XV title. The team struggled in 1981 but still managed to finish with an 8-8 record in spite of quarterback Vince Ferragamo's mid season collapse and a myriad of injuries to their aging veteran roster. The Patriots look to bounce back in 1982 even after the rest of the league had caught up to Walsh's ground breaking offensive style. New England's road to the Super Bowl hit a road block early when quarterback Vince Ferragamo held out of training camp in an attempt to get a new contract. The Patriots could be in trouble if Ferragamo's hold out is not worked out soon. The Patriots brought in some youth through the draft with the addition of offensive lineman Mike Munchak and linebacker Andre Tippett, two talented rookies that could make an impact in 1982.





    Los Angeles Raiders:
    Stadium: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
    Head Coach: Tom Flores
    Notable Assistant Coaches: N/A
    1981 Record: 8-8


    Impact Players:
    QB- #16 Jim Plunkett
    QB- #9 Jim Mcmahon(R)
    HB- #32 Marcus Allen(R)
    WR- #21 Cliff Branch
    T- #78 Art Shell
    DE- #77 Lyle Alzado
    DT- #75 Howie Long
    OLB- #83 Ted Hendricks
    OLB- #56 Lawrence Taylor
    ILB- #55 Matt Millen
    CB- #37 Lester Hayes
    P- #8 Ray Guy

    The Raiders struggled to adjust during their first inaugural season in Los Angeles but the defense rallied late in the season and put together a string of performances that gave LA fans something to get excited about in 1982. The Raiders made another bold move on draft day with a huge trade with the New England Patriots, trading their 3rd and 4rd round picks in the 1982 draft along with their 1st and 3rd round picks in the 1983 draft and a conditional late round pick in the 1984 draft for the 1st round pick from the Patriots(5th overall selection, New England was traded the pick by the Baltimore Colts, the same 1st round pick that The Raiders traded to the Colts in the 1981 draft when they moved up to take Lawrence Taylor). The masterful trade pulled off by Al Davis was used to take Heisman Trophy winning running back out of USC, Marcus Allen with the 5th overall pick in the 1st round. Another bold move by Davis was made when the Raiders traded for Lyle Alzado, tough as nails defensive lineman from the Cleveland Browns. Alzado adds even more muscle to one of the most ferocious defensive units in the AFL when he joins Matt Millen, Lester Hayes, Ted Hendricks, Howie Long, and 1981 AFL Defensive Player Of The Year Lawrence Taylor.





    Baltimore Colts:
    Stadium: Memorial Stadium
    Head Coach: Buddy Ryan
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Jerry Burns(offensive coordinator)
    1981 Record: 6-10


    Impact Players:
    QB- #7 Bert Jones
    HB- #20 Billy Sims
    TE- #83 Steve Jordan(R)
    WR- #81 Roger Carr
    MLB- #50 Mike Singletary
    OLB- #41 Phil Villapiano
    DE- #65 Harvey Martin
    DE- #72 Dexter Manley
    DT- #99 Dan Hampton
    DT- #76 Steve Mcmichael

    The Baltimore Colts 1981 season was their most promising since the franchise made the switch from the defunct NFL to the AFL in 1978. The Colts defensive unit came together under head coach Buddy Ryan while Bert Jones had his best season since the Colts joined the AFL. Billy Sims outrushed both Earl Campbell and Walter Payton in 1981 to prove that he is the best running back in the AFL today. The strength of the Colts in 1982 will surely be their fearsome front defensive line, perhaps the strongest in all of the AFL with Dan Hampton, Harvey Martin, Dexter Manley, and Steve "Mongo" Mcmichael. Buddy Ryan has the Colts built into a contender in 1982 as Baltimore yearns for their team to return to the glory days they experience in the NFL in the past. 1982 could be the year the Colts finally break through in the AFL.





    Seattle Seahawks:
    Stadium: The Kingdome
    Head Coach: Jack Patera
    Notable Assistant Coaches:
    Joe Vitt(strength/quality control)
    1981 Record: 6-10


    Impact Players:
    QB- #10 Jim Zorn
    QB- #17 Dave Krieg
    HB- #36 William Andrews
    T- #73 Ron Yary
    WR- #80 Steve Largent
    WR- #81 James Lofton
    DE- #77 Lee Roy Selmon
    SS- #45 Kenny Easley

    The Seahawks continued to struggle in 1981 but ownership decided to stick with head coach Jack Patera and quarterback Jim Zorn for the 1982 season. The brightest young star for the Seahawks is without a doubt defensive back Kenny Easley, who emerged as one of the best at his position in his rookie year last year. Running back William Andrews and receiving duo of Steve Largent and James Lofton carried the Seahawks offense last season and will look to do it again in 1982, while Jim Zorn will have to fight for his starting job with backup Dave Krieg breathing down his neck in training camp. The 1982 season will be a make or break year for both Patera and Zorn.





    Cleveland Browns:
    Stadium: Cleveland Municipal Stadium
    Head Coach: Sam Rutigliano
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Dick Macpherson, Marty Schottenhiemer(defensive coordinator)
    1981 Record: 5-11


    Impact Players:
    QB- #17 Brian Sipe
    HB- #32 Otis Anderson
    WR- #80 Harold Carmichael
    TE- #82 Ozzie Newsome
    T- #75 Dan Dierdorf
    G- #68 Joe Delamielleure
    OLB- #57 Clay Mathews
    K- #7 Morten Andersen(R)

    After having a break out year in 1980 the Browns were a major disappointment in 1981. Injuries ravaged both offense and defense, causing Cleveland to lose 11 games last year. The Browns return with their star gunslinger Brian Sipe looking to redeem themselves in 1982.





    Denver Broncos:
    Stadium: Mile High Stadium
    Head Coach: Dan Reeves
    Notable Assistant Coaches: Joe Collier(defensive coordinator)
    1981 Record: 4-12


    Impact Players:
    QB- #8 Archie Manning
    QB- #9 Tommy Kramer
    HB- #38 George Rogers
    FB- #44 Ricky Bell
    OLB- #57 Tom Jackson
    OLB- #56 Chip Banks(R)
    ILB- #53 Randy Gradishar
    CB- #20 Louis Wright

    The Broncos struggled in Dan Reeves first season as head coach in 1981. Denver added some much needed firepower on defense with the selection of linebacker Chip Banks with their 1st overall pick in the 1982 AFL draft. Another major coup in the offseason was the signing of Canadian Football League star passer Tommy Kramer. Kramer broke CFL records and led the Edmonton Eskimos to back to back CFL titles in 1979-1980. Rookie sensation running back George Rogers won Rookie Of The Year honors last year and will return stronger, faster, and more experienced in 1982 while the Broncos veterans from the "Orange Crush" days will return to fight to pull the Broncos back out of the AFL Southwestern Conference cellar.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-11-2018 at 09:04 PM.

  18. #58
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    Re: AFL: Full Color Football

    Hey mate, as a guy who lives in Scotland, where American Football isn't that talked about over here, this thread has actually got me watching and getting involved with the sport, so 1st of all thanks! It's cool to see that there was in fact another league other than the NFL. Even though they're basically a laughing stock, I'm pulling for the Browns in this, not expecting them to win in this thread, but with the injuries being healed and Brian Sipe returning, I'm hoping for a good showing! Keep up the great work sir

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