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Thread: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

  1. #136
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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    National Football League – League report – Week 10

    “Perry Runs Through Cards” – Phoenix (AP) – Colts Fullback Joe Perry rumbled through a hapless St. Louis Cardinals defense for 252 yards on 24 carries. Perry’s performance guided his Colts to a 45-24 thrashing of the Cardinals at Memorial Stadium. Perry has carried the ball 1,805 times for 9,838 yards and 79 touchdowns in his 14 year career.

    Philadelphia 0 @ Cleveland 21; GAME MVP: FB Jim Brown 144 total yards, 1 TD
    Detroit 38 @ Minnesota 14; GAME MVP: FB Nick Pietrosante 110 total yards, 1 TD

    “Cowboys Losing Streak ends at 21” – Tucson (AP) – The Dallas Cowboys celebrated their first National Football League victory over the Washington Federals 14-3. Offensive End Billy Howton hauled in 5 receptions for 69 yards and 1 touchdown in the win. The win ended the Cowboys losing streak at 21 and kept the San Diego/Baltimore streak of 22 in first place.

    “Pitt end Giants Undefeated Bid” – Phoenix (AP) – John Henry Johnson blasted through the heart of the New York Giants defense for 93 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown. Johnson also hauled in 12 receptions for 109 yards a 2 touchdowns coming out of the backfield. The Pittsburgh Steelers, winners of the 56’ and 58’ NFL titles, improved to 6-4 on the season with the 28-14 win.

    Los Angeles 10 @ Green Bay 17; GAME MVP: WR Max McGee 10 receptions, 164 yards
    Chicago 17 @ San Francisco 19; GAME MVP: WR Clyde Conner 7 receptions 99 yards

    National Football League Passing Report

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  2. #137
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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    Monday November 13, 1961

    “AFL and NFL – Two Teams on the Move” – Bobby Herbert, Arizona Daily Star

    The National Football League St. Louis Cardinals will “bid” farewell to the city of St. Louis at the conclusion of the 1961 season. The Cards’, which relocated to St. Louis in 1951, move was approved by a vote of 13 to 1 by the majority NFL owners last Thursday afternoon. The Bidwell family has already started renovations on Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, also commonly called Fairgrounds Stadium, to increase stadium capacity to 42,000. The NFL franchise will finalize the deal next Friday when the relocation fees and negotiations with the City of Louisville are closed. The Cardinals, who have faced diminishing crowds over that last several seasons, will depart St. Louis with a 51-65-3 record from 1951 to 1960 and are 1-9 through the first ten games of the ’61 campaign. The Bidwell family could not be reached for comment. Not to be out done, the American Football League and the primary ownership group of the Oakland Raiders have reached an agreement with the City of Memphis to bring football to Tennessee in 1962. The Raiders organization has struggled in Bay area and would like to follow in the footsteps of Wranglers principle owner Edward Wright. “Get out of the shadow of the San Francisco 49ers is the only way we will succeed……Our home attendance is horrible and we do not even have a stadium to call our own,” commented Raiders co-owner Wayne Valley when the press caught up with him Sunday evening. When asked about building a stadium in Alameda County, Valley responded, “We are building a stadium….in Memphis. We have received a great response from Memphis City Officials and are assisting in the building of a 50,000 seat stadium….that will also house the University of Memphis Tigers colligate team. It’s a done deal.” AFL Commissioner, Joe Foss, also noted that the vote by the owners was completed, “without a single nay in the room.” Both teams, the Louisville Cardinals and the Memphis Raiders, will stay in their respective AFL and NFL divisions for the ’62 campaign.

  3. #138
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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    “Deluca’s ’61 Campaign Is Over” – Billy Mitchell, The Arizona Republic

    Arizona’s team doctor Harold Warrenton Jr. delivered the news last night that starting guard Sam Deluca has been diagnosed with a fractured ankle and will miss the remainder of the ’61 campaign. Dr. Warrenton also cleared offensive tackle Ron Mix for practice, “It’s a low and high I do not look forward to….I get news that my starting road grader Sam is out…then he tells me my pass blocking ace is cleared to return to practice. Such is the nature of the game,” mentioned Coach Robinson Monday evening. Dr. Warrenton also confirmed that starting fullback Keith Lincoln will miss Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Lincoln suffered a strained lower back on a scoring play in Sunday’s beat down of the Denver Broncos. “We will have to see how practice goes this week. Both Bob Brooks and Walter Kelly will be battling hard for the starting nod on Sunday…..right now I think Coach Buddy Young is leaning toward Brooks….but we will wait and see,” continued Coach Robinson. On another note offensive guard Willie Hector was promoted from the practice squad and will suit up for Sunday’s home game against the Chiefs. General Manager John Harland also announced the organization has reached an agreement with rookie free agent guard Gerald Hinton and he will join the practice squad on Thursday. “We had to move some players around to fill that gaps left by the injuries suffered to Ferrante and Deluca. Coach Madro is working through the details this week….but I think we are leaning toward plugging in George Belotti into the left guard slot and shifting Ernie Barnes to the right side of the line. We’ve got some decisions to make for sure,” added Coach Robinson during Monday evening’s press conference organized by Tom Daily.

    Thursday’s practice report – November 16, 1961

    The organization got a pleasant surprise this morning as they sat for their morning meeting. Players and coaches had gathered at 8 am to discuss the previous day’s practice and plans for the upcoming game, when principle owner Edward Wright and Arizona State Head Coach Frank Kush arrived with breakfast. Wright and Kush wanted to thank the players for all their work with the local university and area high schools this season. After a brief “meet and greet” the team got back down to business. When the meeting ended ninety minutes later, both men excused themselves to meet with General Manager John Harland and his staff. The players, along with position coaches and staff, broke off into respective offensive and defensive meetings before taking the practice field at 12:45 pm. When Coach Robinson and Public Relations Director Tom Daily met with press at 4:30 pm, he noted that fullback Bob Brooks has had a great week of practice and will be ready for his first AFL Start. In addition, George Belotti will get the nod at left guard. It will be the second year AFL veteran’s sixteenth start.

    Front office report

    The Director of Player Personnel Larry Wright sat down with General Manager John Harland, Coach Robinson and Director of Scouting Marlin McKenzie Thursday evening to discuss contract renewals and the organization’s direction in the up and coming draft. With several players yet to be signed it has become apparent that changes in personnel may have to take place in the off season. Meanwhile, Marlin McKenzie updated the group on the progress of the draft reports. He also presented them with some offensive linemen that may strengthen the depth and play an important role in the future success of the Wranglers. Among those included were Larry Bowie, Purdue University, Ed Blaine, University of Missouri, and John Cornett out of Rice. McKenzie also presented some options at the quarterback position. They included Eddie Wilson University of Arizona, John Furman Texas-El Paso, and John Hadl out of Kansas.

  4. #139
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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Wranglers pre-game report
    Location/time: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona; 1:15 PM MST
    Last Meeting: September 19, 1961, Arizona 31 @ Kansas City 0
    All time record: 2-1
    Point Spread: -5 (ARI)
    Over/Under: 40
    Power Rank: Arizona 1; Kansas City 4

    “AFL playoff drives Begin” – Billy Mitchell, The Arizona Republic

    (Portion posted article appeared in the Alexandria-Times Tribune, Alexandria, Indiana November 17, 1961 page 5)

    The Boston Patriots, Houston Oilers and the New York Jets are all fighting for the Eastern Division title and the right to play for the American Football League crown. In the West it’s all about the Arizona Wranglers and the defending Western Division champion Kansas City Chiefs as last ditch playoff drives begin this weekend. The Patriots touch off the four game AFL slate by hosting the upset minded Oakland “or should I say Memphis?” Raiders at Boston on Friday night, while the other two Eastern Division title seekers, the Jets and the defending champion Oilers, meet in Sunday afternoon’s feature at Houston. The odds makers established Boston a 6 point choice over the Raiders, picked the high flying Oilers by 4.5 over the Jets, ruled the Buffalo Bills 6 point favorites at Denver on Sunday, and picked the Wranglers to win over the rival Chiefs. The League’s television schedule has the New York-Houston game shown in the East and Midwest, the Kansas City-Arizona struggle in the Mountain and Midwest, while the Buffalo-Denver game will only be shown in Buffalo, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. Len Dawson and his Kansas City Chiefs arrive in Arizona this weekend carrying a six game win streak into Sun Devil Stadium. “Coach Stram has got himself solid ball club…..and the game we played against them back in September was against a different team…..I mean it was the Chiefs….just not the team running a six game streak,” mentioned Coach Robinson Friday morning. Kansas City Is coming off an impressive 19-7 win over the Bills, while the Wranglers come back home after drubbing the Denver Broncos up in Colorado 40-7.

    INJURY REPORT
    ARIZONA
    FB Keith Lincoln is out with a strained lower back – Bob Brooks will get the start
    G is Sam Deluca is out with a fractured ankle – George Belotti will get the start
    G Olrando Ferrante is out with a stretched ankle ligament – Ernie Barnes will get the start
    KANSAS CITY
    FB Bo Dickenson is out with a chipped knee cap – Billy Pricer will get the start
    TE Tony Romeo is out with a stretched knee ligament
    S Edward Kelley is out with a strained neck – Johnny Robinson will get the start

    STATISTICAL REPORT
    ARIZONA
    Total Offense: 2,422 passing yards; 1,542 rushing yards; 3,964 total yards; 6.2 yards per play
    Total Defense: pass defense 2,241 yards; rush defense 814 yards; 3,055 total yards allowed; 5.3 yards per play
    KANSAS CITY
    Total Offense: 2,107 passing yards; 645 rushing yards; 2,752 total yards; 4.9 yards per play
    Total Defense: pass defense 2,119 yards; rush defense 585 yards; 2,704 total yards allowed; 4.6 yards per play

    TEAM LEADERS
    ARIZONA
    Passing: Jack Kemp 124-222-8, 1,985 yards, 18 TD
    Rushing: Paul Lowe 172 carries, 936 yards, 10 TD
    Receiving: Don Norton 49 receptions, 1,008 yards, 8 TD
    Tackles: Bill Hudson 57 tackles
    Sacks: Chuck Allen 4 sacks, Jerry Fields 4 sacks
    Interceptions: Dick Harris 5 INT
    Passes defended: Dick Harris 8 PD
    KANSAS CITY
    Passing: Len Dawson 127-284-24, 1,829 yards, 12 TD
    Rushing: Bo Dickenson 104 carries, 337 yards, 3 TD
    Receiving: Charlie Barnes 38 receptions, 621 yards, 2 TD
    Tackles: E.J. Holub 46 tackles
    Sacks: Mel Branch 8 sacks
    Interceptions: Duane Wood 8 INT
    Passes Defended: Duane Wood 9 PD

    American Football League Standings going into the "Week 11 Weekend"

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  5. #140
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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    (Portion posted article appeared in the Janesville Daily Gazette, Janesville, Wisconsin November 17, 1961 page 15)

    “AFL Is Ahead of Schedule” Kansas City, MI (AP) – The American Football League is ahead of schedule in its development, Commission Joe Foss said today. He reported overall attendance up 11 percent over the league’s maiden season and “what has happened this season is something we didn’t quite expect – the development of a nucleus of at least three, maybe four, solid franchises.” Foss still admitted that there were still problems in four of the eight cities, one of which will required a franchise relocation to resolve, but he pointed out that “we never looked on this as the critical year. Most of us felt the third year would be the one that gave us a good reading of what lies ahead.” The Commissioner was cheered when Memphis city fathers voted to construct a 50,000-seat stadium. He said it eliminated “the one major roadblock in the establishment of the Raiders organization as a solid franchise. Foss was taking a look at the solidity of the new professional league as it heads into the final five weeks of its second season. Last year the AFL survived a red-ink bath (the loss was about $2,500,000) to sign a goodly portion of the top college stars. He said Buffalo, Houston and Arizona look definite and apparently Boston can be grouped in there. Buffalo has finished its home season with attendance up 20 percent. Houston had two sellouts this season and its attendance is up 25 percent. Arizona’s attendance, who has nearly sold out every home game this season, average is up more than 80 percent – the Wranglers in four games have already bettered their total in Los Angeles last year for seven games – 116, 255 to 114,376. “Boston had a complete sellout its last game, even turned fans away before the kickoff,” Foss pointed out.

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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

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    Sunday November 19, 1961
    Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Wranglers
    Location: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
    Attendance: 30,000
    Weather: Cloudy 88 degrees, Wind Calm
    Game MVP: Paul Lowe

    “Lowe Drives Wranglers to Victory” – Billy Mitchell, The Arizona Republic

    Running back Paul Lowe carried the ball 31 times for 167 yards and 1 touchdown and guided his Wranglers to a 20-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. As it has been all season long the Wranglers jumped out an early 17-0 lead in the first half and then held off a hard charging Lenny Dawson & Company in the second half. “We charge out of the gate….then struggle to the finish. Seems to be the flavor of the day for us,” commented a relieved Coach Robinson after the game. The Wranglers struck first early in the opening quarter with a 27 yard strike from Jack Kemp to offensive end Don Norton. Kemp ended the day 12 of 14 for 223 yards a 1 touchdown. His quarterback rating on the afternoon was 112.8 and now is a league leading 100.2 for the season. “Jack is having a terrific year,” stated Quarterback Coach Bob Waterfield. His favorite target, Don Norton, hauled in 4 receptions for 60 yards and the one touchdown. The Wranglers struck again in the second quarter when versatile offensive back Paul Lowe broke free for a 52 yard gallop to pay dirt. Gary Ellsworth added a 30 yard field goal to end the scoring in the first half. The Chiefs then mounted up and rode through the Wranglers defense for a 17 point third quarter scoring spree. Fullback Billy Pricer, playing for an injured Bo Dickenson, scored from 15 yards out and his counterpart, Abner Haynes, plunged across the goal from 2 yards out during the third quarter scoring frenzy. A Len Danson pass intercepted by Wranglers linebacker Emil Karas set up a Greg Ellsworth 29 yard field goal with 6:56 left in the contest. The kick, which stayed between the posts by inches, turned out to be all the Wranglers needed to secure the “W”. The victory, the Wrangler eight of the ’61 campaign, was preserved when Chiefs kicker Josh Cameron missed a 41 yard field goal with 2:17 left on the game clock. “It was a great game…..and now we will head into the bye week with another mark in the win column,” continued Coach Robinson after the close victory. Coach also noted the exceptional play of his work horse running back Paul Lowe and a new emerging offensive threat Dave Korcourek. “Dave has pulled in 10 Kemp passes for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns over his last two outings…..He’s a big target and he is finding ways to get open,” added Coach Robinson during the post game press conference.

    Game Information
    First Quarter
    ARI – TD Don Norton 27 yard pass from Jack Kemp (Greg Ellsworth kick) 7-0 ARI
    Second Quarter
    ARI – TD Paul Lowe 52 yard run (Greg Ellsworth kick) 14-0 ARI
    ARI – FG Greg Ellsworth 30 yards; 17-0 ARI
    Third Quarter
    KC – TD Billy Pricer 15 yard run (Josh Cameron kick) 17-7 ARI
    KC – TD Abner Haynes 2 yard run (Josh Cameron kick) 17-14 ARI
    KC – FG Josh Cameron 32 yards; 17-17
    Fourth Quarter
    ARI – FG Greg Ellsworth 29 yards; 20-17 ARI

    Top Performers
    ARIZONA
    QB Jack Kemp 12-14-1, 223 yards, 1 TD; 2 carries, 5 yards
    RB Paul Lower 31 carries, 167 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 10 yards
    TE Dave Kocourek 4 receptions, 63 yards
    WR Don Norton 4 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD
    DT Bill Hudson 5 tackles
    DT Ernie Ladd 5 tackles, 1 PD
    LB Emil Karas 7 tackles, 1 INT
    KANSAS CITY
    QB Len Dawson16-28-2, 175 yards; 1 carry, 6 yards
    FB Billy Pricer 13 carries, 49 yards, 1 TD
    TE Max Boydston 4 receptions, 48 yards
    DT Ray Collins 8 tackles
    LB Sherrill Headrick 8 tackles
    LB E. J. Holub 12 tackles

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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    AFL Round up – Monday November 20, 1961

    Oakland 14 @ Boston 31; GAME MVP: RB Ron Burton 127 total yards, 1 TD
    New York 17 @ Houston 24; GAME MVP: QB George Blanda 291 yards passing, 2 TD
    Buffalo 30 @ Denver 10; GAME MVP: WR Elbert Dubenion 4 receptions, 111 yards

    Week 11 Statistical report (TOP 5)
    PASSING YARDS: George Blanda (HOU) 2,745 yards; Al Dorow (NYJ) 2,466 yards; Tommy O’Connell (BUF) 2,365 yards; Vito Parilli (BOS) 2,341 yards; Jack Kemp (ARI) 2,210 yards

    TD PASSES: George Blanda (HOU) 20; Jack Kemp (ARI) 19; Vito Parilli (BOS) 15; Tommy O’Connell (BUF) 12; Len Dawson (KC) 12

    RECEIVING YARDS: Charley Hennigan (HOU) 1,263 yards; Don Norton (ARI) 1,070 yards; Elbert Dubenion (BUF) 928 yards; Jim Colclough (BOS) 810 yards; Lionel Taylor (DEN) 804 yards

    RECEPTIONS Charley Hennigan (HOU) 61; Don Norton (ARI) 53; Don Maynard (NYJ) 51; Lionel Taylor (DEN) 48; Charlie Hardy (OAK) 48

    TD RECEPTIONS: Charley Hennigan (HOU) 10; Don Norton (ARI) 9; Elbert Dubenion (BUF) 8; Jim Colclough (BOS) 7; Charlie Hardy (OAK) 7

    RUSHING YARDS: Paul Lowe (ARI) 1,105 yards; Billy Lott (BOS) 727 yards; Wilmer Fowler (BUF) 558 yards; Donnie Stone (DEN) 556 yards; Ron Burton (BOS) 523 yards

    RUSHING TDs: Paul Lowe (ARI) 11; Billy Lott (BOS) 7; Keith Lincoln (ARI) 5; Wilmer Fowler (BUF) 5; Dave Smith (HOU) 5

    TACKLES: Bud McFadin (DEN) 97 tackles; Joe Hergert (BUF) 81 tackles; Bill Roehnelt (DEN) 80 tackles; Bob Hudson (DEN) 78 tackles; Chuck McMurtry (BUF) 73

    SACKS: Bob Dee (BOS) 8.5 sacks Mel Branch (KC) 8 sacks; Mike Dukes (HOU) 7.5 sacks; Mack Yoho (BUF) 6.5 sacks; Sid Youngelman (NYJ) 6.5 sacks

    PASSES DEFENDED: Richie McCabe (BUF) 14; Phil Nugent (DEN) 12; Dick Harris (ARI) 9; Tony Banfield (HOU) 9; Duane Wood (KC) 9

    INTERCEPTIONS: Duane Wood (KC) 8; Mark Johnston (HOU) 7; Jim Wagstaff (BUF) 6; Fred Glick (HOU) 6; Dave Grayson (KC) 6

    National Football League – Week 11 report

    Los Angeles 21 @ Chicago 28; GAME MVP: WR Johnny Morris 6 receptions, 131 yards, 1 TD
    Dallas 21 @ Philadelphia 20; GAME MVP: WR Billy Howton 9 receptions, 129 yards, 1 TD
    New York 7 @ Cleveland 20; GAME MVP: WR Bobby Mitchell 4 receptions, 67 yards, 1 TD
    St. Louis 42 @ Pittsburgh 45; GAME MVP: WR Dick Hoak 8 receptions, 187 yards, 2 TD
    Minnesota 17 @ San Francisco 20; GAME MVP: QB John Brodie 255 passing yards, 2 TD
    Baltimore 26 @ Washington 14; GAME MVP: FB Joe Perry 160 total yards, 2 TD

    Week 11 Statistical report (TOP 5)
    PASSING YARDS: Bart Starr (GB) 2,910 yards; Johnny Unitas (BAL) 2,864 yards; John Brodie (SF) 2,848 yards; Sonny Jurgensen (PHI) 2,727 yards; Bobby Layne (PIT) 2,535 yards

    TD PASSES: Johnny Unitas (BAL) 21; Bobby Layne (PIT) 20; Bart Starr (GB) 18; John Brodie (SF) 17; Y.A. Tittle (NYG) 16

    RECEIVING YARDS: Billy Howton (DAL) 1,067 yards; Raymond Berry (BAL) 1,062 yards; Sonny Randle (STL) 1,054 yards; Red Phillips (LA) 1,012; Clyde Conner (SF) 1,005 yards

    RECEPTIONS: Clyde Conner (SF) 70; Sonny Randle (STL) 61; Billy Howton (DAL) 56; Kyle Rote (NYG) 56; Red Phillips (LA) 55

    TD RECEPTIONS: Raymond Berry (BAL) 11; Del Shofner (NYJ) 9; Bobby Walston (PHI) 8; Johnny Morris (CHI) 7; Red Phillips (LA) 7

    RUSHING YARDS: Jim Brown (CLE) 1,194 yards; Alex Webster (NYG) 942 yards; John Henry Johnson (PIT) 926 yards; Joe Perry (BAL) 906 yards; Hugh McElhenny (MIN) 856 yards

    RUSHING TDs: Jim Brown (CLE) 13; Alex Webster (NYG) 13; Jim Taylor (GB) 10; Nick Pietrosante (DET) 10; Joe Perry (BAL) 10

    TACKLES: Jerry Tubbs (DAL) 106 tackles; Chuck Howely (DAL) 106 tackles; Roy Wilkins (WAS) 105 tackles; Les Richter (LA) 101 tackles; Wayne Walker (DET) 97 tackles

    SACKS: Lou Michaels (PIT) 8.5 sacks; Roland Lakes (SF) 8 sacks; Bill Glass (DET) 7.5 sacks; Art Donovan (BAL) 7 sacks; Dick Modzelewski (NYG) 7

    PASSES DEFENDED: Ben Scotti (WAS) 15; Bernie Parrish (CLE) 14; Dicky Moegle (DAL) 13; Dave Whitsell (CHI) 12; Jimmy Harris (DAL) 12

    INTERCEPTIONS: Jimmy Patton (NYG) 12; Bobby Boyd (BAL) 7; Bernie Parrish (CLE) 7; Don Burroughs (PHI) 7; Jim Kerr (WAS) 7

  8. #143
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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    (Portion posted article appeared in the Redlands Daily Facts, Redlands, California; Monday November 20, 1961, page 17)

    “Sneak Draft By American League Bared” – Dallas, Tex. (UPI) – Officials of the American Football League firmly denied reports the league conducted the first six rounds of a secret player draft. The Dallas News said Sunday it learned the AFL had jumped the gun for the second year in a row, despite a promise to the NCAA that it would not draft college players until after the end of the collegiate season. The National Football League said the report confirmed information it had that the AFL had held a “sneak draft.” Joe Foss, commissioner of the AFL said in Denver he did not believe the reports. “If this is going on, it is without my knowledge,” Foss said. “We try to go along with them (The NCAA). I heard the same reports last year.” Foss earlier this year sent a letter to the league coaches stating that he would comply with an NCAA request that the AFL draft not be held until after the collegiate season. The date for the draft was set for December 2, two days before the NFL draft. “The reports in the paper were the first I heard of it,” said AFL Assistant Commissioner Milt Woodard. “Such a draft was not conducted by our office.” Edward Wright, owner of the Arizona Wranglers, also denied the reports. He said the newspaper was mistaken and had probably misconstrued the territorial draft.

    (Portion posted article appeared in the Daily Independence Journal, San Rafael, California, Wednesday November 22, 1961)

    “Foss Defines AFL Owners By Cancelling Secret Draft” – Dallas, Tex. (AP) – Commissioner Joe Foss of the American Football League has cancelled the controversial secret draft that had the colleges up in arms and the rival National Football league making snide remarks. In a telephone call to the Associated Press from Washington earlier today, Foss said he was exercising his power as commissioner and declaring the “draft” null and void. Foss declared when the story broke Sunday that he didn’t know it had been done but that he would investigate. The draft, called a poll for negotiation by the club owners, came two weeks before the official draft of the AFL, set by Foss for December 2 in cooperation with the American Football Coaches Association. When news of the secret draft leaked out, the colleges called it a breach of faith. Bill Reed, commissioner of the Big Ten and the co-chairman of the Football Coaches- NCAA Committee which worked out a draft ban until the end of the college season, asked that Foss repudiate it. Foss told the Associated Press, “After investigating and considering more fully the various ramifications of the negotiations poll conducted secretly by presidents of the American Football League, without the knowledge of myself or my office, I feel such a poll has the aspects of a premature draft and exercise my power as commissioner and hereby declare it null and void. Only the draft in Phoenix on December 2 conducted by the commissioner will be the authentic one.” Foss said he was voiding the draft through power given him by the constitution and by-laws of the American Football League. No comment was immediately forthcoming from the owners on Foss’ action.

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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    Thursday November 23, 1961

    “Wranglers owner defends actions” – Billy Mitchell, The Arizona Republic

    Owner Edward Wright met with General Manager John Harland and the President of Football Operations Wednesday evening after news broke concerning a supposed “secret draft” conducted by AFL owners. Among the supposed players contacted, during what the AFL ownership group is calling a “negotiations poll”, by the Wranglers included University of Memphis tackle Dick Hudson and Ohio State fullback Bob Ferguson. When asked about the situation Mr. Wright responded, “It isn’t anything the other outfit hasn’t done before. The Wranglers acted as they felt was best for the American Football League. Contacting players on prospect lists is not uncommon. In doing it, we can find out before we go into the draft which players are interested…..but not in an organized way. We will not try to sign any player until he has completed his college eligibility.” When asked directly about Commissioner Foss’ decision to cancel any, as he put it, premature draft, Wright responded, “At the end of the day he is the Commissioner and has been given that authority to take such actions as he sees to fit to protect the future of the league……That’s about all I have to say on the matter.”

    Thursday’s practice report

    Coach Robinson and his crew took to the practice fields Thursday morning with nine more days until their next AFL matchup. “We are looking pretty good heading into our bye week and will be giving the boys the weekend off to rest up and recover from any bumps and bruises suffered through past weeks,” mentioned Coach Robinson Thursday morning. The 8-2-1 Wranglers sit alone atop the AFL Western division with three games left on their schedule. “We finish our season at Houston. Then its home to play host to the Bills and the Patriots…..and I think we are going to need all three to be W’s if we are to win the division and play for the AFL title,” he continued. Coach Robinson may have been making a reference to the final four teams division rival Kansas City has to face. The Chiefs will close their ’61 campaign out against the Raiders, Broncos and two against the Jets. The three foes are a combined 8-22-1 on the season…”and three of their final four are at home…..they could easily run the table and close out the season 11-3. We are going to need to play our best football now….and hope the Broncs’, Raiders, or Jets can pull off a victory or two. That is one reason why we are giving the boys the weekend off….when they report back to work on Monday….it’s going to be a different kind of atmosphere around here.” Also it must be noted the biggest game to be played every year in Arizona is Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium. Border Conference Champions The Arizona State Sun Devils, 7-2 on the season, face off against the 17th ranked Arizona Wildcats. The Cats enter the contest with a 7-1-1 collegiate record . “Heck half out team will be attending that game…..so it’s either give them the day….or we will have a mutiny in the desert on our hands,” joked Coach Robinson near the end of the press conference

    Friday November 24, 1961

    “AFL and NFL comes to terms” – Bobby Herbert, Arizona Daily Star

    Commissioner Joe Foss announced this afternoon that a tentative agreement has been reached with the National Football League concerning the collegiate draft prior to the 62’ AFL/NFL season. The AFL draft which was scheduled for December 2 will be postponed until after both leagues championship games. The American Football League championship game is scheduled for December 24th while the rival NFL will hold their championship bout December 31st. The NFL was scheduled to hold their draft starting on December 4th in Chicago, Illinois. Jim Kensil, Public Relations Director of the NFL, said on Thursday night that Commissioner Foss and National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle have been in contact all week concerning the upcoming collegiate draft and a meeting, which will include the Co-chairman of Football Coaches-NCAA committee and several representatives of the American Coaches Football Association, has been set for Friday December 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. The draft meeting, a first of its kind, will also include six principle owners from each league to represent the interest of the owners. “Of course each league wants the best players on their side of the fence…..and I will attend the meeting representing our league’s interests. I am very curious as to how this scenario will play out…..one thought that has been tossed around is that each team will get 7 selections. Each selection will be determined by the previous season record, as it has always been…with one slight difference the rival leagues would combine and operate a 22 team, 7 round three day draft….and all players not selected within those rounds would be open to negotiate with whomever they see fit,” commented Wranglers owner Edward Wright. “There are other details to be worked out...the existing lawsuit as an example...and possible a championship match and future expansion. I imagine the meetings will push into Saturday,” added Mr. Wright.

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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    Sunday November 26, 1961

    “Wildcats Upend Sun Devils” – Billy Mitchell, The Arizona Republic

    The Arizona Wildcats, a come from behind team all season, stormed to a 22-13 victory over intra-state rival Arizona State last night. The Wildcats scored 19 points in the second half to secure the win in front of 40,164 fans, the largest crowd to ever see and Arizona athletic event.
    The victory gave Arizona an 8-1-1 season mark while the Sun Devils had to settle for a 7-3 record. It was the best Wildcat record since 1937 and their 25th victory in the series with ASU, compared to 10 losses. 22 Arizona Wranglers, the local professional grid team, were in attendance, including Jack Kemp, Ernie Wright, Ron Nery, and Don Norton. Highlight of the scoring in the second half was a 67 yard touchdown run by Wildcat running back Bobby Thompson, who blasted free after apparently being stopped at the line of scrimmage. The play brought the 40,000+ fans to their feet.

    Game information
    First Quarter
    ASU – FG Jones 35 yards; 3-0 ASU
    ARIZ – FG Wilson 27 yards; 3-3
    Second Quarter
    ASU – Dornel Nelson 6 yard run (Jones Kick) 10-3 ASU
    ASU – FG Jones 37 yards; 13-3 ASU
    Third Quarter
    ARIZ – TD Walt Mince 31 yard from Eddie Wilson (pass failed) 13-9 ASU
    Fourth Quarter
    ARIZ – TD Eddie Wilson 5 yard run (Wilson kick) 16-13 ARIZ
    ARIZ – TD Bobby Thompson 67 yard run (kick failed) 22-13 ARIZ

    AFL Round up – Monday November 27, 1961

    “Chiefs Edge Raiders in Epic Battle” – Ben Thompson, The Kansas City Star

    The Kansas City Chiefs kept their division title hopes alive yesterday afternoon with an epic comeback victory over the Raiders of Oakland. Chiefs signal caller Lenny Dawson marched his team down the field on a 14 play 77 yard fourth quarter drive that ended with a 5 yard strike to wide out Chris Burford. Kicker Josh Cameron sealed the victory with, perhaps, the most important extra point try of his career. The Chiefs downed the Raiders 14-13. Chris Burford closed out the afternoon with 6 receptions for 144 yards and 1 touchdown.

    “Jets down Bills in Bitter Defensive Battle” – Andy Hargrove, New York Times

    The New York Jets sneaked one game closer to the .500 mark for the 61’ campaign with a bitterly fought 10-6 win over the rival Bills. Down 6-3 in the fourth quarter Jets signal caller Al Dorow managed to drive through the thundering herd that was the Bills defense and put up the game winning score. Dorow found offensive end Don Maynard on a cross route all alone at the back of the end zone. The score and ensuing extra point put the Jets up 10-6 with 2:51 left in the fourth. Maynard finished the afternoon with 4 receptions for 56 yards and the game winning touchdown.

    “The Oilers Dismantle the Broncos” – Michael Torres, The Houston Chronicle

    The Houston Oilers unleashed running back Billy Cannon Sunday afternoon and he ran his team to a 31-6 victory over the Denver Broncos. The usually pass happy Oilers used an overpowering running attack to gain their eight victory of the season. Cannon pounded through the Broncos defense for 181 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns

    Oakland 13 @ Kansas City 14; GAME MVP: WR Chris Burford 6 receptions, 144 yards, 1 TD
    New York 10 @ Buffalo 6; GAME MVP: WR Don Maynard 4 receptions, 56 yards, 1 TD
    Denver 6 @ Houston 31; GAME MVP: RB Billy Cannon 193 total yards, 2 TD

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  11. #146
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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    National Football League – Week 12 report

    San Francisco 17 @ Baltimore 20; GAME MVP: TE Jim Mutscheller 5 receptions, 86 yards, 1 TD
    Los Angeles 21 @ Minnesota 10; GAME MVP: FB Dick Bass 118 total yards, 2 TD
    Detroit 14 @ Chicago 38; GAME MVP: RB Willie Galimore 147 total yards, 3 TD
    Cleveland 45 @ Dallas 21; GAME MVP: FB Jim Brown 240 total yards, 3 TD
    New York 24 @ Green Bay 14; GAME MVP: WR Del Shofner 6 receptions, 116 yards
    Philadelphia 34 @ Pittsburgh 10; GAME MVP: WR Tommy McDonald 271 total yards, 2 TD
    Washington 24 @ St. Louis 31; GAME MVP: WR Sonny Randle 9 receptions, 237 yards, 3 TD

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  12. #147
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    Re: 1951 "An Experiment in Expansion"

    Thursday November 30, 1961

    “Wranglers and Oilers to battle this weekend” – Billy Mitchell, The Arizona Republic

    The Arizona Wranglers will head to Texas this weekend to take on the high flying Houston Oilers in what some are calling, “the American Football league’s biggest game this season.” Kickoff at Jeppesen Stadium is set for 1:30 PM (MST). The pivotal matchup will be televised locally on ABC Channel 3. With the race for the Western Division title still to be decided, Coach Robinson and his Wranglers are hoping to distance themselves from Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs with a victory in Southern Texas. To do so they will have to corral the high flying Houston Oilers and keep the team’s big three of Blanda, Hennigan and Cannon off the field. “Our game plan is simple…Keep their offense off the field….simple to say of course,” smiled Coach Robinson during his usual Thursday ‘meet and greet’ with the local press. The Wranglers, who are coming off their scheduled respite from gridiron warfare, enter the contest as healthy as they have been in weeks. Only guards Orlando Ferrante and Sam Deluca remain on the physically unable to perform list. Coach Robinson will look to what the local fans and press has dubbed the ‘The Fearsome Foursome’ to keep Blanda and his corps grounded. The Wranglers defensive line consisting of Nery, Hudson, Ladd, and Faison average 6’6” and roughly 273 pounds and is the largest in all of professional football. The four giants of Phoenix football have held opponents to an average of 82.5 yards a game on the ground. Though the big four have only registered 4.5 sacks on the season, the forced quarterback pressure has contributed to 41 combined passes defended and interceptions picked up by the Wranglers Secondary. Sunday will be a test for the dominating defense as they face the league’s No. 1 passer George Blanda. The Oilers pigskin hurler has at his disposal some of the best hands in the business in Charley Hennigan, Bill Groman, John White, and Billy Cannon. Also, the running of Cannon and fullbacks Dave Smith and Charlie Tolar give the Oilers a diversified attack that has made them one of the most explosive teams in the league. On the Wranglers offensive side of the fence, the team boasts the top rusher in the AFL Paul Lowe and Jack Kemp, the AFL’s top rated passer with a QBR of 100.2 on the season. Lowe has gained 1,105 yards on 204 carries and 11 touchdowns. Kemp has completed 136 of 236 passes for 2,210 yards and 19 touchdowns.

    INJURY REPORT
    ARIZONA
    G is Sam Deluca is out with a fractured ankle – George Belotti will get the start
    G Olrando Ferrante is out with a stretched ankle ligament – Ernie Barnes will get the start
    HOUSTON
    C Bob Schmidt is out with a strained knee – Gerald Belotti will get the start
    DE Don Floyd is out with a fractured foot – Dick Frey will get the start
    LB Dennit Morris is out with a fractured foot – Ron Botchan will get the start

    STATISTICAL REPORT
    ARIZONA
    Total Offense: 2,647 passing yards; 1,729 rushing yards; 4,376 total yards; 6.3 yards per play
    Total Defense: pass defense 2,416 yards; rush defense 908 yards; 3,324 total yards allowed; 5.3 yards per play
    HOUSTON
    Total Offense: 2,891 passing yards; 1,048 rushing yards; 3,939 total yards; 5.8 yards per play
    Total Defense: pass defense 2,386 yards; rush defense 900 yards; 3,286 total yards allowed; 4.8 yards per play

    TEAM LEADERS
    ARIZONA
    Passing: Jack Kemp 136-236-9, 2,210 yards, 19 TD; Hunter Enis 29-53-3, 501 yards, 2 TD
    Rushing: Paul Lowe 204 carries, 1,105 yards, 11 TD; Keith Lincoln 136 carries, 459 yards, 5 TD
    Receiving: Don Norton 53 receptions, 1,070 yards, 9 TD; Dave Kocourek 36 receptions, 525 yards, 4 TD
    Tackles: Bill Hudson 62 tackles, Chuck Allen 60 tackles
    Sacks: Chuck Allen 4 sacks, Jerry Fields 4 sacks
    Interceptions: Dick Harris 5 INT, Charlie McNeil 3 INT
    Passes defended: Dick Harris 9 PD, Charlie McNeil 6 PD
    HOUSTON
    Passing: George Blanda 193-371-12, 2,931 yards, 21 TD; Jacky Lee 9-16-2, 97 yards, 1 TD
    Rushing: Billy Cannon 140 carries, 656 yards, 6 TD; Dave Smith 104 carries, 319 yards, 5 TD
    Receiving: Charley Hennigan 66 receptions, 1,360 yards, 11 TD; John White 31 receptions, 390 yards
    Tackles: Mike Dukes 67 tackles, Ed Hussman 58 tackles
    Sacks: Mike Dukes 8.5 sacks; Orville Trask 4 sacks
    Interceptions: Mark Johnston 9 INT, Fred Glick 6 INT
    Passes Defended: Tony Banifield 9 PD, Mark Johnston 8 PD

    Saturday December 2, 1961

    “Opposing leagues come to draft terms” – Bobby Hebert, Arizona Daily Star

    The American and National Football League representative met yesterday afternoon in Phoenix, Arizona to discuss the future of the leagues and formulate a draft plan that benefits the needs of both organizations. Edward Wright, owner of the Arizona Wranglers, mentioned that the meeting went, for the most part, well and that both league commissioners have established a draft plan that embodies the competition of fair play. The first official AFL/NFL draft will be take place January 5 through Jan 7, 1962 and will consist of seven primary rounds. The NFL will call the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois as their base camp, while AFL will use the Gold Room of the Biltmore Hotel located in Phoenix, Arizona. Another key resolution to come out of the ‘draft’ meeting was that Commissioner Joe Foss and the AFL agreed to drop the monopolization lawsuit against the NFL. In return the National Football league agreed to a two game series between the opposing leagues to begin at the conclusion of the championship games next season. The two game series will pit both league’s All-Pros against one another at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and will carry the title “The AFL-NFL All-Pro Game.” Opposing league representatives also discussed expansion and the possible of a World Championship game between the winners of each league but could not settle on anything for the immediate future. Mr. Wright did mention that he thinks a title match up could be a possibility in 1964 depending upon the public receptions of the AFL/NFL All Pro matchup.

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