What is the American Football League
The American Football League is a professional football league of America which was originated in the year 1960 offering carter membership to teams like Denver Broncos, Houston Oilers, Minneapolis, Dallas Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Boston Patriots and New York Titans. Later in the same year, Minneapolis was replaced by Oakland raiders. There are five clubs out of these eight, existing in National Football league, even today under different nicknames. American football league was initially started in direct competition with National Football League and then stood as the only professional league that emerged to compete against the latter.
The rivalry which had started between the two leagues reached its height in 1966 which paved way for discussions on merger with terms stating that both the leagues will share a common draft for the players. Further in 1967, the World Championship game between the champions of the two leagues was played which wasn’t too favorable to AFL, and was considered downplayed by NFL, continuing in the second game also. This was very disappointing for many of the AFL fans until the perception was changed with the third game of Super Bowl which was won by AFL champions which gave a chance to AFL to be at parity with NFL. The same notion was reinforced when AFL champions went again to win the Super bowl season four. The merger between the two popular leagues happened in the year 1970 wherein all ten franchises of AFL became a part of the newly formed American Football Conference.
Out of all the other leagues which came in competition with NFL, American Football League was the only successful league which even after its merger was able to retain all its teams. During its existence also, none of its teams got folded except two who had changed their cities. The challenge made by AFL to NFL was the base to conduct World Championship Games for four continuous years. AFL’s legacy is also proved in its liberal policies made towards recruitment of black players which paved way for amazing talents for Professional Football.
The American Football League with the advantage of its popularity was able to locate teams from major cities where NFL franchises lacked. The power of television screening of most of the AFL games added to the popularity and one of the classic double- overtime games in the history played between Dallas Texans and Houston Oilers was telecasted, which became the longest championship game ever played. The competitive balance was another impressing feature of American Football League. All the eight original teams but two have won the AFL title atleast once.
The AFL has achieved its success and glory in spite of its tough challenge by National Football League and became the genesis of Modern professional Football.