Cover image for Going long : the wild 10-year saga of the renegade American Football League in the words of those who lived it
Title:
Going long : the wild 10-year saga of the renegade American Football League in the words of those who lived it
Author:
Miller, Jeff, 1955-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : Contemporary Books, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xviii, 398 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780071418492

9780071409940
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
GV955.5.A45 M55 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...
Searching...
GV955.5.A45 M55 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

The first oral history of the AFL--from the men who made it happen

"In January of '59 . . . the thought just occurred to me. . . . Why wouldn't it be possible to form a second league? . . . It was like the lightbulb coming on over your head."
--Lamar Hunt, founder of the AFL

From its inauspicious beginnings through its improbable Super Bowl victories and its ultimate demise, the American Football League had a colorful and sometimes bizarre ten-year history that will not soon be forgotten. "Going Long takes you back to that thrilling decade with the men who made the AFL--and who made it great. In this unique oral history, 170 voices come together to tell the unbelievable story of that maverick league, a rollicking tale of eight teams that refused to die.

In 1959, the NFL had just a dozen teams, with only two located west of the Mississippi River. For forty years, it had enjoyed total dominance over the gridiron, tackling rival franchises and knocking them out of the game. But a revolutionwas coming,to American football, and it all began with a man named Lamar Hunt, the Texas millionaire who desperately wanted a league of his own. With a team of enthusiastic investors, Hunt fired what he later called "the first cannon shot in what turned out to be the pro football war." It was a war that would rage on for ten rough-and-tumble years.

The AFL officially kicked off with eight teams--derisively dubbed the "Foolish Club"--which included such now-storied franchises as the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets (then the New York Titans), and Kansas City Chiefs. Though laughed at for years, these underpaid underdogs hung on--through the contentious early days of the leagueto paychecks bouncing as often as footballs to upset Super Bowl victories--eventually forcing a surrender from the NFL in 1970, changing the face of football forever.

Flavored with wild (and often ribald) anecdotes, inside st


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Before it merged with the NFL in 1970, the American Football League helped usher into the limelight such cultural monuments as Joe Namath, O. J. Simpson and the Super Bowl. This meandering oral history of the AFL's 10-year existence, featuring interspliced interviews with 170 players, owners, coaches, secretaries and media personalities, is as inchoately supportive as a roaring stadium. Dallas Morning News sports editor Miller (Down to the Wire) styles the saga as a grudge match between scrappy AFL upstarts and NFL bullies, but, as in many sports stories, athletic rivalries obscure the workings of monopoly capital. The league started when the NFL dragged its feet in extending franchises to wealthy men in small-market cities; and it ended when the two leagues merged to halt the inter-league bidding wars that were driving up players' salaries. This tale of competition fostered and then strangled is fleshed out in interviews that offer a close-up look at the business side, delving into the details of franchise negotiations, television contracts and the jockeying for draft picks. But this material is, of course, buried under a pile-up of football anecdotes and play-by-play reminiscences of games 40 years past (one account of a single brutal tackle is told over three pages, from seven different perspectives). Miller inserts some sketchy historical exposition, but too often he leaves the narrative thread to the interviews, where it gets fragmented between intercutting shaggy-dog stories told by half a dozen eyewitnesses. Hard-core fans with long, long memories will delight in the gridiron minutiae, but other readers may be baffled by the scrimmage. B&w photos. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.


Library Journal Review

One could make the argument that professional football became the dominant sport in the United States largely because of the competition given to the established National Football League by the dynamic American Football League in the 1960s. Surprisingly, though, the only retrospective history of the league as a whole has been Ed Gruver's The American Football League: A Year-by-Year History, which is a fine narrative account. Here, Miller (Dallas Morning News) gloriously fills a gap with a rollicking, incisive, delightful oral history of the AFL and its struggle to start at rock-bottom and succeed through innovation and dedication. Interviews with players, coaches, owners, and a vast supporting cast are interspersed with Miller's factual commentary to provide a coherent and comprehensive rendering of the history of the league and its teams, players, and games. That it was an exciting time for professional football is borne out in these pages. Highly recommended.-John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

The first oral history of the AFL--from the men who made it happen
In January of '59 . . . the thought just occurred to me
Why wouldn't it be possible to form a second league?
It was like the lightbulb coming on over your headLamar Hunt
founder of the AFL From its inauspicious beginnings through its improbable
Super Bowl victories and its ultimate demise, the American Football League had a colorful and sometimes bizarre ten-year history that will not soon be forgotten
Going Long takes