1960 American Football League Championship Game

The 1960 American Football League Championship Game was the first AFL title game, played on New Year's Day 1961 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas.[2][3][4] With New Year's on Sunday, the major college bowl games were played on Monday, January 2.[5]

The game matched the Eastern Division champion Houston Oilers (10–4), against the Western Division champion Los Angeles Chargers (10–4), in the first championship game of the new American Football League. The host Oilers were a 6½-point favorite.[2][6]

The AFL had established a format in which championship games would be alternated each year between the Western Division winners and the Eastern Division. The first game was originally scheduled to be played in the cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum but with the Chargers drawing less than 10,000 a game in the 100,000+ seat coliseum it was feared ABC would pull its contract because of empty seats so the game was moved[7] to the smaller Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, where it drew 32,183. It rained the five days prior to the game.[2]

Oilers' quarterback George Blanda had retired after ten seasons in the NFL and did not play during the 1959 season; he threw three touchdown passes (and kicked a field goal and three extra points) to lead Houston to the first AFL title, 24–16.[3]

1960 American Football League Championship Game
Los Angeles Chargers Houston Oilers
16 24
1234 Total
LAC 6370 16
HOU 01077 24
DateJanuary 1, 1961
StadiumJeppesen Stadium, Houston, Texas
RefereeJohn McDonough
Attendance32,183
TV in the United States
NetworkABC
AnnouncersJack Buck, George Ratterman, and Les Keiter[1]
Houston is located in the United States
Houston
Houston
Location in the United States

Game summary

The Chargers led 6–0 in the first quarter on two field goals by Ben Agajanian, one of only two players (Hardy Brown) who played in the AAFC, the NFL and the AFL. In the second period, Houston scored on a 17-yard George Blanda pass to All-AFL fullback Dave Smith, then answered a 27-yard Agajanian field goal with a 17-yard kick by Blanda.

In the final quarter, Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon caught a short toss from Blanda and went for an 88-yard touchdown scamper. The Chargers, down by eight points, tried to reach the end zone on their final possession. Had they scored they could have gone for the two-point conversion, but the clock ran out with the Chargers at the Oilers' 22-yard line. The Oilers won the first American Football League championship, 24–16.

Box score

See also

References

  1. ^ a b 1960 NFL-AFL Commentator Crews
  2. ^ a b c "Houston faces Los Angeles in title battle". Chicago Sunday Tribune. Associated Press. January 1, 1961. p. 6, part 2.
  3. ^ a b "Oilers rally to win AFL title, 24 to 16". Chicago Daily Tribune. Associated Press. January 2, 1961. p. 1, part 2.
  4. ^ "Blanda paces Oilers to AFL title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 2, 1961. p. 44.
  5. ^ Smith, Wilfrid (January 2, 1961). "329,000 to attend 4 bowl games today". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 6.
  6. ^ "Houston, Los Angeles play for AFL title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 1, 1961. p. 2, section 2.
  7. ^ "LA Times 1985-09-17 P46 Chargers History - Newspapers.com". newspapers.com. Retrieved April 13, 2018.

Coordinates: 29°43′19″N 95°20′56″W / 29.722°N 95.349°W

Preceded by
League's first season was 1960
Houston Oilers
American Football League Champions

1960
Succeeded by
Houston Oilers
1961 AFL Champions
1960 NFL Championship Game

The 1960 National Football League championship game was the 28th NFL title game. The game was played on Monday, December 26, at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.In addition to the landmark 1958 championship game, in which the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants in sudden death overtime, the 1960 game has also been called a key event in football history. The game marked the lone playoff defeat for Packers coach Vince Lombardi before his Packers team established a dynasty that won five NFL championships, including the first two Super Bowls, in a span of seven seasons. The victory was the third NFL title for the Philadelphia Eagles, and their final championship until the team won Super Bowl LII in 2018, ending a 57-season championship drought.The American Football League was in its first season and held its inaugural title game less than a week later. First-year NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle convinced owners to move the league's headquarters from Philadelphia to New York City, and with Congressional passage of the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 received an antitrust exemption that allowed the league to negotiate a common broadcasting network representing all of its teams, helping cement football's ascendancy as a national sport.This was the second and last NFL championship game played in Philadelphia, and the only one at Franklin Field. A dozen years earlier, the 1948 title game was held in the snow at Shibe Park and was also an Eagles' victory.

Ticket prices for the game were ten and eight dollars.

Al Barry

Allan Barry (born December 24, 1930) is a former American football offensive guard in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants. He also played in the American Football League for the Los Angeles Chargers. He played college football at the University of Southern California.

Charlie Hennigan

Charles Taylor Hennigan, Sr. (March 19, 1935 – December 20, 2017) was an American football player with the former Houston Oilers of the American Football League (AFL).

Doyle Nix

Doyle Edward Nix (May 30, 1933 – January 6, 2009) was an American football defensive back in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins. He also played in the American Football League for the Los Angeles Chargers and the Dallas Texans. He played college football at Southern Methodist University.

Game information
Scoring
  • First quarter
    • LAC – Ben Agajanian 38-yard FG, LAC 3–0
    • LAC – Agajanian 22-yard FG, LAC 6–0
  • Second quarter
    • HOU – Dave Smith 17-yard pass from George Blanda (Blanda kick), HOU 7–6
    • LAC – Agajanian 27-yard FG, LAC 9–7
    • HOU – Blanda 17-yard FG, HOU 10–9
  • Third quarter
    • HOU – Bill Groman 7-yard pass from Blanda (Blanda kick), HOU 17–9
    • LAC – Paul Lowe 2-yard run (Agajanian kick), HOU 17–16
  • Fourth quarter
    • HOU – Billy Cannon 88-yard pass from Blanda (Blanda kick), HOU 24–16
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