Wearing borrowed uniforms, practicing on obscure college campuses, and led by a former Marine Corps W.W. II fighter ace as commissioner, the American Football League (AFL) debuted in the Fall of 1960 to challenge the monopoly of the well-established National Football League. Within ten years it had won two Super Bowls and had forced a merger with its rival, splitting the NFL into the National and American Football Conferences. This colorful history of the AFL and its unforgettable cast of characters, from Billy Cannon to Joe Namath to its "Foolish Club" of team owners, arrives on the 50th anniversary of the AFL's first season to recount the startling success of an upstart league that prevailed against long odds.
Ken Rappoport has covered every major sport out of New York for thirty years and was the AP's national hockey writer for thirteen years. He lives in Old Bridge, New Jersey.