October 24, 2009
Introduction: Franklin Field Memories
Welcome to “Today in Pro Football History”. This site springs from a life-long interest in pro football and its history (my curse in life is the need to delve into the background of anything that interests me). Both my dad and older brother were huge fans and so my interest developed at an early age. The 1964 pro football season, when I was in third grade, was the first that I followed – I might not have been a very sophisticated fan at that point, but I was enthusiastic! Dad was impressed enough to add me to the family’s season ticket package for the 1965 Philadelphia Eagles season, and some of my favorite childhood memories are of making the trip to Franklin Field to watch the Eagles play – granted, they were a poor team back then, and I got used to watching a lot of losing football, but the memories are vivid nonetheless.
I also got to see a lot of outstanding players of that period. While I had my favorites on the Eagles, such as Timmy Brown, Ben Hawkins, and Tom Woodeshick, I saw great players from other teams including Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Gale Sayers, Jim Taylor (albeit with the Saints in his last season), Bobby Mitchell, Fran Tarkenton, Bob Hayes, and a host of others who have long since passed into pro football’s history and record books.
With this blog, I am looking to share some of the interesting moments in pro football history – some significant, others far less so but still a part of the overall story. I won’t restrict myself to the NFL, but of course to the pre-merger AFL, the AFLs that existed before that, the AAFC of the 1940s, the World Football League of 1974-75, and the USFL. For the time being, I will be sticking to US-based leagues, not because of any prejudice against the Canadian Football League but because historical information about the CFL is harder to come by. At least initially I will be sticking to one event each day, so that will also limit the scope.
I hope that this site can be informative and interesting to casual fans and serious pro football historians alike. I most certainly don’t claim to be the repository of all knowledge regarding the history of the game and am very open to feedback and suggestions. I will try and update daily, but I’m just one person and make no guarantees that there won’t be interruptions from time to time. I’ll do my best to minimize them.
There will occasionally be a “List of the Day” in place of an event, especially during the offseason, on days that don’t contain many events of interest (or just for a change of pace).
So much for the pre-game introduction, if you will. The entry for tomorrow (October 25) will kick off the “Today in Pro Football History” format. I hope you’ll check back often to see how the game is going!