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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Johnson: 'Old school' AFL looks appealing

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tennessee running back Chris Johnson (28) sprints past Buffalo defenders Paul Posluszny (51) and George Wilson (37) en route to a 28-yard touchdown.
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
NASHVILLE -- Call me "old school" or "old fashioned" but I like the legacy uniforms that are being worn from time to time this season in the National Football League.

The latest was Sunday's matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills at LP Field.

There will be 16 legacy games this season to honor the American Football League, which celebrates 50 years in 2010.

Sunday was the Titans' second time to wear the legacy uniforms after opening the regular season with the old Houston Oilers attire in their matchup against Pittsburgh.

Titan owner K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. is one of the original team owners in the American Football League.

The AFL began in 1960 and lasted through 1969, when a merger with the NFL became official. The two leagues began playing championship games in the 1966 season, although the title game was not called the Super Bowl until the 1969 match between the Jets and Baltimore Colts.

Actually, it was in Adams' office in Houston back in 1959 when he and Lamar Hunt held a press conference to announce the formation of the new American Football League.

History was made on May 17, 1969 when Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland agreed to move to the AFL in 1970, setting up two 13-team conferences known today as the AFC and NFC.

The emergence of the AFL back in 1960 helped to make the present day NFL the most dominant professional sport it is today.

It's been said that competition makes every business better.

When the AFL joined the NFL, professional football was represented from coast-to-coast and border-to-border. Attendance grew at record numbers and huge television dollars soon followed.

Titans wide receiver Nate Washington celebrates a 14-yard touchdown reception on Sunday.
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
I wonder if they knew back then just how big the NFL would be now.

What's next for the NFL?

Many believe it will go to an 18-game season in the near future and the talk of a franchise in England is being mentioned. The equipment the players wear is more advanced and the players seem to be getting bigger, faster and stronger.

It looks as if the sky's the limit for the NFL.

With all that in mind, it's kind of nice to see the legacy uniforms from time to time.

-- Gary Johnson is a Times-Gazette sports writer. He can be reached at gjohnson@t-g.com.

Gary Johnson
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