Johnny Unitas 1962 Topps football card (#19, Baltimore Colts)

Retired NFL Jersey Numbers: AFC South

Football Friday at The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

Since it’s the off-season I thought I’d start a fun project involving NFL history. So I’m going to go division by division and post galleries of football cards (when available) featuring all NFL players who have had their jersey numbers retired by their teams. This week it’s the four squads of the AFC South — the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.

Previous galleries: AFC EastNFC EastAFC North, NFC North

Houston Texans (0)

The Texans have yet to retire a number in their decade-plus of existence. If I had to bust out my crystal ball, wide receiver Andre Johnson (#80) is a potential future candidate. He holds a number of team records (some by a sizable margin) and is poised in 2013 to become one of the NFL’s top 20 receivers ever for career receiving yards.

Indianapolis Colts (7)

To date, no Colts who played in Indianapolis have had their jersey number retired. In fact the most recent Colt on this list is Johnny Unitas, who was traded away after the 1972 season.

#19 — Johnny Unitas

Johnny Unitas 1958 Topps football card

#22 — Buddy Young

Buddy Young 1956 Topps football card

#24 — Lenny Moore

Lenny Moore 1956 Topps football card

#70 — Art Donovan

Art Donovan 1959 Topps football card

#77 — Jim Parker

Jim Parker 1965 Philadelphia football card

#82 — Raymond Berry

Raymond Berry 1961 Topps football card

#89 — Gino Marchetti

Gino Marchetti 1959 Topps football card

Jacksonville Jaguars (0)

Although not officially retired, the number 71 worn by offensive tackle Tony Boselli, the Jaguars’ first-ever draft pick, has not been worn since his retirement in 2002. According to team officials the number has been “taken out of service.”

Tennessee Titans (6)

This list is made up entirely of players who got their start as a member of the Houston Oilers. Bruce Matthews did play in Tennessee, but spent the vast majority of his amazing career in Houston.

#1 — Warren Moon

Warren Moon 1989 Pro Set football card

#34 — Earl Campbell

Earl Campbell 1979 Topps football card

#43 — Jim Norton

Jim Norton 1968 Topps football card

#63 — Mike Munchak

Mike Munchak 1989 Pro Set football card

#65 — Elvin Bethea

Elvin Bethea 1970 Topps football card

#74 — Bruce Matthews

Bruce Matthews 1990 Fleer football card

Boston Patriots at Houston Oilers — December 18, 1960 Jeppesen Stadium

Site Updates O’Plenty! (Sears Catalogs, AFL Covers)

These are exciting times at The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, my friends. In addition to a great new project in the works (hint: it involves old postcards), the updates to the main site have been coming fast and furious.

1958 Sears catalog page (saddle shoes)

I uploaded a bunch of new scans to my classic Sears catalog area, for the 1958 Spring/Summer edition. And if you love vintage saddles shoes and children’s wear, then you will love these scans. New stuff starts on this page.

Elsewhere, I’ve added a bunch of new game programs in my American Football League cover gallery, as well as added some higher-res versions of existing ones. There are too many for me to list here, but I can share a few of the cooler ones with you here.

New York Jets at New York Giants — August 17, 1969

This is from the very first matchup between the New York Jets and New York Giants. It was a charity preseason game played in front of 70,000 people at the Yale Bowl. The Super Bowl champion Jets had a little something to prove that day, and prove it they did. They creamed their older NFL brother 37-14. Joe Namath threw three TD passes and Mike Battle returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown.

Boston Patriots at Houston Oilers — December 18, 1960 Jeppesen Stadium

Well what’s not to love about this cover? It’s from the 1960 AFL regular season finale between the visiting Boston Patriots and home Houston Oilers. The Oilers and Dallas Texans home game programs from the league’s first few seasons are all outstanding.

1962 Houston Oilers Pocket Schedule

Speaking of neat old Oilers images, how does this 1962 pocket schedule strike you? Yeah, I love it too.

1960 Philadelphia Eagles

The 10 Longest Active Super Bowl/Championship Droughts in NFL History

(Note: Totals are accurate through the end of the 2014 NFL regular season.)

It seems like training camp just opened, and we’ve already put another NFL regular season in the books. But now I want to turn my attention to the unfortunates — the teams that haven’t won a National Football League title since I’ve even been alive. While there are some pretty good franchises on this list, it’s mostly a collection of clubs that have come to represent football futility for most.

Unlike the other major American sports leagues, the NFL has seen fit to establish a clear distinction between the pre- and post-Super Bowl eras. I have never bought into that line of thinking, and so I count Super Bowls, NFL championships, and AFL championships equally. If you think that’s bunk, I’m not going to try to change your mind.

#10 — Miami Dolphins (41 seasons)

I spend a lot of time watching classic Super Bowl highlight films on DVD, so it’s hard for me to conceive of a time when the Dolphins weren’t perennial title contenders. And yet they last hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy after Super Bowl VIII in January 1974. That was seven months before President Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal and barely four years after the Beatles broke up.

Miami did, however, remain a competitive franchise for another decade or so. They even returned to the Super Bowl twice in the ’80s — losing Super Bowl XVII to the Redskins and XIX to the 49ers. It’s been less rosy since then. The last playoff win for the Fins came against the Colts in the 2000 Wild Card round. Since that season Miami has just two playoff appearances and five winning seasons.

#9 — Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings (45 seasons)

Those of you with good math skills might have already figured out that the last taste of glory for both the Chiefs and Vikings came during the 1969 season. In the final year before the AFL/NFL merger, Minnesota claimed the NFL crown while Kansas City conquered the AFL. The two squads met in Super Bowl IV and the Chiefs dominated for their last league title of any kind.

Minnesota of course went on to lose three more Super Bowls in the ’70s, while Kansas City quickly faded into irrelevance. Since their last Super Bowl appearance (XI), the Vikings have made the playoffs 19 times and advanced to the NFC Championship in 1977, 1987, 1998, and 2009. The Chiefs did not win another playoff game after Super Bowl IV until 1991, and have only won three in total since then.

#8 — New York Jets (46 seasons)

Joe Namath of the New York Jets

I shouldn’t even have to tell you when the last time the Jets won the Super Bowl was, because the franchise has spent the ensuing four-plus decades milking ever-diminishing returns from its glory. While the 1970s were a brutal decade for New York, there have been bright spots since then. But there has also been much pain and frustration.

The Jets made the playoffs four times in the ’80s, including the ’82-’83 round. There they fell to the Dolphins and A.J. Duhe in a muddy AFC title game in the Orange Bowl. Things got rather ugly for several years but New York returned to the AFC Championship after the ’98 season, only to get run over by Denver’s Terrell Davis.

Most recently, the Jets made it to the AFC Championship during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, but have not been back to the playoffs since.

#7 — Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns (47 seasons)

Cleveland Browns NFL championship on Sports IllustratedThe Bengals are the first franchise on this list to have never won a championship in team history. Their playoff history in general is rather light, as they’ve played in just 18 total postseason games since 1968. Two of them, however, were Super Bowls.

They lost twice to San Francisco, first in Super Bowl XVI and then Super Bowl XXIII. Cincy’s last playoff win came against the Houston Oilers in the 1990/91 Wild Card round, giving them the longest active streak without a postseason victory in the NFL (along with the Detroit Lions).

It’s impossible to imagine now, but once upon a time the Cleveland Browns were a damn good franchise. After owning the short-lived AAFC, the Browns won three NFL championships from 1950-1955, and made it to the title game the other three years. They claimed their last title to date in 1964, when they blanked John Unitas and the Baltimore Colts. They remained strong throughout the remainder of the ’60s.

After that? Well, just fast forward to the mid ’80s, when Cleveland lost three heartbreaking AFC Championship games to the Denver Broncos, including The Drive and The Fumble. The team won their last playoff game in 1994, and moved to Baltimore after the ’95 season. The new Browns debuted in 1999 and have pretty much set up shop in the AFC North basement since.

#6 — Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills (49 seasons)

The Falcons are the oldest franchise on this list (established 1966) to never win a league title. It took them until 1978, in fact, to notch their first playoff win. The closest Atlanta has come to taking it all was in 1998, when the Dirty Birds advanced to Super Bowl XXXIII and were soundly beaten by John Elway and the Broncos.

Despite the team’s recent run of success with quarterback Matt Ryan, Atlanta sits roughly 100 games under .500 for their regular season history. And despite three straight playoff appearances from 2009-12, they have turned in two straight losing seasons.

The Buffalo Bills, on the other hand, appear nowhere close to their first crown since the 1965 American Football League season. They of course joined the Vikings in NFL infamy by appearing in and losing four Super Bowls to open the 1990s, but haven’t even made the playoffs in the 21st century. It wasn’t even until 2014 that they had a winning season, their first since 2004.

#5 — San Diego Chargers (51 seasons)

AFL Championship: Boston Patriots at San Diego Chargers — January 5, 1964The Chargers have enjoyed four periods in their history when they could be considered legitimate title contenders. But the only time they cashed in was during the first half of the AFL’s existence. San Diego appeared in five AFL championship games under Sid Gillman from 1960 through 1965, and came away with one crown — a 1963 win over the Boston Patriots.

The team made it to two AFC championship games in the early ’80s but came up short both times. They finally made it to the Big Game in 1994, where they were trounced by the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX. Under head coaches Marty Schottenheimer and Norv Turner, the Bolts won five AFC West divisional titles but advanced out of the divisional round just once.

#4 — Tennessee Titans (53 seasons)

Two of the AFL crowns the Chargers didn’t win (1960 & 1961) went instead to the Houston Oilers. Since then the franchise, which moved to Tennessee in 1997, has had a fair amount of playoff appearances with not much to show for it. They almost took a third straight AFL title in ’63 but lost in a double-overtime thriller to the Dallas Texans (Kansas City Chiefs).

The Luv Ya Blue Oilers of the late ’70s won games and the hearts of Houstonians, but were stalled twice in the AFC Championship game by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the late ’80s and early ’90s the Oilers made seven straight playoff appearances but advanced no further than the divisional round.

As the Tennessee Titans, the franchise has racked up three divisional titles since 1999. They advanced to Super Bowl XXXIV against the St. Louis Rams, and lost one of the all-time great Super Bowls when Kevin Dyson was tackled one yard shy of the goal line. Since then, the Titans have made the playoffs five more times and gotten as far as the AFC Championship (after the 2002 season).

#3 — Philadelphia Eagles (54 seasons)

1960 NFL Championship Game

If you were born the last time the Eagles won an NFL title, you would be eligible for membership in AARP by now. That would be the 1960 season by the way, when Philly notched their third league crown. They then went dormant until Dick Vermeil arrived in the late ’70s and made it to Super Bowl XV — where they got smacked down by the Oakland Raiders.

Philadelphia was a good, albeit inconsistent, club from the late ’80s through the mid ’90s. But they had just two Wild Card victories from 1988 through 1998, and so the Andy Reid era began in ’99. The zenith of Reid’s tenure was the 2004 season, when his Eagles cruised past the Vikings and Falcons en route to a narrow Super Bowl XXXIX loss against the New England Patriots.

#2 — Detroit Lions (57 seasons)

The Lions have played well over 1,000 games as a member of the NFL, but shockingly few of them have been in the postseason. Since 1932 — the first year of the NFL playoffs — Detroit has won seven postseason games, but has made the most of those wins. They took the NFL crown in 1935, 1952, 1953, and lastly in 1957.

Since the 1957 season? Three divisional titles, 11 playoff appearances, and one playoff win. One. That was a 38-6 thrashing of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1991 divisional round. Three times since ’57 the Lions have gone at least 10 seasons without a playoff appearance. Ouch.

#1 — Arizona Cardinals (67 seasons)

Futility, thy name is the Cardinals. As a charter member of the NFL, Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona has had more opportunities than most franchises to win games and titles. And as you might have guessed, they’ve squandered those opportunities most thoroughly.

1947 NFL Champion Chicago Cardinals

Since the advent of the playoff era in 1932 the Cards have a lone league title to their credit, won against the Eagles in 1947. As in two years after World War II ended. That took place when the franchise was in Chicago. Their time in St. Louis (1960 – 1987) was basically a bust from a competitive standpoint, as the team won two divisional titles and no playoff games.

Things got little better after a move to the desert. The Cardinals’ first two decades in the Grand Canyon State yielded one postseason win, a stunning 20-7 upset of the Cowboys in the 1998 NFC Wild Card round. Then of course there was the magical 2008 season, when head coach Ken Whisenhunt and QB Kurt Warner led Arizona to nine wins, an NFC West crown, and an appearance in Super Bowl XLIII.

Since Warner’s departure the Cardinals have returned to earth, and have made the playoffs just twice since 2009. They currently sit almost 200 games (regular and postseason combined) under .500. Double ouch.

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Houston Oilers at Boston Patriots - November 25, 1960

A Gallery of Vintage AFL Game Programs, Vol. 2

Houston Oilers at Boston Patriots - November 25, 1960

I’ve been doing a lot of housecleaning of my American Football League game program section, and I was inspired to showcase some more of my favorites from the collection. So here’s a half dozen more AFL covers that help make the case that we did lose something when they merged with the NFL. If you want to check out the first cover gallery, go here.

Houston Oilers at Boston Patriots - November 25, 1960

Houston Oilers at Boston Patriots – November 25, 1960

Houston Oilers vs. Boston Patriots - November 18, 1962

Boston Patriots at Houston Oilers – November 18, 1962

San Diego Chargers at New York Jets - October 3, 1964

San Diego Chargers at New York Jets – October 3, 1964

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Houston Oilers Logo (1969 - 1971)

The Best and Worst NFL Logos (AFC South)

With the 2012 National Football League season nearly upon us, now is as good a time as any to obsess once again on one of my favorite topics — logos. So I’m going to offer up my choices for the best and worst team football logos for all 32 current NFL franchises. Primary, alternate, and helmet logos listed on Chris Creamer’s outstanding logo website are all under consideration. Today I look at the four squads of the AFC’s South division.

Previous entries: AFC EastNFC EastAFC North, NFC North

Houston Texans


Houston Texans Logo (2002 - present)

Houston Texans logo (2002 – present)

Well this is an easy choice, since Houston has only had one logo since joining the league. As modern looks go it’s not bad, although I still miss the Oilers.


See above.

Indianapolis Colts


Baltimore Colts Logo (1953 - 1960)

Baltimore Colts logo (1953 – 1960)

Sorry Indy fans, the Colts will always be tied to Baltimore for me. And this is simply their best logo.


Indianapolis Colts Logo (2002 - present)

Indianapolis Colts logo (2002 – present)

That said, I still dig the horseshoe logo. It just doesn’t stack up to the classic ’50s one is all.

Jacksonville Jaguars


Jacksonville Jaguars Logo (1995 - present)

Jacksonville Jaguars logo (1995 – present)

As with the Texans, this is an easy choice since it’s the franchise’s only primary logo ever. I just can’t figure out why the jaguar has a green tongue.


Jacksonville Jaguars Alternate Logo (1995 - 1998)

Jacksonville Jaguars alternate logo (1995 – 1998)

Hey, thanks for adding the motion lines there, I never would’ve figured out which way the claw was moving otherwise.

Also, at this point J-ville needs to find a way to make a TV blackout their alternate logo. Now that would be clever and accurate.

Tennessee Titans


Houston Oilers Logo (1980 - 1996)

Houston Oilers logo (1980 – 1996)

Nothing against the Titans or the fine people of Tennessee, but OILERS FOREVER! Luv ya blue!


Houston Oilers Logo (1969 - 1971)

Houston Oilers logo (1969 – 1971)

That said, I think this edges the current Titans “flaming shield” logo as my last favorite in franchise history. This was modified in 1972 and looked better.

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Football Friday: A Gallery of Vintage AFL Game Programs


One of these days, when I’m independently wealthy, I’m going to amass the largest collection of American Football League game programs around. Until then, I’ll just pick them up on eBay from time to time and collect scans from the internet. Here is but a sampling of cover images from AFL game programs during the ten-year existence of the league. Much like the AFL itself, these programs reflect a great deal of character and color.

To see more of these great old programs, check out the AFL program gallery on the main site.

AFL program 1960-07-31 - Texans vs. Raiders

Dallas Texans vs. Oakland Raiders. Sunday, July 31, 1960.

AFL program 1960-08-06 - Titans vs. Chargers

AFL preseason game program -New York Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers. Saturday, August 6, 1960.

AFL program 1960-09-09 - Patriots vs. Broncos

AFL game program – Boston Patriots vs. Denver Broncos. Friday, September 9, 1960.

AFL program 1960-10-16 - Raiders vs. Patriots

AFL game program – Oakland Raiders vs. Boston Patriots. Sunday, October 16, 1960.

AFL program 1961-01-01 - Chargers vs. Oilers

AFL Championship game program – Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Oilers. Sunday, January 1, 1961.

AFL program 1961-09-10 - Bills vs. Broncos

AFL game program – Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos. Sunday, September 10, 1961.

AFL program 1962-09-09 - Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Oilers

AFL program – Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Oilers. Sunday, September 9, 1962

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