Football Friday: Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decals

I’ve got a special off-season edition of Football Friday for you today! I get daily email alerts from eBay for just about anything tagged as being from the AFL, which I use to find many of the excellent AFL game programs I share. But on occasion I find other neat things too. Take, for example, this set of vintage NFL/AFL team mascot decals from 1969. These are some fantastic stickers.

Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decal - Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos

Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decal - St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals

Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decal - Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decal - New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints

Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decal - Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions

Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decal - Los Angeles

Los Angeles Rams


Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decal - Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills

Vintage 1969 AFL/NFL Team Mascot Decal


Jacksonville Jaguars primary logo (2013 - ?)

Here’s the New Jacksonville Jaguars Logo

Well, I guess I’ll have to do some updating of my AFC South NFL logo ranking before the 2013 season gets underway. That’s because the Jacksonville Jaguars today unveiled their first new primary logo since the team joined the league in 1995. Here it is:

Jacksonville Jaguars primary logo (2013 - ?)


For comparison, here’s the previous version:

Jacksonville Jaguars logo (1995 - 2013)

Jacksonville Jaguars logo (1995 – 2013)

On the whole, this is a step in the right direction. Obviously this new jaguar is more realistic, and looks like an actual cat rather than a conglomeration of geometric shapes assembled to resemble one. The color scheme of the fur is improved, but then again, there’s that green tongue. It’s like the big cat had a watermelon lollipop before the modeling session.

As overall logos go, this is pretty good. As Jaguars logos go, it’s a step up for certain. Even better is the team’s new alternate shield logo:

Jacksonville Jaguars alternate logo (2013 - present)

Now that’s pretty cool. Well played, Jaguars, well played. You too, Shad Khan.

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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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The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit - 2012

The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit — 2012

The Best of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit - 2012

So, 2012. It sure was twelve months, wasn’t it? But before the year slips away into 2013, let’s take a moment to reflect on just some of the awesome content I’ve published in Aught 12, as ranked by the number of visits (which I’m aware don’t always equate to quality, but that’s another topic). For reference, here’s last year’s review.

And as always, I offer a laurel and hearty handshake to everyone who has stopped by this year — either on the blog, the Facebook page, or any of the ever-growing venues where I waste my time and yours. This site racked up about half a million visits in 2012, which I’m fairly certain is an all-time high. It’s probably all downhill from here.

Oh and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the lovely selection of Featured Posts you see to the right. It may not be my most popular content but it’s some of my best.

Houston Oilers at Boston Patriots - November 25, 1960

#10. The Best and Worst NFL Logos (NFC North)

I’m fairly obsessed with logos, be they for sports teams or supermarkets. So last summer, prior to the start of the NFL’s 2012 season, I ran an eight-part series highlighting my most and least favorite NFL team logos. The one for the NFC North — home of the Bears, Lions, Packers, and Vikings — was the most-viewed by a fairly sizable margin.

#9. The GFS Retrotisements home

Well this was unexpected. Since I launched the more permanent section of this site last year, one of the most visited sections has been the gallery of classic advertisements I call Retrotisements. I still run them on the blog — and here’s a handy index — but the main home is great because I’ve taken the trouble to organize the ads into handy sections for you. You’re welcome!

#8. American Football League (AFL) game programs from the 1960 season

This was even more unexpected. It seems as if the 1960 AFL season, the league’s first, still stirs the hearts of football fans more than half a century later. Or maybe people just love looking at old football programs.

#7. Jennifer Love Hewitt – Social Crusader

Was posting a gallery of sexy Jennifer Love Hewitt pictures a cheap ploy to get people to read my critique of her rather blatant hypocrisy? Yeah, I’ll ‘fess up to that. Doesn’t change the truth of what I said though. And just to prove that I can troll for cheap traffic and still keep my dignity, here’s a picture of Jennifer from the April 2012 issue of Maxim.

Jennifer Love Hewitt (Maxim magazine, April 2012)

#6. Get the London Look and Fit a Tuppence Between Your Teeth

Perhaps some felt I went a little too far in poking fun at the dentally challenged Georgia May Jagger and those silly Rimmel London ads, but I don’t care. She looks stupid and that’s all I have to say on that subject.

#5. 20 Great Horror Movie Posters from the 1980s

I had a ton of fun putting together this gallery of classic ’80s horror movie posters, and judging my the response a lot of you had fun reading it. I’ve already published another gallery of ’50s sci-fi posters, and you can bet more will be coming next year!

Queen - News of the World#4. Album cover of the week: News of the World

How’s this for staying power? My post on Queen’s classic 1977 album News of the World went live in May 2008!

#3. The 10 Deadliest Tornadoes in World History

I published this list of killer twisters in May 2011 but it didn’t really take off in terms of popularity until this year. I guess maybe it’s a thinker? Well whatever the reason is, I plan on doing some more disaster countdowns in 2013, and I’m not just talking about CBS’s prime time lineup.

#2. To Arms! A Gallery of War Recruitment Posters

This gallery of wartime recruiting/propaganda posters dating from the 18th century to today was my most popular piece last year, but just missed out on a repeat in ’12. I’ll probably either update it with more posters in 2013 or write a sequel.

#1. A humorous map of New Jersey

This breakdown of the Garden State by type of resident was #4 on last year’s countdown, which was pretty amazing when you consider that it was only up for about three weeks. It narrowly beat out the war poster gallery to claim the top spot this year. Based on some of the comments it’s received, some people just can’t take a joke.

Football Friday — Week 11 Highlights, Chargers vs. Broncos 1975

Sorry, not a ton of time this week to put together something too involved. So it’s back to the YouTube vaults for some more vintage game highlight films. Specifically, the San Diego Chargers/Denver Broncos contest from week 11 of the 1975 regular season.

On November 30, 1975, winless San Diego traveled to Denver to play the Broncos on a brisk, 19-degree afternoon. Despite racking up a meager three first downs and 123 yards on offense, the Bolts managed to bring the game to overtime. Of course, it stands that the Chargers’ only TD was a 42-yard punt return by rookie Mike Fuller. But all was for naught as Jim Turner booted a 25-yard field goal in the extra period.

Retro Football Card - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts QB

Retro Football Cards — Andrew Luck, Pro Set 1989

After a lengthy break, it’s time for another retro football card designed by yours truly. I didn’t intend for this series to be so quarterback-heavy, but I can’t overlook the great performance turned in by rookie Colts QB Andrew Luck last weekend.

Against the Miami Dolphins in Week 9, Luck passed for an NFL rookie record 433 yards. It was his fourth 300-yard-plus passing performance this season, only the second time a rookie QB has done that. The first? Peyton Manning. So yeah, I think #12 deserves this.

This card is based on a 1989 Pro Set card for former Colts quarterback Chris Chandler.  I picked ’89 since Luck was born that year. I had some trouble finding the right typeface for the name, and ended up using Haettenschweiler. If anyone reading this can think of a better choice, let me know!

Retro Football Card - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts QB

NFL Media Guide/Yearbook cover - Green Bay Packers 1982

Football Friday — Vintage NFL Team Media Guides and Yearbooks, Part 1

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, there almost wasn’t a Football Friday post this week. But I couldn’t let that happen to you, my faithful fans and readers. But I will compromise and just give you a gallery of some classic NFL team media guide/yearbook covers. Consider this a preview of the next permanent section of the main site; a sister gallery to my AFL game program exhibit if you will.

NFL Media Guide/Yearbook cover - Philadelphia Eagles 1951

NFL Media Guide/Yearbook cover - Los Angeles Rams 1959

NFL Media Guide/Yearbook cover - Baltimore Colts 1958

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Football Friday — Vintage NFL Products from the Sears Catalog, Part 1

And it’s back to the Sears catalog I go, this time to bring you a host of vintage NFL merchandise from the past. Let’s take a look!

National Football League (NFL) sheets, Sears 1973 spring catalog

I don’t know if I had this bedding set (from 1973) exactly, but I had one very much like it. I had matching curtains too. Man do I miss them. Dig that funky New York Jets wordmark!

National Football League (NFL) sheets, Sears 1975 fall catalog

National Football League (NFL) sheets, Sears 1975 fall catalog

Both of these images are from the Fall 1975 catalog. My eye is immediately drawn to the old Los Angeles Rams and Houston Oilers logos.

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Alex Karras Detroit Lions football card (1964 Kahn's Weiners)

Football Friday: A Gallery of Alex Karras Detroit Lions Football Cards

Former NFL great and all-around media star Alex Karras died earlier this week from complications due to kidney failure. He had been in extremely poor health the last few years of his life. While most of my generation knows him best as Mongo in Blazing Saddles or George Papadapolis from Webster, Karras was first and foremost an outstanding defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions.

Karras racked up four Pro Bowl selections in his Detroit career (1958 – 1970) — which was interrupted by a season-long suspension for gambling in 1963 — and was later named to the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team at defensive tackle.

As a small tribute to Karras, here is a gallery of football cards representing nearly each of his 12 NFL seasons.

Alex Karras Detroit Lions football card (1959 Topps)

1959 Topps

Alex Karras Detroit Lions football card (1961 Topps)

1961 Topps

Alex Karras Detroit Lions football card (1962 Topps)

1962 Topps

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