One of the AFL’s flagship franchises is showcasing some vintage NFL items.
The NFL continues its 50th anniversary salute of the American Football League. While teams wear throwback uniforms for some games during the season, game-worn jerseys and other items from the old AFL days are going on display
The New England Patriots’ Hall at Patriot Place is hosting a special exhibit on display throughout the rest of the 2009 season. Entitled "The AFL Turns 50", it’s being called "the most extensive collection of AFL memorabilia available for viewing anywhere".
Gino Cappelletti, who scored the AFL’s first points for the Boston Patriots in a game against the Denver Broncos in September of 1960, cut the ribbon to open the display.
“It’s something that the AFL really deserves, and I was concerned about the image of the AFL in those years started to fade away,” Cappelletti said. “The fact that the NFL finally wants to recognize the AFL, what the AFL meant to the success of the NFL (is appreciated). The contributions should not be forgotten.”
The exhibit features memorabilia from all 10 AFL teams on loan from a collector. Some of the artifacts included in the exhibit are:
- Joe Namath’s Super Bowl III jersey
- Memorabilia from 21 Pro Football Hall of Famers
- Memorabilia from all 10 AFL MVPS, including Patriots Jim Nance and Gino Cappelletti
- A shirt and whistle that belonged to Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram
- A film projector, cap and jacket that belonged to Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman
- Game-worn uniforms from George Blanda, Lance Alworth, Jim Otto, Don Maynard and Otis Taylor
- A game ball from the Patriots’ first win (September 16, 1960 vs. the NY Titans)
- Memorabilia from AFL officials
- A banner and helmet from the 1962 AFL Champion Dallas Texans (now the Kansas City Chiefs)
- A graphic timeline of the 1960 comparing events in the AFL to historic events of the time
The Patriots were featured in the NFL’s first "AFL Legacy Game" on the opening weekend of the 2009 season, a victory over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. On Sunday, the Patriots will play in the second "AFL Legacy Game" when they travel to Denver to face the Broncos in a rematch of the first AFL regular season game, held on Sept. 9, 1960 at Boston University Field.
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