|Date||December 23, 1962|
|Stadium||Jeppesen Stadium, Houston, Texas|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers|| Curt Gowdy, Paul Christman,|
and Jack Buck
The 1962 American Football League Championship Game was played on December 23 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas. The host Houston Oilers (11–3) of the Eastern Division were trying for their third consecutive AFL title, matched against the Western Division's Dallas Texans, also at 11–3.
The two teams were the class of the league that year, and they split their regular season series, with the visiting team winning each game. The Texans thumped the Oilers at Houston 31–7 on October 28, and the next week the Oilers returned the favor with a 14–6 win at the Cotton Bowl.
Dallas was coached by the erudite Hank Stram, and featured players on offense included Abner Haynes, quarterback Len Dawson, and rookie running back Curtis McClinton, a powerful 230 lb (104 kg) All-American from Kansas. The defense showcased Johnny Robinson and E. J. Holub.
Houston, coached by Frank "Pop" Ivy, featured a host of offensive talent with veteran quarterback George Blanda, Charlie Tolar, the fleet-footed Billy Cannon, Charlie Hennigan, and unheralded Willard Dewveall. Jeppesen Stadium ticket takers counted 37,981 fans in attendance.Astronaut Gus Grissom placed the ball on the kicking tee as the honorary referee.1 2 3
Houston entered the game as a 6⅓-point favorite.
At the time, it was the longest game in the history of professional American football,and remains the longest professional championship game (and third-longest professional game) in the history of the sport.
Early in the game both teams relied on the run. Houston with Tolar and Cannon gained the advantage and advanced the ball to the Dallas 4-yard line. The Dallas defense rose to the occasion and hit Blanda as he attempted to pass causing the ball to wobble right into the eager arms of the Texans EJ Holub for an interception. Holub scrambled upfield but Houston's Al Jamison saved a touchdown by knocking Holub out of bounds at midfield. Len Dawson then mixed running and passing to the Houston 8 where Tommy Brooker booted a 16-yard field goal.
Houston started driving again with Tolar and Cannon running, often from a "double wing" backfield formation. The drive stalled and Blanda missed a 47-yard field goal to conclude the 1st qtr.
When Dallas took possession, Jack Spikes promptly darted around left end for 33 yards, augmented by a 15-yard face mask penalty against Houston. Dawson then hit Abner Haynes, who had lined up as a flanker, on a curl-out pattern and Haynes scooted down the right sideline for 28 yards and a touchdown. Brooker's extra-point made it 10–0, Dallas.
Later, in the quarter, Houston had the ball at their 32, when Blanda lofted a pass deep, but Dave Grayson picked the ball off and returned it to the Hou 29. Dallas kept the ball on the ground, with Haynes scoring his 2nd TD, and Dallas led 17–0. George Blanda would not be deterred and continued to pass, but a 4th down incompletion at the Dallas 25 ended another drive, and any more scoring threats in the first half.
At halftime, AFL Commissioner Joe Foss presented Rookie-Of-The-Year Curtis McClinton and Player-Of-The-Year Len Dawson with Mercury S-55 convertible automobiles.
The Oilers received the kickoff and Blanda again came out throwing. With Charlie Tolar (an oil-well fire fighter in the off-season)3 knocking defenders down and Blanda passing, Houston culminated the drive with a 15-yard pass to Willard Dewveall, closing the gap to 17–7, Dallas.
Later in the third period Haynes fumbled and Houston recovered at the Dallas 20, but Johnny Robinson picked-off Blanda's pass at the goal line and returned in to the Dallas 37.
Dallas kept the ball on the ground in the 2nd half, intending to use up the clock and keep Houston's potent offense off the field. Dallas consistently moved the ball, but could not get into scoring position.
George Blanda using the double wing backfield, had Houston driving again. On a third down pass from the Dallas 24, Johnny Robinson delivered a hard hit to Billy Cannon at the goal line, knocking the ball loose and preventing a touchdown. Blanda then kicked a 31-yard field goal to make it 17–10, Dallas.
Dallas stayed conservative and Blanda continued the aerial assault connecting with Cannon and Hennigan to move to the Houston 1-yard line. Fullback Charlie Tolar the "human bowling ball" took the ball in on a 1-yard dive, again knocking defenders out of the way. Blanda's extra-point tied the game at 17–17.
With the clock running down, Dave Grayson blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt by Blanda to end any more scoring threats.
The first overtime started with a potentially damaging gaffe by Dallas captain Abner Haynes, who won the toss and said, "We'll kick to the clock.", inadvertently leaving his team with neither the first possession nor favorable wind conditions.What Haynes wanted was the strong wind behind his team, but, by saying "We'll kick..." first, he gave the Oilers the choice of having the wind at their backs. As it turned out, it didn't matter. The first overtime went scoreless, but Bill Hull intercepted a Blanda pass to end it with the Texans at the Oilers' 48. In the second overtime, Jack Spikes picked up ten yards on a pass reception and nineteen yards on a rush. After the Texans ran a couple of plays to position the ball, rookie Tommy Brooker came in on fourth-and-nine, and kicked a 25-yard field goal after 2:54 of the sixth quarter, or 17:54 of sudden-death overtime, to end the game.
The Houston Oilers had come within a hair's breadth of winning the first three AFL championships, but the Texans prevailed, 20–17, in their last game before moving north to Missouri to become the Kansas City Chiefs. They would win the AFL title again in 1966 and 1969, gaining berths in the first and fourth Super Bowls.
The overflow attendance of nearly 38,000 brought a gate of about $170,000. The winning Texans players each made $2,261, while the Oilers received $1,471 each.These shares were less than half of those for the NFL title game in 1962, at $5,888 and $4,166 each.
57 years after the game, the two teams, now known as the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, respectively, played a rematch in the 2019 AFC Championship Game, where the Chiefs won 35-24.
George Frederick Blanda was an American football quarterback and placekicker who played professionally in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). Blanda played 26 seasons of professional football, the most in the sport's history, and had scored more points than anyone in history at the time of his retirement.
Charles Taylor Hennigan, Sr. was an American football player with the former Houston Oilers of the American Football League (AFL).
Abner Haynes is an American former professional football player who was a running back in the American Football League (AFL).
Leonard Ray Dawson is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) for 19 seasons, primarily with the Kansas City Chiefs franchise. Dawson began his professional career in 1957 with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL and also played for the Cleveland Browns. He left the NFL in 1962 to sign with the AFL's Chiefs, where he spent the last 14 seasons of his career, and rejoined the NFL after the AFL–NFL merger.
For its first nine seasons, 1960 through 1968, the American Football League determined its champion via a single playoff game between the winners of its two divisions.
The 1962 Dallas Texans season was the third and final season of Lamar Hunt's American Football League franchise before its relocation to Kansas City from Dallas.
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The 1969 American Football League playoffs was the postseason of the American Football League for its tenth and final season in 1969. For the first time, the ten-team league scheduled a four-team postseason, consisting of the top two teams from the two divisions. The division champions hosted the second place teams from the other division; both Western division teams won and advanced to the league championship game, with the winner advancing to play the NFL champion in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans on January 18, 1970.
The 1967 American Football League Championship Game was the eighth AFL championship game, played on December 31 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.
The 1961 American Football League Championship Game was a rematch of the first AFL title game, between the Houston Oilers and the San Diego Chargers. It was played on December 24 at Balboa Stadium in San Diego, California, and the Oilers were three-point favorites.
The 1960 American Football League Championship Game was the first AFL title game, played on New Year's Day 1961 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas. With New Year's on Sunday, the major college bowl games were played on Monday, January 2. This was the first time that a major professional football league's playoff game was played in January rather than December.
Jack Erwin Spikes is a former American football running back and placekicker. He played in the American Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers, and the Buffalo Bills. He played college football at Texas Christian University (TCU).
Mark Johnston is a former professional football cornerback who played five professional seasons 1960-1964 in the American Football League with the Houston Oilers, New York Jets, and the Oakland Raiders. He was an American Football League All-Star in 1961, and was with the Oilers in the first three AFL Championship games, winning the title in 1960 and 1961.
The 1960 Houston Oilers season was the first season for the Houston Oilers as a professional American football franchise; Head Coach Lou Rymkus led the Oilers to the AFL Eastern Division title, with a 10–4 record. It was also the first American Football League season. It ended with a 24–16 victory in the AFL championship game at home over the Los Angeles Chargers (10–4).
The 1961 Houston Oilers season was the second season for the Houston Oilers as a professional American football franchise; For the second consecutive season, the Oilers scored a triumph in the AFL championship game over the San Diego Chargers (12–2), the Western Division champions.
The 1962 Houston Oilers season was the third season for the Houston Oilers as a professional American football franchise; For the third consecutive season, the Oilers appeared in the AFL Championship Game, only to lose 20–17 in double overtime to the Dallas Texans.
William Thomas Brooker was an American professional football player who was a placekicker and end. He played for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League (AFL) from 1962 to 1966. Brooker played college football at the University of Alabama under legendary coach Bear Bryant. He was drafted by the Texans in the 17th round in the 1962 AFL Draft and by the Washington Redskins in the 16th round in the same year's NFL Draft.
Harry William Hull Jr. was an American football defensive end who played in the American Football League for the Dallas Texans in 1962.
The professional American football team now known as the Tennessee Titans previously played in Houston, Texas as the Houston Oilers from its founding in 1960 to 1996 before relocating to Memphis, and later Nashville, Tennessee becoming the Titans. The Oilers began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL). The team won two AFL championships before joining the NFL as part of the AFL–NFL merger in the late 1960s.
1961 AFL Champions
| Dallas Texans|
American Football League Champions
San Diego Chargers
1963 AFL Champions