|Born:||March 4, 1938|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Player stats at PFR|
Mark Johnston (born March 4, 1938) 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.
A native of Sycamore, Illinois, he was a Northwestern University player from 1957-59. In his final season there, the Wildcats, coached by Ara Parseghian, had a record of 6-0 and were nationally ranked, defeating Oklahoma, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Notre Dame and Indiana, before dropping their last three games to go 6-3.
Unclaimed in the 1960 NFL Draft, Johnston went on to have 14 interceptions in his pro career.
He and the Oilers won the first AFL championship game on New Year's Day, 1961 over the San Diego Chargers, 24-16 before a crowd of 32,183 in Houston, Texas, led by quarterback George Blanda and flanker Billy Cannon, who hooked up on an 88-yard touchdown pass. Later that same year, on Christmas Eve, the same two teams met for the 1961 AFL championship before a crowd of 29,556 in San Diego, where the Oilers prevailed 10-3. That game's only touchdown came in the third quarter on a 35-yard pass from Blanda to Cannon.
Going for three championships in a row, the Oilers ended up losing to the Dallas Texans (who next year became the Kansas City Chiefs) in the longest title game in American pro football history. It took two overtime periods in Houston before the Texans came away with a 20-17 victory on a 25-yard field goal by Tommy Brooker.
Johnston then concluded his pro career with the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders in 1964.
The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football league that operated for ten seasons from 1960 until 1969, when it merged with the older National Football League (NFL), and became the American Football Conference. The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence. It was more successful than earlier rivals to the NFL with the same name, the 1926, 1936 and 1940 leagues, and the later All-America Football Conference.
Daryle Pasquale Lamonica is a former American football quarterback who played in the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He was nicknamed "The Mad Bomber" due to his affinity for throwing the long pass in virtually any situation.
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).
David Lee Grayson was an American football defensive back in the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL) for the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. He played college football at the University of Oregon.
William Abb Cannon was an American football running back and tight end who played professionally in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). He attended Louisiana State University (LSU), where he played college football as a halfback, return specialist, and defensive back for the LSU Tigers. At LSU, Cannon was twice unanimously named an All-American, helped the 1958 LSU team win a national championship, and received the Heisman Trophy as the nation's most outstanding college player in 1959. His punt return against Ole Miss on Halloween night in 1959 is considered by fans and sportswriters to be one of the most famous plays in LSU sports history.
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.
During its ten-year existence (1960–1969), the American Football League's best player for each year was called the "Most Valuable Player" by some sports-news sources and the "Player of the Year" by others. The awards by the major services are shown below.
Jack Ross "Jacky" Lee was an American quarterback who played professional football in the American Football League for all ten of its seasons (1960–1969). After playing football, baseball, and basketball at Ellet High School in Akron, Ohio, he played college football at the University of Cincinnati. In 1958–1959, Jacky Lee was the team MVP and an All Conference Quarterback. In 1960, he was MVP of the Senior Bowl.
The 1960 Oakland Raiders season was the inaugural one for the franchise and for the American Football League. Head coach Eddie Erdelatz led the team to a 6–8 finish, third out of four teams in the Western Division.
The 1967 Oakland Raiders season was the team's eighth in Oakland. Under the command of second-year head coach John Rauch, the Raiders went 13–1 and captured their first Western Division title. The addition of strong-armed quarterback Daryle Lamonica greatly energized the Raiders' vertical passing game. Additionally, the Raiders added Gene Upshaw, Willie Brown, and George Blanda to their roster during the 1967 offseason. All three players would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame.
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 1963 American Football League season was the fourth regular season of the American Football League (AFL).
The 1961 American Football League season was the second regular season of the American Football League (AFL). It consisted of 8 franchises split into two divisions: the East Division and the West Division.
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.
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 1966 Miami Dolphins season was the team's inaugural year as an expansion franchise in the American Football League (AFL). The Dolphins were the first of two expansion teams in the AFL, founded by Minneapolis attorney-politician Joe Robbie and actor-comedian Danny Thomas. Future Harlem Globetrotters and Montreal Canadiens owner George N. Gillett, Jr. was a minority partner, and the team was led by head coach George Wilson. The franchise was granted in August 1965 for $7.5 million.
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.