September 6, 1960: View from the Future

It’s a truism and probably a truth that we can’t tell much about football teams from their preseason performances, but it might have been a little less true for the AFL in 1960. With every team consisting of players who, in almost all cases, had never played together before, for coaches they’d never played for, there was plenty of uncertainty, and lots of incentive to find out just what they had before competing for keeps. Eddie Erdelatz, just as an example, said explicitly that he was playing to win and there’s no reason not to think that at least some of the other coaches felt the same way. It sure looked like Hank Stram and Sid Gillman felt that way. The Texans and the Chargers had gone undefeated in the preseason, affirming a sense among league observers, developed before the exhibition schedule began, that they, along with the Oilers were the class of the league. The jury was still out on Houston, though. At 2-3, they were no better than the Raiders at this point. The surprise was Boston at 4-1. No one expected much from them going in, so it would be interesting to see if they could translate their success into the regular season. Also-rans were the Bills and Titans at 1-4 and the Broncos at 0-5.

Read more “September 6, 1960: View from the Future”

August 19, 1960

It was one of those late August evenings in San Francisco where the first hint of autumn chill reminded everyone that summer doesn’t last forever. A stiff breeze off the water was present as usual, but there was a thick fog filling the bowl of Kezar Stadium that refused to budge. It was hard to know if it was the weather that kept people away, or if it was simple disinterest, but just 6,521 curiosity-seekers came out to watch the Chargers play the Raiders in the first meeting of these California rivals.

Read more “August 19, 1960”

August 18, 1960

The Raiders finished preparations for tomorrow night’s game against the Chargers. The team began to work new quarterback Babe Parilli into the system, but he was not likely to be up to speed enough to play against Los Angeles. As in the previous two contests, Tom Flores was expected to carry the load for most of the game, if not the whole thing.

Read more “August 18, 1960”

July 9, 1960

The Raiders added another quarterback to the roster, signing 5’11”, 185 pound Sandy Lederman just prior to the opening of training camp. Lederman played his college ball at the University of Washington and had a somewhat rocky tenure there. A passer of significant physical gifts, he suffered a broken leg in 1954 that put a premature end to his junior season and the following year he was temporarily booted from the team by head coach John Cherburg because of “attitude” troubles. He went unselected in the 1956 draft but did participate in Chicago Bears training camp before washing out with an injury. Upon recovery, he spent time with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian leagues, but disappeared entirely from the pro ranks shortly thereafter. Before showing up in Oakland he had competed for a job with the Chargers, but was eventually cut by head coach Sid Gillman.

Oakland Tribune
Long Beach Press Democrat