October 29, 1960

While the players were taking a day off following the win over the Titans, a pair of controversies dominated Raider news today. The first concerned a report that Chet Soda had sold 50% of his share of the team to Frederick Sullivan, the president of a San Francisco travel agency. Sullivan, whose firm numbered the Raiders among its clients, was the source of the news and he also asserted that three other owners had sold part of their financial shares to other parties. These sales, according to Sullivan, did not include voting rights. Soda denied the story. However, the team’s PR director, Jack Gallagher, acknowledged there was a provision in the ownership agreement that allowed owners to sell a portion of their share as long as voting rights were not transferred with the sale. Sellers of partial shares did not have to reveal names of the buyers to the other owners.

The other controversy involved a dispute between Eddie Erdelatz and Titans owner Harry Wismer. What was being characterized in the press as a “feud”, began on the Wednesday before the game. Wismer had invited Erdelatz to a cocktail party thrown for the press. Erdelatz did not attend, citing previous obligations, but Wismer took it as a snub and called Erdelatz “uncooperative and a troublemaker.”

Erdelatz responded by saying, “Wismer himself is hardly the most popular man in (New York) and being on his ‘list’ doesn’t bother me a bit.”

Not letting matters stand there, Wismer, an old radio hand, said on the air that the Raiders had arrived late to the game and that Erdelatz missed the beginning altogether. Scotty Stirling, the Oakland Tribune’s beat writer verified that the Raider coach had accompanied the team to the game and that they had arrived on time.

Marty Feldman confirmed this, saying, “We were in the Polo Grounds at the normal time and Eddie was certainly with us.” Erdelatz was unavailable for comment.

In less incendiary news, Soda announced that the team was abandoning its pursuit of playing the last three home games of 1960 in the Pacific High School stadium in San Leandro.

Oakland Tribune

September 13, 1959

The AFL completed a two-day meeting of team owners during with they discussed a variety of topics. Los Angeles franchise owner Barron Hilton confirmed that he had offered a contract for the head coaching spot to Eddie Erdelatz and had approached former Notre Dame head coach Frank Leahy to be the general manager. Bud Adams of Houston said he had talked with a pair of men, former Washington Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh and former Baylor coach George Sauer, about coaching his team.

Lamar Hunt announced the league’s intention to field eight teams playing a 14-game home-and-home round robin schedule. He added that the field of potential cities for the two remaining spots had been winnowed to Buffalo, Kansas City, Louisville, Miami, San Diego, and San Francisco. Observers believed that at least one of the two California cities had an inside track, as Hilton was lobbying hard to get another West Coast team to pair with his in Los Angeles.

New York owner Harry Wismer announced that he had put together a deal for his team to play in the Polo Grounds.

August 15, 1959

A UPI story announced that the AFL had its first official meeting in Chicago. Along with Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams, Barron Hilton was there to represent Los Angeles. Denver was represented by Robert Howsam, New York was represented by Harry Wismer, and the Minneapolis franchise was represented by Bill Boyer, a local businessman, and Max Winter, who at one time owned a piece of the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers.

So far, the response from the NFL and their teams was muted, though Vince Lombardi, about to embark on his first season as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, thought there was “plenty of talent around to support two leagues.”

Meanwhile the rumors about what cities might be added to the AFL continued to circulate. The current set included San Francisco, Kansas City, and New Orleans.