Monday, June 8, 2009

This Day in History: June 8, 1966

The AFL and NFL announce merger.

On this day in 1966, the rival National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) announce that they will merge. The first "Super Bowl" between the two leagues took place at the end of the 1966 season, though it took until the 1970 season for the leagues to unite their operations and integrate their regular season schedules.

In 1965, the AFL scored a television contract with NBC. That same year, New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin lured quarterback Joe Namath out of the University of Alabama to the AFL with the biggest contract in pro football history. The NFL’s prediction and hope that the AFL would field only second-rate players and washed-up former NFL players was not to be: Instead, the two leagues began to compete over fans, players and coaches. An unspoken agreement that one league would not sign the other league’s players was broken in 1966 when the NFL’s New York Giants signed place-kicker Pete Gogolak away from the AFL’s Buffalo Bills. As neither league could afford a bidding war, owners soon began to talk of a merger.

Under the merger agreement announced on June 8, 1966, the new league would be called the NFL, and split into the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC) All eight of the original AFL teams would all be absorbed by the NFL, unlike in 1946 when the NFL merged with the rival All-America Football Conference but only took in its Baltimore, Cleveland and San Francisco franchises and dissolved four other teams.

The Super Bowl, played between the AFC and NFC champions at the end of every NFL season, is now the most watched televised sporting event in the world with more than 140 million viewers.

Celebrate the past seasons with our new vintage cufflinks. Just added to our current selection are Vintage Chargers, Broncos and Titans Cufflinks.

We have also added historic teams that are no longer around like the Titans of New York.

To shop our NFL selection click here.

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