Elite Kick bands: These days, it seems really hard to imagine an alternate professional football league that could compete with the National Football League. In 1960 though, one really did come along. In that year, the American Football League was organized by a group of franchise owners, many of whom had been denied ownership in NFL franchises. Ten years later this league would prove to be so successful and such a serious competitor that it and the NFL would merge in time for the 1970 football season.
The Houston Oilers were one of the founding members of the AFL and they had immediate success. The AFL was a more wide open game in terms of offensive styles. And the Oilers were one of the class acts of the league in the early days. In fact, they were so successful that they won the first two AFL Championships.
Houston Oilers – 1960 AFL Champions
1960 was the Houston Oilers first year in football and no one really knew what to expect. The team had good players and a first year coach who had never been a head coach before. The team started out winning five of their first six games before hitting the midway part of the season with a 5-2 record. They would equal this in the second half of the year and finish the season with a 10-4 mark. In the AFL Championship Game, the Oilers would defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 24-16.
Houston Oilers – 1961 AFL Champions
Coming off their first championship season, the entire AFL was gunning for the Oilers in 1961. The season looked great in week one when they beat the Oakland Raiders 55-0. But they would then lose their next three games and even play to a tie with the Boston Patriots. This meant that after five weeks, the reigning AFL Champion sat there with a record of 1-3-1. They would turn it around in a big way though, winning each of the last nine games of the season, finishing with a record of 10-3-1. Again they went to the AFL Championship game. And again they played the Chargers, who by now were calling San Diego home. The Oilers would win again, this time by a 10-3 score and successfully complete their back to back championship run.