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AFL Commissioner Foss: “We’ve Arrived”

July 6, 1963 - The American Football League, on the threshold of its fourth season, is well fixed, said league commissioner Joe Foss (pictured left) today. “The television people tell us, ‘You’ve arrived,’” he reported. Television revenue for each of the 8 teams may reach $240,000 this year, a 17% rise. Season ticket sales are up 49% over the comparable date a year ago, thanks to the enthusiasm in Kansas City for the team that just moved there. “Lamar Hunt has $70,000 in the bank from ticket sales, and he never had that in Dallas,” Foss remarked. Hunt, the man who helped found the AFL, moved his Dallas Texans to Kansas City this spring, and now the two pro leagues oppose each other in only one city, New York, where the NFL’s Giants and the AFL’s newly christened Jets play. Hunt’s departure from Dallas brought about the moving of AFL league headquarters from that city to New York for reasons of closer proximity to communications media and television advertisers’ agencies. Foss is television-minded because that medium gave his league a showcase and nationwide identity in a hurry. The commissioner cites a number of “firsts” in AFL television games. These include more cameras and close-up shots “so the people can really see the players,” interviews at halftime, player names on jerseys, and exposure of fights or arguments on the field. “When there’s a rhubarb,” Foss said, “we don’t show pictures of sea gulls or parking lots.” This was an allusion to a former NFL policy that ordered cameras turned away from game brawls.


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