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Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League

Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League

Photo Credit:  Showtime Sports
  • Premiered: 
    September 16, 2009
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Showtime
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags: football (pro)

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Plot Synopsis

This five-part documentary celebrates the 50th season of the maverick American Football League -- from its tumultuous beginnings to its unlikely powerhouse merger with the rival NFL. Weaving through the social, cultural and political events of the tumultuous 1960s, this documentary used rare interviews; long lost game highlights; never-before-seen footage; and tributes from pop-culture personalities and historians. In 1959 Lamar Hunt tried to purchase an NFL team and convince the NFL commissioner to expand the 12-team league. When both efforts failed, Hunt contacted others who were also unable secure ownership positions in the NFL. Together, they decided to start the American Football League in August 1959, and the AFL played its first regular-season game on Friday, September 9, 1960. Throughout the '60s, the AFL gained in popularity, secured larger television contracts and received its big break when it played the NFL in the AFL-NFL Championship Game (Super Bowl I) on January 15, 1967. Still seen as the lesser of the two leagues, the AFL came of age in 1969 in Super Bowl III when Joe Namath, the quarterback of AFL's New York Jets, guaranteed victory over the NFL's heavily favored Baltimore Colts -- and followed through on his words. The AFL and NFL merged in 1970, and all ten AFL franchises became part of the NFL.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by NFL Films