Turney: Dissecting the 46 preliminary candidates for our AFL Call for Canton

Abner Haynes photo courtesy of Kansas City Chiefs

Clark Judge

You've seen the list of 46 candidates for our AFL Call to the Hall. Now you get an unexpected surprise that could ... and should ... help with next week's cut to 20 finalists.

A cheat sheet.

It comes compliments of one of our voters, NFL historian John Turney of Pro Football Journal, and we publish it with this disclaimer: This is Turney's evaluation. And while he dives deep into study, film and numbers, remember this: This is Turney's evaluation and not that of our board of 15 selectors.

Nevertheless, it serves as a guide to AFL stars whom readers may have forgotten and as a tool to assist with our countdown to the 10 most deserving AFL stars for Hall-of-Fame consideration.

His assessments are helpful. They are informative. And they are yours.

Just click on the link below ...


Comments (4)
No. 1-2

What strikes me about this list, is if we removed AFL and assumed all played in the NFL, it really is a pretty weak list in terms of accomplishments worthy of consideration for the PFHOF, especially if you compare to players who did play in the NFL in the same era. These AFL candidates short high peak to their careers and many played less than 7 year. And yes I know we can point to Easley and T Davis as recent examples of short careers not stopping such players from getting elected, but they remain the minority and not so sure any of these AFL have a peak as high or as long as Easley or T Davis. I wonder of the years of anti-AFL bias has now created a false sense of justice or urgency to consider more AFL players even although several have been elected in recent years, and with this list really isn't that impressive, and perhaps beyond Tyrer not really the injustice some make it out to be-that is the lack of more AFL players in the Hall.

2 Replies

brian wolf
brian wolf

You and John Turney make excellent points about the short careers/high peaks of most of these players Paul, but I believe it was different than the NFL.

The AFL always welcomed former NFL players to help their league in terms of competition but once college talent signed with the AFL, that was it ...
Their careers were basically sink or swim with this league, with very few players ever signing over to the NFL later on.

AFL owners and teams were very sensitive to the "Micky Mouse League" moniker of their early years, especially with their struggles with signing top college talent but with the signing of Joe Namath, the AFL was determined to sign and play the best college talent at the expence of the veterans that helped the league get off the ground.

Thats whats difficult about picking an Alltime AFL team or even players for HOF induction ...

With the league lasting only ten seasons and the talent levels more significant at the end of its existence, its hard to find many players who maintained excellent, consistent play throughout the decade, with AFL owners and teams pushing for more youth, knowing the NFL teams stuck more with its veteran players.

Yet watching veterans like Chris Burford, Jerry Mays, Bob Talamini, Matt Snell, EJ Holub, and others EXCELL in the Super Bowl against top NFL teams, shows they would have had great careers in the NFL as well, and perhaps longer, with NFL teams more reluctant to play younger talent out of college.


I understand the issues and challenges former AFL players face, but was just pointing out there is no way to give them special treatment or credit for that, at end of day they have to go up against NFL players and short careers are rare in the Hall to begin with.

brian wolf
brian wolf

Like I stated on the PFJ site, and here as well ... these are in my opinion, the players who should be voted into the HOF ...

Jim Tyrer
Walt Sweeney
Dave Grayson
Art Powell
Ed Budde
Tom Sestak

Superclose but would be happy if they got in ...

Abner Haynes ... victim of blackballing
Cookie Gilchrest ... counting CFL years
Otis Taylor ... barely over Hennigan
Gino Cappelletti ... All Time AFL scorer

Daryle Lamonica (Wild Card)

Despite only six starting seasons, led his team to four consecutive championship games despite being injured in two of them, and has the 2nd best winning pct of all time amongst QBs, trailing Otto Graham ...

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