1987 NFL season
The 1987 NFL season was the 68th regular season of the National Football League. This season featured games predominantly played by replacement players as the National Football League Players Association players were on strike from weeks four to six; the season ended with Super Bowl XXII, with the Washington Redskins defeating the Denver Broncos 42–10 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. The Broncos suffered their second consecutive Super Bowl defeat. A 24-day players' strike was called after Week 2; the games that were scheduled for the third week of the season were cancelled, reducing the 16-game season to 15, but the games for Weeks 4, 5 and 6 were played with replacement players, after which the union voted to end the strike. 15% of the NFLPA’s players chose to cross picket lines to play during the strike. The replacement players were those left out of work by the recent folding of the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes and the 1986 dissolution of the United States Football League, as well as others, preseason cuts, had long left professional football or were other assorted oddities.
The replacement players, called to play on short notice and having little chance to gel as teammates, were treated with scorn by the press and general public, including name-calling, public shaming and accusations of being scabs. The games played by these replacement players were regarded with less legitimacy – attendance plummeted to under 10,000 fans at many of the games in smaller markets and cities with strong union presence, including a low of 4,074 for the lone replacement game played in Philadelphia) — but nonetheless were counted as regular NFL games. Final television revenues were down by a smaller drop than the networks had expected; the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants went 0–3 in replacement games costing them a chance to make the playoffs and to repeat their championship. The final replacement game was a Monday Night Football matchup on October 19, 1987, with the Washington Redskins at the Dallas Cowboys. Along with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins were the only other NFL team not to have any players cross the picket line and were surprising 13–7 victors over the Cowboys who had plenty of big name players cross the picket line.
The 2017 film Year of the Scab, which aired as part of the ESPN series 30 for 30, documented the story of the replacement players who crossed the picket line to play for the Redskins. A fictionalized account based on the 1987 strike formed the basis of the film The Replacements; the Miami Dolphins began playing at Joe Robbie Stadium. This was the Cardinals' final season in St. Louis; the eight-year old ESPN cable network became the first cable television broadcaster of the league, with its program ESPN Sunday Night NFL debuting on November 8, 1987, broadcasting a series of Sunday night games during the second half of the season. If a defensive player commits pass interference in his own end zone, the ball is placed at the 1-yard line, or if the previous spot was inside the 2-yard line, the penalty is half the distance to the goal line. Except for the first onside kick attempt, if a kickoff goes out of bounds, the receiving team takes possession of the ball 30 yards from the spot of the kick or the spot it went out of bounds.
In order to stop the clock, the quarterback is permitted to throw the ball out of bounds or to the ground as long as he throws it after receiving the snap. During passing plays, an offensive player cannot chop block. Illegal contact by a defensive player beyond the 5-yard zone from the line of scrimmage will not be called if the offensive team is in an obvious punt formation. During kicks and punts, players on the receiving team cannot block below the waist. However, players on the kicking team may block below the waist, but only. On all other plays after a change of possession, no player can block below the waist. Revenue sharing was changed so that NFL players received a portion of the ticket revenue, while the owners kept the revenue generated by skybox rentals; this led to many teams pushing for new stadiums which lowered many skybox suites from the less-desirable outer rim of a stadium to more desirable locations closer to the field so that the owners could charge more money for the suites, while reducing the ticket revenue by replacing the higher-priced seats with lower-priced “nose bleed” seats.
Overall, the number of available general admission seating was reduced in favor of larger suites. Chuck Heberling retired during the 1987 off-season, he joined the NFL in 1965 as a line judge before being promoted to referee in 1972. Games that he officiated include The Drive. Fred Silva, a swing official in 1986, was given his own crew again. Houston was the #4 seed in the AFC, winning a tiebreaker over Seattle based on better conference record. Chicago was the #2 seed in the NFC, winning a tiebreaker over Washington based on better conference record. New England fi
1979 NFL season
The 1979 NFL season was the 60th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XIV when the Pittsburgh Steelers repeated as champions by defeating the Los Angeles Rams 31–19 at the Rose Bowl; the Steelers became the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice. It was the 20th anniversary of the American Football League. Whenever the quarterback is sacked, the clock will be stopped for at least five seconds and restarted again. If a fair catch is made, or signaled and awarded to a team because of interference, on the last play of a half or overtime, the period can be extended and the team can run one play from scrimmage or attempt a fair catch kick. Defensive linemen can wear numbers 90 to 99. Centers are included as the interior offensive linemen in the uniform numbering system. Players are prohibited from wearing altered equipment. Tear-away jerseys are banned. During kickoffs and field goal attempts, players on the receiving team cannot block below the waist.
The zone in which crackback blocks are prohibited is extended from 3 yards on either side of the line of scrimmage to 5. Players can not use their helmets to spear, or ram an opponent. Any player who uses the crown or the top of his helmet unnecessarily will be called for unnecessary roughness. In order to prevent incidents such as the Holy Roller game, the following change is made: If an offensive player fumbles during a fourth down play, or during any down played after the two-minute warning in a half or overtime, only the fumbling player can recover and/or advance the ball; this change is known as the "Ken Stabler rule" after the Oakland Raiders quarterback who made the infamous play in the Holy Roller game. In officiating circles, it's known as the "Markbreit rule" after Jerry Markbreit, the referee for that game. Referees were outfitted with black identifying hats, while all other officials continued to wear white hats. For the first time, each official's position was identified on his shirt.
The position was abbreviated on the front pocket of the shirt and spelled out on the back above the number. The numbering system for officials was altered, with officials numbered separately by position rather than as an entire group, making duplicate numbers among officials common. Uprights were extended to 30 feet above the crossbar. Jerry Seeman was promoted to referee succeeding Don Wedge who returned to being a deep wing official as a back judge. Seeman served as a crew chief for 12 seasons, working Super Bowl XXIII and Super Bowl XXV before leaving the field to succeed Art McNally as NFL Vice President of Officiating from 1991-2001. Starting in 1978, ten teams qualified for the playoffs: the winners of each of the divisions, two wild-card teams in each conference. San Diego was the top AFC playoff seed based on head-to-head victory over Pittsburgh. Seattle finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep. Dallas finished ahead of Philadelphia in the NFC East based on better conference record.
Tampa Bay finished ahead of Chicago in the NFC Central based on a better division record. Chicago was the second NFC Wild Card ahead of Washington based on better net points in all games. Tom Flores replaced a retired John Madden as head coach of the Oakland Raiders Ray Perkins replaced John McVay as head coach of the New York Giants Bill Walsh replaced Fred O'Connor as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers Ron Erhardt replaced Chuck Fairbanks as head coach of the New England Patriots NOTE: The Dallas Cowboys did not play the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional playoff round because both teams were in the same division; the 1979 NFL Draft was held from May 3 to 1979 at New York City's Waldorf Astoria New York. With the first pick, the Buffalo Bills selected linebacker Tom Cousineau from Ohio State University. Cincinnati Bengals: Homer Rice began his first full season as the team's head coach, he replaced Bill Johnson after the Bengals started the 1978 season at 0–5. Oakland Raiders: John Madden retired and was replaced by Tom Flores.
New England Patriots: Ron Erhardt was named as permanent head coach. The team had suspended Chuck Fairbanks for the last regular season game in 1978. Fairbanks had been in talks all that season to join the University of Colorado Buffaloes, breaching his contract with the Patriots. Coordinators Erhardt and Hank Bullough took over as co-interim head coaches for that final 1978 game. Fairbanks was reinstated as head coach two weeks for the Divisional Playoffs, but left in the off-season to join Colorado. New York Giants: John McVay was fired and replaced by Ray Perkins. San Diego Chargers: Don Coryell began his first full season as Chargers head coach, he replaced Tommy Prothro, fired after a 1–3 start in 1978. San Francisco 49ers: Bill Walsh was hired as the new 49ers head coach. Pete McCulley was fired after a 1–8 start in 1978, Fred O'Connor served as interim for the last seven games. St. Louis Cardinals: Bud Wilkinson was fired after the team started the season at 3–10; the team's personal director Larry Wilson served as interim for the last three games.
NFL Record and Fact Book NFL History 1971–1980 Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League
The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team based in the Washington metropolitan area. The Redskins compete in the National Football League as a member of the National Football Conference East division; the team plays its home games at FedExField in Maryland. The Redskins have played more than one thousand games since their founding 87 years ago in 1932, are one of only five franchises in the NFL to record over six hundred regular season and postseason wins, reaching that mark in 2015; the Redskins have won five NFL Championships, have captured fourteen divisional titles and six conference championships. It was the first NFL franchise with an official marching band and the first with a fight song, Hail to the Redskins; the team began play in Boston as the Braves in 1932, became the "Redskins" the following year. In 1937, the team relocated to Washington, D. C; the Redskins won the 1937 and 1942 NFL championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII, XXVI. They have been league runner-up six times, losing the 1936, 1940, 1943, 1945 title games, Super Bowls VII and XVIII.
With 24 postseason appearances, the Redskins have an overall postseason record of 23–18. Their three Super Bowl wins are tied with the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos, behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. All of the Redskins' league titles were attained during two 10-year spans. From 1936 to 1945, the Redskins went to the NFL Championship six times; the second period lasted between 1982 and 1991 where the Redskins appeared in the postseason seven times, captured four Conference titles, won three Super Bowls out of four appearances. The Redskins have experienced failure in their history; the most notable period of general failure was from 1946 to 1970, during which the Redskins posted only four winning seasons and did not have a single postseason appearance. During this period, the Redskins went without a single winning season during the years 1956–1968. In 1961, the franchise posted their worst regular season record with a 1–12–1 showing.
Since their last Super Bowl victory following the end of the 1991 season, the Redskins have only won the NFC East three times, made five postseason appearances, had nine seasons with a winning record. According to Forbes, the Redskins are the fourth most valuable franchise in the NFL and the tenth most valuable overall in the world as of 2018, valued at US$3.1 billion. They set the NFL record for single-season attendance in 2007, have the top ten single-season attendance totals in the NFL. Over the team's history, the name and logo have drawn controversy, with many criticizing it as offensive to Native Americans; the team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932, under the ownership of George Preston Marshall. At the time the team played in Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves baseball team in the National League; the following year, the club moved to Fenway Park, home of the American League's Boston Red Sox, whereupon owners changed the team's name to "Boston Redskins."
To round out the change, Marshall hired William "Lone Star" Dietz, thought to be part Sioux, as the team's head coach. However, Boston wasn't much of a football town at the time and the team had difficulty drawing fans; the Redskins relocated south from New England after five years to the national capital of Washington, D. C. in 1937. Through 1960, the Redskins shared baseball's Griffith Stadium with the first Washington Senators baseball team of the American League. In their first game in Washington on September 16, the Redskins defeated the New York Giants in the season opener, 13–3. On December 5, they earned their first division title in Washington with a 49–14 win over the Giants in New York, for the Eastern Championship; the next week on December 12, the team won their first league championship, over the Chicago Bears. In 1940, the Redskins met the Bears again in the championship game on December 8; the result, 73–0 in favor of the Bears, is still the worst one-sided loss in NFL history. The other big loss for the Redskins that season occurred in September during the coin toss prior to the Giants game.
After calling the coin toss and shaking hands with the opposing team captain, lineman Turk Edwards attempted to pivot around to head back to his sideline. However, his cleats caught in the grass and his knee gave way, injuring him and bringing his season and hall of fame career to an unusual end. In what became an early rivalry in the NFL, the Redskins and Bears met two more times in the NFL Championship Game; the third time in 1942 on December 13, where the Redskins won their second championship, 14–6. The final time the two met was the 1943 on December 26, which the Bears won 41–21; the most notable accomplishment achieved during the Redskins' 1943 season was Sammy Baugh leading the NFL in passing and interceptions. The Redskins played in the NFL Championship one more time before a quarter-century drought that did not end until the 1972 season. With former Olympic gold medalist Dudley DeGroot as their new head coach, the Redskins went 8–2 during the 1945 season. One of the most impressive performances came from Sammy Baugh, who had a completion percentage of.703.
They ended the season by losing to the Cleveland Rams in the 1945 NFL Championship Game on December 16, 1945, 15–14. The one-point margin of victory came under scrutiny because of a safety that occurred early in the game. In the f
1966 American Football League season
The 1966 American Football League season was the seventh regular season of the American Football League. The league entered talks with the National Football League regarding an NFL-AFL merger, which took effect in 1970; the season saw the debut of the Miami Dolphins. This gave the AFL 9 teams. A sixth official, the Line Judge, is added to the officiating crew; the season ended when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills in the AFL Championship game, was defeated by the National Football League's Green Bay Packers in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, now known as the Super Bowl. The AFL had 9 teams, grouped into two divisions, still played a 14-game schedule. With 8 clubs, each one had played a home-and-away game against the other 7 teams. All nine teams faced each other at least once, each team would play six others twice. Though Boston and Miami were both in the Eastern Division, they met only once that season, on November 27; the best team in the Eastern Division would play against the best in the Western Division in a championship game.
If there was tie in the standings, a playoff would be held to determine the division winner. Prior to the season, the AFL-NFL Merger was announced, including both leagues agreeing to play an annual AFL-NFL World Championship Game beginning in January 1967; the Miami Dolphins joined the AFL as the expansion team. AFL Championship Game Kansas City Chiefs 31, Buffalo Bills 7, January 1, 1967, War Memorial Stadium, New York Super Bowl I Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California Buffalo Bills: Lou Saban resigned. Defensive coach Joe Collier was promoted to head coach. Houston Oilers: Hugh Taylor was fired. Wally Lemm took over as head coach. Miami Dolphins: George Wilson became the expansion team's first head coach. Oakland Raiders: Al Davis stepped down as head coach to serve as AFL commissioner during the offseason. John Rauch was named as the Raiders new head coach. Denver Broncos: Mac Speedie resigned after starting the season 0-2. Line coach Ray Malavasi served as interim for the rest of the season.
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League where the champion of the National Football Conference competes against the champion of the American Football Conference. The game is the culmination of a regular season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. Roman numerals are used to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 1967, following the 1966 regular season; the sole exception to this naming convention tradition occurred with Super Bowl 50, played on February 7, 2016, following the 2015 regular season, the following year, the nomenclature returned to Roman numerals for Super Bowl LI, following the 2016 regular season. The upcoming Super Bowl is Super Bowl LIV, scheduled for February 2, 2020, following the 2019 regular season; the game was created as a part of the merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival, the American Football League. It was agreed that the two's champion teams would play in the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to begin in 1970.
After the merger, each league was redesignated as a "conference", the game has since been played between the conference champions to determine the NFL's league champion. The National Football Conference leads the league with 27 wins to 26 wins for the American Football Conference; the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots have the most Super Bowl championship titles, with six. The New England Patriots have the most Super Bowl appearances, with eleven. Tom Brady has six Super Bowl rings, the record for the most rings won by a single player; the day on which the Super Bowl is played, now considered by some as an unofficial American national holiday, is called "Super Bowl Sunday". It is the second-largest day for U. S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day. In addition, the Super Bowl has been the most-watched American television broadcast of the year. S. television history are Super Bowls. In 2015, Super Bowl XLIX became the most-watched American television program in history with an average audience of 114.4 million viewers, the fifth time in six years the game had set a record, starting with Super Bowl XLIV, which itself had taken over the number-one spot held for 27 years by the final episode of M*A*S*H.
The Super Bowl is among the most-watched sporting events in the world all audiences being North American, is second to the UEFA Champions League final as the most watched annual sporting event worldwide. The NFL restricts the use of its "Super Bowl" trademark; because of the high viewership, commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year, leading to companies developing their most expensive advertisements for this broadcast. As a result and discussing the broadcast's commercials has become a significant aspect of the event. In addition, popular singers and musicians including Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Prince, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga have performed during the event's pre-game and halftime ceremonies. For four decades after its 1920 inception, the NFL fended off several rival leagues. In 1960, it encountered its most serious competitor; the AFL vied with the NFL for fans.
The original "bowl game" was the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, first played in 1902 as the "Tournament East-West football game" as part of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and moved to the new Rose Bowl Stadium in 1923. The stadium got its name from the fact that the game played there was part of the Tournament of Roses and that it was shaped like a bowl, much like the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut; the Tournament of Roses football game came to be known as the Rose Bowl Game. Exploiting the Rose Bowl Game's popularity, post-season college football contests were created for Miami, New Orleans, El Paso in 1935, for Dallas in 1937. By the time the first Super Bowl was played, the term "bowl" for any major American football game was well established. Lamar Hunt, owner of the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs, first used the term "Super Bowl" to refer to the NFL-AFL championship game in the merger meetings. Hunt said the name was in his head because his children had been playing with a Super Ball toy.
In a July 25, 1966, letter to NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, Hunt wrote, "I have kiddingly called it the'Super Bowl,' which can be improved upon." The leagues' owners chose the name "AFL–NFL Championship Game", but in July 1966 the Kansas City Star quoted Hunt in discussing "the Super Bowl — that's my term for the championship game between the two leagues", the media began using the term. Although the league stated in 1967 that "not many people like it", asking for suggestions and considering alternatives such as "Merger Bowl" and "The Game", the Associated Press reported that "Super Bowl" "grew and grew and grew-until it reached the point that there was Super Week, Super Sunday, Super Teams, Super Players, ad infinitum". "Super Bowl" became official beginning with the third annual game. Roman numerals were first affixed for the fifth edition, in January 1971. After the NFL's Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, some team owners feared for the future of the merger. At the time, many doubted the c
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva
Sidney Gillman was an American football player and executive. Gillman's insistence on stretching the football field by throwing deep downfield passes, instead of short passes to running backs or wide receivers at the sides of the line of scrimmage, was instrumental in making football into the modern game that it is today. Gillman played football as an end at Ohio State University from 1931 to 1933, he played professionally for one season in 1936 with the Cleveland Rams of the second American Football League. After serving as an assistant coach at Ohio State from 1938 to 1940, Gillman was the head football coach at Miami University from 1944 to 1947 and at the University of Cincinnati from 1949 to 1954, compiling a career college football record of 81–19–2, he moved to the ranks of professional football, where he headed the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, the American Football League's Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers, the NFL's Chargers, Houston Oilers, amassing a career record of 123–104–7 in the National Football League and the American Football League.
Gillman's 1963 San Diego Chargers won the AFL Championship. Gillman was inducted as a coach into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989, he is the sole coach in the history of American football to have earned both honors. Born in Minneapolis, Gillman played college football at Ohio State University under coach Sam Willaman, forming the basis of his offense, he was a team captain and All-Big Ten Conference end in 1933. Always interested in the game, while working as a movie theater usher, he removed football segments from newsreels that the theater would show, so that he could take them home and study them on a projector he had bought; this dedication to filmed football plays made Gillman the first coach to study game footage, something that all coaches do today. Gillman played one year in the American Football League for the Cleveland Rams became an assistant coach at Denison University, Ohio State University, was an assistant coach to Earl Blaik of Army head coach at Miami University and the University of Cincinnati.
His record over 10 years as a college head coach were 81–19–2. He returned to professional football as a head coach with the Los Angeles Rams, leading the team to the NFL's championship game, moved to the American Football League, where he coached the Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers to five Western Division titles and one league championship in the first six years of the AFL's existence, his greatest coaching success came after he was persuaded by Barron Hilton the Chargers' majority owner, to become the head coach of the AFL franchise he planned to operate in Los Angeles. When the team's general manager, Frank Leahy, became ill during the Chargers' founding season, Gillman took on additional responsibilities as general manager; as the first coach of the Chargers, Gillman gave the team a mercurial personality that matched his own. He had much to do with the AFL being able to establish itself. Gillman was a thorough professional, in order to compete with him, his peers had to learn pro ways.
They learned, the AFL became the genesis of modern professional football. "Sid Gillman brought class to the AFL", Oakland Raiders managing general partner Al Davis once said of the man he served under on that first Chargers team. "Being part of Sid's organization was like going to a laboratory for the developed science of professional football." Through Gillman's tenure as head coach, the Chargers went 87–57–6 and won five AFL Western Division titles. In 1963 they captured the only league championship the club won by outscoring the Boston Patriots, 51–10, in the American Football League championship game in Balboa Stadium; that game was a measure of Gillman's genius. He crafted a game plan he entitled "Feast or Famine" that used motion seldom seen, to negate the Patriots' blitzes, his plan freed running back Keith Lincoln to rush for 206 yards. In addition to Lincoln, on Gillman's teams through the'60s were these notable players: wide receiver Lance Alworth. Gillman was one of only two head coaches to hold that position for the entire 10-year existence of the American Football League.
Gillman approached then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in 1963 with the idea of having the champions of the AFL and the NFL play a single final game, but his idea was not implemented until the Super Bowl was played in 1967. Following his tenure with San Diego, he coached the Houston Oilers for two years from 1973 to 1974, helping bring the club out of the funk it had been in for many seasons prior, closer to playoff contention, he served as the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in 1977 and as a consultant for Dick Vermeil's Philadelphia Eagles in 1980. In July 1983, at age 71, Gillman came out of retirement after an offer from Bill Tatham, Sr. and Bill Tatham, Jr. owners of the United States Football League expansion team the Oklahoma Outlaws. Gillman agreed to serve as Director of Operations and signed quarterback Doug Williams, who led the Washington Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XXII. Although Gillman signed a roster of players to play for the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based franchise, he was fired by Tatham six months in a dispute over finances.
He served as a consultant for the USFL's Los Angeles Express in 1984. Gillm