Once Texans coach Hank Stram switched him from running back to safety, his career took off.

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Johnny Robinson intercepted 57 passes during his career with the Texans/Chiefs.

Like his more heralded college teammate, 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, Johnny Robinson was an outstanding running back at LSU.

He could run the ball with speed and power and was an excellent pass receiver out of the backfield, but he always played the secondary role to the glamour boy, Cannon.

It was much of the same when the two players joined the AFL in its inaugural 1960 season. Both had signed contracts to play in the NFL but spurned the older league in favor of the AFL. Both had signed their new AFL contracts at the same time, under the goalposts at the Sugar Bowl following their final collegiate game. …

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Art Powell caught two touchdown passes for the Titans against the Broncos.


On a crazy Thanksgiving Day in Denver, New York’s Johnny Green threw two late TD passes to pull out the victory.

If ever there was a proverbial quintessential game, one that defined the AFL in its infancy stage, it was this incredible Thanksgiving Day shootout in Denver.

This was the type of entertainment the league had become known for during its first three years of existence, and with a nation of football fans watching, the AFL served up a classic shootout: New York Titans 46, Denver Broncos 45.

“We put on a decent show offensively, we put a lot of points on the board,” said Denver wide receiver Lionel Taylor of those infamous AFL scoring fests. “The NFL was playing three yards and a cloud of dust, and we couldn’t come in and do the same thing. That wasn’t going to get the fans. …


Across a fractured and wounded country, college campuses were exploding in protest over Vietnam, racism, and pretty much everything

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Low Library on the campus of Columbia University.

The first time Kathleen McDonald saw Mark Rudd on campus at Columbia University, she thought he was an irascible loud-mouth who was just trying to cause trouble, a rebel with way too many causes, though his favorite was Vietnam.

This guy was pissed off all the time, and his was a distinct voice that resonated up and down College Walk, his bullhorn louder than all the others at the Sundial rallies that were becoming a weekly occurrence. Rudd was the leader of Columbia’s chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, and he and his sycophants were constantly pushing their SDS agenda on anyone who walked by their daily literature table on the Walk. …


Sal Maiorana

I’ve been writing about sports — mainly the Buffalo Bills — for the past 34 years for the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y. Also the author of 22 books.

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