The 2009 NFL season marks the 50th anniversary season for the eight original American Football League teams. Plans to celebrate the 50th season of the AFL clubs were announced today at the NFL Annual Meeting in Dana Point, CA.
The American Football League, which merged with the NFL in 1970, played its first season in 1960 with eight teams. The original eight AFL teams were the BUFFALO BILLS, DENVER BRONCOS, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (played as the Dallas Texans), NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (played as the Boston Patriots), NEW YORK JETS (played as the Titans of New York), OAKLAND RAIDERS, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS, and TENNESSEE TITANS (played as the Houston Oilers).
The NFL will highlight the 50th anniversary during “Legacy Games” throughout the 2009 season. During one home and one road game, the eight original AFL teams will meet head-to-head while wearing their chosen historic uniforms.
On Monday night, September 14, ESPN will host a Monday Night Football doubleheader that will be part of the NFL’s celebration of the 50th anniversary season of the AFL. The four clubs competing that night began playing in the inaugural 1960 AFL season. The first game (7:00 PM ET) will send the Buffalo Bills to Foxboro to visit the New England Patriots, the decade’s winningest team (102-42 since 2000). The MNF nightcap (10:15 PM ET) will be an AFC West battle as the Oakland Raiders host the three-time defending division champ San Diego Chargers.
In addition, the Bills will take on the Tennessee Titans in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Sunday, August 9. The game will be televised nationally by NBC at 8:00 PM ET.
The NFL and clubs are planning to celebrate the 50th Anniversary Season with numerous events this year.
NFL NETWORK, NFL.COM and NFL FILMS will commemorate this anniversary with unique content and programming highlighting the history of the AFL and the original eight teams.
A “legacy” collection, featuring new retro-themed apparel and products, will be introduced this summer and will be available on NFLSHOP.COM and at other retail locations. Among the merchandise offered will be hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and pennants.
Game-worn jerseys and signed memorabilia will be auctioned at NFL AUCTIONS throughout the season with the monies raised going to the NFL Player Care Foundation.