1960s Pro Football Notable Events & Achievements Timeline


  • A new organization, the American Football League (AFL), launches with 8 franchises.
  • Alvin Ray (Pete) Rozelle, 33, named new commissioner of the NFL (serves to 1989).
  • (Jan) NFL admits Dallas team for 1960; Twin Cities for 1961.
  • Tom Landry begins his record 29 seasons of coaching (to 1988) as Dallas’ first Head Coach.
  • Vincent Thomas Lombardi completes his first year as coach of the Green Bay Packers.
  • (March) The Chicago Cardinals move to St. Louis. The Bears stay put ! 

Championship: Philadelphia Eagles 17, Green Bay Packers 13 (December)



Championship: Green Bay Packers 37, New York Giants 0



Championship: Green Bay Packers 16, New York Giants 7


  • Roger Staubach wins the second (and last) Heisman Trophy for the Naval Academy, serves a tour in Vietnam, then plays for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 to 1979; plays six Pro Bowls, won Super Bowls VI and XII.

Championship: Chicago Bears 14, New York Giants 10


  • Fullback Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns sets rushing record as the first NFL player to break 10,000 yards.
  • Dallas Head Coach Tom Landry implements his “Flex Defense.”

Championship: Cleveland Browns 27, Baltimore Colts 0 


  • Gayle Sayers scores six touchdowns in a single game (Chicago 61, SF 20), tying record set in 1929.



  • The average payroll of a pro team exceeds 1 million dollars for the first time; TV network contracts & the signing of the rookie Joe Namath for $400K in the 1965 draft thought to have contributed to ballooning of budgets.
  • Miami Dolphins & Atlanta Falcons formed.
  • June 8: spokesmen for the AFL (est. 1959) and NFL (est. 1920) announce a merger agreement made up of 24 teams with expansion plans for 26 teams by 1969; and 28 by 1970 when the merger is expected to take full effect.



  • Green Bay defeats Dallas 21-17 at Lambeau Field on New Year’s Eve to notch its third consecutive NFL title in a heroic game known as the “Ice Bowl” where temperatures hovered at minus 13 degrees, with colder wind chills.
  • Quarterback Len Dawson set a pro football record of 15 consecutive pass completions as the Chiefs defeated the Oilers in Houston in the season opener for both teams.
  • New Orleans Saints created as a new NFL team.

SUPER BOWL I  Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10 (MVP, Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr) at Los Angeles, January 15.
Most expensive American sports event: the 40 Packer players got $15K; Chiefs half this; Gate receipts, $750K; CBS and NBC each paid 1 million dollars to broadcast.


  • Cincinnati Bengals created.
  • NFL players vote to unionize.
  • 21 of 36 starting QBs in the two Leagues incapacitated with various injuries from concussions to broken arms, legs, and collarbones, etc.

SUPER BOWL II – Green Bay Packers 33, Oakland Raiders 14 (Bart Starr) in Miami.



SUPER BOWL III –  New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7 (Joe Namath) in Miami; first time called “super bowl;” first time AFL won.


  • First broadcast of Monday Night Football: New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns.
  • Johnny Unitas voted top pro football player of 1960s by the Associated Press, at the time the leading passer in football history.
  • Tom Dempsey kicks the longest field goal – 63 yards (surpassed only once at 64 yds in 2013) – to give the New Orleans Saints the win over the Detroit Lions, 19-17.

SUPER BOWL IV – Kansas City Chiefs 23, Minnesota Vikings 7 (Len Dawson)


  • Alan Page of the Minnesota Vikings wins MVP in the NFL Championship game against conventional wisdom that said that defensive players don’t win MVP awards.
  • Chicago Bears move from Wrigley Stadium to Soldier Field.

SUPER BOWL V – Baltimore Colts 16, Dallas Cowboys 7 (Chuck Howley) in Miami.


  • Gallop Poll shows football as America’s number one spectator sport, 36 to 21 over baseball; numbers reversed since 1961.
  • Miami finishes perfect season – goes to Super Bowl VII to snag 17th win in a row against the Redskins. Undefeated record never equalled before or since.

SUPER BOWL VI – Dallas Cowboys 24, Miami Dolphins 3 (Roger Staubach)


  • Congress votes (!) to forbid TV blackouts of sporting events sold out 72 hours in advance.
  • Buffalo Bills’ O.J. Simpson sets NFL rushing record of 250 yards in a game: “It looked like Grant going through Richmond” (NE coach); “He had more yardage than Secretariat” (Patriot linebacker).
  • The World Football Team proposed to start in 1974 with 12 teams – international as the name implies.

SUPER BOWL VII – Miami Dolphins 14, Washington Redskins 7 (Jake Scott) in Los Angeles.


  • Nine ruled changed: e.g., goalposts moved back; sudden death periods to avoid ties; kickoffs back to 35 yd line from 40; rules governing forward passes and receivers, etc.

Larry Csonka scores against three Viking defenders in 1974 Super Bowl

SUPER BOWL VIII – Miami Dolphins 24, Minnesota Vikings 7 (Larry Csonka) in Houston.
Csonka, Paul Warfield, and Jim Kiick sign with the Toronto Northmen of the WFL; stun NFL; paid million each!

  • NFL adopts a 15-minute sudden death overtime period for regular season games.


  • WFL goes out of business ! 
  • Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers set to join League in 1976.

SUPER BOWL IX – Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Minnesota 6 (Franco Harris) 

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