The All-America Football Conference was a football league created to challenge the NFL. Founded in 1944, the inaugural season was played in 1946. The league was home to eight teams, which included: Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Colts, Miami Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Brooklyn Dodgers, Los Angeles Dons, Chicago Rockets and the New York Yankees. Games were played in a double round robin style, so that each team played each other home and away.
Buffalo Bills of the All America Football League
The AAFC’s Buffalo Bills were not related to the AFL/NFL club founded by Ralph Wilson in 1959. They did, however, play their home games at War Memorial Stadium, also known as “The Rock Pile”, like their successors. This team was initially known as the Buffalo Bisons, but decided to avoid any confusion with the local baseball and hockey teams of the same name. And then they changed their name to Bills.
A similar principle holds true for the Baltimore Colts of the AAFC. They are not related to the NFL Baltimore Colts, who became known as the Indianapolis Colts. These Colts did indeed join the NFL in 1950, but the club folded after just one year. A new incarnation of the Colts was created, which became the modern Colts.
Cleveland Browns Championship
The Cleveland Browns, who are directly related to the Browns of the NFL, were very successful as charter members of the AAFC. They won every league championship during the league’s short tenure. Paul Brown is credited with this success thanks to his coaching and management style.
t Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the Browns (along with the 49ers) would draw some very large gates. These crowds even surpassed those of the NFL. The record attendance came in 1947, when the undefeated Browns defeated the 49ers in front of 83,000 people.
The AAFC merges with the NFL
The war between the AAFC and the NFL wore each other out financially. The AAFC was the only serious contender for the NFL, aside from the later American Football League. Steelers owner Art Rooney supported an interleague game much like the later world championship game (which became known as the Super Bowl). Such a game did not take place despite its profitability for both leagues. NFL Commissioner Bert Bell stated that the NFL would ban the game.