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Some Points in Time for the Titans


In celebration of Titans Throwback Day on Sunday vs. the Eagles, this is the third of a five-part series on the beginning of the franchise we now know as the New York Jets:      


Sept. 11, 1960: The Titans make a successful debut at the Polo Grounds, beating Buffalo in the rain, 27-3, before a crowd of 10,250 (5,727 paid).

Dec. 2, 1961:Minnesota QB Sandy Stephens was the Titans' first pick of the 1962 draft.

Dec. 18, 1961: Harry Wismer named Clyde "Bulldog" Turner to succeed Baugh as the Titans' head coach, then when Baugh protested, agreed to pay off his former coach's contract and keep Turner.

From The New York Times:

A 280-pound Texas cattle rancher became head coach of the New York Titans. He is Clyde (Bulldog) Turner, generally regarded as the greatest center in the history of professional football. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1960.

The former Chicago Bear succeeds another Texas rancher, Sammy Baugh, who guided the Titans to second-place and third-place finishes in the Eastern Division of the AFL in 1960 and 1961, respectively.

Baugh's original three-year contract still has a year to run. He will remain with the club as a consultant for the same salary he received as coach — $20,000 a year.

Turner signed a two-year pact calling for $20,000 a season. He said he had "the greatest respect" for Baugh and would be happy to have him on his staff. "I don't know how he'd feel about that though," Turner added.

The deposed coach was unavailable for comment. However, a week ago when Harry Wismer, the Titans president, threatened to demote him to an assistant coach, Sammy retorted: "That's wonderful. I'd like to be an assistant at these prices."

Sept. 9, 1962:Lee Grosscup, the Giants' backup quarterback in 1960-61, was signed just before the season opener, got the starting nod and directed a 28-17 victory over Oakland.

Nov. 8, 1962:Wismer was unable to meet his payroll and the AFL assumed the costs of running the Titans until the end of the season.

March 28, 1963:A five-man syndicate — David A. "Sonny" Werblin, Townsend B. Martin, Leon Hess, Donald C. Lillis and Philip H. Iselin — purchased the New York franchise for $1 million.

April 15, 1963:The new owners made two very important announcements on this day: A new nickname for the franchise (Jets) and a new general manager/head coach, Weeb Ewbank.

Thursday: The Titans Give Thanks

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