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When the Franchise First Talked Turkey


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


Nov. 24, 1960 — When Harry Wismer announced the 1960 schedule, he trumpeted the Thanksgiving Day game as an annual fixture on the American Football League landscape. The victory for the Titans that first Thanksgiving was the first of three straight for the franchise, which in becoming the Jets in 1963 gave up the traditional spot on the calendar. The Jets have only appeared twice since on Turkey Day, losing to the Lions in 1972 and 1985, and in a month and a half will play in their third Thanksgiving game, at Dallas, 45 years after the Titans' tradition ended.

From Dick Young in the New York Daily News:

A piping-hot Turkey Day football feast, stuffed with 76 juicy points, whetted the appetites of 14,344 late diners at the Polo Grounds, as the Titans outgorged the Dallas Texans, 41-35. This was the highest-scoring game of the infant AFL, and so typical of its wide-open play; replete with long passes, longer runs, and virtually devoid of aerial defense.

Most responsible for the satisfying PG finale was Al Dorow, the hairless wower. He fired the ball 301 yards via 21 completions in 33 heaves – mostly to Don Maynard and Art Powell, the most sure-handed duo in the loop. Maynard, the Giant reject, was particularly exciting with ten grabs good for 179 yards.

It seemed, with the fourth period well under way, that the Titans had a breeze. Maynard's incredible pass clutching, with defenders clinging to his thin neck, had moved New York ahead, 34-13. Then the Texans came on with a rush as big as all Alaska. They scored three TDs within a space of seven minutes – and in between their second and third scores, the Titans also put one across. That's the type of game it was.

Texans ....... 0 10 3 22 — 35

Titans ........ 14 14 0 13 — 41

NY—Maynard 30 pass from Dorow (Shockley kick)

NY—Donnahoo 57 fumble return (Shockley kick)

DAL—Spikes 13 FG

DAL—Haynes 67 run (Spikes kick)

NY—Dorow 3 run (Shockley kick)

NY—Powell 1 pass from Dorow (Shockley kick)

DAL—Spikes 11 FG

NY—Mathis 1 run (kick failed)

DAL—Burford 18 pass from Davidson (Spikes kick)

DAL—Haynes 20 run (Johnson pass from Enis)

NY—Bohling 2 run (Shockley kick)

DAL—Boyston 4 pass from Davidson (Spikes kick)

Friday: From Titans to Jets

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