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Houston Texans, 1961 AFC champs? So says Old Navy T-shirt

September 04, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • A T-shirt that had been sold at Old Navy proclaimed the Houston Texas the 1961 AFC champions, even though both the Texans and the AFC did not exist at the time.
A T-shirt that had been sold at Old Navy proclaimed the Houston Texas the… (Screenshot from )

The Houston Texans finally made it over the hump last season, making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Well, except for that time back in 1961, when they won the AFC title.

What? You don't believe me? I've got the Old Navy T-shirt to prove it. See, it says right there, "Houston Texans, 1961 AFC Champions."

Now I know that you might think the Texans did not exist back in 1961. And neither did the AFC for that matter. But if you can't believe an Old Navy T-shirt, what can you believe?

OK, so a little bit of fact checking has revealed that it was, in fact, the Houston Oilers that won the AFL title that year. The American Football League became the American Football Conference after merging with the NFL in 1970. And the Texans have only been around since 2002.

So the T-shirt was wrong after all. Well, there's a first time for everything.

Um, well, it turns out Old Navy has made factual errors on several of its NFL T-shirts. The Houston Chronicle, which first reported the gaffe on the Texans top, mentions flubs on the company's shirts highlighting the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. The incorrect T-shirts for all four teams no longer appear on the store's website.

Some fans (at least those who take their T-shirts very personally) still might be a little upset at several of the remaining T-shirts, even though they are factually correct.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who have won more Super Bowls than any other team (six), are dubbed simply the "2008 NFL champions." Similarly, the five-time Super Bowl winner San Francisco 49ers and four-time champion New York Giants only get one of their titles mentioned on their T-shirts.

For some reason, only the Dallas Cowboys get credit for winning multiple titles ("5x Super Bowl champions").

I guess anybody looking for an accurate and thorough history of the NFL will have to find something other than T-shirts as their source.


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