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Abner Haynes (born September 19, 1937) is an American former professional
football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called ''football'' include (known as ''soccer'' ...

football
player who was a
running back A running back (RB) is a member of the offensive backfieldThe offensive backfield is the area of an American football field behind the line of scrimmage. The offensive backfield can also refer to members of American football positions#Offense, ...
in the
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any ...
(AFL).


Early years and integration of major college football in Texas

Born in
Denton, Texas Denton is a city in and the county seat of Denton County, Texas Denton County is located in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...
, Haynes graduated from
Lincoln High SchoolLincoln High School or Abraham Lincoln High School may refer to: Costa Rica *Lincoln School (Costa Rica), San José, Costa Rica New Zealand *Lincoln High School (New Zealand), Christchurch, New Zealand United States Alabama *Lincoln Normal Scho ...
in
Dallas Dallas (), colloquially referred to as Big D, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the largest city in and County seat, seat of Dallas County, Texas, Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin County, Texas, Collin, Denton County, ...

Dallas
in 1956. He played college football at
North Texas State College The University of North Texas (UNT) is a Public university, public Doctoral university, research university in Denton, Texas. Until 1988, it was known as North Texas State University. It consists of 14 colleges and schools, an early admissions m ...
in Denton (now the
University of North Texas The University of North Texas (UNT) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (Engli ...
) where he and his then teammate Leon King integrated college football in the state of Texas in
1957 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TOC__ ...
.


Professional career

Although selected in the
fifth round Fifth is the Ordinal number (linguistics), ordinal form of the number 5, five. Fifth or The Fifth may refer to: * Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as in the expression "pleading the Fifth" * Fifth column, a political term * Fifth ...
(55th overall) of the
1960 NFL draft The 1960 National Football League Draft in which NFL teams take turns selecting amateur college American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team spor ...
by the
Pittsburgh Steelers The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport S ...
, Haynes chose to play for the AFL's Dallas Texans, signing his contract with the team under the goal posts of
Kidd Field Kidd Field is an athletic facility used primarily by UTEP in El Paso, Texas. Constructed for its then-primary use as a football field in 1938, it was the site of the Sun Bowl until 1963 when Sun Bowl (stadium), Sun Bowl Stadium opened. Kidd Field ...
after the 1959 Sun Bowl. Haynes led the AFL in rushing attempts, yards, and TDs in its first year. Haynes' father, a minister, advised that the young man play in the AFL after Buddy Parker and Bobby Layne of the Steelers made a drunken visit to Haynes' house. Haynes helped popularize the AFL in 1960, when he was the fledgling league's first
Player of the Year Several sports leagues honour their best player with an award called Player of the Year (POY) . In the United States, this type of award is usually called a Most Valuable Player In sports, a most valuable player award is an honor typically b ...
, and its first
Rookie of the YearRookie of the Year may refer to: * Rookie of the Year (award), a sports award for the most outstanding rookie in a given season * Rookie of the Year (film), ''Rookie of the Year'' (film), a 1993 film starring Thomas Ian Nicholas * Rookie of the Year ...
. He captured the AFL's first rushing crown with 875 yards, and also led the Texans in receiving, punt returns, and kickoff returns. Haynes spent three years in Dallas and two with same franchise when it became the
Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectang ...

Kansas City Chiefs
in
1963 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TOC__ ...
. The Chiefs and the North Texas Eagles both retired his number 28 in honor of his many achievements. "He was a franchise player before they talked about franchise players", praised Stram. "He did it all -- rushing, receiving, kickoff returns, punt returns. He gave us the dimension we needed to be a good team in Dallas." The , Haynes, who had great speed and dazzling moves in the open field, was regularly among the AFL's top 10 rushers (3rd all-time), and set AFL records with 5 touchdowns in a game, 19 in a season in
1961 As ''MAD Magazine'' pointed out on its cover for the March 1961 issue, this was the first "upside-up" year — i.e., one in which the numerals that form the year look the same as when the numerals are rotated upside down, a strobogrammatic num ...
, and 46 in his career. Haynes still owns 10 Texans franchise records, including most points in a game (30), most touchdowns in a game (5), and most career combined yards (8,442). He was Hall of Fame head coach
Hank Stram Henry Louis Stram (; January 3, 1923 – July 4, 2005) was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleve ...

Hank Stram
's most versatile and dangerous weapon from 1960 to 1962, amassing 43 touchdowns and 4,472 yards on rushes and receptions. In 1962, he helped the Texans win the
AFL championship game For its first nine seasons, 1960 American Football League season, 1960 through 1968 American Football League season, 1968, the American Football League determined its champion via a single playoff game between the winners of its two divisions (alth ...
in the classic double-overtime victory over the two-time defending champion
Houston Oilers Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...
. At the time it was the longest professional football championship game ever played. In that game, Haynes scored touchdowns on a 28-yard pass reception from quarterback
Len Dawson Leonard Ray Dawson (born June 20, 1935) is a former American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on ...

Len Dawson
, and on a 2-yard run. Another notable game for Haynes was in
1962 Events January * January January is the first month of the year in the Julian calendar, Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day. ...
on September 30 against the
Buffalo Bills ''Italic text'' The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference ...
at the Cotton Bowl; he ran for 164 yards on just 16 attempts (10+ yards per carry), with two touchdown runs, one of 71 yards and one of 13 yards, in the Texans' 41–21 victory. Haynes was then traded to the
Denver Broncos The Denver Broncos are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
. In
1965 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TOC__ ...
, he scored three rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns, and returned one punt for a touchdown. He also led the league in kick returns (34), kick return yards (901), kick return average (26.5), and was fourth in the league in all-purpose yards (1,404). On Oct 17, he returned 3 kicks 140 yards for a franchise record 46.7 average. In
1966 In February, Luna 9 Luna 9 (Луна-9), internal designation Ye-6 No.13, was an of the 's . On 3 February 1966, the Luna 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to achieve a survivable landing on a . Spacecraft The lander had a mass ...
, he had 304 yards rushing and 480 receiving, but led the league with 11 fumbles and was let go. In 1967, he played for both the
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular ...
, and the
New York Jets The New York Jets are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangula ...
. During his 8 professional seasons, Haynes carried the ball 1,036 times for 4,630 yards, a 4.5 average; caught 287 passes for 3,535 yards, a 12.3 average, and 20 touchdowns; returned 85 punts for 875 yards, a 10.3 average, and 1 touchdown; and ran back 121 kickoffs for 3,025 yards, a 25.0 average, and 1 touchdown. His 12,065 combined yards is the American Football League record. Haynes had three games in which he gained 100 or more yards on 14 or fewer carries, and was selected to the All-Time All-AFL second team. He has a program called "Heroes of Football" which connects former professional players with their communities. Haynes is the cousin of Sly Stone, Rose Stone, and Feddie Stone of ''Sly and the Family Stone''. In 2019, the
Professional Football Researchers Association The Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) is an organization of researchers whose mission is to preserve and, in some cases, reconstruct professional football history. It was founded on June 22, 1979 in Canton, Ohio by writer/hist ...
named Haynes to the PFRA Hall of Very Good Class of 2019


"We'll Kick to the Clock"

In the 1962 AFL Championship Game, Haynes made what could have been a costly error at the start of overtime. Coach Stram, aware of the strong winds at
Jeppesen Stadium John O'Quinn Field at Corbin J. Robertson Stadium (often referred to as simply Robertson Stadium) was a multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mo ...
, instructed Haynes, should the Texans win the
coin toss A coin is a small, flat, (usually, depending on the country or value) round piece of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fr ...
, to choose the end of the field facing the stadium clock, which would give the Texans the wind at their backs. (In professional American football, the team winning the coin toss can choose either to elect whether to kickoff or receive the kickoff, or elect which goal to defend. If that team's election is regarding the kickoff, the other team gets to elect which goal to defend; and vice versa.) The Texans won the coin toss. Haynes, assuming that when the Texans elected which goal to defend, the Oilers would elect to receive the kickoff (thereby gaining first possession of the ball), told the referee, "We'll kick to the clock." However, by starting with the words "We'll kick", Haynes had made the election for the Texans to kick off, allowing the Oilers, not the Texans, to choose which goal to defend. The Texans saved Haynes from embarrassment by not allowing the Oilers to score in that first overtime, then won the game on Tommy Brooker's field goal 2 minutes and 54 seconds into the second overtime (after the teams had switched ends). When asked about his mistake following the game, Haynes said "I knew we'd need the wind behind us in the sixth quarter."


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Haynes, Abner 1937 births
Living people Related categories * :Year of birth missing (living people) / :Year of birth unknown * :Date of birth missing (living people) / :Date of birth unknown * :Place of birth missing (living people) / :Place of birth unknown * :Year of death mi ...
American football running backs This category is for American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular American football fie ...
Dallas Texans (AFL) players Kansas City Chiefs players Denver Broncos (AFL) players
Miami Dolphins players This category is all National Football League, NFL players who played for the Miami Dolphins.
This includes the AFL seasons (1966–1969). {{CatAutoTOC Miami Dolphins, Players National Football League players by team ...
New York Jets players North Texas Mean Green football players Players of American football from Texas Sportspeople from Denton, Texas American Football League Most Valuable Players American Football League Rookies of the Year American Football League rushing leaders American Football League All-Star players American Football League All-Time Team American Football League All-League players American Football League players