But AFL adherents will never concede this. They are, resolutely, proponents of the territorial imperative and are fanatic in the protection of the restricted area in which they dwell—and root. If professional football has made a mistake in the last decade, it may well be the merger. The Super Bowl will be an immensely exciting game again next year because it will match the champion of the AFL with the champion of the NFL. In 1971, when the pro football world is no longer divided into two vigorously warring camps, the Super Bowl may be an anticlimax.
In 1970, three NFL clubs will be playing in what was the AFL—Cleveland, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Cleveland and Pittsburgh will be in one division, Baltimore in another, so Baltimore and Cleveland could play for what amounts to the AFL championship. If so, the fanatics who buy the season tickets in the AFL and who abhor the NFL will be upset. And even NFL fans will feel cheated.
As the clich� has it, they should have let well enough alone.