Abner Haynes

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Abner Haynes
No. 28
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1937-09-19) September 19, 1937 (age 75)
Place of birth: Denton, Texas
Career information
College: North Texas
NFL Draft: 1960 / Round: 5 / Pick: 55
Debuted in 1960 for the Dallas Texans (AFL)
Last played in 1967 for the New York Jets
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing Yards4,630
Average4.5
Touchdowns46
Stats at NFL.com
 
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Abner Haynes
No. 28
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1937-09-19) September 19, 1937 (age 75)
Place of birth: Denton, Texas
Career information
College: North Texas
NFL Draft: 1960 / Round: 5 / Pick: 55
Debuted in 1960 for the Dallas Texans (AFL)
Last played in 1967 for the New York Jets
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing Yards4,630
Average4.5
Touchdowns46
Stats at NFL.com

Abner Haynes (born September 19, 1937 in Denton, Texas) is a former college and professional football player in the United States.

Haynes is a graduate of North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) where he and his then teammate Leon King integrated college football in the state of Texas in 1956.[1] In 1960 he chose to play for the American Football League's Dallas Texans and led the league in rushing attempts, yards, and TDs in its first year. Haynes helped launch the AFL in 1960, when he was the fledgling league's first Player of the Year, and its first 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, and the North Texas Eagles will later retire his number (28) Jersey in honor of his many achievements.

Haynes still owns 10 franchise records, including most points in a game (30), most touchdowns in a game (5), and most career combined yards (8,442). Over his career he was regularly among the American Football League's top ten rushers, ranking third all-time, and the all-time leader in touchdowns, with 46. He was Hall of Fame head coach Hank Stram's most versatile and dangerous weapon from 1960–62, amassing 43 touchdowns and 4,472 yards on rushes and receptions. In 1962, he helped the Texans win the AFL Championship in the classic double-overtime victory over the two-time defending champion Houston Oilers. 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, and on a 2-yard run.

"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 6-foot-1, 200 pound (91 kg) Haynes, who had great speed and dazzling moves in the open field, set AFL records with 5 touchdowns in a game and 19 touchdowns in a season in 1961, and with 46 career rushing touchdowns. He also played for the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets.

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.

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“We’ll Kick to the Clock”

In that 1962 AFL Championship Game, Haynes made what could have been a costly error at the start of overtime. Stram, aware of the strong winds at Jeppesen Stadium, instructed Haynes, should the Texans win the coin toss, to choose the side 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 to kick off, receive the kickoff, or which end of the field to defend.)

The Texans won the coin toss. Haynes, figuring the Oilers would elect to receive (thereby making the Texans kick off) if the Texans opted to choose which goal to defend, told the referee, "We'll kick to the clock." However, by starting with the words "We'll kick," Haynes had made the Texans kick off and allowed the Oilers, not the Texans, to choose which end zone 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 (when the teams switched goals).

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References

External links

New title
AFL created
American Football League Rookie of the Year
1960
Succeeded by
Earl Faison
New title
AFL created
American Football League MVP
1960
Succeeded by
George Blanda
New title
AFL created
American Football League Rushing Leader
1960 (14 games)
875 Yards, 5.6 yds/carry
Succeeded by
Billy Cannon