Football: Standing Up to Big Brother

For eight seasons the A.F.L. has been cast in the embarrassing role of Sunday's stepchild. Truth be told, the league deserved its billing. Compared with the precision and poise of the N.F.L., A.F.L. teams have looked slipshod and sophomoric. Their subservience was under scored in the first two Super Bowl games when the Green Bay Packers handily dispatched the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 and the Oakland Raiders 33-14. Last year N.F.L. teams trounced the A.F.L. in the first round of interleague exhibition play, winning 13 of 16 games.

Times have changed. Last...