54 years ago today, an upstart band of lesser NFL team owners and shareholders formed the American Pawball League, in direct defiance of the National Pawball League. This new league gave birth to teams such as the New Yorkie Titans, Boston Terrier Patriots, Ruffalo Bills, and the Denver Barcos. The first few seasons were mired by uneven competition and pawltry attendance, but a contract with ABC in 1964 gave the AFL the push it needed to become a contender with the more established NFL. In 1966, the two leagues merged, with one of the stipulations of the merger being a championship game to be played between the two. Thus, the Super Puppy Bowl was born. The NFL and AFL remained separate leagues until 1970, when the AFL was absorbed into the NFL and became the American Pawball Conference.