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Old Navy mistakenly gives 1961 championship to nonexistent team in nonexistent conference

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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Oops! (Old Navy)

Somebody at Old Navy needs a little help with their American Football League history. In 1961, the Dallas Texans went 6-8 and finished second in the AFL West division behind the San Diego Chargers, who lost the 1961 AFL championship to the Houston Oilers. The next year, the Texans beat the Houston Oilers in the AFL championship and promptly moved to Kansas City to become what is known today as the Chiefs.

That's a 1962 championship for the Dallas Texans, not a 1961 championship. And the Houston Oilers won the 1961 championship. Keep these things in mind, and we'll continue.

In 2002, the Texans name returned to pro football when Houston was awarded the franchise that  replaced the Oilers, who moved out of town after the 1996 season. In 2011, the Houston Texans won their first division title with a 10-6 record, good enough for the pole position in the AFC South. The Houston Texans went on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 31-10, in the wild-card round of the 2011 playoffs before dropping 20-13 to the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional frame.

Why this little history lesson, you might ask?

Because Old Navy had themselves an epic fail with the replica T-shirt pictured here. The Houston Texans didn't exist in 1961, the Houston Oilers won the 1961 AFL championship, the Dallas Texans weren't even in the playoffs in 1961, and the American Football Conference shown on the shirt didn't exist until the AFL and NFL merged into one big NFL in 1970.

[Related: Texans appear ready to deliver on their promise]

In as many ways as possible, whoops.

"The NFL clothing sold in our Old Navy stores is created by a third party sports licensing company," Edie Kissko, a spokesperson for Gap Inc., which owns the Old Navy brand, said in a statement published by ESPN. "It is our intention to always provide the best merchandise to our customers and NFL fans. We apologize for this error and are removing the T-shirts."

The ESPN report indicated that the shirt was still available on Sunday evening, but a search on Monday produced no results.

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