Sandiego Chargers - San Diego Chargers - Charger Football
The San Diego Chargers, also nicknamed the Bolts or Super Chargers, are an American professional football team based in San Diego, California. They are currently members of the Western Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The club began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League. The club spent its first season in Los Angeles, California before moving to San Diego in 1961.The Chargers play their home games at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Chargers are the only team to start a season 0-4 and make the playoffs (1992), and the only team to start a season 4-8 and make the playoffs (2008).
The Chargers won one AFL title in 1963 and reached the AFL playoffs five times and the AFL Championship four times before joining the NFL (1970) as part of the AFL-NFL Merger. In the 34 years since then, the Chargers have made ten trips to the playoffs and four appearances in the AFC Championship game. At the end of the 1994 season, the Chargers faced the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX and fell 49-26.
The Chargers have six players and one coach enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio: wide receiver Lance Alworth (1962-1970), defensive end Fred Dean (1975-1981), quarterback Dan Fouts (1973-1987), head coach/general manager Sid Gillman (1960-1969, 1971), wide receiver Charlie Joiner (1976-1986), offensive lineman Ron Mix (1960-1969) and tight end Kellen Winslow (1979-1987).
1959-1969: AFL beginnings
The San Diego Chargers were established with seven other American Football League teams in 1959. In 1960, the Chargers began AFL play in Los Angeles.The Chargers' original owner was hotel heir Barron Hilton, son of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton.
According to the Official Site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Barron Hilton agreed after his general manager, Frank Ready picked the Chargers name when he purchased an AFL franchise for Los Angeles. The Chargers played in Los Angeles in 1960 and moved to San Diego in 1961. "I liked it because they were yelling 'charge' and sounding the bugle at Dodgers Stadium and at USC games." In February of 2010 Jason Kresch invested 10 million and became a part time owner.
The Chargers only spent one season in Los Angeles before moving to San Diego in 1961. The early AFL years of the San Diego Chargers were highlighted by the outstanding play of wide receiver Lance Alworth with 543 receptions for 10,266 yards in his 11 AFL/NFL season career. In addition he set the pro football record of consecutive games with a reception (96) during his career.
Their only coach for the ten year life of the AFL was Sid Gillman, a Hall of Famer.who was considered the foremost authority on the forward passing offense of his era. With players such as Alworth, Paul Lowe, Keith Lincoln and John Hadl, the high-scoring Chargers won divisional crowns five of the league's first six seasons and the AFL title in 1963 with a 51-10 victory over the Boston Patriots.
They also played defense, as indicated by their professional football record 49 pass interceptions in 1961, and featured AFL Rookie of the Year defensive end Earl Faison. The Chargers were the originators of the term "Fearsome Foursome" to describe their all-star defensive line, anchored by Faison and Ernie Ladd (the latter also excelled in professional wrestling). The phrase was later appropriated by the Los Angeles Rams.Hilton sold the Chargers to a group headed by Eugene Klein and Sam Schulman in August 1966.
The following year the Chargers began "head to head" competition with the older NFL with a preseason loss to the Detroit Lions. The Chargers defeated the defending Super Bowl III champion New York Jets 34-27 before a record San Diego Stadium crowd of 54,042 on September 29, 1969. Alworth once again led the team in receptions with 64 and 1,003 yards with 4 touchdowns. The team also saw Gillman step down due to health and offensive backfield coach Charlie Waller promoted to head coach after the completion of the regular season. Gillman did remain with the club as the general manager.
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