Monthly Archives: March 2013

Amendment to Today’s Interview with Lance Alworth

I received a telephone call today from Lance Alworth.  He called to tell me that he enjoyed reading today’s post, which was an interview that we had done some 15 years before, talking about his former head coach, Sid Gillman.  He also asked if we could better explain a line from the interview.  Here is what Lance had to say…

autographed 1964 topps george blair

#156 – George Blair

I read Todd’s post today with the interview that we did back in 1998.  Sid was truly an innovative coach.

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Lance Alworth Discusses Sid Gilllman

lance alworth and sid gillmanWhen I was writing my master’s thesis on Sid Gillman back in 1998, I figured that there were three interviews that would be essential to my research.  The first, of course, was Sid himself.  Fortunately for me, Bob Hood, a former Chargers employee, introduced me to the Gillmans, and I was able to begin a relationship with them.  Next was John Hadl, Gillman’s quarterback for the majority of his time with the Chargers.  I was able to get a phone number for Hadl, who resides in Kansas, and conduct a nice telephone interview that I have previously posted on this blog.  The third critical interview was with Lance Alworth. 

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Favorite AFL Images – The Chargers Visit Niagara Falls

san diego chargers at niagara falls

The Chargers get ready to leave for the practice field.

There are an abundance of photos that speak to the overall simplicity of the American Football League.  While teams still had to transports a 33-man squad, plus coaches and staff on the road, there was a lot less fanfare than there is with contemporary teams and players.  I have always enjoyed this photo for just that reason.

Each season the Chargers would go on what they called their “East Coast Swing.”  As a means of saving money and minimizing jet lag, the team would fly east and typically play three games (Buffalo Bills, Boston Patriots, New York Titans/Jets) over a two-week period before returning to San Diego.  They often stayed at the Bear Mountain Inn near Niagara Falls, and took quick trips into the cities for games.   While these road trips were undoubtedly difficult for wives and children of players who had to live without their husbands and fathers for a couple of weeks, the players typically enjoyed the trip and all of the hijinks that could be crammed into two weeks on the road with teammates.

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Cookie Gilchrist – AFL Entrepreneur

The more that I learn about him, the more I become fascinated with Cookie Gilchrist.  There was just so much life packed into his 70+ years.  Not all good, and not all bad, Cookie seemingly lived life at a pace that far outstrips the majority of people.  It is so unfortunate that CTE began to rob him of his mental faculties in the 1970s, some 40 years before his death.  There is no telling what the man may have accomplished.

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A Hall of Fame Comparison – ED BUDDE

There is a feeling among AFL fans that the American Football League players are consistently overlooked for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  In truth there are many players, the bulk of whose careers were spent in the AFL, that deserve serious consideration, if not outright induction.  In an effort to spark some discussion regarding their hall of fame worthiness, I will occasionally compare AFL players to their NFL (and Hall of Fame) counterparts. The short biographies on the NFL players have been taken directly from the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.

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