Monthly Archives: December 2013

Linebacker-Turned-Hippie… High for the Game – A Book Review

A few weeks ago I posted about a Sports Illustrated article that featured former Raiders linebacker-turned-hippie, Chip Oliver.  The article caused me to revisit Oliver’s autobiography, High for the Game, which he co-authored with Ron Rapoport in 1971.

The son on an Army sergeant, Ralph “Chip” Oliver bounced around some while growing up, before settling in at Hoover High School in San Diego.  His route to professional football was rather unconventional, as he got married and spent time in Las Vegas after high school, but soon divorced and came back to San Diego City College.  He then made his way to USC before joining the Oakland Raiders as an 11th round draft choice in 1968.  Oliver had a two-season professional career, averaging five tackles-per-game from his linebacker position and scoring one touchdown on an interception.  However, the life of a professional football player never really appealed to Oliver, and he quit the Raiders after the 1969 season.  From there he became a vegetarian (which were his tendencies already during the 1969 football season), swore off material possessions, joined a commune, and started working in a natural foods store. read more

1963 Chargers Awards

allen, jones, rote

Chuck Allen, Warren Jones of the Chargers Backers, and Tobin Rote.

For a while now, the San Diego Union-Tribune has been running a neat daily feature called Pages from History, in which Bill Pinella notes the highlights from sports pages 5, 10, 20 & 50 years ago.  As this is the 50th anniversary of the Chargers famed 1963 season, it has been fun to read bits and pieces about that legendary team with my morning coffee.

Yesterday’s (December 12) posting from 50 years back was kind of fun, and since I have photos from the event, I thought that I would share: read more

Van Miller Remembers

I seem to be going a little heavy on Buffalo Bills posts lately, but I just keep on finding such neat stuff.  Along the same lines of yesterday’s Al Bemiller interview, here is a similar one with longtime Bills announcer, Van Miller.  Miller did the play-by-play for the Bills from 1960-1971, and again from 1977-2003.  He has seen a lot of interesting football in his days, and shares some of those memories in the video above. read more

Al Bemiller Remembers

Here is a fun little video interview with former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman, Al Bemiller.  A member of those great championship teams of ’64 and ’65, Bemiller was with the Bills from 1961-1969.  His thoughts on Ernie Ladd were interesting, and not the first time I’d heard such things.  And Bemiller is another who credits Houston Antwine as being among the toughest defensive linemen in the league.  It is amazing how unheralded Antwine is among everyone except those who played against him. read more

The Packers may have won Super Bowl I…

buck buchanan

…but the Chiefs didn’t go down lightly.  Here Buck Buchanan puts a walloping on the Packers’ Bart Starr, while Jerry Mays closes in from the other side.  Just one of several Super Bowl I & III images that have been recently come available due to the selling off of old newspaper archives.