A Place in the Desert

rough acres article

The Chargers 1963 training camp at the Rough Acres Ranch in Boulevard, California, has been the stuff of legend in San Diego since the Bolts came down out of the desert in September ’63, and commenced to making mincemeat of their AFL counterparts.  Even the Boston Patriots and their “red dog”-infested defense couldn’t contain the Chargers that season, as San Diego won their first, and only, professional football championship.

In an article for the September 2, 1972, issue of Pro! Magazine, longtime San Diego Union sports reporter, Jerry Magee, recalled those days out in Boulevard, and the fun, follies and football that happened in place called Rough Acres.


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Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

4 Responses to A Place in the Desert

  1. Bob Hood says:

    I was there. This article is great but only skims the surface. There are so many stories to tell. It was an eye opening experience for me. I would not trade one minute for the time I spent there. It was the ultimate learning experience for an 18 year old.

  2. That was a fun read. I first learned about Rough Acres when I read Jeff Miller’s 2003 book, Going Long. Miller’s account goes into more detail.

    Great quote from Tobin Rote, who, of course, would be the starting quarterback in the Championship game: “Charlie Conerly played until he was 42, but I don’t think I’ll try it. I just hope I live until Sept. 1.”

  3. Eddie Arminio says:

    It will never happen again,but those old school tactics worked the best.It brought out the mentally and physical toughness in you, or it broke you. A good gauge to judge a football player.

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