Another Round of Chargers Interviews

Autographed 1960 Fleer JW Slack

I sat down last night and added seven more transcriptions to the AFL interviews page.  New material includes Howard Clark, J.W. Slack, Jeff Staggs, and two each from Jerry Magee (AFL Chargers beat reporter) and Jim Allison.  These, and many more can be found HERE.

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.

9 Responses to Another Round of Chargers Interviews

  1. Tom says:

    Good reading and enlightening and an example of how times have changed in terms of reporting, imagine today if some of the things, Faison, Staggs and Magee who was a reported mention would be viewed, then things seem to be accepted as innocent acts of boys being boys. Today some of the things mentioned could have serious overtones and consequence and quite possibly turned into a criminal matter. Compare Incognito who alledgely called Martin names and made him pay for meals etc with demands made for him to be brought up on hate crimes and his career destroyed, compare that to Shea throwing Sweeney over board in the dark of night in a drunken brawl left to drown, or rookies being cheated out of thousands gambling, at a time when salaries were 15-20 k per year.

    Magee commenting on Paul Lowe that he is not in the HOF because today’s voters never saw him play, doesn’t speak well of him, he was a well respected sports writer on or at a paper with a sports writer who has a vote, Nick Canepa on the seniors committee and the majority of voters are sports writers. If he truly believed that Paul Lowe was the greatest running back he ever saw and deserving of HOF recognition, then why didn’t he make a case for Lowe within his own ranks and elicit some local media darlings and put a highlight film together, Sid Gilman must have had plenty of film and have Canepa present the film to the HOF committee.
    To think of it Jim Taylor, Jim Brown and Paul Lowe were the first great backs I saw play, none really better than the other as they were all as great in there own way.

  2. billd says:

    Paul Lowe not being in the HOF is similar to Houston Antwine, Tom Sestak and Don Coryell. Lowe, Antwine and Sestak are chosen first team all-time AFL and don’t make the HOF, yet 2nd teamers Len Dawson Buck Buchanan get elected. Coryell has the greatest influence on the modern day passing game (not to mention being the father of the I formation), yet is locked out. Super Bowl exposure, lack of appreciation for AFL quality; many reasons factor in, many of them unjust.

    • Tom says:

      I was probably to quick to criticize, as I have no idea what if any efforts were made on Lowe’s behalf, or if it would have done any good, and have to remember that writers, as Magee points out, have a responsibility to the profession to remain objective and impartial, so as not to be seen as shills and homers and risk loss of credibility.
      Lowe was cut by an NFL team but so was Len Dawson, unlike Lowe Dawson has the career numbers and SB victories under his belt but did play on several seemingly under achieving teams, the only year the Chargers had a loosing record during Lowes tenure was the season 1962, that he missed due to injury and he was such an explosive back that teams would have to set their defenses to try an limit him as he could go all the way on one play.

      I know from watching Floyd Littles HOF induction speech, that having someone working in your corner can make a difference, as he credits a gentleman named John Mackey, no not thee John Mackey, another John Mackey for the effort he made on his behalf to build Little’s case and bring it to the attention of the HOF committee and without that attention, Little may still be waiting at the door.
      From being on the west coast I never saw much of the Bills or Pats during the years Antwine and Sestak played as during those years I was playing organized football myself, and on most Sundays after church, I was playing pick up games on the school yard, often times with former Bills great wide receiver Bobby Chandler and would miss the earlier televised games on the east coast. I did see a bit of Big Ben Davidson, Buck Buchanan and Otis Taylor, all helped popularize and lend credibility to the AFL as they gave the league the appearace of toughness and superior size, speed and athleticism that epitomized the greatness of the sport.

      • You played school-yard ball with Bob Chandler ? ? ? That is cool ! ! !

        I had Chandler’s football cards when he played for the Bills in the late ’70’s. Then, in 1980, he was traded to Oakland, and he helped the Raiders make their surprise Super Bowl Championship run. Cliff Branch was the best WR on that team–and Branch should be in The Hall of Fame–but Chandler had an excellent 1980 season. If I’m correct, he caught 49 passes and scored 10 touchdowns.

        • Tom says:

          Yes and high school teammates and were both recruited to USC a year apart, over a four year period Bob Chandler and Cliff Branch caught an identical number of passes 220, Fred Belitnikoff over the same span caught 221. The difference Chandler was never named to the Pro Bowl.
          Do you still collect cards?

          • No. My 7th-grade buddy’s a mega-collector, though.

            We’ve gotten back in touch in recent years, and he gave me a box of cards in September. They’re a bunch of doubles from his collection. I’ve enjoyed looking through them, but I’m probably not passionate or motivated enough to re-start my own collection.

            I didn’t stay with collecting that long–1977 to 1980, and that was it.

          • I comment in more detail about my card collecting adventures on “Rating 10 years of AFL football cards–One Fan’s Humble Opinion” (January 17, 2013). It’s a guest article by Dave Steidel, and it’s super fun ! ! !

            Looking at the article now, I see that you also posted a comment.

            It was, in fact, the article that cemented my becoming a regular reader of Tales From The American Football League.

      • Visibility. That’s a word billd used, and it strikes a chord with me.

        In the late ’70’s, as an impressionable kid, I knew who Paul Lowe was–but that was only because I read a bunch of football books when I was 10, 11, and 12. The 1963 Chargers were simply not a team with a lot of visibility.

        My observation is that the only players from the early years of the AFL who were widely known in the late ’70’s were George Blanda and Lance Alworth. I knew who Cookie Gilchrist was, but that was mostly because I played neighborhood football with a kid who was a Bills fan. I don’t think the average football fan in the late ’70’s knew who Gilchrist was.

        As I’ve said in past comments, the ’68 Jets and ’69 Chiefs had a major advantage in being the first AFL two teams to beat their NFL counterparts in the Super Bowl. Their players had visibility: Namath, Boozer, Snell, Sauer, Maynard, Sample. O-Taylor, Dawson, Garrett, Bell, Buchanan, Lanier.

        Getting back to Lowe: I never realized how great he was until reading more about him on this site, and seeing him in action on You Tube. I only wish he, Gilchrist, and a host of others had gotten more visibility.

      • Now that I’m reading billd’s comment for the fourth time, he doesn’t actually say the word “visibility.” But the concept of visibility is there when he uses phrases like “Super Bowl exposure” and “lack of appreciation for AFL quality.”

        Before I sign off, I want to say that the next AFL player–and the next wide receiver from any era–who should get elected to The Hall of Fame is Otis Taylor.

        I’ve commented about O-Taylor extensively on other posts. Right now I just want to say he certainly had visibility, and as a brand-new football fan in the late ’70’s, I knew him as a great player.

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