Category Archives: Ernie Wright

The Best and Most Ignored…

I was digging around the internet, looking for an article to share about former Chargers and Bengals tackle, Ernie Wright, when I came across this Yahoo piece from three years ago.  The article discusses the greatest Chargers players (on offense), who are not yet in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  I’m a big John Hadl fan, and believe that he is deserving on enshrinement in Canton.  The other thought that I have long had, which was reiterated by this piece, is that the Chargers have had some phenomenal offensive linemen throughout the years.  Ron Mix is certainly one of them, and he gets the most credit, but think about Ernie Wright, Walt Sweeney, Sam Gruneisen, Russ Washington, Doug Wilkerson, Don Macek, and Ed White.  Those are not only fantastic players, but also fantastic players who are not getting the recognition that they deserve.  Hopefully one day…

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Ernie Ladd and the 1960 Chargers Lightning Bolt

ernie ladd

Ernie Ladd in a 1960 Chargers jersey.

I recently picked up this photo of Chargers defensive lineman, Ernie Ladd.  Ladd has always been kind of a mythical AFL figure, with his size, boisterous personality and wrestling career all adding to the total package.  I liked this particular image because although it is undated, it must have been taken early in Ladd’s time with the Chargers.  Rather than wearing the #77 that he did in San Diego, Ladd is shown in a #71 jersey, which I took to mean that he was using it either strictly for a photo opportunity, or it was his practice jersey.  As a means of cutting costs, AFL teams often practiced in their game uniforms from the season before.  In this instance, Ladd’s #71 is a 1960 Los Angeles Chargers jersey, probably worn during games by defensive lineman, Dick Chorovich.

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>Comments on Race in the AFL – Ernie Wright

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In recognition of February being Black History Month, stories this month will pertain to racial issues in the American Football League.  The post for this week contains part of an interview that I conducted in 1998, with Chargers and Bengals offensive tackle, Ernie Wright.  Wright was an original Charger, joining the club in Los Angeles in 1960.  He moved with the team to San Diego, where he was a fixture on the offensive line for the next several years.  Wright was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1968 AFL Expansion Draft, and played four seasons in his native Ohio, before coming back to the Chargers for his final season in 1972.  Wright was a three-time AFL All-Star, and one of only 20 men to play in all 10 seasons of the AFL.  He was successful in his post-football life, first as a sports agent, and then in operating a series of detention centers for people convicted of misdemeanors.  Ernie Wright passed away on March 21, 2007, after a battle with cancer. 

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>Comments on Race in the AFL – Ernie Wright

>

In recognition of February being Black History Month, stories this month will pertain to racial issues in the American Football League.  The post for this week contains part of an interview that I conducted in 1998, with Chargers and Bengals offensive tackle, Ernie Wright.  Wright was an original Charger, joining the club in Los Angeles in 1960.  He moved with the team to San Diego, where he was a fixture on the offensive line for the next several years.  Wright was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1968 AFL Expansion Draft, and played four seasons in his native Ohio, before coming back to the Chargers for his final season in 1972.  Wright was a three-time AFL All-Star, and one of only 20 men to play in all 10 seasons of the AFL.  He was successful in his post-football life, first as a sports agent, and then in operating a series of detention centers for people convicted of misdemeanors.  Ernie Wright passed away on March 21, 2007, after a battle with cancer. 

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