Category Archives: Fearsome Foursome
Bill Hudson and Ron Nery were certainly the lesser-known of the Chargers Fearsome Foursome. But when the other two linemates were Ernie Ladd and Earl Faison, then that becomes a bit more understandable. Most of the AFL’s defensive linemen of the time were overshadowed by Faison and Ladd.
Still, as a veteran of the Canadian Football League, Bill Hudson was able to lend his experience to an otherwise young Chargers team. Along with quarterback Jack Kemp, Hudson was one of the early San Diego Chargers team captains.
As much as I like Lance Alworth, I have typically enjoyed watching good defense more than good offense. Just a personal preference of mine. The 1961 San Diego Chargers had a smothering defense that was led by their line of Ron Nery (80), Ernie Ladd (77), Bill Hudson (79) and Earl Faison (86). Linebacker, Chuck Allen, was also in the first season of his long career in ’61. While quarterback sack totals were not kept then, the Chargers defensive front forced quarterbacks to throw 49 interceptions (in a 14-game season), a record that still stands. This famed Chargers defense had a couple of nicknames – the line was called the Fearsome Foursome (prior to the Los Angeles Rams), and the backfield was dubbed the Seven Bandits.
The 2012 Chicago Bears defense is intercepting passes as a reckless pace this season. Six of their 16 interceptions thus far in 2012, have been returned for touchdowns, which puts the Bears on pace to break the San Diego Chargers record of nine “pick-six” interceptions in a single season, a record the team has held since 1961. The Pro Football Hall of Fame talked about the 1961 Chargers in an online article that they released just yesterday: INTERCEPTION BRIGADE
At 6’9″ and somewhere around 325 lbs, it should not be a surprise to anyone that Ernie Ladd knew his way around the dinner table. A San Diego Chargers press release from 1961 discusses Ladd dining with Larry Fox of the World Telegram, and mentions Big Ernie’s consumption for the meal, which consisted of two shrimp cocktails, three dishes of cole slaw, three servings of spinach, three baked potatoes, eight rolls with butter, a half-gallon of milk, four 16-ounce steaks and three exotic desserts. The bean counters at the World-Telegram undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows when Larry Fox turned in that receipt for reimbursement.
There are several places that one can go on the internet to find quality information on the American Football League. First and foremost, www.remembertheafl.com, which is run by Ange Coniglio, has been an old standby for years. Chris Holmes’s site documenting AFL game programs is another nice place to go. One of my favorite places for reading up on the AFL is not a league-specific site, but rather the Sports Illustrated Vaults, which boasts of having more than 180,000 articles from past SI issues online. A reader can search the site for article on nearly every sports-related subject imaginable, and there is a boatload of fantastic, vintage AFL articles.