Category Archives: Keith Lincoln
This has been a fun decade, as seemingly everyday during the season we are coming up on a 50th anniversary of something to do with the AFL. This year I have seen remembrances of the All-Star Game Boycott, Joe Namath signing his rookie contract, and others. For Bills fans, December 26th marked not only the anniversary of Buffalo’s first AFL championship, but also of “The Hit Heard “Round the World.”
One of the superstars of the AFL, that receives very little credit today, is Chargers running back, Keith Lincoln. Lincoln was drafted by the Chargers in 1961, and quickly became one of the most versatile Chargers ever to put on the powder blue and gold. Lincoln played tight end, defensive back and kicked a bit before settling into a regular position at fullback. Teamed with speedster, Paul Lowe, Lincoln helped give the Chargers an awesome ground game to go along with Sid Gillman’s aerial attack. The following interview was held via telephone in 1998, when I was researching my master’s thesis.
For several years now, I have had in my collections a group of roughly 40 photos taken at the San Diego Chargers 1964 training camp in Escondido, CA. I have always enjoyed the small (3.5″ x 3.5) pictures, and in fact, I wrote about them this past August, when I was able to add a new photo to the group, that of defensive back and kicker, George Blair. I had long-realized that my accumulation of these prints must have been incomplete, as I was missing many of the Chargers prominent players of the time, including Lance Alworth, Ron Mix, John Hadl and Paul Lowe. I figured that my chances of finding more were slim, unfortunately, as they were not a widely-distributed photograph set, but rather appeared to be test prints perhaps made by team photographers.
|This large, framed team photo given to team members and office staff|
The 1963 Chargers were the first AFL team to be
featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
That kind of domination is rare, especially in a championship game, and in fact it led many people to begin questioning the supposed dominance of the NFL. Noted football personalities came out on both sides of the issue, some supporting the Chargers while others backed the Bears. Sadly, that game never came to be, and now, 48 years later, we have nothing but game films and statistics to back up our own beliefs of what might have been in the lightning bolt-clad Chargers had played the Monsters of the Midway… Oh, and those Chargers rings that already say, “World Champions.”