Pro Football Hall of Fame Remembers the 1961 Chargers Defense

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seven bandits

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

fearsome foursome

The Fearsome Foursome

The article contains a lot of good information.  With articles like these being so rare, I would have liked to have seen a bit more description of the 1961 Chargers.  For example, 1961 was the year that the Chargers first used the term, “Fearsome Foursome,” to describe their mountainous defensive line that included Ernie Ladd, Earl Faison, Ron Nery and Bill Hudson.  Their relentless pass rush greatly aided the defensive backfield in setting this record.  Also, the linebacker and defensive back corps had a nickname of their own.  They were dubbed the “Seven Bandits.”  Great and colorful stuff, exactly what you might expect from an upstart league to whom marketing and public relations were essential to their existence.


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.

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6 Responses to Pro Football Hall of Fame Remembers the 1961 Chargers Defense

  1. Tom says:

    Noticed that there were two 50+ yard returns vs Denver. Wondering if thgat is a record?

  2. Of course, the NFL unabashedly swiped the moniker “Fearsome Foursome”, and CBS made it into a household phrase, but for the wrong team, the LA Rams.

  3. lin butler says:

    i wish keith linclon could get in with other players, and i wish the chargers would at least put in dickie post in the chargers hall.

  4. Great work as always Todd! Much respect to people like you and Mr. Coniglio who continue to keep the legacy of the AFL alive.

  5. Mark Speck says:

    You just know that the hats HAD to be Maguire’s idea.

  6. Todd Tobias says:

    Thanks, Mark. That got a chuckle out of me. I’d bet you’re right!

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