San Diego Chargers and Chiefs, quite a history


Lamar Hunt was the original owner of the Dallas Texans (later the Kansas City Chiefs). He is also credited with founding the old AFL in 1960.The San Diego Chargers and Chiefs have been butting heads ever since.

Other than the ’60’s Packers, ’70’s Steelers and maybe the Cowboys or 49ers of the 80’s and 90’s, the 1969/70 Kansas City Chiefs probably have more Hall of Famers than any team in NFL history. The list is amazing: Curly Culp and Buck Buchanan on the defensive line, Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier at linebacker and Emmitt Thomas at cornerback.

Offense??? How about Len Dawson at quarterback Mike Garrett at running back.

Special Teams?? Jan Stenerud as one of the few kickers in the Hall.

Others?? Lamar Hunt as an owner and Hank Stram as head coach.

This doesn’t even count Otis Taylor at wide receiver and John Lynch as the third linebacker of the best linebacking corps I ever saw. Quite a group, watched them from Balboa Stadium to Jack Murphy Stadium (Qualcomm).

The Bolts were no slouches either. John Hadl at quarterback, Lance Alworth and Gary Garrison (SDSU) at wide receiver, Hubbert and Post at running backs, Kenny Graham and Jim Hill at safety, Speedy Duncan at cornerback. Head coach Sid Gillman. Gillman and Stram were the only two head coaches to be with the same team the entirety of the old AFL.

No games were more fun to watch. For the most part, neither team could be stopped. Hubbert and Post would run wild and when necessary, Hadl was throwing bombs to Alworth and possession throws to Garrison. Gillman’s passing tree versus Stram’s odd sets and shifts. Stram thought his offense would be the benchmark for 10 years but it was Gillman’s passing tree that set the standard for future coaches such as Don Coryell.

Other connections? Marty Schottenheimer. The same problems in both cities…great during the regular season, a bit of a bust in the playoffs. Such a shame in both cities. Marty made getting into the playoffs look so effortless that the expectations kept rising. The Chiefs and the Chargers both kept “banging on the Super Bowl door” but lost before they could break through.  In both places, Kansas City and San Diego, management expected playoff success after such impressive performances in the regular season. And things just didn’t work out that way.  What I wouldn’t give to have those consistent playoff teams like we had under Marty even if it didn’t go as far as we’d like in the postseason. Also, a couple of noteworthy players played on both teams: Ernie Ladd played with the Chargers and later with the Chiefs while Garrett played with the Chiefs and later with the Chargers.

Finally, both of these franchises have a great history and I’d hate to see that rivalry diminished by the Bolts moving out of San Diego. Get the vote out folks! November will be here before you know it.