Are you loaded for the next game of your favorite NFL team? Since dropping the Oakland Raiders in their NFL debut (1961), the San Diego Chargers have entertained their local and national fans. Since 1961, the Chargers have earned spots in four AFC championship games (1980, 1981, 1994, 2007) and played in one Super Bowl game (1994). About 99.9% of today’s Chargers fans know LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers’ first draft pick of 2001. However, several Chargers players in the professional football Hall of Fame have also been instrumental in the team’s success:

1. Lance Alworth (wide receiver): 1962-1970
Alworth is a member of the College and Professional Football Hall of Fame. He became known as “Bambi” due to his speed, grace, and ability to jump. Alworth held AFL records for most games with at least 200 receiving yards (5) and the most successive games with at least one catch (96).

2. Fred Dean (defensive end): 1975-1981
Dean began his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers and later played on two Super Bowl champion teams the San Francisco 49ers. During his NFL career, Dean played 141 games and won 28 sacks. He also played in four Pro Bowls and was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1981.

3. Dan Fouts (quarterback): 1973-1987
Fouts played his entire NFL career with the Chargers. Led the Chargers to two AFC championship games (1980, 19981). Other Fouts achievements include:

o 3rd NFL player with more than 40,000 passing yards in his career
o Team of the entire NFL decade of the eighties
o AP Offensive Player of the Year from the 1980s
or 6 Pro Bowl games (1979-1983)
o Most Valuable Player of the 1979 Pro Bowl

4. Charlie Joiner (wide receiver): 1976-1986
Before playing for the Chargers, Joiner played for the Houston Oilers and the Cincinnati Bengals. While playing for the Chargers, Joiner became a member of the “Air Coryell” offense, named for coach Don Coryell. During his AFL / NFL career, Joiner had 750 receptions (12,146 yards), 65 touchdowns, and 3 NFL Pro Bowl appearances.

5. Ron Mix (Offensive Inning): 1961-1969
After graduating from USC, Mix played for the Los Angeles / San Diego Chargers and later for the Oakland Raiders. Mix’s nickname was “The Intellectual Assassin”, due to his having a Juris Doctor degree. Mix was a nine-time AFL All Star, and in 1979 he was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

6. Kellen Winslow (Tight End): 1979-1987
Winslow partially redefined his position, adding long catches to his repertoire. Beforehand, Tight Ends duties generally only included blocks and short catches. Winslow played his entire NFL career with the Chargers. During that time, he had 541 receptions (6,741 yards) and 45 touchdowns. He also won 5 Pro Bowl selections (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987) and was on 4 All-Pro teams.

For the past few years, the Sand Diego Chargers have been electrifying their fans. However, past Chargers players have also contributed to the team’s success. When you cheer with San Diego Chargers merchandise, remember that you are cheering on a team with nearly fifty years of memorable history.

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