In honor of Presidents’ Day, I thought I would take a look at who I would put on a Chargers-themed Mount Rushmore.
There are many worthy candidates, and some that would be considered snubbed by their omission. After looking at my choices, I’d like to hear who you think should be honored.
First on the list is Lance Alworth. Arguably, Bambi was the face of the early Chargers franchise. A Bolt from 1962-1970, he was AFL Western Division All-Star for seven consecutive years (1963-1969), he was United Press’ 1969 AFL MVP. He finished his career with 543 catches for over 10,000 yards. He formed a formidable tandem with Chargers quarterback John Hadl, and is considered by many to be the best wide receiver in all professional football during the 1960s. Alworth was the first player from the AFL to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Next up is Dan Fouts. Fouts piloted Air Coryell to four consecutive playoff appearances from 1979 -1982, including appearances in the 1980 and 1981 AFC Title Games. Fouts set NFL season passing yardage records in three consecutive seasons from 1979 to 1981 with totals of 4,082, 4,715, and 4,802 yards. He broke Joe Namath’s record of 4,007 set in 1967. These stood until 1984 when Dan Marino threw for over 5,000 yards.
Defensively, nobody deserves to be on Mt. Boltmore than Junior Seau. He was drafted in the first round of the 1990 draft (fifth overall). He was the face of the franchise from 1990-2002. He appeared in 12 consecutive ProBowls, beginning with the 1992 game. Nobody played the game with more youthful enthusiasm and passion than #55. He, one day soon, will be inducted into Canton. No Charger player will ever bear his jersey number.
Last, but certainly not least, the last Charger player to wear #21, Ladanian Tomlinson. “LT” was drafted in the first round (again, fifth overall) in 2001. His presence was immediately felt, running for 1,236 yards in his rookie season. He ran for over 1,000 yards in eight consecutive seasons, leading the league in 2006 (the same year he shattered the rushing touchdown record), and again in 2007. He led the league in rushing touchdowns a total of three times, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2002, 2004-2006.
There are many others deserving, but each of these Chargers have had their numbers retired (or soon will), Bambi and Fouts are already in Canton, and Seau and LT will when their turn comes.
Who are your four?