The Chargers may currently play in Los Angeles, but it’s not the first time that the franchise has played their home games there. In fact, the Chargers entered the world of professional football in 1960 as the Los Angeles Chargers, and moved to San Diego the following season. The club would be known as the San Diego Chargers from 1961 through 2016, before returning to Los Angeles for the start of the 2017 NFL season.
Today, the Los Angeles Chargers play in the AFC West Division of the National Football League alongside their rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos.
Here are five electrifying facts about Los Angeles Chargers.
- Sid Gillman is the winningest head coach in Chargers history. (source) Since the Chargers became a charter member of the old American Football League (AFL) in 1960, there have been seventeen different head coaches for the franchise. The very first, Sid Gillman, is also the former head coach that led the Chargers to the most victories. Gillman coached the Chargers for their very first season, which was played Los Angeles and after the team relocated from San Diego. From 1960 through 1969, and in 1971, Sid Gillman won 76 regular season games with the Chargers, compiling a 76-49-6 record. Don Coryell, who coached the then-San Diego Chargers from 1978 through 1986, nearly surpassed Gillman with 69 wins.
- The Chargers joined the NFL in 1970, but have only appeared in one Super Bowl since. (source) The Chargers sole trip to the Super Bowl was one to remember for both the franchise and its fans. The then-San Diego Chargers advanced to Super Bowl XXIX following the 1994 NFL regular season, but fell to the San Francisco 49ers 49-26, in a game that wasn’t even as close as the score would indicate. Going into the fourth quarter, San Francisco led San Diego 42-18. The Chargers have not returned to the Super Bowl since.
- The 1992 Chargers are one of only six NFL teams ever to make the postseason following an 0-4 start. (source) Starting the season in a hole like four losses usually spells doom for teams around the National Football League, but the 1992 San Diego were just the third team to turn a season like that around and make it to the Playoffs. The first team to ever do it was the 1981 New York Jets, and the four other teams to accomplish this feat include the 1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 1995 Detroit Lions, the 1998 Buffalo Bills and the 2018 Houston Texans. In 1992, the Chargers finished the season 11-5 and won the AFC West Division Title, but would fall to the Miami Dolphins 31-0 in the Division Playoffs.
- Five former Chargers players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (source) Wide receiver Lance Alworth, Quarterback Dan Fouts, safety Rodney Harrison , linebacker Junior Seau and running back LaDainian Tomlinson are the five former Chargers star to eventually be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Of the four, it was perhaps LaDainian Tomlinson who has the most stacked resume, having won the 2006 NFL MVP Award, being named a member of the NFLs 2000-All Decade Team, and being named a 3-time first-team All-Pro.
- Star running back LaDainian Tomlinson holds the franchise record for the most rushing yards for the Chargers. (source) As one of the premier players for the Chargers from 2001 through 2009, LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 12,490 yards on the ground, making him one of the top running backs in the league throughout his career. He spent his final two seasons with the New York Jets, and retired with 13,684 rushing yards, which is the 7th most all-time in the history of the National Football League.
The Los Angeles Chargers have quite the history! If you’re a fan of the Chargers and have some more fun facts to share about your favorite NFL team, let us know about them in the comments below.
Featured image photo credit: All-Pro Reels, 2021. Originally found on Wikimedia.org. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.