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Message to the Fans
Lance Dwight Alworth (born August 3, 1940)
is a former American football wide receiver. He is a member of the College
Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He retired as a player
after the 1972 season.
Born in Houston, Texas, Alworth was raised in Brookhaven, Mississippi, where
played football at Brookhaven High School before attending the University of
Arkansas. At the University of Arkansas, the six-foot (1.83 m), 180-pound (82
kg) Alworth was a running back who led all colleges in punt return yardage in
1960 and 1961. He also was a track star: running the 100 and 220 yard dashes
(9.6 seconds and 21.3 seconds) and long jump. He is a member of the Pi Kappa
Alpha Fraternity. Alworth is a member of the University of Arkansas Hall of
Honor and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Plus, he was named to the University
of Arkansas' 1960's All-Decade Team, and the schools' All-Century Team in 1994.
He was taken 8th overall in the first round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the San
Francisco 49ers. The American Football League's Oakland Raiders drafted him as
their first pick (ninth overall) in the second round of the 1962 AFL draft, and
then traded his rights to the San Diego Chargers in return for halfback Bo
Roberson, quarterback Hunter Enis, and offensive tackle Gene Selawski.
Alworth opted to sign with the Chargers instead of the 49ers. The Chargers moved
Alworth to wide receiver. His slender build, speed, grace, and leaping ability
earned him the nickname "Bambi."
Alworth was an AFL Western Division All-Star in seven consecutive seasons, from
1963 through 1969, and was an AFL All-League flanker the same seven seasons,
selected by his peers from 1963-1966, and by newspaper wire services from
1967-1964. Alworth was the UPI's 1969 AFL Most Valuable Player and is a member
of the AFL All-Time Team. He scored on a 48-yard touchdown pass in the Chargers'
1963 AFL Championship Game victory over the Boston Patriots. In Alworth's 8 AFL
seasons, he led the league in receiving yards and receptions 3 times. He also
set a Chargers record with 83 touchdowns.
He held records for the most consecutive games with a reception (96), and still
holds the record for the most games with 200+ yards receiving,(5) and was the
only receiver to average more than 100 yards a game in three consecutive seasons
(1964–1966). Alworth formed a formidable tandem along with Chargers quarterback
John Hadl, and is considered by many to be the best wide receiver in all
professional football during the 1960s. He was one of the few American Football
League stars to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated (SI), which like
other media of the 1960s, showed a distinct bias for the NFL. SI even went so
far in 1965 as to declare Alworth "Pro Football's Top Receiver", this, a year
before the AFL-NFL merger, and two years before the Common Draft, before which
many claimed the AFL had inferior players.
In 1971, Alworth was traded to the Dallas Cowboys, for his final two seasons
(1971 and 1972), with some fans believing the controversial transaction spawned
the San Diego Sports Curse . In Super Bowl VI, he would catch a touchdown
pass for the Cowboys in a 24-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Alworth would
later call the two receptions he made in Super Bowl VI (one that converted a
third and long and the other for the touchdown), the two most important catches
of his career. He had all the statistics and an AFL Championship ring, and now
was also an NFL champion.
Alworth finished his 11 AFL/NFL seasons with 543 receptions for 10,266 yards. He
also rushed for 129 yards, returned 29 punts for 309 yards, gained 216 yards on
10 kickoff returns, and scored 87 touchdowns (85 receiving and 2 rushing).
In 1972, he was inducted to the San Diego Hall of Champions' Breitbart Hall of
Fame. In 1977, he was inducted in the Chargers Hall of Fame. In 1978 he became
the first San Diego Charger and the first player who had played in the AFL to be
inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He chose to be presented at the
Canton, Ohio ceremony by Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, his former position
coach at San Diego, who had much to do with the success of the AFL.
Alworth's #19 is retired by the Chargers, only the second number ever retired by
the team. (It was, however, issued to Johnny Unitas when he played his final NFL
season with the Chargers in 1973.) In 1970, he was selected as a member of the
AFL All-Time Team, and in 1994, he was named to the NFL 75th Anniversary
All-Time Team, the only player to be named to both teams.
In 1999, he was ranked number 31 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest
Football Players, making him the highest-ranking Charger and the highest-ranking
player to have spent more than one season in the AFL.
Wide Receiver Jersey #(s):
Born: August 3, 1940 (1940-08-03) (age 67)
NFL Draft: 1962 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
AFL Draft: 1962 / Round: 2 / Pick: 9
San Diego Chargers (1962-1970)
Dallas Cowboys (1971-1972)
Receiving Yards 10,266
Stats at NFL.com
Career Highlights and Awards
7x Pro Bowl selection (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969)
7x All-Pro selection (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969)
NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
AFL All-Time Team
1963 UPI AFL-AFC Player of the Year
Chargers Hall of Fame
San Diego Chargers #19 Retired
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame
1^ Lance "Bambi" Alworth. College Football Hall of Fame. National Football
Foundation. Retrieved on 2008-01-06.
2^ More Did You Know. Retrieved on 2008-03-30.
Source: Wikipedia.org at