The only NFL team in their region, the San Diego Chargers love giving the football fans of sunny Southern California something to cheer for!
The Chargers were introduced when the American Football League (AFL) was created in 1960. Los Angeles (the Chargers' original home), Denver, Dallas, Oakland, New York, Houston, Buffalo and Boston all formed teams that would make up the brand-new league.
When it came to choosing the club's name, a contest was opened to the public. Gerald Courtney submitted the name "Chargers," which the organization liked because it echoed the popular fan battle cry at the University of Southern California's football games: "Charge!" Their name eventually became associated with horses and electricity, both of which have been incorporated into the team's logo over the years.
The Chargers played in -- and won -- the first-ever AFL game, delivering an impressive comeback against Dallas and overcoming a 20-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory. After playing one season in LA, the team was moved to San Diego in 1961 and won the AFL championship a few years later in ’63.
By the mid‘60s, the squad was in need of a new stadium, and the team's management had big dreams. Then-owner Barron Hilton proposed a floating stadium on Mission Bay, which would play host to the MLB's Padres, the Chargers and even aquatic events. According to the blueprints, two separate 20,000-seat grandstands would sit atop the water and be moved back and forth from the baseball diamond to the football field.
Despite great enthusiasm for the idea, the ever-increasing price tag washed away hopes for the floating stadium, and what is now known as Qualcomm Stadium was built on dry land instead. Originally called San Diego Stadium, it was renamed after the legendary sportswriter Jack Murphy in 1980. Qualcomm purchased the naming rights in 1997.
The Chargers proved they had no need for the gimmick of a floating stadium -- they were simply focused on playing great football and winning games. The AFL and NFL merged in 1970, and in the following decades, the Chargers made numerous trips to the playoffs and AFC Championship games. At the end of the 1994 season, the squad beat the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers and advanced to the Super Bowl, but eventually lost the game to the San Francisco 49ers.
A collection of legendary players has graced the roster over the decades. Hall of Famers who have worn the Chargers uniform include quarterbacks Dan Fouts and Johnny Unitas, both known for their record-breaking passes, and Lance Alworth, a wide receiver who ranked fourth in all-time yardage at the time of his retirement.
From the AFL to the NFL, through good years and bad, the Chargers always fight their hardest to make their fanbase proud -- and Bolts supporters will never miss an opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty!