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|Born:||February 16, 1945|
|Died:||August 9, 1998 53) (aged|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Player stats at PFR|
Vernon Anthony "Touchdown Tony" Baker (February 16, 1945 – August 9, 1998) was an American football running back in the National Football League (NFL). He played from 1968 to 1975, and played for the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Los Angeles Rams, and finally, the San Diego Chargers, and had one Pro Bowl appearance, in 1969.
Baker graduated from Burlington Community High School in 1963, earning a scholarship to Iowa State University the following year, where he would graduate in 1966. He then played semi-pro ball for a season and a half with the Des Moines Warriors of the Professional Football League of America, before being discovered by a talent scout for the New Orleans Saints. He would sign a contract with the Saints, and begin his NFL career the following year, making an appearance in the Pro Bowl in his second season. It was during this rookie season that sports broadcaster Howard Cosell gave him the nickname Touchdown Tony. He would end his career in 1975, playing with the San Diego Chargers as a backup.
On August 10, 1998, Baker was killed in a car accident on U.S. Route 61, approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of Burlington, Iowa following a high school class reunion. He was buried in Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington, next to his mother, with many of his old NFL teammates in attendance. His burial plot was chosen by his family with two trees in the distance appearing as though they were goalpost uprights. A misprint on his headstone has him named Vernon G. Baker, instead of Vernon A. Baker.
Super Bowl XXIX was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion San Diego Chargers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1994 season. The 49ers defeated the Chargers by the score of 49–26, becoming the first team to win five Super Bowl championships. The game was played on January 29, 1995 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida.
John Willard Hadl is a former American football player, a quarterback in the American Football League and National Football League for sixteen seasons, with the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, and Houston Oilers. He also served as a punter for five seasons. He was an AFL All-Star four times and was selected to two Pro Bowls. Hadl played collegiately at the University of Kansas, and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
Drew Christopher Brees is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 20 seasons. A member of the New Orleans Saints for most of his career, Brees is the NFL leader in career pass completions, career completion percentage, and regular season passing yards, along with being second in career touchdown passes and career pass attempts. He also holds the record of consecutive games with a touchdown pass, breaking the feat held by Johnny Unitas for 52 years.
Daniel Francis Fouts is an American former football quarterback for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1973 to 1987. He led the NFL in passing yards four straight years from 1979 to 1982 and became the first player in history to throw for 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. The Chargers advanced to the AFC Championship Game twice during his career, but never reached the Super Bowl.
Anthony David Gonzalez is a former professional American football tight end. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for 17 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons. Regarded as one of the greatest tight ends of all-time, Gonzalez played college football and college basketball at University of California, Berkeley, and was recognized as a consensus All-American in football. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft, where he played for 12 seasons, and was a member of the Atlanta Falcons in his last five seasons. Since retiring, he has served as an analyst for Fox Sports.
Michael A. Bennett is a former American football running back in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings 27th overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at Wisconsin.
Richard “Ricky” James Watters is an American former professional football player who was a running back for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). Watters played college football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, where he played wide receiver on the school's 1988 national champion team. He also won Super Bowl XXIX as a member of the 1994 49ers over the San Diego Chargers. Watters was known throughout his playing career for his outstanding receiving skills and his unique high-step running style, which earned him the nickname Ricky "Running" Watters, from ESPN sportcaster Chris Berman.
William Stanley Humphries is a former professional American football quarterback. He played for the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He played high school football at Southwood High School and college football at Northeast Louisiana. He was selected by the Redskins in the sixth round of the 1988 NFL Draft.
Darren Lee Sproles is an American football executive and former running back and return specialist who is currently a personnel consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Kansas State, where he is the all-time leading rusher, and was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He also played for the New Orleans Saints and the Eagles.
"The Greatest Show on Turf" was a nickname for the record-breaking offense of the St. Louis Rams during the 1999, 2000, and 2001 National Football League seasons. The offense was designed by attack oriented offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who advocated mixing both an aerial attack and a run offense in the form of the Air Coryell style offense. The Rams' offense during these three seasons produced a largest of scoring, accrued yardage, three NFL MVP honors, and two Super Bowl appearances for the 1999 and 2001 seasons, of which they won the former.
Lorenzo LaVonne Neal is an American former professional football player who was a fullback in the National Football League (NFL) for sixteen seasons. Neal played college football for the Fresno State Bulldogs. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. A four-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, he was also a member of the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, and Oakland Raiders. Considered one of the best blocking fullbacks in NFL history, Neal blocked for a 1,000+ yard running back in eleven straight seasons from 1997 to 2007.
Michael Turner is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft and also played for the Atlanta Falcons. He played college football at Northern Illinois.
Harry Vance "Chuck" Muncie was an American professional football player who was a running back for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers in the National Football League (NFL) from 1976 to 1984. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, and tied the then-NFL season record for rushing touchdowns in 1981.
The Epic in Miami was the National Football League AFC divisional playoff game between the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins that took place on January 2, 1982 in the Miami Orange Bowl. The game, won by the Chargers in overtime, 41–38, is one of the most famous in National Football League lore because of the conditions on the field, the performances of players on both teams, and the numerous records that were set. Many former players, coaches and writers assert it as one of the greatest games in NFL history. It was also referred to in the Miami Herald as the "Miracle That Died", while Sports Illustrated dubbed it the "Game No One Should Have Lost". The game aired on NBC with Don Criqui and John Brodie calling the action and Bryant Gumbel serving as the anchor, one of his final assignments for NBC Sports as he began co-hosting Today two days after the game. NFL 100 Greatest Games rated this game as the 4th greatest game.
Wesley Sandy Chandler is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, and ranked twelfth in NFL history in receiving yards and thirteenth in receptions when he retired. Chandler is a member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame. He played college football for the Florida Gators and was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
John Larry Jefferson is an American former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football with the Arizona State Sun Devils, he was selected in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played three seasons in San Diego, where he became the first NFL player to gain 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons. He was traded to the Green Bay Packers after a contract dispute with the Chargers, and later finished his playing career with the Cleveland Browns.
The San Diego State Aztecs football team represents San Diego State University in the sport of American football. The Aztecs compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the West Division of the Mountain West Conference (MW). They temporarily play their home games at Dignity Health Sports Park and are coached by Brady Hoke. They have won 21 conference championships and three national championships at the small college division.
The professional American football team now known as the Los Angeles Chargers previously played in San Diego as the San Diego Chargers from 1961 to 2017 before relocating back to Los Angeles where the team played their inaugural season. The Chargers franchise relocated from Los Angeles to San Diego in 1961. The Chargers' first home game in San Diego was at Balboa Stadium against the Oakland Raiders on September 17, 1961. Their final game as a San Diego-based club was played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego at the end of the 2016 season against the Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated them 37–27.
William Michael Tolbert is a former American football fullback. He was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He played college football for Coastal Carolina University. He has also been a member of the Carolina Panthers, where he was a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro. He signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2017 after being released by the Carolina Panthers.