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1963 AFL champion Chargers to be honored

AP - Sports

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Chargers announced Monday that their 1963 AFL championship squad will be inducted into the Chargers Ring of Honor during halftime of their game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 1.

The '63 team is the only Chargers squad to win a league title. A banner signifying that will be hung at Chargers home games after the ceremony.

''We felt like we were the No. 1 team that year,'' said Lance Alworth, a member of the '63 team and the first AFL player to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Alworth said late coach Sid Gillman tried to get a game against the NFL champion Chicago Bears but was unsuccessful.

''I'm sorry there wasn't a Super Bowl,'' Alworth said. ''We might have brought one of those home. I just wish all my teammates were here to see this. Some of us are still here and some of us aren't.''

Alworth's voice broke when reflecting on '63, the memories it brought back and former teammates who are now deceased.

''I played on a championship team with Dallas and won the Super Bowl,'' Alworth, 73, said. ''To me, the '63 team with the Chargers was the best football team I ever played on. They could do everything. They played well, the played together.

''It was a one-time championship team that everyone who played on it would say it was the best team they ever played on.''

In addition to Alworth, tackle Ron Mix and Gillman are also in the Hall of Fame from the '63 squad.

The Chargers, who went 11-3 during the regular season that year, claimed the title by defeating the Boston Patriots, 51-10, at Balboa Stadium.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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