1963 American Football League Championship Game
The 1963 American Football League Championship Game was the fourth AFL title game. At the end of the regular season, the San Diego Chargers (11–3) won the Western Division for the third time in the four-year existence of the AFL.
|Date||January 5, 1964|
|Stadium||Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California|
|Favorite||San Diego (–7) |
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Curt Gowdy, Paul Christman|
Eastern Division playoffEdit
In their final regular season games on Saturday, December 14, Boston lost and Buffalo won to draw even in the standings. Three-time division winner Houston (6–6) controlled their own destiny, but lost the next day and were eliminated. Buffalo and Boston had two weeks to prepare for the playoff, as their bye weeks were postponed from November 24 to December 22, due to the assassination of President Kennedy.
The game was played on Saturday, December 28, as the following day was the NFL championship game. On a slippery field at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo with an inch of snow, visiting Boston led 16–0 at halftime and won 26–8. Quarterback Babe Parilli threw a touchdown pass in each half to fullback Larry Garron and Gino Cappelletti made four field goals for the Patriots. The Bills' sole score was a 93-yard touchdown pass play in the third quarter with a two-point conversion, which cut the lead to eight points.
Surface: Natural grass
Idle during the week of Eastern Division playoff, well-rested San Diego was a touchdown favorite at home to win the AFL title. Fullback Keith Lincoln performed tremendously and led the Chargers to a 51–10 rout of Boston. Named the game's outstanding player, he rushed for 206 yards on 13 carries, led the team with 123 yards in receiving, and completed a pass for 20 yards.
The game was not a sellout; the attendance of 30,127 was several thousand under Balboa Stadium's capacity.
The Chargers' championship win 55 years ago is noted for being the only major sports title for the city of San Diego, the longest drought for a major American city. The Chargers played in San Diego through 2016, then returned to Los Angeles in 2017. The Patriots' first league championship came in the 2001 season in Super Bowl XXXVI.
Starting lineupsEditHall of Fame inductee
|Babe Parilli||QB||Tobin Rote|
|Ron Burton||HB||Paul Lowe|
|Larry Garron||FB||Keith Lincoln|
|Jim Colclough||FL||Lance Alworth|
|Gino Cappelletti||SE||Don Norton|
|Tony Romeo||TE||Dave Kocourek|
|Don Oakes||LT||Ernie Wright|
|Charley Long||LG||Sam DeLuca|
|Walt Cudzik||C||Don Rogers|
|Billy Neighbors||RG||Pat Shea|
|Milt Graham||RT||Ron Mix|
|Larry Eisenhauer||LDE||Earl Faison|
|Jess Richardson||LDT||Henry Schmidt|
|Houston Antwine||RDT||George Gross|
|Bob Dee||RDE||Bob Petrich|
|Tom Addison||LLB||Emil Karas|
|Nick Buoniconti||MLB||Chuck Allen|
|Jack Rudolph||RLB||Paul Maguire|
|Dick Felt||LCB||Bud Whitehead|
|Bob Suci||RCB||Dick Harris|
|Ross O'Hanley||SS||George Blair|
|Ron Hall||FS||Gary Glick|
The attendance in San Diego was nearly 8,000 lower than the previous year's game in Houston, but the players' shares were up slightly with increased television revenue. The winning Chargers players each made around $2,500, while the Patriots received about $1,700 each. These shares were less than half of those for the NFL title game in 1963, at approximately $6,000 and $4,200 each.
- "San Diego, Boston vie in battle for AFL title". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). January 5, 1964. p. 4B.
- "Chargers choice over Patriots". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. January 5, 1964. p. 1, part 2.
- Paid Attendance|Tales from the AFL
- 1963 NFL-AFL Commentator Crews Archived December 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Boston beats Buffalo, 26-8, in playoff". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press.
- "Boston beats Bills for division crown". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 29, 1963. p. 2, sports.
- "Chargers shred 'AFL's best defense,' wallop Patriots, 51-10, for first crown". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 1, part 3.
- "Chargers roll over Boston in AFL final". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 6, 1964. p. 27.
- "Chargers rout Boston, 51-10; compared with NFL teams". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 11, part 2.
- "Are Chargers good enough for NFL opponents?". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 3B.
- "Charger win Lincolnesque; Palouse Moose gains 349". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 12.
- "Are San Diego Sports Teams Cursed?". San Diego 6. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- Thirteen years after missing a Super Bowl-winning field – 07.12.04 – SI Vault
- "Each Bear to receive about $6,000". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 30, 1963. p. 18.
1962 AFL Champions
| San Diego Chargers
American Football League Champions
1964 AFL Champions