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.[2]

The Eastern Division Boston Patriots and Buffalo Bills had identical 7–6–1 records, which required a tiebreaker playoff game on December 28 in Buffalo.[5][6]

1963 American Football League Championship Game
Boston Patriots San Diego Chargers
10 51
1234 Total
BOS 7300 10
SD 2110713 51
DateJanuary 5, 1964
StadiumBalboa Stadium, San Diego, California
FavoriteSan Diego (–7) [1][2]
Attendance30,127 [3]
TV in the United States
NetworkABC
AnnouncersCurt Gowdy, Paul Christman[4]

Eastern Division playoff

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.[5]

Surface: Natural grass

Championship Game

 San Diego is located in the United States
 San Diego
 San Diego
Location in the United States

Idle during the week of Eastern Division playoff, well-rested San Diego was a touchdown favorite at home to win the AFL title.[1][2] Fullback Keith Lincoln performed tremendously and led the Chargers to a 51–10 rout of Boston.[7][8] 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.[9][10][11]

The game was not a sellout; the attendance of 30,127 was several thousand under Balboa Stadium's capacity.[10]

The Chargers' championship win 56 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.[12][13] 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 lineups

Boston Position San Diego
Offense
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
Defense
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

Players' shares

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.[11] These shares were less than half of those for the NFL title game in 1963, at approximately $6,000 and $4,200 each.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "San Diego, Boston vie in battle for AFL title". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). January 5, 1964. p. 4B.
  2. ^ a b c "Chargers choice over Patriots". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. January 5, 1964. p. 1, part 2.
  3. ^ a b Paid Attendance|Tales from the AFL
  4. ^ a b 1963 NFL-AFL Commentator Crews Archived December 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c "Boston beats Buffalo, 26-8, in playoff". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press.
  6. ^ "Boston beats Bills for division crown". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 29, 1963. p. 2, sports.
  7. ^ "Chargers shred 'AFL's best defense,' wallop Patriots, 51-10, for first crown". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 1, part 3.
  8. ^ "Chargers roll over Boston in AFL final". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 6, 1964. p. 27.
  9. ^ "Chargers rout Boston, 51-10; compared with NFL teams". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 11, part 2.
  10. ^ a b "Are Chargers good enough for NFL opponents?". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 3B.
  11. ^ a b "Charger win Lincolnesque; Palouse Moose gains 349". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 6, 1964. p. 12.
  12. ^ "Are San Diego Sports Teams Cursed?". San Diego 6. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  13. ^ Thirteen years after missing a Super Bowl-winning field – 07.12.04 – SI Vault
  14. ^ "Each Bear to receive about $6,000". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 30, 1963. p. 18.

Coordinates: 32°43′14″N 117°09′02″W / 32.7205°N 117.1505°W

Preceded by
Dallas Texans
1962 AFL Champions
San Diego Chargers
American Football League Champions

1963
Succeeded by
Buffalo Bills
1964 AFL Champions
1963 NFL Championship Game

The 1963 National Football League Championship Game was the 31st annual championship game, played on December 29 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The game pitted the visiting New York Giants (11–3) of the Eastern Conference against the Chicago Bears (11–1–2) of the Western Conference.Originally, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle asked Bears owner/coach George Halas to move the game to Soldier Field for its higher seating capacity and lights, as the game could extend into multiple overtime periods. (Wrigley Field was not lighted until 25 years later, in 1988.) Soldier Field was the home field of the Chicago Cardinals in 1959, and became the home of the Bears in 1971.

When Halas refused, Rozelle moved the game's starting time up an hour to 12:05 p.m. CST for increased daylight, similar to 1960 at Franklin Field. The championship game was played in temperatures under 10 °F (−12 °C).The Giants were in their third consecutive championship game and fifth in the last six seasons. They lost to the Baltimore Colts in 1958 and 1959 and the Green Bay Packers in 1961 and 1962. The Bears were in their first championship game since a loss to the Giants in 1956 at Yankee Stadium, and had last won in 1946, over the Giants at the Polo Grounds.

This was the fifth and final NFL championship game at Wrigley Field, which hosted the first in 1933, as well as 1937, 1941, and 1943. The Bears won four, with the only loss in 1937.

Tickets were $12.50, $10, and $6. NBC paid the league $926,000 for the broadcast rights.

Game information
Scoring
  • First quarter
  • Second quarter
    • BOS – Field goal Cappelletti 12, 13–0 BOS
    • BOS – Field goal Cappelletti 33, 16–0 BOS
  • Third quarter
  • Fourth quarter
    • BOS – Garron 17 pass from Parilli (Cappeletti kick), 23–8 BOS
    • BOS – Field goal Cappelletti 36, 26–8 BOS
Game information
Scoring
  • First quarter
  • Second quarter
    • SD – Field goal Blair 11, 24–7 SD
    • BOS – Field goal Cappelletti 15, 24–10 SD
    • SD – Don Norton 14 pass from Rote (Blair kick), 31–10 SD
  • Third quarter
  • Fourth quarter
    • SD – Lincoln 25 pass from John Hadl (pass failed), 44–10 SD
    • SD – Hadl 1 run (Blair kick), 51–10 SD
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