Chuck Muncie

Harry Vance "Chuck" Muncie (March 17, 1953 − May 13, 2013) was an American football running back who played 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.

Muncie played college football for the California Golden Bears, setting numerous school records. In his senior year, he was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the most outstanding college football player. Muncie was drafted by New Orleans in the first round in the 1976 NFL Draft with the third overall pick. He became the first member of the Saints to be named to a Pro Bowl, and he was their first player to rush for 1,000 yards. He was traded to San Diego in 1980, starring in their high-scoring offense known as Air Coryell while being named to two additional Pro Bowls.

Muncie was considered one of the best running backs of his era until cocaine problems forced him into retirement. His drug problems eventually landed him in prison. Afterwards, he turned his life around by helping others through mentoring programs. He founded the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation.

Chuck Muncie
refer to caption
Muncie in October 2008
No. 42, 46
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:March 17, 1953
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
Died:May 13, 2013 (aged 60)
Perris, California
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:227 lb (103 kg)
Career information
College:California
NFL Draft:1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:110
Games started:92
Rushing Yards:6,702
Average:4.3
TDs:71
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early life

Muncie was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area town of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, as one of six children in a football-playing family.[1][2] His three brothers called him "Chuck" because they did not like "Harry".[3] When he was six, Muncie was hit by a truck, breaking his thigh, leg, hip, and arm. He was in a cast from his neck to his toes for six months, and doctors warned that he might never be able to walk properly again.[4] Muncie recovered to become a multi-sport athlete, but the accident left his left leg shorter than his right. He compensated by playing with a shoe with an extra-thick sole.[5]

With Muncie's father disabled, Muncie's mother led the household and ensured that her kids were educated.[1] After seeing many of his relatives suffer from black lung disease and severe burns, Muncie had no desire to work in coal mines or the steel mills. He viewed athletics as his way out of Uniontown.[1][2] In his sophomore year at Uniontown Area High School, Muncie played football.[2] However, he quit playing after three games during his senior year when he suffered a concussion and his mother wanted him to stop playing.[6] He turned to basketball, averaging 18 points per game for the Uniontown Red Raiders and earning an athletic scholarship to play basketball for Arizona Western Junior College (now Arizona Western College).[1][6]

College career

While at Arizona Western, the football coach convinced Muncie to try out for football as well, and Muncie made the team. He never played basketball for the school, and he received a scholarship from the University of California, Berkeley after one year.[6]

At Berkeley, Muncie was a star running back for the California Golden Bears during the 1970s. He was big, fast and elusive, and was a good receiver. He was instrumental in Cal's NCAA-leading offense which propelled the team to the co-championship of the Pac-8 in 1975, and he became the first Golden Bear to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.[2] Muncie set then-school single-season records for rushing yards (1,460), all-purpose yards (1,871), and rushing touchdowns (13).[a][7] He was a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy behind two-time winner Archie Griffin of Ohio State.[5] Muncie outrushed and outscored Griffin (1,357 yards and 4 touchdowns), but Ohio State was 11–0 and ranked No. 1 at the time.[8][9] Muncie was awarded the 1975 W.J. Voit Memorial Trophy as the outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast. He finished his college career with then-school career records for rushing yards (3,052), rushing touchdowns (32), 100-yard rushing games (15) and all-purpose yards (4,194).[b][7]

In his senior year in 1976, Muncie began using cocaine.[10] He graduated from Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies with a minor in business.[2] Muncie was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.[7]

NFL career

New Orleans Saints

Muncie was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the first round with third overall selection of the 1976 NFL Draft. Muncie teamed with Saints' second round pick Tony Galbreath to form a backfield dubbed by then-coach Hank Stram as "Thunder and Lightning".[11]

Muncie played in the Pro Bowl after the 1979 season with the Saints and was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the game. He was the first Saints player named to the Pro Bowl and also was the first Saints player ever to reach the 1,000-yard rushing plateau when he ran for a then-team record of 1,198 yards in 1979.[5] Coming from the tolerant environment in Berkeley, it was a culture shock for Muncie in New Orleans, where his house and car were regularly vandalized by racists despite his living in a nice neighborhood.[2] He frequently expressed his unhappiness in New Orleans.[12] Saints coach Dick Nolan grew tired of Muncie being late for meetings and practices. After the Saints began the 1980 season with an 0–4 record, they traded Muncie to the 4–0 San Diego Chargers.[13]

San Diego Chargers

1986 Jeno's Pizza - 53 - Dan Fouts and Don Macek (Chuck Muncie crop)
Muncie helped the Chargers to victory in the storied Epic in Miami match with a game-high 120 yards rushing.

With the Chargers, Muncie was selected for the Pro Bowl twice as a member of their high-scoring Air Coryell offense.[14] He also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated two additional times during the NFL Playoffs.[15] He enjoyed his best season in 1981, when he ran for 1,144 yards and 19 touchdowns, tying the then-NFL season record for rushing touchdowns.[c][17][18] He went on to rush for 120 yards and a touchdown in San Diego's 41-38 win over the Miami Dolphins in a famous playoff game known as The Epic in Miami, and 94 yards in the AFC title game, known as the Freezer Bowl. Muncie also helped lead the team to two AFC West division championships.

After the 1982 season, former New Orleans teammate Don Reese said he used cocaine with Muncie during their time with the Saints.[10][19] Muncie said that he had cut down on his cocaine since his trade to San Diego. He admitted he still had a problem with alcohol and marijuana, and he underwent an initial round of rehabilitation.[10] However, after missing a bed check and a practice during training camp, he underwent three weeks of additional rehabilitation, and returned for the start of the 1983 season.[20] Before the second game of 1984 against the Seattle Seahawks, Muncie missed the team's charter flight from San Diego. When he arrived in Seattle, he told coach Don Coryell that vandals slashed the tires on his car. Coryell didn't believe him, and sent him back to San Diego.[21][22]

Two days later, Muncie was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a second-round draft pick.[21][23] At the time, he was the NFL's 13th leading rusher of all-time with 6,702 yards;[1] however, the trade was voided after a urinalysis conducted by the Dolphins showed cocaine in his system.[21][24] Afterwards, Muncie entered an Arizona drug rehabilitation center for a month. On November 15, he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL;[21] he never played another NFL game.[17] In March 1985, Chargers owner Alex Spanos said Muncie would never play for San Diego again, even if his suspension was lifted.[21]

Retirement

After being reinstated later in 1985, Muncie was traded to the Minnesota Vikings. He started and performed well in the final exhibition game,[24] but he served a one-game suspension in the season opener after failing to attend two aftercare therapy sessions that were one of the conditions of his reinstatement.[25][26] He retired three days later, citing his need to make his life his first priority and the difficulty with balancing drug rehabilitation with playing football.[24][26]

Legacy

Muncie finished his nine-season career with 6,702 rushing yards, 263 receptions for 2,323 yards, 20 kickoff returns for 432 yards, and 74 touchdowns. He completed four passes in his career, all for touchdowns with three of them to Wes Chandler, and he had a 141.4 passer rating.[27] Muncie's rushing yards were the seventh-most in the NFL from 1976 though 1984, while his touchdowns ranked fourth. His 71 rushing touchdowns ranked ninth in NFL history at his retirement.[28] At his death in 2013, he ranked fifth in Saints history in career rushing yards, and his 19 touchdowns in a season and 43 in his career with the Chargers had been surpassed only by LaDainian Tomlinson.[17] He also shares a Chargers record with LaDainian Tomlinson and Clarence Williams with four rushing touchdowns in a single game (against Denver in 1981), and holds the Chargers playoff franchise records with 110 rushes for 516 yards and 86 yards per game, along with 644 career yards from scrimmage, and 2 playoff games with 100+ yards rushing. He was named to the Saints Hall of Honor,[11][29] and he was a member of the Chargers' 40th and 50th anniversary teams.[17]

The Los Angeles Times wrote that Muncie "was gifted with size, speed and power",[30] while The Miami News said he possessed the strength of a fullback and the elegance of a halfback.[1] U-T San Diego added that he was "widely considered the most talented running back of his era",[31] and the San Francisco Chronicle said Muncie "could have been the greatest running back in NFL history, a 2.0 version of Jim Brown" if he had the discipline of running backs like Walter Payton or Roger Craig.[32] "His head is the only thing holding him back", said Jim Brown. "If he had total dedication, he could achieve any goal."[1] While he was in New Orleans, he frequently slept through meetings whenever he attended them at all. Whenever the Saints broke the huddle, quarterback Archie Manning had to walk by Muncie and tell him exactly what he was supposed to do in the upcoming play. Manning recalled years later that it was obvious that Muncie "wasn't thinking about football" during the week.[5]

Muncie was frustrated that he was not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame nor the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, acknowledging that "I'm not there because of the choices I made."[33] He described himself as a "functioning addict" during his Chargers tenure.[33] He did cocaine after games, and sometimes would be high for days leading up to game day.[31] In 1982, Reese said Muncie had to be "superman" to perform at his high level in spite of his addiction.[19][30]

Muncie was one of the first players to wear glasses or goggles while playing.[3][34][35] He began wearing glasses at Arizona Western, when he wore them at practice one day and realized they improved his nearsightedness.[3][34] Muncie wore thick black frames throughout his career, switching to sports goggles late in his career. While with the Saints, he was featured in a full-page ad by glassmaker PPG for shatter-resistant glasses.[34] Decades later in the 2010s, National Basketball Association (NBA) players were considered hipsters for wearing thick black glasses.[36][37]

Later life

In the late 1980s, Muncie was found unwashed and homeless by a police officer outside of Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. In 1989, Muncie was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison in California after he pleaded guilty to intending to sell 2 ounces (57 g) of cocaine to a friend. He turned his life around after prison, pursuing business interests and sharing stories of his drug problems with at-risk youths. Muncie said his time in prison likely saved his life.[38][5]

Muncie worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.[32] In 1997, he established the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation in Antioch, California.[5] The nonprofit organization mentored at-risk youth and provided free medical services, childhood immunizations, tattoo removal for gang members, and camps for chronically ill children.[27][38] Muncie also led a program that mentored athletes at his alma mater in Berkeley.[33] In his later years, he also ran a recruiting service evaluating high school football players.[32] "Everything I did and everything I went through in my life has allowed me to do the things I'm doing now," Muncie said.[27]

Muncie also worked in many philanthropic ways to give back to charitable groups such as the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) and the UC- Irvine dermatology group, specializing in melanoma treatment. He donated large amounts of time, lent his celebrity and his personal presence helped these groups raise money to help people with melanoma and melanoma research. "His generosity helped many small foundations accomplish their fundraising goals to help bring melanoma treatments through the lab and into the clinic", said Michael Quattro, a former Board Director of the MRF.

He died of a heart attack on May 13, 2013, in Perris, California, near Los Angeles.[5][32]

Personal life

Muncie was formerly married to Robyn Hood. He had one daughter, Danielle Ward.[5]

Muncie's other siblings spell their surname as "Munsey". According to George Von Benko, the executive co-chairman and co-founder of Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame, Muncie's father used various names to avoid paying bills, and used "Muncie" on hospital forms when Muncie was born.[6] Muncie's three brothers also played professional football. George Munsey was on the taxi squad for the Minnesota Vikings, Bill Munsey played running back for the British Columbia Lions in the Canadian Football League, and Nelson Munsey was a cornerback for the Baltimore Colts.[1][3]

Notes

  1. ^ The rushing and all-purpose records stood for 29 years, while the touchdown mark lasted 16.
  2. ^ At the time of his death (through the 2012 season), Muncie still ranked among leaders in rushing yards (5th), rushing touchdowns (2nd), 100-yard rushing games (tied 2nd), and all-purpose yards (4th).
  3. ^ He tied the record held by Jim Taylor and Earl Campbell. John Riggins broke the record with 24 in 1983.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Suarez, Leo (September 14, 1984). "Muncie arrives, says 'Just hand me the ball'". The Miami News. pp. 1A, 4A. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hunter, D. Lyn (Summer 1999). "Chuck Muncie". Berkeley Magazine. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Oldermann, Murray (December 4, 1975). "Cal's Muncie Eyes Pro Draft". Daily News. Bowling Green, Kentucky. p. 14. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Granberry, Mike (January 11, 1981). "Muncie Out to Shake Bad Image in Super Setting". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. p. C3. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Goldstein, Richard (May 14, 2013). "Chuck Muncie, Troubled N.F.L. Star, Dies at 60". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Zeise, Paul (May 15, 2013). "Obituary: Chuck Muncie / Uniontown native and NFL great". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Cal Great Chuck Muncie Passes Away". CalBears.com. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.
  8. ^ Wieberg, Steve (September 2, 2004). "Heisman winner White shuns encore pressure". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.
  9. ^ "An In-Depth Look at Archie Griffin's Repeat". HeismanPundit.com. August 12, 2009. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "Muncie Interview Details Drug Abuse". The New York Times. July 3, 1982. Retrieved May 17, 2013.(subscription required)
  11. ^ a b Martel, Brett (May 14, 2013). "Former Saints, Chargers RB Chuck Muncie dead at 60". TheLedger.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.
  12. ^ Smith, Michael David (May 14, 2013). "Chuck Muncie dies at 60". NBCSports.com. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  13. ^ Wallace, William N. (September 30, 1980). "Muncie Not a Saint Anymore After Being Sent To The Chargers". Ocala Star-Banner. p. 4B. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  14. ^ Williamson, Bill (May 14, 2013). "Chuck Muncie was a memorable Charger". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013.
  15. ^ Quindt, Fritz (September 6, 1993). "Bolts put the whammy on Sports Illustrated hex". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. D2. Chuck Muncie graced covers twice as a Charger -- on Jan. 13, 1981, busting the Bills defense in a playoff, and on Jan. 17, 1993, breaking Steelers playoff tackles.
  16. ^ "Riggins Receives Bell Award". Schenectady Gazette. UPI. January 13, 1984. p. 22. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d "Chuck Muncie dies at age 60". ESPN.com. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013.
  18. ^ "AFC West". Sports Illustrated. September 1, 1982. Archived from the original on September 13, 2011.
  19. ^ a b Reese, Don; Underwood, John (June 14, 1982). "'I'm Not Worth A Damn'". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  20. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE; Muncie Rejoins Team". The New York Times. September 2, 1982. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  21. ^ a b c d e Cobbs, Chris (March 29, 1985). "Spanos' Decision Puzzles Attorney : Klevan Expects a Clean Bill of Health for Chuck Muncie". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.
  22. ^ MaGee, Jerry (September 10, 1984). "Seahawks pick off Chargers Eight turnovers aid Seattle in 31-17 win". The San Diego Union. p. C1.
  23. ^ MaGee, Jerry (September 11, 1984). "Chargers ship Muncie for Miami draft pick". The San Diego Union. p. C1.
  24. ^ a b c "Vikings' Chuck Muncie Retires to Get 'Life in Order'". Los Angeles Times. September 12, 1985. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  25. ^ "Muncie suspended". The Spokesman-Review. September 7, 1985. p. 16. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  26. ^ a b Lieber, Jill (September 23, 1985). "Extra Points". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  27. ^ a b c "Former running back Chuck Muncie dies at 60". USA Today. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.
  28. ^ Lee, Bryan (September 13, 1999). "Chuck Muncie, Cal Running Back". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  29. ^ "New Orleans Saints Mourn the Passing of RB Chuck Muncie". NewOrleansSaints.com. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013.
  30. ^ a b Peltz, Jim (May 14, 2013). "Chuck Muncie dies at 60; Saints and Chargers running back". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  31. ^ a b Acee, Kevin (May 14, 2013). "Chargers great Chuck Muncie changed his life, others". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  32. ^ a b c d Crumpacker, John (May 15, 2013). "Former Cal great Chuck Muncie dies at 60". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  33. ^ a b c Krasovic, Tom (May 14, 2013). "Ex-Charger Chuck Muncie dies at 60". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013.
  34. ^ a b c Strauss, Chris (May 14, 2013). "Chuck Muncie would hit a man with glasses". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.
  35. ^ "Chuck Muncie dies of heart attack; former NFL running back was 60". SportingNews.com. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.
  36. ^ Hacker, Bobby (May 14, 2013). "My memories of Chuck Muncie". FoxSports.com. Archived from the original on May 19, 2013.
  37. ^ Soller, Kurt (June 8, 2012). "Why LeBron James Needs A New Look Now". Esquire.com. Archived from the original on May 19, 2013.
  38. ^ a b Matuszewski, Erik (May 14, 2013). "Chuck Muncie, NFL Pro Bowl Back for Saints, Chargers, Dies at 60". BusinessWeek.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013.

External links

1973 California Golden Bears football team

The 1973 California Golden Bears football team was an American football team that represented the University of California, Berkeley in the Pacific-8 Conference (Pac-8) during the 1973 NCAA Division I football season. In their second year under head coach Mike White, the Golden Bears compiled a 4–7 record (2–5 against Pac-8 opponents), finished in a tie for fifth place in the Pac-8, and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 380 to 245.The team's statistical leaders included Vince Ferragamo with 1,014 passing yards (Steve Bartkowski added 910 passing yards), Chuck Muncie with 801 rushing yards, and Wesley Walker with 361 receiving yards.

1974 California Golden Bears football team

The 1974 California Golden Bears football team was an American football team that represented the University of California, Berkeley in the Pacific-8 Conference (Pac-8) during the 1974 NCAA Division I football season. In their third year under head coach Mike White, the Golden Bears compiled a 7–3–1 record (4–2–1 against Pac-8 opponents), finished in a tie for third place in the Pac-8, and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 276 to 213. The Golden Bears did not participate in a bowl game.The team's statistical leaders included Steve Bartkowski with 2,580 passing yards, Chuck Muncie with 791 rushing yards, and Steve Rivera with 938 receiving yards.

1975 California Golden Bears football team

The 1975 California Golden Bears football team was an American football team that represented the University of California, Berkeley in the Pacific-8 Conference (Pac-8) during the 1975 NCAA Division I football season. In their fourth year under head coach Mike White, the Golden Bears compiled an 8–3 record (6–1 against Pac-8 opponents), finished in a tie with UCLA for the Pac-8 championship, and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 330 to 233. At the end of the season the Golden Bears gained 2,522 passing yards and 2,522 rushing yards. The average was 229 total yards per game and the team was ranked number one in total offense.

The team did not participate in that season's Rose Bowl because during the season it lost to co-champion UCLA.The team's statistical leaders included Joe Roth with 1,880 passing yards, Chuck Muncie with 1,460 rushing yards, and Steve Rivera with 790 receiving yards.

1976 New Orleans Saints season

The 1976 New Orleans Saints season was the Saints' tenth year in the National Football League (NFL). Hoping past success could influence the franchise; the Saints hired Hank Stram as the new head coach. However, in Stram's first season at the helm, the Saints continued to struggle finishing with a 4–10 record. The Saints made a uniform change before the year, going from a dark gold to old gold, and have retained the color albeit with minor shading changes since. It was also the team's first season wearing black pants.The high point of the season was in week three, when Stram's Saints traveled to Kansas City and defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Stram rubbed salt in the wounds of the team he coached for 15 seasons (1960-74) and led to the Super Bowl IV championship when Bobby Scott threw a touchdown pass on the game's final play to Tinker Owens. Chiefs coach Paul Wiggin refused to shake hands with Stram, who was carried off the Arrowhead Stadium turf by his players.

1979 New Orleans Saints season

The 1979 New Orleans Saints season was the team's 13th season in the National Football League. The Saints finished the season at 8–8, the franchise's first non-losing season. New Orleans was tied for first place with the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West with three weeks to play, but the season unraveled in a Monday Night Football contest at home vs. the Oakland Raiders, when the Saints squandered a 35–14 lead and lost, 42–35.

The Saints were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 15 when they were blown out 35–0 at home by the San Diego Chargers. Not counting the 1976 expansion club Seattle, New Orleans was one of three franchises which failed to make the playoffs in the 1970s, joined by the New York Giants and New York Jets.

1980 Pro Bowl

The 1980 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 30th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1979 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 27, 1980, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before 48,060 fans. The final score was NFC 37, AFC 27.Don Coryell of the San Diego Chargers lead the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry. The referee was Dick Jorgensen.Chuck Muncie of the New Orleans Saints was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning NFC team received $5,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $2,500.Starting in his seventh and final Pro Bowl, defensive end Jack Youngblood of the Los Angeles Rams played in the game with a fractured left fibula, just as he had played during the NFC Divisional Playoff and in Super Bowl XIV. Pro Bowl Flashback Friday: Jack Youngblood's broken legThis was the first of thirty consecutive Pro Bowls played in Honolulu. It also marked a return to the game being played on a Sunday.

1980 San Diego Chargers season

The 1980 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 11th season in the National Football League (NFL), and its 21st overall. the team failed to improve on their 12–4 record in 1979 and finished 11-5. They won their first playoff game in 17 years. The season ended with loss to the Raiders in the playoffs.

Dan Fouts broke his own record with over 4,500 yards passing, with 30 touchdowns. The Chargers finished #1 in total offense #2 in scoring. The defensive unit finished #6, leading the NFL with 60 QB sacks. The Chargers finished 11-5, winning the tiebreaker with the Oakland Raiders for the AFC West crown.

To help bolster a sagging running game, Running back Chuck Muncie was traded from the New Orleans Saints mid-season.The Chargers Achilles heel that season was turnovers which they led the league in giveaways. In the Divisional Round against Buffalo, a 50-yard touchdown pass from Fouts to Ron Smith in the final 3 minutes of the game lifted the Chargers to a 20-14 win. In the AFC Championship Game, big plays and turnovers got the Chargers down, 28 to 7. The Chargers comeback fell short as the Raiders hung on to win 34-27, with Oakland running out the final 7 minutes of the 4th quarter.

1981 San Diego Chargers season

The 1981 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 12th season in the National Football League (NFL) and its 22nd overall. The team failed to improve on their 11–5 record from 1980 and finished 10-6. In the playoffs, they beat the Dolphins in a game known as the Epic in Miami and lost to the Bengals in a game known as the Freezer Bowl.

1981 was the second straight season in which the Chargers reached the AFC Championship Game, as well as their second consecutive loss.

Running back Chuck Muncie enjoyed his best season, running for 1,144 yards and 19 touchdowns, tying the then-NFL season record for rushing touchdowns.During this season, the Chargers lost two key players by way of trade. Before Week 3, wide receiver John Jefferson was dealt to the Green Bay Packers, while defensive end Fred Dean would be dealt to the eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers by Week 5. The season was chronicled on September 18, 2008 for America's Game: The Missing Rings, as one of the five greatest NFL teams to never win the Super Bowl.

1982 San Diego Chargers season

The 1982 San Diego Chargers season was the team's 23rd year, and 13th in the National Football League. The team had a 10–6 record in 1981. It was a strike-shortened season so the league was divided up into two conferences instead of its normal divisional alignment. It ended with a second round loss to the Dolphins. This would be the team's last playoff appearance until 1992.

The 1982 Chargers were the top-scoring team in the NFL. They scored a total of 288 points, 32 per game. They led the league in passing touchdowns (19), rushing touchdowns (15, tied with the Raiders) passing yards (2,927), and yards per attempt (8.9).

The Chargers defense, however, surrendered the most passing yards (2,292), and second-most first downs (119) in the league.Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts was named the Pro Football Writers of America MVP, and 1982 AP Offensive Player of the Year. Wide receiver Wes Chandler, tight end Kellen Winslow, and guard Doug Wilkerson all made first-team All-Pro.

1983 San Diego Chargers season

The 1983 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 14th season in the National Football League (NFL), its 24th overall. the team fell from their 6–3 record from 1982 to 6-10. It was their first losing season since 1976, as it is to date the most points the Chargers have surrendered in a sixteen-game season.

Despite San Diego's disappointing 6-10 record, they led the NFL in passing yardage for the sixth consecutive season, which remains an NFL record.

1984 San Diego Chargers season

The 1984 San Diego Chargers season was the franchise's 15th season in the National Football League (NFL), its 25th overall. The Team improveed on their 6–10 record in 1983 to 7-9. Despite winning seven games, the Chargers failed to win a single game within their division.

Before the second game of the season against the Seattle Seahawks, running back Chuck Muncie missed the team's charter flight from San Diego. He told Chargers coach Don Coryell that he was late because vandals slashed the four tires on his car, but Coryell did not believe him. Muncie arrived in Seattle, but he was sent back to San Diego and did not play. Two days later, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a second-round draft pick; however, a urinalysis given by Miami detected cocaine, and the trade was voided. Afterwards, Muncie entered an Arizona drug rehabilitation center for a month. On November 15, he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL; he never played another NFL game.

Air Coryell

In American football, Air Coryell is the offensive scheme and philosophy developed by former San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell. The offensive philosophy has been also called the "Coryell offense" or the "vertical offense".

With Dan Fouts as quarterback, the San Diego Chargers' offense was among the greatest passing offenses in National Football League history. The Chargers led the league in passing yards an NFL record six consecutive years from 1978 to 1983 and again in 1985. They also led the league in total yards in offense 1978–83 and 1985. Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, and Kellen Winslow would all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame from those Charger teams.

California Golden Bears football statistical leaders

The California Golden Bears football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the California Golden Bears football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Golden Bears represent the University of California, Berkeley in the NCAA's Pac-12 Conference.

Although California began competing in intercollegiate football in 1886, the school's official record book generally does not include entries from before the 1940s, as records from earlier times are often incomplete and inconsistent.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since the 1940s, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Golden Bears have played in nine bowl games since this decision, giving many recent players an extra game to accumulate statistics.

California's 11 highest seasons in total offensive output have all come since 2003 under head coaches Jeff Tedford and Sonny Dykes. The 4 seasons under coach Dykes have been Cal's four highest passing yards seasons in school history, leading to quarterbacks Jared Goff and Davis Webb putting up unprecedented passing totals.These lists are updated through the end of the 2016 season.

Epic in Miami

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.

History of the San Diego Chargers

The professional American football team now known as the Los Angeles Chargers previously played in San Diego, California as the San Diego Chargers from 1961 to 2017 before relocating back to Los Angeles where the team played their inaugural 1960. 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 last game as a San Diego-based club was played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on January 1, 2017 against the Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated the host Chargers, 30–13.

Mike Strachan

Michael David Strachan (born May 24, 1953) is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League.Strachan played for Jackson High School in Miami and attended Iowa State University on an athletic scholarship where he was named All Big 8 3 times. Selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 9th round of the NFL Draft, he played six seasons for them from 1975 to 1980. Affectionately known as "The Hound," Strachan led the Saints in rushing in his rookie season of 1975. After his release by the Saints after the 1980 season he attempted to develop a career in real estate. Strachan was arrested for drug dealing in 1982 and was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison after several former teammates including Chuck Muncie, Dave Waymer,George Rogers and Frank Warren who had been offered immunity from prosecution agreed to testify against him.

Muncey

Muncey is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Bill Muncey (1928–1981), American hydroplane racer

Cameron Muncey (born 1980), Australian musician

Nelson Munsey

Nelson Emory Munsey (July 2, 1948 – July 8, 2009) was an American football cornerback in the National Football League. He was signed by the Baltimore Colts as an undrafted free agent in 1972. He played college football at Wyoming.

He was the older brother of Chuck Muncie who also played in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers.

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