I'm sure we all know that the Charger's 50th anniversary team is up for a vote right now. You can go to the Charger's web site and look through the list and vote here.
There are a lot of guys on that list who you haven't heard of and maybe a lot of your votes tended to favor some of the more recent guys. I thought I would take a second to promote one of my favorite Chargers and a guy who is up for the 50th anniversary team as an offensive guard. Ed White played in the Air Coryell days. He was in the NFL from 1969 to 1985, playing the final 8 of those years with the Chargers. When he retired, he had played in more games than any other offensive lineman (241). That is a lot of time to play in the NFL.
Ed was an all-american defensive lineman at Cal before being drafted by the Vikings and converted to offensive guard. He was a starter by his second year in the league and made the pro-bowl 4 times over his 17 year career. He also played in 4 super bowls with that Vikings team. He came to the Chargers in 1978 and his arrival coincided with the accendancy of the Chargers in the Don Coryell/Dan Fouts era. Ed is one of the one or two guys from those teams who guys in the know wonder why he isn't in the hall of fame.
No less authority than Dan Fouts says Ed should be in the Hall. "No question about it," Fouts said. "When he retired, nobody had played in more games as an offensive lineman than Ed White. They don’t have any statistics for offensive linemen other than Pro Bowls and Super Bowls, and those are things Ed has done. He was one of the most feared offensive linemen in the game. You talk to guys like Howie Long and Matt Millen who had to go against Big Ed. They hated it."
Dennis McNight, former Charger lineman and owner of a fine car wash down the street from me had this to say about Ed: "Big Ed was probably the best all-around offensive lineman in the league in terms of run blocking and pass blocking"
After his playing career was over he coached at a variety of different levels. He spent some time coaching the Chargers and the Rams. He was the line coach at SDSU when Kyle Turley came through. Ed was instrumental in converting Kyle from a defensive lineman into one of the best offensive lineman around. To this day Turley will claim Ed is the best coach he has ever had.
So why do I care about a guard who played a quarter century ago? Well, I grew up where he lived when he played for the Chargers. I played high school football with his sons. He was my defensive coordinator (he never really got over being converted from defense to offense). He is one of the biggest contributors to my love of football. I remember my dad talking to him the week after the famous ice bowl. It was two or three days later and Big Ed was saying that he still couldn't totally feel his fingers. And this was from a guy who spent the first half of his career playing in Minnesota, pre-dome.
So, go check out the 50th anniversary voting here, learn a little Charger History, and cast a vote for my man Big Ed.