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Chargers by the (Jersey) Numbers: #34

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 Anyone who pays even remote attention to this Jersey series pities me for what I have to go through to pick a #34.  In fact, e-mails have been pouring in from all over the world from people offering their condolences.  Here are just a few:

Geoff from Encinitas:  "Whoa, dude, 34 is gonna be gnarly."

Earl from Lubbock:  "Gawly!  Y’all gonna have a empossibul time with #34!"

Hans from Hamburg:  "Achter lieber, mein herr!  All 34s suck!"

 

Yeah, thanks for the sympathy.  And I agree.  The #34s from Charger history leave slim pickings, to say the least.  But two personal vows come in to play here.

1.                   Never to bypass a number.  SOMEONE will win EVERY number.

2.                   Never bring it to a vote unless it’s a GOOD vote.  In other words, I will always take out the trash.

With the bar set so low, it only takes one good year…

Aaron Craver, RB

Oscar Dragon, RB

LaRue Harrington, RB

Steve Hendrickson, LB-TE

Tony Okanlawon, CB

Elvis Patterson, CB

Andrew Pinnock, FB

Tremayne Stephens, RB

The It-Only-Took-One-Good-Year Runner Up

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Bob Zeman, S

Zeman was the original #34, playing for the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960.  But if that turned out to be his one good year, I would have ruled him ineligible on the spot.  As most of us can attest, good things happen when you move to San Diego, and that was certainly the case for the Z-man.  In 1961, he intercepted 8 passes.  Of course, even better things happened for him when he moved out of San Diego.  In 1962, he was an AFL Pro Bowl selection for the Denver Broncos.  Oh well.  One and done.

 

The It-Only-Took-One-Good-Year Winner

Rickey_young_medium

 

Rickey Young, RB

Young actually helped bridge the time between Don Woods and Chuck Muncie (although he actually shared the load with Woods).  His one-and-done year with the Bolts was 1976 when he rushed for 802 yards, averaging 5 yards a carry, and racked up over 1200 yards from scrimmage.  He too had better things happen for him when he left San Diego.  He went on to lead the league in Receptions with Minnesota in 1978.  Maybe he’d win their #34 Golden Jersey too – assuming the rest of their 34s are as lousy as ours.