Lance Alworth weighs in on "AFL Call for the Hall" with his top 10 choices

Clark Judge

When Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth joined the Talk of Fame Network broadcast two years ago we asked him to name one player not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame he’d like to see inducted.

He named two.

One was Kansas City Chiefs’ star safety Johnny Robinson, and Alworth got his wish. Robinson was enshrined the following year. The other was a former teammate who’s still waiting on Canton.

Quarterback John Hadl.

It should come as no surprise, then, that when AFL historian and Talk of Fame Network contributor Todd Tobias of approached Alworth last weekend, asking him to choose the best 10 candidates from a list of 20 finalists for our “AFL Call for the Hall,” Hadl was one of his picks.

Hadl played with the Chargers from 1962-72 and was a four-team AFL all-star, the league’s leading passer in 1965 and ’68 and MVP of the 1969 AFL All-Star game. He is also a member of the Chargers’ Hall of Fame.

However, according to Tobias, a close friend of Alworth’s and one of 15 voters for the “Call for the Hall,” he was not Alworth’s first pick. Former Houston wide receiver Charlie Hennigan was.

Alworth split his vote evenly, with five players from offense and five from defense. Here are some of the takeaways from his ballot:

-- He did not choose all three Chargers’ candidates. He picked offensive guard Walt Sweeney and quarterback John Hadl. He did not include running back Paul Lowe. In fact, he did not include one running back

-- He chose Kansas City tackle Jim Tyrer over Chiefs’ guard Ed Budde.

-- There are two receivers on his list, but one of them isn’t five-time AFL receiving champ Lionel Taylor. His choices: Art Powell and Charlie Hennigan.

-- He picked both of Buffalo’s defensive candidates: Defensive tackle Tom Sestak and linebacker Mike Stratton. That makes sense, too. The Bills beat Alworth’s Chargers in consecutive AFL championship games in 1964-65 by a combined score of 43-7.

Two things to remember before getting to Alworth’s picks: 1) He is not one of our 15 judges, as Tobias is, and 2) this exercise is not authorized or sanctioned by the Pro Football Hall of Fame … nor will it be mentioned by the Hall. It is a procedure conducted by the Talk of Fame Network to name the 10 best AFL players not in Canton, with the hope that it draws the Hall’s attention to them.

Our list will be revealed this week at OK, now on to Alworth’s ballot:


QB – John Hadl (San Diego, 1962-72; L.A. Rams, 1973-74; Green Bay, 1974-75; Houston, 1976-77).

WR – Art Powell (Philadelphia 1959; N.Y. Titans, 1960-62; Oakland, 1963-66; Buffalo, 1967; Minnesota, 1968), Charlie Hennigan (Houston, 1960-66).

OG – Walt Sweeney (San Diego, 1963-73; Washington, 1974-75).

OT – Jim Tyrer (Kansas City, Dallas/Kansas City, 1961-73; Washington, 1974).


DT – Tom Sestak (Buffalo, 1962-68).

DE – Jerry Mays (Dallas/Kansas City, 1961-70).

LB – Larry Grantham (N.Y. Titans/Jets, 1960-72), Mike Stratton (Buffalo, 1962-72; San Diego, 1973).

CB – Dave Grayson (Dallas Cowboys, 1961; Dallas/Kansas City, 1961-64; Oakland, 1965-70).

Comments (2)
No. 1-1

I always find it interesting to read who ex players would choose for the fact i have also thought that those in the HOF should be part of the process, though just once. Example if your voted in this year, you get to have a vote next year.More than once could become like baseball veterans committee, where some not so deserving players get in

1 Reply

brian wolf
brian wolf

Alworth had eight of ten players included on the final list with Hadl and Stratton just missing it ...

Just a thought ... then I will stop ...

Had Abner Haynes not been traded from the Chiefs and had maintained his five year averages, his numbers for just THREE more seasons would have been over 10,000 scrimmage yards which would have been third, all time behind Jim Brown and Bobby Mitchell in the NFL and his total yards would have been over 13,000 yards, at the time, third once again behind Brown and Mitchell.

He also would have had 90 TDs, third only behind Brown and Hutson from the NFL.

I just don't believe he deserves to be punished for this trade from KC to a bad Denver team from HOF voters.

His trade and plummeting numbers are somewhat similar to Eric Dickerson's trade from the Rams in 1987 to the AFC Colts.
He had three decent seasons but wasn't nearly, the same running back ...

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