Dan Fouts 1984
(Authentic Reproduction)


If an observer had carefully watched a young Dan Fouts running around the San Francisco 49er practice field as a young boy, there would have been no hint of greatness. If they watched him grow and join a Pop Warner league with future USC head coach Pete Carroll, there probably would not have been any indication of what was to come. However by the time Dan Fouts reached adolescence and led his St. Ignatius High School team to the San Francisco City Championship, most of the signs of superiority were very much in place. At Oregon, the All PAC 8 quarterback blossomed as he learned from assistant coaches Don Read and George Seifert, keeping talented Norval "Norv" Turner on the bench behind him. Throwing for almost 6000 yards and thirty-seven touchdowns, Fouts was a third round draft choice of the Chargers in 1973. His first few seasons did not bring much acclaim as he learned and adapted to the pro game but with the arrival of assistant coach Bill Walsh in '76, he took off, fully maturing as a quarterback once Don Coryell and his pass happy system were installed for 1978. Over his fifteen season pro career with the Chargers, Fouts put up numbers that were tremendous and included 3297 pass completions, 43,040 yards, and 254 touchdowns! A six-time Pro Bowl choice, he was twice named as the NFL MVP and is a member of the NFL All Decade Team for the 1980's. He led the Chargers to the playoffs from 1979 through 1982 and to the AFC Championship Game in both 1980 and '81. A member of The Pro Football Hall Of Fame, Fouts helped to make Hall Of Famers out of his receivers Charlie Joiner and Kellen Winslow.


Annually Fouts would remove the wrap-around wildcat sweatband from his helmet and have the equipment manager replace it with the older style beige snubber that he used as a rookie and through out his youth.  This reduced the overall weight of the helmet and made it less bulky towards its anterior.   Of course these are all facts and like Joe Theismann of the Redskins, another  NFL quarterback who modified his snubber system, they gained visual and just maybe superstitious advantage? Following his pro career, Fouts followed in the footsteps of his father who was the Forty Niners longtime announcer, becoming a popular football analyst and broadcaster.