Houston Oilers

Charlie Tolar 1964
(Authentic Reproduction)



A beacon of inspiration to short football players everywhere, Charley Tolar carried the bulk of the offensive work for the Houston Oilers in their formative years. Often overlooked literally due to his 5'6", 205 pound frame of grit and muscle and figuratively due to the presence of early Oiler stars Billy Cannon and George Blanda, Tolar was the man who paved the way with his ferocious blocking and short yardage running for the Oilers' championship teams. Arriving as an unheralded fullback at Houston's inaugural camp, he played the same tough football that won honors at Natchitoches H.S. and NW Louisiana State University. In 1962 he set the AFL record with 244 carries in a 14 game season and was 1st Team All AFL gaining 1012 yards.
The first to be nicknamed "The Human Bowling Ball" for both his physique and style of running he was also frequently referred to as "The Human Manhole Cover", he once blocked huge Charger DE Ernie Ladd and knocked him unconscious, forever winning the hearts of many as a successful "David" in the land of the "Goliaths". Tough? His seven year career with the Oilers was augmented with his off-season work as an oil field firefighter with the famous "Red" Adair. The early Oilers changed coaches and helmet designs frequently and this 1964-65 edition was a distinct and beautiful addition to their legacy.  Thanks Ken!