I had a response to my blog on the NFLUK forum making specific reference to former Charger QB Stan Humphries – who is by no means the most famous Chargers QB, but was the only one to take San Diego to a Superbowl (Superbowl XXIX or 29 to those non Romans).
This is further than the Chargers most legendary quarterback, the bearded wizard and Hall of Fame inductee Dan Fouts.
Stan Humpries was originally drafted by the then Superbowl holders the Washington Redskins in the 6th round, in what has to be one of the worst crop of rookie quarterbacks in NFL history. From the QB Class of ’95 Only Chris Chandler managed a half decent NFL career, providing you dont include Tom Tupa, who bizarrely went on to find more fame as a punter than a passer.
Stan rode the pine as a Skin in 1988 not even registering a 4th quarter blowout kneel, and in 1989 he didn’t fair much better, completing 5 of 10 passes and getting sacked 3 times. In that limited game time he did however manage his first NFL td in a loss to the Raiders – a 14 yarder – to one of the Posse of Redskins wideoutsRicky Sanders.
By 1990 the Stan Humpries story was looming ominously towards obscurity as a Redskin backup, with 5 starts but an awful 3tds to 10 ints ratio, and a lowly 57.5 rating. 1991 got even worse as Stan didn’t even suit up.
Despite a career that was heading nowhere fast the San Diego Chargers took a gamble on Stan, and rescued him from the Redskins, andover the next six seasons in California he started 76 of the next 96 Chargers games. Not bad for a 6th round draft pick who averaged a td a season for his first four years in the NFL.
Strangely enough the name Stan Humphries is actually in the NFL Record book for a record that can never be broken, only equalled. Confused ? Well the answer to the conundrum is that he threw a 99 yard td pass to Tony Martin in 1994 (in a win over Seattle).
Stan never managed to start all 16 games in a season in his entire career, but in his third 15 game regular season, namely 1995, he passed for a career high 3,381 yards.
The Chargers gained a playoff spot that season, and Humpriesbegan his ’95 playoffs heroics. I doubt anyone remembers his fourth quarter touchdown (his first playoff td ever) that was just about enough to beat Dan Marino’s Dolphins.
In the AFC Championship it was again the arm of STan that prevailed, as Stans two touchdowns were enough to again eek out a victory, this time against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chargersdown 13-3 in the second half were powered to victory by Humphries to reach their first Superbowl – again I must repeat, something that the mighty bearded wonder Dan Fouts never managed to achieve.
In Superbowl XXIX it simply wasn’t Stan’s day however, as a highly motivated 49ers QB Steve Young proved to the world that he could finally shine in the spotlight and step out from under the shadow of Joe Montana.
After Steve Young found Jerry Rice for his third td of the game, and San Francisco had a ridiculous 49-19 lead in the fourth quarter, Stan finally did toss a td in the Superbowl, a 30 yarder to Tony Martin. Thats what I call hanging in there till the very end. Stan ended with a respectable 275 yards passing, but was powerless against their fellow West Coast rivals.
Stan played just 21 more games in his career, and left the NFL in 1997 after 81 starts, 17,191 yards, 89 tds and 84 interceptions. Only 103 NFL QBs have managed to pass for more yards, and Stan retired having thrown the 122nd most touchdowns in NFL history.
Not bad for a guy who started for two seasons in college football for the University of Louisiana at Monroe Warharks (he in fact took over from Bubby Brister who went on to start for the Pittsburgh Steelers).
I’m not sure any blog in the world has dedicated this much time to Stan Humphries – but I’m happy to be proved wrong.