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Chuck Muncie R.I.P.

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, May 14, 2013.

  1. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Chuck Muncie dies at 60
    Posted by Michael David Smith on May 14, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT
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    Getty Images
    Chuck Muncie, a three-time All-Pro running back known for his imposing size and powerful stye, has died at the age of 60.

    The cause of death was a heart attack, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
    After a standout career at Cal during which he came in second place in Heisman Trophy voting as a senior, Muncie went to the Saints as the third overall pick in the 1976 NFL draft. His best season in New Orleans came in 1979, when he carried 238 for 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns, and also caught 40 passes for 308 yards.
    But Muncie frequently expressed his unhappiness in New Orleans, and he was traded to the Chargers during the 1980 season. Muncie was even better in San Diego than he had been in New Orleans, and his presence as a runner bolstered an already strong Chargers offense. In 1981 he led the league with 19 touchdowns, and he was outstanding in the playoffs after that season: He rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown as the Chargers beat the Dolphins 41-38 in one of the greatest games ever played, and he was one of the few Chargers who played well the following week, when San Diego lost in freezing conditions in Cincinnati, gaining 94 yards on the ground while the Chargers lost to the Bengals 27-7 in the AFC Championship Game.
    Muncie’s career came to an abrupt end in 1984 when Commissioner Pete Rozelle suspended him for the remainder of the season when he tested positive for cocaine after Week One. Although Muncie tried to come back with the Vikings in 1985, he quickly quit, saying he had issues in his personal life that he needed to get in order.
    In 1989, Muncie was sentenced to 18 months in prison for selling cocaine. After he was released, however, he turned his life around, and spent his later years working with children, counseling adults who were struggling with drug addiction, and encouraging gang members to lead more productive lives. (One of Muncie’s pet projects was providing tattoo removal services for former gang members who wanted to get gang markings off their skin so they’d look presentable in job interviews.)
    In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2008, Cal’s team doctor mentioned that Muncie made a point of being there any time an athlete at his alma mater who was going through a tough time could use some words of wisdom from someone who had been there before.
    “Whenever we call, he makes himself available,” Dr. Bill Coysh said. “That’s what’s incredible about him. This is not a paid position. He does it because that’s how he is.”
    That’s who Chuck Muncie was, a good running back who fell on hard times, but in the end lived the life of a good man.
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  2. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Ex-Charger Chuck Muncie dies at 60
    By Tom Krasovic 8:31 A.M. MAY 14, 2013

    Chuck Muncie, a three-time Pro Bowl running back who set an NFL touchdown record with the Chargers, has died of heart attack at age 60, the Saints announced on Tuesday.

    Drafted by the Saints in 1976 -- the Chargers traded for him in 1980 -- Muncie supplied 19 rushing touchdowns to the "Air Coryell" offense in 1981 to set an NFL season record later broken.

    But off the field, Muncie also ran fast. He was a cocaine addict, yet later turned his life around and helped adults and youngsters better their lives.

    Convicted of selling cocaine in 1989, he spent 18 months in prison following a six-month detention and there bottomed out.

    "I woke up every morning in that cell for 2 1/2 years, looking at myself in the mirror," he told the Union-Tribune's Nick Canepa in 2004. "I had seen enough.

    "It almost was like an epiphany. I was behind bars, pointing fingers at everybody but myself. I finally realized that I'm in charge, that it's me with the addiction. It's easy to fall off and blame other people. It's your choice."

    Muncie found success by serving others. His Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation, a nonprofit established in 1997 and based in Oxnard, helped youngsters "avoid the bad decisions that nearly destroyed its namesake, providing Southern California youth with alternatives to the street and offering a highly regarded tattoo-removal program," the Los Angeles Times' Jerry Crowe wrote in 2008.

    Muncie also led a mentoring program for athletes at his alma mater, Cal.

    Talking to Canepa in 2004, Muncie said cocaine use was widespread among NFL players during his career, and, in time, engulfed him.

    "When I got to the NFL, that's when I was introduced to it, in New Orleans," he says. "So many of the guys were on it."

    While Muncie was with the Chargers, the NFL sent him to a rehab center in Arizona.

    Muncie returned to a Chargers team that, he told Canepa, had several cocaine users. He fell back into using the highly addictive drug, although he said he used only after games.

    Suspended twice for drugs by the NFL, Muncie said the league's treatment program was a joke.

    "That's what (ticked) me off for so long," he said. "I kept saying, 'What's wrong with this picture?' I needed help, and I got help from another program when I got out (of jail), but it wasn't from the NFL. Back then, the NFL program was a joke. They send you away for 30 days and when you're done they send you back to the same environment that got you there in the first place.

    "Before you leave (rehab), they tell you to stay away from the people, places and things that got you in trouble, so they send you right back to the people, places and things that got you in trouble."

    Despite being, in his words, "a functioning addict" during his four seasons with the Chargers, Muncie was a terrific player -- fast, powerful and shifty.

    He could have been better had his life been in order.

    "I see some guys in the Hall of Fame or in the Chargers Hall of Fame and it's frustrating," he said in 2004.

    "I'm not there because of the choices I made. I think about what could have been – what would have been."

    But Harry Vance "Chuck" Muncie didn't allow cocaine to define him.

    "Was I going to continue to disgrace myself and my family or turn a negative into a positive?" he said. "Everything I do today, everything I've done the last 14 years, allows me to wake up with a smile on my face."

    Muncie is the third former Chargers great to die in the last 13 months. Junior Seau, a linebacker and 12-time Pro Bowler, died last May. Walt Sweeney, a nine-time Pro Bowler at guard who played on San Diego's AFL-winning team, died in February.
  3. Sydalish
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    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Sad that he's gone - his story and the life he created for himself once he decided to take on his addiction is an inspiration - the world lost a good man. RIP sir.
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  4. LT-Express
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    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Couldn't have said it better than Sydalish :)
  5. Fouts
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    RIP, I was a kid when he joined the Chargers, and when I became a fan. It'd be nice if the bolts wore those throwbacks this year to honor Chuck, and Air Coryell.

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  6. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    Peace be with you Bro, in your new life on the other side.
  7. BoltFanDC
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    BoltFanDC Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear...

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    Never mind...mods, clean up on Aisle 3...
  8. BoltFanDC
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    BoltFanDC Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear...

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    Condolences to the family...R.I.P Chuck.
  9. LT-Express
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    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Threads merged
  10. SDRaiderH8er
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    RIP Chuck, it was fun watching you play
  11. ChargerMike
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    ChargerMike BoltBruthaFromAnuthMutha

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    What a freak'n bummer.:(
    I'll never forget the "MUNCIE UP AND OVER"!!!!

    muncie6.jpg
  12. CoronaDoug
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    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Dude was a banger. Good guy too.



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  13. Pointyearedog
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  14. Charlie_Hustle
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  15. LT-Express
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    R.I.P. So sad to hear news like this. Thoughts and prayers are out to his family. :(
  16. ThunderHorse17
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    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    Deffinatly too soon to see this man leave us. Im deffinatly puttin on the Chargers 50th Anniv DVD tonight.

    God Bless your family Chuck.
  17. Lightning's Girl
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    RIP Chuck. I'll always remember the Air Coryell years and the part you played in them. Man, those were some good times......
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