Mike Ditka wasn't the only Rookie of the Year in Pro Football for the 1961 season. Earl Faison was named AFL Rookie of the Year. The All American from University of Indiana was drafted by both the Detroit Lions and the San Diego Chargers. Although the Chargers were known for their offensive prowess, their defense had great nicknames. Faison and his linemates were known as the "Fearsome Foursome" and the backs were known as the "Seven Bandits".
This was only the second year for the AFL and already the Los Angeles Chargers had become the San Diego Chargers. Just prior to its first year, the AFL lost one of its 8 charter members, the Minnesota Vikings to the NFL the other owners scrambled to add the Oakland Raiders to the league.