Pro Football Hall of Fame Presents Countdown to Canton on Sirius NFL Radio. Listen each Friday morning from now through Enshrinement Day on August 8. Hosts Bob Papa and Randy Cross welcome a different Hall of Fame legend each Friday at 10 Eastern to talk some football. Don’t miss as these football greats share stories from their careers, to what it was like on their induction day, and a personal perspective on the Hall’s newest class – Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson, Jr. and Rod Woodson.
Stop by Profootballhof.com each week leading up to Bob and Randy’s interview. We’ll take a look back at that week’s featured Hall of Famer and recount his enshrinement day. The Hall’s research staff will also dig into the archives and hone in on events that helped shape the careers of these Hall of Fame legends.
This week’s guest: CHARLIE JOINER, Class of 1996
Wide receiver Charlie Joiner played 18 seasons which at the time of his retirement was more than any other player at his position in NFL history. He also retired as the game’s all-time leading receiver in catches and yards.
In 1996, Joiner earned his sport’s highest honor when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Charlie delivered his acceptance speech from the front steps of the Hall in July of that year. He began his closing remarks by stating, “since I’ve been here I have heard some great words about enshrinement. The best one, ‘immortality.’ Another good one, you go on forever.”
That immortality is symbolized by his bronze bust that will forever be on display in the Hall of Fame Gallery. When individuals are inducted, they also receive a plaster replica bust. Unfortunately for Joiner, his California home was ravaged by wildfires in 2007 and his belongings, including the replica bust, were destroyed.
Much to his delight, Charlie was surprised early last month as he was honored as the Junior Seau Foundation’s Legend of the Year. During the event, Joiner was presented with some memorabilia from his playing career. The Hall of Fame’s President/Executive Director Steve Perry was also on hand and presented Charlie with a new replica bust that the Hall had created for the occasion (see photo at left).
"They did a good job of hiding that from me. I was happy to see the bust. I love the bust," commented the grateful Joiner.
“That's the symbol of the Hall of Fame."
“Charlie Joiner is the quintessential professional…from the way he comports himself in practice each day to the manner in which he runs his precise pass patterns.”
That was the opening line of Joiner’s bio in the San Diego Chargers 1977 Media Guide following his first season in San Diego. The previous year, the Chargers dealt defensive end Coy Bacon to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for Joiner. He responded well to his new environment by posting his best season to date during his first year in San Diego. He caught 50 passes for 1,056 yards and recorded one of his highest averages per catch of his career (21.1). For his efforts, he earned his first Pro Bowl berth that year and also caught the game-winning touchdown in that All-Star Game.
Charlie played 11 of his 18 seasons with San Diego and today still ranks as the club’s all-time leader in receptions. He caught 586 of his 750 career passes as a member of the Chargers. Joiner, who was originally drafted by the Houston Oilers in the fourth round of the 1969 draft, retired following the 1986 season ranked as the NFL’s career leader in receptions and receiving yards.
Charlie’s 100-yard games
Twenty-seven times in his career, Joiner went over the century mark during a regular season game. He added two additional 100-yard games in the postseason. Interestingly his first two 100-yard games of his career came against his future teams, the Chargers and Bengals.
Oct. 25 – at San Diego Chargers (5-100, 1 TD)
Dec. 13 – vs. Cincinnati Bengals (6-143, 2 TDs)
Nov. 2 – vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-114, 1 TD)
Nov. 23 – at Cleveland Browns (7-200, 0 TD)
Sept. 26 – vs. St. Louis Cardinals (5-134, 1 TD)
Oct. 3 – at Denver Broncos (5-105, 0 TD)
Oct. 10 – vs. Oakland Raiders (5-108, 0 TD)
Oct. 17 – vs. Houston Oilers (2-106, 1 TD)
Oct. 22 – at Detroit Lions (5-110, 1 TD)
Oct. 7 – at Denver Broncos (7-115, 0 TD)
Oct. 21 – at Los Angeles Rams (7-168, 0 TD)
Oct. 25 – at Oakland Raiders (9-107, 0 TD)
Nov. 25 – vs. Kansas City Chiefs (9-123, 1 TD)
Oct. 12 – at Oakland Raiders (8-135, 0 TD)
Oct. 19 – vs. New York Giants (10-171, 1 TD)
Nov. 9 – vs. Denver Broncos (9-127, 0 TD)
Sept. 7 – at Cleveland Browns (6-191, 0 TD)
Sept. 13 – vs. Detroit Lions (7-166, 0 TD)
Oct. 25 – at Chicago Bears (5-124, 1 TD)
Dec. 6 – vs. Buffalo Bills (7-106, 0 TD)
Nov. 28 – vs. Denver Broncos (7-121, 0 TD)
Dec. 11 – at San Francisco 49ers (8-145, 0 TD)
Sept. 4 – vs. New York Jets (5-106, 1 TD)
Nov. 27 – vs. Denver Broncos (7-102, 0 TD)
Nov. 4 – at Indianapolis Colts (9-119, 1 TD)
Oct. 13 – vs. Kansas City Chiefs (6-118, 1 TD)
Dec. 8 – vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-110, 0 TD)
January 11, 1981 vs. Oakland Raiders (6-130, 2 TD)
January 2, 1982 vs. Miami Dolphins (7-108, 0 TD)
More on Joiner from Profootballhof.com
Charlie Joiner’s HOF Bio
Team History: Chargers | Oilers | Bengals
History: San Diego’s vaunted “Air Coryell”
Top 20 receiving yardage leaders
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