The Athletic has live coverage of Monday Night Football featuring the Chargers vs Jets. The log house Dan Fouts has lived in for almost four decades — the house he’s never leaving — sits on a volcanic ridgetop in the Oregon backcountry, hidden by seven snowcapped mountains and 40 acres of ponderosa pines. It’s a refuge the Hall of Fame quarterback has come to relish the older he gets.
“It suits me,” Fouts says. “There’s not another house in sight.”
He’s 72 now, out of a broadcasting job, his playing days fading further from memory. He’s asked if any regrets linger.
“I wish I’d been kinder to my teammates,” he says.
Back then, he could be ruthless and unrelenting, a hard-driving prick whose patience ran thin and temper ran hot. “We all had our moments where you’d just had enough of him,” former teammate Hank Bauer says. Fouts famously used to wear a hat around that read MFIC — Motherf—er in charge — but no one needed reminding. “He knew it, we knew it, everybody knew it,” Bauer says.
Fouts had his reasons. “If you don’t have a cocky, arrogant QB playing for you, then you’re in trouble,” he once told a reporter.
The San Diego Chargers of the late 1970s and 80s didn’t have that problem. They were a team ahead of their time, colorful and controversial beyond their star quarterback. The storms the franchise faced off the field read like fiction today — probably because some are. There was the alleged shooting of Fouts, in the middle of one of his Pro Bowl seasons, rumored to have been hushed up by local police. And there were accusations, by the team’s former owner no less, that some players were high on cocaine during the 1981 AFC Championship Game.
It’s all available for deep dive at The Athletic.