Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd

Since we are currently on vacation I am breaking out a few of the old stand by type posts to get through this time. One of those has been the cat nicknames post I've only done three times. What that means is today we are adding a fourth to that list in the name of.

(image from an internet search)
Starting off his career as a standout player during his time in high school. Ladd received a scholarship to Grambling State as a basketball player.  
While I can't find any stats for his basketball career I did see the man player Defensive Lineman on the football team as well. His time playing for the school left a lasting impression as he was selected by the both the Chicago Bears of the NFL, and the San Diego Chargers from the AFL.

Deciding to go with the AFL choice in the Chargers. Ladd came into the league, and dominated from the start. Being one of the biggest, and strongest men to ever play professional football. During his short time with the Chargers, Ladd helped lead the team to four AFL Championship games in his five years.

The relationship ended fast though as Ladd, and the Chargers front office had constant problems with each other. Making an agreement with the Chargers to take a pay cut, and become a free agent at seasons end in 1965. Once the season ended both sides didn't go quietly as the AFL Commissioner ruled in Ladd's favor. Signing with the Oilers for one year then moving on to the Chiefs the following season.

When Ladd's football career ended up being cut short due to a knee injury he turned to professional wrestling. Starting of a short run as a fan favorite, Ladd's true calling was as a heel. In the 70's Ladd quickly became one of the top heels due to his arrogant behavior towards the good guys. Sticking around until 1986 when his knee injuries final forced his retirement.

Sadly Mr. Ladd was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003, and died in 2007.

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