|Born||April 18, 1941|
|Died||February 2, 2013(aged 71)|
|AFL Draft||1963 / Round 1 / Pick 2|
|NFL Draft||1963 / Round 8 / Pick 107|
(by the Cleveland Browns)
|AFL All-Star 1964, 1965,|
1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
NFL Pro Bowl 1970, 1971, 1972
|Honors||* AFL All-Time 2nd Team
|* Pro Football Reference
|AFL San Diego Chargers|
NFL San Diego Chargers
NFL Washington Redskins
Walter Francis Sweeney (April 18, 1941 – February 2, 2013) was an American football offensive lineman and end, who played college football at Syracuse University, where he made the school's all-century team. He also played in the North-South Game and the College All-Star Game. A first-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1963, Sweeney helped them win the American Football League championship.
A premier guard, he was versatile enough to fill in at virtually any offensive line position. Sweeney was named to All-Star teams and Pro Bowls for nine consecutive years at offensive guard, beginning with the 1964 AFL All-Star Team, and in 1970 was selected to the All-Time All-AFL second team.
Sweeney was among several Chargers fined by the league in 1974 for drug use. A fierce critic of the NFL, he blamed the league for his prolonged problems with drugs and alcohol. To the end of his life he retained this bitterness. "If a guy breaks his back in the N.F.L., they’ll pay him. That didn’t happen to me. Instead, these guys broke my mind."
He briefly served as a drug counselor at a San Diego hospital and appeared with Nancy Reagan in a promo for her "Just Say No" campaign.
Sweeney died of pancreatic cancer on 2 February 2013.
- Perry, Tony. (2013, February 6). Walt Sweeney dies at 71; offensive guard for the San Diego Chargers. The Los Angeles Times.