The forgotten FIRST team snake bit by the CURSE OF THE TERRIBLE TOWEL: the 1994 San Diego Chargers, AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh, 1/15/1995- THE VIDEO

[ a rare interlude from my JFK/ Secret Service research]

The forgotten FIRST team snake bit by the CURSE OF THE TERRIBLE TOWEL: the 1994 San Diego Chargers, AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh, 1/15/1995- THE VIDEO

This is deep and surreal, so be patient and watch (and listen): The forgotten FIRST team snake bit by the CURSE OF THE TERRIBLE TOWEL: the 1994 San Diego Chargers, AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh, 1/15/1995!
I have been talking about this for years but proof eluded me…until now, ALMOST 23 YEARS LATER! We all know about THE CURSE OF THE TERRIBLE TOWEL affecting the Titans, the Bengals, and the Ravens, but the first team to evoke the wrath of the Terrible Towel were the San Diego Chargers…and they got it the worst.

Charger coach Duane Painter’s wife THAT NIGHT: “The woman, Debbie Menta, 32, and her brother, Doug Painter, 23, were scattering the ashes of their mother, who committed suicide hours after the Chargers won the American Football Conference championship on Jan. 15.” The daughter soon after: “The daughter of the quarterback coach for the San Diego Chargers, Dwain Painter, was swept to her death on Thursday by a wave on the rocky Mendocino coast.”


The 1994 Chargers are also remembered for tragedy in the form of numerous untimely deaths, as eight of the players from that 1994 squad have died prematurely since that time, all by the age of 44. It is part of a supposed locally infamous curse in the San Diego area, involving its sports teams.
• June 19, 1995 – Linebacker David Griggs died in a car accident when his vehicle slid off a ramp on Florida’s Turnpike, linking to three roads just west of Fort Lauderdale and subsequently slammed into a pole, he was 28 years old.[2]
• May 11, 1996 – Running back Rodney Culver and his wife Karen were among the 110 people (105 passengers, 5 crew members) aboard ValuJet Flight 592 when it crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing everyone aboard. He was 26 years old.[3]
• July 21, 1998 – Linebacker Doug Miller died after being struck twice by lightning during a thunderstorm while camping in Colorado. He was 29 years old.[4]
• May 11, 2008 – Center Curtis Whitley died of a drug overdose. His body was discovered by sheriff deputies in his trailer home in Fort Stockton, Texas, just one day after his 39th birthday. One of the drugs he was known to use was Crystal methamphetamine.[5]
• October 15, 2008 – Defensive end Chris Mims was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment by police officers conducting a welfare check. The most likely cause of death was cardiac arrest due to an enlarged heart since he weighed 456 pounds when he died. He was 38 years old-MIMS IS THE ONE TWIRLING THE TOWEL AND THROWING IT TO THE GROUND!.[6][7]
• February 26, 2011 – Defensive tackle Shawn Lee died from a cardiac arrest resulting from double pneumonia. Lee had been suffering from diabetes for years prior to his death. He was 44 years old.[8]
• December 8, 2011 – Linebacker Lewis Bush died from an apparent heart attack, just six days after his 42nd birthday.[9]
• May 2, 2012 – Linebacker Junior Seau died in his home in Oceanside, California. Seau was discovered already lifeless by his girlfriend. His death was likely a suicide since a self-inflicted gunshot wound was apparent to the chest. He was 43 years old.[10]


Destroyed in their next game, their only Super Bowl appearance; Ryan Leaf; got rid of Drew Brees; No playoff wins until 2007; did not beat the Steelers for years after here at home (well into the Rivers era); picked Rivers over Eli and Ben; EIGHT PLAYERS DIED YOUNG, BEFORE THE AGE OF 44 + coach’s wife and daughter!!..


1/15/1995 AFC Championship game (FULL GAME):

Post game:


Legendary Steelers beat writer Ed Bouchette responded 12/8/17: “That is morbid, Vince, but also curious.

I wrote the first story about Painters wife from that Super Bowl. If you can find it in the Post-Gazette read the end where I write their two kids planned to spread her ashes at her favorite spot along the Pacific.

Ed Bouchette”

Legendary Post-Gazette writer Gene Collier weighed in on 12/11/17:

“thanks vince. this painter story always fascinated me. amazing stuff.



To the players, coach and daughter no longer with us. Chargers: LB Junior Seau (suicide due to brain trauma), LB David Griggs (car accident), RB Rodney Culver (plane crash), LB Doug Miller (struck by lightning), C Curtis Whitley (drug overdose), DE Chris Mims (heart failure), DL Shawn Lee (heart attack), LB Lewis Bush (heart attack); Coach Duane Painter’s wife (suicide the night of the game) and their daughter (died after falling in ocean scattering mother’s ashes).

The late LB Doug Miller and the late DE Chris Mims:




About vincepalamara

Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology. Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and subpoena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy. Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who's Who in the Secret Service, and Honest Answers about the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination. All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 140 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works. Vince has appeared on the History Channel's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (VHS and DVD), C-SPAN, Newsmax TV, A COUP IN CAMELOT (DVD/BLU RAY), KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (DVD), National Geographic's JFK: THE FINAL HOURS (including on DVD), PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library. Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
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