Column: Ex-Bolts captain Bauer foresees ‘great’ Super Bowl — 41 years after great Super Bowl chance was lost

Hank Bauer can relax next Sunday as he watches the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs from his San Diego home. The Super Bowl isn’t a Holy Grail anymore for the former NFL special teams star, now 66. He can enjoy the game instead of obsessing to get there, and enjoy it he will.

“This sets up to be one of the greatest Super Bowls ever,” Bauer said the other day. “I cannot wait to watch it.”

Decades ago, Bauer risked his health as coverage teams ace and running back for the San Diego Chargers under Don Coryell.

Chasing Super Bowl bids was the norm, as San Diego, starting in 1979, reached four consecutive Super Bowl tournaments.

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Bauer earned the nickname Hammer, by slamming into countless NFL opponents.

In the playoffs, Air Coryell kept getting grounded.

Plagued by turnovers, none of San Diego’s four consecutive bids panned out and two failed with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

This week Bauer gave off a “life is good” vibe while talking about Super Bowl LV. He often does.

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But, knowing that the Coryell Chargers had many awesome performances against NFL powerhouses, only to conk out in the playoffs, he said the sight of Super Bowl jewelry can induce a green state.

“Don’t think for a minute that every time I see guys wearing Super Bowl rings that I am not envious,” the former team captain said while…

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