Considered one of the great legends of football, Chuck Bednarik was the last 60 minute ‘Iron Man’ player in the NFL starting both at center and linebacker over the majority of his career. Originally the #1 overall pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1949 NFL draft, he was an effective blocker and a destructive force at linebacker that players across the league feared. In over 14 seasons, he only missed 3 games his entire career, while in the off-season he worked as a concrete salesman, earning the nickname “Concrete Charlie”. An incredibly conditioned athlete, it is a wonder how Chuck was able to play all 60 minutes on both sides of the ball in such a high contact position. Truly he was a man among boys. Over his career he’d be named AP 10 times, to the NFL 1950s team, the 1953 ProBowl MVP, the Eagles Honor Roll, a member of the 1949 and 1960 NFL Championship squad, and have his number retired by the Eagles- a team he played his entire career for.
Shining in the most opportune moments, Chuck is perhaps best known for a bone-jarring hit of former Giants runningback Frank Gifford that knocked Gifford out for over a season, and for playing 58 minutes in the 1960 Championship game where he made the touchdown saving tackle on runningback Jim Taylor to preserve the victory.
Since retirement Bednarik has not lost any of his fire, acting a notable outspoken critic of player benefits and as a straight-shooting opinion on the condition of the Eagles and the NFL. The Maxwell Club also annually since 1995 has presented a trophy in his honor to the best defensive collegiate player in the nation.
I had heard that Bednarik was extremely charitable with signing for fans and the rumors proved to be true. Due to problems with resellers and EBayers selling his cards, Bendarik provides only one free autograph now, and charges $20.00 for any additional memorabilia. Once again, jerks ruining it for the rest of us.
G 169 Tac N/a Sac N/a Fum 21
Int 20 Yds 268 Avg 13.4 Td 1
UPDATE- Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik passed away early on Saturday 3/21/2015. He was 89. Chuck is survived by 5 kids, 10 grandchildren, and his wife of 67 years.