Chuch Hughes---50 years

Chuch Hughes---50 years

Postby RichardBak » Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:44 am

My thanks to member racepug, who just jarred my memory re Chuck Hughes. This Sunday, Oct. 24, will mark exactly 50 years since the Lions receiver died of a heart attack near the end of a game against the Bears. Usually I'm pretty good about anniversary hooks---where would writers be w/o them?---but I'm semi-retired now which I guess means I'm pretty much semi-comatose. But damn---a half-century now?

Anyway, I was at that game. Got tickets at the last moment from my older brother Bob, who'd just dragged his ass home from another all-night poker session somewhere downtown. He'd won them off some guy who had no other way to pay (Bob once came home with an old SeSoto that way), plunked them down on the kitchen table, and said "Take 'em, I'm hitting the sack." So my girlfriend (today my wife) and I went down to Tiger Stadium on a wet, dreary Sunday afternoon to watch the Lions lose to Bobby Douglass, Dick Butkus and da Bears. Sat right next to a big section of Bears fans around the 45-yd line, and watched a few fights break out in the aisle. The fights and the game were entertaining. My enduring impression of that day was that it was so funereal---dark, muddy, a steady cold drizzle---the kind of day you'd almost expect someone to die on. But not during an NFL game, of course. That's what makes the game so historic. As far as I know, Hughes remains the only player to die while a game was in progress (though there have been instances of players dying in the locker room afterwards). For the record, Bears won, 28-23.

The odd thing is, that was the only time I ever saw the Lions play at Tiger Stadium. The ballpark's gone, Bob died last fall, and I still have a bobblehead from that game somewhere in the attic.
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Re: Chuch Hughes---50 years

Postby Terry Baldshaw » Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:17 pm

Great post of a sad day in NFL history!
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Re: Chuch Hughes---50 years

Postby Retro Rider » Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:52 pm

I was in the 5th grade and remember it happening on my birthday. I got up for school the next day and saw highlights of the game on the CBS Morning News. I learned at a young age that a player can die on the football field.

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Re: Chuch Hughes---50 years

Postby JameisLoseston » Sun Oct 31, 2021 12:24 am

As far as I know, Hughes remains the only player to die while a game was in progress (though there have been instances of players dying in the locker room afterwards).


I'm not familiar with these instances. Who? Any due to an in-game injury?
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Re: Chuch Hughes---50 years

Postby RichardBak » Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:06 am

There's at least a couple, but I don't know if they were in the postgame locker room as I stated....Howard Glenn, OG for the NY Titans, suffered a broken neck in a 1960 game against Houston and died a few hours later. And tackle Stan Mauldin of Chicago Cardinals had either a heart attack or brain hem after a game with the Eagles in 1948. I believe there's been a couple cases of a pro player dying on the practice field or during a scrimmage.
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