The NFL lost one of its greatest legends this week with the death of Hall of Famer Frank Gifford at the age of 84.
Gifford was one of the league’s biggest stars as a running back and wide receiver for the New York Giants in the 1950s and ’60s.
He was named the NFL MVP in 1956 as he led the Giants to the league title.
Gifford played in four other losing title games for New York, including 1958’s Greatest Game Ever Played against the Baltimore Colts.
In a game in 1960, he was knocked unconscious after being clothes-lined by Philadelphia’s Chuck Bednarik.
Gifford returned to the Giants in 1962, switching from running back to wide receiver.
Bednarik and Gifford had a long-running feud over the play, which was immortalized in a photo of a jubilant Bednarik standing over and taunting an unconscious Gifford.
Gifford believed the hit was legal, but didn’t like the fact that Bednarik signed the photo with the inscriptions “This (bleeping) game is over!” and “Sorry Frank!” all the way up until Bednarik’s death earlier this year.
Gifford was named to eight Pro Bowls and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
Younger fans might have known him best as the husband of TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford.
Gifford was also famous for being a commentator on ABC’s Monday Night Football for 27 years.
I had a personal encounter with him as a 10-year-old in 1974 when the Monday Night Football crew came to Cincinnati for a preseason game.
Two hours before the game, my dad encouraged me to wander into the ABC truck under Riverfront Stadium and see who was in there.
It turned out Gifford and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson – who was getting a tryout on MNF – were in the truck, and both gladly autographed my game program.
I was fortunate enough to add Howard Cosell’s autograph to the program later that day.
Trivia Time – The Oakland Raiders selected former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft.
This week’s question – Frank Gifford played football at which university?
Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout