Charley Trippi, a Chicago Cardinals megastar who was once one of soccer’s maximum flexible gamers within the Forties and Nineteen Fifties, has died at age 100.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1921, Trippi sought out sports activities as a substitute for running within the coal mines like his Italian immigrant father. He starred on each his highschool soccer workforce and a semi-pro baseball workforce, and sooner or later made his approach to Georgia on a soccer scholarship.
As a sophomore at Georgia in 1942, Trippi grew to become in a single of probably the most spectacular performances within the historical past of the Bulldogs’ longtime competition with Florida, throwing a landing move, operating for 2 touchdowns, and intercepting a move and returning it for a landing in a 75-0 Georgia win. At the top of that season Georgia beat UCLA within the Rose Bowl, and Trippi was once the sport’s Most Valuable Player.
Then Trippi left Georgia to spend two and a part years serving within the Army, and all through that point the Cardinals made him the primary total pick out within the 1945 NFL draft — although his school profession was once no longer but over. Trippi returned to Georgia halfway in the course of the 1945 season, after which he remained at Georgia in 1946 as smartly, main the Bulldogs to an undefeated season.
In 1947, when he was once in spite of everything in a position to show professional, Trippi was once an extraordinary skilled athlete who had negotiating leverage: The Cardinals desperately sought after him to play for them within the NFL, however the proprietor of the New York Yankees made Trippi an be offering that might have allowed him to play Major League Baseball and in addition play within the All-American Football Conference, the place the Yankees’ proprietor owned a soccer workforce also known as the New York Yankees.
Eventually, the Cardinals introduced Trippi the unheard-of sum of $100,000, and he went to the NFL. Trippi stated it was once awkward to make 20 instances as a lot cash as his teammates.
“I felt kind of guilty,” Trippi as soon as stated, by way of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “If I ever went out to dinner with them, I’d never let them pay.”
But Trippi’s teammates couldn’t most likely resent him when he led them to a championship as a rookie: Trippi did all of it in main the Cardinals to the Western Conference name, and within the NFL Championship Game Trippi totaled 202 yards, scoring a 44-yard speeding landing and a 75-yard punt go back landing, because the Cardinals beat the Eagles 28-21. The 1947 championship stays the latest championship the Cardinals have gained.
Trippi was once the Cardinals’ best operating again in his first 4 seasons, then performed quarterback for 2 years earlier than transferring again to operating again. All the whilst he was once additionally enjoying protection, punting and returning punts and kickoffs. At the time Trippi retired in 1955, he owned the NFL’s all-time file for general offensive yards.
After retiring from the NFL, Trippi went into training and frolicked with each of the groups the place he were a celebrity, the Cardinals and Georgia. He was once decided on to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. He stays the one participant in NFL historical past with greater than 1,000 yards speeding, 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 yards passing in his profession.