Ed Sprinkle

Last updated
Ed Sprinkle
Ed Sprinkle (Bowman).jpg
No. 7
Position: Defensive end / End
Personal information
Born:(1923-09-03)September 3, 1923
Bradshaw, Texas
Died:July 28, 2014(2014-07-28) (aged 90)
Palos Heights, Illinois
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Tuscola (TX) Jim Ned
College: Navy
Undrafted: 1944
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

Edward Alexander Sprinkle (September 3, 1923 – July 28, 2014) was an American football player. He was known to many as "The Meanest Man in Pro Football" and was nicknamed "The Claw." He played for 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears of the National Football League and is credited with calling attention to the NFL's defensive players.

Contents

College career

Prior to his NFL career, Sprinkle won three letters in football and two in basketball and earned All-Border Conference while at Hardin–Simmons University in the early 1940s. Hardin-Simmons dropped its sports program due to World War II, causing Sprinkle to transfer to the United States Naval Academy for his senior season in 1943, where he earned All-Eastern honors.

Playing career

After leaving college, Sprinkle was signed by George Halas' Chicago Bears in 1944. At first, he played on both defense and offense; he caught 32 passes for 451 yards and seven touchdowns during his career. His ability to rush opposing quarterbacks, however, soon made him a defensive specialist.

Sprinkle quickly developed a reputation for his aggressive playing style; in the 1946 NFL Championship Game, New York Giants George Franck, Frank Reagan, and Frank Filchock left with injuries sustained in hits from Sprinkle. One of Sprinkle's tackling strategies, a clothesline tackle with his forearm, led to him receiving the nickname "The Claw" from Collier's Weekly . [1]

While accused of "dirty play" and unsportsmanlike conduct during his career, leading to calls in 1949 from coaches Greasy Neale and Buddy Parker for the NFL to discipline him, [2] [3] he defended his play as not being any different from other players of the era. According to Sprinkle, "We were meaner in the 1950s because there were fewer positions and we fought harder for them. It was a different era." [4] He was praised by Halas "the greatest pass-rusher I've ever seen," [1] [5] while Giants quarterback Y. A. Tittle remarked in 1969 that "quarterbacks would look with only one eye for receivers. They kept the other eye on Sprinkle." [6]

Post-playing career

Following his pro career, Sprinkle entered business in the Chicago area. He died on July 28, 2014. [7] [8]

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Sprinkle to the PFRA Hall of Very Good Class of 2007. [9] Sprinkle was also inducted in the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.

On January 15, 2020, Sprinkle was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020. [10]

Sprinkle was also an avid golfer. He had a handicap of 18 at the Midlothian Country Club.

Related Research Articles

Chicago Bears National Football League franchise in Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago. The Bears compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. The Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, and hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise.

Sid Luckman American football player

Sidney Luckman was an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) from 1939 through 1950. During his 12 seasons with the Bears he led them to four NFL championships.

George Blanda American football quarterback and placekicker

George Frederick Blanda was an American football quarterback and placekicker who played professionally in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). Blanda played 26 seasons of professional football, the most in the sport's history, and had scored more points than anyone in history at the time of his retirement.

George Halas American football player, coach, executive and owner; baseball player

George Stanley Halas Sr., nicknamed "Papa Bear" and "Mr. Everything", was an American professional football player, coach, and team owner. He was the founder and owner of the National Football League's Chicago Bears, and served as his own head coach on four occasions. He was also lesser-known as a Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees.

Dick Butkus American football player

Richard Marvin Butkus is an American former professional football player, sports commentator, and actor. He played football as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) from 1965 to 1973. Through those nine seasons he was invited to eight Pro Bowls, named a first-team All-Pro six times, and was twice recognized by his peers as the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year. Renowned as a fierce tackler and for the relentless effort with which he played, Butkus is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most intimidating linebackers in pro football history.

Sammy Baugh American football player and coach

Samuel Adrian Baugh was an American professional football player and coach. During his college and professional careers, he most notably played quarterback, but also played as a defensive back and punter. He played college football for the Horned Frogs at Texas Christian University, where he was a two-time All-American. He then played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins from 1937 to 1952. After his playing career, he served as a college coach for Hardin–Simmons University before coaching professionally for the New York Titans and the Houston Oilers.

Bulldog Turner American football player and coach

Clyde Douglas "Bulldog" Turner was an American football player and coach. He was elected, as a player, to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1960 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966. He was also selected in 1969 to the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team.

Dan Fortmann American football player

Daniel John Fortmann was an American professional football player who was a guard for the Chicago Bears in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Colgate University. Playing for Chicago from 1936 to 1943, he was selected as an All-Pro for seven consecutive years from 1937 to 1943. He was the Bears' team captain starting in 1940 and led the team to NFL championships in 1940, 1941, and 1943.

Bill George (linebacker)

William J. George was an American football player. He played professionally as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL).

1983 NFL Draft

The 1983 NFL Draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 26–27, 1983, at the New York Sheraton Hotel in New York City, New York. No teams elected to claim any players in the supplemental draft that year.

Greasy Neale American baseball player

Alfred Earle "Greasy" Neale was an American football and baseball player and coach.

History of the Chicago Bears Sports team history

The Chicago Bears American football franchise is a charter member of the National Football League (NFL) and have played in all of the league's 100 seasons. The Bears have captured nine NFL championships – eight NFL championships and one Super Bowl – second most all time behind the Green Bay Packers. The franchise has also recorded more victories than any other franchise with 739, retired the most uniform numbers with 14, and have the most members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with 27.

Bill Wade

William James Wade was an American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). He is considered one of the greatest athletes in Nashville and Vanderbilt University history. Wade is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He is best known for being the starting quarterback on the Chicago Bears' 1963 NFL championship team.

Dan Hampton American football defensive tackle and defensive end

Daniel Oliver Hampton is an American former professional football player who was a defensive tackle for twelve seasons with the Chicago Bears from 1979 to 1990 in the National Football League (NFL). He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. He currently hosts the Bears postgame show on WGN Radio in Chicago.

The 1944 National Football League Draft was held on April 19, 1944, at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The 1940 National Football League Draft was held on December 9, 1939, at the Schroeder Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The 1963 Chicago Bears season was their 44th regular season and 12th post-season appearance in the National Football League. The team finished with an 11–1–2 record to gain their first Western Conference championship since 1956, and the berth to host the NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants (11–3–0).

Kyle Long American football guard

Kyle Howard Long is an American football guard for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). The son of Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long and the younger brother of former defensive end Chris Long, he played college football at Oregon following stints with Florida State and Saddleback. He was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, where he played his first seven seasons.

References

  1. 1 2 Biggs, Brad (January 15, 2020). "Jimbo Covert and Ed Sprinkle selected to Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Bears now have 30 members — the most of any team". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  2. "Neale protests Bears' playing of Ed Sprinkle". St. Louis Globe-Democrat . AP. October 21, 1949. Retrieved January 16, 2020 via Newspapers.com.
  3. Dell, John (August 4, 1955). "Star End Awaits 12th NFL Season". The Philadelphia Inquirer . Retrieved January 16, 2020 via Newspapers.com.
  4. "Former Bear Ed Sprinkle, 1923-2014, was standout defensive player".
  5. Mayer, Larry (January 15, 2020). "Ex-Bears great Sprinkle elected to Hall of Fame". Chicago Bears . Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  6. "It's a Whale of a Meal, But a Bum Steer". The Times . December 31, 1969. Retrieved January 16, 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  7. Goldstein, Richard (August 1, 2014). "Ed Sprinkle, Defensive End Known for Violent Play, Dies at 90". The New York Times . Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  8. "Ed Sprinkle, football's 'meanest man', dies at 90".
  9. "Hall of Very Good Class of 2007". Archived from the original on July 7, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  10. Grant Gordon (January 15, 2020). "Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class revealed". NFL.com. Retrieved January 15, 2020.

External sources

  • "Ed Sprinkle" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 12 (1): 1–3. 1990. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-10-07.