Football fans got some tragic news over the weekend. The Associated Press reports that Hall of Fame defensive lineman Curley Culp has died at age 75.
According to the AP, Culp died Saturday due to complications from pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Collette Bloom Culp, who first announced his death.
Hall of Famer
Highlights of Culp’s 14-year career in professional football, according to the AP, included helping the Kansas City Chiefs win their first-ever Super Bowl.
Culp was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013, over three decades after his 1981 retirement. His Hall of Fame biography states that he played in six Super Bowl games throughout his time on the field.
Hall of Fame president Jim Porter has spoken fondly of Culp following his death. According to the AP, he said “Curley’s humility and grace were always apparent.”
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Curley Culp,” Porter added. “He was a wonderful man of great integrity who respected the game of football and how it applied to everyday life.”
“Earned a place”
Culp also played for the Houston Oilers, which has since become the Tennessee Titans. Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk issued a statement in which she lamented Culp’s passing.
“Our team certainly lost a great one today,” Strunk declared. “Curley was a game changer for our defense when he came to us in the trade with the Chiefs and was pivotal to our success during the Luv Ya Blue days.”
She added: “He rightfully earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and I was fortunate to spend some quality time with Curley and his wife Collette when we hosted the Oilers reunion this past September.”
“Gentleman off the field”
Strunk also said the couple “brought two of their young grandchildren for that weekend and Curley’s love for those two was very obvious. He will forever be remembered as a ferocious nose tackle as a player and a Hall of Fame gentleman off the field,” she remarked.
According to the AP, Culp got his start playing at Arizona State for the Sun Devils, where he also found success as a collegiate wrestler.
Culp was first drafted by the Denver Broncos in 1965, but quickly found himself traded to the Chiefs, where he went on to help make Super Bowl history.