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Hall of Fame defensive player Curley Culp passed away on Saturday at the age of 75.
The 13-year defensive stud enjoyed a successful career, accruing a championship in the 1969-70 season with the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in ’75 as part of the Houston Oilers. In his standout year, Culp accumulated 11.5 sacks as the Oilers’ premier nose tackle. Culp also added five Pro Bowl selections to his resumé by the time he retired in 1981 — a long journey since getting drafted by the Broncos in ’68 to play guard.
Culp joined the history books in Canton as part of the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
His wife, Collette Bloom Culp, released a statement via Curley’s personal Twitter account to deliver the tragic loss on Saturday morning. On Nov 16, Culp had released an update on his health after getting diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
A staple pick in the discussion for greatest nose tackle of all time, Culp’s legacy as a disruptor and relentless instinct within the 4-3 scheme cemented his position in the history of NFL football. He was also added to the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame in 2008.
His hard work on Sundays gave Culp a lifetime of celebration and long-standing memories for fans of the game back in the ’60s and ’70s.
Hall president Jim Porter released a statement upon news of Curley’s passing.
The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Curley Culp. He was a wonderful man of great integrity who respected the game of football and how it applied to everyday life. Curley’s humility and grace were always apparent. He loved the Hall of Fame — always proudly wearing his Gold Jacket as he visited Canton many times following his election in 2013.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Curley’s wife, Collette, and their entire family during this difficult time. The Hall of Fame will forever guard his legacy. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Curley’s memory.
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