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Remembering Football Great, Willie Davis

April 17, 2020

A paper with my all time sports teams, circa 1976 has been in sight for days, on it Willie Davis, who died days back, as one of the defensive ends. (Gino Marchetti was the other)

Willie, a ferocious pass rusher, who had a penchant for big plays was a member of all five Green Bay Packers’ title teams (Green Bay was “title town”), all in a span of 7 seasons, a feat so rare in sports.

I recall Willie forcing a fumble by the great quarterback, John Unitas that with the Green Bay recovery, (Dave Robinson made the recovery) wrapped up the 1966 Western Conference crown for “The Pack,” en route to winning the first Super Bowl. 

Davis got in on John’s “blind side,” and knew Unitas would fumble. I remember reading that Willie felt bad it had to be John. Willie had such great respect for Mr. Unitas.

I recall seeing Willie Davis at the memorial service for the great journalist, Dick Schaap. He was standing with Packers’ teammate, Jerry Kramer, whose speech resonated throughout the great cathedral that day.

Twenty or so years ago, Mr. Schaap in a brief interview with me, remarked that a number of Packers’ players from their great teams had passed on. Schaap had written the legendary book, “Instant Replay,” chronicling those teams. 

Now sadly, so many are gone, with Willie’s passing, only Dave Robinson, Herb Adderly and Tom Brown remain from the consensus starting defensive unit. 

However, they remain in our memories, their accomplishments, virtually unrivaled. Willie Davis (#87) was one of the greatest of those or any team’s players. 

Willie Davis and Tommy Davis, Willie Davis and Tommy Davis 

 

Two all-time greats named Willie, left to right Wood and Davis, each of whom we lost in 2020. 

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