While Paul is acclaimed the League's slickest all-purpose villain, most of his colleagues in villainy tend to be more specialized. With deep-felt admiration, Don points, for instance, to Ed Sprinkle, the defensive end for the Chicago Bears, who is known irreverently among his victims as "The Claw."
"Sprinkle centers his attention almost entirely on quarterbacks," says Paul. "A left-hander, he rushes from the right side, hooks out with his left arm—often over the shoulder of a blocker—cups his hand under the quarterback's chin and upends him something fearful. Sprinkle is so effective that Y. A. Tittle, the 49er quarter-back, says that it soon reaches the point where a passer is looking for his receiver with only one eye. With the other he's looking for Sprinkle."
Len Ford, the defensive end of the Browns, works over the passers' blockers, a maneuver Paul considers eminently worthy. A muscular monster of 260 pounds who stands 6 feet 4 inches in his socks, Ford blasts into the backs on direct smashes. "They start flinching," Paul explains, "or closing their eyes, or stepping aside to give Ford a clear shot at the passer." Among the backs Ford is known as "The Hangman." He gets the nickname from an occasional habit of charging with his long left arm extended rigidly from his side. People going past him have been known to hang themselves on this limb, in the manner of one catching his chin on the clothesline.
Art Donovan, the 270-pound tackle for Baltimore who is called "The Mincer," has a different specialty which Paul claims makes him the toughest man in football.
"He does his best work against fakers," says Don, "that is, backs who pretend they have the ball when they don't. Donovan figures that if he can make life miserable enough for faking backs when they plunge into the line, they will lose interest in their work. Soon they fake only halfheartedly, and eventually they make sure Donovan knows they don't have the ball. Here again is an example of a man who roughs up players by calculation and with a definite purpose, but never intentionally injures."
A villain considerably smaller than Donovan, though equally respected by Paul, is the 195-pound defensive back for the 49ers, Hardy Brown. Called The Humper" because of an extraordinary skill with his shoulders, Brown s the top intimidator of centers in he game.
"Hardy feels that if the center is made nervous enough on punting and field goal situations," says Paul, "he will be less apt to pass the ball back accurately and carry out his blocking assignments as he should."
Brown spends much of his time, too, frightening ball-carrying backs with his shoulder. Through long and patient experiment, he has developed this into handy weapon. Instead of tackling, he fells the ball carrier with his shoulder with a horrifying crack that can be heard all over the field. He has made more runners gun shy than anyone in the league. They never bust through the line or turn the corner without first looking for Brown.
For Chuck Bednarik of Philadelphia, pass receivers are the primary target. Bednarik, a 230-pound linebacker, is nicknamed "The Clutcher" largely because of his genius for keeping receivers within his grasp at the line of scrimmage.