SI Vault
January 21, 1957
When Ed Meadows, a young, tough, not extraordinarily good Chicago Bear end, caught Detroit's Bobby Layne with a battering blind-side tackle last month while Layne was not carrying the ball, he did two things: he removed Bobby from the game via a concussion, and he set off a storm of protest against dirty football. "Meadows should have brought a blackjack," said the Detroit coach, Buddy Parker. "They had to get Layne, and they got him with deliberately dirty football." Parker's accusation was a serious one; if a game which can produce the fine men who graced the Silver Anniversary All-America (SI, Dec. 24) is being destroyed by the moral decay dirty play implies, the loss is ultimately everyone's.
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January 21, 1957

'i Don't Believe There Is Dirty Football'

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Q: Has any owner or coach ever complained to you about "hatchet men"?

A: No. I never heard of a "hatchet man" in pro football, if you mean by that a player who is sent into a game deliberately to injure an opponent. A hatchet man wouldn't live a year in pro football.

Q: Do you mean by that the opposing teams would take care of him?

A: I go back to Davey O'Brien, the little TCU back who played for the Eagles. Somebody fouled Davey once. That guy got straightened out a little bit—in language—and every time he got hit. It was a little harder every time he got hit.

Q: Have you heard of a play called "dead dog" in which the quarterback simply keeps the ball and the rest of the team goes to work on a dirty player on the other team?

A: Dead dog? No, I never heard of that. Sure, if a guy is looking for trouble, he gets it. That's true. He'll take a pretty fair thumping from the players, but legally. You figure, too, if a guy gets in too much trouble, he's no good to his team and the coach will get rid of him. That's another reason no dirty player can last in the pros.

Q: Twice this season, Bear opponents have lost their quarterback early. George Shaw of the Baltimore Colts was hurt and, of course, Layne of the Lions. Do you think any team ever deliberately tries to knock out a quarterback?

A: Well, the quarterback is a natural target, but how long have these quarterbacks played? Take Otto Graham. He played 10 years and never missed a game. Most quarterbacks don't get hurt. No team ever deliberately tries to get the quarterback.

Q: Do you think there should be a more stringent penalty for a foul which results in a player's injury and deprives a team of his services? Say a penalty box something like hockey uses?

A: No. It hasn't helped much in hockey, has it? How in hell can you play with 10 men? You might as well forfeit.

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