My Philadelphia Story: Chuck Bednarik

Ex-Philadelphia Eagle; 79; Coopersburg

The most I ever got from football was $27,000.

Of all the honors I got, getting inducted into the Hall of Fame is probably the biggest. And of course the 1960 championship, where I played the entire game except for one minute and made the game-saving tackle on Jim Taylor.

These guys today are a bunch of cocky SOBs. Overpaid and underplayed multimillionaires. They stay there for three minutes and they’re sucking for air. God almighty.

I’m not much of an Eagles fan.

I know Frank Gifford had bitter feelings toward me. [Bednarik’s legendary tackle knocked Gifford out of football for a year.] At the Hall of Fame, he couldn’t have been nicer. I think it’s kinda all forgotten.

Gifford is married to this girl Kathy Lee, and he said to her, “You’re going to hear the name Bednarik a lot.” She said, “What’s that, a pasta?” I mentioned it on national television, looked at the camera and said, “I wish it was you on the end of that shot instead of Frank.” She’s a snotty bitch.

My day always begins at church. I go to eight o’clock mass.

I had a book, Bednarik — Last of the 60 Minute Men. I said to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, “How about buying a book for each of your players?” That’s tip money for him. He said to me, “Oh, I can’t do it. It’s in our contract. We can’t give them gifts.” That ticked me off like a bomb.

I came from a poor family, went into the service, and went to Penn on the G.I. bill.

I could relive Franklin Field forever. Every Saturday, 78,800 people. It was unbelievable, the crowds that we had.

I made contact on every single play. Deion Sanders, on the other hand, dances around and every once in a while attempts a tackle.

The Second World War, I was 18 years old. I flew 30 missions over Germany. You’re up there, and you hear the flak penetrate your plane and you come back and count 120 holes, and you wonder, “How did that miss my head?”

I don’t know why the hell we even went over [to Iraq]. Young kids, for God’s sake. If it’s a full-scale war like Hitler started, let’s go get them. But what’s going on there?

I voted for Kerry.

Let’s get back to Deion Sanders. There is the biggest jerkoff. He couldn’t tackle my wife Emma. He was supposed to be the next two-way football player. My ass!

I kick myself in the ass for dropping the accordion — I gave it up a while ago. On my harmonica, I enjoy playing “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” for my wife.

This goddamn son of a bitch from Baltimore. [Ray] Lewis?  Christ almighty. After every tackle he’s doing a dance! He’s an outstanding linebacker, but he’s the cockiest son of a bitch that ever played. In my day, nobody did that shit.

The way the world changed, sports changed.

I sold my championship ring for $5,000. For me, $5,000 is a lot, and I figured I don’t need the ring.

I enjoy watching The Jerry Springer Show. Dirtiest show on television. Holy God. Then Maury comes on, then Springer comes on again!

My wife, she’s not too well, so I’ve got to watch her. And I’ve got two acres of property. Mowing’s a pain in the ass.

At this age, you’re sore every morning when you get up. If anybody isn’t, they’re lying.

I don’t think anyone 100 years from now will remember me.

As far as I’m concerned, the 1960 team is the championship team, and I hope it remains the last team to win the championship.