There was never a player quite like Dudley before he came and there will surely never be another one. He was the most versatile player in football history, college and pro.
An NFL team today suits up eight men to play the positions Bill played by himself in a single season. He won the only Quadruple Crown in NFL history, leading the league in rushing, punt returns, interceptions, and lateral passes in 1946.
He also won the NFL MVP award in 1946 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, even though he played in the NFL at five-foot 10, 175 pounds. When he arrived for his first training camp with the Steelers in 1942, the stadium guards wouldn't let him through the gate. They didn't believe he was a football player.
After that training camp, he was Rookie of the Year and second in MVP voting, leading the league in rushing.
He was defensive player of the year in 1947.
He is the only player elected Most Valuable Player in college, the pros, and the military. He was a hall of fame inductee, college and pro.
There are 11 ways to score in a football game. Bill scored using 10 of them. He once crawled for a touchdown.
He also played on a Major League Baseball exhibition team while serving in the Pacific during World War II.
All this from an athlete who didn't make his high school football team until his junior year. He didn't play in a game until his senior year.
He was president of the NFL Alumni Association for 12 years during the struggle for pension parity for old-time players who were in the league before 1959.
He introduced the gold jacket into the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
©2015 Steve Stinson (P)2016 Lyon's Press