Football is an American institution with its own legends and mythmakers. The world just lost one of the greatest of them.
Charley Trippi, former Cardinals runningback, died Wednesday at his Athens, Georgia, home, Fox News reported. He was 100 years old and had been the oldest living Hall of Famer.
Trippi's storied career began at the University of Georgia. In the 1943 Rose Bowl, Trippi was part of the Bulldogs team that beat the UCLA Bruins in a decisive 9-0 victory.
In that game, he rushed for an impressive 130 yards. However, Trippi's collegiate career was briefly interrupted when he left to serve in World Word II, though he would go on to become a unanimous selection All-America after leading his school to an undefeated season and SEC championship.
Trippi enjoyed an equally accomplished nine-year professional career with the then-Chicago Cardinals. He was a first-draft "future pick" in 1945 and would take the field with the team in 1947, scoring two touchdowns for the championship win.
Overall, Trippi would finish his career as a two-time Pro-Bowler and rack up 2,547 passing yards, 1,321 receiving yards, and 3,506 rushing yards. No other Hall of Famer has ever finished his career with more than 1,000 yards in each metric.
"Charley Trippi will always enjoy a special place in the history of the National Football League, the Cardinals franchise, and especially in the hearts of our family," Michael Bidwill, Trippi's grandson and current owner of the Cardinals, said in a statement.
"My grandfather signed him to be part of the 'Million-Dollar Backfield,' and he was a key part of the Cardinals NFL championship team of 1947, my grandmother's first as owner and on which my dad was a ballboy," Bidwill remembered. "I had the pleasure of getting to know Charley in more recent years and hearing his stories from such an important time for the Cardinals and the NFL."
Trippi would have been 101 on Dec. 14. Unfortunately, even legends have to go to their eternal rest -- and Trippi is gone but not forgotten.