Sam Huff leaves a legacy

Kyler Foreman

Sam Huff died in Washington at the age of 87 leaving a football legacy behind. Huff was a textbook player who was a perfect example of how to live out the American-way.


 Huff spent the majority of his life in the football world, after his 12 years of playing he called games for 41 years  in New York and Washington respectively. Before his time in the league he attended college and majored in physical education while he played his heart out on the green fibers of his home stadium.


According to the Associated Press, Huff was drafted out of West Virginia University in the third round in 1956 by the New York Giants and emerged as a top linebacker in the league when he played for the Giants for seven years from 1956-63. He led the Giants to a 47-7 domination over the Bears at Yankee stadium. However Huff says that his major regret was only winning one of his title games. Huff was traded to Washington before the 1964 season and played there until he retired after the 1967 season, only to come back and play his final year in the 1969 season under Vince Lombardi. During his time in the league Huff went to five Pro-Bowls, was selected as the NFL’s top linebacker in 1959 and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.


“He is judged not for his race, nor his social standing, or not for his finances, but by the democratic yardstick of how well he blocks, tackles and sacrifices individual glory for the overall success of his team,” Huff said in his introduction to the Hall of Fame speech.  

Huff had a very influential life through football and his character. Although he wasn’t thought of as the brightest bulb or the sharpest knife he produced, he was seen as someone that puts passion and effort into everything he did before, during and after his beloved time in the NFL.


According to Tom Canavan at Associated Press, after he retired for the second time after the 1969 season, Huff found another passion behind the microphone. Huff spent three seasons with the Giants as a color commentator on radio before doing the same with Washington for 38 years, starting in 1975. He coached for a season and jumped around careers until he worked with Marriott in marketing until 1998. 


Huff is also known for saying, “All you can do is grab hold, hang on and wait for help,” referencing how to tackle an opponent. Huff lived an influential life and revolutionized the game of football in many ways and will go down as a legend in the sport. His death does not bring sorrow, it brings celebration to his amazing journey.