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Bednarik Wants Eagles to Lose Super Bowl

He knocked out New York's Frank Gifford with a blow so ferocious - and legal - that the Giants running back suffered a concussion and didn't play again until 1962. Then there was Bednarik's game-saving tackle of Green Bay's Jim Taylor on the final play of the '60 title game.

Bednarik refused to let Taylor up as the final seconds ticked off, allowing the Eagles to hang on for a 17-13 championship win on Dec. 26, 1960, in Franklin Field.

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"Everybody reminds me of it and I'm happy they remind me of it," Bednarik said. "I'm proud and delighted to have played in that game."

Bednarik recalled playing on all but two kickoffs against the Packers. He said he could have kept playing if he needed to, unlike today's players who "suck air after five plays."

In 1996, Deion Sanders played regularly on both offense and defense for the Cowboys, becoming the NFL's first two-way starter since Bednarik in 1962. Bednarik was not impressed.

"The positions I played, every play, I was making contact, not like that ... Deion Sanders," Bednarik said. "He couldn't tackle my wife. He's back there dancing out there instead of hitting."

No topic is off-limits for Bednarik, not even the crazed Eagles fans who paint their faces, sing the fight song and camp out early for the perfect tailgate spot on home games.

"The fans were for us, but these people are nuts," he said. "It wasn't like that then. Nobody would get there at 6 a.m. and wait and do all that. ... No way. To me, they're nuts."

Some would say the same thing about Bednarik.

Tommy McDonald, a Hall of Fame receiver who played with Bednarik from 1957-62, remains an avid Eagles supporter - he offered to suit up if Terrell Owens can't go - and has grown tired of Bednarik's act.

"I don't know how many times I've said, 'C'mon, Chuck. Get over it.' He won't let it go," McDonald said.

While McDonald says he recently rejected an offer to sell his championship ring for $5,000, Bednarik pawned the same ring and his Hall of Fame ring for needed cash.

"I'm not struggling, but I'm not that well-off," Bednarik said. "I have my wedding ring. I don't need to wear nothing else. It paid for some of my income tax. I never had a child go to school here and my school tax is $5,116. School tax!"

Bednarik receives a football pension check, but, not surprisingly, he said it isn't enough.

"It stinks," Bednarik said. "It's nothing."

The winning players in Sunday's Super Bowl will get a bonus that is more than Bednarik ever made in a season. He just hopes the Eagles won't be the ones cashing those checks.

"They can root for 'em, but I want us to be the last champions," he said.


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© 2005 The Associated Press