Tuesday, February 17, 2015

To Absent Friends - Gary Glick

Gary Glick

Former Pittsburgh Steeler Gary Glick passed away last week at the age of 84.

In the obituary for Glick that appeared in today's Post-Gazette, Ed Bouchette writes that Glick, whom the Steelers selected as the first overall draft selection in the 1956 NFL Draft, was symbolic of the futility of the Steelers in the first forty years of their existence, particularly in their inability to draft astutely.  An accurate assessment of the Steelers front office in those days, to be sure, but certainly not fair to Glick himself, who may not have been a great player, but he did go on to forge an eight year career in the NFL and went on to a coaching career in the Canadian Football League.

Bouchette pointed out that in that 1956 Draft the Steelers passed on future Hall of Famers Lenny Moore, Forrest Gregg, and Sam Huff, and took Glick instead.  This is true, but also a bit misleading.  Yes, the Steelers blew it by not taking Moore, who was a first round selection of the Colts that year, but a lot of other teams blew it on Gregg, who was a second round pick, and Huff, who lasted until the third round.

As I was growing up, it became part of the "Same Old Steelers" mythology was that the Steelers were so dumb that they selected Glick instead of Jim Brown in that 1956 draft.  I am not sure how that started, but this is totally untrue.  In fact, Brown was not eligible for the NFL Draft until the following year, 1957.  With the first overall pick in the draft that year, the Green Bay Packers selected Paul Hornung, a pick which, it can be said, turned out quite well for them.  Drafting second, Cleveland selected Jim Brown, so the fact of the matter is that the Steelers never did have the opportunity to draft Jim Brown.  The Steelers followed Cleveland in the draft order that year and used the pick to select Purdue's Len Dawson, who also had a Hall of Fame career, but not, alas, with the Steelers.

RIP Gary Glick.

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