• Kurt Crowley

Notre Dame And Packers Legend Paul Hornung Dead At 84


1956 Heisman Trophy winner and Green Bay Packers star running back Paul Hornung dies after years long battle with dementia. The NFL's MVP for the 1961 season, Hornung is one of seven players to win both the Heisman and NFL honors - a list that includes Marcus Allen, Cam Newton, Lamar Jackson, Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell and O.J. Simpson. Hornung won the Heisman as a quarterback even though his Notre Dame team went 2-8 on the season. He was drafted first overall by Green Bay, who also selected end Ron Kramer at No. 4 overall. Syracuse's Jim Brown was drafted No. 6 by Cleveland. With hindsight, Brown could have been drafted by Green Bay, but the end result would likely been the team not tanking in 1958 to the extent that Vince Lombardi does not arrive as coach. Hornung and Detroit Lions star Alex Karras were suspended for the 1963 season due to gambling violations. Hornung returned to run the feared power sweep as the Packers defeated Cleveland in the snow and mud to win the 1965 Championship and was a member of the victorious Super Bowl I team.


The 1961 MVP season was remarkable as Hornung served on active duty with the United States Army, but still able to suit up for the Packers on Sundays. Post-career, Hornung worked as a commentator for NFL and college telecasts, often paired with play-by-play voice Lindsey Nelson. Hornung's signature No. 5 has never been officially retired by the Packers. Quarterback Don Majkowski and receiver Dick Gordon briefly wore the number which has also been worn by players in preseason games. Hornung joins Herb Adderley, Willie Wood and Willie Davis as Packers legends who passed on in 2020, along with Jim Taylor, Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg in recent years. Guard Jerry Kramer, end Boyd Dowler and defensive end Dave Robinson are amongst the dwindling ranks of surviving Lombardi-era Packers.

 

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