Curley Culp, whose strength, agility and quickness helped him to great defenses of the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Oilers in the 1960s and 1970s led to his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died on Saturday in a hospital in Pearland, Texas, South Houston. In football news, the 75-year-old’s wife, Colette Culp, said Curley Culp died of pancreatic cancer.
Culp was a strong force for defence. A former college fighter who was 6ft 1 in and weighed 265 pounds, Culp manipulated opposing offensive lineup players, especially centers, and was known to wrap defenders in his huge arms. In his career spanning 14 years, he had 68 sacks.
When Culp was traded to the Denver Broncos Chiefs in 1968, he joined a defensive unit, standing alongside four other future Hall of Famers members: Buck Buchanan, a 6-foot-7 tackle; Linebackers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier and cornerbacks Emmit Thomas.
“It was almost unfair to have Culp, Buchanan and Lanier and all those people,” then-Jets star Joe Namath told The Kansas City Star in 2013. “All those people in Kansas City?”
In 1970, the Chiefs faced the 13-point Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. Head coach Hank Stram took Culp over the line to face Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff (who died in September at the age of 81). Culp overtook Tingelhoff, allowing Buchanan, Bell and Lanier to halt the Vikings’ ongoing attack and put pressure on defender Joe Kapp.
Following the Jets’ victory against the Baltimore Colts, a team’s second consecutive victory in the American Football League against a much-loved opponent in the NFL, the Chiefs won 23–7.