Sunday, January 25, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By
July 30, 2014 |

ATLANTA — Claude Humphrey wishes he could have made the Pro Football Hall of Fame “a long time ago where I could have actually enjoyed it more.”

Even so, there’s a bonus for Humphrey, the former standout defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. Now that he’s 70, it’s the perfect time for Humphrey’s 12-year-old grandson to savor the honor with him.

Humphrey’s daughter, Cheyenne Humphrey-Robinson, will make the introductory speech at the ceremony. Sitting in the audience will be her son, Archie Robinson Jr.

“I couldn’t go without my wingman,” Humphrey said.

“It’s a legacy for my only grandson. He gets a chance to learn a little something about his granddad. It’s something I don’t have to tell him. Other people can tell him. He won’t think I’m telling him a lie.”

The young Robinson will learn Humphrey was one of the game’s most feared pass rushers during a career that began in 1968 and spanned three decades, including the 1979-81 seasons in Philadelphia.

Humphrey is credited with 94 1/2 sacks for a loss of 757 yards for the Falcons from 1968-78. Each total is a team record, but because sacks weren’t officially recorded until 1982, Humphrey is convinced the numbers should be higher.

“Before they started keeping records of sacks, man, I was getting sacks left and right,” he said. “That statistic they have has got to be wrong. … The thing about me, I didn’t care so much about getting the sack. A sack was just a tackle back then. Tackling the quarterback or tackling the ballcarrier on a running play was all the same.”

Humphrey is only the second player drafted by the Falcons to make the Hall, following Deion Sanders.

“Having Claude in is great because he represents the old guys,” said longtime Falcons linebacker Greg Brezina, who was a rookie with Humphrey in 1968.

“He was a great athlete. One of the best things about him was his winning attitude. He was a team player and, of course, he’s probably one of the best defensive ends that there was out there. It’s just a shame he played so long with a team that didn’t win much. He didn’t get the recognition.”

By the Falcons’ count, Humphrey set a career high with 15 sacks in 1976. STATS doesn’t list his sacks because the records are incomplete.

That’s OK with Humphrey, who wants to be remembered as more than a sacks specialist.

“The thing about my career is I just didn’t concentrate on sacking the quarterback,” Humphrey said. “I concentrated on being the total football player. Like batting the balls. Now it’s considered a ‘hurry,’ but back then it was just a batted ball. I would always be in competition with the defensive backs to see if I could get as many batted balls as they got.”

Falcons coach Mike Smith remembers Humphrey as “an all-around defensive end who could single-handedly wreck the game.”

“I remember Claude really before they had pass-rush specialists and all that,” Smith said, adding Humphrey posted two five-sack games with Atlanta.

“It speaks volumes of what kind of player he is,” Smith said.

Humphrey temporarily retired after four games in 1978 — missing his only chance at the playoffs with Atlanta. He returned with the Eagles and finally reached the Super Bowl in the 1980 season, when he had 14 1/2 sacks.

The Eagles lost to the Raiders in Super Bowl XV, but at least Humphrey had his long-awaited chance to play in the biggest game after so many losing seasons in Atlanta.

“It was the most exciting thing that could have ever happened to me,” he said. “I went to Philadelphia to try to get on a winning team and experience what I experienced in college at Tennessee State. We were national champions two years in a row.

“In Atlanta, I never got used to losing. I just never got used to it. It made me play harder. I used to say to myself, well if we lose the game, the guy who lined up in front of me won’t have anything to be excited about. When he looks at the film, he’s not going to like what he sees of himself. I’m going to go out there and try to wear him down. That was the only thing that kept me motivated.”

Now, after his long wait, Humphrey and his wingman are headed to Canton.

“I’m not glad that it took so long,” he said, “but I’m glad I got in when I can smell the flowers.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Solano GOP welcomes address from King niece

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

     
    Nursing students take next step in higher education

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

    Friend seeks justice for 1982 Vacaville homicide victim

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 12 Comments | Gallery

     
     
    Wine, chocolate pairing comes to downtown Benicia

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Local gas prices dip below $2 a gallon

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Biggest Little Car Show returns for 31st year

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Solano Safety Net Summit set in Fairfield downtown

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

     
    Be heart smart all year long

    By Gerald Bourne, MD | From Page: C4

    Kindergarten Readiness Roundup enlightens parents

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Weather for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

    Crews respond to residential fire

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    CHP seeks witnesses to I-80 crash

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    City seeks input on downtown plan

    By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 2 Comments

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 23, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 23, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Privatized housing tenants to feel BAH pinch

    By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 22, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Airman with Fairfield tie completes training

    By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

     
    .

    US / World

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at SF rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    School: Sea otter conceived in wild is 1st born in captivity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Man searching by plane finds body of missing son off Mexico

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Elon Musk’s SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    California’s public-worker payroll increased post-recession

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Avian flu confirmed in commercial turkey flock in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Boy, 13, arrested in fatal stabbing near Los Angeles school

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Tens of thousands protest after president resigns in Yemen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Thousands march against socialist president in Venezuela

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Expert says King Tut mask can be restored after epoxy used

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Opinion

     
    Plea for return of stolen statue

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Not all police are bad

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

    Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sound off for Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Jan. 25, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    The gift of a new beginning

    By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

     
    Mennonite group to build houses in tornado-damaged town

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

    Yearbooks bring Jewish, Catholic groups together

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

     
    Horoscope Jan. 25, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

    My dad can’t get over the bad first impression of my boyfriend

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Mariel Hemingway working on memoir and young adult novel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    Jonathan Franzen to appear at BookExpo America

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    .

    Sports

    25 years of trying to get it right

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Sharapova, Bouchard into quarterfinals at Australian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    2 Williams sisters, 2 Madisons into 4th round at Aussie Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Thompson’s record 3rd quarter leads Warriors past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Belichick on deflated balls: ‘We try to do everything right’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    Carroll, Belichick excelled after failing the first time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Luck-led Team Carter vs. Romo-lead Team Irvin in Pro Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    AP Explains: The Pro Bowl, unlike any other All-Star game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Abdullah leads North to 34-13 win over South in Senior Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    As Brady, Gronk know, pre-Super Bowl injury talk always big

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Could Super Bowl be Lynch’s finale in Seattle?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sherman, Seahawks take the trash-talk lead over Patriots

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s surgically repaired hip on mend

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Buckeyes celebrate their title at Ohio Stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Jimenez, Mediate share lead in Champions Tour opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Grace wins Qatar Masters by 1 stroke

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Matt Kuchar stumbles in, gives away Humana Challenge lead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    For streaking Atlanta Hawks, it’s all about the balance

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Upstart wins $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Mischief Clem wins California Cup Derby in photo finish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Hometown report: Bowling

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

    Ashley Wagner wins 3rd US title with record-setting scores

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Weber’s 108.5-mph blast gives him hardest shot at NHL skills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Sports on TV for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 25, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Business

    Anheuser-Busch to buy craft beer company

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It’s a breeze

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

    Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

     
    Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Recalls this week: cleaners, fitness machines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    First Look: Apple’s HomeKit could help smarten up your home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

    .

    Obituaries

    Sheila Margery (Smith) Luxenberg

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics