Remembering former Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey

Claude Humphrey (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Claude Humphrey (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Sometimes, it’s hard to find the appropriate words to express something. Hall-of-Fame defensive end Claude Humphrey isn’t someone that you should just toss some empty words out about, so this story comes a little late. For that, we apologize as a staff, but we, having never met him, wanted to give him the appropriate sendoff.

Humphrey, at 77 years young, passed away on Friday. There was no way we weren’t going to acknowledge him or state publicly that his family and loved ones are in our prayers.

Claude Humphrey was a great man, and he’ll truly be missed

We knew that Claude Humphrey spent three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles after spending 11 years in Atlanta as a member of the Falcons and that he helped the Birds reach the Super Bowl at the end of the 1980-1981 season. We knew that it took the voters forever to place him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and based on everything that we had heard, it should have never taken them as long to do so as it did.

We also knew that in 50 games as a member of the Birds, he made 23 career starts (those numbers include the playoffs). That led to 31.5 sacks, giving him 130 for his career. What we didn’t know was he was a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, that he was named as a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association’s Hall of Very Good Class of 2009, and that he is both a member of both the Georgia Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Hall of Fame.

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All of that still falls under the category of football-related things though, so let’s leave it at this. One of the aspects of Humphrey’s legacy that we must mention is the following. Everyone we respect that talks about him, from Dick Vermeil to Harold Carmichael speak about him glowingly, and when you don’t have personal knowledge of someone, it’s always better to poll the people that know him.

Claude Humphrey trades those Eagles and Falcons wings for those of an angel. We hope our words have done him justice. He’ll truly be missed by many.