In 1967 The Hammer went from Superbowl I to meeting English boy scouts

I simply can’t help it, after a day at work talking about marketing plans and communications strategies I do like to somehow alter the office conversation to the NFL.

Today I was talking to a chap who is temporarily based in my office to support our communications planning, and inevitably we swapped personal website/blog info.

When I explained to this gent that I liked NFL football he went all retro on me and asked if the Kansas City Chiefs still existed.

I said yes they did but they were not playing good football at the moment.

This chap recalled how, as a teenager in 1967, he went over from England to Missouri as part of a ginormous boy scout camp.

Along with seeing real live native indians he was introduced to some giant people in shoulder pads from a team called the Kansas City Chiefs.

When I asked the chap if he could remember the names of any players he said no, but even though it was 42 years ago he remembered the nickname of one of the players – ‘The Hammer’.

I did a quick Google search on my mobile phone and found that this chap was referring to Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson, a defensive back who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs in the 60s.

It happens that ‘The Hammer’ became an actor and director and has quite a long history on the silver screen, including a number of blaxploitation movies in the 70s. ‘The Hammer’ even posed naked for Playgirl in the 70s (too much information I know).

I’m not sure this chap realised that he met a guy that played in the first ever Superbowl (a Chiefs loss to the Green Bay Packers) in the same year he played in that game.

Once I explained that this colleague seemed genuinely impressed.

It made me think, I’d love to go back to the 1960s and the time when the traditional NFL and the new upstart AFL league were competing for players and supremacy.

For those who want to know why Fred Williamson was called ‘The Hammer’ it was because his imposing forearm actually cracked opposing players helmets.

Williamson actually played himself with an adapted three bar facemask so opposing teams could not snap his neck back – here is a replica of the helmet he wore back in the 60s.

'The Hammer's' unique 3-bar facecage from the 1960s

Fascinating stuff eh! – Boy scout meets Superbowl athlete and 42 years later realises the significance !

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