Bobby Bell

American football player (born 1940)

American football player
Bobby Bell
refer to caption
Bell in 2014
No. 78
Position:Linebacker
Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1940-06-17) June 17, 1940 (age 84)
Shelby, North Carolina, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:228 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Cleveland
(Shelby, North Carolina)
College:Minnesota (1960–1962)
NFL draft:1963 / Round: 2 / Pick: 16
AFL draft:1963 / Round: 7 / Pick: 56
Career history
  • Kansas City Chiefs (1963–1974)
Career highlights and awards
Career AFL/NFL statistics
Sacks:40
Interceptions:26
Interception yards:479
Fumble recoveries:9
Defensive touchdowns:8
Player stats at PFR
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Bobby Lee Bell Sr. (born June 17, 1940) is an American former football linebacker and defensive end who played for the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and was a member of the Chiefs' team that won Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings.

High school career

Bell excelled in several sports at a then-segregated Cleveland High School in Shelby, North Carolina. In his first two years of high school, he played six-man football, playing under center at the position of halfback. During his junior year, his school converted to playing as an 11-man football team, where Bell played quarterback. He would receive All-State honors in football.

College career

At the University of Minnesota, Bell was switched to the defensive line. He was a two-time All-American (1961 and 1962) and the winner of the 1962 Outland Trophy, which is given to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman. He also finished third in Heisman Trophy voting. The Gophers with Bell were the 1960 National Champions, played in the 1961 Rose Bowl, and won the 1962 Rose Bowl. Bell was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

He joined Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, via the Mu Chapter, while at the University of Minnesota. At the age of 74, he completed his college degree at Minnesota by finishing the three remaining courses he required. He graduated on May 14, 2015, some 50 years after leaving college to play professional football.[1]

Professional football career

He played for the Kansas City Chiefs, first in the American Football League from 1963 through 1969, and then in the NFL from 1970 through 1974. Bell was an AFL All-Star for six consecutive years, 1964 through 1969, and then an NFL Pro Bowler for three straight years (1970-1972).

He was on two AFL Championship teams and a World Championship team. He was named to the All-Time All-AFL Team in 1970. He was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1980, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. The Chiefs retired his uniform number 78. In 1999, he was ranked number 66 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

One of Bell's finest moments came in the 1969 AFL divisional playoff game against the New York Jets. In a critical goal line stand, his key coverage on Jets running back Matt Snell stopped the drive and forced New York to kick a field goal. The 13–6 victory over the Jets propelled Kansas City to its first Super Bowl triumph. During a regular-season game against Denver (11/27), the Broncos, trailing 24–17 late in the game, attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Bell, who promptly returned that kick for a 53-yard touchdown.[2]

Bell was noted for his one-of-a-kind athleticism at 6' 4" and 230 pounds and was reported to have run a 4.5 40-yard dash. Bell was possibly the most physically gifted linebacker in professional football history, for his speed at such a size made him ideal at outside linebacker.[citation needed] He was noted as one of the finest open-field tacklers in professional football history.

He was also a great blitzer from the linebacker position. Chiefs records show Bell had 40 career quarterback sacks and he might have had more if he had played right linebacker, not the left linebacker. In that era, more often than not the right-side linebacker got the call to "dog" or blitz since more often than not the tight end would be lined up right, on the defense's left. Bell scored 9 touchdowns in his career: 6 off interceptions (tied for most in NFL history for a linebacker with Derrick Brooks),[3] 2 more touchdowns off fumble recoveries, and one off an onside kickoff return. Coach Hank Stram said that, "He could play all 22 positions on the field, and play them well." In addition to all that, he was regarded as one of the greatest long snapper centers for field goals and points-after-touchdowns in NCAA and AFL/NFL history.[citation needed]

NFL career statistics

Legend
PFW NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Won the Super Bowl
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Sck Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Int Yds Y/I Lng TD FR Yds Y/F TD
1963 KC 14 11 4.5 1 20 20.0 20 0 0 0 0
1964 KC 14 14 7.5 1 4 4.0 4 0 0 0 1
1965 KC 14 14 7.0 4 73 18.3 38 1 0 0 0
1966 KC 14 14 2.5 2 14 7.0 13 0 0 0 1
1967 KC 14 12 3.5 4 82 20.5 32 1 2 0 0.0 0
1968 KC 14 14 2.5 5 95 19.0 50 0 2 0 0.0 0
1969 KC 14 14 5.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.0 0
1970 KC 14 14 2.0 3 57 19.0 45 1 1 0 0.0 0
1971 KC 14 14 1.5 1 26 26.0 26 1 0 0 0
1972 KC 14 14 3.5 3 56 18.7 61 1 1 0 0.0 0
1973 KC 14 14 0.5 1 24 24.0 24 0 0 0 0
1974 KC 14 10 0.0 1 28 28.0 28 1 0 0 0
Career 168 159 40.0 26 479 18.4 61 6 9 0 0.0 2

Postseason

Year Team Games Sck
GP GS
1966 KC 2 2 1.5
1968 KC 1 1 0.0
1969 KC 3 3 1.0
1971 KC 1 1 0.0
Career 7 7 2.5

After football

After his retirement, he opened Bobby Bell's Bar-b-que in Kansas City, Missouri.

On August 22, 2016, The Tournament of Roses announced Bobby Bell, Ricky Ervins, Tommy Prothro, and Art Spander would be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame as the Class of 2016. The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony then took place on January 1, 2017, outside the Rose Bowl Stadium, one day before the kickoff of the 103rd Rose Bowl game on Monday, January 2, 2017.

See also

References

  1. ^ Bell, Bobby. "Bobby Bell honors his father by accomplishing one more goal". New York Times.com. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  2. ^ Chiefs History: 1960's Archived January 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine KCChiefs.com, retrieved January 1, 2007.
  3. ^ Mayer, Larry (July 26, 2013). "Briggs adjusting to new role as defensive play-caller". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013.

External links

Bobby Bell—awards, championships, and honors
  • v
  • t
  • e
  • v
  • t
  • e
  • v
  • t
  • e
1960 Minnesota Golden Gophers football—AP & UPI national champions
  • v
  • t
  • e
Minnesota Vikings 1963 NFL draft selections
  • v
  • t
  • e
Kansas City Chiefs 1963 AFL draft selections
  • v
  • t
  • e
Kansas City Chiefs 1966 AFL champions
  • v
  • t
  • e
Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl IV champions
  • v
  • t
  • e
  • v
  • t
  • e
Kansas City Chiefs
  • Founded in 1960
  • Formerly the Dallas Texans (1960–1962)
  • Based and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri
Franchise
Stadiums
Key personnel
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Wild card berths (10)
Division championships (16)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (5)
Retired numbers
Media
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
  • v
  • t
  • e
Kansas City Chiefs retired numbers
  • v
  • t
  • e
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1983
  • v
  • t
  • e
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Wide receivers /
ends
Tight ends
Offensive
linemen
Pre-modern era
two-way players
Defensive
linemen
Linebackers
Defensive backs
Special teams
Coaches
Contributors
Italics denotes members who have been elected, but not yet inducted.