Ed Sprinkle

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Ed Sprinkle
Ed Sprinkle (Bowman).jpg
No. 7
Position:Guard / Defensive end / Tight end
Personal information
Born:(1923-09-03)September 3, 1923
Bradshaw, Texas
Died:July 28, 2014(2014-07-28) (aged 90)
Palos Heights, Illinois
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Tuscola (TX) Jim Ned
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Edward Alexander Sprinkle (September 3, 1923 – July 28, 2014) was an American football player. He was known to many as "The Meanest Man in Pro Football" and was nicknamed "The Claw." He played for 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears of the National Football League and is credited with calling attention to the NFL's defensive players. Bears coach George Halas referred to Sprinkle as "the greatest pass-rusher I've ever seen" and "a rough, tough ballplayer, but not a dirty one."[citation needed] At first he played on both defense and offense. He caught 32 passes for 451 yards and seven touchdowns during his career. His ability to rush opposing quarterbacks, however, soon made him a defensive specialist, earning 4 Pro Bowls. While accused of "dirty play" and unsportsman-like conduct during his career, Sprinkle claimed that his aggressive play was similar to that found all over the NFL throughout the 1950s. According to Sprinkle, "We were meaner in the 1950s because there were fewer positions and we fought harder for them. It was a different era."[1]

Prior to his NFL career, Sprinkle won three letters in football and two in basketball and earned All-Border Conference while at Hardin–Simmons University in the early 1940s. He earned all-Eastern honors in 1943 while attending the United States Naval Academy. Following his pro career, Sprinkle entered business in the Chicago area. He died on July 28, 2014.[2][3]

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Sprinkle to the PFRA Hall of Very Good Class of 2007.[4]


  1. ^ "Former Bear Ed Sprinkle, 1923-2014, was standout defensive player".
  2. ^ Goldstein, Richard (August 1, 2014). "Ed Sprinkle, Defensive End Known for Violent Play, Dies at 90". nytimes.com. New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  3. ^ "Ed Sprinkle, football's 'meanest man', dies at 90".
  4. ^ "Hall of Very Good Class of 2007". Retrieved November 23, 2016.

External sources[edit]

  • "Ed Sprinkle" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 12 (1): 1–3. 1990. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-10-07.