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Original Issue

The Happy Face of Pro Football

The violent face of pro football (SI, Oct. 24) in the season just ended has belonged pre-eminently to Chuck Bednarik, the 60-minute center linebacker of the Philadelphia Eagles. But after Bednarik's team beat the Green Bay Packers for the world championship a fortnight ago (page 40), the face of ferocity became the face of fun. Relaxing in the dressing room, Bednarik lit up a cigar, accepted a proffered cigarette and managed to look drunk on joy alone. Bednarik deserved his celebration. At 35, an age when most players have retired to the bench, he was the only man to play the entire game, leading the Eagle offense at center and, as linebacker on defense, making more tackles than any other man on the field. The smoke he generated in the dressing room was only a pale reminder of the fire he left on the field.