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Remembering Larry Wilson – Creator of the Safety Blitz 0

Posted on September 19, 2020 by Dean Hybl

The NFL lost a pioneering innovator this week with the passing of Hall of Fame defensive back Larry Wilson at the age of 82.

Though only 6-foot-0, 180 pounds, Wilson developed into one of the most feared defenders of his era as the first safety to regularly rush the quarterback in a play that became known as the safety blitz.

A two-way starter at the University of Utah, Wilson was selected by the Chicago Cardinals in the seventh round of the 1960 draft (which was conducted in November 1959). The team moved to St. Louis prior to the 1960 season and Wilson soon became a defensive pioneer.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Evonne Goolagong Cawley: Tennis Mom
      July 11, 2021 | 2:34 pm
      Evonne Goolagong Cawley

      Fifty years before Ashleigh Barty claimed her first Wimbledon Championship, another Australian woman claimed the Wimbledon Women’s Singles title on her way to a Hall of Fame career.

      The path to tennis greatness was a unique one for Evonne Goolagong Cawley. The daughter of an itinerant sheep shearer, Goolagong Cawley was the third of eight children in an Australian Aboriginal family. Though Aboriginal people faced significant discrimination during that era, Goolagong Cawley was able to play tennis from a young age due to the generosity and support of numerous people within Australia.

      She emerged on the international tennis stage as a 19-year-old in 1971 as she reached the finals of the Australian Open and then won the French Open and Wimbledon titles. She remains the only person to win the French Open women’s title in her first time playing in the tournament.

      In 1972, she reached the finals of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, but did not claim any of the titles. She also played the U.S. Open for the first time in 1972 and reached the third round.

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