Overview of Deaths and Disasters


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Chuck Hughes died on the field during the final two minutes of a Lion game. The Lions have retired his number and named a trophy after him which is awarded annually for the most improved player on the team.

ESPN recently listed the most shocking moments in Professional Football and of the top three, the Detroit Lions had second and third place (Alex Karras suspension and Chuck Hughes death respectively). Only the OJ Simpson trial ranked higher. Unfortunately the Lions have had more than their fair share of disasters and death, probably more than any other professional team (although I have not researched any other teams).

The Lions are the only professional football team to have a player actually die while on the field during a game. I remember watching this game with my father and about 15 minutes or so after the game it was announced that Chuck had died. Total shock. They have had both a player and a coach die while working in their gardens (these were active players, not retired seniors).

Below are other deaths and disasters that have plagued the Lions in the last 50 years.