Gene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb
Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb was a 6-foot-6, 284-pound defensive tackle in the 1950s and early 1960s whose combination of size and speed was unusual for that era. A three-time Pro Bowler, Lipscomb – who would often tackle a player using just one of his enormous hands – played on the Baltimore Colts’ NFL Championship teams of 1958 and 1959. On the field, Lipscomb regularly helped up offensive players whom he’d just manhandled, while off the field, he could be similarly kind. Lipscomb was known to stop his car upon seeing a shoeless inner-city child and take them shopping with their mother. But Lipscomb, a Detroit native whose own mother was murdered when he was 11 – and who served in the Marines rather than play in college – had another side, too. A big drinker and womanizer with a particular hankering for hotel maids, he once got married in Tijuana while still married to someone else. Lipscomb, who also suffered from insomnia and was a professional wrestler in the offseason, appeared to improve with age as a player, making a Pro Bowl in his final season, with the Steelers, in 1962. The following year, at age 31, Lipscomb died of a heroin overdose.