"Wild Man" Willey

Updated March 1, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

I recently saw a show about a Philadelphia Eagles player who had 17 sacks in one game against the Giants. His nickname was "Wild Man Williey" - can you tell me who this was?

The Answer:

According to Philadelphia newspaper reports, in a game on October 26, 1952, at the Polo Grounds against the Giants, Willey had 17 sacks in a 14-10 Eagles victory. Sacks were not recorded by the NFL in 1952, so Kansas City's Derrick Thomas still holds the official record of seven on November 11, 1990.

Fierle points out that Willey's total, although impressive, may not be completely accurate by today's standards. Some of those sacks would have been registered simply as tackles of other members of the backfield behind the line of scrimmage.

In a story by Football Weekly's Ron Pollack, even Willey has stopped endorsing 17 in public and admits it might have been just 15. Nevertheless, the afternoon was unforgettable for just about everyone - especially Giants' QB Charlie Conerly.

-The Editors

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