August 16, 2011
Hall of Fame receiver Pete Pihos, known as “The Golden Greek”, passed away this morning at age 87. This from Comcast Sportsnet:
Eagles Hall of Fame receiver Pete Pihos died Tuesday morning at the age of 87. Pihos, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died in his sleep at 1:40 a.m.
Pihos spent his entire nine-year career with the Eagles and helped lead them to consecutive championships in 1948 and 1949. He caught the game-winning touchdown in the ’49 championship game against the Rams.
A six-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro, he led the NFL in receptions for three straight seasons (1953-55). He also led the league in receiving yards twice (1953 and 1955) and once in touchdown catches (1953).
Despite the fact that he played in a “run first era”, he still has the 3rd most catches in Eagles history.Furthermore, he was a 2 way player, and was an All-Pro on defense in 1952. In 1953, he became the first Eagle receiver to have a 1,000 yard season (while playing 12 games), and he still has the 3rd most career catches and the 4th most career yards receiving in Eagles history.
But he was more than just a Hall of Fame football player. We don’t really get to know our sports heroes personally, and if we’re honest with ourselves we know that we’re primarily cheering for the uniform, and rarely the human inside of it. But Pete Pihos’s daughter Melissa has made sure that her father is remembered as more than just a Hall of Fame athlete. She is a performance artist in North Carolina, and she made this short but moving documentary about her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease a few years ago. More than just a great athlete, her video makes it clear that her father was also a heck of a guy. RIP, Pete Pihos.