Charley Trippi, with wife Margaret, shows off the football necklace he got in 1947 for winning the NFL championship.
TAMPA, Fla. ? Charley Trippi played nine years with the Cardinals and coached another five, and to him, the franchise ?has been my life.?
?If it weren?t for the Cardinals, I couldn?t eat,? Trippi said. ?They put a lot of bread on my table, so I am very loyal to the Cardinals, they have been good to me.?
Trippi, the Hall of Fame back who was the star of the Cards? last championship team in 1947, attended Sunday?s Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. A guest of owner Bill Bidwill ? who was a ball boy for that 1947 team ? in the Cards? suite, Trippi and his wife Margaret also stayed at the team hotel.
Trippi brought with him the small gold football (at the end of a golden necklace)that players received for winning an NFL title back in 1947. It is much different than the gaudy Super Bowl rings players receive these days.
Some 50 years later, Trippi and his teammates were given rings
Trippi called the difference between today?s NFL and that 1947 era ?night and day.? Without TV and the resulting exposure, Trippi said many fans in those days didn?t even believe the games were real ? instead thinking it more a professional wrestling-type scripted outcome.
Despite the riches his Hall of Fame talents might have brought Trippi in the modern NFL, he said he wouldn?t trade his time period. Because of when he played, Trippi said he was able to invest in cheap commercial real estate, setting him up for life.
?It worked out great for me,? Trippi said. ?I am happy for the ballplayers today.?
Trippi was also happy for his former team and their date in the Super Bowl.
?I never dreamed this day would come,? Trippi said.