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Robert Lee “Sam” Huff Sr., 87, college and Hall of Famer football professional, died peacefully on November 13, 2021. His daughter, Catherine Huff Myers, said he died of natural causes at Winchester Valley Health Center in Winchester. Va.
Huff was a legendary defender of the National Football League, who played for both the New York Giants (1956-1963) and the Washington Redskins (1964-1967, 1969). After retiring, he was a Redskins Radio broadcaster, vice president of marketing for Marriott Corporation and CEO of the West Virginia Breeders Classic Equestrian Association.
Born in Edna Gas, he attended Farmington High School (now closed), where he received honors from all states for football and was named to the first All-Mason-Dixon Conference team. In the summer of 1952, Huff married his high school girlfriend, Mary Helen Fletcher. In the fall, he entered the University of West Virginia and played football for the Mountaineers.

At WVU, Huff was a four-year-old writer, one of the “Fabulous Five” players, and was the first All-American team in football and All-American in academia in 1955. WVU pulled out 75 of its Climbers.

As a college player, he was spotted by a giant scout and was a selector of the third round of the New York Giants draft. Two legendary coaches, Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, saw Huff potential, and Landry, the defense coach for the Giants at the time, changed Huff’s playing position from line to midfield and built the team defense around him. . The press called Huff the “Man in the Middle.” In 1959, he appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and in 1960, was the subject of Walter Cronkite’s twentieth-century CBS series, “The Violent World of Sam Huff.”

Huff and his New York Giant teammates helped focus the nation’s attention on NFL football when they were NFL champions in 1956 and when they played in the 1958 NFL Championship game labeled “The Greatest Game Ever Played” “, which was the first NFL game that went to sudden death during overtime. When he played for the Giants, sports writers liked the battles between Huff and two other footballers, Cleveland’s Jim Brown and Green Bay’s Jim Taylor, legend in NFL history. He played seven seasons with the New York Giants.

In 1964, Huff was traded to the Redskins. That day, the Wall Street bar read, “Huff Traded.” Fans and journalists were amazed. It was the most controversial sports trade of the time. Huff continued to play passionately with the Washington Redskins for another five successful seasons before retiring as player and coach for coach Vince Lombardi in 1969. While playing for the Redskins, Huff and Redskins teammate Sonny Jurgensen became friends with lifelong and then they retired, they were reunited by broadcasting Redskins games on WMAL radio, which was joined by Frank Herzog. The Redskins documentary, “The Legend of the Brothers,” was the story of their career and friendship. Jurgensen helped Huff get the revenge he sought to exchange when the two reached the score against the Giants in one of the highest in NFL history, 72-41.

Huff’s career highlights and awards made him one of the 100 best NFL players of all time.

He was an NFL Champion in 1956, on the All-NFL Decade team of the 1950s, five times in the Pro-Bowl, the First-Team All-Pro twice, and four times in the Second All-Pro Team. He was on the Giants Ring of Honor in New York and the Washington Redskins Ring of Fame. NFL player statistics show in his career 30 interruptions, five hits and 17 rebounds recovered.

Huff left behind his daughter, Catherine Huff Myers, of Alexandria, Va .; a son, Joseph D. Huff; of Fort Pierce, Fla .; grandchildren, Timothy N. Huff, Mary C. Huff, and Robert L. Huff III; great-grandson, Robert L. Huff IV; his ex-wife, Mary Helen Fletcher Huff; and his partner, Carol Holden. His eldest son, Robert Lee Huff Jr., and his son-in-law, Gary Myers, precede his death in 2018.

Instead of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: Alzheimer’s Association, see Sam Huff
Honor page https://tinyurl.com/he2rp45p, or West Virginia University School of Medicine, Fund for Medicine, https://give.wvu.edu/medicine.

The Huff family would like to invite friends and fans to the Erickson Alumni Center at the University of West Virginia, 1 Alumni Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506, on Saturday, December 4, 2021, to pay their respects to Number 75 and his legacy. . The center will be open from 14-18 for attendees. The Huff family has entrusted the care and arrangements to the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel 201 Columbia St., Fairmont.

Consolations:
www.fordfuneralhomes.com