Paul Hornung, one of the most versatile and beloved players in football history, has died from dementia at the age of 84.
Known as the “Golden Boy,” Hornung gained national notoriety during his collegiate days at Notre Dame, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1956. Though, that was just the beginning of big things for Hornung. The “Golden Boy” would then be selected with the first overall pick of the 1957 draft by the Green Bay Packers.
For ten years in Green Bay, Hornung ran the ball, caught and threw passes, and even handled placekicking duties, as he helped to form the core of Vince Lombardi’s championship juggernaut.
As Pro Football Talk reports, Hornung was named, “…MVP in 1961 and make first-team All-Pro twice. He was also part of four NFL champions and the Super Bowl I winners, although he did not play in that win over the Chiefs because of a pinched nerve in his neck.
“He retired with 3,711 rushing yards, 1,480 receiving yards, and 62 career touchdowns. He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.”
Perhaps no other football player in history had a knack for scoring the way Hornung did. His 176 points scored in 1960 is still an incredible achievement, even by modern standards.
Paul Hornung's 176 points scored in 1960 is still the second highest scoring total for a season in NFL history, which is especially impressive considering it was done in a 12 game season.
The only season with more points scored was Ladanian Tomlinson in 2006 (16 game season)
— Knute Rockne (@Rocknes_Ghost) November 13, 2020
As related in David Maraniss’ book, When Pride Still Mattered, Hornung and head coach Vince Lombardi had a father-son type of relationship. Lombardi is reported to have lost sleep worrying about Hornung and his wild social life. For Hornung’s part, it is said that he looked to Lombardi for guidance in important matters away from the football field.
The “Golden Boy” was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1986.