Chiefs fans, mark your calendars and pack your bags; there's a celebration to be had in Canton, Ohio this August.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced today that former Chiefs DT Curley Culp will be enshrined as part of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2013.
"On behalf of the entire Chiefs family, we'd like to congratulate Curley Culp on his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said.
"Curley was one of many great players that helped lead this franchise to a Super Bowl victory in 1970, and that team, including Curley, helped build the tradition and foundation of the Kansas City Chiefs. Curley was a fierce competitor and a difference maker who commanded a great deal of respect. I know my father would be very proud of Curley and his enshrinement in Canton."
Curley becomes the 10th longtime member of the Kansas City Chiefs to be elected, joining Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Len Dawson, Lamar Hunt, Willie Lanier, Jan Stenerud, Hank Stram, Derrick Thomas, and Emmitt Thomas, who all earned the NFL's highest honor. Culp was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2008.
During his era, Culp was touted as one of the quickest defensive linemen in the league, anchoring the Chiefs defensive line for six-plus seasons. He played in 179 games during 14 seasons of professional football, dressed in the red, gold and white uniform between 1968-74.
Culp started at defensive tackle on Kansas City's Super Bowl IV squad, helping the Chiefs earn a 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. He becomes the fifth player from that Super Bowl winning team to be enshrined in Canton.
Already a member of the Chiefs 25-Year All-Time Team, Culp played in the AFL All-Star Game after the 1969 season and the Pro Bowl after the 1971 campaign. He was named AP Defensive Player of the Week for outstanding games in both 1969 and 1973. Culp claimed the unofficial sack crown for the Chiefs (9) in 1973 and totaled five fumble recoveries while playing for Kansas City.
Born on March 10, 1946, Culp was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos, during the second round of the 1968 AFL Draft but was later traded to Kansas City, prior to the season. He appeared in 82 games for the Chiefs and after six-plus seasons, Culp was traded to the Houston Oilers in 1974 and played eight more seasons with Houston (1974-80) and Detroit (1980-81), earning four Pro Bowl berths during his time with the Oilers.
The Yuma, Arizona native, who earned All-America honors from The Sporting News and Time as a collegiate at Arizona State, Culp was also the NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion in 1967 and was named to the 1968 U.S. Olympic wrestling team.
Kansas City Chiefs team historian Bob Moore shared what Culp brought to the Chiefs.
"Culp was the dominating nose tackle of his era, a prototype of what coaches wanted in that position," Moore said.
"He was the centerpiece, along with Buck Buchanan, on one of the NFL's greatest defensive lines. In Super Bowl IV, the Vikings found out just how formidable he could be and a performances like that, in the game's premier event, gives a nominee more credibility."
An already exciting 2013, which began with the new addition of head coach Andy Reid and staff, followed by the hiring of new general manager John Dorsey, continues to get better with Curley Culp receiving the league's highest honor, a Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement.
Congratulations, Curley! We can't wait to celebrate with you August 3, in Canton, Ohio.