More on Howard Glenn’s Death in Houston

Oct. 9, 1960: #66 Howard Glenn makes the tackle on an Oiler RB. Within 3 hours, Glenn will be dead from game injuries or heat stroke.

Oct. 9, 1960: #66 Howard Glenn makes the tackle on an Oiler RB. Within 3 hours, Glenn will be dead from game injuries.

Three days ago, October 9, 2013, I wrote an article about the death of Howard Glenn, a lineman for the New York Titans, from injuries sustained in an AFL game his team played against the Houston Oilers exactly 53 years earlier at old Jeppesen Stadium on Cullen Boulevard. It is called “Houston: Death on a Football Afternoon”.

Since then, contributor Tom Hunter has forwarded me another more detailed exploration of that tragic day and what may have happened to Howard Glenn that fateful date. Howard’s death apparently brought about the formal hiring of the Titans’ team physician and a requirement by the AFL that teams have x-ray equipment available at game sites as minimal changes in the direction of providing some in-place protection from the sorry fate that long ago claimed the life of Howard Glenn.

Howard Glenn and I would be about the same age today, had he not been killed playing football under the plantation mentality that widely existed within professional football ownership and within a sadly large part of our culture back in 1960. That identification by age thought sorrows me all the more. – I got to live a long life and am hoping for more. – Howard Glenn did not get that rainbow ride, nor can he wish or work for anything else. His time here ended on a hot, humid day in Houston over a half century ago.

Life isn’t fair. – But nobody ever said it was. – If it were, the only sadness left around would be the kind that emanates from those who wallow in self-pity no matter what the truth may be.

Howard Glenn was neither a subject or object of pity. He was a victim of the times and what can happen to those who play football under the worst of circumstances – or even the best of conditions.

This recent article suggests that the New York Jets, the direct descendants of those Titans, may want to give some thought to inducting #66 Howard Glenn into their franchise Hall of Honor. Please read this piece and let The Pecan Park Eagle know your thoughts about Howard Glenn. – Do you think admitting an unremarkable skills person like Howard Glenn into the Jets Hall of Honor because he is a symbol of the once rampant neglect of its own makes sense?

Here’s a link to this recent article – and thanks again, Tom Hunter!

Have a nice Saturday, Everybody!


5 Responses to “More on Howard Glenn’s Death in Houston”

  1. Bob Hulsey Says:

    As sad as the Howard Glenn story is, he’s no different than the hundreds of young men, some with wives and children, who lost their lives on the battlefield in Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere. The only difference is that Glenn was part of a different type of draft and wasn’t an employee of the federal government.

    It’s a shame any time young, law-abiding men die. It’s sad for their parents, siblings, spouses and children. Glenn was a victim of the medical ignorance of the time and a lack of safety restraints just as other people in 1960 died without seat belts or died without motorcycle helmets.

    I would also be remiss if I did not mention the death of Chuck Hughes (, Detroit Lions WR who died of a heart attack during a game in 1971.

  2. Mark W. Says:

    Bill, I am so grateful to you and your writing. Through this link I learned about Howard Glenn, but I also learned about Ernie Barnes. Then I googled Ernie Barnes and read more about his art, and then I looked at examples of his art on the Ernie Barnes website and on Amazon. It was a powerful experience. He captures the violent aggression of football in his paintings, as filtered through his own contempt for the game he once played, so effectively that I felt myself overtaken by both fear and sadness as I looked at his work. His art goes well beyond football and there seems to be an aggressive energy in almost all of it, but there are some pieces that are surprising, by contrast, in their engaging evocations of gentle connectedness among people. He was a remarkable artist. Thank you for yet another fine contribution to your blog.

  3. NFL Deaths Reflect Inept Care and Record-Keeping | Four Walls Publishing Says:

    […] blogger Bill McCurdy concluded that Glenn in 1960 was “a victim of the times and what can happen to those who play […]

  4. Matt Chaney: NFL Deaths Reflect Inept Care and Record-Keeping | Independent Football Veterans Says:

    […] blogger Bill McCurdy concluded that Glenn in 1960 was “a victim of the times and what can happen to those who play […]

  5. Bill Machamer Says:

    At Linfield College I was a roommate and we were track members together also. I spent many hours traveling with Howard. Was shocked when I heard of his death. I loved your article on him. Thank you. Bill

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: