The greatest Eagle: Steve Van Buren, 1920-2012

Meeting the legendary Steve Van Buren, the Eagles Hall of Famer who led the team to two world championships, earlier this year was an honor that I will never forget. He was the best player in the NFL in the late 1940s, yet he was a humble. bashful man who eventually gave away all his trophies and honors -- family members don't even know what happened to his world championship ring. He was a genuine character who loved to compete in anything -- even swimming out to the middle of the mighty Mississippi when he was a kid in New Orleans, just to show he could do it.

He played wracked wiith pain in the leather helmet era and kept coming back amd coming back until a broken leg finally stopped him. Every NFL running back who ever bowled over a defender owes Van Buren a debt of gratitude for inventing that slashing style. There will never be another one like him. He died yesterday at the age of 91.

This is my obituary for the Daily News.