Skip to content

Jets great Larry Grantham dies at 78

AP

Larry Grantham, one of the greatest players in Jets history, has died at the age of 78.

A tough and feisty 210-pound linebacker, Grantham graduated from Ole Miss in 1960 and spurned the Baltimore Colts to play for the New York Titans of the upstart American Football League. The Titans would later change their names to the Jets, and Grantham would be one of their best players.

Grantham was a five-time AFL All-Star, helped the Jets win Super Bowl III and was chosen the team’s MVP in 1971. Grantham is one of only 20 players to play in all 10 of the AFL’s seasons.

“I always saw Larry as the captain and the leader,” teammate Gerry Philbin said. “His football knowledge, the way he skirted around blockers and made tackles, he just surprised a lot of people. Pound for pound, he was the best player on the Jets.”

Grantham, who played 13 seasons with the franchise, had nothing but fond memories — even of playing for a team that couldn’t always make payroll.

“Sometimes we didn’t get paid, but we had great times, and Sammy Baugh was one of the greatest coaches I ever played for,” Grantham recalled in 2011. “They’re all outstanding memories for me.”

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New York Jets, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
7 Responses to “Jets great Larry Grantham dies at 78”
  1. streetyson says: Jun 19, 2017 7:16 AM

    Great player, love hearing about the good old days of the game, but “pound for pound”? I know he played some time ago, and on the East Coast, but I’m pretty sure the 13 colonies had adopted the dollar just before his time…

    Btw, I know most of my fellow Americans think the “pound for pound” phrase comes from comparing boxers (Sugar Ray, but possibly as early as 1920s), but in fact it’s an old British saying refering to the value of goods purchased by weight. The earliest written use might be the Currency School in Britain in 19th century who insisted (to ensure the quality of paper money) British pound notes should be backed “pound for pound” in gold, and the same 100% reserves idea was then promoted in the US in the early 20th century (see: p119, World Economy and National Finance in Historical Perspective, by Charles Kindleberger 1995).

  2. 700levelvet says: Jun 19, 2017 8:57 AM

    Imagine players of today not getting paid….why on earth would they practice TD celebrations?

  3. nyneal says: Jun 19, 2017 9:30 AM

    streetyson says:
    Jun 19, 2017 7:16 AM
    Great player, love hearing about the good old days of the game, but “pound for pound”? I know he played some time ago, and on the East Coast, but I’m pretty sure the 13 colonies had adopted the dollar just before his time…_________________________________________IIf you could read and understand what you are reading, you’d realize he was talking about the Jets of the teams Grantham played on.
    And is right — Grantham was the best player on those Jets teams.

  4. barrywhererufrom says: Jun 19, 2017 9:31 AM

    RIP to a great Jet!!

  5. arcross12042004scorp15 says: Jun 19, 2017 12:07 PM

    Always good to learn about the players from the 50s and 60s who made the NFL what it is today. Those players were not making the money today’s players make. Almost every player had an ” off season” job , because you couldn’t live on the sub $ 20,000 salaries most made. There was no free agency, you took what was offered or held out. There used to be longer preseasons ( 6 games ) because the players needed the time to get in shape.Those guys truly loved the game.

  6. ajg314 says: Jun 19, 2017 12:15 PM

    RIP indeed to a great Jet. I watched him played his whole career for the Jets and loved it. Great player, tough, always gave 100%. An important cog to a great Jets defense in those days.

  7. nyneal says: Jun 19, 2017 12:43 PM

    arcross12042004scorp15 says:
    Jun 19, 2017 12:07 PM
    Always good to learn about the players from the 50s and 60s who made the NFL what it is today. Those players were not making the money today’s players make. Almost every player had an ” off season” job , because you couldn’t live on the sub $ 20,000 salaries most made. There was no free agency, you took what was offered or held out. There used to be longer preseasons ( 6 games ) because the players needed the time to get in shape.Those guys truly loved the game.

    _______________________________________

    I could not agree with you more. And — from 1934 to 1936 the NFL champ used to have to play a pre-season game against a team made up of college all stars who had been drafted, too. The pros hated that game because the college kids were all geared up to kick their teeth in to show they belonged and the NFL guys weren’t even in shape yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!