I’ve known Winston Hill was special for a long time now. How long? Ever since the week when, during his playing days, my mom brought home a loaf of Wonder Bread and it had a football card inside as a premium. It was Winston Hill of my beloved New York Jets, left tackle and perennial All-Star. “Great!” I thought, “How lucky is this?”
A few days later, new loaf of bread. Sure enough six or eight slices in, the card appears and ”Wow! Winston Hill! TWICE! This guy has GOT to be good,” my young mind told me. I think my buddy Rich Alifano got some guy named Namath’s card, but by then my mind was already made up — this Winston Hill fellow is Two-Loaves Good, and I’m going to keep my eye on him.
As a young fan, it really paid off, as Hill had many a great day protecting the guy on Rich’s card, much to the delight of Jets fans everywhere.
In putting together this Winston Hill gallery, I was hard-pressed to find a volume of shots — didn’t the photographers back then eat bread? But we feel there is a nice variety here for you to enjoy. My two favorites are Winston Hill going through the snap in a posed shot — the old “Huck ‘n’ Buck” football photography approach where athletes mimicked actual plays, sometimes without helmets, to benefit slow photogs and slower equipment, and the nice portrait I was able to unearth of him with teammate Sherman Plunkett, No. 79, who is no longer with us.
I’ve rounded out the gallery with a selection of photos from the Nov. 1 weekend, when Hill and some of his old mates visited head coach Rex Ryan at practice, and then attended “Winston Hill Day” on the field at halftime of the Dolphins game.
And yes, I still have those two cards!
Tags: Joe Namath, Rex Ryan, Winston Hill
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