Photo courtesy of the NFL Hall of Fame
During his 10 seasons with the Lions, Lou Creekmur, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996, helped the club to four title game appearances in the 1950s and three NFL titles (1952, 1953 and 1957). A large degree of the success of Detroit's offensive stars-Bobby Layne and Doak Walker-during the 1950s can be attributed to Creekmur.
The 6-4, 255-pound star from William and Mary was a force at both tackle and guard for the Lions, and he even spent one season (1955) filling in at defensive tackle following Les Bingaman's retirement.
Throughout his career, he would fill in on the defensive line in short-yardage situations. He was an All-NFL pick six times, as a guard in 1951 and 1952 and as a tackle in 1953, '54, '56 and '57. He was also named to the Pro Bowl (twice as guard, six times as tackle) eight straight years (1951-58), fourth-most all-time in Lions' history.
He was even invited to the postseason all-star game the year he played on the defensive unit. Creekmur played in 168 straight games until his retirement following the 1958 season.
At a downtown luncheon in the fall of 1959, Lions coach George Wilson told Creekmur that the Lions needed him. Creekmur said it was up to his boss, and the boss gave Creekmur the green light to return to the Lions. He had already missed four games and had not practiced since 1958 when he returned, but Creekmur started every game the rest of the season. Creekmur died on July 5, 2009 at the age of 82.