Detroit Lions wide receiver Pat Studstill in the 1960s, dies at 83
Pat Studstill, a wide receiver and two-time Pro Bowler for the Detroit Lions in the 1960s who was also a decorated punter and then embarked on an acting career, has passed away.
Studstill died at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, according to a Detroit News obituary. He was 83 years old.
Studstill played for the Lions from 1961 to 1967 and led the NFL in receiving yards in 1966 with 1,266. He made the Pro Bowl in 1965 as a punter, with a record 78 punts for an average. from 42.8 yards, for a Lions team that was among the last in the NFL to employ full-time specialists, and in 1966 as a wide receiver. . He received five touchdowns in 1966 – one for an NFL record 99 yards, on the left side of backup quarterback Karl Sweetan, who replaced Milt Plum in a searing loss to the Colts in Baltimore.
It was in 1966 that Studstill also racked up five straight games of 125 or more receiving yards, an NFL record that was later tied by Calvin Johnson in 2012. Studstill had 700 receiving yards during that five-mile streak. matches; Johnson’s stretch included 702 yards, breaking Studstill’s franchise record.
In its first two seasons, the Lions were 19-8-1 and in a Playoff Bowl game both years.
His rookie year, he returned a 100-yard kickoff for a touchdown. In his sophomore year, he led the league in yards per punt return, averaging 15.8.
He was one of a long list of characters from those former Lions teams, starring fellow Hall of Fame footballer turned actor Alex Karras. Studstill was a “total extrovert” who enjoyed nights on the town, beers, and chatting with anyone and everyone, even once walking through the Tiger Stadium broadcast booth as the radio man Tigers Ernie Harwell was in the middle of a sentence, retired Detroit News sports reporter Jerry Green recalled.
Studstill played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1968 to 1971 and played for the New England Patriots in 1972, ending his career with 2,840 yards and 18 touchdowns.
He then retired and turned to Hollywood.
In 1974, he was technical advisor for “The Longest Yard”, then embarked on the acting profession, with more than 200 commercials to his credit, including work on camera and voice-over. Studstill also had acting credits in television shows such as “The Dukes of Hazzard”, “Magnum, PI” and “The Incredible Hulk”. He also appeared as himself in “Paper Lion” during his playing days.
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He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and attended the University of Houston, before being signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent. He was also an avid golfer and a rescue dog owner.
Studstill is survived by his wife Rita, son Pat III, daughters Lisa and Shannon and two grandchildren. Instead of flowers, the family suggests donating to a charity of your choice; Studstill was particularly passionate about food banks, animal rescues, and conservation of the Earth.
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