Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Around the Campfire: Billy Cannon
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 > Billy Cannon

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Charlie D.

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Posted: 05/22/18 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Posting here in case Bags has not seen that former LSU player and Heisman winner Billy Cannon has passed away. Our sports fanatic buddy Bagman loves all things football and is probably college footballs biggest fan of Jim Taylor.

William Abb Cannon (August 2, 1937 – May 20, 2018) was an American football running back and tight end who played professionally in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). He attended Louisiana State University (LSU), where he played college football as a halfback, return specialist, and defensive back for the LSU Tigers. At LSU, Cannon was twice unanimously named an All-American, helped the 1958 LSU team win a national championship, and received the Heisman Trophy as the nation's most outstanding college player in 1959. His punt return against Ole Miss on Halloween night in 1959 is considered by fans and sportswriters to be one of the most famous plays in LSU sports history. He and Jim Taylor played in the same backfield;d one season at LSU. When one looks at statistics he had his success on the field and yardage gained were amazing for that time in college and professional football but is dwarfed by players of today.

Cannon was selected as the first overall pick the 1960 NFL Draft and as a first-round territorial pick in the 1960 American Football League draft, resulting in a contract dispute that ended in court. Cannon played in the AFL for the Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders before ending his football career with the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. He began his professional career as a halfback for the Oilers. A two-time AFL All-Star, Cannon led the league in rushing and all-purpose yards in 1961. He was named the most valuable player of the first two AFL championship games, which were won by the Oilers. He was moved to fullback and later tight end after being traded to the Raiders, with whom he won another league championship in 1967. That season, he played in the second AFL–NFL World Championship game, retroactively known as Super Bowl II, in which his team was defeated by the Green Bay Packers.

Cannon became a dentist after retiring from football. In 1983, after a series of bad real estate investments, he became involved in a counterfeiting scheme and served two and a half years in prison. In 1995, he was hired as a dentist at Louisiana State Penitentiary, a position he held until his death in 2018. His jersey number 20 was retired by LSU football in 1960, and he was inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Rumor has it that he buried the counterfeit money in his back yard.


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bagman

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Posted: 05/22/18 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Charlie, thank-you so much for publishing this information about Billy Cannon as I do enjoy football trivia, especially if it is related to my favorite Full Back Mr. Jim Taylor. What you did was extremely thoughtful! YGF, Chuck/Bagman.


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bagman

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Posted: 05/22/18 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm rather curious what was the cause of death! Heart Attack, massive stroke, cancer, & Etc? I googled Billy Cannon, but it didn't say. Perhaps I can learn more over at ESPN! Oddly enough, I went over to ESPN/NFL and didn't find the story on Billy Cannon, but did find it on ESPN/College Football. From what I read, he was a very impressive football player, who not only had great strength, but also a very fast runner! It also said he died a peaceful death. Bags.

* This post was edited 05/22/18 02:48pm by bagman *

Charlie D.

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Posted: 05/23/18 05:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry Bags. but I able unable to find anything other than he died in his sleep.. He was 80.

* This post was edited 05/23/18 06:43am by Charlie D. *

AlabamaTraveler

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Posted: 05/28/18 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am old enough to remember Billy Cannon. He was a great player for LSU.


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memtb

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Posted: 06/06/18 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A little late on the post.....just got home. Growing-up, almost in the shadows of “Death Valley”, I vividly remember hearing the replay (many times) of his run-back against Ole Miss.....every year just before the LSU - Ole Miss game.


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Posted: 06/15/18 01:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I also remember a great running back, Charlie Flowers, who played during that era. I think it was '59 when LSU was the only team to beat Ole Miss by a score of 7-3 in the regular season. Cannon returned a punt for the only TD and Flowers missed the tackle (We all played both ways back then). In the Sugar Bowl return match, Ole Miss won 21-0. LSU was still national champs, since the bowls didn't count, back then.

Flowers has also passed away.

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