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Vic Washington

Sport: Football

Born: March 23,1946

Died: December 31, 2008

Town: Plainfield, New Jersey

Victor Arnold Washington was born March 23, 1946 in Plainfield. His mother, Marion Washington, was 16. Vic never met his father. For most of his boyhood, he was raised by his grandmother, but when that was no longer an option he was placed in an orphanage for several years. Sports proved to be good escape for Vic. He became a very good baseball and football player, and also ran track.

Vic became the star of Abe Smith’s Plainfield High Cardinals as a running back, defensive back and return man. He was somewhat undersized at 5-11, but his explosive speed brought fans to their feet every time he touched the ball. For his part, Vic always said that he treated every play as his last.

Vic attracted several college recruiters, and he ended up accepting a scholarship from the University of Wyoming in 1965. By his junior year, he had become the nation’s top punt returner. In 1967, he and backfield partner (and fellow New Jerseyan) Jim Kiick led the Cowboys to a 10–0 regular season record, a #5 national ranking and a berth in the Sugar Bowl against LSU. After building a 13–0 halftime lead, Wyoming lost 20–13.

Vic’s college career ended abruptly later that spring when he punched out a referee during an intramural basketball game. The school expelled him. He signed a contract to play in the Canadian Football League with the Ottawa Rough Riders. He and Bo Scott gave the team a great 1–2 punch in the backfield. Vic averaged over 6 yards per carry and the fastest player in the league. He also returned a kick 104 yards for a touchdown (the following year he returned one 107 yards).

In the Gray Cup Final against Calgary Stampeders that November, Vic fumbled a pitchout with his team trailing


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