Sunday, August 14, 2022

Bob Parsons dies at 72: Ex-Bears punter became NFL single-season leader after converting from QB, TE

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Bob Parsons, known well for his time with the Chicago Bears in yesteryear that included the famed Mike Ditka era, has died at the age of 72. Parsons was a fifth-round selection of the Bears in 1972, having made a name for himself at Penn State as both a quarterback and a tight end, going on to play the latter at times in Chicago while also primarily acting as the team’s resident punter. As a tight end, he’d start in 10 games during the 1975 season, but his time spent as a punter is what placed him in the NFL history books.

The former Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native averaged 38.7 yards per boot on 884 punts — a franchise record that stands to this day — also leading the NFL in both punt yardage and in punts during the 1981 and 1982 seasons. In 1981, specifically, he executed a total of 114 punts, a number that has yet to be exceeded in the league. 

Parsons went on to play through the 1983 season with the Bears before ending his football career with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL and then moving on to other endeavors that included real estate appraisal. 

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