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Bill Fralic
No. 79
Personal information
Born:(1962-10-31)October 31, 1962
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died:December 13, 2018(2018-12-13) (aged 56)
Atlanta, Georgia
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:280 lb (127 kg)
Career information
High school:Penn Hills
(Penn Hills, Pennsylvania)
College:Pittsburgh (1981–1984)
NFL Draft:1985 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:132
Games started:131
Player stats at PFR

William P. Fralic Jr. (/ˈfrlɪk/ FRAY-lik[1]) (October 31, 1962 – December 13, 2018) was an American professional football player who was a guard for the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL) from 1985 to 1993. He played college football for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Early years

Born in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, Fralic played high school football at Penn Hills High School and graduated in 1981. Readers of the Pennsylvania Football News named him to the "All Century" team of Pennsylvania high school football players. He is listed beside Chuck Bednarik and Mike Munchak as a first team offensive lineman. Fralic was named the male high school athlete of the year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.[2]


After high school, the highly recruited Fralic attended the University of Pittsburgh on a football scholarship. While at Pitt, he played offensive tackle for the Panthers and was named a consensus All-American his junior and senior seasons. He was known for the 'Pancake Block' which was termed for the way he would flatten his opponents when blocking. Fralic's teammates at Pitt included future Pro Bowl tackle Jimbo Covert and future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

NFL career

In the 1985 NFL Draft, Fralic was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the second overall pick. He became a starter for the Falcons at offensive guard during his rookie season. Fralic went on to be named All-Pro in 1986 and 1987, and was named to the Pro Bowl from 1986 to 1989. During this time, the 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m), 280 lb (127 kg) Fralic developed a reputation as a ferocious run blocker.

At the end of his NFL career, Fralic was one of the first players to take advantage of the new free agent system and jumped from the Falcons to the Detroit Lions, almost doubling his pay to $1.6 million for the 1993 season. The 1989 action figure of Fralic, from the Starting Lineup Kenner toy line, is the 'Holy Grail' for collectors. As of 2020, a loose figure (not in the package) can fetch as much as $900 US dollars. The trading card that came with the figure is worth $200-$300.

Professional wrestling and color commentary

In 1986, Fralic was one of six football players in the twenty-man battle royal at WrestleMania 2, in which Andre the Giant was the victor. He briefly returned to the World Wrestling Federation on July 4, 1993, to participate in the Stars and Stripes Challenge aboard the USS Intrepid, trying to bodyslam the 550-pound WWF champion, Yokozuna.

Fralic was a color commentator for Falcons radio broadcasts from 1995 to 1997, and commentated Pittsburgh Panther broadcasts from 2004 to 2010.

Personal life and death

Fralic died at the age of 56 on December 13, 2018 from cancer.[3][4][5]

During his NFL career, Fralic publicly opposed the use of steroids by NFL players and advocated more rigorous and more random testing to detect steroid use. In May 1989, he testified before the U.S. Senate that steroid use in the NFL was rampant. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, was said to have found Fralic's testimony "refreshing and believable."[citation needed]

In Atlanta, Fralic ran Bill Fralic Insurance Services, which he began during his playing days with the Falcons.[citation needed]

Fralic had an unusual provision in his first contract with the Falcons that guaranteed that the team would pay him $150,000 per year for 40 years, even after he was no longer with the Falcons and his playing career was over. This provision came about because Fralic's father, Bill Fralic Sr., insisted that his son have security in his contract.[6]


  1. ^ "Former Penn Hills, Pitt Football Star Bill Fralic Dies At 56". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  2. ^ Eberson, Sharon (June 19, 1981). "Bill Fralic". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 13.
  3. ^ EndPlay (December 13, 2018). "BILL FRALIC: Legendary Pitt football star Bill Fralic has died". WPXI. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  4. ^ "Former Pitt, Penn Hills star Bill Fralic dies at age 56 | TribLIVE". Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Bill Fralic, Pitt All-American and Penn Hills football great, dies at 56". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Weyler, John (October 25, 1986). "Mouth of South : Bill Fralic, Falcons' Star Offensive Guard, Is Known to Talk as Bluntly as He Blocks". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 7, 2021. Bill Fralic Sr. has worked in a steel mill for 30 years. He's president of the local union and made sure his son had security written into his contract. Fralic's four-year, $7.75-million contract includes bonded annual $150,000 payments for the next 40 years.