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Ed Podolak
No. 14
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1947-09-01) September 1, 1947 (age 75)
Atlantic, Iowa
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:204 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Atlantic (IA)
NFL Draft:1969 / Round: 2 / Pick: 48
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:4,451
Rush attempts:1,157
Rushing TDs:34
Receiving yards:2,456
Games played:104
Player stats at

Edward Joseph Podolak (born September 1, 1947) is a former professional American football player, a running back for nine seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League and National Football League.

Early years

Ed Podolak was born on a small farm near Atlantic, Iowa on September 1, 1947. His father, Joe was a farmer and a military veteran and his mother Dorothy was a school teacher. Ed worked on the farm, played baseball in the summer, football in the fall, and basketball in the winter, with his parents support to miss farm work during his athletic events. The Atlantic High School Trojan football teams went undefeated in Podolak's junior and senior seasons, as Ed quarterbacked the team, which won conference titles each year. The Atlantic Trojan basketball team made it to two state tournament appearances, with Podolak playing forward. Following high school, Iowa State University had hired Podolak's high school coach, Howard Justice, to coach quarterbacks, but Podolak chose to attend the University of Iowa.[1]

College football career

In the era, college freshmen were not eligible to play varsity sports. Podolak then won the starting quarterback job for Iowa as a sophomore. In his college first start, Podolak was named “Offensive Player of the Week” after the game against the Arizona Wildcats, a 42–7 Iowa victory.[2] After starting at quarterback for two and a half years for the Hawkeyes, he moved to tailback, five games into his senior season, because of an injury to the starting tailback. He set a Hawkeye and Big 10 rushing record of 286 yards in his second start at running back.[1]

In Podolak's college football career at the University of Iowa, where he was a quarterback for two seasons before converting to running back. As a quarterback, Podolak threw 28 interceptions and 8 touchdowns, but he excelled as a running back in 1968, rushing for 937 yards and 8 touchdowns with an average of 6 yards per carry, while also catching 12 passes for 188 yards and another score.[3][4]

In 1968, Podolak rushed for a then–Big Ten record with 286 yards on 17 carries in an Iowa 68–34 victory over Northwestern. Podolak earned All–Big 10 honors following the 1968 season.[5]

Professional football career

Podolak was selected in the second round of the 1969 NFL/AFL draft, 48th overall, by the Kansas City Chiefs, and the team won Super Bowl IV in his rookie season.[6][7]

During a nine-year career from 1969 to 1977, Podolak became the Chiefs' second all-time leading rusher with 4,451 yards and 34 touchdowns on 1,158 carries. He was also known for his work on special teams as a pass receiver and return man, catching 288 passes for 2,456 yards and 6 touchdowns while averaging 8.6 yards per punt and 20.5 yards per kickoff return. His 8,178 career combined yards are the second-most in the team's history. Podolak led the Chiefs in rushing four times, in receiving three times, and in punt returns three times.[8]

In the Chiefs' playoff loss to the Miami Dolphins on Christmas Day in 1971 (still the longest game in NFL history), Podolak had a playoff-record 350 total yards: 85 rushing, 110 receiving, and 155 on returns.[9][10] Podolak, who wore jersey number 14, was inducted into the Chiefs' Hall of Fame in 1989.[11]

Broadcasting career

After retirement, Podolak turned to broadcasting. He worked as a color commentator for NFL telecasts on NBC in 1978. In 1982, he began working as a commentator for Iowa Hawkeye football games on WHO radio in Des Moines and a statewide network. He worked with play-by-play announcer Jim Zabel until 1996 and then with Gary Dolphin.[12][13]

Awards and honors

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Ed Podolak".
  2. ^ "November 04, 1967 (vol. 78, iss. 57) - Image 7". Michigan Daily Digital Archives.
  3. ^ "Ed Podolak College Stats".
  4. ^ a b Rathjen, Brian NT Sports. "Atlantic native Ed Podolak named to Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame". The Southwest Iowa News Source.
  5. ^ a b Brown, Rick. "Ed Podolak Takes Rightful Place in UI Hall of Fame". Sports Illustrated Iowa Hawkeyes News, Analysis and More.
  6. ^ "1969 Kansas City Chiefs Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees".
  7. ^ "1969 NFL Draft Listing".
  8. ^ "Ed Podolak Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Draft, College".
  9. ^ "One & Done: Ed Podolak's Christmas marathon game for the 1971 Kansas City Chiefs". FOX Sports.
  10. ^ Judge, Clark. "50th Anniversary Salute: Reliving NFL's Longest Game with Chiefs' Ed Podolak". Sports Illustrated Talk Of Fame Network.
  11. ^ a b "Official Website of the Kansas City Chiefs |". Kansas City Chiefs.
  12. ^ Leistikow, Chad. "Leistikow: In-depth with Ed Podolak, 50 years after Super Bowl season with Kansas City Chiefs". Hawk Central.
  13. ^ "They're a lot of talk … but Iowa Hawkeyes' broadcasters know their business, too". August 31, 2022.
  14. ^ "Football Hall of Fame".