Golden Football Magazine
Football Profile                                      
Profile: Alex Wojciechowicz
From an article in the 1968 Saints @ Lions football program.
He was an expert with the knitting needles and he was fun to be around, the comic relief of the team. But that was off the field!
On the field, he was all business, one of the last of professional football's truly "iron men," so great, in fact, that he was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
His name was Alexander Francis Wojciechowicz and, while the Detroit Lions bring a proud record of 34 years in the National Football League into the 1968 season, it is doubtful whether any Lion ever did his expected job better than did Wojie.
A No. 1 draft pick of the Lions in 1938, Wojie earned the "iron man" tag his very first week as a pro by playing in four games within on week - the Chicago All-Star game, the New York All-Star game, a Detroit intra-squad game and a Detroit-Pittsburgh presea­son game! By the first regular-season game, Wojie had won the No. 1 center spot for the Lions and he held the job for the next eight and one-half seasons.
Then, nearing what appeared to be the end of a distinguished career, Wojie would go to Philadelphia midway in the 1946 season and there he would enjoy some of his greatest days in the final four and one-half seasons of his career. Never with a champion during his tenure in Detroit, Wojciechowicz finally found championship payoffs with the Eagles, who won an Eastern Division title in 1947 and World's Championships in 1948 and 1949.
A 60-minute, two way performer while with the Lions, Wojie became strictly a defensive specialist with the Eagles. Earle (Greasy) Neale, the Eagles head coach at the time, built his defenses around the ace linebacker and the results speak for themselves.
The Eagles had the unique distinction of winning two straight NFL titles by shutout scores, defeating the Chicago Cardinals 7-0 in 1948 and the Los Angeles Rams 14-0 in 1949.
In spite of his all-around excellence over a long period of time - when he retired, only Sammy Baugh surpassed Wojie in point of service in the NFL - Wojciechowicz never made an all NFL team. Two other Pro Football Hall of Famers, Clyde (Bulldog) Turner and Mel Hein, always seemed to have a stranglehold on those honors. As a pivotman, though, Wojie had one particular distinction no one else could match - the widest stance, five feet, four inches.

L-R: Alex Wojciechowicz, Greasy Neale, Bulldog Turner, Mel Hein
But it was as a defender that Wojie is perhaps remembered best. Hard to dislodge, he loved the game rough, reported the Eagles press book of 1948. He was an excellent pass defender, too, and for several years, his seven passes intercepted in 1944 stood as a Detroit club record. Coach Neale, who revitalized Wojie after he became an Eagle in 1946, cites an example of just how tough Wojie really was on pass defense.
"The Redskins had Bones Taylor in 1947 and, in our opener, he caught five touchdown passes," Neale recalls. "So the next time we played Washington, I put Wojie on Bones. He never caught a pass that day and he never caught a pass against us the next three years. Wojie made sure of that."
A three-sport star and all-state gridder at his hometown South River high school in New Jersey, Wojie gained national prominence for the first time as the pivotman of the famous "Seven Blocks of Granite" Fordham lines of the late '30's. Flanking Wojie at guards were Vince Lombardi and another all-America of the day, Mike Franco. Wojie himself was a virtually unanimous all-America choice in both 1936 and 1937.

's "Seven Blocks of Granite"
Wojciechowicz is the center, and Vince Lombardi is the right guard.
Among former Detroit Lions, Wojie joins three great backs, Dutch Clark, Bill Dudley and Bobby Layne, in the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
And when Wojie retired at the age of 36, a veteran of 13 years in the ranks of football's best, everyone immediately agreed - athletically or alphabetically, you won't soon again see another quite like Wojciechowicz.

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