In today’s edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor a fan favorite who, alongside Hall of Famer Charlie Sanders, became part of the first two-tight end duo of note in NFL history. That distinction came in part form the mind of a then-Lions’ assistant coach who would go onto win four Super Bowls with a guy named Tom Brady. The player we pay tribute to today is also the owner of the best touchdown dance in franchise history, part of which you can see below – at the 3:30 mark – in the music video of the Dire Straits tune “Walk of Life.” And, as you can see from the football card, he also possessed a bad ass afro and beard.
77. David Hill
Tight End. 1976-82 Detroit; 1983-87 Los Angeles Rams
One of the Lions’ best players during his tenure, the 6-foot-2, 229 pound Hill came to the Lions in the second-round of the 1976 draft. He would be very productive, in limited playing time, as a rookie backup to Charlie Sanders in 1976. Davis would total 5 touchdowns, on only 19 catches as a pro-freshman. Pegged to one-day replace the aging Sanders, he moved into the starting tight end spot in 1978 when “Charlie Deep” retired. He would lead the team in receptions that year with 53, totaling 633 yards and 4 touchdowns, earning his first Pro Bowl trip in the process. He would follow that up in 1979 with another Pro Bowl trip after catching 47 passes, and 3 touchdowns.
Hill currently holds tenth-place on the Lions’ all-time receptions list with 245 catches. He would find the end zone 23 times during his Lion career, ending each score with his famous crazy-legs celebration dance. David would play another five years for the Los Angeles Rams after being traded by the Lions in August of 1983 for the Rams 1984 third-round pick.
NOTE: For a deeper background of what the aforementioned Lions’ assistant, Bill Belichick, did with Hill and Charlie Sanders back int he 1970s, read this great article by Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole.