The 1954 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's (NFL) fourth annual all-star game which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1953 season. The game was played on January 17, 1954, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 44,214 fans. The East squad defeated the West by a score of 20–9.
The West team was led by the Detroit Lions' Buddy Parker while Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns coached the East squad. Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik was named the game's outstanding player.
|1954 East–West Pro Bowl|
|Date||January 17, 1954|
|Stadium||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California|
|MVP||Chuck Bednarik (Philadelphia Eagles)|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Tom Harmon, Red Grange|
The 1953 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their second consecutive and third overall National Football League (NFL) championship. In their fourth year under head coach Buddy Parker, the Lions compiled a 10–2 record during the regular season, outscored opponents 271 to 205, finished in first place in the NFL's Western Division, and defeated the Cleveland Browns, 17–16, in the 1953 NFL Championship Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.
The 1953 Lions ranked fifth in the NFL in scoring offense. The offense was led by quarterback Bobby Layne who compiled 2,431 yards of total offense (2,088 passing, 343 rushing) and 16 passing touchdowns. Halfback Doak Walker totaled 839 yards from scrimmage, (337 rushing, 502 receiving) and was the team's leading scorer with 93 points on five touchdowns, 12 field goals, and 27 extra points. For the fourth year in a row, Bob Hoernschemeyer was the team's leading rusher, contributed 764 yards from scrimmage (482 rushing, 282 receiving) and scored nine touchdowns.
The team also ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense. Defensive back Jack Christiansen led the NFL with 12 interceptions and 238 interception return yards. Eight members of the 1953 Lions were selected as first-team All-NFL players for the 1953 season: middle guard Les Bingaman, Christiansen, offensive guard Lou Creekmur, Hoernschemeyer, Layne, defensive tackle Thurman McGraw, guard Dick Stanfel, and Walker. Seven members of the team, Christiansen, Creekmur, safety Yale Lary, Layne, linebacker Joe Schmidt, guard Dick Stanfel, and Walker, were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.1954 Philadelphia Eagles season
The 1954 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 22nd in the league. They matched their previous output of 7–4–1. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.1955 Pro Bowl
The 1955 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's (NFL) fifth annual all-star game which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1954 season. The game was played on January 16, 1955, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, in front of 42,972 fans. The West squad defeated the East by a score of 26–19.The West team was led by Buck Shaw (although he had recently been fired by the San Francisco 49ers) while Jim Trimble of the Philadelphia Eagles coached the East squad. 49ers end Billy Wilson was unanimously selected as the game's outstanding player.Dick Bielski
Richard Adam Bielski (born September 7, 1932) is a former American football player and coach. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, and Baltimore Colts. Bielski played college football at the University of Maryland.Dicky Moegle
Richard Lee "Dicky" Moegle (born September 14, 1934) is a former American football halfback in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Rice University, where he was a consensus All-American in 1954.Don Kindt
Donald John "Don" Kindt, Sr. (July 2, 1925 – May 5, 2000) was an American defensive back and halfback who played nine seasons from 1947 to 1955 for the Chicago Bears in the National Football League. Kindt played college football for the University of Wisconsin Badgers primarily as a halfback from 1943–1946, missing the 1944 and half of the 1945 season because of World War II. He was the starting halfback for the Badgers for most of his college career.
Kindt decided to forgo his senior season at Wisconsin in order to be eligible for the 1947 NFL Draft. He was selected with the last pick of the first round (eleventh overall) by the Bears despite having an history with injuries, and recovering from an off-season knee surgery he suffered while playing a basketball game at Wisconsin. After playing dual positions in his first few seasons with the Bears, Kindt was used primarily on defense for his last six seasons in the league. Considered to be a defensive standout during his playing career, Kindt was selected to participate in one Pro Bowl, and led the team in interceptions several times.
His son Don Kindt, Jr. also played in the National Football League, as a tight end for the Bears during the 1987 season.Harlon Hill
Harlon Junius Hill (May 4, 1932 – March 21, 2013)
was an American football player and later coach and educator. Hill played nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Detroit Lions. He was the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1954 and winner of the Jim Thorpe Trophy as the NFL Player of the Year in 1955. The Harlon Hill Trophy, named in his honor, is awarded annually to the nation's best NCAA Division II football player.Jack Christiansen
John LeRoy Christiansen (December 20, 1928 – June 29, 1986) was an American football player and coach. He played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Detroit Lions as a defensive back and return specialist from 1951 to 1958. He helped lead the Lions to three NFL championships in 1952, 1953, and 1957 and was a first-team All-NFL player in six of his eight years in the league. He led the NFL in interceptions in 1953 and 1957 and in punt returns for touchdown in 1951, 1952, 1954, and 1956. His eight career punt returns for touchdowns was an NFL record until 1989 and remains the fourth best in league history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
After retiring as a player, Christiansen served as a football coach for 25 years from 1959 to 1983, including stints as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, compiling a 26–38–3 record from 1963 to 1967, and at Stanford, where he compiled a 30–22–3 record from 1972 to 1976. He concluded his career as an assistant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs (1977), Seattle Seahawks (1978–1982), and Atlanta Falcons (1983).Jerry Groom
Jerome Paul "Boomer" Groom (August 15, 1929 – February 29, 2008) was an American football player. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he graduated from Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. He played college football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team and was a consensus selection at the center position on the 1950 College Football All-America Team. He then played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Cardinals from 1951 to 1955. He was chosen to play in the 1954 Pro Bowl.
Groom later served as a color commentator for the Denver Broncos' radio broadcasts in their inaugural American Football League (AFL) season in 1960. In 1994, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He died at age 78 in Sarasota, FloridaJohnny Lattner
John Joseph Lattner (October 24, 1932 – February 12, 2016) was an American football player. While playing college football for the University of Notre Dame, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1953. He also won the Maxwell Award twice, in 1952 and 1953. Lattner played professionally for one season in the National Football League (NFL), with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1954.
|NFL Pro Bowls|
|AFC–NFC Pro Bowls|
|Draft Pro Bowls|