M.L. Brackett

Obituary
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  • "Dearest Carolyn and Family, Thinking of you and praying for..."
    - Carmen Hopper
  • - Bert and Peggy McGuffey, AFLC
  • "A true legend in Gadsden and the State of Alabama! He will..."
    - Russell (Rusty) Hare
  • "Carolyn you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers"
    - Nancy Beane
  • "I am so sorry. I was crazy about ML."
    - Bobby McElroy
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Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Village Chapel for M.L. Brackett, 81, of Gadsden, who passed away June 30, 2015. Revs. Daniel Pope and Harris Hand will officiate. Interment will follow at Crestwood Cemetery.
Born in 1933 in Attalla, Mr. Brackett played for the legendary Jim Glover at Etowah High School. Mr. Brackett was a two-way tackle for the Blue Devil varsity from 1949-1951. He and his teammates won 22 straight games from Sept. 29, 1949, to Sept. 21, 1951, while the 1950 squad was named the state champion by the Birmingham News.
Etowah went another 49 years before bringing home another state title. The 1950 team included Bobby Gargus, John O'Barr, Wyman Townsel, James Campbell and Robert Hammonds. Mr. Brackett was named to the all-county and all-state teams that season. He was one of only two players to have their numbers retired at Etowah.
One of his many claims to fame was that he was Ralph "Shug" Jordan's first ever recruit at Auburn. Mr. Brackett was a four year starter for the Tigers, one season with the freshman team and three with the varsity. Auburn went 7-3-1 during his sophomore year of 1952, the most wins by a Tiger team since 1931. Auburn posted an 8-3 record in 1954 and went 8-2-1 in 1955. Mr. Brackett was named to the Collier Magazine All-American team his senior year and to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution All-Conference team three straight years.
Among his college teammates were Vince Dooley, Bobby Freeman, Fob James, Frank D'Agostino, Joe Childress and Red Phillips. Auburn went to the Gator Bowl all three years M.L. played on the varsity team.
Mr. Brackett started as a rookie for the 1956 season under coach George S. Halas. He played at weak side linebacker and long snapper on a Chicago Bears team that went 9-3-1 and lost to the New York Giants in the league championship game. M.L. soon had a change of venue, as the Giants needed a long snapper. Chicago traded him to New York just prior to the 1958 season, giving him an up-close taste of the Big Apple, where he played in the first sudden death overtime NFL Championship Game on Dec. 28, 1958, at Yankee Stadium between the Giants and the Colts. At that time, Vince Lombardi was the offensive coordinator and Tom Landry was defensive coordinator
His 1958 teammates included a who's who of NFL legends - Andy Robustelli, Roosevelt Brown, Frank Gifford, Charlie Connerly, Sam Huff, Jim Catcavage, Dick Modzelewski, Jim Parker, Don Maynard, Emlen Tunnell, Jim Taylor, Jack Kemp, Rosie Grier and Kyle Rote.
Football wasn't the only sport M.L. achieved notoriety. He played fast-pitch softball for six years and was a softball umpire for 30 years, nine of which he was the State Umpire in Chief of the state softball association. He was inducted into the Alabama Amateur Softball Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Etowah County Hall of Fame inaugural class. Field one at the Gadsden Softball Complex is named in his honor.
He later went on to work at LTV Steel until his retirement after 22 years service.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carolyn Brackett; children, Joni Brackett of Auburn, Carol Brackett of Gadsden, Scott (Katie) Brackett of Southside; grandchildren, Blake DeVine and Evan Kell; several aunts and cousins; special pets, Tiger, Boomer, Fluff and Buck.
The family will receive flowers, or donations may be made to the American Kidney Foundation or the in his honor.
Pallbearers will be Evan Edge, Chuck Medders, Ricky Armstrong, Greg Logan, Blake DeVine and David Bruce.
Honorary pallbearers will be all former teammates, players and umpires.
The family wishes to express a special thanks to Dr. Takeshian, Dr. Snoddy and all the nurses and staff of St. Vincent's East.
The family will receive friends this evening from 6 until 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.villagechapelfuneralhome.com.
Funeral Home
Village Chapel Funeral Home
101 Van Dell Boulevard
Gadsden, AL 35904
(256) 547-5557
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Published in The Gadsden Times on July 2, 2015
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