James Efflo Tyrer
(February 25, 1939 – September 15, 1980) was an American
football player who earned All-America honors at Ohio State
University before playing professionally for 14 years.
Newark, Ohio, he signed with the American Football League's
Dallas Texans in 1961, he played 13 years with that franchise
before concluding his career in 1974 with the Washington
Redskins, helping set the standard for his position.
the best offensive tackles of his era, Tyrer used a crushing
blocking style to maintain a consistent level of play that
helped the Chiefs reach two of the first four Super Bowls.
He served as
an anchor for the Texans' (who became the Kansas City Chiefs in
1963) line, and won American Football League All-Star honors
seven times before also capturing a pair of All-AFC accolades in
1970-71. His efforts in the upstart league would result in his
selection to the American Football League All-Time Team.
In Super Bowl
IV, Tyrer used his uncanny ability to open a hole for Chiefs
running backs, single-handedly taking on two of the Minnesota
Vikings's vaunted defensive linemen to help the team to an upset
23-7 victory. Tyrer was named AFL Offensive Lineman of the Year
that same year and play in 180 consecutive games for the
the Kansas City area following his retirement, Tyrer turned down
an opportunity to serve as a scout for the Chiefs. He then spent
the next three years as a salesman before tiring of the constant
travel and investing in a tire business. However, a mild winter
proved to be financially disastrous for Tyrer, who moved on to
work for Amway Corporation.
This series of
business misfortunes culminated on September 15, 1980 when Tyrer,
the father of four, shot his wife and then committed suicide by
turning the gun on himself. One of Tyrer's four children
discovered the bodies.
Tyrer had once summarized his position by saying, "You have to
have a certain personality to be an offensive lineman. You have
to be orderly, disciplined. You have to take the shots like a
hockey goalie. It's a passive violence. You build up anxiety.
But when you finally get a clear shot at a guy you say, 'Take
this for all of those'."