Sept. 29, 2010
Legendary Spartan football coach Duffy Daugherty had an interesting recruiting tactic to get future All-American Ed Budde to Michigan State.
"Duffy got me into married housing - it was kind of a package deal," said Budde. "I got married in high school, so Carolyn, Brad (his son) and I went right into married housing at Spartan Village. I still remember the apartment number: 1434G."
Not that it took much convincing for Budde to become a Spartan. Growing up in Detroit, Budde was an all-state selection at Denby High School and said he always wanted to go to Michigan State.
"I had other schools call me and send me letters, but when I went to Michigan State games, I loved that green and white," Budde said.
One of the fastest linemen on the team, Budde quickly won a starting spot on the offensive line as a tackle and earned a varsity letter as a sophomore in 1960. He also saw time on the defensive line.
Throughout his career at Michigan State, he was a member of the famed "B" boys up front, which included Dave Behrman, James Bobbitt and Charles Brown. Together, along with Jim Kanicki, they paved the way for All-Big Ten backs Sherman Lewis and George Saimes, who helped Michigan State to a No. 2 national ranking in total rushing yardage in 1962. That same season, he was rewarded for his efforts by being named an All-American by Time Magazine.
"We all came in together and had a bond," said Budde. "We knew that if we got our blocks, they could run. They were great athletes."
But better than any stats are wins, and that is what Budde is most proud of during his time at Michigan State. The Spartans were a combined 6-0 against rivals Michigan and Notre Dame during his three seasons (1960-62).
"I just enjoyed every win," Budde said when asked what his favorite game was as a Spartan. "That's the main thing - win. I don't care if it's by one point, you get the W."
Following his college career, Budde had the unique distinction of being selected as a No. 1 draft pick by both Philadelphia of the NFL and Dallas of the AFL. Philadelphia wanted him to play defense, while Dallas wanted him to play offense. He eventually chose Dallas, in part because of former Spartan teammate Fred Arbanas, who was a tight end for the Texans.
"I just enjoyed every win," said Budde, who went 6-0 in his career against Michigan and Notre Dame. "That's the main thing - win. I don't care if it's by one point, you get the W."
"Fred is one of the reasons I went to the AFL because I admired his play in college at Michigan State and the pros," said Budde, who had played with Arbanas during the 1960 season for the Spartans and is still good friends with him to this day. "I had so much respect for him. He was telling me how exciting it was in the AFL."
Before playing his first professional game for the Chiefs (in the offseason, Dallas had moved to Kansas City), Budde lined up one last time as a college player in the Chicago Charities College All-Star Game, which annually pitted the top collegiate stars against the Super Bowl Champions. Not only was Budde named a captain for the 1963 game, he helped lead the college players to a shocking 20-17 upset of Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers.
"We had a lot of talent on that team," said Budde. "We had Pro Football Hall of Famers Buck Buchanan and Bobby Bell, and Lee Roy Jordan of Alabama, who's in the College Football Hall of Fame, was the defensive captain. Normally, they would have a quarterback be an offensive captain, so that was a thrill for me."
The success for Budde in that game was a sign of things to come. He went on to become arguably the finest offensive guard to ever play in the AFL.
Budde spent every one of his 14 professional seasons in Kansas City, which is the second-most in franchise history. He helped the Chiefs win the Super Bowl in 1970 over the Minnesota Vikings and was a starter on the 1966 AFL championship team that played in the first-ever Super Bowl against Green Bay.
A seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Budde saw action in 177 career games and was named to the AFL's all-time team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
Budde had two sons who also found success on the gridiron, much like their father. Brad, an All-American guard at USC who won the Lombardi Award in 1979, played for the Chiefs for seven seasons and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. John lettered four years at Michigan State and was a starter on the 1987 Big Ten and 1988 Rose Bowl championship team.
Budde still attends Michigan State's Homecoming game every season, but this year, he'll be doing so as a member of the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame. And he couldn't be more proud.
"It was a thrill when Mark Hollis called and said that I made the Hall of Fame," said Budde. "It's just an honor. I'm glad that I was a Spartan."