|Cloyce Box Biography|
Cloyce Box played tight end (or in those days “end”) for the Detroit Lions from 1949 to 1954, missing the 1951 season. The former Marine was a 6-4 220 pound end and may have been ahead of his time. Box, who attended West Texas A&M during his college days was born on August 24, 1923 in Hamilton, Texas.
Cloyce Box Record Setter
During Cloyce Box’s NFL career he set a couple of Detroit Lions records, and one NFL record which still stands today.
During the 1950 NFL season, Box was having an average season, until November 23, 1950, Thanksgiving Day that is. During that game Box caught four passes for 123 yards and scored three touchdowns. The next game on December 3, 1950, Box caught 12 passes for an astounding 302 yards and four touchdowns, the latter two are still Detroit Lions records. His 302 yards receiving was just one yard short of Jim Benton’s NFL record of 303 receiving yards at the time. (1)
His seven touchdown catches in a two game stretch is still an NFL record.
In 1953, Cloyce Box set another Detroit Lions record, catching a 97 yard touchdown pass from Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne. Here is how the newspaper account described it. “Standing in his own end zone, Layne lofted a third-period pass which carried 65 yards in the air Box gathered it in behind Ace Loomis, Green Bay's top pass defender, and coasted the rest of the way. It brought the Lions to within one point of Green Bay, 15-14, am set the pace for Detroit's 27-point explosion in the second half.” (2)
Cloyce Box’s Career
Cloyce Box had a fine career for the Detroit Lions. He was a key cog in their offense for their championship teams in 1952 and 1953. Box had two outstanding seasons, first in 1950 when he caught 50 passes for 1009 yards and 11 touchdowns. Then in 1952, he hauled in 42 passes for 924 yards and a league leading 15 touchdown catches (Detroit Lions Record). “I was just about the first real wide receiver, at least the way you'd think of them now,” Box once said. “The game was just opening up, but there still wasn't all that much to it. I'd run the same pattern just about every time. I wasn't that skilled a player, but I was fast. Back then, that was about all you really needed to get by.” (1)
During his career, the swift Box caught 129 passes for 2665 yards, a 20.7 yard per catch average and scored 32 touchdowns. The speedy Box died on October 26, 1993 at the age of 70.
By A. Goodin, 20Yardline.com
Cloyce Box Biography Sources
(1) Cloyce could fill up a Box score. (2004, December 18) Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service
(2) Layne Answers Critics, Leads Lions To Win (1953, November 27) Evening Independent, pg. 21