My Baltimore Colt Contract February 27, 2008
By William H. Bender
I was born in Baltimore in 1954 and my family lived in the Rogers Forge area of the city. In the 1950’s, people actually talked to their neighbors and would get together on weekends to watch “television” sports. Each week there was a big Colt or O’s game with great snacks and food. My parents (Bill and Helen) and their friends enjoyed drinking “National Bo” as I recall and taking care of their children of the baby boom generation. My parents created the high-energy model for three-year-old children by feeding me a steady diet of proteins, Baltimore crab, carbs and SUGAR.
In 1957, Coach Charlie Winner of the Baltimore Colts and his wife lived nearby and were friends with some of our neighbors. One February day the coach saw my chubby frame as I rumbled through a living room or front yard. I guess he was trying to forecast my size in twenty years. He then prepared an Official NFL Contract for William “Red” Bender of the “Lovers Institute of Technology.” He gave the contract to my parents the next week.
The contact was a preprinted form with spaces for date, name, school and amount of money typed in for each athlete. I was to be paid 10,000 candy bars in 1977 when I started playing for the Baltimore Colts. It also listed the seven Club Rules and Regulations on the back of the contract. Rule 2 was very strict. Drinking of intoxicants is forbidden. In addition, we know each of our beloved Baltimore Colts followed every rule and regulation in the 1950’s. We also know that today it must take full time managers, agents and legal teams to prepare a contract that I estimate is three inches thick.
The contract was official because Coach Winner of Baltimore Colts Football Incorporated signed the contract. The contract was witnessed by Nancy Winner (Coach Winner’s Wife) and signed by commissioner Cindy Winner (Coach Winners daughter). My thanks to the Winner family for being such friendly people and providing my family a cherished memory of the soon to be World Champion Baltimore Colts.