Bob Clarke, Joe Frazier are statue-worthy

Posted: June 06, 2011

The back-page story in Friday's Daily News was about the organized effort to raise enough money to construct a statue of Penn and Eagles great Chuck Bednarik, which would be placed at Franklin Field, where he starred in college and in the NFL.

That made us wonder which other Philadelphia sports legend might be deserving of a statue beyond those already immortalized.

The results of a reader poll conducted on philly.com show that 27.8 percent of respondents thought Bob Clarke should be honored with a statue, followed by 20.6 percent for Smokin' Joe Frazier and 13.6 percent for Reggie White.

Here's the full rundown, with vote totals:

Bob Clarke. . . 139 (27.8%)

Joe Frazier. . . 103 (20.6%)

Reggie White. . . 68 (13.6%)

Bernie Parent. . . 49 (9.8%)

Steve Van Buren. . . 37 (7.4%)

Bernard Hopkins. . . 23 (4.6%)

Allen Iverson. . . 20 (4.0%)

Tommy McDonald. . . 18 (3.6%)

Tom Gola. . . 17 (3.4%)

Charles Barkley. . . 12 (2.4%)

Billy Cunningham. . . 7 (1.4%)

Paul Arizin. . . 7 (1.4%)

Bill Barber. . . 0 (0.0%)

The Bednarik statue is planned to go inside the concourse on the north side of Franklin Field, by Gate 2, which faces the Palestra.

The cost of the statue is estimated at $100,000, with about $50,000 already raised.

Those interested in making contributions should send their checks, made out to "Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania," to Director of Development Services Don Snyder, Weightman Hall, 235 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

All monies collected above $100,000 would go toward a maintenance fund for the statue's installation, as well as to funding for the Bednarik Award, given annually to the top lineman on Penn's varsity squad each year, and other Penn football priorities.

Premium-level donations are as follows: Charter Member, $7,500; Founder, $5,000; and R. Tait McKenzie member, $2,500.

To read Bernard Fernandez' original story, go to www.philly.com/chuck.

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