From 1956-58, Alex Hawkins starred collegiately for South Carolina, rushing for 1,491 yards and being voted 1958’s Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. He was the 13th player selected in the 1959 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Hawkins was a member of the Baltimore team that won the 1959 NFL Championship Game, defeating the New York Giants 31-16. Hawkins in his final season was special-teams captain for the Colts in Super Bowl III, in which the favored Colts were upset 16-7 by Joe Namath and the New York Jets on January 12, 1969. During the 1968 season, the Colts had a record of 13-1 under head coach Don Shula, although Hawkins’ playing time was limited. Originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers, he was released in training camp by Packers coach Vince Lombardi, then signed to a contract by the Colts. During a nine-year NFL career, Alex Hawkins rushed for 10 touchdowns and his 129 pass receptions included 12 touchdown passes. He also returned punts and kickoffs. Hawkins acquired the nickname “Captain Who” prior to a Baltimore Colts game with the Chicago Bears, when the team captains were being introduced to each other before the game. Bears’ Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus responded to the official’s reference to “Captain Hawkins” by blurting out “Captain Who?”
In the 1970s, Alex Hawkins worked as a color commentator for Falcons radio, and for TVS’ Thursday night World Football League (WFL) telecasts and CBS’ NFL telecasts. In 1977, the NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys was televised by CBS and covered by play-by-play announcer Vin Scully with Hawkins as color commentator. Hawkins said that he hoped that the Cowboys would win, because “I’ve always been a Cowboy fan.” At one point Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach was shown jogging onto the field, and Hawkins commented to Scully, “Roger runs like a sissy, doesn’t he?” To which Scully responded, “Did you wear a helmet when you played?”. Hawkins was arrested during a traffic stop a few days after the championship game, and later was fired by CBS. Alex Hawkins was born in Welch, West Virginia. He attended South Charleston High School. Hawkins died at an retirement home in Columbia, South Carolina on September 12, 2017, at the age of 80.
- July, 02, 1937
- Welch, West Virginia
- September, 12, 2017
- Columbia, South Carolina