Staley Continues To Astound Us Even Now

You've seen the "Can't Bust 'Em," commercials, the battle cry for the indestructible character "Buddy Lee," that Lee Dungarees uses to define its denim jeans. That motto also epitomizes Duce Staley. Buddy Lee is the little doll that is blown apart, scorched and torn to pieces, but he continues to keep coming. That's former running back Duce Staley in a nutshell. Still wearing the number of other Gamecock legends, 22, during his pro career Staley has endured the pain on gamedays ...

No Gamecock fan will ever be able to forget his on field charisma. The way he ran bow-legged and brutally hard. Running the football or catching the seed out of the backfield ... Staley excited us every time he touched the ball. He was fun to watch. He still is.

His game saving run against Kentucky in 1996 is the thing that legends are made of. Seemingly swarmed under, to the point of being unseeable, he burst from a pile of Wild Cat tacklers and raced in for the game winning score from 64 yards out in Lexington. It was a thing of beauty.

So it comes as no surprise to Gamecock fans that Duce Staley has been named the 2002 Offensive MVP by his teammates with the Philadelphia Eagles organization.

But the big prize still awaits Staley as his Eagles are currently in the playoffs!

Personal Bio

Prior to the 2001 season, Staley underwent a grueling yet innovative rehabilitation period under the watchful care of Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder, to become the first successful return from a LisFranc injury.

Duce lists the late Walter Payton as his boyhood hero. Said Duce, "I liked his toughness - both mental and physical. He approached the game very seriously and was determined to be great."

Duce has a tattoo on his right forearm with chinese lettering, when translated it means "never satisfied."

It may have been tough for Staley to spell "chrysanthemum" on his heralded United Way commercial, but it wasn't difficult for the selection panel of the American Advertising Federation to choose that NFL/United Way spot as a winner of a 2001 ADDY Award for creative advertising.

The former Gamecock star was voted by his teammates as the Eagles Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2001. Each year, the Ed Block Courage Award honors those NFL players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.

Duce formed the Duce Staley Foundation in 1999 to benefit disadvantaged children through athletics, education and healthcare. He has raised money for the foundation through annual celebrity fashion shows, bowling tournaments, and a football camp. He recently presented local charities in his native Columbia, SC with a large check at an event held in the Adams Mark Hotel.

Duce is a single Dad. He has a daughter, Shakia (8), and a son, Damani Zihir (5). He currently resides in Columbia, SC in the offseason. He was an all-state selection at Airport HS in Columbia.

Among other things, he has hosted a pizza party for 100 foster children from the Camden (NJ) Division of Youth and Family Services and their foster families at the Camden Children's Garden in 2001. The Duce Staley Football Camp is held annually at West Chester (PA) University. Current benefactors of the foundation include: Special Olympics in Philadelphia and Columbia, SC, Eagles Youth Partnership in Philadelphia, First Steps Program in SC, the Variety Club, and Direct Care for Kids Attended the 2001 Hometown Huddle with the United Way at the NovaCare Complex. 100 children from Children's Services, Inc. spent the day participating in conflict resolution games and sharing positive messages The Duce Staley Foundation combined with the Brian Mitchell Foundation for a food drive over the 2001 holidays at Armadillo's Restaurant in New Jersey.

In 1999, Duce was named chairman for the Philadelphia Special Olympics annual sponsor-an-athlete annual campaign. The program supports over 4,000 children and adults training and competing in over 20 Olympic-style sports Donated $25,000 to South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges' First Steps early childhood education program on 12/23/99. His contribution is a means to help improve education in the state.

His achievements on and off the field earned him a special award at Philadelphia's 3rd annual Black History Month Celebration in 2000 List of favorites: Richard Pryor (actor), Foxy Brown (actress), Prior Convictions (book), Martin (TV show), Fruity Pebbles (cereal), and Devil in a Blue Dress (movie) Originally wore #41 in training camp as a rookie but changed to #22 (double deuces and his college number at South Carolina) after veteran DB James Fuller was released prior to opening day.

Majored in sociology. Full name: Duce Staley. When asked about the origin of his first name, Staley said jokingly, "I was the second born. I guess my mom ran out of names."

Portions of this article were contributed to with the blessings of the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles, as well as the Duce Staley Foundation.

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