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2015 NFL countdown: 77 days left is a day for Stan Mauldin

The countdown continues.

Normally we would have some players to focus on, both present and past, in our countdown to the regular season. However, today, with 77 days left, we run across a number that was retired by the Cardinals and no one has worn in decades.

The number belonged to Stan Mauldin.

Mauldin was a member of the Chicago Cardinals. He played there from 1946-48 as a tackle. He was a part of the one championship the franchise had in 1947 and then his career came to a screeching halt.

After the one game he played in 1948, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Mauldin suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 27.

His contribution to the team's one title and his tragic death are why the team retired his number.

Rest in peace, Stan.

For a listing of the entire collection of stories in the Countdown to the Season series, all you have to do is click here.