The former Pro Bowl center died last Saturday at an assisted living facility in Carmichael at 65. Blue played 11 years, was a two-time First Team All Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler.
Like ex-49ers John Henry Johnson and Joe Perry, Blue asked his brain be donated for research at Boston University.
Once the donation was an unique request but now it is becoming commonplace, to the point that many, if not most, of the players who competed 30-40 years ago will be doing the same. It was a day in which helmets and padding were of primitive construction.
And one day, when the research proves conclusively brain damage, the players who came before will be given another compliment.
It was their backs – and brains – that built the league.