- Joe Theismann
caption=Theismann at the "NFL Kickoff Live 2003" Concert.
birthdate=birth date and age|1949|9|9
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Pro Bowlselection (1982, 1983)
All-Proselection (1979, 1982, 1983)
Super Bowlchampion (XVII)
* 2x CFL All-Star selection
AP NFL MVP
PFWA NFL MVP
NEA NFL MVP
NFL Offensive Player of the Year
Bert Bell Award
Walter Payton Man of the Year
* 70 Greatest Redskins
* Redskins' Ring of Fame
Joseph Robert Theismann (born
September 9 1949in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA), is a former American football quarterbackin the National Football League.
Early life and collegiate career
Theismann was born to an
Austrian father, Joseph John Thiesmann, and a Hungarian mother, Olga Tobias, and was raised in South River, New Jersey. Theismann played high school football at South River High School. [ [http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_docid=0EFD502D5C99C190&p_docnum=2&p_queryname=NaN&p_product=NewsBank&p_theme=aggregated4&p_nbid=J4BH4EDFMTE4NTg0NzQ0OS4yODY4NjU6MTo3OnJhLTE4ODg "THE ULTIMATE NEW JERSEY HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK: T-Z AND ALSO..."] , " The Star-Ledger", June 27, 1999. Accessed August 4, 2007.] He was inducted into the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic AssociationHall of Fame in 1997. [ [http://www.njsiaa.org/NJSIAA/HOF_years.aspx Hall of Fame] , New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 26, 2008.]
He played football for the
University of Notre Dameand was a runner-up for the 1970 Heisman Trophywhich went to Jim Plunkettof Stanford University. Late in the season, his hallmates in Zahm Hallhung an enormous banner out of a 4th story window proclaiming, "Theisman for Heisman", (sic) changing the original pronunciation of his surname, "THEEZ-man," to rhyme with "Heisman", which he has used since. [ [http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2007/oct/19/nick-time/ In the Nick of Time : Columnists : Times Record News ] ] [ [http://espn.go.com/ncf/preview01/s/heismanhype.html ESPN.com: NCF - Harig: Heisman hype is out of hand ] ] During his collegiate career, the smallish Theismann (6'-0", 180 lb/1.83 m, 82 kg) led the Fighting Irish to a 20-3-2 record. He still holds the school record for most passing yards in a single game with 526 against USC in a torrential downpour in 1970.
For his efforts as a collegiate player, Joe Theismann was inducted into the
College Football Hall of Famein 2003. Prior to joining the NFL, he was a Canadian Football Leaguestar. After an injury ended his professional career, he settled with his family in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Canadian Football League
Theismann was selected in the fourth round by the Miami Dolphins in the
1971 NFL Draft, as well as Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twinsas a shortstop in that year's Major League Baseball draft. However, instead of playing for the Dolphins or the Twins, Theismann elected to sign with the Toronto Argonautsof the Canadian Football League. In his rookie year, Theismann quarterbacked the Argonauts to a 10-4 record, led the league's Eastern Conference in passing statistics and won a berth in the Grey Cupchampionship game in Vancouver, British Columbiaversus the Calgary Stampeders( 59th Grey Cup). A fumble late in the fourth quarter by Argonaut running back Leon McQuayclose to the goal line cost the Argonauts the Grey Cup.
In 1971, he completed 148 of 278 passes for 2440 yards and 17 TDs (with 21 interceptions.) His 1972 season was shortened by injury, but he hit 77 of 127 passes for 1157 yards and 10 TDs. During his last season, 1973, 157 of his 274 passes were complete, for 2496 yards and both 13 TDs and interceptions. He was an all-star in both 1971 and 1973.
National Football League
In 1974, the
National Football League's Washington Redskinsobtained Theismann's rights. Determined to make it to the NFL, Thiesmann left the CFL and joined the Redskins, where he volunteered to be the team's punt returner. In 1978, Theismann became the Redskins' starting quarterback after Billy Kilmerproved ineffective.
Theismann led the Redskins to a win in
Super Bowl XVIIand an appearance in Super Bowl XVIIIand would go on to set several Redskins franchise records, including most career passing attempts (3,602), most career passing completions (2,044) and most career passing yards (25,206), while also throwing 160 touchdown passes, with 138 interceptions. On the ground, he rushed for 1,815 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was the NFL's MVP in 1983. He earned the Player of the Game Award in the second of his two Pro Bowlappearances.
In an era when most quarterbacks had long since used variations of a double-bar facemask (or even triple-bar facemasks) that afforded more protection, Theismann refused to use anything but a
one-bar facemaskthroughout his career so as not to obstruct his vision.
Theismann's career ended on
November 18, 1985, just months after he divorced, when he suffered a gruesome comminuted compound fracture of his leg while being sacked by New York Giants linebackers Lawrence Taylorand Harry Carsonduring a " Monday Night Football" game telecast. The injury was voted the NFL's "Most Shocking Moment in History" by viewers in an ESPNpoll, and the tackle was dubbed "The Hit That No One Who Saw It Can Ever Forget" by " The Washington Post".cite news
title = The Hit That Changed a Career
publisher = "
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/17/AR2005111701635.html
accessdate = 2008-06-30 ]
At the time, the Redskins had been attempting to run a "flea-flicker" play. The Giants' defense, however, was not fooled, and they tried to blitz Theismann. Taylor sandwiched Theismann into Carson and inadvertently landed his hip on Theismann's lower right leg, fracturing both the
tibiaand the fibula.
"It was at that point, I also found out what a magnificent machine the human body is", Theismann said. "Almost immediately, from the knee down, all the feeling was gone in my right leg. The
endorphinshad kicked in, and I was not in pain."
As Theismann lay on the field, a horrified Taylor frantically screamed and waved for
emergency medical technicians. Initially, however, many Redskins personnel thought Taylor's screaming and pointing directed at their sidelines was a taunt over the fact that he'd successfully stopped their play. Taylor has said that his animated behavior was largely a claustrophobic reaction to having been trapped at the bottom of the pile that followed his tackle. [Lewis, Michael. "". W. W. Norton, 2006] The "Monday Night Football" announce team (composed of Frank Gifford, O.J. Simpsonand Joe Namath) deduced from the start that Taylor was calling for help.
While initially only the players on the field could see the extent of the damage to Theismann's leg, the reverse-angle instant replay provided a clearer view of what had actually happened - Theismann's lower leg bones were broken midway between his knee and his ankle, such that his leg from his foot to his mid-shin was lying flat against the ground, and the upper part of his shin up to his knee was at a 45-degree angle as the two linebackers brought him down on the sack. The image of his lower leg bending at such an unnatural angle has become one of the most infamous football injury images ever.
The injury ultimately forced Theismann into retirement at the age of 36. Theismann has never blamed Lawrence Taylor for his injury. Taylor has said that he has never seen film of the play and never wants to. Below is
Frank Gifford's commentary of the play:Fact|date=December 2007
In 1985, Theismann helped call
Super Bowl XIXfor ABC alongside Frank Giffordand Don Meredith. Theismann served as a color commentatoron ESPN's "Sunday Night Football" telecasts from 1988 to 2005, and on their " Monday Night Football" coverage in 2006.
March 26, 2007, ESPN announced that Ron Jaworskiwould replace Theismann in the "Monday Night Football" booth. Theismann rejected an offer to work on the network's college footballcoverage. He has since done a number of Washington Redskins pre-season games on CSN.
In addition to covering football, he hosted the first season of "
American Gladiators" in 1989.
May 30, 2006interview [ [http://www.fan590.com/mediaplayer/audioplayer.jsp?mediaFile=/mp3s/joetheisman-ms-20060530.mp3 :The Fan 590 - Toronto's Sports Radio ] ] with Toronto radio station The Fan 590, Theismann criticized his former CFL team, the Toronto Argonauts, for signing Ricky Williamsto a one-year contract. Williams, a former New Orleans Saintsand Miami Dolphinsrunning back, had been suspended by the NFL for the entire 2006 season for a fourth violation of the league's substance abuse policy. In the interview, Theismann said the Argonauts were a disgrace, and he was ashamed to be associated with them. He also said that Williams is sick but not a bad person. Argo ownership responded to Theismann's criticism, noting Theismann's son, Joe, pleaded guilty in 2002 to a felony charge of possessing drug paraphernalia. He received a 10-year suspended prison term, was placed on five years of probation and fined. "It's really a delicate subject for him to attack someone if he has that in his own family", Argo co-owner Cynamon said. "If I was his son and he's calling (Williams) a drug addict and he should quit and he's a loser, I'd be shattered. This thing is really bothersome." The CFL currently has no substance-abuse policy, nor did it prohibit its member teams from signing players suspended by other leagues until the RW rule went in effect for the 2007 season.
2007 NFL Draft, in which Brady Quinnfell to pick #22, Theismann, despite being a fellow Notre Dame alumnus, lambasted him in an interview on ESPN Radio. He was bothered by the appearance of Quinn's hair, tie, and the fact he was chewing gum.fact|date=June 2007
* [http://www.joetheismanns.com Joe Theismann's Restaurant]
* [http://washingtontimes.com/sports/20031110-122902-9456r.htm "Washington Times" article about Theismann's injury]
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/17/AR2005111701635.html?sub=AR "Washington Post" article about the injury and the aftermath]
* [http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/5845.html "Washingtonian" article about Theismann's departure from ESPN]
* [http://collegefootball.org/famersearch.php?id=90051 Theismann's CHOF bio]
* [http://www.ndqb1.com/profile.php?player=3 Joe Theismann's Notre Dame Career Stats]
* [http://www.thewarpath.net/ Washington Redskins Fan Site - The Warpath]
* [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/TheiJo00.htm Professional Career stats at Pro Football dot com]
* [http://www.geocities.com/cfl_historical/TheismannJoe.htm Joe Theismann's CFL Profile]
*imdb name|id=0005483|name=Joe Theismann
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