Dick Lane was an Army veteran “looking for a good job” when he stopped in the offices of the Los Angeles Rams in 1952 and asked for a tryout. All he had for credentials was a battered scrapbook, which chronicled his football experiences in high school, junior college and the Army.
The defending-champion Rams’ coach Joe Stydahar saw just enough “good press” in the scrapbook to offer Lane a trial. At first Dick was tried at end but with future Hall of Famers Tom Fears and Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch set as starters, his chances didn't look good. Lane did, however, spend a great deal of time consulting with Fears, who was continually playing the hit record "Night Train," on his phonograph. One day, a teammate entered the room, saw Dick and blurted out, "Hey, there's Night Train," and "Night Train Lane" it was from then on.
Once Stydahar moved Lane to defense, he quickly made an impression. Blessed with outstanding speed, exceptional agility, reflex action, and a fierce determination to excel, “Night Train” set the NFL on fire as a rookie. He intercepted a record 14 passes in the 12-game season. Besides being a constant threat to steal passes, Lane also became known as a devastating tackler.
Lane also was willing to take chances on the field in spite of the risks. Most, however, would agree that percentage-wise he was well a head of the game. Lane played two years with the Rams before being traded to the Cardinals in 1954.
Six years later, he was sent to the Detroit Lions where he enjoyed his finest years. Dick was named first- or second-team All-NFL every year from 1954 through 1963. Named to seven Pro Bowls, Night Train intercepted 68 passes for 1,207 yards and five touchdowns during his Hall of Fame career.
Lane was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974. In 1969 he was named the best cornerback of the first fifty years of pro football. In his 15 NFL seasons, Lane recorded 68 interceptions, 1,207 interception return yards, 5 touchdowns, 11 fumble recoveries, 57 fumble return yards, 1 touchdown, 8 receptions, 253 receiving yards, 1 touchdown catch, and 4 punt returns for 14 yards. He was particularly noted as a hard hitter, who liked to tackle by the head and neck (a technique outlawed today). This tackle was sometimes called a Night Train Necktie.
7x Pro Bowl selection (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962)
10x All-Pro selection (1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963)
NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
NFL record 14 interceptions in one season
With the 31st pick in the OTC All-Time NFL Draft, Statman32 selects...
John Hannah, Guard, Patriots
The 6-2, 265-pound former Alabama star was the outstanding run-blocker of his era. Defensive players who did not have their helmet strapped on tight were in danger of losing it with one of his trademark forearm blows. Hannah intimidated quietly and dominated thoroughly, operating with a ruthless, business-like efficiency on every play. He was frightening when he pulled on sweeps or other power runs, a nightmare for defensive ends and linebackers who were daring enough to step into his path.
Hannah's quickness and physical game were impressive, but no more than the intensity he put into preparation for every game. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of every opponent and entered every contest with a personal game plan. Hannah's strength was execution and he approached every play as if it would be his last. When he stepped up to the line with eyes ablaze, nobody doubted who was in control.
Hannah joined the Patriots in 1973 as the 4th overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft. He played his entire professional career in Foxborough. Hannah was named All-Pro 10 times (1976-1985) and All-AFC 10 times (1974, 1976-1985). Hannah was also selected to play in 9 Pro Bowls. He is also one of the few players to have been named to the NFL All-Decade Team twice, as Hannah was selected to both the 1970s and 1980s All-Decade Teams (joining an elite group of players who have achieved this including Walter Payton). Hannah was also selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, being the #1 guard in the team.
9x Pro Bowl selection (1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985)
10x All-Pro selection (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985)
2x All-America Selection (1971, 1972)
NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
New England Patriots #73 Retired
Team DirtBag selects a stone cold killer on and off the field
the first players to rush for 2,000 yards in an NFL season – in 14 games, no less.
In 11 seasons, Simpson rushed for 11,236 yards, added another 2,142 yards on 203 pass receptions,
In 1973 Simpson became the first running back in history to rush for over 2,000 yards with 419 yards in his last two games that year, to finish with a staggering total of 2,003 yards. Once again, in only 14 games, many of which were played in the freezing cold and snowy conditions of Buffalo’s Rich Stadium.
Simpson also led the league in rushing in 1972, 1973, 1975 and 1976. He was named NFL Player of the Year in 1972, 1973 and 1975 and was both All-AFC and All-Pro five straight years from 1972 through 1976.
Hutson was the centerpiece for Green Bay coach Curly Lambeaus innovative quick-strike offense from 1935 to 45. Over his 11-year career, he led the league in receptions eight times and touchdown catches on nine occasions.
His season receiving yardage totals consistently topped opposing team totals and most of that yardage was compiled while battling double- and triple-team coverage -- unheard of strategy at the time. When he recorded the NFLs first 1,000-yard season (1,211) in 1942, 17 of his record 74 catches went for touchdowns.
When Hutson retired, his 488 career catches dwarfed the 298 total of his nearest competitor. His 99 TD receptions stood as a record for many years, as did his 16.4-yard average.
His offensive greatness (he once scored 29 points in a quarter) was complemented by his prowess as a defensive back (30 interceptions) and kicker (193 points).
A member of three Green Bay championship teams, he became a charter member of the Hall of Fame in 1963.
* NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
* NFL 1930s All-Decade Team
* 2 Joe F. Carr Trophy winner (1941, 1942)
* Green Bay Packers all-time leading Touchdown receptions leader with 99
* Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame
* Green Bay Packers #14 Retired
Johnny Unitas has to be considered as well for best quarterback. Many believe him to be the top player ever to play the game. He holds three NFL championships, one of them the Super Bowl. Additionally, when he retired he had numerous records, such as most pass completions, most touchdowns, and most consecutive games throwing touchdown passes. (this record still stands)
* Super Bowl Champion (V)
* 10x Pro Bowl selection (1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967)
* 9x All-Pro selection (1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1970)
* 3x AP NFL MVP (1959, 1964, 1967)
* 3x UPI NFL MVP (1959, 1964, 1967)
* 2x NEA NFL MVP (1957, 1967)
* 3x Pro Bowl MVP (1959, 1960, 1963)
* 3x Bert Bell Award (1959, 1964, 1967)
* 1970 Walter Payton Man of the Year
With the 36th pick in the OTC All-Time NFL draft, RBA selects...
1980s professional career
Elway stormed into the mile-high air as one of the most highly anticipated athletes in the history of the NFL. The local newspapers ran a section that was called "The Elway Watch".
Elway would debut that season in the Broncos season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium. Elway's first career sack in the NFL came at the hands of linebacker and fellow Hall of Famer Jack Lambert.
Although the Broncos were playoff contenders for Elway's early years, Elway would go through the normal growing pains of a young NFL quarterback.
In the 1986 season, Elway led the Broncos to Super Bowl XXI, after defeating the Cleveland Browns on a famous possession at the end of the fourth quarter that became known as "The Drive". (In a span of 5 minutes and 2 seconds, Elway led his team 98 yards to tie the game with 37 seconds left in regulation. The Broncos went on to win the game in overtime). Elway and the Broncos started out the Super Bowl against the New York Giants very well, building a 10–7 lead and then driving to the Giants 1-yard line in the second quarter. However, the Broncos lost five yards on their next three plays and came up empty after kicker Rich Karlis missed the field goal attempt. From that point on, the rest of the game went downhill for the Broncos. Elway was sacked in the end zone for a safety on the Broncos ensuing possession, cutting their lead to 10–9. Then in the second half, the Giants scored 30 points and ended up winning the game 39–20. Still, Elway had an impressive performance, throwing for 304 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, while also leading Denver in rushing with 27 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
In 1987, Elway was selected to start in the American Football Conference's (AFC) Pro Bowl team and won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. He went on to once again lead the Broncos to a victory over the Browns in the AFC title game, earning their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, this one against the Washington Redskins. The game started out very well for Denver, and they built up a 10–0 lead by the end of the first quarter. At the time, no team had ever overcome a 10–0 deficit in the Super Bowl. But in the second quarter, the Redskins suddenly stormed back with a record 35 points, and ended up winning Super Bowl XXII 42–10. Elway did have a few highlights. His 56-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Nattiel after just 1:57 had elapsed in the game set a record for the fastest touchdown in Super Bowl history, at the time. He also became the first quarterback ever to catch a pass in the Super Bowl, recording a 23-yard reception from halfback Steve Sewell on a halfback option play. With a porous defense unable to stop the Redskins offense, Elway was forced to take more risks on the offensive end. As a result, Elway's performance was rather disappointing: just 14 out of 38 completions for 257 yards and one touchdown, with three interceptions.
After recording an 8–8 record in 1988, Elway once again led his team to the Super Bowl after the 1989 season, with yet another win over the Browns in the AFC championship game, going on to face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV. However this game ended even worse for the Broncos than their previous Super Bowl losses. San Francisco blew out Denver 55-10, the most lopsided score in Super Bowl history. Although Elway scored the only touchdown for his team on a three-yard run, his performance was exceptionally abysmal: 10 out of 26 completions for 108 yards with no touchdown passes and two interceptions. But he didn't try to hide from the media after the game or downplay his dismal performance. And when he was asked if he wanted to go back to the Super Bowl after three losses, he responded that he wanted to go back every year, even if his team kept losing. Still by this point, many doubted that he would ever win a Super Bowl in his career.
1990s professional career
Ending on top (1997–1999)
It took Elway another eight years, but he eventually led his team back to the Super Bowl in 1997. During the 1997 preseason American Bowl game in Mexico City, Elway ruptured his right (throwing arm) biceps tendon. It was treated non-surgically, and he returned to play 19 days later, going on that season to play in his fourth Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XXXII, the Broncos faced the defending Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers. Despite Elway completing only 11 of 22 passes, throwing no TDs, but one interception, they went on to defeat the Packers 31–24, finally winning a Super Bowl after three failed attempts for Elway (and four for the team). In 1998, the Broncos repeated this feat and Elway was awarded the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII, throwing for 336 yards and one touchdown with one interception, while also scoring a rushing touchdown in Denver's 34–19 win over the Atlanta Falcons. It was his last game, other than the 1998 Pro Bowl.
On May 2, 1999, at the age of 38, Elway announced his retirement from pro football. Elway is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks ever to grace the game. He has one of the best winning percentages in league history (148–82–1), and is tied for second most Pro Bowl selections for a quarterback (nine). He is third to Brett Favre and Dan Marino in career passing attempts, passing yards and completions. His four total rushing touchdowns in his Super Bowl games are the most ever by a quarterback. Elway is the only quarterback to have started in five Super Bowls. He is also the second player ever to score a rushing touchdown in four different Super Bowls (running back Thurman Thomas was the first).
On Monday September 13, 1999, his number 7 jersey was retired by the Denver Broncos during halftime of a game vs the Miami Dolphins; that same night he was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame. (Craig Morton, his direct predecessor in Denver, also wore number 7 and is in the Ring of Fame alongside Elway). He was the first Broncos player to have the five-year waiting period waived. Also in 1999 he was inducted in to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
Also in 1999, he was ranked number 16 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the only player to have spent the majority of his career with the Broncos to make the list (Willie Brown, who began his career with the Broncos but spent more of it with the Oakland Raiders, also made the list). In 2005, TSN published another special feature honoring the 50 Greatest Quarterbacks. Elway was ranked third behind Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana.
Elway was named the greatest athlete wearing the #7 by Sports Illustrated. Current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who grew up idolizing Elway and Joe Montana, wears number 7 in honor of Elway.
Elway also holds the record for most game-winning or game-tying scoring drives in the fourth quarter, with 47. Elway holds the rather undesirable record for most times being sacked (516) and most career Super Bowl interceptions, with eight picks in the five title games he played. He also ended his career with 148 victories, good for second place behind Brett Favre for most wins by a starting quarterback. He finished his career with 774 rushing attempts, one shy of NFL record-holder Randall Cunningham (775) for rushes by a quarterback. Elway's 3,417 rushing yards ranks sixth all-time among NFL QB's behind Cunningham, Steve Young, Michael Vick, Fran Tarkenton, and Steve McNair.
Elway threw for 1,128 yards in his five Super Bowls, third most behind Kurt Warner and Joe Montana. His 76 Super Bowl pass completions rank fifth, and his 152 attempts were a Super Bowl record before being broken by Tom Brady (156 attempts) 
Elway holds several Broncos franchise records:
* Most Total Offensive Yards: 54,882 yards (51,475 passing, 3,407 rushing)
* Most Total Touchdowns: 334 (300 passing, 33 rushing, 1 receiving)
* Most Total Plays: 8,027
* Winning Percentage: .643 (148–82–1)
* Most Career Passing Yards: 51,475
* Most Career Completions: 4,123
* Most Career Attempts: 7,250
* Most Touchdown Passes: 300
Hall of Fame
On August 8, 2004, Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, by his eldest daughter Jessica. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
* In 1979, Elway was drafted out of high school by the Kansas City Royals to play baseball in MLB. George Brett, the future Hall of Fame third baseman for the Royals, is said to have remarked, "I hope this guy plays football."
* In the 1981 MLB Draft, Elway was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round. The following year, he played outfield in 42 games for the Class A New York - Penn League in Oneonta, New York. He had a .318 batting average, with four home runs and a team-high 25 RBI.
* In the 1983 NFL Draft, Elway was selected as the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts, and on May 2, was traded to the Denver Broncos.
* On January 11, 1987, Elway executed "The Drive" - a last ditch, five-minute, 15-play, 98-yard touchdown drive in the AFC Championship against the Cleveland Browns to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, leading to an overtime win by field goal (by Rich Karlis) for the Broncos. It included six passes made (nine attempted), five rushes and an eight-yard sack. He was named the NFL Most Valuable Player and the AFC Offensive MVP.
* Elway is the only player to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 200 yards in seven straight seasons (1985–1991).
* Elway was named the AFC Offensive MVP in 1993 when he passed for over 4,030 yards and 25 touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 92.8.
* In 1997, Elway led the Broncos to their first ever Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XXXII. His three previous attempts in Super Bowls XXI, XXII and XXIV were unsuccessful.
* Elway is the oldest player to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl at age 38 in Super Bowl XXXIII.
* Elway is the only player to rush for a touchdown in four Super Bowls (XXI, XXIV, XXXII, XXXIII).
* On January 31, 1999, in Super Bowl XXXIII, Elway passed for 336 yards in a 34-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. He was named the Super Bowl MVP.
* Elway was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times during his 16 seasons with the Broncos, a franchise record.
* Over his professional career, Elway led his teams to a record 47 fourth quarter comebacks.
* Elway's 148 wins place him second (to Brett Favre) for career wins among quarterbacks. He was also sacked 516 times, more than any other quarterback.
* Elway's 300 career touchdown passes places him fifth behind Favre, Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton and Peyton Manning.
* Elway is one of only three quarterbacks to pass for at least 3,000 yards in 12 seasons; Favre and Marino are the others.
* On January 31, 2004, Elway was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Last edited by RedBlackAttack : 04-09-2009 at 03:38 PM.
with the 38th pick TEAM -primetime- takes the 10x probowl GOAT TE:
10× Pro Bowl selection (1999-2008)
6× First-Team All-Pro selection (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008)
3× Second-Team All-Pro selection (2004, 2006, 2007)
Led NFL with 102 receptions in 2004
Receptions in a single season for a tight end (102, 2004 season)
Career receiving yards for a tight end (10,940 as of December 30, 2008)
Career receptions for a tight end (916 as of December 30, 2008)
Career receiving touchdowns for a tight end (76 as of December 30, 2008)
Most seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards by a tight end (4)
Career receptions (916 as of December 30, 2008)
Career receiving yards (10,940 as of December 30, 2008)
Career receiving touchdowns (76 as of December 30, 2008)
Career yards from scrimmage (10,954 as of December 30, 2008)
Consecutive games with a reception (130 as of December 30, 2008)
With the 39th pick in the OTC All-Time NFL Draft, Dasher selects...
Chuck Bednarik, Linebacker/Center, Philadelphia Eagles
No National Football League player in the 1950s was immune to bone-jarring contact with the Philadelphia Eagles' Chuck Bednarik because the 233-pounder played on both the offensive and defensive units long after the two-way player had largely faded from the scene.
Bednarik didn’t really get into football until he returned from World War II (after a 30-mission tour as a B-24 waist gunner with the Army Air Corps that saw him win the Air Medal). He showed up unheralded at the University of Pennsylvania, where he went on to win All-America honors as a center his last two seasons.
Chuck was selected first overall in the 1949 NFL Draft as the Eagles' bonus draft choice and earned a starter’s spot as a center on offense and linebacker on defense. As an offensive center, big Chuck was a bulldozing blocker, both on rushing and passing plays. On defense, he was a true scientist in his field and the kind of tackler who could literally stop even the finest enemy runners "on a dime."
In 1950, Bednarik received All-NFL recognition as a center. Although he frequently played both offense and defense right up through the 1956 season, it was as a bone-jarring linebacker that he drew the most attention. He was named All-NFL as a linebacker 1951 through 1957 and again in 1960.
His athletic abilities and inspirational play was particularly evident in 1960 when injuries forced the Eagles to ask their 12-year veteran to again play both sides of the line. The 35-year-old was sensational. He finished the campaign with a 58-minute performance, capped by a game-saving tackle in the Eagles' NFL championship victory over Green Bay. With just seconds remaining, the Packers' Jim Taylor appeared to be heading for a winning touchdown until the last Eagle in his path, Bednarik, bear-hugged him to the ground as time ran out.
Bednarik proved extremely durable. In 14 seasons, he missed just three games. He was named All-Pro eight times, and was the last of the NFL's "Sixty Minute Men," players who played both offense and defense on a regular basis.
8x Pro Bowl selection (1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960)
10x All-Pro selection (1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961)
NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
1953 Pro Bowl MVP
1948 Maxwell Award
Philadelphia Eagles Honor Roll
Philadelphia Eagles #60 Retired
Last edited by statman32 : 04-09-2009 at 10:21 PM.
Off the field, Nitschke was a tall, balding, intelligent, thoughtful and conservative businessman, complete with horn-rimmed glasses and traditional suit. But once he pulled a helmet over the bald head and removed his upper bridge, he became a ferocious, body-slamming middle linebacker. The 6-3, 235-pound Nitschke who entertained rabid Green Bay fans on Sunday afternoons had the strength, quickness, lateral speed and toughness to back up the toothless, animalistic aura he used to intimidate opponents.
To say he was the heart of the Packers defense during the teams glory years is an understatement. Nitschke inspired greatness in teammates with his all-out, never-say-die hustle, a never-wavering enthusiasm and a leader-by-example mentality. He played mean and his reputation as one of the greatest run-stuffing linebackers was well deserved. He also was a cat-like pass defender who rattled receivers and ran back 25 interceptions for 385 yards.
The image of a scowling Nitschke, with blood-spattered on his No. 66 uniform and white tape wrapped tightly around various parts of his body to hide and protect his numerous injuries, will live long in Green Bay football lore. Curiously, he was selected for only one Pro Bowl during his outstanding career. But he was named a linebacker on the NFL's 75th anniversary all-time team that was selected in 1994.
Pro Bowl selection (1964)
7x All-Pro selection (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1969)
NFL 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
NFL 1960s All-Decade Team
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame
Green Bay Packers #66 Retired
With the 45th pick of the OTC All-Time NFL draft, RBA selects...
Eric Dickerson, a two-time All-America choice at Southern Methodist, was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. An immediate success, he established rookie records for most rushing attempts (390), most rushing yards gained (1,808) and most touchdowns rushing (18). His efforts earned him All-Pro, Pro Bowl, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors.
In his second season, Dickerson continued his onslaught of the NFL record book. Twelve times during that season he gained more than 100 yards rushing, breaking the record of 100-yard games in a season held by O. J. Simpson. His 2,105 total yards rushing in 1984 shattered Simpson’s 1973 record of 2,003 yards rushing in a single season.
A workhorse runner with the Rams, Dickerson gained more than 1,000 yards each of his first four seasons with the team. In three of those seasons he gained more than 1,800 yards. Although he rushed for 1,234 yards in 1985, he missed the Pro Bowl for the first time in his short NFL career. He did, however, go on to rush for a playoff record 248 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in post-season play.
After playing just three games for the Rams during the strike-shortened 1987 season, Dickerson – in a blockbuster deal – was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. Although he played in just nine games with the Colts that year, he still managed to gain 1,011 yards to finish the season with 1,288. In 1988, Dickerson, with 1,659 yards rushing, became the first Colt to lead the league in rushing since Alan Ameche in 1955.
The following season he became the first player in NFL history to gain more than 1,000 yards in seven consecutive seasons. He also became the seventh back to gain more than 10,000 yards and the fastest ever to do so, reaching the milestone in just 91 games. During his 11-year career, Dickerson gained 13,259 yards rushing, which was second all-time at the time of his retirement. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Dickerson was All-Pro in 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988.