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Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle dies at 90

Posted by Michael David Smith on October 9, 2017, 2:17 PM EDT
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AP

Yelberton Abraham Tittle, the Hall of Fame quarterback whose career spanned 17 professional season, has died at the age of 90.

Tittle may be best remembered for the iconic photograph of him by Morris Berman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, showing him as he attempted recover from being beaten and bloodied by a brutal hit by John Baker of the Steelers in 1964, his final season. The 38-year-old Tittle suffered a concussion and broken sternum on the play, but played through his injuries and didn’t miss a game that season.

An All-SEC quarterback at LSU and MVP of the 1947 Cotton Bowl (a snowy game that was referred to as the Ice Bowl before a more famous NFL game took that name), Tittle was drafted by the Lions in the NFL but chose instead to play for the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference from 1948 to 1950.

When some AAFC teams joined the NFL, the Colts and other AAFC teams folded (the team later called the Baltimore Colts was a new franchise), and in a draft for the players from those teams Tittle was chosen by the 49ers. After spending his first two seasons as a backup in San Francisco, Tittle became the 49ers’ starter in 1953 and was chosen to the NFL’s third annual Pro Bowl.

Tittle lasted 10 seasons in San Francisco, and he made an impact off the field as well as on. In 1954, Tittle became the first professional football player featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 1957, Tittle coined the term “alley-oop” for a play in which his 6-foot-3 receiver R.C. Owens would plant himself in the end zone and jump as high as he could, and Tittle would throw him a high pass. The term would later become associated with basketball, but Tittle came up with it first.

By 1961, the 49ers thought Tittle was way past his prime, and they traded him to the Giants. But he found his second wind in New York, being named to the Pro Bowl each of his first three seasons in New York and winning the league MVP award in 1963, when he led the league in completion percentage, touchdowns and yards per completion.

Tittle is remembered as a great passer, a great leader and as one of the toughest quarterbacks in history. And he’s remembered as the subject of one of the greatest sports photographs ever taken.

 

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Del Shofner, Homer Jonesas wide receivers, Kyle Rote at Tight End, Gifford at Flanker boom 36 TD passes

 

Rote was a split end. Aaron Thomas and Joe Walton were the TEs. And Homer Jones came a year after YA left, I think. Another guy who deserves mention is Joe Morrison, who was an early version of a swiss army knife. YA was the second Giant QB I saw play in Yankee Stadium, after Charlie Conerly. An old, bald guy by the time he arrived in NY, he was smooth and always seemed in control. He was an absolute master at the screen pass, looking downfield, backpedaling and you'd swear he was in trouble.out in the flat. ...then flipping the ball to a guy he hadn't even glanced at, all alone.

 

My father, who started going to Giant games in the Polo Grounds, in the 40s, always said the game that haunted and tortured him more than any other through all those years was the 14-10 loss to the Bears in the 1963 Championship Game. "We were the better team but YA got hurt", he'd lament. I was 12 but I remember it too well, myself.

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Nobody? Sad...

 

To be fair I don't have a computer access from home... haven't had the chance to put it together... almost intentionally. And I would suspect most members were out and about enjoying the Indigenous People Day holiday.

 

RIP...

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Rote was a split end. Aaron Thomas and Joe Walton were the TEs. And Homer Jones came a year after YA left, I think. Another guy who deserves mention is Joe Morrison, who was an early version of a swiss army knife. YA was the second Giant QB I saw play in Yankee Stadium, after Charlie Conerly. An old, bald guy by the time he arrived in NY, he was smooth and always seemed in control. He was an absolute master at the screen pass, looking downfield, backpedaling and you'd swear he was in trouble.out in the flat. ...then flipping the ball to a guy he hadn't even glanced at, all alone.

 

My father, who started going to Giant games in the Polo Grounds, in the 40s, always said the game that haunted and tortured him more than any other through all those years was the 14-10 loss to the Bears in the 1963 Championship Game. "We were the better team but YA got hurt", he'd lament. I was 12 but I remember it too well, myself.

Yeah you're probably right. And yes, Joe Morrison #40 is one I forgot. Would have been nice to have Homer catching alley oops from Tittle instead of wounded ducks from Gary Wood

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