The Hall of Fame Game is two weeks away… and the bareness of Sunday’s will soon be replaced by W’s and L’s, betting lines and fantasy decisions.
We’ll take this moment in the countdown to remember Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle. Despite playing only four seasons in New York, Tittle’s #14 is one of only twelve numbers retired by the storied Giants organization. Here’s a quick taste of his vast football accomplishments:
1. Tittle became the first QB to throw 30 touchdowns in consecutive seasons, doing so in 1962 and 1963 with the Giants. His composite 69 passing scores those two years eclipsed Johnny Unitas‘ total by 26.
2. His single season record of 36-TD passes stood from 1963 until 1984 when Dan Marino squashed it with authority tossing 48.
3. On October 28th 1962 against the Washington Redskins, Tittle became the 4th QB to throw seven touchdowns in a single game. As we sit here in 2014, only seven QB’s have ever accomplished the feat.
4. Tittle averaged 14.3 yards per completion during his four-year stint with the Giants, a mark never reached by Eli Manning during any of his 11 seasons (to this point).
6. 40% of Tittle’s career starting victories (78) were notched in New York between 1961-1963. The Giants were 31-5-1 in those three seasons before crashing down to 1-8-2 in 1964.
7. The above regular season success notwithstanding, Tittle lost in the title game all three seasons. A knee injury forced him out of the 1963 game against the Bears, and he would retire after the following campaign.
8. Y.A. Tittle played 17 professional seasons without capturing ultimate Championship glory — in that era, equivalent to a postseason victory.
9. His 242 touchdown passes rank 18th all-time, but Tittle finished his career with a negative TD:INT ratio (242:248).
10. The idea of playing in the Big Apple didn’t appeal to Tittle in 1960. “I will retire if you try to trade me back East,” he told San Francisco owner Vic Morabito.
12. Tittle was the first professional football player to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated on November 22, 1954. He would go on to appear three more times between 1961-1965.
13. A seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time All Pro, Tittle was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
14. In the 1999 feature film “Any Given Sunday”, Tittle played the part of opposing coach for Chicago (week 2).
Is it football season yet?