Joe Theismann – Washington #7

Washington Football Team #7

Joseph Robert Theismann was born on September 9th 1949, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Theismann played his college football at Notre Dame, where he became the starting quarterback in his second year, following an injury to Terry Hanratty with just 3 games left to go.

The following two years, Joe led the ‘Fighting Irish’ to consecutive Cotton Bowl finals, winning one one and losing one against the University of Texas. Thiesmann broke several school records whilst at Notre Dame, including most passing yards in a season (2,429), touchdowns in a season (16) and passing yards in a single game (526). His 4,411 total passing yards, leaves him fifth in Notre Dames career passing list.

He was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 2003.

Despite being drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1971, he failed to agree a contract with Miami and instead joined the Canadian Football League, where he signed for the Toronto Argonauts where he spent the next three years.

In 1974 Washington traded their first-round draft pick in 1976 for Theismann’s rights and he finally entered the NFL four years after being drafted. Amazingly, in his first year with Washington, he served as the teams punt returner and it wasn’t until the 1978 season that he took over as the starting quarterback in DC.

In 1982, Theismann led Washington to the first of two consecutive Super Bowl games, winning SB XVII against the Miami Dolphins 27-17 before losing SB XVIII the following year 9-38 against the LA Raiders.

Theismann’s career was brought to a premature end in 1985, when New York Giants legend Lawrence Taylor sacked Joe. As Taylor pulled Theismann down, his knee drove into the shin area of the quarterback’s leg and snapped both the tibia and fibula of his right leg. It was dubbed by the Washington Post as ‘The Hit That No One Who Saw It Can Ever Forget’ and was also voted the ‘Most Shocking Moment in NFL History’ in an ESPN poll.

Shockingly, almost the exact same thing happened 33 years later to another Washington quarterback – Alex Smith. Hopefully Smith will defy the odds and get back on the field of play soon!

Theismann finished his career with a Super Bowl ring, NFL MVP of 1983, a two-time Pro Bowler and is in the Washington Ring of Fame around the upper tier of the stadium.