Fred Dryer: Wikis


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Fred Dryer

Fred Dryer in 2001
Date of birth: July 6, 1946 (1946-07-06) (age 63)
Place of birth: Hawthorne, California
Career information
Position(s): Defensive end
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight: 228 lb (103 kg)
Jersey №: 89
College: San Diego State
NFL Draft: 1969 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
 As player:
New York Giants
Los Angeles Rams
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 1 (1975)
  • NCAA College Football Hall of Fame
  • NFL Alumni Career Achivement Award
  • San Diego Sports Hall of Fame
  • El Camino C.C. Athletic Hall Of Fame
  • San Diego State University Hall of Fame
  • NCAA College-Division National Champion (1967, 1968)
  • Junior College All-America (1966)
  • Little All-America (1968)
  • All-Rookie (1969)
  • All-Pro (1974)
  • Second-team All-Pro (1975)
  • All-NFC (1974, 1975)
  • Second-team All-NFC (1970, 1973)
  • 104 Career quarterback sacks
Records: NFL, Most safeties/game (2)
NFL, Most safeties/season (2)tie

Rams, Most safeties/career(2)tie

Playing stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

John Frederick "Fred" Dryer (born July 6, 1946 in Hawthorne, California) is an American actor and former football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). Dryer played 13 years in the NFL, playing 176 games, starting 166, and recording 104 career sacks with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams.

Following his retirement from football, Dryer had a successful career as a film and television actor, notably starring in the series Hunter.

Dryer is the only NFL player to score two safeties in one game.


College career

The son of Charles F. Dryer and Genevieve Nell Clark, Dryer began his football career at Lawndale High School in Lawndale, California, and then attended El Camino Junior College before transferring to San Diego State University (SDSU).

Dryer was inducted to the El Camino C.C. Athletic Hall Of Fame in 1988, as a charter member [1] and was the Athlete of the Year for his 1966 performance on the football field. Dryer was also a 1966 Junior College All-American [2]

During Dryer's junior and senior seasons at San Diego State, the Aztecs had a combined record of 19-1-1. They were the College Division National Champions both in in season. In 1967 they topped both the Associated Press and United Press International polls as #1. In 1968 San Diego State was voted the champions by UPI and North Dakota State topped the AP poll and thus the two schools shared the College-Division title.[3] Dryer was voted the outstanding defensive lineman on the team and as such was the recipient of the Byron H. Chase Memorial Trophy.[4] One of Dryer's teammates was Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the first four films of the Rocky series. In 1967 the Aztecs allowed 12.9 points a game on defense, which is still ninth in SDSU history. In 1967 and 1968 the Aztec run defense allowed just 80.1 and 100.1 yards per game, still fourth and fifth, respectively in school annals after nearly forty years.[5]

Dryer was named to the Little All-America team in 1968 since at the time the school was 1-AA. Dryer played in the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco, the Hula Bowl in Honolulu and the College All-Star Game in Chicago where the college stars played the world champion New York Jets. [6]

In 1988, Dryer was inducted into the San Diego State University Aztec Hall of Fame. [7] In 1997 Dryer received college football's ultimate honor in being voted to the College Football Hall of Fame and is one of only three SDSU Aztecs in the collegiate Hall of Fame.

NFL career

Dryer was drafted in the first round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and won a starting job as a rookie. He was the starting right defensive end from 1969 through 1971. He led the team in quarterback sacks each of those three seasons with 8½ in 1969, 12 in 1970 and 8½ in 1971. Dryer was traded to the New England Patriots in February 1972 for three draft choices (a first, second, and sixth), then on draft day of that year he was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams for a first round draft pick and backup defensive end Rick Cash. He spent his first year with the Rams where he backed up left defensive end Jack Youngblood making only four starts but playing in every game despite a broken hand and broken nose. His primary role in 1972 was to come in on likely passing downs and rush the passer. In 1973, Dryer started all 14 games on the right side and became the only NFL player ever to have two safeties in the same game by dumping opposing passers in the end zone twice in the fourth quarter. He ended the season with 10 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and recovered 3 fumbles (all three were second on the top-ranked Rams defense). After the season he was a Second-team All-NFC pick by Pro Football Weekly.

In 1974 he had 15 sacks and was voted the Rams Outstanding Defensive Lineman and was named All-Pro and All-NFC. He scored his first NFL touchdown in 1975 on a 20-yard interception return against Philadelphia. After scoring his touchdown against the Eagles, Dryer promised that if he ever scored another, he would set his hair on fire in the end zone. Against the Eagles that day, he chose to celebrate by "rolling six", a touchdown celebration where the player scoring rolls the ball like an imaginary pair of dice with some of his teammates looking on. He ended 1975 with 12 sacks, behind only Jack Youngblood on and was voted All-NFC. Additionally, Dryer played in the 1975 Pro Bowl, was a Second-team All-Pro selection as well.

He played in Super Bowl XIV when the Rams met the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 1979 season. That season he was honorable mention All-NFC after recording 10 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. In 1980 Dryer split time his right defensive end position with third-year player Reggie Doss. They combined for 67 tackles and 12 sacks (Dryer 5½, Doss 6½).

Dryer ended his career with 104 career sacks, although since he played prior to 1982 when sacks became an official statistic they are not credited in the NFL record books. Dryer played on a tough Los Angeles Ram defense that during the decade of the 1970s, allowed fewer points, fewer total yards, fewer rushing yards, and sacked more quarterbacks than any other defense during that time-frame.[8]

In January, 1981, Dryer made the cover of Interview magazine, published by Andy Warhol from the late 1960s through the early 1990s and was considered the very essence of "magazine chic". The magazine was noted for the full face Warhol-designed covers that featured prominent newsmakers. Dryer was the first and (probably) only NFL player to make the cover amongst people like Cher, Sting, Truman Capote, John Travolta, Mick Jagger, and many other "A" list celebs and the avant-garde.

When voted into the San Diego Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, Dryer joined athletes like Ted Williams, Archie Moore, Billy Casper, Ron Mix, Billy Mills, John Hadl, Charlie Joiner, Don Coryell, Brian Sipe, Dan Fouts, Sid Gillman, Ernie Ladd, Kellen Winslow, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Terrell Davis and others in receiving the "ultimate award" for a San Diego athlete.

In 2003 the NFL Alumni presented Dryer with its Career Achievement Award which is presented to former NFL players "For Getting to the Top of His Field". In being voted this award Fred joined an elite group of notable NFL successes such as former teammate Merlin Olsen, Jack Kemp, Gino Marchetti, Willie Davis, Dr. Dan Fortmann, Frank Gifford and others.

Record game

Fred Dryer's record-setting game on October 21, 1973, at Los Angeles was a 24-7 win over Green Bay.

1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 0 0 7 0 7
Rams 0 10 3 11 24

Down 20-7 in the fourth quarter, the Packers found themselves deep in their own territory when Dryer came storming in from the right side of the defense and chased down Green Bay quarterback Scott Hunter, dropping him in the end zone for a safety. On the Packers' following possession near their own goal line, Dryer attacked again. He looped through the middle of the Packer's offensive line and dragged backup quarterback Jim Del Gaizo down for his second safety of the game, setting a new NFL record.

For his efforts, Dryer was named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Week.


  • LA - FG Ray 44
  • LA - Jackson 46 pass from Hadl (Ray kick)
  • GB - B. Smith 23 pass from Lane (Marcol kick)
  • LA - FG Ray 40
  • LA - L. Smith, 1 run (Ray kick)
  • LA - Safety, Dryer tackled Hunter in end zone
  • LA - Safety, Dryer tackled Del Gaizo in end zone

Acting career

Prior to the start of his show business career, Dryer flexed his acting muscles when he helped cover Super Bowl IX for SPORT magazine. Fed up with the grandiose and self-important nature of the NFL's championship match, then-editor Dick Schaap hired Dryer and Rams teammate Lance Rentzel for this journalistic assignment. Donning costumes inspired by The Front Page, "Scoops Brannigan" (Dryer) and "Cubby O'Switzer" (Rentzel) peppered players and coaches from both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings with questions that ranged from clichéd to downright absurd. This became the inspiration for the eccentricities that surround Media Day at the Super Bowl.[9][10] Dryer also briefly served as a color analyst on CBS's NFL coverage in 1981.

In the early 80's when producers/ creators Glen Charles, Les Charles and James Burrows were developing the soon-to-be hit sitcom, "Cheers", Dryer, along with two other actors, was considered for the role of lead character, Sam Malone. Ted Danson ultimately won the role, but Dryer later appeared as sportscaster ( and former Red Sox teammate of Sam's) Dave Richards in the episodes "Sam at Eleven", "Old Flames", "Love Thy Neighbor", and "'I' On Sports".

Dryer's best-known acting role came in the 1980s television crime drama Hunter, in which he costarred with Stepfanie Kramer. Dryer also starred in the action-thriller movie Death Before Dishonor as well as Mike Land in the TV series Land's End (21 episodes, 1995-1996). He is also the only actor, so far, to portray legendary DC Comics military hero Sgt. Rock, during his appearance on the Justice League TV show. Dryer got married in May 1983 (divorced in 1988) to actress and Playboy centerfold Tracy Vaccaro, who also worked with him on Hunter and Land's End. Dryer stills resides in Los Angeles and has his own production company (Fred Dryer Productions).

Fred Dryer is frequently mentioned in season two of Adult Swim's Frisky Dingo as presidential candidate Xander Crews's prospective running mate. There is also a collage of images of him in Simon's room.

In January 2009 Fred Dryer can be seen in a more intense role for cable TV commercial for SMS research company,[11], which obliquely makes reference to his NFL record of two safeties in a game from 1973. Fred Dryer is also now a spokesman for the law service Injury Solutions. [12]



External links

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