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Pat Harder
Date of birth: May 6, 1922(1922-05-06)
Place of birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Date of death: September 6, 1992
Place of death: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Career information
Position(s): Fullback
College: Wisconsin
NFL Draft: 1944 / Round: 1 / Pick 2
 As player:
Chicago Cardinals
Detroit Lions
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 2
Honors: NFL 1940s All-Decade Team
Playing stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Marlin M. "Pat" Harder (May 6, 1922 in Milwaukee, WI – September 6, 1992 in Waukesha, WI) was a college and professional football player, playing fullback and kicker. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.


University of Wisconsin–Madison

After graduating from Washington High School in Milwaukee, he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Playing fullback for the Badgers, Harder led the Big Ten in rushing and scoring in 1941. In 1942, Harder was part of a team that went 8-1-1, including a 17-7 victory over the reigning national champion Ohio State Buckeyes in which Harder scored all 17 points. Harder left Wisconsin to join the United States Marine Corps in 1943 to fight in World War II. Despite having a year of eligibility left when he left the Marines, Harder turned pro in 1946.

Professional career


Chicago Cardinals

Harder was drafted 2nd overall in the 1944 NFL Draft by the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals. Harder was part of the Cardinals' "Million-Dollar Backfield" which also included quarterback Paul Christman and halfback Charley Trippi. He was the first player in league history to score over 100 points in three consecutive years, which he did from 1947-1949, leading the league all three years. In 1947, the Cardinals won the NFL Championship (the Cardinals' last as of 2008). In the championship game, Harder kicked 4 extra points to help defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-21.

Detroit Lions

Harder was traded to the Detroit Lions in 1951. He helped the Lions win back-to-back NFL Championships in 1952 and 1953. Harder retired from professional football in 1953.

After retirement

Harder served as an NFL official from 1966 to 1982, working as the umpire on the crew of legendary referee Jim Tunney wearing uniform number 88. The most famous game he worked came on December 23, 1972 when the Pittsburgh Steelers won their first-ever playoff game on Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception against the Oakland Raiders.

He also served as vice-president of a car leasing company in Milwaukee. He died in Waukesha, WI on September 6, 1992. Harder was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

The popular chant "Hit 'em again harder, harder, harder" was a University of Wisconsin cheer aimed at Pat Harder and can still be heard at high school and college games today. But few know its origins.

External links


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