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Y. A. Tittle
Position(s)
Quarterback
Jersey #(s)
63, 64, 14
Born October 24, 1926 (1926-10-24) (age 83)
Marshall, Texas
Career information
Year(s) 19481964
NFL Draft 1948 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
College Louisiana State
Professional teams
Career stats
TD-INT 242-248
Yards 33,070
QB Rating 74.3
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards

Yelberton Abraham Tittle (born October 24, 1926 in Marshall, Texas), better known as Y. A. Tittle, is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League and All-America Football Conference who played for the Baltimore Colts, San Francisco 49ers, and the New York Giants. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Contents

Professional career

Tittle began his career with the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1948, who eventually joined the NFL in 1950. The Colts became defunct after that season, and Tittle joined the San Francisco 49ers. He played there for ten seasons, through 1960, often struggling for playing time. In 1951 and 1952, Frankie Albert also played quarterback extensively, and then from 1957 through 1960, John Brodie took time on the field away from Tittle.

In 1961, the 49ers traded Tittle to the New York Giants for guard Lou Cordileone. Tittle went on to lead the Giants to three straight Eastern Division titles, part of a team that featured such great players as Del Shofner, Aaron Thomas, Joe Walton, Frank Gifford, Alex Webster, Dick Lynch, Jimmy Patton, Roosevelt Brown, Andy Robustelli, Sam Huff, Erich Barnes and Joe Morrison. Tittle threw seven touchdown passes on October 28, 1962, in a game against the Washington Redskins that the Giants won 49-34. In 1963, he set what was then an NFL record by throwing 36 touchdown passes.

The following year, Tittle's final season, the Giants were nowhere close to contention, falling to a 2-10-2 record. Tittle's performance fell from 36 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 1963 to 10 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in 1964. He retired after the season.

Legacy

The only thing missing from Tittle's impressive résumé was an NFL championship. The Giants lost the title game every year from 1961 to 1963. The 1963 game was especially disappointing, as Tittle hurt his leg while the Giants were losing to the Chicago Bears 14-10.

A 1964 photo of a dazed Tittle on the field taken by Morris Berman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is regarded among the most iconic images in the history of sports. Tittle, who was in the final season of his career, was photographed helmet-less, bloodied and kneeling immediately after having been knocked to the ground by a Steelers defender and throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. The quarterback had suffered both a concussion and cracked sternum on the play. He would go on to play out the rest of the season, but the Giants would finish a disappointing 2-10-2.

Post-Gazette editors at first declined to run the photo, citing a lack of action, but Berman entered the image into contests where it took on a life of its own, winning a National Headliner Award. The photo was ineligible for a Pulitzer Prize because it was not published, but it is regarded as having changed the way that photographers look at sports, having shown the power of capturing a moment of reaction. It now hangs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After at first having failed to seen the appeal of the image, Tittle eventually would grow to embrace it, putting it on the back cover of his 2009 autobiography. "That was the end of the road," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2008. "It was the end of my dream. It was over."

In a career lasting 17 years, Tittle passed for 33,070 yards, and 242 touchdowns, and twice received the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. In 1971, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Him and his 'best buddy' Payne Smith, who played with him at LSU as a tight end celebrated his honor by going to a LSU game the next day.

Tittle currently owns Y. A. Tittle Insurance & Financial Services [1].

Distinction

Y.A. Tittle was the first and one of only eight quarterbacks in NFL history to have achieved consecutive 30-touchdown passing seasons. The others are Steve Bartkowski, Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Jeff Garcia, and Drew Brees. Tittle's 36 touchdown passes in the 1963 season would remain an NFL record until Marino threw 48 touchdown passes in 1984.

Notes

Y.A. played the head coach from Chicago in the movie Any Given Sunday.

Career statistics

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NFL Regular season

  • 3,817 passes attempted
  • 2,118 passes completed
  • 28,339 passing yards
  • 242 passing touchdowns
  • 248 passes intercepted
  • 81.4 quarterback rating

AAFC Regular season

  • 578 passes attempted
  • 309 passes completed
  • 4,731 passing yards
  • 30 passing touchdowns
  • 25 passes intercepted
  • 82.1 quarterback rating

See also

External links

Preceded by
Jim Taylor
AP NFL Most Valuable Player
1963 season
Succeeded by
Johnny Unitas
Preceded by
Ernie Case
Baltimore Colts [AAFC] Starting Quarterbacks
1948-1950
Succeeded by
Franchise folded
Preceded by
Frankie Albert
San Francisco 49ers Starting Quarterbacks
1952-1959
Succeeded by
John Brodie
Preceded by
Charlie Conerly
New York Giants Starting Quarterbacks
1961-1964
Succeeded by
Earl Morrall

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