Joe Theisman made a name for himself as a stud high school athlete, as well as as a quarterback in college at Notre Dame and then in the CFL before coming to the NFL and being a big part of the early 1980s Washington Redskins teams that put up great numbers and won some very big games. Here is a look at some interesting facts about longtime Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman.
-Despite finishing second in the voting for the Heisman trophy while in college, Joe Theismann elected to play in the Canadian Football League for the Toronto Argonauts instead of the NFL team that drafted him, the Miami Dolphins.
-Joe Theismann rushed for 17 touchdowns during his NFL career. 12 of those came at home and five on the road.
-Joe Theismann threw 160 career touchdown passes in the NFL, almost 20% of them (31) were thrown against the St. Louis Cardinals.
-In Joe Theismann’s first season in the CFL, he led Toronto to an appearance in the Grey Cup (championship game).
-23 of Joe Theismann’s 160 career touchdown passes went to Art Monk, more than any other player on the team.
-After coming from the CFL to the NFL and the Washington Redskins in 1974, Joe Theismann volunteered to be the team’s punt returner while he waited for a chance at playing quarterback.
-Joe Theismann’s first career touchdowns pass came in the third quarter of a 42-0 win over the Chicago Bears and was thrown to wide receiver Charley Taylor.
-Joe Theismann was drafted out of Notre Dame in the 39th round of the 1971 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins.
-Six of the ten longest touchdown passes of Joe Theismann’s career were thrown to wide receiver Charlie Brown. The longest of his career went for 80 yards and was thrown to Calvin Muhammad.
-In 2003, Joe Theismann was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
-Joe Theismann threw for 300 yards 14 times during his career. The most yards he ever threw for in a game was 417 in 1983 against the Raiders.
-Joe Theismann lettered in baseball, basketball, and football while in high school.
-The most touchdowns Joe Theismann ever threw in a game was four. He did this for the first time in 1979 in a win against the Packers, in 1981 in a loss against the Cardinals, and in 1984 in a win against the Colts.
-In 1978, Joe Theismann led the NFL in losing the most yards due to being sacked with 391.
-Joe Theismann was taken in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, the other quarterbacks taken ahead of him include Jim Plunkett, Archie Manning, Dan Pastorini, Lynn Dickey, Leo Hart, Ken Anderson, and Karl Douglas.
-Joe Theismann owns a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia that is understandably named “Joe Theismann’s Restaurant”.
-In 1980, Theismann went 6-9 as a starter, this was the only year during his career that his record as a starter was below .500.
-Joe Theismann was part of the broadcast team for Super Bowl XIX in 1985 while he was still an active player. This was only the second time an active player had assisted in the broadcast of a Super Bowl (the first time was when Jack Kemp did so for Super Bowl II).
-Joe Theismann’s career ended because of a gruesome broken leg suffered while being sacked in a famous Monday Night Football game in 1985. The game was against the New York Giants and the sack was credited to Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson.
Joe Theismann made his name as a college quarterback and then worked hard to get noticed and be seen as a viable NFL quarterback. His scrappy play earned him a great reputation with both teammates and fans. After his football career was over, Theismann moved onto the broadcast booth and had a very successful second career on the television end of the sport.
Click here to see the video of Joe Theismann getting his leg broken!