Joe Theismann, legendary NFL quarterback and long time broadcaster, was born on September 9th, 1949 in New Brunswick. He grew up in South River and lettered in football, baseball, and basketball at South River High School before accepting a football scholarship to Notre Dame.

At South Bend, Theismann became a record-setting All-American quarterback, finishing second in Heisman Trophy voting his senior year. After graduating, he was drafted by MLB’s Minnesota Twins, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, and the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. Surprisingly, he signed with the Canadian team after failing to come to terms with the Dolphins. After three seasons in Canada, his NFL rights were traded to the Washington Redskins.

During his 12-year Redskin career, he played in 163 consecutive games, and set Redskin records for passing yardage (25,206), completions (2,044) and attempts (3,602). He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and Pro Bowl MVP leading the Washington Redskins to a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl 17. On November 18, 1985, Theismann’s career was effectively ended by one of the most gruesome hits in NFL history; in a nationally televised Monday night game against the Giants he was sacked by Lawrence Taylor. As he went down, his leg snapped “like a breadstick” for everyone to see. He had a compound fracture of the tibia, meaning the bone had snapped in two, with one end protruding from Theismann's skin, and a shattered fibula.

Theismann told the Washington Post that to this day, he has never watched the video. I don’t blame him, I wish I had never seen it. He retired from the NFL at age 36. After his playing career, he began a long broadcasting career, including calling Super Bowls and a stint of Monday Night Football. He currently owns a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, called Theismann’s. He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2011.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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