|Born:||September 9, 1949|
New Brunswick, New Jersey
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||192 lb (87 kg)|
|High school:|| South River |
(South River, New Jersey)
|NFL Draft:|| 1971 / Round: 4 / Pick: 99|
(by the Miami Dolphins)
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Career CFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com|
Joseph Robert Theismann (born September 9, 1949) is an American former professional gridiron football player, sports commentator, corporate speaker and restaurateur. He rose to fame playing quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL). Theismann spent 12 seasons with the Washington Redskins (later known as the Washington Football Team), where he was a two-time Pro Bowler and helped the team to consecutive Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XVII over the Miami Dolphins and losing Super Bowl XVIII. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Following his retirement from football in 1985 after a career-ending injury to his right leg, Theismann worked as a sportscaster and an analyst on pro football broadcasts with ESPN for nearly 20 years.He primarily partnered with Mike Patrick, for the network's Sunday Night Football package and for one season of Monday Night Football with Mike Tirico and Tony Kornheiser. Theismann also worked as a color analyst on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football package with play-by-play voice Bob Papa and Matt Millen. Theismann also co-hosts the network's weekly show Playbook.
Since 2011, he has worked on the Washington Football Team preseason television broadcast team.Additionally, he works on the NFL Network on a variety of programs, primarily as an analyst.
Theismann is the owner of Theismann's Restaurant and Barin Alexandria, Virginia, founded in 1975. He also performs as a speaker for corporate events, speaking on topics such as leadership and self-motivation.
Theismann was born to Austrian Joseph John Theismann who "ran a gas station and worked in his brother's liquor store."His Hungarian mother, Olga Tóbiás worked for Johnson & Johnson until her retirement. Theismann was raised in South River, New Jersey, and attended South River High School, where he lettered in baseball, basketball, and football. He was a high school teammate of Drew Pearson. Theismann accepted a college football scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame.
At Notre Dame, Theismann became the starting quarterback in his sophomore year, after Terry Hanratty was injured late in the season.In the three remaining games in the regular season, he led the Irish to two wins and a tie. In 1969, Theismann led the Irish to a number five ranking, but lost to the University of Texas in the 1970 Cotton Bowl Classic, 21–17. The next year, the Irish had a 10–1 record, a number two ranking, and won against Texas in the 1971 Cotton Bowl Classic, 24–11. That year, Theismann was an All-American and an Academic All-American, and was in contention for the Heisman Trophy. Theismann, whose last name was actually pronounced THEES-man, recounted in 2007 that it was Notre Dame publicity man Roger Valdiserri who insisted that he change the pronunciation of his name to rhyme with "Heisman", but he finished second to Jim Plunkett of Stanford University.
Theismann set school records for passing yards in a season (2,429) and touchdowns in a season (16).He also set a school record for passing yards in a game (526) and completions in a game (33) while playing against the University of Southern California in a torrential downpour in 1970, which they lost 38–28. As a starting quarterback, Theismann compiled a 20–3–2 record while throwing for 4,411 yards and 31 touchdowns. His 4,411 passing yards rank fifth on Notre Dame's career passing list.
Theismann was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.He was the eighth Notre Dame quarterback enshrined into the hall, joining former Heisman Trophy winners Angelo Bertelli, John Lujack, and Paul Hornung.
Theismann was selected 99th overall in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins and in the 39th round of the 1971 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins.After prolonged negotiations with the Dolphins failed, Theismann elected to sign with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League for $50,000 per season. In his rookie year, Theismann quarterbacked the Argonauts to a 10–4 record, led the league's Eastern Conference in passing statistics and won a berth in the Grey Cup game in Vancouver, British Columbia versus the Calgary Stampeders (59th Grey Cup). A fumble late in the fourth quarter by Argonaut running back Leon McQuay close to the goal line cost the Argonauts what would have been their first Grey Cup victory since 1952.
In 1971, Theismann completed 148 of 278 passes for 2,440 yards and 17 touchdowns (with 21 interceptions). His 1972 season was shortened by injury, but he hit 77 of 127 passes for 1,157 yards and ten touchdowns. During his last CFL season, 1973, 157 of his 274 passes were complete, for 2,496 yards and both 13 touchdowns and interceptions. He was an all-star in both 1971 and 1973.
In 1974, the Washington Redskins obtained Theismann's rights from the Dolphins in exchange for the team's first-round draft pick in 1976 (the Dolphins selected linebacker Larry Gordon with the pick).Theismann left the CFL and joined the Redskins, where he served as the team's punt returner during his first season. In 1978, Theismann became the Redskins' starting quarterback, succeeding Billy Kilmer.
In 1982, Theismann led the Redskins to their first championship in 40 years against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII. He threw two touchdowns and, with the Redskins trailing 17–13 in the third quarter, made arguably the most important defensive play of the game—after his pass was deflected by Dolphins lineman Kim Bokamper, causing what appeared to be an interception and sure touchdown (which would have given Miami a two-score lead and effectively taken MVP running back John Riggins out of the game), Theismann himself was able to knock the ball out of Bokamper's hands,keeping the score close enough for Washington to stick to the run-heavy strategy that would eventually lead to victory. He also led the team to an appearance in Super Bowl XVIII the following year, and would go on to set several Redskins franchise records, including most career passing attempts (3,602), most career passing completions (2,044) and most career passing yards (25,206), while also throwing 160 touchdown passes, with 138 interceptions. On the ground, he rushed for 1,815 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was named NFL MVP in 1983 by four organizations. He earned the Player of the Game Award in the second of his two Pro Bowl appearances. Theismann also punted once in his career, for one yard against the Chicago Bears.
In an era when most quarterbacks had long since used variations of a double-bar facemask (or even triple-bar facemasks) that afforded more protection, Theismann refused to use anything but a one-bar face mask throughout his career.However, on at least one occasion, Theismann wore a helmet with a more standard facemask. Substituting for an ineffective Billy Kilmer against the Dallas Cowboys on October 16, 1977, Theismann entered the game wearing a facemask similar to the style worn by Kenny Stabler at the time.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(January 2020)
On November 18, 1985, Theismann suffered a comminuted compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in his right leg during a sack by linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson during a Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants telecast by ABC from RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
The injury was later voted the NFL's "Most Shocking Moment in History" by viewers in an ESPN poll, and the tackle was ultimately dubbed "The Hit That No One Who Saw It Can Ever Forget" by The Washington Post .
The game's score was 7–7 in the second quarter when the Redskins attempted to run a "flea-flicker" play; Theismann had handed off to fullback John Riggins, who subsequently lateralled the ball back to the quarterback. The Giants' defense, however, was tightly focused, and they tried to blitz Theismann. As Taylor pulled Theismann down, Taylor's knee came down and drove straight into Theismann's lower right leg, fracturing both the tibia and the fibula as Giants linebackers Gary Reasons and Harry Carson also joined Taylor in the sack.
The pain was unbelievable, but it didn't last more than a second or two. My leg snapped like a breadstick. I heard it clearly, it sounded like two muzzled gunshots over my left shoulder. Pow, pow! ... It was at that point, I also found out what a magnificent machine the human body is. Almost immediately, from the knee down, all the feeling was gone in my right leg. The endorphins had kicked in, and I was not in any great pain.”
As Theismann was down, Taylor waved for emergency medical technicians. Initially, many Redskins personnel thought that Taylor's calling and pointing directed at their sideline was him taunting over the fact that he had successfully stopped their play, and it was a few moments later that they realized Theismann was seriously injured. The Monday Night Football announcer team of Frank Gifford, O. J. Simpson and Joe Namath had correctly inferred from the start that Taylor was calling for help.
While initially only the players on the field could see the extent of the damage to Theismann's leg, the reverse-angle instant replay provided a clearer view of what had actually happened: Theismann's lower leg bones were broken midway between his knee and his ankle, such that his leg from his foot to his mid-shin was lying flat against the ground while the upper part of his shin up to his knee was at a 45-degree angle to the lower part of his leg.[ citation needed ] ABC's decision to screen the reverse-angle instant replay several times despite its palpably graphic content shocked millions of viewers, although as the replays were shown, Gifford repeatedly urged viewers at home to exercise discretion. The repeated screening of this replay remains to this day one of the most controversial in-game television production decisions in NFL history.
The compound fracture of the tibia and fibula led to insufficient bone growth during Theismann's recovery, leaving his right leg shorter than his left. As a result, the injury ended Theismann's career, forcing him to retire at the age of 36. Theismann never blamed Lawrence Taylor for his injury; while Taylor has apologized to Theismann many times, the quarterback has reiterated that Taylor was merely doing his job.
Theismann's injury was highlighted in the film The Blind Side as the reason that, after the quarterback, one of the highest paid football players is the left tackle, who protects a right-handed quarterback's blind side.The same injury occurred exactly 33 years later to another Redskins quarterback, Alex Smith, on November 18, 2018, in a game against the Houston Texans when cornerback Kareem Jackson and defensive end J. J. Watt sacked Smith, a game that Theismann himself was attending. However, unlike Theismann, Smith managed to play an additional season two years later, making his season debut against the Los Angeles Rams and retiring at the end of the season after he was released from the team a month prior.
|AP NFL MVP & OPOTY|
|Won the Super Bowl|
In 1985, Theismann helped call Super Bowl XIX for ABC alongside Frank Gifford and Don Meredith, becoming only the second player to do commentary on a Super Bowl telecast while still an active player at the time (the first was Jack Kemp when he helped call Super Bowl II for CBS). Theismann served as a color commentator on regional CBS NFL coverage in 1986 and 1987, then worked on ESPN's Sunday Night Football telecasts from 1988–2005, and on their Monday Night Football coverage in 2006.
In addition to covering football, Theismann hosted the first half of the first season of American Gladiators in 1989.
On March 26, 2007, ESPN announced that Ron Jaworski would replace Theismann in the Monday Night Football booth. Theismann rejected an offer to work on the network's college football coverage. He has since done a number of Washington Redskins pre-season games on CSN. On September 16, 2009, the NFL Network announced that Theismann would analyze game films on the show Playbook , airing Thursday and Friday nights at 6 p.m. Eastern.
On January 9, 2010, Theismann and his former head coach Joe Gibbs served as color commentators, along with play-by-play man Tom Hammond, for the Saturday AFC Wild Card Game between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals.
On September 6, 2010, NFL network announced that they had added Theismann to their Thursday Night Football broadcast crew alongside Bob Papa and Matt Millen.The grouping lasted one season. He also co-hosted NFL games on NBC in 2010, and co-hosted NFL Network's No Huddle in 2011.
Theismann has occasionally acted, although most appearances are as himself or as himself in a fictional context. He does have several TV and movie appearances, including the B.J. and the Bear (1981), Cannonball Run II (1984), and The Man from Left Field (1993).
Theismann appeared as himself, as part of a buyer group for the fictional "New York Hawks" football team on the TV series Necessary Roughness (2013) and on the post-Super Bowl episode "Operation: Broken Feather" of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2014). His most recent acting appearances were in movies for the Hallmark Channel. In 2016's "Love on the Sidelines," he appeared as the father of an injured professional football player. In 2019's "SnowComing," he played an agent for professional athletes (in particular, a professional football player). Theismann has acted as a national spokesman for several companies including Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company and for Super Beta Prostate.
Theismann fathered three children—Joseph Jr., Amy, and Patrick—with his first wife, the former Shari Brown. Amy died in 2016 at the age of 43, and Shari died in 2018 at age 69.Soon after the couple divorced in 1984, Theismann began a seven-year relationship, including a brief engagement, with television personality Cathy Lee Crosby. Early in 1991, Crosby sued for $4.5 million, touching off a counter suit. The suits were settled several months later.
His second marriage, to former Miss Connecticut winner and Miss America contestant Jeanne Caruso, ended in divorce after three years in 1995. Theismann was ordered to pay nearly $1 million of marital property and $3,500 a month in alimony.
Theismann is currently married to the former Robin Smith, self described as "a country girl from Memphis." They have homes in Virginia, Tennessee, and the Florida Panhandle.
Theismann's son, Joseph W., pleaded guilty in 2002 to drug chargesof dealing cocaine and possessing drug paraphernalia. He received a 10-year suspended prison term, was placed on five years of probation and fined.
Theismann received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member Tom Landry in 1983.
Theismann was inducted into the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1997.
On August 19, 2010, head coach Jay Gruden of the UFL's Florida Tuskers "confirmed that Theismann introduced himself to the Tuskers as the team's new part owner".Theismann expressed disappointment at the way he was treated during his time in the league and left the team when it was folded into the Virginia Destroyers in January 2011.
In 2011, Theismann was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
On September 5, 2014, Theismann was honored by the Ride of Fame as they christened a double decker sightseeing bus in Washington DC dedicated to him and his achievements.
Super Bowl VII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1972 season. The Dolphins defeated the Redskins by the score of 14–7, and became the first and still the only team in NFL history to complete a perfect undefeated season. They also remain the only Super Bowl champion to win despite having been shut out in the second half of the game. The game was played on January 14, 1973 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, the second time the Super Bowl was played in that city. At kickoff, the temperature was 84 °F (29 °C), making the game the warmest Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the strike-shortened 1982 season. The Redskins defeated the Dolphins 27–17 to win their first Super Bowl championship. The game was played on January 30, 1983 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Super Bowl XVIII was an American football game played on January 22, 1984, at Tampa Stadium between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion and defending Super Bowl XVII champion Washington Redskins and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Los Angeles Raiders to determine the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1983 season. The Raiders defeated the Redskins, 38–9. The Raiders' 38 points scored and 29-point margin of victory broke Super Bowl records; it remains the most points scored by an AFC team in a Super Bowl. This was the first time the city of Tampa hosted the Super Bowl and was the AFC's last Super Bowl win until Super Bowl XXXII, won by the Denver Broncos. As of 2021 it is the only Super Bowl won by a Los Angeles-based NFL team.
The Washington Football Team is a professional American football team based in the Washington metropolitan area. Formerly known as the Washington Redskins, the team competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the NFC East division. The team plays its home games at FedExField in Landover, Maryland; its headquarters and training facility are in Ashburn, Virginia. The team has played more than 1,000 games and is one of only five in the NFL to record over 600 total wins. It was the first NFL franchise with an official marching band and a fight song, "Hail to the Redskins".
Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons. Nicknamed "Joe Cool" and "the Comeback Kid", he spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. After winning a national championship at Notre Dame, Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started and won four Super Bowls and was the first player ever to have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. He also holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without an interception and the all-time highest passer rating of 127.8. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for his final two seasons, and he led that franchise to its first AFC Championship Game in January 1994. Montana was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
John Albert Elway Jr. is an American professional football executive and former quarterback who is the president of football operations for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL).
Mark Robert Rypien is a Canadian-born former American football quarterback who played 14 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Washington State and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 1986 NFL Draft. He was the first Canadian-born quarterback to both start in the NFL and be named Super Bowl MVP, doing so in Super Bowl XXVI with the Redskins. He was also a member of several other NFL teams. His nephew Brett has also played in the NFL.
James William Plunkett is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for sixteen seasons. He achieved his greatest professional success during his final eight seasons with the Raiders franchise, whom he helped win two Super Bowl titles.
Richard Joseph Gannon is a former American football quarterback who played eighteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Subsequently, he was a sports commentator with CBS Sports for 16 seasons.
Christian Adolph Jurgensen III, known better as Sonny Jurgensen, is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
Antwaan Randle El is an American football coach and former player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons. He is currently a wide receivers coach for the Detroit Lions. He attended Indiana University where he played college football for the Indiana Hoosiers, and also played basketball and baseball as well. For a time, he was also a sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network for interconference games that the Indiana football team plays.
Clifford Lynn Dickey is a former American football quarterback. He played for the Houston Oilers and the Green Bay Packers.
Trent Farris Dilfer is a former American football quarterback and analyst who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons. He is best known as the starting quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens during their Super Bowl-winning season in 2000.
William Stanley Humphries is a former professional American football quarterback. He played for the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He played high school football at Southwood High School and college football at Northeast Louisiana. He was selected by the Redskins in the sixth round of the 1988 NFL Draft.
Alexander Douglas Smith is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons. He played college football at Utah, where he was recognized as an All-American and led his team to victory in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Following his collegiate success, he was selected first overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Gustave Joseph Frerotte is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the seventh round of the 1994 NFL Draft. He played college football at Tulsa.
William Orland Kilmer Jr. is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League for the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins. He was also used as a running back and wide receiver. He played college football at UCLA, then 18 seasons as a professional. In 1964, while playing running back for the 49ers, Kilmer played a supporting role in one of the most infamous incidents in gridiron history: Vikings defensive lineman Jim Marshall ran Kilmer's fumble back 66 yards into the wrong end zone.
Brigman Owens is a former American football safety in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. He played college football at the University of Cincinnati.
Jay Brian Schroeder is a former professional American football quarterback. He played college football at UCLA, after which he was selected in the third round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins where he played for three seasons. He then played for the Los Angeles Raiders for five seasons and spent one season each with the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals.
Dwayne Haskins Jr. is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State University, where he threw 50 touchdowns in 2018, his lone starting season, one of just seven quarterbacks to reach the milestone in a single NCAA season. He won several Big Ten conference awards and was named a finalist for the Maxwell Award and Heisman Trophy. Haskins was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but was released after less than two seasons due to both inefficient play on the field and not meeting the team's standards off of it.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joe Theismann .|
| Super Bowl television color commentator|
(prime-time package carrier)
1984 (with Don Meredith)
Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf