|Three Former Tigers are in Pro Football's Hall of Fame
|LSU is widely known for being one of the most storied programs in college football history.
Three former LSU players have earned the highest honor of being inducted into the Pro Football of Fame. Steve Van
Buren was the first in 1965. Y. A. Tittle, who went on the become one of the best quarterbacks in history, was inducted
in 1971 after a storied career with the Baltimore Colts, the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants. Four-time
NFL MVP, Jimmy Taylor was enshrined in 1976.
|Steve Van Buren answered to a lot of names during his eight-year career.in the NFL. When "Wham Bam,"
"Supersonic Steve," "Blockbuster," and several more. Translated they all meant he was an exceptional football player.
To be sure, Steve's pro career was distinctive. He surpassed 1,000 yards rushing twice, won four NFL rushing titles
and a rare "triple crown" in 1945 when he led in rushing, scoring and kickoff returns. He was a first-team All-NFL
selection each of his first six seasons. Van Buren lined up as a halfback, but played more like a fullback as the
battering ram of a powerful Eagles team that dominated the league in the late 1940s.
Philadelphia had never finished above fourth place until Van Buren came on the scene in 1944. That year they finished
second and were runners-up two more seasons, and won three straight divisional titles. Steve was born in Honduras.
|Y. A. Tittle played 17 seasons in pro football. He played three seasons with the Baltimore Colts of the All-America
Football Conference (1947-49) and one with the Colts in the NFL in 1950.
He played 10 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and his final four seasons with the New York Giants. Although
Tittle had excellent personal statistics while playing with the Colts and 49ers, the one thing that eluded him was a
Then in 1961 when Tittle was traded to New York, it looked like his fate would change. The Giants were contenders.
However, when he joined the team, he was about as welcome as a bill collector. The Giants were a veteran, close-knit
team, proud of their past successes. They knew that Tittle would be battling a team favorite, 40-year-old Charlie
Conerly, for the quarterback job. The Giants may have feigned cordiality to their new teammate. but for weeks "Yat" was
the loneliest guy in town.
In 1962, Tittle had 33 touchdown tosses and a career high 3,224 yards. A year later, his TD figure went up to 36, he
completed 60.2 per cent of his passes and again was named the NFL's Player of the Year. A terrific competitor who
was always willing to play hurt, Tittle led the Giants to divisional titles in 1961,1962, aqnd 1963. Even though they failed
to win the over-all NFL crown, those were the "glory years" in New York when Tittle was at the helm
|Jim Taylor: When Vince Lombardi took over the Green Bay coaching reins in 1959, fullback Jim Taylor became the
Packers' bread-and-butter guy. Lombardi depended upon him to get the needed short yardage whether it was for a first
down or a touchdown.
As the Packers dynasty grew, so did Taylor, who became the symbol of power in the awesome Green Bay attack. Jim
was a throwback to an earlier era. He ran with a fierceness no one could match. He caught the short swing passes and
blocked with rugged determinant ion.
Thousand-yard seasons became a specialty for Taylor. He went over 1,000 yards five straight years beginning in 1960,
but reached the zenith in 1962 when he had a single high 1,474 yards and was named the NFL Player of the Year.