NFL Hall of Famer and former 49er’s and Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle passed away on Sunday. Tittle was born and raised in Marshall. Tittle idolized his neighbor Sammy Baugh and practiced relentlessly to become a quarterback. He starred for Marshall High leading them to an undefeated season his senior year. He chose LSU over Texas for his college where he set career records that were not broken until the 1970’s. As a junior in 1946, Tittle led his team to the Cotton Bowl. The notorious game against Arkansas was played in freezing conditions on an icy field and became known as the Ice Bowl after ending in a 0-0 tie.
Tittle began his pro career for the Baltimore Colts in the All-American Football Conference in 1948. When that club folded, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers where he was named All-Pro and played in four Pro Bowl games.
In 1961, the 34-year old Tittle was traded to the New York Giants whom he led to three consecutive NFL Championship games. The Giants lost all three, but by then Tittle was a folk hero to Giants fans.
In 17 seasons, YAT completed 2,427 out of 4,395 passes for 33,070 yards and 242 touchdowns and another 39 rushing TDs. The only blemish on his statistical record are his 248 career interceptions.
Photo of Y.A. Tittle the first professional football player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. November 22, 1954