Quarterback legend Y.A. Tittle has passed away at the age of 90, Louisiana State University confirmed on Monday. Tittle was the first of the aerial QBs. He was Dan Fouts before Dan Fouts and Dan Marino before Marino took passing in the NFL to another level with the first 5,000 yard passing season in 1984.
RIP Y.A. Tittle. Another “Giant” has passed #NYG #49ers #LSU #NFL
Tittle had been fighting old age and dementia for years. Back in 2014, Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine interviewed the 87-year old signal caller in the twilight of his life as his memory faded and his body continued to break down.
YOU REMEMBER THE picture. Y.A.Tittle is on his knees in the end zone after throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Swollen hands on his thigh pads, eyes fixed on the grass, he is helmetless and bleeding from the head, one dark stream snaking down his face, another curling near his ear. His shoulder pads make him seem hunched over, resigned, broken down. The black-and-white photo was taken in 1964, the final year of Tittle’s career. It hangs in a silver frame at his home in Atherton, California, not with the prominence befitting one of the most iconic pictures in sports history but lost among many mementos from a Hall of Fame career. The picture is now 50 years old, and Tittle is now 87. He does not remember much anymore, but that photo is seared in his mind. “The blood picture,” he calls it. He hates it.
Y.A. Tittle is often remember for this photo–one of the the most famous pictures in NFL history. #RIPYATittle
Tittle is one of the original, pioneering players responsible for the NFLs rise to popularity. He was a college star at LSU, played quarterback for the Baltimore Colts from 1948-1950 in both the All-America Football Conference and National Football League, then joined the San Francisco 49ers via the 1951 NFL Draft, where he played from 1951-1960.
Report: Former LSU QB Y.A. Tittle dead at age of 90 https://t.co/iT67QfteBx #GeauxTigers
Tittle led a deadly offense that featured three future Hall of Fame running backs — Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson — in what was known as the “Million Dollar Backfield.”
Tittle put a bow on his illustrious career by quarterbacking the New York Giants from 1961-64 and leading Big Blue to three straight Eastern Conference titles and appearances in the NFL Championship Game from 1961-1963, where they lost twice to legendary Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers and once to the iconic George Halas’ Chicago Bears.
The Giants retired Tittle’s No. 14 jersey, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.