Marshall native Y.A. Tittle, Hall of Fame QB, dies at age 90
MARSHALL, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas native who was a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback has died.
The NFL announced the death of Y.A. Tittle on Monday via its website, calling Tittle "one of football's earliest star quarterbacks." Tittle, who was born in Marshall, died at the age of 90.
Tittle was inducted into the Pro Football Hall in 1971.
During his NFL career, Tittle played for the Baltimore Colts and the San Francisco 49ers.
While with the 49ers, the NFL notes that "Tittle led an 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."
He ended his career with the New York Giants.
The Associated Press notes that Tittle was known as "The Bald Eagle" for his sturdy leadership.
Memorabilia from Tittle's glory days was recently displayed during the Gregg County Historical Museum's "Sports Legends of East Texas" exhibit.
Jeb Blount, an East Texan who is a former Oakland Raider and Tampa Bay Buccaneer, recalled a conversation he had with Tittle once.
"Y.A. asks me, he says, 'Well, Jeb' (I'm 22 at the time) he says, 'Well, Jeb, do you have what it takes to be a quarterback in the National Football League?' I said, 'Mr. Tittle, I believe I'll answer that with one of your quotes: I may not be the best quarterback that ever lived, but I'm the best I've ever seen.' And I mean he was embarrassed, and he said 'No, no I didn't say that," Blount said.
Back in 2010 Tittle discussed the state of the game, recalling his time on the field.
"They have rules today that you cannot even touch the quarterback. They were trying to pull my ears off and rip off our facemask. We did not even have facemasks when we played. I would love to play today. Of course, I could play, I could throw. I never claimed to be a great football player, but I could throw better than anybody, and that is what the game is today for the quarterback, and I was the best passer in the whole league," Tittle said.
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