Number 37 on the NFL Network’s “Top 100” is Jim Thorpe. Thorpe was undrafted because there was no football league. He helped develop the Pro Football League.
Jim Thorpe came from Carlisle Indian School and first got acclaim as an Olympic star winning the decathlon and pentathlon. He excelled at every sport he played including baseball and football and track. Further, according to the You Tube reference he was even good at billiards and won awards in ballroom dancing.
Because of Thorpe’s talents when he came to the pro league he made it viable and after retirement became its President.
Jim Thorpe had speed and strength. Of course records were not kept when he played but he was a prolific running back. He played in 52 games over nine seasons.
His Native American name was “Bright Path” and he was named in the Big Leagues “The Legend.”
Thorpe was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963. Surprisingly, despite how long ago he played, he got a fan vote of 76-way too low in my opinion.
Number 36 on the Countdown is Raymond Berry who was drafted out of Southern Methodist by the Colts. Listen to this: He was a “Future Choice” being drafted in the 20th round and then he was picked number 232, talk about no respect!
Ray Berry had the surest pair of hands in the NFL. He fumbled once in 13 seasons. He played from 1955-1967 all with the Baltimore Colts.
Ray Berry is some man to watch. He had to wear a special shoe because one leg was shorter than the other and he had vision problems. Further he was not fast. However there has never been a harder worker than Ray Berry and he learned every route perfectly. Ultimately he and Johnny Unitas became arguably the best pass-and-catch team of that era.
Berry ended his career with 631 passes for 9,275 yards and 68 touchdowns. His major career highlights came in the game that put the NFL on the map and that was “The Game” which was the 1958 Championship played between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants. Berry caught 12 passes for 178 yards and he caught some key passes on the final drive that won the game for the Colts.
Ray Berry is a player I admire because he worked so hard and succeeded against all odds.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973. And he had no fan vote but he should have had a good one.
NFL Network Website, “Jim Thorpe”
Hall of Fame Website, “Jim Thorpe”
You Tube Website, “NFL Top 100 Players #37-Jim Thorpe”
NFL Network Website, “Raymond Berry”
Hall of Fame Website, “Raymond Berry”
You Tube Website, “NFL Top 100 Players #36-Raymond Berry”