1936 – Green Bay Packer Legend Born

On this date Green Bay Packer Legend Raymond Ernest Nitschke was born in Elmwood Park, Illinois. Nitschke graduated from high school in 1954 and passed up a professional baseball contract from the St. Louis Browns in favor of a football scholarship at the University of Illinois. Nitschke was a fullback and defensive linebacker for the Illini. His prowess on defense drew the attention of pro scouts, and he was drafted in the third round by the Green Bay Packers in 1958. Nitschke was named All-Pro in 1964, 1965 and 1966; and selected for the Pro Bowl in 1964. He played middle linebacker for the Packers from 1958 to 1972. Nitschke ranks second in the Packers record book behind quarterback for most years as an active player. Nitschke was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1975. Nitschke retired after the 1972 season, having played 15 years as a pro in 190 games. He finished with 25 interceptions, 20 fumbles recovered, and two touchdowns scored. His dominance at middle-linebacker throughout the 1960s was recognized in the many awards he received. Nitschke’s celebrity brought offers for movie and television commercial appearances. In 1974 Nitschke played a tough prison guard in the Burt Reynolds comedy “The Longest Yard.” Nitschke’s most famous commercials were in the Miller Lite All-Star series, in which he appeared with other sports stars such as Ben Davidson and Rosie Grier. Nitschke died on March 8, 1998 in Venice, Florida. [Source: ]