Ray Nitschke

  • Pro Bowl selection ( 1964)
  • 7 x All-Pro selection ( 1962-1967, 1969)
  • NFL 50th Anniversary All- Time Team
  • NFL 75th Anniversary All- Time Team
  • NFL 1960s All- Decade Team
  • Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame
  • Back number 66 locked in the Packers
  • Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame

Raymond Ernest Nitschke ( born December 29, 1936 in Elmwood Park, Illinois, † March 8, 1998 in Venice, Florida ) was an US- American football player. He played for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL.

  • 3.1 filmography

Playing career

College career

Nitschkes parents died already during his childhood, he was therefore reared by an older brother. He made his first football steps in high school, before he received a scholarship from the University of Illinois in Urbana and for their team, the Fighting Illini played. There he was set up as a fullback and scored on this position four touchdowns. His former position was that of a linebacker. His older brother was the one who persuaded him to reject a baseball contract, the St. Louis Browns, a team of MLB and accept the scholarship.

Professional career

In the 1958 NFL Draft Nitschke was selected in the third round to 36th place by the Packers. In the first year Nitschke had significant teething problems, but this was also the poor overall state of the team - lost almost all of the games went into this season. Over the 58ers season was Vince Lombardi was hired as the new coach. With it, the rise of the Packers began the dominant football team in the 1960s.

It was not until 1962, Nitschke was able to prevail finally in the Packers and win a regular place. Nitschke was by his fellow players as a classic example of'' " Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde "means ''. While he was privately a rather reserved man, he was on the field a tough, feared tacklers, who seemed to enjoy it almost to bring his brutal opponent to the ground. It was Nitschke also hard on himself during a training an iron part he fell on the helmet, but broke through this not happiness. Nitschke went on as usual, as if nothing had happened. The Packers put the shattered helmet from today. The relentless hardness Nitschkes made ​​him one of the leading players in the defense of the Packers.

The Packers NFL Championship Games were five win with Nitschke and their starting quarterback Bart Starr in total - in 1961 against the New York Giants quarterback YA Tittle with under Coach Allie Sherman with 37:0 and again in 1962 against the Giants with 16:7, where Nitschke in this game, two fumbles conquered.

1965 won the Packers against the Cleveland Browns coach Blanton Collier with under 23:12, 1967, was the victory against the Dallas Cowboys under coach Tom Landry and quarterback Craig Morton with 34:27 and a year later, again against the Cowboys in the Ice Bowl with 21:17. The last two finals meant each a place in the AFL- NFL World Championship Game. The final was later renamed the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl I, the Kansas City Chiefs could be overthrown under coach Hank Stram with quarterback Len Dawson with 35:10. 1967 were defeated under coach John Rauch and Daryle Lamonica with 33:14 quarterback the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. In the first Super Bowl Nitschke get six tackles and a sack in the second game nine tackles.


Nitschke is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, in the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Football League 75th Anniversary All- Time Team, the National Football League 50th Anniversary All- Time Team and of the National Football League 1960s All- Decade Team. He played in a Pro Bowl. His jersey number 66 is no longer awarded by the Packers. For his performance in the NFL Championship Game in 1962 he was declared the MVP of the game. The newspaper '' " The Sporting News" '' voted him one of the best football players of all time. In Green Bay, a bridge was named after him, a training ground the Packers also contributes his name. In 1995, he led before the Super Bowl XXIX of the coin toss for the choice of seating.

Away from the pitch / Actor

Nitschke also appeared in two films as an actor in appearance.


After the career

Nitschke died during a visit to his family in Florida of a heart attack. His body was burned after his death, the whereabouts of his ashes is unknown. His wife died two years before him. Ray Nitschke is survived by two sons.