Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mr. Tobin Rote

We love these old style sports illustrations that were popular in the Fifties and Sixties. The subject of this one is quarterback Tobin Rote. The Green Bay Packers selected Rote, who attended Rice University, in the second round (17th overall) of the 1950 N.F.L. Draft. He would spend a total of seven seasons in Wisconsin, leading the hapless Packers’ offense while the defense annually ranked among the league’s worst. Besides his passing duties, Rote led the Packers in rushing yards three times and rushing touchdowns five times. During the span of his Green Bay career, Rote ranked third in the N.F.L. in passing touchdowns, trailing only Bobby Layne and Norm Van Brocklin. He also ranked first in the league in rushing yards by a quarterback and second in touchdowns.

1956 Season
Rote's 1956 season ranks among the greatest in N.F.L. history. On a 4-8 team, he led the league in passing yards (by 294), and passing touchdowns (his 18 being six more than Ted Marchibroda’s 12). In addition, his 11 rushing touchdowns were second in the league behind only Chicago’s Rick Casares. His 29 total touchdowns were the highest single-season total in N.F.L. history to date and the highest total in the era of the twelve-game schedule. The entire Packers' offense outside of Rote accounted for just five touchdowns. Among quarterbacks, he led the league in pass completions, pass attempts, passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.

Post-Green Bay Career
After the 1956 season, Rote and defensive back Val Joe Walker were traded to the Detroit Lions for four players (halfback Don McIllhenny, offensive tackles Oliver Spencer and Norm Masters, and offensive guard Jim Salsbury). He later played for Toronto in the C.F.L., as well as with the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos, retiring in 1966. He passed away from a heart attack in 2000.

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