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Retired Super Bowl winner who transitioned to the big screen, sports broadcasting

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Years after hanging up his cleats, Joe Theismann, a seasoned NFL Super Bowl champion, continues to carry a vibrant passion for the game that defined a significant chapter of his life. Despite a career-altering injury that cast a shadow on his time on the field, Theismann’s love for football remains undiminished. Beyond the touchdowns and tackles, this former gridiron hero seamlessly transitioned into the realm of sports broadcasting, showcasing not only his prowess as a player but also his keen insights and articulate commentary.

This article unravels the layers of Joe Theismann’s enduring connection to the sport that captured his heart and explores the vibrant chapters that unfolded even after the final whistle of his career.

Joe Theismann biography

Joe Theismann smiling

Joseph Robert Theismann was born on September 9, 1949, in New Brunswick, situated in the U.S. state of New Jersey. He is a multifaceted personality known for his contributions as a professional football player, sports commentator, corporate speaker and restaurateur. He was born into the family of Joseph John Theismann. His mother, Olga Tóbiás, worked for Johnson & Johnson until her retirement. His father was an Austrian and his mother was Hungarian.

Growing up in South River, New Jersey, Theismann’s early years were marked by the close-knit community and the influence of his parents. Theismann attended South River High School, where he began to showcase his athletic prowess by getting involved in baseball, basketball and American football. Notably, he shared the high school football field with his future NFL colleague, Drew Pearson.

Amidst the challenges and triumphs of adolescence, his passion for sports began to take root. It was evident early on that he possessed a natural talent for athletics, laying the foundation for a journey that would later see him rise to fame on the football field.

Theismann is an American by nationality. He has spent the majority of his life in the U.S. In terms of physical features, Theismann’s height is approximately 6 feet (183 cm), according to sources.

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Joe Theismannn career

Joe Theismann on the field

Theismann’s journey in football kicked off during his college years at the University of Notre Dame, where he became the starting quarterback. His notable achievements included leading the team to victories and earning All-American and Academic All-American honours. Although he narrowly missed the Heisman Trophy, he secured his place in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

In the professional realm, Theismann transitioned to the NFL and CFL. Notably, he spent 12 seasons with the Washington Redskins, achieving Pro Bowl status twice and steering the team to consecutive Super Bowl appearances. His highlight was the victory in Super Bowl XVII against the Miami Dolphins in 1982.

In 1985, an unfortunate event changed the course of Theismann’s football journey. A gruesome leg injury during a game against the New York Giants ended his playing career. Despite this setback, he displayed resilience and refused to blame the opponent for the injury.

Post-retirement, Theismann seamlessly transitioned to the world of sports broadcasting. For nearly two decades, he provided his insights on ESPN, where he partnered primarily with Mike Patrick for the network’s Sunday Night Football and one season of Monday Night Football. His articulate commentary and understanding of the game made him a beloved figure among football enthusiasts.

His contributions extended to the NFL Network, where he worked as a colour analyst on Thursday Night Football, alongside the play-by-play voices, Bob Papa and Matt Millen. Theismann also co-hosted the network’s weekly show, Playbook.

He also ventured into the world of entertainment, according to IMDb. Known for his roles in Cannonball Run II (1984), ESPN’s Sunday Night Football (1987), and The Man with Bogart’s Face (1980), Theismann has showcased his versatility beyond the football field. His acting career also features appearances in TV series like B.J. and the Bear (1981) and Arli$$ (1996), along with TV movies such as Good Luck (1996) and The Man from Left Field (1993).

Joe Theismann stats

Joe Theismann talking

Below is a peek into the impressive stats that tell the story of Theismann’s football journey. From his college days at Notre Dame to the big moments with the Washington Redskins, every yard, touchdown and record is a chapter in Theismann’s incredible story on the football field.

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College career (University of Notre Dame):

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Accolades:
    • All-American and Academic All-American
    • Contender for the Heisman Trophy

Records at Notre Dame:

  • Passing yards in a season: 2,429
  • Touchdowns in a season: 16
  • Career passing yards: 4,411
  • Career touchdowns: 31

  • Team: Toronto Argonauts
  • Seasons: 1971-1973
  • Notable achievements:
    • Led team to Grey Cup game in 1971
    • All-Stars in 1971 and 1973

  • Seasons with Washington Redskins: 1974-1985

Career highlights:

  • Super Bowl XVII Champion (1982)
  • Super Bowl XVIII Runner-Up (1983)
  • NFL MVP (1983)
  • Franchise records (as of his retirement in 1985):
    • Most career wins by a quarterback: 87
    • Most career passing yards: 25,206
    • Most career passing completions: 2,044
    • Most career passing attempts: 3,602
    • Touchdown passes: 160
    • Interceptions: 138
    • Rushing yards: 1,815
    • Rushing touchdowns: 17

Career-ending Injury:

  • Date: November 18, 1985
  • Injury: Comminuted compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in his right leg
  • Result: Forced to retire at the age of 36

Awards and honours:

  • Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003
  • NFL MVP in 1983

Joe Theismann’s net worth

As of the time of writing this piece, Theismann’s net worth is estimated to be around $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth

Joe Theismann family

Theismann’s parents, Joseph John Theismann and Olga Tóbiás, laid the foundation for his achievements. His father managed a gas station, and his mother worked for Johnson & Johnson until her retirement.

In the early 1980s, Theismann’s family life changed. His first marriage to Shari Brown resulted in three children: Joseph Jr., Amy and Patrick. The couple, however, faced challenges, leading to their divorce in April 1985, just seven months before the fateful leg injury that ended Joe’s football career.

Following the divorce, Theismann entered a seven-year relationship and had a brief engagement with television personality, Cathy Lee Crosby. This period brought its share of legal matters for Theismann, with Crosby suing for $4.5 million and the matter eventually settled several months later.

In 1996, he found love again and married Robin Smith, describing her as a “country girl from Memphis”. The couple established homes in Virginia, Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle.

Joe Theismann age

Theismann is currently 74 years old and will turn 75 in 2024.

Joe Theismann Twitter

Theismann maintains an active presence on X (Twitter), reaching out to a community of over 151,600 followers through his account, @Theismann7, which he opened in 2010. On this platform, Theismann shares his insights and perspectives on football, including his takes on games, teams, NFL dealings, and players. His tweets resonate with football enthusiasts, sparking engagements and discussions within the online sports community.

Theismann not only shares his thoughts but also actively engages with other sports-related Twitter handles, amplifying his connection to the dynamic world of NFL news and updates.

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