No. 37 for the Skins hit like a truck
At 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, Pat Fischer wasn’t about to scare anyone even in a dark alley. However, in the broad daylight of the NFL season, he was a terror to opposing receivers. Even very tall receivers.
Born in Nebraska during World War II, he didn’t drift far away from home. He played his college football at the University of Nebraska. And it’s not like he garnered much attention doing that. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the 17th round of the NFL draft.
Keep that number 17 in mind. That’s how many seasons, this 17th-round pick played in the NFL.
And he didn’t disappoint in St. Louis. In 1964, he was an All-Pro and he proved he had a nose for the ball as he claimed 10 interceptions. And a few of those really hurt as a Redskins fan.
It’s Oct. 4, 1964 and the winless Redskins are hosting the unbeaten Cardinals. Sonny Jurgensen fired a pass early and Fischer took it away and into the end zone good for a 33-yard score. It was important as the Cardinals nipped the Skins 23-17.
Two weeks later, the two teams met again in St. Louis. At least the Skins had one win by then. And this time, Washington jumped up by two scores. The Cardinals came back. And you guessed it. The final TD of the game came on a 39-yard interception by one Pat Fischer.
No doubt the Redskins made a note that this might be one player they could be interested in the future.
Frankly, he never came close to that number of interceptions the rest of his career. That’s because he was too busy drilling opposing players.
He was nasty out on a football field. He was like a very undersized linebacker. He just loved to knock folks down.
No matter he was a Cardinal so it was best to avoid him. And in a case of if you can’t beat them, join them, owner Edward Bennett Williams brought Fischer in to play for his new coach George Allen. And then all was right with the world.
Flash forward to Halloween in 1971. Fischer is a Redskins defensive back. And his new team is 6-1 and hosting the Saints from New Orleans.
It’s the fourth quarter and the Skins are sitting pretty. That’s when Fischer went into his old act. He took away an Edd Hargett pass and went 53 yards for a touchdown. Washington won this game, 24-14.
Fischer was our starting left corner back in the first Super Bowl game against the Miami Dolphins.