It's not hamburger but rather Chris Hanburger





I must say this was a heck of an 18th round pick. Chris Hanburger of North Carolina University was the 245th pick in the 1965 NFL draft. Most of those guys picked that late are unemployed by the third day of training camp.

So what did the Redskins get from their 18th-round pick? Put it this way, the Detroit Lions secured the services of Fred Biletnikoff in the third round of that draft. He would make it as star with the Raiders and made it to the Football Hall of Fame.

And so did No. 55 for the Redskins. He would make the Pro Bowl nine times and was named to first team All-Pro team four times.

Hanburger wasn’t flashy. He just got the job done. And he stuck around. He got five starts his first year in Washington. And didn’t take off his Redskins jersey until the end of the 1978 season.

Six years into his career, Hanburger and his teammates were rewarded with a trip to the Super Bowl against the unbeaten Dolphins.

Prior to the visit, Hanburger and the once-beaten Skins visited Joe Willie Namath and the New York Jets on Nov. 5, 1972. Hanburger and Namath teamed up twice that day. Hanburger’s first interception of the game was a pick-6. He took that Namath pass and raced 41 yards for the touchdown giving the Skins a 21-10 lead. Hanburger would take away another Namath toss later in the game. The Redskins won this game, 35-17.

This was the first great George Allen team and Hanburger would add two more interceptions that season for a career-tying 4. In that wonderful NFC championship romp over Dallas, Hanburger was solid with 2 tackles and 6 assists.

The Super Bowl didn’t quite go our way but again Hanburger was a starter and notched 4 tackles and 2 assists.

Hanburger was also opportunistic on defense. He recovered 17 fumbles in his long run in Washington. In three of those loose balls, he found himself in the end zone.

It was opening day of the 1971 season. And at halftime the Skins trailed the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, 10-7. Well, the Skins rallied in the third quarter, following a defensive touchdown. Hanburger carried a fumble back 16 yards for the go-ahead score. When he stepped down from his football career, Hanburger was a holder of the NFL record for most fumble recoveries for touchdowns with three.

Even as an aging linebacker (33-years-old), he could still bring it. On Nov. 10, 1974, Hanburger fell on a fumble to score 6 points against the Eagles. And at the time, the Skins were down by a pair of scores in the third quarter. The Redskins rallied for a 27-20 win.



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Brian Hradsky

The owner of MSB, I created this website while in college and it has never died.

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