The 6-foot-2, 190-pound E-HB-FL Elroy Hirsch is rather noteworthy for two reasons. For starters, he played on both sides of the football, both as a defensive end and as an offensive flanker/halfback. The second noteworthy thing about Elroy Hirsch is the fact that he has the coolest NFL nickname of all time. “Crazy legs” is just the best.
He was the first Rams receiver to be inaugurated into the NFL Hall of Fame. Elroy Hirsch is a member of the Class of 1968 as well as a former teammate of Tom Fears. Originally drafted by the now-defunct Chicago Rockets/Hornets of the All-American Football Conference, the franchise folded after the 1948 season, unlike rival teams Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and the Baltimore Colts, who all joined the NFL in 1949.
As a result, Hirsch joined the LA Rams in 1949 and never looked back. He paired up with Rams future NFL Hall of Famer Tom Fears for the next eight seasons. As is often the case in the NFL, it’s the matching of two elite receivers that seems to harmonize for the two. The Rams have benefitted from the phenomenon several times:
- Tom Fears – Crazy Legs Hirsch (1949-1956)
- Henry Ellard – Flipper Anderson (1988-1993)
- Isaac Bruce – Torry Holt (1999-2007)
- Cooper Kupp – Robert Woods (2017-2021)
While Tom Fears powered the Rams to compete in the 1950 NFL Championship Game, Crazy Legs Hirsch’s performance in 1951 powered them over the top. His 1,495 yards in 1951 in just 12 games was good enough to average an insanely impressive 124.6 yards per game. On top of that, he also hit paydirt 17 times, averaging 1.42 touchdowns per game. His longest reception that year was 91 yards, but he was famous for taking it to the house from anywhere on the field.
Hirsch sadly passed away on January 28, 2004. His unique style of running and his coast-to-coast scoring plays will live on for generations to come.