#25 Pat Fischer


SportFootball
HometownSt. Edward
Born1940

Football historians call him the originator of the "bump-and-run" technique used by NFL cornerbacks.

Pat Fischer recalls using the method only after being told to do so by a defensive backs coach with the St. Louis Cardinals.

"All the defenses would bring the cornerbacks closer when the offense got down to the goal line for obvious reasons," Fischer said. "So our backs coach had us start getting closer to the line of scrimmage all the time.

"I couldn't do it at three or four yards, so I just got right up to the line."

Following a decorated career at Nebraska — where he followed older brothers Rex, Cletus and Ken — Fischer was taken by the Cardinals in the 17th round of the 1961 NFL draft. He played seven years in St. Louis before signing with the Washington Redskins.

Being so small in stature (historically listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds), Fischer seemed to be the guy NFL quarterbacks could pick on. Seventeen seasons later, he had made his mark, being named All-Pro three times and playing in more games (213) than any other NFL cornerback in history.

"Expectations have changed," he said. "They're planning ways to get to the NFL right from high school and into college. Back then, we didn't expect anything and were just thankful to get there. We were actually awed by it all."

Born in St. Edward, Nebraska, Fischer played for Oakland High School before his family moved to Omaha during his junior year, where he finished out his high school career at Omaha Westside.

With the Huskers, Fischer played safety and running back. Occasionally, he'd even have quarterback duty. "When we played single wing, I was the tailback. When we moved into the T-formation, I played quarterback and that was a disaster," Fischer quipped in the Washington Times. "I couldn’t throw the football well."

He didn't have to throw the ball well in the NFL. He totaled 56 interceptions, which is tied for 18th best in league history. Fischer was named to the Pro Bowl in 1964, '65 and '69.

Since his NFL days, Fischer has been a stockbroker, worked at a Washington bank, had a real estate business in Virginia and sold polyurethane paint. Fischer has also owned race horses in his retirement, a passion that grew since his days in Omaha growing up near the Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack.

Fischer was inducted into the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. There is another hall of fame, however, that Fischer is yet to be enshrined in — the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"My name has come up before," Fischer said. "But when you are relying on all those writers from all the different cities, who knows about the politics involved? ... Personally, I think I deserve to be in there. But who knows what it takes to get there?"

Quick facts about Fischer

Played for: Oakland High, Omaha Westside High, Nebraska Cornhuskers, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Redskins

Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: "There's no way to pick just one," he said. One well-known Nebraskan he played with in college was Mick Tingelhoff.

Best moment as an athlete: "The game that will always stand out is the (1959) game and being on the team that broke the string of losses to Oklahoma. But overall, the best moment is now, reflecting on what friendships you developed and what loyalty means."


Nebraska 100: 2005 edition

Fischer was No. 22 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »