A native of St. Paul, Nebraska, Randy Rasmussen was part of one of the great upsets in Super Bowl history when he blocked for Joe Namath in the 1969 win over Baltimore.
He also had an outstanding collegiate career at Kearney State as the Antelopes lost just four games in his four years. During one of those years, he played with his two brothers — Gary and Bob.
Rasmussen was drafted in the 12th round by the Jets. He stayed for 15 seasons and 207 games, including 144 in a row.
He was the last of the starting Jets players in the 1969 Super Bowl to retire from pro football, playing his final game in the 1981 playoffs against the Buffalo Bills.
Rasmussen also has another distinction — he played in the first Monday Night Football game, on Sept. 21, 1970. The Jets played the Cleveland Browns, and Rasmussen said several years later he would have rather been somewhere else that night — in bed.
"I hated those games because they were so late," he said. "I would rather play at 6 o’clock in the morning than 9 at night. Those games didn't end until 1 in the morning."
Rasmussen, who has retired from his insurance job in Connecticut, continues to wear his Super Bowl championship ring proudly.
"Coming off the field after we won that game was probably the best feeling I've ever had in my life," he said. "We have a great time getting together. The older we get, the tougher we were.’"
Speaking about Namath in a 1967 newspaper account, Rasmussen was prophetic.
"I feel he has to be one of the best passers in pro football,’" he said. "He may be a little bit young yet, still learning, but if his knees hold up, he'll be the best."
Played for: Elba High, Kearney State Antelopes and New York Jets
Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: Lee Jacobson, his teammate at Elba High and Kearney State in football, basketball and baseball
Best moment as an athlete: Started at offensive guard for the New York Jets in their 1969 Super Bowl victory over the Baltimore Colts
Rasmussen was No. 47 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »