April 3rd, 2014
Anyone nicknamed "Night Train" must have been pretty cool.
And so he was. The legendary Dick "Night Train" Lane roamed the defensive backfields of the NFL in the 1950s and 1960s, intercepting everything in his path.
Playing for Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions, Dick Lane established the record for most interceptions in an NFL season (14). That record still stands today, despite the facts that the regular season is 33% longer today than it was in 1952 and that NFL teams pass considerably more now than during Dick's time.
And oh yeah, Lane set the interception record in his rookie season.
Lane was named the best cornerback of the first fifty years of professional football, and enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.
In his 14 NFL seasons, Lane recorded 68 interceptions, 1,207 interception return yards, five touchdowns, 11 fumble recoveries. Wow!
How did he get the nickname "Night Train?" Many wild rumors abound, however it was Dick's teammate Tom Fears who gave it to him. One of Fears’ favorite tunes was the 1952 hit “Night Train” by Jimmy Forrest and one day he called Dick "Night Train."
What was going on in 1952?
A loaf of bread was $0.16
The Diary of Anne Frank published
Gasoline was $0.29 per gallon
Popular TV shows included, I Love Lucy, You Bet Your Life and Dragnet.
MAD Magazine first issue was published
Tee-Shirts cost 2 for $0.59
Popular Films included, The African Queen, Singin' in the Rain and High Noon