In a career that spanned twelve professional seasons, flanker Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch caught 60 touchdown passes and amassed over 7,500 total yards from scrimmage. His stellar play for the Chicago Rockets of the short-lived All-America Football Conference and the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL earned him a place on the NFL's all-decade team for the 1950s and a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On January 28, 2004, Hirsch died of natural causes at an assisted living home in Madison, Wisconsin.
Last week "The Unreliable Source" sat down with Hirsch for a revealing one-on-one interview. Here's the transcript in all its unedited glory.
TUS: Sorry, I can't find my pen...
TUS: I can't find my pen, don't worry we'll just edit this part out.
EH: Of course you will, it's completely pointless.
TUS: Found it! Ok, first question: Sportswriter Francis Powers once wrote that you ran "like a demented duck." Did that playing style manifest itself in any other facets of your life?
EH: QUACK! QUACK! Cinnamon sticks. Porterhouse Ale. Charles Manson runs the U.S. economy from his jail cell. QUACK!
TUS: Indeed. What current player reminds you of yourself?
EH: Well I've been dead for six years so I haven't been able to follow the game for awhile, but based on the 2003 NFL season I'd have to say Laveranues Coles.
TUS: If I could talk to one famous dead person it would be...
EH: I mean I can talk to famous dead people, I just had lunch with James Dean yesterday. In fact, you're the first living person I've talked to since I haunted my old gardener two years ago.
TUS: So you can talk to any famous dead person you want to in heaven?
EH: Well...not exactly...actually in heaven you can only talk to people who were alive during your lifetime. So I can talk to anyone who lived between 1923 and 2004. It sucks because when I got up here I thought, "This is my chance to finally talk to Rene Descartes." Turns out the only way I can communicate with him is if I give a message to someone older than me and then have them pass it down through the generations. It's frustrating because I see him in the cafeteria every day. We both eat lunch at exactly 12:40!
TUS: There's a cafeteria in heaven?
EH: Yep. Actually, heaven is a lot like middle school in many ways...not that you'll ever know...
TUS: Wait...what...what did I do?
EH: Memphis...'94....the alley behind the Steak 'n' Shake...
TUS: Ohhh yeah....any way I can make up for that?
EH: Only one way, convert to Jainism. Trust me on this one.
TUS: Duly noted. Now back to football. In 1951 you had 66 receptions for 1,495 yards. What a year!
EH: Oh my, yes it certainly was. Ike was in the Oval Office, we sent those commie Rosenbergs to chair, and "I Love Lucy" stole America's hearts. My wife and I got a nice place in the suburbs, everywhere you looked people were getting a piece of the American dream...t.v. dinners...dishwashers...little league baseball... we were living high on the hog, couldn't nobody stop the U.S. of A.
TUS + EH (together): U-S-A! U-S-A! (repeat for 20 minutes)
TUS (voice weakened from excessive chanting): What is your favorite football memory?
EH: The time I sucker punched a young Gerald Ford in the testicles. He was an offensive lineman for Michigan at the time.
TUS: Interesting. Didn't you also play for Michigan?
EH: Yep, I was actually known for punching teammates in the testicles when they weren't looking. I did it so much they started calling it "a Hirsch" if someone got maimed in the groin. I was not well liked in college.
TUS: What player from your era do you most admire?
EH: Has to be James "Crazy Legs" Delfino. That sum-a-bitch was tough as nails.
TUS: Two players nicknamed "Crazy Legs"? That must have been confusing...
EH: No, no, no. I became "Crazy Legs" only after I killed James Delfino. That's how we did it back then. If you wanted someone's nickname you had to kill him. The NFL was a man's game back then, no plastic helmets, and mouth guards, and rules against killing a man for his nickname...
TUS: Sounds pretty brutish.
EH: Thank you.
TUS: Well Crazy Legs it's been an honor to talk to you. Any final remarks?
EH: Nope...just trying to get back to heaven for lunch. Fishsticks today! You should watch Descartes eat fishsticks....have you ever seen a frenchman eat fishsticks?
EH: Oh man you are missing out.