THANKS TO DeSean Jackson, Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch's name has been in the news lately. This is a good thing because there's no such thing as too much "Crazy Legs."
Hirsch was a star wide receiver for the Rams in the 1950s when players were more likely to have cute nicknames than inflated egos. He was given his name while at the University of Wisconsin by sports writer Francis Powers, who said Hirsch ran like
"a demented duck." (Hirsch also played at the University of Michigan.)
When asked about the unique tag, the good-hearted Hirsch often replied, "Any name is better than Elroy." But he was more than a nickname.
In 1951 with the Rams, Hirsch became the first NFL player to score eight touchdowns of at least 50 yards in a single season. Chicago's Devin Hester tied him in 2007. Jackson joined the group on Sunday with a 60-yard touchdown reception against the Giants.
Hirsch and Jackson needed only 12 games to get their remarkable eight. It took Hester 16 games. Hirsch's achievement, however, was the most fruitful for fantasy purposes; each of Hester's scores and three of Jackson's came on kick returns. Hirsch's were all touchdown receptions.
In leagues that reward yardage and distance, Hirsch would have been a one-man cyclone. And if they were playing fantasy football in 1951, Hirsch would have won a lot of championships, when he had six catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns in the final week of the regular season.
Hirsch's season totals of 66 catches, 1,495 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games project to a Jerry-Rice-esque 88-1,993-23 over 16. Hirsch also led the Rams to the 1951 NFL title.
Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968, "Crazy Legs" Hirsch passed away in 2004.
Here are the eight touchdowns of at least 50 yards in a season in NFL history scored by Jackson, Hester and Hirsch (info from pro-football-reference.com):
DeSean Jackson, Eagles, 2009 (Three regular-season games remaining)
85 Punt return, *at Carolina
72 Punt return, *at N.Y. Giants
71 Reception, New Orleans
67 Rushing, *at Washington
64 Reception, *Kansas City
60 Reception, *at N.Y. Giants
57 Receiving, *at Washington
54 Receiving, *N.Y. Giants
Devin Hester, Bears, 2007
97 Kickoff return, at Detroit
89 Punt return, Minnesota
88 Kickoff return, *Denver
81 Reception, Minnesota
75 Punt return, *Denver
73 Punt return, *Kansas City
64 Punt return, *New Orleans
55 Reception, *New Orleans
Elroy Hirsch, Rams, 1951
91 Reception, *at Chicago Bears
81 Reception, *at Green Bay
79 Reception, at San Francisco
76 Reception, *San Francisco
72 Reception, *Green Bay
70 Reception, *at Detroit
54 Reception, *Chicago Cardinals
53 Reception, *Chicago Cardinals
*Player's team won game.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees has 13 touchdown passes and one interception in his last four games. In his last meeting with Dallas, he threw for 384 yards, five touchdowns and no picks. Remember, this week's game against the visiting Cowboys is tomorrow.
* Beanie Wells, Cardinals running back: Arizona has the Lions this week and Rams next week, which makes Wells a playoff sleeper. Like him this week ahead of guys such as LeSean McCoy (Eagles), Quinton Ganther (Redskins) and Matt Forte (Bears).
* Arian Foster, Texans running back: The rookie free agent out of Tennessee has worked his way up from the practice squad and has a delectable matchup against the Rams. Rank Wells and McCoy ahead of Foster, but not Ganther or Forte.
* Sidney Rice, Vikings wide receiver: With teammate Percy Harvin battling migraines, Rice becomes an appealing No. 2 receiver against the Panthers.
* Neil Rackers, Cardinals kicker: This is why you can't bring one kicker into the fantasy playoffs. Rackers won't play this week, and maybe beyond. Hopefully, there's time to add replacement Mike Nugent, or, if he's unavailable, Miami's Dan Carpenter and Kansas City's Ryan Succop have reasonable remaining schedules.
* Steven Jackson, Rams running back: The guy has valiantly played every game, but the back injury that has nagged him all season isn't getting better. Also, St. Louis hosts Houston, which has been very strong against the run lately. If you have a viable replacement, strongly consider sitting Jackson.
* The Detroit Lions: A year after going 0-16, the Lions' are 2-11 and staring at 2-14. What's worse is that many of their young playmakers are hurt. Running back Kevin Smith's knee injury is the most serious, but pass on adding backups Maurice Morris or Aaron Brown.
Keeping an eye on Tennessee's Chris Johnson, who is fading a bit in his bid to become the sixth running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a season.
Season yards: 1,626
On pace for: 2,001
Avg. needed for 2,000: 124.7
Avg. last 2 games: 115.0
This week: Miami
Miami avg. yards allowed: 106.1
Ed Barkowitz, who has had some colorful nicknames of his own, has been writing about fantasy football for the Daily News since 2001.