Brad Alan Van Pelt (April 5, 1951 – February 17, 2009) was an American football linebacker who played 14 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). A two-time All-American (1971, 1972) and the 1972 Maxwell Award winner as college football's best player, he was drafted by the New York Giants, earning five Pro Bowl selections during his ten years with the team. He rounded out his career with the Los Angeles Raiders from 1984 to 1985 and the Cleveland Browns in 1986. Van Pelt is the father of former Denver Broncos and Houston Texans quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt.
|Brad Van Pelt|
|No. 10, 91, 50|
|Born:||April 5, 1951|
|Died:||February 17, 2009 (aged 57)|
|NFL Draft:||1973 / Round: 2 / Pick: 40|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Van Pelt attended Owosso High School, which was a member of the Big Nine Conference in Owosso, Michigan. Dean Howe covered high school sports for the Flint Journal and recalled an incident involving Van Pelt:
"He was like a man among boys. He was about 6-5, 220. One night, his coach from Owosso called in and said he got 32 rebounds in a game. I didn't put that in the paper. I didn't believe that. So, the next game I went out when they played Davison and I just counted his rebounds and he got (42). He was just so dominant."
In 1969 he was named all-state as a quarterback and first-team all-league in basketball, baseball and two ways in football. The Detroit Tigers and California Angels tried to sign Van Pelt directly out of high school, but he declined.
He played college football at nearby Michigan State University where he was a two-time All-American at safety, in 1971 and 1972 and also won the Maxwell Award as the nation's best player, the first time a defensive back won the award. He was also named Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year and Columbus Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Year. His career coincided with the last three years of the tenure of legendary Spartans coach Duffy Daugherty.
In his college career, Van Pelt had fourteen interceptions returning two of them for touchdowns. He followed his senior season playing in the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game. Van Pelt also played basketball and baseball at MSU, earning a total of seven varsity letters.
As a member of the Giants, Van Pelt was a member of the Crunch Bunch, a team of fierce linebackers composed of Van Pelt, Brian Kelley, Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson. The group is widely considered one of the best linebacking combos in NFL history. He was also named the player of the decade for the 1970s by the Giants.
During his 11-year career with the franchise, the Giants posted a winning record only once, in 1981, when New York reached the playoffs for the only time in a 20-year stretch between 1964 and 1983. Van Pelt also has the unusual distinction of playing for the franchise in four different home stadiums: Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl, Shea Stadium, and Giants Stadium. He also played for five Giants head coaches: Alex Webster, Bill Arnsparger, John McVay, Ray Perkins, and Bill Parcells.
Van Pelt wore number 10 with the Giants, his college number, even though the NFL instituted a jersey numbering system for the 1973 season, which then limited linebackers entering the league to numbers 50 through 59. He was allowed to wear 10 because he was the backup kicker in his rookie year. Van Pelt wore number 91 with the Raiders and wore number 50 with the Browns.
In addition to being teammates, the four Crunch Bunch members were close friends. They knew each other longer as buddies than as players and frequently talked on the phone, played golf and attended memorabilia signing events. Van Pelt was quoted in 2004:
"I feel as comfortable with (Carson, Kelley and Taylor) as I do with my brothers. Obviously, your brothers are your brothers. But these three are probably the closest thing to them. Brian and I played 11 years together. I played nine with Harry. Lawrence being the guy (he is), it didn't take long for him to fit right in and become one of the guys. I can't really explain why but they're the only three I stay close with."
The Crunch Bunch went to Puebla, Mexico on October 26, 2004, to promote Habitat for Humanity and assist 3,000 volunteers who were building 150 houses. While there, they met and talked with former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.
Van Pelt went back to school to complete coursework for his degree in 1998 and in 2000, he was elected to the Sports Hall of Fame at Michigan State University. In 2001, Van Pelt was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in the class with Steve Young. He was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, but was not elected. In 2009, Van Pelt was inducted into the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame. He participated in the 48th East-West Shrine Game in 1972. The year before his death, he and his fiancée, Deanna, purchased a home in Harrison, Michigan, where his two brothers and mother reside. They spent most of their time there.
On February 17, 2009, Van Pelt was found by his longtime fiancée, slumped in a chair, dead from an apparent heart attack. He was 57 and had no known heart condition; but his father had died at an early age from heart problems.
Van Pelt's death was a shock to the Crunch Bunch. Harry Carson commented, "I am just so glad that I got to know the man more so than the athlete." Brian Kelley stated:
"It was total devastation. I've known Brad since '73 -- 36 years. I've known him longer than my wife and my kids. Football was 11 years of our life. We had 25 other years when we were together, did things together and still are doing them together, us and LT and Harry Carson. It's sort of like losing a limb because the four of us are so close. To lose one of us is tough. It's even tough to believe it happened. ... I'm just going to miss him, miss seeing him at Giants games, miss him calling me about stupid stuff."
The 1971 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Big Ten Conference teams for the 1971 Big Ten Conference football season.1971 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1971 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 1971 Big Ten Conference football season. In their 18th season under head coach Duffy Daugherty, the Spartans compiled a 6–5 overall record (5–3 against Big Ten opponents) and finished in a tie for third place in the Big Ten Conference.Four Spartans were selected by either the Associated Press (AP) or the United Press International (UPI) as first-team players on the 1971 All-Big Ten Conference football team: running back Eric Allen (AP-1, UPI-1); offensive guard Joe DeLamielleure (AP-1, UPI-1); defensive tackle Ron Curl (AP-1, UPI-1); and defensive back Brad Van Pelt (AP-1, UPI-1).1972 All-Big Ten Conference football team
The 1972 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Big Ten Conference teams for the 1972 Big Ten Conference football season. The teams selected by the Big Ten coaches for the United Press International (UPI) were led by Michigan with seven first-team selections, Michigan State with five first-team selections, and Ohio State with four first-team selections.1972 Big Ten Conference football season
The 1972 Big Ten Conference football season was the 77th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1972 NCAA University Division football season.
The 1972 Michigan Wolverines football team, under coach Bo Schembechler, compiled a 10–1 record, tied for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring defense (5.2 points allowed per game), and was ranked No. 6 in the final AP and Coaches Polls. Michigan won its first ten games with four conference shutouts, and was ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll prior to its 14–11 road loss to Ohio State. Defensive back Randy Logan and offensive tackle Paul Seymour were consensus first-team All-Americans. Schembecher won the first Big Ten Football Coach of the Year award.
The 1972 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Woody Hayes, compiled a 9–2 record, tied with Michigan for the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (25.5 points per game), and was ranked No. 9 in the final AP Poll. The Buckeyes received the conference's berth in the 1973 Rose Bowl and lost to national champion USC, 42–17. Linebacker Randy Gradishar was a consensus first-team All-American.
Purdue running back Otis Armstrong led the Big Ten with 1,361 rushing yards, received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the conference's most valuable player, and was a consensus first-team All-American.1972 College Football All-America Team
The 1972 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1972. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognizes six selectors as "official" for the 1972 season. They are: (1) the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) which selected its team for Kodak based on a vote of the nation's coaches; (2) the Associated Press (AP) selected based on the votes of sports writers at AP newspapers; (3) the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) selected by the nation's football writers; (4) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) selected based on the votes of sports writers at NEA newspapers; (5) the United Press International (UPI) selected based on the votes of sports writers at UPI newspapers; and (6) the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WC).
Eight players are recognized by the NCAA as unanimous All-America selections. They are: (1) wide receiver and 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers of Nebraska; (2) tight end Charles Young of USC; (3) offensive tackle Jerry Sisemore of Texas; (4) offensive guard John Hannah of Alabama; (5) running back Greg Pruitt of Oklahoma; (6) defensive tackle Greg Marx of Notre Dame; (7) middle guard Rich Glover of Nebraska; and (8) defensive back Brad Van Pelt of Michigan State.1972 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1972 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 1972 Big Ten Conference football season. In their 19th season under head coach Duffy Daugherty, the Spartans compiled a 5–5–1 overall record (5–2–1 against Big Ten opponents) and finished in fourth place in the Big Ten Conference.Five Spartans were selected by either the Associated Press (AP) or the United Press International (UPI) as first-team players on the 1972 All-Big Ten Conference football team: tight end Billy Joe Dupree (AP-2, UPI-1); offensive guard Joe DeLamielleure (AP-1, UPI-1); linebacker Gail Clark (AP-1, UPI-1); and defensive backs Bill Simpson (AP-1, UPI-1) and Brad Van Pelt (AP-1, UPI-1).On November 3, 1972, Duffy Daugherty announced that he would resign as Michigan State's head football coach at the end of the 1972 season. In 19 years as the head coach, he compiled a 109–69–5 record and won two Big Ten championships. Denny Stolz, who had been the Spartans' defensive coordinator for two years, was hired in December 1972 to replace Daugherty.1975 New York Giants season
The 1975 New York Giants season was the franchise's 51st season in the National Football League. The Giants finished with a 5–9 record that was nonetheless a three-win improvement upon their performance at the Yale Bowl in 1974. They had a new logo on their helmet, replacing the old lower case “ny” to a stylized white and blue uppercase “NY”.1976 New York Giants season
The 1976 New York Giants season was the franchise's 52nd season in the National Football League. The Giants had a 3–11 record in 1976 and finished in last place in the NFC East.The season was highlighted by the opening of the new Giants Stadium at the New Jersey Meadowlands in East Rutherford on October 10. In the first game at the stadium, after four road games to open the season, the defending NFC champion Dallas Cowboys handed New York a 24–14 loss. The Giants then suffered defeats against the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers, falling to 0–7 after week 7. At this time, they fired third-year head coach Bill Arnsparger, whose Giants teams had lost 28 times in 35 games. John McVay was named the team's interim coach, although director of operations Andy Robustelli said the appointment was "not strictly" on a temporary basis.New York lost its first two games under McVay, against the Philadelphia Eagles and Cowboys. The Giants' first win at Giants Stadium came on November 14, when they defeated the Washington Redskins 12–9; it was their first victory of the season after nine consecutive losses. In their final four games, they won twice. Linebacker Brad Van Pelt became the first Giant to receive a Pro Bowl invitation since 1972. Following the season, McVay remained the Giants' head coach, signing a two-year contract.For the 1976 season and now based in New Jersey, the Giants debuted their new helmet design, changing from a stylized “NY” to the word “GIANTS”, underlined in block letters. They wore this helmet through the 1999 season.1977 New York Giants season
The 1977 New York Giants season was the franchise's 53rd season in the National Football League (NFL). The Giants had a 5–9 record in 1977 and finished in a tie for last place with the Philadelphia Eagles.The Giants selected defensive end Gary Jeter in the 1977 NFL Draft with the fifth overall pick. Before the season, the Giants signed quarterback Joe Pisarcik, who won the starting position to replace Craig Morton, whom they had traded to the Denver Broncos. New York won their opening game of the year against the Washington Redskins, prevailing 20–17 on a field goal by Joe Danelo in the final seconds. After losses in their next three games, victories over the San Francisco 49ers and Redskins evened the Giants’ record at 3–3. Afterwards, New York lost six of their last eight games. With a season-ending 12–9 defeat by the Chicago Bears in overtime, the team concluded the year at 5–9.Offensively, New York's season total of 181 points was lower than all but four of the 27 other NFL teams. Pisarcik started 11 of the Giants' 14 games in 1977 and threw for 1,346 yards, but had 14 passes intercepted and only four touchdowns. Bobby Hammond led the Giants in rushing with 154 carries for 577 yards. Doug Kotar and Larry Csonka also rushed for more than 450 yards each. The team's leading receiver statistically was Jimmy Robinson, who caught 22 passes for 422 yards and three touchdowns. Gary Shirk was the only other Giants player with multiple touchdown catches, while Johnny Perkins was second behind Robinson with 20 receptions. On defense, cornerback Bill Bryant led New York with three interceptions. For the second consecutive season, linebacker Brad Van Pelt was the only Giant to make the Pro Bowl.1978 All-Pro Team
The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1978. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that were included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League.1978 New York Giants season
The 1978 New York Giants season was the franchise's 54th season in the National Football League. In their first ever season that had a sixteen-game schedule, the Giants looked to improve on their 5–9 record from 1977, achieve their first winning record since 1972 and make the playoffs for the first time since 1963. The season saw the Giants get off to a hot start. They beat newcomer Tampa Bay in Tampa 19–13, despite being a 1 point underdog. After a close loss to the rival Cowboys 34–24 the next week, the Giants beat the Kansas City Chiefs 26–10 and the San Francisco 49ers 27–10 to start the season 3–1, their first 3–1 start since 1969. However, the Giants then started to struggle, losing to the Atlanta Falcons 23–20 and the Cowboys again 24–3. Following wins at home against the Buccaneers and Redskins, the Giants went on a downfall, which saw them lose their next 6 games and 7 of their last 8. In week 12, the Giants played their arch-rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, in a crucial game that saw the Giants fumble away the game on Joe Pisarcik’s fumble and Herm Edwards fumble recovery for a touchdown that won the game for Philadelphia, 19-17. The play was dubbed the “Miracle at the Meadowlands”. The Giants never recovered from this game, getting pummeled on the road to the 3–9 Bills, 41–17, despite having a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter. In their final game, a rematch with Philadelphia, the Giants lost 20–3 to end the season 6–10.1980 New York Giants season
The 1980 New York Giants season was the franchise's 56th season in the National Football League. The Giants finished in last place in the National Football Conference East Division with a 4–12 record. One highlight was a Week 10 win over the Dallas Cowboys, which snapped an eight-game losing streak.1981 Pro Bowl
The 1981 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 31st annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1980 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 1, 1981, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The final score was NFC 21, AFC 7.Sam Rutigliano of the Cleveland Browns led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Atlanta Falcons head coach Leeman Bennett. The referee was Gordon McCarter.Bradlee Van Pelt
Bradlee Van Pelt (born July 3, 1980) is a former American football quarterback and safety. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft, and was also a member of the Houston Texans, Bergamo Lions and Leicester Falcons. He played college football at Michigan State and Colorado State. Van Pelt is currently working for Sky Sports in the United Kingdom as a studio analyst for their NFL programming.
He is the son of late NFL linebacker Brad Van Pelt.Brian Kelley (American football)
Brian Lee Kelley (born September 1, 1951) is a former American football linebacker who played his entire professional career in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants (1973–1983) after being drafted in the 14th round of the 1973 NFL Draft.
Kelley grew up in Fullerton, California, where he was an outstanding athlete at Sunny Hills High School. He attended California Lutheran University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member and played college football. Cal Lutheran won the NAIA National Championship in Kelley's junior year, but in his senior year, they lost, even though Kelley was named MVP of the championship game. He was also honored as a little All-American. On May 11, 2010, Kelley was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame.
As a member of the Giants, Kelley was one of the Crunch Bunch, a team of fierce linebackers composed of Kelley, Brad Van Pelt, Lawrence Taylor, and Harry Carson. The group is widely considered one of the best linebacking combos in NFL history.Crunch Bunch
The Crunch Bunch were the group of New York Giants football team's defensive linebackers in 1981, 1982 and 1983, one of the NFL's best group of linebackers.
They worked together as a unit and were known for their punishing, bone-jarring tackles and quarterback sacks. The individuals included:
Strongside linebacker Brad Van Pelt, five-time Pro Bowl selection (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)
Inside linebacker Harry Carson, nine Pro Bowl selections (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987), Hall of Fame
Weakside linebacker Lawrence Taylor, ten-time Pro Bowl selection (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990), Hall of Fame
Weakside linebacker Brian Kelley, no Pro Bowl selectionsThe linebackers invented their own moniker, then created a company, The Board of Dewreckers, whose sole product was a 16×20-inch color poster of the four players on a bulldozer, wearing hard hats and looking mean. According to an article in The New York Times, the profits from the $5 poster became “pocket money” for the Giants' linebackers. The Crunch Bunch was a bright spot for the otherwise dismal Giants, who had just one winning season between 1973 and 1983.
The four men developed bonds of friendship that lasted long after their football careers ended. They talked on the phone frequently and got together several times each year to play golf, sign autographs, attend charity events and just talk. Van Pelt was quoted in 2004:
I feel as comfortable with (Carson, Kelley and Taylor) as I do with my brothers. Obviously, your brothers are your brothers. But these three are probably the closest thing to them. Brian and I played 11 years together. I played nine with Harry. Lawrence being the guy (he is), it didn't take long for him to fit right in and become one of the guys. I can't really explain why but they're the only three I stay close with.
The Crunch Bunch went to Puebla, Mexico, on October 26, 2004, to promote Habitat for Humanity and assist 3,000 volunteers who were building 150 houses. While there, they met and talked with former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.The quartet attended many Giants games after they retired, but on September 30, 2007, the "Crunch Bunch" guys were introduced prior to the game and recognized for their contribution to Giants football. They were also named honorary captains and watched the game from the Giants' sideline. The team's new defense, dubbed the "Sack Pack", put on a show and recorded 12 sacks of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.Van Pelt's death on February 17, 2009, was a shock to the guys. Harry Carson commented, "I am just so glad that I got to know the man more so than the athlete. He really was a great guy." Brian Kelley stated:
It was total devastation. I've known Brad since '73 -- 36 years. I've known him longer than my wife and my kids. Football was 11 years of our life. We had 25 other years when we were together, did things together and still are doing them together, us and LT and Harry Carson.
It's sort of like losing a limb because the four of us are so close. To lose one of us is tough. It's even tough to believe it happened. ... I'm just going to miss him, miss seeing him at Giants games, miss him calling me about stupid stuff.John Johnson (trainer)
John "Mr. J" Johnson (March 31, 1917 – February 28, 2016) was an American athletic trainer, formerly for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL).
He began working for the Giants in 1948, and retired in 2008, after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII. He worked on the sidelines for 874 regular season games and 34 post season games. In addition, he worked as an athletic trainer for Manhattan College. He died in New Jersey at the age of 98 in 2016.Michigan State Spartans football
The Michigan State Spartans football program represents Michigan State University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. The Spartans are members of the Big Ten Conference. Michigan State claims a total of six national championships (1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965, and 1966); the AP Poll voted Michigan State as national champion one time (1952). They have been named national champions twice in the Coaches Poll (1952 and 1965). The Spartans have also won two Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships (1903 and 1905) and nine Big Ten championships (1953, 1965, 1966, 1978, 1987, 1990, 2010, 2013, and 2015).
The Spartans home games are played at Spartan Stadium, which is located on the main university campus. Spartan Stadium has ranked among the NCAA's Top 25 in attendance for 61 consecutive seasons, from 1953 through 2016. The Spartans' current coach, Mark Dantonio was hired on November 27, 2006. The team's iconic Spartan helmet logo has been ranked as one of the game's best.Van Pelt
Van Pelt is a Dutch toponymic surname meaning "from Pelt". Pelt was a region in Belgian Limburg including the modern municipality of Overpelt, It could also refer to the neighboring Peel, Netherlands. People with this surname include:
Alex Van Pelt (born 1970), American football quarterback and coach
Alison Van Pelt (born 1963), American painter
Brad Van Pelt (1951–2009), American football linebacker
Bradlee Van Pelt (born 1980), American football quarterback and safety, son of Brad
Bo Van Pelt (born 1975), American golfer
Calvin Leroy Van Pelt (1924–2011), Native American businessman
Daniel Van Pelt (born 1964), American politician convicted of bribery
Darin Van Pelt (born 1979), American aerospace engineer
Erika Van Pelt (born 1985), American singer
Graham Van Pelt, Canadian musician and songwriter
James Van Pelt (born 1954), American science fiction author
James Clement van Pelt (born 1947), American scholar and peace activist
Jim Van Pelt (born 1935), American football quarterback
John Vredenburgh Van Pelt (1874–1962), American architect
Patricia Van Pelt (born 1957), American (Illinois) politician
Robert Van Pelt (1897–1988), American (Nebraska) judge
Robert Jan van Pelt (born 1955), Dutch historian and Holocaust scholar.
Scott Van Pelt (born 1966), American sportscaster
Sydney James Van Pelt (1908–1976), Australian medical doctor and hypnotist
William Van Pelt (1905–1996), American politician, representative from Wisconsin
Wouter van Pelt (born 1968), Dutch field hockey playerFictional charactersThree siblings from the Peanuts comic strip: Linus, Lucy and Rerun van Pelt
Hunter Van Pelt, in the film Jumanji
Grace Van Pelt, in TV series The Mentalist
Maxwell Award winners
1972 College Football All-America Team consensus selections