Tommy Kramer

Thomas Francis "Tommy" Kramer (born March 7, 1955) is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the NFL from 1977 to 1990. He played collegiately at Rice University and was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round (27th overall) of the 1977 NFL Draft after being named MVP of the 1977 Senior Bowl. He was inducted with the 2012 class into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Tommy Kramer
refer to caption
Kramer on camera with FOX News (KVRR) during a youth football clinic June 25, 2011, at Shanley High School in Fargo, ND.
No. 9
Personal information
Born:March 7, 1955 (age 64)
San Antonio, Texas
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft:1977 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
QB Rating:72.8
Player stats at

Early years

Kramer played his high school football at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio. He guided the Volunteers to a state title in 1971 and then to the state semi-finals in 1972. The state championship game in 1971 was the first high school game played in the new Texas Stadium (Dallas Cowboys) in Irving, Texas. Kramer guided the Lee Volunteers to a 28–27 victory which has been hailed by some as the best high school game ever played in Texas. Kramer's high school teammates included Pat Rockett (played major league baseball for the Atlanta Braves), and Richard Osborne (played for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles).

The Volunteers went 27–1–1 during Kramer's two years on the varsity, beating Wichita Falls High School 28–27 for the Class 4A state title in 1971 and losing to Baytown Sterling 21–20 in the 1972 state semifinals. Guided by head coach John Ferrara, the 1971 team finished 14–0–1 – a 7–7 tie with rival Churchill kept the Volunteers from being perfect – and the 1972 squad went 13–1. In an era when most Texas high school football teams churned out yardage with ground-oriented offenses such as the wishbone or the veer, Lee achieved success by throwing the ball.

Kramer at San Antonio Lee High School

Kramer passed for 2,588 yards as a senior, then a state record, and completed 149 of 294 passes for 28 touchdowns. In two seasons, he completed 327 of 597 attempts for 5,489 yards and 54 TDs. Surrounded by sure-handed receivers Richard Osborne, Pat Rockett and Gary Haack, Kramer was a master at picking apart defenses with his deft passing. Kramer started all but one game as a varsity player, going 26–1–1. He made his debut in the 1971 season opener, replacing starter Bruce Trimmier and rallying Lee to a 7–3 victory over Alamo Heights on a rainy night.

College career

After a stellar career at Lee, Kramer became another in the long list of San Antonio products to play college football at Rice University.

Kramer led the Owls in passing for four straight years and his career and season marks were the standard at Rice for over 30 years until they were shattered by Chase Clement, another San Antonio signal caller. Kramer left Rice with school records in single-season passing yards, career passing yards (6,197); season total offense (3,272), career total offense (6,336), season touchdown passes (21), career touchdown passes (37), season total touchdowns (25) and career total touchdowns (48). He was the 1976 George Martin Award winner as Rice's MVP in 1976 and was elected to the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

Kramer played in the Senior Bowl and the Blue-Gray Game in 1976 and was named MVP of the Senior Bowl. He also received the Fort Worth Kiwanis Sportsmanship Award in 1976.

In 2012, Kramer was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Kramer became the starting quarterback for the Vikings before the 1979 NFL season, when Fran Tarkenton retired. The Vikings drafted him as Tarkenton's heir apparent. He earned the nickname "Two-Minute Tommy" for his many late-game come-from-behind victories, including in the final home game of the 1980 season, against the Cleveland Browns, in which he threw a game-winning Hail Mary pass with six seconds left. Ahmad Rashād was clustered in a group of Browns defenders but managed to catch the ball and back into the end zone. The play became known as the Miracle at the Met, and although they lost their final game the next week, the Vikings made the playoffs at 9–7.

Throughout his career with the Vikings, Kramer suffered on-the-field injuries, resulting in many missed games during the mid-1980s. He was selected for the Pro Bowl following the 1986 season, in which he was the NFL's highest-rated quarterback. Kramer was the first NFL quarterback to throw for over 450 yards in a game twice, and once threw six touchdowns in a single game, versus the Green Bay Packers. He was released by the Vikings after the 1989 season and signed by the New Orleans Saints in 1990. He appeared in only one game for the Saints (against the Vikings) and retired after the 1990 season.

See also

External links

1977 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1977 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 17th in the National Football League. After starting the season 5–3, the team's starting quarterback Fran Tarkenton broke his leg in week 9 and missed the rest of the season. Despite losing Tarkenton, the team managed to finish the season with a 9–5 record and went to the playoffs as winners of the NFC Central division title. They beat the Los Angeles Rams 14–7 in the Divisional Round in a game played in Los Angeles and termed the Mud Bowl, although the Vikings had lost 35–3 to the same opponent in week 6. In the NFC Championship game in a game played in Dallas, the Vikings lost to the Dallas Cowboys 23–6.

1979 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1979 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 19th in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a 7–9 record, their first losing season since 1967.

The loss of Fran Tarkenton to retirement in the off-season meant third-year quarterback Tommy Kramer became the starter. The season also marked the end of an era as the last remaining original Viking, longtime defensive end Jim Marshall, retired after 19 seasons with the Vikings 20 in the NFL, having set league records for most consecutive games played (282) and consecutive starts (270). Counting playoff games, he had started in every one of the 289 games in Vikings history. Safety Paul Krause also retired after the season ended; he holds the league record with 81 career interceptions.

1980 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1980 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 20th year in the National Football League's 61st season. The Vikings finished with a record of nine wins and seven losses. The Vikings won the NFC Central division, winning the tiebreaker with Detroit, who also had a 9–7 record.

The most dramatic game of the season came in a Week 15 home game against Cleveland, with Minnesota at 8–6. The Vikings came back from a fourteen-point deficit to come within 23–22, with only 0:05 left on the clock from Cleveland's 46-yard line. (The Vikings had missed two field goals and two extra points during the game.) Quarterback Tommy Kramer threw a Hail Mary Pass which was caught by Ahmad Rashād at the two yard line. Rashād backed into the end zone to give Minnesota a 28–23 win with no time left.

1981 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1981 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 21st season, the 62nd regular season of the National Football League, and the final season for the team at Metropolitan Stadium. The Vikings finished with a record of seven wins and nine losses, and missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

The Vikings attempted 709 passes in 1981 (44.31 per game) a league record that stood for 30 years until it was broken by the 2012 Detroit Lions.

1981 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1981 Philadelphia Eagles season resulted in an appearance in the postseason for the fourth straight season (first time in franchise history the Eagles had made the postseason four straight times). The team was coming off a Super Bowl loss to the Oakland Raiders the previous season. Because they made the Super Bowl in 1980, they were picked by many to not only reach the Super Bowl, but to win it as well. The Eagles began the 1981 season with 6 straight wins, their best ever start to a season at the time. The Eagles would win then 3 of their next 5 games to sit at 9-2. They would then lose their next 4 games to slip to 9-6 and were in danger of missing out on the playoffs. The next week, they hammered the Cardinals 38-0 to clinch a playoff berth for the fourth straight season. In the playoffs, they met their arch rivals the Giants. It was New York's first playoff appearance in 18 years. In the game, the Giants would stun the eagles 27-21, ending the Eagles season as well as hopes for a second straight Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles would not make the playoffs again until 1988. They also wouldn't reach the Super Bowl again until 2004.

1982 Buffalo Bills season

The 1982 Buffalo Bills season was the franchise's 13th season in the National Football League, and the 23rd overall. Due to the 1982 NFL strike, the season was shortened to only nine games; the Bills' 4–5 record left them in the 9th spot in the AFC, therefore eliminating the Bills from the playoffs in the 16-team tournament format.

The Bills led the league in rushing in 1982, with 1,371 yards (152.3 per game) on the ground.

1982 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1982 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 22nd season in the National Football League. This was Minnesota's first season in the newly constructed Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The team was looking to improve on its 7-9 record from 1981. However, a players strike cancelled 7 of the team's 16 games, and each NFL team was only allowed to play 9 games. The Vikings would win their opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before losing the next week to the Buffalo Bills, a game in which they had a 19-0 lead before the Bills pulled off a miraculous comeback to win 23-22. After the strike ended, the Vikings would get embarrassed in Green Bay against the Packers 26-7 before beating the Bears the next week 35-7 to sit at 2-2. After a loss to the Dolphins, the Vikings would win their next 2 games to sit at 4-3. In their final game of the season, they would upset the Dallas Cowboys 31-27 to clinch the NFC's 4th place spot in the playoffs (as divisions were ignored in 1982 and the standings were determined by conference). In the playoffs, the Vikings would defeat the Atlanta Falcons 30-24 to reach the divisional round. However, in that game, they would lose 21-7 to the eventual champion Redskins.

1984 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1984 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 24th season in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a 3–13 record, their worst record since the AFL–NFL merger, later equaled by the 2011 team, and the team's second worst overall record by win percentage (only 1962 was worse). The Vikings' 484 points allowed (30.3 average points per game) was the most by any NFL team between 1983 and 2000, and the most any Vikings team allowed in one season.

The team was coached by Les Steckel after Bud Grant retired; after the bad season, Steckel was fired and Bud Grant was re-hired.

1985 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1985 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 25th season in the National Football League The Vikings finished with a record of seven wins and nine losses.

Bud Grant returned to coach the Vikings after a year absence. Following the season, Grant retired for good after 18 years with the franchise.

1986 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1986 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 26th season in the National Football League. After Bud Grant's departure following the 1985 season, offensive coordinator Jerry Burns was promoted to be the team's fourth head coach.

The Vikings finished with a record of nine wins and seven losses.

1986 San Francisco 49ers season

The 1986 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's 37th year with the National Football League. The team returned to the top of the NFC West after a one-year absence, and lost the Divisional Playoffs to the Giants.

Joe Montana suffered a back injury in Week 1 and was lost for two months after surgery. Because the injury was so severe, doctors forced him to retire. However, Montana did return for Week 10 against the then-St. Louis Cardinals. Montana shared Comeback Player of the Year honors with Minnesota's Tommy Kramer at the end of the season.

List of Minnesota Vikings starting quarterbacks

The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). A franchise was granted to Minneapolis businessmen Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter in 1959 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). The ownership forfeited their AFL membership in January 1960 and received the National Football League's 14th franchise on January 28, 1960 that started play in 1961.The Vikings have had 36 starting quarterbacks in the history of their franchise; they have never had more than three starting quarterbacks in one season. The Vikings' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Fran Tarkenton, Brett Favre and Warren Moon. The team's first starting quarterback was George Shaw; he was replaced by Tarkenton in the franchise's first game, and the future Hall of Famer retained the starting role for most of the remainder of the season. As of the 2018 season, Minnesota's starting quarterback is Kirk Cousins.

Minnesota Vikings statistics

The Minnesota Vikings is an American football franchise based in Minneapolis. The team was established in 1961 and is part of the National Football League's NFC North division. Since then, the team has taken part in the NFL playoffs 29 times, reaching four Super Bowls in 1970, 1974, 1975 and 1977.

This list encompasses the major records set by the team, its coaches and its players. The players section of this page lists the individual records for passing, rushing and receiving, as well as selected defensive records. The team has had three full-time home stadiums since its establishment – Metropolitan Stadium, Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, and U.S. Bank Stadium; attendance records, both home and away, are included on this page.

Miracle at the Met

The Miracle at the Met refers to the Minnesota Vikings' comeback win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 15 of the 1980 NFL season. The Vikings trailed 23–9 in the fourth quarter, but won after Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer passed for two touchdowns to wide receiver Ahmad Rashad in the last two minutes, including a 46-yard Hail Mary pass caught with one hand on the last play of the game. The final play is also known as the "Miracle Catch." The Vikings won, 28–23.

Pat Rockett

Patrick Edward Rockett (born January 9, 1955 in San Antonio, Texas) is a former baseball shortstop who played for the Atlanta Braves between 1976 and 1978. Rockett was drafted by the Braves as the tenth pick of the 1973 amateur draft. He played his first game with the Braves on September 17, 1976 against the Los Angeles Dodgers; it was one of only four major league games he played in that season.Rockett played parts of two more seasons with the Braves in 1977 and 1978. He spent the entire 1979 season with the Braves' Triple-A affiliate in Richmond before being traded in the 1979/80 off-season to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Barry Bonnell and Joey McLaughlin for Chris Chambliss and Luis Gómez.

Rockett never played a game with the Blue Jays, spending a year with their Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse before his career came to an end.Rockett played his high school baseball at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio where he earned all-state honors. He was also an outstanding football player. He helped lead the Lee Volunteers to a 28-27 1971 UIL 4A State title over Wichita Falls high school. Tommy Kramer who had a long NFL career was his quarterback in high school. Another notable teammate in high school was Richard Osborne who also earned all-state honors and later played pro football for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rice Owls football

The Rice Owls football team represents Rice University in NCAA Division I college football. The Owls have competed in Conference USA's Western Division since 2005. Rice Stadium, built in 1950, hosts the Owls' home football games.

Rice Owls football statistical leaders

The Rice Owls football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Rice Owls football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, total offense, and receiving, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Owls represent Rice University in the NCAA's Conference USA.

Although Rice began competing in intercollegiate football in 1912, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in 1951. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1951, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Owls have played in 5 bowl games since this decision, allowing players to accumulate additional statistics in the extra game.

All of Rice's top 10 seasons by offensive yards and scoring have come since the 2001 season.These lists are updated through the end of the 2016 season.

Richard Osborne (American football)

Richard Arlen Osborne (born October 31, 1953 in Wichita, Kansas) is a former American football tight end who played for four seasons in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the ninth round of the 1976 NFL Draft, but was waived during the 1976 season. He was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets, and was traded back to Philadelphia the following year in exchange for a future draft pick. He played for the Eagles from 1976–1978, the Jets in 1976, and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1979. He played college football at Texas A&M.

Osborne played his high school football at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio where he earned all-state honors as a wide receiver. He helped lead the Lee Volunteers to a 28-27 1971 UIL 4A State title over Wichita Falls high school. Tommy Kramer who had a long NFL career was his quarterback in high school. Another notable teammate in high school was Pat Rockett who also earned all-state honors and later played Major League Baseball for the Atlanta Braves.

Steve Dils

Stephen Whitfield "Steve" Dils (born December 8, 1955 in Seattle, Washington) is an American retired football quarterback who played 10 seasons in the National Football League.


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