Great Baltimore Colts RB Tom Matte dies at 82

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Tom Matte played his entire 12-year NFL career with the Baltimore Colts. After football, he remained part of the Charm City.

On Tuesday, the city lost one of its beloved athletes and personalities as Matte died at the age of 82.

Matte rushed for 4,646 yards and scored 45 touchdowns. To some, he is best remembered for a game he didn’t play running back, exactly.

Per Baltimoresun.com:

He is best remembered for his time at quarterback late in 1965, when the playoff-hopeful Colts lost both Johnny Unitas and his backup, Gary Cuozzo, to injuries on successive weeks. In went Mr. Matte, who hadn’t taken a snap since college. First, while wearing a wristband “cheat sheet” listing plays for a streamlined offense, he led Baltimore to a 20-17 upset of the Los Angeles Rams, rushing for 99 yards. Then, in a playoff for the Western Conference championship, Matte led the Colts (10-3-1) against the favored Green Bay Packers.

Teammates dubbed him “The Arm.” America took note. Walter Cronkite interviewed the “instant quarterback” on the CBS Evening News. Telegrams poured in.

Green Bay won, 13-10, in overtime. Mr. Matte completed five of 12 passes for 40 yards and rushed for 57 more.

“He didn’t botch a handoff or muff a signal all day,” Colts coach Don Shula said afterward.

Many paid tribute: