A former NFL quarterback who is one of the sport’s iconic figures has died. The New York Times reports that Y. A. Tittle, a Hall of Famer who led the Giants to three consecutive National Football League championship games in the early 1960s, died Sunday night in Stanford, Calif. He was 90.
“Tittle threw for dozens of touchdowns and thousands of yards, won a Most Valuable Player Award and was selected to seven Pro Bowls. But he endeared himself to New York not as a golden boy but as a muddied, grass-stained scrapper,” The Times reports. “He was a balding field general with a fringe of gray who, at 34, in his old-fashioned high-topped shoes, had undeniably lost a step or two, but kept picking himself up off the ground to find a way to beat you, and New York cheered.”
Tittle led the Giants to Eastern Conference titles in 1961, 1962 and 1963, with the team losing each year in the NFL championship game.
“Though he was the first to admit that he didn’t look the part — ‘I’ve been old and baldheaded and ugly since I’ve been 28,’ he reflected long afterward — Tittle became a marquee figure with the Giants and one of their most popular players,” The Times reports. “The Giants’ radio station played the novelty song ‘I’m in Love With Y. A. Tittle,’ and when Tittle connected on long passes, Yankee Stadium reverberated to chants of ‘Y. A., Y. A.’”