PAT BRADY PUNTED 99 YARDS
by Jack Sell
One of the "new Steelers" is Patrick Thomas Brady of Seattle, Reno, Peoria, Hamilton, Ontario and now Pittsburgh. The southpaw punter who thrilled the fans at Forbes Field last Sunday joined the local pros only four days previously at their training camp in Olean, N. Y.
"I was born and raised in Seattle, attended the University of Nevada in Reno for three years, transferred to Bradley University of Peoria when the Wolfpack quit the sport, was with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Canadian pro league for four games but was released so here I am a Steeler," is Pat's nutshell account of his career.
The Irishman's longest punt in competition was just one yard short of the length of the gridiron. It came in a game played in Reno against Loyola of Los Angeles.
“I played T formation quarterback in college," Brady reports. "It was third down practically on our goal line. I dropped back for a quick kick. The ball sailed about 78 yards in the air, then rolled to the Loyola one yard line. Incidentally, we lost the game.
Pat has played three sports. In addition to his grid prowess he was good enough in baseball as an outfielder to get an offer from Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League. In basketball his six feet, three inches of height were useful at the center position.
After his prep school career in Seattle where his parents, two older brothers, neither of them athletes, and two sisters still reside, Brady had scholarship offers from numerous west coast schools. Nevada topped the others so he headed for Reno, where Joe Shekeetski, former Notre Dame star from Shadyside. Ohio was head coach.
Second string quarterback in 1949 and varsity regular in 1950, Pat met and married the former Odile Frost, a co-ed at Nevada. When the school dropped the sport he shifted to Bradley for his senior year and received his bachelor's degree in physical education.
The New York Giants drafted Brady as No. 13 in the National Football League lottery. However Hamilton made a better offer so he went to Coach Vayle's training camp. "Their rules are made to order for a kicker," Par reveals. "The end zones are 25 yards deep and it counts a point if you punt there and the receiving team fails to run it out."
How did such a good booter get cut?
"Each team, under Canadian league rules, must pare their roster to eight Americans on October 1," he reports. "Well, we had 13 so five had to go. They retained only one quarterback. Ours was Bill Mackrides, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles. He's backfield coach, too, so you realize what little chance I had."
The Canucks have already played four league games. Pat got into three, at full pay. He was told not to dress for the other but was given half of what his contract listed.
Vayles had heard the Steelers' need for a punter so he phoned President Art Rooney and recommended Brady. The Giants agreed to let him join the locals with some sort of payment to be determined later.
Tonight when the Steelers play Cleveland's Browns, one of the features of the game will be the punting duel of Brady and Horace Gillom, the ace of the enemy. It happens that Gillom, as well as fullback Marion Motley of the Browns and halfback Tommy Kalmanir, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams, finished at Nevada just before Brady matriculated.
How did Pat like things in Canada?
"Some of the American players are well satisfied but it's not for me," Brady declares. "I was treated well enough by the football team. But there are too many people, I guess they are French, who don't understand what you are talking about. I was never more happy than when I crossed the Peace Bridge back into Buffalo.”
Article and photo taken from the October 5th 1952 official programme.
Editor's note: Steelers had another losing season 5-7 and lost this game 20-21.
Full results on Pro-Football Reference.com.