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Joe T. and Norman E.

The quote stands as a true classic. Joe Theismann stated that the word “genius” didn’t apply to football, only to people such as Norman Einstein. It fits neatly into the dumb jock stereotype into which so many people love to toss football players.

Of course, it’s hilarious. The gaff caused many to assume that Theismann, who attended Notre Dame, knows so little about Albert Einstein that he completely goofed his name, calling him “Norman.” The masses point and laugh, momentarily feeling intellectually superior to a Super Bowl winning quarterback.

The real story, however, might not be that simple. Think of your high school valedictorian. Pretty smart kid, right? Well, turns out Theismann feels the same way about the valedictorian from his graduating class at South River High School in New Jersey — a kid named Norman Einstein.

According to this article, Norman Einstein attended Rutgers University and studied…any guesses? Yes, physics! What else would a guy named Einstein study? He later became a doctor after graduate studies at Tufts University. Afterward, he worked as a doctor for close to 30 years.

One of Theismann’s younger high school football teammates also did pretty well for himself. According to Pro Football Reference, Cowboys star Drew Pearson is one of four NFL players to graduate from South River. Pearson shared stories about his high school career on The Texas Sports Hall of Fame Podcast.

Read more surprising facts about Joe Theismann.

Read Drew Pearson’s memories of his famous Hail Mary Game catch.

Hear NFL and college football legends share their stories! Subscribe to The Game before the Money Podcast on your favorite listening platform, including on Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Looking for a great NFL history book? Check out The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL available at — Amazon.comBarnes and NobleUniversity of Nebraska Press

The Game Before the Money

Experience Pro Football History. Order the book The Game Before the Money on Amazon, and listen to NFL legends on The Game Before the Money Podcast.

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