|Born:||March 5, 1918|
St. Louis, Missouri
|Died:||March 2, 1970 (aged 51)|
Lake Forest, Illinois
|High school:||Maplewood (MO)|
|NFL Draft:||1941 / Round: 2 / Pick: 13|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Paul Joseph Christman (March 5, 1918 – March 2, 1970) was an American football player and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. A quarterback, he played college football for the University of Missouri in Columbia and professionally for the Chicago Cardinals and Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL).
A St. Louis native, Christman led the Missouri Tigers to a 20–8 record during his three seasons (1938–40) as their starting quarterback. He was a two-time All-American, and led the nation in touchdown passes in 1940. Christman was Missouri's all-time leading passer until 1976, when he was surpassed by Steve Pisarkiewicz. While at Mizzou, he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. His jersey number, 44, is one of seven retired by the school. In 1956, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
National Football League career
Christman played six seasons in the National Football League, from 1945 to 1950. He was a member of the so-called "Dream Backfield", which led the Chicago Cardinals to victory in the 1947 NFL Championship Game. A notoriously poor ball-handler, at one time he owned the record for most fumbles in a game (five) and most own fumbles recovered in a season (eight).
After retiring as a player, Christman worked as a television color commentator, first teaming with play-by-play announcer Joe Boland to call Cardinals games for CBS in 1958 and 1959. In 1962, he began calling American Football League games on ABC with Curt Gowdy, a pairing that continued after AFL rights shifted to NBC in 1965. Christman called Super Bowl I with Gowdy for NBC in January 1967. In 1968–69 he returned to CBS, teaming with Ray Scott on NFL broadcasts.
Christman died at age 51 in 1970 in Lake Forest, Illinois, from a heart attack. He had a history of heart trouble and was admitted to the hospital, where he died less than two days later. Christman was buried at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, and was survived by his wife Inez and three adult children.
- "Christman on Pro-Football-Reference". rbref.com. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- "Heart attack kills Paul Christman, top player and announcer". Milwaukee Journal. press dispatches. March 3, 1970. p. 10, part 2.
- "Sports commentator Paul Christman dies". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 3, 1970. p. 17.