NFL News

Raymond Berry, No. 63 on the NFL 100, muses on the film that led his way to greatness.

We had been conversing on the phone for about 12 minutes when Raymond Berry’s voice became a little louder, the words speeding up to the point where one syllable seemed to run into the next.
Berry was ecstatic, and you’d think he was talking about the Baltimore Colts’ historic 23-17 overtime triumph over the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL Championship Game at Yankee Stadium.
This epic, nationally televised event has been dubbed “The Greatest Game Ever Played” in lower case and “The Birth of America’s Love Affair with Professional Football” in upper case.
Berry, who was already one of the league’s top receivers, helped the Ravens out with 12 catches for 178 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass from Johnny Unitas in the second quarter.
In overtime, he collected three Unitas throws, setting up fullback Alan Ameches for the game-winning 1-yard rush.
Before February, Berry’s 12 catches were the most ever in a National Football League championship game.
Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos has 13 receptions in Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014.
Are you proud with your performance in that game?
Yes, yes.
But that wasn’t the reason Berry was so giddy as we talked on the phone.
The Colts’ 31-16 triumph against the Giants in a rematch for the NFL championship the following season wasn’t either.
Berry led the NFL in receptions for three consecutive seasons (1958-1959-1960).
Or the fact that he led the league in receiving yards three out of four seasons.
Or his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 1973.