“Crazy Legs” Hirsch earned his nickname in 1942 when Chicago Daily New sports writer Francis Power described his unique running style as a “demented duck” whose “crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions all at the same time.”
The legendary 6-foot-2, 190-pound halfback and receiver became a key part of the Los Angeles Rams’ revolutionary “three-end” offense from 1949 to 1957. He led the NFL in 1951 with 66 catches, 1,495 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns.
Before that, Hirsch played three seasons with the Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference and starred at Wisconsin for one season before completing his collegiate career at Michigan. There he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and became the only Wolverine in Michigan history to win letters in four majors sports — football, basketball, baseball and track — in the same year.
After he retired from the game, Hirsch joined the Rams front office, serving as general manager and assistant to the president. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968, and spent the next 18 years as Wisconsin’s athletic director.
Hirsch died on Jan. 28 of natural causes. He was 80.