Sports Outside the Beltway

Former Ole Miss QB and NFL punter Eagle Day dead at 75

He was an all SEC QB in the mid-fifties. Quarterbacks who also doubled as punters were quite common when I watched football in the 70′s and 80′s. Dallas Cowboy Danny White, Tom Blanchard who kicked for the Giants, Bucs, and Saints. There were others, including Sammy Baugh back in the 40′s who was one of the leading punters in the NFL. Former NFL QB Dan Marino punted for Pitt his freshman year at the school. Once I remember a local television reporter making fun of a youth who made mention of Marino kicking. The boy was wrong, but the reporter was ignorant too. Marino was the Dolphins emergency punter.

Back to Day, he spent 12 years in the CFL and is fondly remembered by Ole Miss Football fans. RIP.

OXFORD, Miss. — Eagle Day, a quarterback at Mississippi in the 1950s whose first college pass went for a 63-yard touchdown, died. He was 75.

Herman Sidney Day died Friday at his daughter’s home in Nashville, Tenn., after a short unspecified illness, the university said.

He played two seasons with the Washington Redskins as a punter. Day spent 12 seasons in the Canadian Football League, where he was All-Pro in 1961 and 1962.

Day was an all-Southeastern Conference quarterback who went 28-5-1 and won two league titles under coach John Vaught from 1954-56.

He was dubbed “The Mississippi Gambler” after setting up Ole Miss’ 14-13 victory over TCU in the 1956 Cotton Bowl with a 25-yard scramble late in the game that helped the Rebels earn their first major bowl victory.

Day also pitched for the Rebels baseball team and took Ole Miss to the College World Series in 1956. He was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, the Ole Miss Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2003.

Survivors include wife JoAnne, two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.

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