Forgotten Player of the Moment – BRAD VAN PELT
Brad Van Pelt
by Phil Rippa
Requested by Dean Rasmussen
(Sadly Brad Van Pelt is another person who has passed away since the writing of their FPOTM)
I needed to hook my boy Dean Rasmussen up on his birthday and he requested that we remember former All-Pro Brad Van Pelt for a minute. And it’s hard for me to ignore fellas who were on the Giants when I started watching sports in 1981.
Brad Van Pelt works well in context with Gary Reasons and he was Gary Reasons right before Gary Reasons joined the N-Y-G. From 1973 to 1986 (with Reasons around Van Pelt played his final three seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders and Cleveland Browns V.1.0), Van Pelt was a quiet force who was able to anchor any linebacker core. That news shouldn’t shock anyone considering that Van Pelt was flat out ridiculous in College (including winning the Maxwell Award in 1972 while at Michigan State.)
Van Pelt actually was a three-sport star (in addition to football, he also played baseball and basketball.) He was even drafted to play baseball (the St. Louis Cardinals picked him seventh overall) but Van Pelt choose to play football instead. After grabbing him in the middle of the second round, the Giants converted him from safety to linebacker and let him run wild. The conversion really helped as Van Pelt could hit like a linebacker but could cover as well as anyone. Heck, he even racked up a total of 20 interceptions during his career. Of course, he didn’t have much help. Stupid lousy Giants teams. I am not quite sure how he ended up never punching Ray Perkins right in the mouth.
Bradlee Van Pelt, one of them there current college star QBs (at Colorado State) is Brad Van Pelt’s son.