Does anyone know the jersey number for Dick "Night Train" Lane? Any pictures of Lane that show his jersey number would be much appreciated. I have searched Yahoo and Google for pictures, but cannot find a good picture of Lane as a Ram. Thanks!
Lane eventually decided to join the army and served his country as a Lt. Col. in World War II and the Korean War. Afterwards, he found himself sad and depressed and stuck in a job that he despised - lifting large sheets of oil-covered metal into bins. Frustrated with his employment situation, Lane went out to seek other work. By happenstance, he found his way into the Los Angeles Rams’ office and asked for a tryout. With only his scrapbook of high school and junior college football clippings, the Rams decided to take a gamble on Lane.
The offensive line was Lane’s first choice. Although his efforts and passion for the sport were right on track, would-be Hall of Famers such as Tom Fears and Crazylegs proved to be steep competition for the 6’2” Lane. He gave it his best effort and continually sought advice from Tom Fears in the locker room. Fears happened to always play a particular hit record, “Night Train.” As the book “Pro Football Hall of Fame All-Time Greats” explains, “One day, a teammate entered the room, saw Dick and blurted out, ‘Hey there’s Night Train,’ and ‘Night Train Lane” it was from then on.”
The Ram’s coach, Joe Stydahar, soon made the decision to move Lane to defense. Both his physical statue and attributes meshed perfectly for a model defensive line player. Lane burst onto the NFL scene in 1952 by setting a record for most interceptions in a single season with 14. Accomplished when the NFL played only a 12-game regular season, this record still stands today. Lane also ranks 3rd all-time for career interceptions with 68. Though his gambling style of play produced many interceptions, it was Lane's ferocious tackling that is most memorable.
Many a receiver in the '50s and '60s cringed at the prospects of facing the "Night Train" one-on-one. Their fears were well-founded. Lane's preferred technique of tackling was to "rip" a receiver down by his neck and head. This "rip" often had receivers more concerned about their well-being than the football. For this reason, the NFL eventually outlawed this "head-hunting" technique. This, however, did not diminish Lane's ability to dominate games.