William Kyle Rote or popularly known as Kyle Rote, was an American football player that played in the National Football League as a member of the New York Giants. Like most football players in the United States, Rote started his career during college and went on to play in the NFL. In this article, we are going to know more about the life and career of Kyle Rote.
Early Life and Career
Kyle Rote was born October 27, 1928, in San Antonio, Texas. Rote was the son of Emma Belle and Jack Rote. He went to Woodlawn Elementary School, and as children, Rote and his brother Jack likes to spend their summers in their uncle’s ranch called the Cloudt Ranch in Rocksprings. Rote’s family dealt with several tragedies during World War II. His brother was killed in Iwo Jima, and his mother was killed in a car accident.
Rote went to Thomas Jefferson High School, where he became an all-state player in both basketball and football. When he finished high school, Rote decided to attend Southern Methodist University, where he continued to show and cultivate his athletic talent. He is known for his durability on the football field. In fact, he was even hailed as “The Mighty Mustang” when he played as a halfback at SMU. And back then, he managed to earn an All-America recognition, an honor he received the next year as well. Aside from that, Rote also got a spot on the All-Southwest Conference team during those same seasons. On his final season at SMU, Rote managed to lead the Mustangs to their first national ranking in almost fifteen years. Aside from that, Rote also got featured on the cover of the November 13, 1950 issue of Life Magazine.
During the spring of 1951, the New York Giants decided to make Rote the only player from SMU ever to be selected as the first pick during the NFL draft. As he showed what he’s got in the field, Rote quickly became a famous football player, and his teammates even assigned him to be the captain each year for over eleven years. Rote was the New York Giant’s receiver, and he did not disappoint his team because he managed to catch over 300 career passes for 4,797 yards and scored forty-eight touchdowns. Aside from that, Rote also ran 871 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns throughout his career with the New York Giants. The respect Rote gained from both on and off the field was enough to convince his peers to assign him to be the first president of the NFL Players Association.
Retirement and Death
When the 1961 season finished, Rote announced that he would be going to retire. After that, he went on to become a backfield coach for the Giants for two consecutive seasons. Like his other teammates Summerall and Gifford, he became a sports broadcaster, and eventually became an NBC analyst. In 1964, William Kyle Role was inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame.
Even if most individual awards are often based on statistics, the true measure of a player’s impact, especially in team sports, cannot be measured in numbers all the time. That is why Rote’s NFL teammates claim that he is one of the greatest players in the NFL. In fact, Y. A. Tittle, a fellow Texan from Marshall and Giant’s quarterback, once said that sportswriters and fans liked Rote. Even other players loved and admired Rote’s talent and mindset: Tittle also said that he didn’t saw any negative traits about Kyle Rote, and he never found anyone who does not like him. This is because Rote was a respectful player, and he can get along with almost anyone.
On August 15, 2002, William Kyle Rote died in Baltimore, Maryland, due to cardiopulmonary complications after emergency surgery. He died being a lifelong supporter of SMU athletics.