Where Are They Now: Jim Mutscheller


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Name: Jim MutschellerTeam: Baltimore Colts
Position: Tight End
Years Played in Baltimore: 1954 – 1961
Accomplishments: 1957 Pro Bowl

After your playing career in Baltimore was complete, what did you do?

Well, while I was playing I was working. I had gone to work in the insurance business [National Life Insurance Company of Vermont], and that's what I've been doing [to this day]. I actually started in '56, and I started playing with the Colts in '54. I was working while I was playing, and I've been doing it ever since with the same company.

Did you find that since you were playing for the Colts business came a little easier?

Yes! The people, especially when we got going and we got pretty good in '58-'59, were excited in town. That helps in the insurance business, and they don't mind talking to you. They don't want to talk insurance, but they want to talk football.

After your playing career was over, what made you want to stay in Baltimore?

My business. When I was starting pro football the commissioner of the league, Bert Bell, used to talk to every team at training camp before the season started, and his real story was, "If you want to play pro football, stay in the town you're playing in and try to work there." He said if you don't want to do that, than you're better off not playing pro football.

A lot of people forget that you caught the pass to set up Alan Ameche's 1-yard touchdown run to win the 1958 championship game. Can you describe that play?

Yes. John Unitas [Baltimore Colts Quarterback: 1956 – 1972] called a pass. 60 was the formation, and the pass was a diagonal out – which meant I went diagonally straight, towards the end zone not making any moves or anything, just going diagonally. Lenny Moore [Baltimore Colts Running Back: 1956 – 1967] was flanked out to the right, and so John pumped a fake to Lenny and threw it out to me. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I slid out on the one yard line. The field was frozen in that corner.

How many times do you think about, "What if I could have scored that touchdown?"

I don't know if I could have handled that. Alan [Ameche] [Baltimore Colts Running Back: 1955 – 1960] was better on the "Ed Sullivan Show." After the game, they had Alan on the "Ed Sullivan Show" because he had scored the touchdown in the championship game.

So you're glad you didn't have to deal with all the media and publicity?

Alan was better at it!

What do you miss most about playing football in Baltimore?

Really I don't know - I don't miss playing. When I was finished playing, I had played long enough, and so I've just been happy to be here at the right time with the right people. We had a lot of good football players - obviously you don't win unless you're good players.

But we had an awful lot of good people as well as football players. We still get together, still enjoy each others company, and it's very nice. I know I talk to other players that I played ball in college with and so on, and I don't think any of them had the good fortune, the happiness, the togetherness that we had in Baltimore. At least it didn't seem to me that they did. We had good players and good people and we had a lot of fun together.

Who was the best player you played with while in Baltimore?

We kind of all had a consensus of opinion amongst the members of the '58 team that Lenny Moore's the best player there, and they say he still is. He was a tremendous athlete. He could do things that were unbelievable as far as running with the ball and catching the ball, and he was just a great player. He was a great player and a good guy.

What teammate were you closest with during your playing days in Baltimore? Do you still keep in contact with him today?

I guess Artie Donovan. We've been together a lot over the last fifty years, and he's a great guy. He just has a magical personality that kept everybody loose and kept everybody so they didn't get overwhelmed about how good they were. He would always keep everybody down [by saying], "Okay, you're not so good!"

Do you have any advice for kids today who want to be professional football players?

Yeah, I would say I hope they're fortunate enough to get with the kind of guys I got with on the team we had. I still go with the Bert Bell saying, "If you're gonna play pro football, go in that town and stay there and work there." I think you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it and have a lot of success.

Do you have anything you would like to say to the fans who are reading this?

We have a great franchise here in Baltimore, and [the] owner Steve Bisciotti is a tremendous guy who grew up loving the Baltimore Colts. So I would say to the fans, enjoy it because the team's well run and it's enjoyable and it's good to watch. They're an exciting team so enjoy the team, enjoy what you have.

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