Tim Rossovich: Old Player of the Week


One of my favorite things about football is all the tough and crazy guys that have played the game over the years.

One of the more amazing tough and crazy guys over those years was Tim Rossovich of USC.


Rossovich was a first team All American in 1967, the very first year I started watching the game. Rossovich was one of the USC players that sacked UCLA’s Gary Beban to end the first Game of the Century that I wrote about in 18 Saturdays. The Trojans were loaded with talent in those years and they won the national championship during Rossovich’s senior season. You can read about that Game of the Century here: http://collegefootballcrazy.com/18-saturdays/

Tim Rossovich was one of 5 Southern Cal Trojans drafted in the first round of the 1968 NFL Draft and he played for seven years for the Philadelphia Eagles, the San Diego Chargers, and the Houston Oilers. In between his NFL days with the Chargers and the Oilers, Rossovich played for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League. He did make the Pro Bowl in the 1969 season so he was at least fairly successful as a professional football player.

Oddly, for some reason the NFL did not keep up with tackles and sacks back in those days so it’s difficult to say exactly just how  good of a player Rossovich was in the NFL. I can’t even imagine why the NFL or even the NCAA did not keep up with defensive stats in those years.  I suppose I am showing my nerdness at this point, but the number of sacks a defensive lineman had in a career is interesting and important stuff. In spite of all that, Rossovich was credited with 3 career interceptions.


Tim Rossovich was a Parade All American out of St Francis High School in Mountain View, California and signed with USC. Freshmen were not allowed to play varsity football in those days, so Rossovich was a 3 year letterman from 1965 to 1967 and clearly good enough to make All American in his senior season.


At USC, Tim Rossovich was roommates with future super star Actor, Tom Selleck.

He is also the much older brother of  actor Rick Rossovich. After football, Rossovich got a lot of tough guy roles in movies and a lot of them reflected on his reputation as a crazy, scary former NFL star. He had regular roles in television shows like the A Team, The Fall Guy, and MacGyver. Plus, of course, in the series with his old college roommate, Magnum PI and it’s star Tom Selleck. Rossovich played football at 6-4, 250 and kept most of that size as an actor and with his crazed looking face he made a good and frightening TV show and movie villain.


Probably most stories about Rossovich eating glass or setting himself on fire were more than likely only stories. But, he was one of the early day NFL crazies like Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus, and the Mad Stork Ted Hendrix. He was one of the eccentric characters like Herschel Walker, Chad Ochocinco, Joe Don Looney and several other interesting players. These guys were were a little more than interesting, they were the lure of the game that kept bringing people back. These guys might have been considered nuts. But, they were not criminals like a lot of today’s kids. Just some fun loving guys that went on panty raids and other kinds of mischievousness that people still talk about years later.


The game of football has always been more interesting because of the Tim Rossovich kind of guys that have always played it.

5 thoughts on “Tim Rossovich: Old Player of the Week

  1. Rich Anderson

    I witnessed the eating of glass & some other feats by Tim. There was never a need to embellish what he did because it defied reality. More important was behind it all was a solid, loyal person.

  2. linda sakane

    When I was in college, my cousin, all American Barry Darrow out of the U. Of Montana was drafted by the SD Chargers, great because I am a san diego gal born and raised and still there. It was the same year tim rossovich first came to the chargers. Barry told me a few ‘rosso’ stories, and about how rosso liked to intimate the other players but never my cousin. Barry is 6’7″ and was probably 270 lbs of solid muscle back then. The first story that comes to mind was the first day of training. Guys were arriving from all over. Our head coach back then was Harland Svare. One of the asst coaches came over to near where my cousin was sitting in the cafeteria and said “Coach, there’s some nut over there stuffing peas up his nose”. Svare looked over and said “that’s Tim rossovich” and proceeded over to introduce himself. He said, “Hi, I’m Harland Svare”. Rosso stood up, blew his peas all over the table and said, “Nice to meet you Coach, I’m Tim Rossovich.” True story… I have a few others that are just as weird.

    1. Brad Post author

      I would love to hear every one of them if you care to share. Guys like Tim Rossovich make football a lot more entertaining.

  3. Pingback: 1968 NFL Draft | College Football Crazy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *