John Baker helped end Y. A. Tittle’s all-star football career a quarter-century ago with a hit that left the New York Giants quarterback bloodied and on his knees.
Now Tittle, who never harbored hard feelings over the crunching tackle, is helping Baker in his bid for reelection as Wake County sheriff.
A picture of Tittle after the hit, kneeling helmetless on the field with blood trickling from his forehead, is one of the most famous sports pictures ever taken.
On Monday, Tittle and Baker were together for a picture again. Tittle traveled to Raleigh to hold a fund-raiser for Baker, who next year will seek his fourth term as sheriff.
“He’s the guy who sort of retired me out of football,” Tittle said with a laugh before the fund-raiser. “I heard he had done such a good job (as sheriff), I felt like I could come here and see him and help him in whatever small way I could.”