Thursday, November 20, 2008
When A Name Is Not Just Word Part 3
Though I'm sure he is as a person, Happy Feller also happens to be his name. But not his birth name. James Patrick Feller is his birth name. Happy was a nickname given to him due to his jovial disposition. Happy is what he made Longhorn fans while attending the University of Texas. He made the 1970 All American Team, and nailed a 55 yard field goal that year. This is the 13th longest field goal in Longhorn history. He played on the Longhorns 1969 and 1970 National Championship teams.
Happy was drafted in the 4th round of the 1971 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the 83rd player picked overall, which is very high for a kicker in that era with 17 rounds of the draft having been conducted. Such NFL Legends like Joe Theisman, Harold Carmichael, Mel Gray, Dwight White, and many others, were drafted behind Feller.
Happy played just 9 of the Eagles 14 games in 1971. Though he did convert all 10 of his extra point conversions, he made only 6 of his 20 field goal attempts. He was replaced by Tom Dempsey, who many fans may remember for setting an NFL record with a 63 yard field goal make later in his career. Happy then joined the New Orleans Saints in 1972. He played in only 6 games for them, making 10 of 11 extra points and 6 of 11 field goals. The Saints also employed Toni Linhart for 2 games that year. Linhart would go on to be a Pro Bowl player for the Baltimore Colts. Happy then played 6 more games for the Saints in 1973. He made all 7 of his extra point conversions, and 4 of his 12 field goal attempts. The Saints then replaced his with Bill McClard. Happy never played in the NFL again.
I was unable to find many pictures of Happy on the net.
This is the best I can do. He wears # 5, and is standing in the second row of the Texas Longhorns 1970 National Championship team photo.
Though Happy Feller did not have the longest of NFL careers, he was able to play for 3 seasons. He obviously was talented enough to be drafted and make the NFL.
Regardless, Happy Feller has one of the more unique names in sports.