Photo courtesy of the NFL Hall of Fame
Dick "Night Train" Lane, who was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974, is one of the all-time fiercest defensive players. Lane was a gambler on the field who made spectacular plays and was a deadly open-field tackler. He arrived in Detroit in 1960 after playing his first nine pro seasons with Los Angeles (1952-53) and the Chicago Cardinals (1954-59).
He joined the Rams as a free agent after four years in the army. He was tagged "Night Train" because of his affinity for Buddy Morrow's hit record of the same name. The name first appeared in print after Lane tackled Washington's Charlie Justice on the 5-yard line and broke his collarbone in Los Angeles' first exhibition game. "Rookie Dick 'Night Train' Lane derails Charlie 'Choo Choo' Justice." A headline read. "I thought it was pretty good to be mentioned in a big paper, so I decided to keep the nickname," said Lane.
While with Detroit, he played six seasons (1960-65) and recorded 21 interceptions for 272 yards and one touchdown. He was All-NFL four times (1960-63) and was named to the Pro Bowl three times (1961-63). In 1969, he was chosen to the NFL's 50th Anniversary Team (chosen by the Hall of Fame Committee), and he was on the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team compiled in 1994 by media and league personnel. Richard Lane died January 29, 2002, at age of 73.
Lane's Career Lions' Stats