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NFL player returns to roots

Member of '65 draft class inducted into high school hall of fame

Ed Meixler, a 1961 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School, is one of 11 former student athletes, coaches or contributors being inducted into the 2011 Blue Streak Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 9.

Ed Meixler, a 1961 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School, is one of 11 former student athletes, coaches or contributors being inducted into the 2011 Blue Streak Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 9. Submitted photo

— Meixler took Dalrymple’s confidence to heart and after a stand out season as linebacker on Boston University’s football team (courtesy of a full four-year scholarship) he was drafted 17th round in the 1965 draft.

“It was a good experience. A lot of guys dream of it, some get a chance,” said Meixler. “I didn’t have a lengthy career because of injuries and then life moves on.”

Meixler’s pro football career was cut short after just two years when he broke his leg in an exhibition game against the Jets and suffered numerous concussions. He doesn’t have any regrets, though, because football was much different back then, he said.

“Today the money is big. Back then, my first contract was $10,500 a year and my second year was $11,000. It’s not like it is today where it’s a full-time job and you get paid big bucks,” said Meixler.

Though but a glimmer in his past, Meixler remembers draft day vividly. There were 10 teams drafting 140 players, the league was still split into NFL and AFL and it was a convoluted game of secrecy.

“I was coerced into going to Pittsburgh as a guest of the Steelers the weekend of the draft and hidden out. Being ‘babysat’ was the term that was used and I was hidden out by the Steelers who said I’d be drafted in the third or fourth round,” said Meixler.

Those rounds came and went and because Meixler was spending the draft in the hotel of the Steelers, other teams weren’t drafting him and he kept getting pushed back.

“Nobody wanted to draft you unless they had a commitment from you that you were interested in playing with them. Different teams were calling my house up in Boston and my father said ‘He can be reached at this hotel in Pittsburgh” so they knew I was down as a guest of the Steelers,” said Meixler.

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