Thomas John Beer (born December 21, 1944 in Detroit) was an American football player who played at the University of Houston and professionally for the Denver Broncos of the American Football League and the NFL's Boston Patriots and New England Patriots.
Beer wore #82 and had the nickname "Tarzan". He played as a tight end in 42 games for the Patriots over the 1970-1972 seasons. Beer had 25 receptions for 381 yards and three TD's. His longest reception was a 31 yard TD reception on October 24, 1971.
He also returned two kickoffs for a total of 19 yards. Beer returned a kickoff 4 yards to end the 1st half in the Patriots 31-21 loss to the New York Jets at Harvard Stadium on September 27, 1970. His longest kickoff return was 15 yards at the end of the 1st Quarter in the Patriots 34-10 loss to the New York Jets at Shea Stadium on October 29, 1972.
Beer lateraled a kickoff to Carl Garrett, who took it 27 yards in the Boston Patriots 45-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Harvard Stadium on November 1, 1970. Later in the same game, he lateraled another kickoff to Garrett, who advanced it 15 yards. Beer is the only tight end in Patriots history who lateraled a kickoff to a teammate.
Beer returned a fumbled punt return by Ike Hill 5 yards in the Patriots 38-33 win over the Buffalo Bills at Schaefer Stadium on November 14, 1971.
Following his playing days, Beer wrote the sardonically ribald 1974 memoir Sunday's Fools: Stomped, Tromped, Kicked and Chewed in the NFL, recounting the experience of playing for two of the worst franchises in pro football during his career. He also was an executive for the New York Stars of the short-lived World Football League.
He is currently residing in New Jersey.
By Dean Hanley
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