Steve DeBerg was the first Favorite Football Player I had. One of my very first football-watching memories involves DeBerg quarterbacking the Chiefs to a playoff win despite a broken non-throwing hand with a metal pin sticking out of his pinkie.
In those days, my football knowledge began and ended with the Chiefs, and I had no idea that 10 years prior, he started for the 49ers despite a bout of laryngitis. Given the toughness expected of football players, this is not all that crazy, but his solution to signal-calling was. So that his teammates could hear him, he had a microphone attached to his helmet and strapped a speaker system to his back.
Video evidence, via the invaluable Uni Watch blog, is after the jump.
There's no way the NFL would allow something like this today, of course. This is like when you read about the lunar craft of the 1960s or a terrifyingly advanced World War II prototype. It's one of those haunting occasions in which the distant past seems like the future.
(You can see DeBerg starting at the 2:27 mark here.)