Category Archives: Football

Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters on TV during the Dallas Cowboys Minnesota Vikings game on thursday night football on NBC

Minnesota Vikings Painting Purple People Eaters on Thursday Night Football

Vikings Painting

My niece was watching a Minnesota Vikings verses the Dallas Cowboys Thursday night football game on NBC the other night. After a after a commercial, one of the Vikings painting I did for the Minnesota Vikings, US Bank Stadium “The Purple People Eaters” flashed on the screen. I am not Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters on TV during the Dallas Cowboys Minnesota Vikings game on thursday night football on NBCsure in what context they showed my painting. or what kind of reference they made about it. She had a chance to photograph the television set with the painting featured on the screen and then posted the image on her Facebook account.

It is always a surprise to me when I am watching either a movie or television show and, all of a sudden, out of nowhere one of my paintings shows up on the screen. Generally I am supposed to be informed and sign a release for the use the image with the purchase of a painting. Then I am not informed. I have had images pop up a couple of times when something crops up completely out of context to the painting.

Paranormal Phenomenon

The oddest experience was when I was watching a horror – scary movie and in one of the opening scenes one of my paintings is in the background. I am not sure which movie but it was Paranormal Activity 2 photo of artist John Robertson painting that as in the movie of a parrot sitting on a hand.from the Paranormal Phenomenon movie series. I think it was called Paranormal Activity 2.

What is so odd about the painting is that it’s of a guy who was walking past my studio with a parrot on his shoulder. I asked if I could photograph him with the parrot and took a few shots One of the photos was of him holding the parrot on his hand. I had sold the painting to an interior decorator/designer for a client. I totally forgot that I had done the painting then a couple of years later it appears in the movie.

Sports art painting image of running back or cornerback carrying the football as another football player is tackling him

Running Backs Cornerbacks Football Art

Great Cornerbacks and Running Backs Football Players Who Wore Number 24

There is a handful of NFL Hall of Fame running backs and defensive backs who have worn number 24. The player in the painting wearing number 24 can be anybody.  He could be a Sports art painting image of running backs or cornerback carrying the football as another football player is tackling himrunning backs or a cornerback or a free safety after intercepting a pass.  I wanted it to be an unidentified player and leave the interpretation up to the viewer.  This way you can project your own favorite player wearing the number.  Below I have described a few of the possibilities.

Baltimore Colts Running Backs Lenny Moore

Lenny Moore is probably the best of the running backs who wore number 24.  He played in Baltimore from 1956 – 1967  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 1975.   Lenny was a 7  Time Pro Bowler and  5  Time First Team All – Pro.  There is a big difference in playing in the NFL now as opposed to playing in the 50’s and 60’s.   Lenny Moore was asked in a interview, “When you watch the Ravens and other National Football League teams play, is there something you like more about today’s football game than the game it was when you played?”  Lenny’s answer. “I just enjoy it because of the nature of what it’s all about. It’s still the same to a degree with other modifications that they added in, different techniques, different calls, and how they monitor the game is a lot different. A lot guys wouldn’t have been able to play during our day that are playing today, with the things they do.  There was no whistle – you’d just be blasting people man, just be beating on people. Jumping, knocking them down. It wasn’t until you were just about dead man that the whistle blew, but that’s the way it was – punching, elbowing, slapping.”

Oakland Raiders Cornerback Willie Brown

What I like about another player who wore number 24 is that he was overlooked in the draft – number 24, Willie Brown. Brown played college football at Grambling State University and when he left college in 1963 no professional team drafted him.  He did sign with the Houston Oilers of the old(AFL,  (American Football League) but was cut during training camp. He moved on to the AFL’s Denver Broncos and then it all started for this non-drafted player.  Brown became a starter by the middle of his rookie season. In his second season Willie Brown won All-AFL and played in the AFL All-Star Game, recording nine interceptions for 144 yards.  In 1967, Brown was traded to the AFL’s Oakland Raiders and spent the remainder of his playing career there. He served as defensive captain for 10 of his 12 years with the team. He was named to five AFL All Star games and four NFL Pro Bowls. He was also named All-AFL three times and All-NFL four times.

Green Bay Packer Free Safety Willie Wood

Another Willie – Willie Wood  had a similar experience that Willie Brown had.  Wood was not selected in the 1960 NFL draft, and contacted head coach Vince Lombardi to request a tryout.  Tthe Packers signed him as a rookie free agent in 1960. After a few days with the quarterbacks, he requested a switch to defense and was recast as a free safety, and was a starter in the season. He started until his retirement in 1971.  Willie Wood won All-NFL honors nine times in a nine-year stretch from 1962 through the 1971 season, participated in the Pro Bowl eight times, and played in six NFL championship games, winning all except the first in 1960.  Not bad for another non-drafted player.

Denver Broncos  Defensive Back Champ Bailey

The great Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, said Champ Bailey was the best Defensive back he had faced in his long career.  This is what Smith said about his comment. “But the reason that I really just say Champ is (best) because everybody wants to talk about the success of all these guys who are in their fourth or fifth years. I’m in my 15th year, and I’m 36. Some of these guys, when I was a rookie, were in elementary school. So I’m not going to crown a guy who’s been in the league six years and had three years of success and three years of failure or average. I want to see how he is in three or four more years when his speed goes, and he has to learn how to use his technique. That’s just me, but that’s where I feel like the legacy is built.’’  Champ Baily’s 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most-ever by a cornerback, is tied for most ever (with Hall of Famer Ken Houston) for a defensive back and is tied for third all-time among all defensive players. Only Merlin Olsen, with 14 Pro Bowl selections, and Reggie White and Ray Lewis, with 13 each, had more on defense.

 Seattle Seahawks Running Backs Marshawn Lynch

It’s time to put a running back in with the cornerbacks.  Marshawn Lynch.  The Hall of Fame flanker and one of the running backs was All-NFL five times and the NFL Player of the Year in 1964. He starred for the Colts for 12 seasons (1956-67).  As some of you might know Marshawn was never a person who liked to give interviews or answer questions.   In one famous interview “I ain’t got nothing to say,” the Seahawks running back told NFL Network’s Michael Robinson, a former Seattle fullback, in a 2014 interview. “I just want to play football.”   After a big win against the Arizona Cardinals Lynch was on camera with reporters in the hallway outside of Seattle’s locker room he responded to every question by simply stating, “Thanks for asking.”   He had stomach problems during the game and when asked about it, he said, “I appreciate you asking about my stomach,” Lynch said. “Thank you.”

 John Robertson Sports Artists painting Art

Sports Art by John Robertson.  Football player image of a running back is 30″ x 40″ acrylic and ink on a gallery wrapped frame.

The great San Francisco 49er quarterback Joe Montana image . The art painting is 30 inch by 48 inch, ink and acrylic on gallery wrapped frame/stretcher bars. The orange you see is old newsprint articles about Joe Montana and San Francisco 49ers collaged to the canvas then treated, then inked and painted.

Joe Montana Sports Art San Francisco 49ers

Joe Montana History

As almost everyone knows Joe Montana was one of the greatest football players ever to play the game. Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco 49ers and played there 14 seasons.  I can’t imagine being on top of my game for 14 years.  Up until 1979 I never lastedThe great San Francisco 49er quarterback Joe Montana image . The art painting is 30 inch by 48 inch, ink and acrylic on gallery wrapped frame/stretcher bars. The orange you see is old newsprint articles about Joe Montana and San Francisco 49ers collaged to the canvas then treated, then inked and painted. more than about six months at the same job.  It wasn’t even until I was thirty four before I graduated college.   That means I am older than Montana and he had a fabulous career long before I even began to settle down.

Montana started and won four Super Bowls and was the first player ever to have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. He also holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without an interception (122 in 4 games) and the all-time highest quarterback rating of 127.8. Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, his first year of eligibility.  Let’s see.  What had I accomplished.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I shouldn’t say “nothing” because I did hold the record for the shortest time holding a job at a plastics manufacturing company.  I started at eight in the morning pulling small plastic gears out of drawers and then placing them in small envelopes and mailing them out to customers.  At nine thirty it was break time.  I asked my supervisor where the bathroom was.  Next to the bathroom door was the front door.  Out I went – the front door – and never went back.  I lasted one and a half hours.  Straight to the beach, I did, I did.  Never looked back.  Try to beat that record, Montana.

Would I want to be Joe Montana?  Not now, I wouldn’t.  As Montana says, ” … the physical stuff tries to catch up with you.’’  Tries to catch up??.  it does catch up.  The extensive physical problems he suffers is from more than two decades after he ended his NFL career in 1994.  Montana has spent more time at the doctor’s than he ever had on the field.   When standing in a swim suit he has more knife cuts on him than a butcher’s side of beef.  When he walks, it’s like watching a drunk sailor sway side to side.  And painful.   His knee can’t straighten despite a half-dozen surgeries.  And he thinks it is bad now.  Wait until he is my age and has to go to the bathroom four times a night.   He’ll be dragging his leg across the bedroom floor.

And then there is the metal problems – potential mental problems.  His path to thinking may be affected.   He’s had three neck fusions.  There’s nerve damage in one of his eyes.  “It acts like a lazy eye to some degree because every time you’re tired, it kind of goes wherever it feels like a little bit,’’ Montana said.  I have something like lazy eye only it’s in my lazy brain and I kind of wander down to the beach and eat shrimp out of the tide pools.  A doctor said Montana’s problem resulted from head trauma.  And Montana said,  “Can’t figure out where that came from.’’  I guess he can’t remember the hits.

The moral of the story.   You think I need to tell you the moral of the story?  That is easy to figure out.  Life after football is bleak.  There, I told you.

Joe Montana Football painting

The great San Francisco 49er quarterback Joe Montana image . The art painting is 30 inch by 48 inch, ink and acrylic on gallery wrapped frame/stretcher bars.  The orange you see is old newsprint articles about Joe Montana and San Francisco 49ers collaged to the canvas then treated, then inked and painted.  Sports artists by John Robertson paintings

Image Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum handing football off to running back Todd Gurley painting art

LA Rams Quarterback art painting

LA Rams Starting Quarterback Case Keenum

The start of this Los Angeles Rams season looks like will lead off with Case Keenum number 17 at quarterback.  Keenum, has made a career as backup but has worked hard to hold off the inevitable future of Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.  Keenum did a good job last year Image Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum handing football off to running back Todd Gurley painting artfor the LA Rams of taking away Nick Foles job who was later released.

Back when I was a kid my dad used to take me to the LA Rams games in the Los Angeles Coliseum back in the late forties and early fifties.  At the time I remember there were two quarterbacks fighting for starting quarterback position; NormVan Brocklin who signed with the Rams out of the draft  and joined the Rams who already had a star quarterback, Bob Waterfield. So beginning in 1950, the Rams coach Joe Stydahar solved his problem by platooning Waterfield and Van Brocklin.  Later on, In a few more years they brought in Bill Wade.  So I was fortunate to see all of them play in Los Angeles.  Saw other great LA Rams players also – the great end Tom Fears and the fun running back, “Crazy Legs” Hirsh.

While I mentioned the fabulous nickname of “Crazy Legs”  I should also mention my favorite football nickname of all time.  Los Angeles Rams defensive back Dick “Night Train” Lane.   “Night Train” Lane had gotten the nickname after taking the night trains to away games because of his fear of flying.  Lane had the record for most interceptions in an NFL season (14), a record that has stood for over 60 years. He went from an undrafted football player, who worked in a factory but was good enough to be later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

NFL Rookie of the year Todd Gurley

The other player in the LA Rams painting art is running back Todd Gurley. As the NFL football season starts  The Topps Company announced that Todd Gurley, is the cover athlete for theImage LA Rams quarterback Case Keenum handing football off to running back Todd Gurley painting art Topps NFL HUDDLE® 2017 app.  And we all know why he was selected – because he is the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.  That is why.

Gurley had an absolutely great first season and will try to live up to the great Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson who in his second season ran for over 2,000 yards.  That is almost a “Mission Impossible” but hopefully his offensive line will help him with the goal.

About the  Sports Art painting by sports artists John Robertson

The Case Keenum, Todd Gurley NFL football art painting is to honor these two players, one who has had a great beginning and another who has worked hard in his years to become a starting quarterback.  I hope they both have a great season.  The painting is  4 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Image Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum handing football off to running back Todd Gurley painting art

Miami Dolphins Dan Marino

Dan Marino Painting Art

Although Dan Marino was one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL he never one a championship.  (But in 1984 he did lead the Miami Dolphins to the Super Bowl, where the club lost to the San Francisco 49ers led Joe Montana win of  38-16).  For example Marino was first rookie to

Image of Dan Marino quarterback for the Miami Dolphins protected by offensive center Tim Ruddy s defensive end Howie Long rushes Dan Marino as he throws a pass.

Image of Dan Marino quarterback for the Miami Dolphins protected by offensive center Tim Ruddy s defensive end Howie Long rushes Dan Marino as he throws a pass.

start at quarterback in the Pro Bowl. That rookie year Marino threw for 20 touchdowns, led the Dolphins to a 12-4 record, and became the NFL’s Rookie of the Year.  That’s not a bad start for a quarterback who had five other quarterbacks in that year’s draft taken before he was drafted.

At the time one of the greatest years any quarterback has had in the NFL was by Dan Marino.  In that 1984 Super Bowl season he threw for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns, both single season records at the time, while also setting new NFL marks for completions with 362.  A quote from Dan Marino and his career says it best, ” I just try to be myself, whatever that is. I don’t think about how I’ll be remembered. I just want to be consistent over a long period of time. That’s what the great players do.”

It is always interesting to hear what a quarterback has to say about his coach and how he mayMiami Dolphin painting art Image of Dan Marino quarterback protected by offensive center Tim Ruddy s defensive end Howie Long rushes Dan Marino as he throws a pass. feel, as a quarterback, about his leadership role.  Marino said this about one of his games.  “We’re not running the ball again until we get ahead. Shula was calling the plays, but I told them, ‘I don’t care what he calls. We’re throwing every pass from now until we get the lead.’ To Shula’s credit, he always gave me that option. ”

Miami Dolphins Offensive Center, Tim Ruddy Number 61

Also in the painting is Tim Ruddy a six foot three inch center who was drafted in 1994.  When listing the all time top one hundred players for the Miami Dolphins Tim Ruddy comes out around number thirty -two.  He spent 10 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and started 140 games.

Oakland Raiders Howie Long, Defensive End

The other image in the painting is of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long who played in the Super Bowl XVIII with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984. He was an 8-time Pro Bowler and one-time Defensive Player of the Year in his career.  He recorded 91.5 career sacks and became an NFL sportscaster after retirement.

Sports Art Painting by Sports Artists John Robertson

The painting is three feet by six feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

mage of a vintage quarterback football player throwing a pass wearing old leather football helmet and old football jerseys.

Football Quarterback Vintage

Story of Vintage Football Quarterback

I don’t know much about this vintage football quarterback player that I painted from the past.  I ran across the image and thought it would be fun to paint.  I did some search on Google put could find out anything about him – so I thought I might make up a bit of his history.

Alberte Mortensen – Quarterback

Alberte Mortensen was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1894 to immigrants from Denmark.  The family moved to New Jersey shortly after he was born.  As a baby he had medical complications with his digestive track which led to difficulties in eating anything that was not white.  He only

mage of a vintage football quarterback player throwing a pass wearing old leather football helmet and old football jerseys.

I

ate white bread, white noodles, white rice, drank milk and, of course liked ice cream (vanilla).  Because he was unhealthy and the family lived in poverty the Mortenen’s asked for help from their Norse church which worshipped the old Norse gods of the Viking age – Thor, Odin and Frigg.  The Norse oracle, Völva or “priestess” recommended that they give up Alberte for foster care.

Foster Care

The Mortensen family gave up the four-year-old Alberte to an Irish Catholic family, the Hughes.  The Hughes had immigrated to the United States from Ireland during the potato famine.  Once in his new home he adapted quite nicely to a diet of white potatoes.  His favorite dish was colcannon which became a staple at most of his meals.  It is a mash of potatoes, cabbage or kale and butter or cream, flavored with scallions.

Plays Football

Alberte grew heartily on the diet, eventually played on his high school football team, and because of his athletic ability was recruited to play with the a local football “club”.  Even though he was only sixteen his skills as a football quarterback made him locally famous.  He played for a  “pay Image of vintage quarterback football playing player throwing a pass wearing old leather football helmet and old football jersey.for play” football team which generated a small income for the Hughes family.  Because of his success his biological parents, the Mortensens wanted him back.

The Hughes gave a negative response.  As there is no actual word for “no” in Irish Gaelic, they actually said, “Ní hea,” which literally means, “It is not.”  The Hughes won in a short court battle and Alberte went on to play college football.  He disguised himself as an Indian  and went to Carlisle Indian Industrial School where he played football quarterback with Jim Thorpe, the great all-american.

Alberte, was now known as, Abukcheech, which means mouse.  Hid first season as quarterback at the Indian school he dedicated to his foster Irish mother, Chloe  Hughes.  When Alberte turned twenty-one he requested Irish citizenship to play soccer in Ireland.  At twenty-two he left for Ireland   Upon boarding the boat back to his adopted homeland he said, “I am Irish, I feel Irish, I will play forever in Ireland.”

THE END

Sports Artists John Robertson Vintage Football painting is 4 feet by 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Image painting art of a NFL Football offensive linemen setting up for a block with sports artists John Robertson in photograph

Offensive Linemen

Offensive Linemen NFL The “Trucks” of Football

The offensive linemen plays one of three positions, center, guard or tackle, and usually the biggest players on the team.  I can’t think of anything more intimidating in football, or in  most sports, than to have an offensive lineman out in front of a running back.  His job is to makeImage painting art of a NFL Football offensive linemen setting up for a block with sports artists John Robertson in photograph space for the runner.   Visualize a wedge, snow plow train barreling down deep, snow covered railroad tracks.  And with speed and power this huge wedge plow on the front of the iron, diesel engine throws the snow hundreds of feet off the tracks.

Most offensive linemen are just anonymous monsters, part of this wall of other brutes.  But there are some that have stood out in the NFL.  Some had great nicknames like, ” Smash-Mouth” or “Night-Train” or “The Jordon Spreader”.

Green Bay Packers Forrest Gregg

One of my favorites is Forrest Gregg of the old Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers.  Lombardi said Gregg was greatest player that he ever coached. As a Packer, Gregg brought back five championships to the Green Bay “Frozen Tundra.” In the twilight of his career, he won Super Bowl VI with the Dallas Cowboys.  Gregg played in a then-record 188 straight games between 1956 and 1971. Gregg made nine trips to the Pro Bowl and seven appearances on the First­-Team All­-Pro list.

Oakland Raiders Gene Upshaw

There was Gene Upshaw, Oakland Raiders and a Hall ­of ­Famer.  He played 15 seasons at guard between 1967 and 1981. Upshaw started 207 out of 217 career games and was named to seven Pro Bowls. Upshaw was also a two­-time Super Bowl champion­­ with rings in 1977 and 1981.

Oakland Raiders Art Shell

Another great Raider offensive linemen was Art Shell.  At his playing size of 6’5″ and 265 pounds, Shell would  drop his hips and use pounding leverage to clear space for running backs or put up a shield and protect his quarterbacks.

Cincinnati Bengals Anthony Muñoz

And who some considered the best offensive lineman of all time is Anthony Muñoz – left tackle, Cincinnati Bengals.  He was the “real deal”  with size, strength, athleticism, and technique.  He played at six feet six inches and weighted two-hundred and seventy-eight pounds. He could create an alleyway that a truck could drive through – or “wall off ” a blitzing linebacker.  Munoz played in nine Pro Bowls between 1976 and 1985 and named lead guard on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All­-Time Team.

About Sports Artists John Robertson Painting

The Lineman painting is approximately 48 inches by 70 inches, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  (That means no stretcher bars or frame)  It hangs like a tapestry or banner.

Painting art of a Minnesota Vikings football player making a catch over his shoulder while flying through the air is eight feet tall with Sports Artist John Robertson standing nect to the painting

Minnesota Vikings Art

Receiver Painting Minnesota Vikings Art

Over the years the Minnesota Vikings have had some of the great receivers in the NFL – players like Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Steve Jordan, Anthony Carter, Jake Reed, Ahmad Rashad, etc. etc. etc. So when I went to paint this receiver for the new Minnesota Vikings art , US Bank Stadium Painting art of a Minnesota Vikings football player making a catch over his shoulder while flying through the air is eight feet tall with Sports Artist John Robertson standing nect to the paintingArt Collection there was not one particular player I used as a model.  It would be too hard to single out one player for an individual painting.

What I wanted to represent was the flying aspect of a hero or warrior of the Vikings.  The Vikings had the best of the best warriors, and for so many years the Minnesota Vikings have had some great receiver players.  Like the gathering of the very best Viking warriors, the Minnesota Vikings, over the years, have gathered great receivers to play along-side each other. And this painting is a tribute to them.

Receiver Painting in the Valhalla Suites

The Minnesota Vikings have hung the painting in the Valhalla Suites area of the US Bank Stadium.  The painting is hung to the lobby area and the stairway entrance as you descend to the Valhalla Suites.  Here is a description of the suites from the Vikings website:  Located 17 rows from the field and between the 20 yard lines members will have access to the private Painting art of a Minnesota Vikings football player photographed on the US Bank Stadium jumbotron making a catch over his shoulder while flying through the airOwner’s and Medtronic Clubs featuring elite all-inclusive food and beverages. Suites range between 24-32 tickets and come with VIP parking, other event access, away game trips and much more.

17 rows off the field

Private Medtronic Club Access

All-inclusive Food and Beverages

Situated between the 30 yard lines

Highest End Suite furniture and finishes in the building

12-24 tickets per Suite

Only 12 Suites at this level

About the Vikings Painting by Sports Artist John Robertson

The receiver painting is four feet by eight feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Sports Artist John Robertson with Minnesota Vikings lineman defensive end Jim Marshall at US Bank Stadium

Minnesota Vikings

US Bank Stadium Minnesota Vikings Art Collection

Like myself Jim Marshall created work for the Minnesota Vikings US Bank Art Collection. The Sports Artist John Robertson with Minnesota Vikings lineman defensive end Jim Marshall at US Bank Stadiumphotograph is of me, sports artist John Robertson, with Jim Marshall, defensive lineman, for the Minnesota Vikings  from nineteen sixty one to nineteen seventy nine (1961 – 1979) In the photo
he had just had autographed a page from a book that has one of my paintings of the famous “Purple People Eaters” .  They were the great front four linemen for the Vikings. “The Purple People Eaters” included; Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall.  The painting commission hangs in the new Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.   I met Jim at the art opening for the US Bank stadium a week ago.

Jim Marshall “Silver Eagle”

Jim Marshall created from the nickname he gave himself “silver eagle”.  He liked to draw an eagle on his football uniform that “became synonymous with the Viking legend,” according toMinnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jim Marshall with sports artist John Robertson at the Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium opening art show. the Vikings press release.  Jim Marshall said he was inspired by the Odin’s raven on the flags on medieval Vikings’ long ships. The bird’s ferocity held meaning for Marshall, and he began to fashion his own version of the symbol. His creation was a “silver eagle”.

It was really exciting for me to meet Jim Marshall as I was, and still am a big fan of the Vikings.  My wife is from Minnesota and I have been going back with her at least once or twice a year since we have been together.  Marshall is a few years older than me so we are contemporaries.  He is a big, big man standing six foot four and two hundred and forty five pounds.

“Purple People Eaters” painting by Sports Artist John Robertson

The painting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas.  TheArtist John Robertson standing next to his painting of Minnesota Vikings f the Purple People Eaters defensive linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall projected on the the jumbotron at US Bank Stadium “Purple People Eaters’ painting is in the Gold Suites lobby to Norsemen’s suites in the US Bank stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play. This is a private area for the suite owners but the doors are sometimes left opened so one can see them from the public area.

Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium with painting of the Purple People Eaters defensive linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall

US Bank Stadium Art Collection

Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium Art Collection

Like myself Jim Marshall created work for the Minnesota Vikings US Bank Art Collection. The photograph is of me, sports artist John Robertson, with Jim Marshall, defensive lineman, for the Minnesota Vikings  from nineteen sixty one to nineteen seventy nine (1961 – 1979) In the Sports Artist John Robertson with Minnesota Vikings lineman defensive end Jim Marshall at US Bank Stadiumphotohe had just had autographed a page from a book that has one of my paintings of the famous “Purple People Eaters” .  They were the great front four linemen for the Vikings. “The Purple People Eaters” included; Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall.  The painting commission hangs in the new Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.   I met Jim at the art opening for the US Bank stadium a week ago.

Jim Marshall created from the nickname he gave himself “silver eagle”.  He liked to draw an eagle on his football uniform that “became synonymous with the Viking legend,” according to the Vikings press release.  Jim Marshall said he was inspired by the Odin’s raven on the flags on medieval Vikings’ long ships. The bird’s ferocity held meaning for Marshall, and he began to fashion his own version of the symbol. His creation was a “silver eagle”.

It was really exciting for me to meet Jim Marshall as I was, and still am a big fan of the Vikings.  Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jim Marshall with sports artist John Robertson at the Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium opening art show.My wife is from Minnesota and I have been going back with her at least once or twice a year since we have been together.  Marshall is a few years older than me so we are contemporaries.  He is a big, big man standing six foot four and two hundred and forty five pounds.

 

Jim Marshall “Purple People Eaters”About the painting

Sports Artist John Robertson’s painting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas. This is the other page that Jim Marshall autographed for me which shows him Autograph page of Purple People Eaters linemen from Minnesota Viking with Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson, Jim Marshall, rushing the passerin the Purple People Eaters painting.  The original painting is in the lobby to Norsemen’s suites in the US Bank stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play. This is a private area for the suite owners but the doors are sometimes left opened so one can see them from the public area.

Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium with painting of the Purple People Eaters defensive linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall projected on the the jumbotron

US Bank Stadium Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters

Minnesota Vikings Stadium Painting

One of my pieces ( artist John Robertson) In the new Minnesota Vikings stadium is The “Purple People Eaters” which shows the legendary linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall.   The Artist John Robertson standing next to his painting of Minnesota Vikings f the Purple People Eaters defensive linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall projected on the the jumbotron at US Bank Stadiumpainting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas.  The “Purple People Eaters’ painting is in the Gold Suites lobby to Norsemen’s suites.  This is a private area for the suite owners but the doors are sometimes left opened so one can see them from the public area.

What was fun about the opening is meeting Carl Eller and Jim Marshall who autographed the photograph art book featuring the stadium’s artists.  We also had a chance to meet the great Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant.

US Bank Football Stadium

We went to the art collection opening at the new  U.S. Bank Stadium where the NFL Minnesota Vikings will be playing their football games starting this 2016 2017 football season.  The stadium has a museum-quality art collection.  Both my wife (Lynn Hanson) and I have pieces of art in this collection. Lynn Hanson and John Robertson Minnesota Vikings football stadium painting US Bank, Gold Suites lobby to Norsemen's suites Purple People Eaters and Viking ship.

U.S. Bank Stadium has some unique features in comparison to other NFL stadiums, It has the largest transparent roof in the nation and five 95-feet high pivoting glass doors that will open to a nearly three-acre plaza and the Minneapolis downtown skyline. While the stadium’s roof will be fixed, the transparent 200,000 square feet of glass throughout the building will give fans an outdoor feel in a climate-controlled environment. The stadium seats are just 41 feet from the sideline. Seven levels in the stadium and it has two of the largest and highest-quality HD video boards in the NFL that are located in both the east and west end zones.

Minnesota Vikings Stadium Art Collection

To see a short video of some of the collection you can go to : http://www.usbankstadium.com/about-the-stadium/art-collection/  You will see two of my paintings in the video.  What is an interesting side comment is that my name is not listed on the Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium with painting of the Purple People Eaters defensive linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall projected on the the jumbotroncollection artist’s list although my paintings are in the stadium.  My understanding is that only a couple of artists that were not from Minnesota were included in the collection – me being one of them.  This was intentional as the other artists not from Minnesota were also left off the list.  My wife, Lynn Hanson was include as she is from Minnesota and her sister lives about an hour from downtown Minneapolis.

Football paintings Jim Thorpe Football Baseball and Olympic athlete art

As A Boy – Jim Thorpe – My Favorite Athlete

I have no idea when Jim Thorpe showed up in my conscientiousness.  But he seemed to always be there.  I am sure it had to do with my step-father who loved football. In my youth we

Football painting of Jim Thorpe, Olympic gold medal athlete of the century, in a football uniform holding his helmet. Football painting is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Football painting of Jim Thorpe, Olympic gold medal athlete of the century, in a football uniform holding his helmet. Football painting is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

used to go to the old LA Rams games at the LA Coliseum in 1952 -53 to see quarterback Bob Waterfield, and Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsh, and my favorite of all nicknames for a football player, Dick “Night Train” Lane.

I am sure my step-dad told me the stories that most people heard about Jim Thorpe  – winning the gold medal in the pentathlon in 1912 Olympics, crowned by the King of Sweden as “the greatest athlete in the world.  In which Thorpe said, “thanks King.”   This is what Thorpe said about track and field;   “…Track and field, because it was something I could do by myself, one-on-one, me against everybody else.” And then my step-dad would go one about Thorpe’s college football career at Carlisle and becoming an All American in 1912 and 1913.  He played professional football for seven different teams and signed with the New York Giants baseball team in 1913.  He had different feelings about playing college football and professional football.   Thorpe said, “[T]he college game…brings out that something which is lacking in the pro game–I guess you could call it spirit. The college player…will willingly sacrifice his leg to gain the necessary yards that spell victory for his team. That’s spirit. The professional gridder will play it safe, because he wants to be in condition to earn more money in his next game. That’s business.”

As an Athlete

There were years Thorpe played in both pro sports of football and baseball at the same time.  And then the bad news came that he had played sports for money during the Olympic years and was stripped of his medals.  As Thorpe said about it, ” “I went to play baseball in North Carolina for a couple of summers and paid for it the rest of my life.”

As I loved to play sports, particularity football I knew his story well. We always thought of Jim Thorpe as the great football player from his success at Carlisle Indian Industrial School.  (as an aside:  The link is to the Wikipedia information about Carlisle and very interesting – about early turn-of-the-century college football and Indian affairs)   I, like a lot of boys wanted to be a football player.  This was long before there was any real organized football for children.  (We were called children then, not youth.)  So we got shoulder pads and helmets (with Ram colors and insignias) and banged into each other on the grass and sidewalks in front of our houses.  In those days the helmets had one single bar in front of the face so it was easy to catch an elbow or knee into the face.  Sixty years have not erased some of the scars.

Hall of Fame – Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe was eventually inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1963 in the inaugural class of 17 athletes.  Grantland Rice, a legendary sportswriter said that Thorpe was the greatest football player ever.  It wasn’t because he was the best at any particular aspect of the game, passing, running, tackling but that he was really good in all of them making for a great, all around football player.

Here is a good place for a lot more information about Jim Thorpe “The World’s Greatest Athlete”

 

picture of a football paintings showing the laces in white and a close-up of the actual football painting is 50 inches by 70 inches large

Football Paintings Sports Artist John Robertson

Football paintings: facts About a Football

  1.  Here are some interesting facts about a football: It takes about 600 cows to make one full season’s worth of NFL footballs.
  1.  The Wilson Sporting Goods Company in Ada, Ohio, has been the official football supplier for the NFL since 1941. They make more than 2 million footballs of all sorts every year.picture of a football paintings showing the laces in white and a close-up of the actual football painting is 50 inches by 70 inches large

  2.  A cow has only a 1 in 17,420,000 chance of becoming an NFL football that is used in the
    Super Bowl.

About a football

When one paints  football paintings one doesn’t always know much about the subject.  Here’s some information about a football much of which I did not know before reading about it on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_(ball%20#American_and_Canadian_football. The football is also referred to as a “pigskin”, because of their early use of pig’s bladder to cover the
ball.The ball is about 11 inches (28 cm) long and about 22 inches (56 cm) The exterior of the ball is made of leather, which is required in the NFL and collegiate football. The leather is usually stamped with a pebble-grain texture to help players grip the ball. Four panels or pieces of leather are required for each football.

Two of the panels are perforated along adjoining edges, so that they can be laced together. One of these lacing panels receives an additional perforation and reinforcements in its center, to hold the inflation valve. Each panel is attached to an interior lining. The four panels are then stitched together in an “inside-out” manner. The edges with the lacing holes, however, are not stitched together. The ball is then turned right side out by pushing the panels through the lacing hole. A polyurethane or rubber lining called a bladder is then inserted through the lacing hole. Leather laces are inserted through the perforations, to provide a grip for holding, hiking and passing the football. Before play, the ball is inflated to an air pressure of 12.5–13.5 psi.

The football painting by sports artist John Robertson is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Artist John Robertson

Painting Green By Packers Linemen Football Art

 Green Bay Packer Linemen Fan

Although my wife is from Minnesota and I should be a Vikings fan I think my favorite team is the Green Bay Packers.  Both teams I follow regularly.  One of my wife’s sisters lives in Wisconsin so I’m not in total conflict with the family cheering  for Green Bay.Green Bay Packeers Linemen painted in Black and white by sports artist John Robertson

The linemen get little glory but the real football battles are fought there, as they say, “in the trenches” My favorite linesmen’s were from the “old school” Green Bay Packers. During late summer of 1963 I spent a couple of weeks in Green Bay and had the opportunity to watch the Packers daily practice. In those days the practices were open and we could actually sit on the player’s bench and talk with them.

Favorite Linemen Players

My two favorite players were Frederick “Fuzzy” Thurston and Jerry Kramer. They were key member of the Packers’ offensive line during the team’s glory years from 1959 through 1967, when they won five NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls. Kramer was an All-Pro five times, and a member of the NFL’s 50th anniversary team in 1969. Thurston was named to the 1961 and 1962 All-Pro teams. Kramer , 6’3″, 250 lb. right guard, (and “Fuzzy” (Fuzzy was at left guard) were an integral part of the famous “Packer Sweep”, a signature play in which both guards rapidly pull out from their positions on the line and lead-block for the running back going around the end.“Fuzzy” is famous for his quote in response to a sportswriter’s question asked of him how he prepared for the famous Ice Bowl game (where the game-time temperature was 15 degrees below zero). Thurston’s response was “about 10 vodkas.”

This photo with me in it gives you a sense of the actual size of the  The Green Backers Lineman painting is 88″ x 60″ (approx. 7 1/2 feet by 5 feet)

Artist John Robertson

large scale black and white painting of the Green Bay Packers linemen in their down stance

Painting of Payton Manning Denver Broncos quarterback handing off football to running back C J Anderson

Payton Manning Football Paintings Denver Broncos

Payton Manning the Mule Driver

Payton Manning is my favorite quarterback. One of the things I liked about it was his work ethic.  I sometimes thought of him as if he were a mule team driver.  He knew every player’s position and where they were suppose to be hitched in the wagon train line-up.

Painting of Payton Manning Denver Broncos quarterback handing off football to running back C J Anderson

The sports painting by John Robertson is 11″ x 14″ ink and acrylic on drafting film. Available

He was like a great artist, who worked constantly on his skills and analysis of the game.  When he stood behind the center you knew he was in command of the team.  He stood behind the center like the mule team driver and lashed out instructions to his offensive line.  He pointed and pulled and yanked at his players to get them in line. And them drove them down the field.

Payton Manning Retires

After 18 years in the NFL the 39-year-old Payton Manning finally gets to retire.   As we all know he won the Super Bowl this year with the Denver Broncos and has one other Super Bowl win with the Indianapolis Colts.

The five-time NFL MVP was a Super Bowl MVP, a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and a seven-time first-team All-Pro. His teams made the playoffs in 15 of his 18 seasons, and he reached the 4,000-yard passing mark in 14 seasons.

In the Broncos’ record-setting 2013 season, when they scored a single-season record 606 points — the first time in league history a team topped 600 — Manning set single-season records for passing yards (5,477) and touchdown passes (55). It was the second time Manning threw for at least 49 touchdowns (2004 was the first) — a mark reached only one other time in NFL history (Brady in 2007).

Payton Manning Highly Respected

Payton certainly had the respect of all who played the game.  Tom Brady and Payton Manning, longtime rivals, were always being compared to each other.  Brady congratulated Manning for changing the game by writing on his Facebook page last weekend. “Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career. You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better. It’s been an honor.”

One of my favorite comments that I have read about Manning is the one from Broncos tackle Ryan Harris.  “Peyton Manning is the kind of player, the rare kind of player, where no matter how long you played with him, whether it was a month, a year, 10 years, a week, you’re always going to say, ‘I played with Peyton Manning,'” ….You don’t say Peyton Manning and I played together or that Peyton Manning was on my team. You say, ‘I played with Peyton Manning.’ And people could not know anything about you as a player, or what you did, or if you were any good, and they would immediately know you played with one of the best ever and you were always one of the teams that [had] a real shot at the Super Bowl. He’s forever.”

Art of the NFL: In Celebration of Super Bowl 50

Art of the NFL

Painting of Quarterbsk Tom Brady of the New England Patriots Standing with his hands on his hips in a snowstorm

Painting of Quarterbsk Tom Brady of the New England Patriots Standing with his hands on his hips in a snowstorm

I will be in a group Super Bowl Art Show (with three large-scale football paintings)

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, January 14th | 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Special Guests

Dwight Clark (#87, Former 49er) was the receiver in the famous “Catch” which  refers to the winning touchdown reception by Dwight Clark off a Joe Montana pass in the January 10, 1982, NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. The Catch is widely regarded as one of the most memorable events in NFL history. The game represented the end of the Cowboys’ domination in the NFC since the conference’s inception in 1970, and the beginning of the 49ers’ rise as an NFL dynasty in the 1980s. (source: Wikipedia)

Also on hand will be Kyle Nelson (#86, Current 49er, Tight End & Long Snapper)

The Super Bowl is being held in the San Francisco 49er’s Levi Stadium this year which is right down the road from the gallery.

JCO’S Place – Fine Art  Los Gatos

45 North Santa Cruz Ave.

Los Gatos, CA 95030

The show is up from Jan 12 – Feb 7

RSVP REQUIRED for reception

Painting Linebacker Patrick Willis SF 49ers Art

Painted Patrick Willis for my Cardiologist

My first painting of Patrick Willis was a small piece that I did for my cardiologist after my heart surgery.  I knew he was a 49ers fan so I asked the head nurse in his office to find out who was his favorite player on the 49ers without tipping him off about me painting something for him.  She said, all the other cardiologists in the office talked football every Monday morning so she would ask them without letting him find out.  Patrick Willis was his favorite.

My next appointment after the surgery I gave him the painting.  He was shocked and excited.  He immediately took a photograph of the painting and started texting it to all his friends.  He even sent it to his mother.  Obviously he liked it.

About Patrick Willis

Sports Artist John Robertson's painting of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (retired) is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Sports Artist John Robertson’s painting of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (retired) is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Patrick Willis came into the NFL in 2007 and was defensive player of the year.  A great start.  But not the best way to go out – as he had a toe injury in the 2014 season and surgery that left him with feet that were painful and tender.   A seven time Pro-Bowler he never got his Super Bowl ring – a big disappointment to him.  He went into retirement because of the toe and all were disappointed as he was a favorite and backbone of the defense.  There were rumors that he might return for next season but he will be thirty-one years old – still not too old but in his physical condition it may pose s problem.

Some of you who follow my blog know that I created five large-scale pieces of art for the San Francisco Forty Niners, Levi Stadium. You can see some of the pieces on this blog.

Dallas Cowboys Painting of Emmitt Smith Running Back Football Art

Painting of Dallas Cowboys Emmitt Smith

This is a painting of the All Pro, Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith. It is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

This is a painting of the All Pro, Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith. It is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Here is a link to a great bio of the great running back for the Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith on his official web site.  This is a short bit about him from the site.  “Smith first rose to prominence via an illustrious football career, which included three Super Bowl championships as a member of the Dallas Cowboys and the honor of being the only player to have won a Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP and NFL Rushing Crown in the same season. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010, Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, having amassed 18,355 yards during his 15 seasons.

Emmitt Smith was inducted into the  Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.  Here is a link to his Hall of Fame speech. Very inspiring

To get an idea of what  gracious guy Emmitt Smith is one only needs to read what he had to say when DeMarco Murray became the all-time leading ball carrier for the Dallas Cowboys.   Smith’s single season record was 1,773 yards set in 1995. Murray also wrapped up the rushing title as the league’s top running back.  “I couldn’t be happier for him,” Emmitt Smith said. “He is very deserving of this recognition. This is something that I know DeMarco will share with the whole team, because he knows that they all had a hand in his success.” …. “I am proud of him because I know how hard it is to do what he did this year,” Smith said. “I am also proud because I’ve watched him bounce back from some injury setbacks in his first few years. He’s a worked through all that, and he deserves to have this record. I want him and the whole team to keep up this level of play and carry it into the playoffs.”

Football Art Players Tackle Running Back Painting

Image football art of two football players one is a tackle who is trhying to block down another playerFootball Art: Why didn’t I play football in high school?

Pain.  Suffering. Didn’t make sense to me when I could make football art instead of getting banged round.  Didn’t have the time either because I wanted to go surfing after school.  If I was going to hit anything it was never going to be the school books or another guy on a football field.  All I wanted to do was to hit the beach.  Actually I would climb over the chain-link gym fence at lunchtime and ditch school early to go surfing.  I had a Fifty-Five Ford business coup (great link to photo of a 55 Ford Business Coup similar to what I had) that had no back seat so the surfboard could slide in the trunk and go through where the back seat should have been.  In those early days of surfing there was no surf rack.  The boards either rode inside the car or rested on a towel and tied to the roof with straps wound through the windows.   We did take a football to the beach with us to pass around as we rested between times in the water.  After getting tossed into the ocean and soaked in saltwater a number of times the ball would dry out and become hard as a rock.  After a period of time the leather would get dried salt stains on it’s surface – and the dogs used it as a salt lick.

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold.  (They sell fast)  But there are a few available.  If you click on the link for Paintings for Sale you can see what is available.  What I suggest is that you contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something specific for you.  Just clink on the contact page for information.

Football paintings USC Trojans UCLA Bruins running back image art

Football art painting UCLA player running back image 1Jim Mora, as head coach of the  UCLA Bruins is 3 and 0 verses the USC Trojans.  UCLA wins big 38 to 20. Credit to both teams who, wanting to get at each other, fought hard with a high scoring game.  These teams are a classic cross town rivalry.   It was a fun game to watch, particularly if you are a UCLA fan.  Which I am.

Sports image of football running back from UCLA Bruins carrying the football.  The football art is painted on a 10″ x 10″ archival board covered with newsprint about the Bruins football team from 1990.  Painted with ink and acrylic.

Sports image ofFootball art paintingUSC Trojans player running back image football running back from USC Trojans carrying the football.  The football art is painted on a 10″ x 10″ archival board covered with newsprint about the Trojans football team from 1990.  Painted with ink and acrylic.

These paintings are already sold but if you would like something similar please email me through the contact page.

 

Football Painting Linebacker San Francisco 49ers Patrick Willis #52, Art

Football painting of Patrick L. Willis, a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers painting is 11" x 14" oil on drafting film

Football painting of Patrick L. Willis, a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers painting is 11″ x 14″ oil on drafting film.  John Robertson sports paintings for sale

I did this painting recently for my cardiologist as a gift for his good care. His favorite team is the 49ers and his favorite player is Willis. When I was having stitches removed by him after my procedure the pain brought tears to my eyes. I asked him if he had a stick to bite down on and he, in his best bedside manner, said, “I’m not taking your leg off”. That really gave me comfort but I still continued to whine and cry. The hospital nurse, who held me down as I squirmed with the pain, was very sympathetic to my agony. Pinning my shoulders onto the bed, and In a very soft and loving voice she whispered in my ear, “try child birth”

Patrick Willis is a pretty spectacular football player. In 2007 Willis  was drafted by the 49ers in the first round. He played college football for (“Ole Miss”) the University of Mississippi and received All-American honors.  As a senior at Ole Miss, he received the Butkus Award and the Jack Lambert Award as the nation’s top linebacker. A year later as a member of the 49ers, Willis led the NFL in tackles, earned first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors while being named the 2007 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Willis has earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in all six years he has played in the NFL. He is the only player to receive the Butkus Award for best linebacker in more than one category. He won the college Butkus Award in 2006 while at Ole Miss and in 2009, he won the professional Butkus Award while with the San Francisco 49ers.  (Info from Wikipedia)

San Francisco 49ers Levis Stadium paintingAs some of you know I was contracted to paint five paintings for the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium art collection.  I had hoped to have the opportunity to paint Patrick Willis for the stadium but they had me do some other paintings.  The painting for my Dr. was a great opportunity to paint one of my favorite players playing in the NFL now.  The photo at the leftt is of me in the owner’s suite at Levi’s Stadium with my painting on the wall.

Football painting San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Steve Young art

Image of the 49ers’s great quarterback Steve Young. 22” x 28” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL and San Francisco 49ers. . Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.

Image of the 49ers’s great quarterback Steve Young. 22” x 28” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL and San Francisco 49ers. . Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.

Steve Young was named the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the NFL twice in 1992 and 1994, and the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX. All-Pro four times and named seven times to the Pro Bowl. Young also won a record six NFL passer rating titles.  He was in the National Football League (NFL) for fourteen seasons during the 1980s and 1990s.  He is 6-2, 205 lbs and played from 1985-1986 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 1987-1999 San Francisco 49ers

Young is also member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement, he had the highest passer rating among NFL quarterbacks who have thrown at least 1,500 passing attempts (96.8), and is currently ranked third. He is also still ranked highest amongst retired players.

To me, one of the interesting aspects of Steve Young is that he is a left-handed quarterback – obvious in my painting of Steve Young. I find that interesting because I am also left-handed and aware of other lefties.  It was reported  (just kidding Steve)) that when Steve Young first picked up a football he asked if it was a left-handed one.

What I had not considered is that being a left-handed quarterback puts more of a burden on the right tackle as he has to protect the blind side of the left-handed quarterback (something the right tackle probably didn’t get much practice at in college)   As it is the left tackle for a right-handed quarterback who is protecting the blind side of the normally right-handed quarterback.  This is why (generally) a left tackle makes more money than the right tackle – because he is protecting a right-handed quarterback – protecting that blind spot.

There are only a couple of left-handed quarterbacks playing now. And the question arises, why not more?  The retired quarterback Phil Simms has an interesting theory

“There’s no conspiracy against left-handed quarterbacks or anything,” he says.. “They’re just all playing baseball now. They’re all pitchers, making much more money in a different sport. It starts at a young age, too. Once the coaches see a lefty with a big arm, they turn him into a pitcher. Percentage-wise, you see far more left-handed pitchers in baseball than you see left-handed quarterbacks in football.”

During his NFL career, Steve Young the left-hander threw for 3,000 or more yards six times and had 20 or more touchdown passes in a season five times, and posted a passer rating of 100 or higher six times.  Aside from his passing ability, Young was a constant threat as a runner.  He ran for 4,239 yards and scored 43 rushing touchdowns. –

Funny story Steve Young told at his induction speech to the Football Hall of Fame.  “Ironically it was my mom who kicked off my football career with a bang as she charged the field when I was 8 years old. She was upset that another kid had neck tackled me and knocked the wind out of me. She knew that neck tackling was illegal and since no penalty was called she felt it imperative to rush the field and help her little boy. I was scared to death as I saw her sprinting across the field, with good speed I might add, assuming she was coming to give me a kiss or something. Imagine the visual: late 1960’s—20’s aged woman, lady, in a dress, on a football field, purse on her shoulder, big sunglasses, high-heeled shoes aerating the field. In horror, she passed by me and grabbed the kid from the other team. Adrenaline pumping, she picked up the boy by the shoulder pads and told him that the hit was illegal and that he better not do it again! Mom, now you know why we never gave you any field level tickets over the last 17 years. My greatest cheerleader.“

Here is an interesting comment by Steve Young about his seven concussions he suffered before retiring in 1999.  The interview was on PBS FRONTLINE.  Young told FRONTLINE he worries about the toll that routine head hits are taking on linemen and running backs. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted with FRONTLINE’s Jim Gilmore on March 27, 2013.

Jim Gilmore: “One last thing on the way you played and stuff, and it says something about the intensity of how players play. Your rep was always that you would refuse to be taken out of the game, that you would be basically ready to go back, sort of hide from the coach and whatever and be ready to go back on the field before a replacement or anything else.”

Young: “Sure.”

Gilmore:  “What was that all about?”

Young:  “I think that’s the nature of the game, too. It demands all of you. And the culture is that you can play hurt; you can play wounded. And the culture is that you can get through all. Guys did it all the time, so that’s the hard part.

And that’s what, as we get into concussions, that’s the nefarious nature of concussions, because you can have a bad knee and the doctor looks at it and they watch you run and everyone has 100 percent knowledge. You might say, “Oh, I feel this way.” If you can run, if they can tape it up and you can go, then you can [play], and the doctor can see stability. We know what we’re dealing with, and now we can kind of generally take a pretty good assumption of the risk.

As a player, that’s why concussions are so difficult, because even the experts, even the people that you say, “OK, am I OK?” “I don’t know. How do you feel?” You know, it’s a really tough one.”

In conclusion one of his quotes sums ujp how he felt about playing the game.  Steve Young,   -“It was a lot of fun. I love coming out here to play. I had a couple of tackles.”

Football Painting Quarterback Payton Manning Denver Broncos Art

 Image is Denver Broncos Payton Manning. 24” x 30” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL/AFC West. Newsprint attached to 1 ½” stretched canvas.

Image is Denver Broncos Payton Manning. 24” x 30” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL/AFC West. Newsprint attached to 1 ½” stretched canvas.

Payton Manning, quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL) had one of the greatest seasons of his career in 2013.  It will be interesting to see if he can duplicate his success that he had last year – he is thirty-eight years old.

As five-time league MVP, he played for the Indianapolis Colts for 14 seasons from 1998 to 2011. He is a son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and an elder brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

Payton is about the most competitive player to play the game.  As Adam Meadows said, (who played with Manning with the Colts,) “He lives, eats, breathes, smokes, snorts, chews football. … “He’s just a machine. That’s all he wants to do.”  Meadows was one of Manning’s linemen for a few years as a Colt.  They had a close relationship of one that a quarterback would have with his linemen.  But one time Payton wanted to have Meadows around and talk about plays and watch game films.  Meadows ‘ wife was having their second baby and he needed to leave for the baby’s birth.   Manning wanted to know why why they couldn’t have babies in the offseason.

All that review of films is what makes Manning the great quarterback that he is.  This philosophy can be applied to anyone who wants to be successful in their field – constant review and analysis of your previous actions and decisions.   Manning says,   “If you ever feel like that’s not important — like, ‘Hey, I don’t need to watch last season; I know what we did; I know what I did wrong’ — no, you don’t know,” Manning said. “You need to watch it. Watch the bad plays. It’s not fun to watch bad plays, to sit there and say, ‘That’s a bad decision’ and ‘That’s a really bad decision’ and ‘Horrible read.’ … No matter how old you are, you need to go into that prepared to be constructively criticized and learn how to grow out of the mistakes every year.”

What I always like about watching Payton Manning quarterbacking is when he comes to the line and is checking out the defense – the glancing around, the pointing of the finger, etc.  Dan Patrick in an interview with Payton Manning asked about his eye contact with defensive players.

“Patrick: Do you make eye contact with the defense? Is there a player you look at?

Manning: I check the middle linebacker, kind of come with that eye on him because you can see if he’s cheating one way or the other. And then I’ll find the two safeties.

D Patrick: But you’ll look at them.

Manning: Yeah, I’ll look at their eyes as opposed to their jersey numbers and it’s like a second of staring. My first year, I didn’t really do it quite as much. I was kind of scared they might, like, tell me to quit looking at them. But now I’ve gotten to the point where I look at them. Especially if they’re a young player, I think it might make them a little bit uneasy.”

One of my favorite lines that Payton Manning reportedly said according to writer Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated was prior to a Super Bowl a few years ago.  The Colts had banned hotel-room visits from relatives and friends the week before the game. Manning said during a team meeting, “I don’t want any crying kids next to me while I’m trying to study,”

If you are a football nerd and want some great insightful information and detail (more than any normal fan would want to know) in how Manning has run an offense here is a great article about it by Chris B. Brown …” a return to the simplicity of Peyton Manning…

Football art Chicago Bears running back Gail Sayers painting

“Gail Sayers” 10” x 14” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old newsprint,) Gail Sayers considered one of the great players with the Chicago Bears. Newsprint attached to stretched canvas.

“Gail Sayers” 10” x 14” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old newsprint,) Gail Sayers considered one of the great players with the Chicago Bears. Newsprint attached to stretched canvas.

Gail also known as “The Kansas Comet” was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1960s and early 1970s. He played college football for the University of Kansas, and was twice recognized as an All-American. He was a first-round pick in the 1965 NFL Draft, and played his entire pro career for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.  Selected to the Pro Bowl four times (1965, 1966, 1967 and 1969) and five times in consecutive All-Pro (1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969), he is part of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1977. His number 40 was retired by the franchise of the Chicago Bears. It is also part of the NFL team of the 1960s and the team’s 75th anniversary of the NFL. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian’s Song. During his seventh season in Chicago, Sayers suffered a career-ending knee injury. He retired from the sport in 1972.

George Halas,was the iconic founder and owner of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears.  Halas didn`t believe in starting rookies, but with Gail he felt a little different and Sayers delivered.  In his first heavy pre-season action, he raced 77 yards on a punt return, 93 yards on a kickoff return, and then startled everyone with a 25-yard scoring pass against the Los Angeles Rams. –Sayers’ records include most touchdowns in a rookie season,  (22 in 1965).  Also in Sayers record book he had the most touchdowns in a game (6, tied with Nevers and Jones), highest career kickoff return average (30.56), and most return touchdowns in a game.

Gail Sayers said, “”give me 18 inches of daylight that’s all I  need”, which meant that all the offensive line had to do was to open up a small hole in the defensive line for him of 18 inches and he could squeeze and zig-zag through for some good yardage.  Mike Ditka, who played for Chicago and later coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New Orleans Saints for three years said of Sayers, “if you’re talking about making people miss and cutting back, nobody was ever better than him.”  Dick Butkus, the great linebacker who played with Sayers (and one of my all time favorite players) said of Sayers “He had a great ability to come at you and then…he’s gone.  He was something to play with.  I’m just glad he was on our team.”

Gail Sayers said, “There’s no way I would have made the Hall of Fame or set any of the records I did by myself. No matter how many yards I gained, whether it was three or 300, someone had to be there to make the block,

Here is a portion of Gail Sayers Hall of Fame speech, July 30, 1977, that I like best, “God gave me a great gift and I had a lot of help developing for this occasion. Reaching this point, however, is not as important as striving to get here. This is true in all professions and all of life’s activities. There are doctors, lawyers, schoolteachers, plumbers all who strive to do their very best with their abilities. We hear a lot today about how the American people have lost their dedication to excellence. I don’t believe that is true. Each  of us excels at different things, sometimes in areas that are only a hobby, more often in our life vocation. The most important thing, however, is to strive to do our very best. Nothing is more of a waste than unrealized potential. Sometimes failure to use one’s talents to the fullest is often the fault of the individual. Nothing could be more tragic. I am sure many of you have been to a Special Olympics and if you have, I am sure you have felt the same exhilaration I have felt in watching young people with disabilities strive as hard as they can in various events. The sense of satisfaction they get from striving is to them much more important than where they finish in the competition. As Robert Rawlings said, ‘A man’s reach should exceed his grasp’. It is describing to reach a goal that is important and if you should reach that goal, set new goals and strive for them.”

A Friend In Deed.  While at his first training camp, Sayers met fellow running back Brian Piccolo. The two became close friends and were the first racially mixed roommates in the history of the Bears. After cancer brought Piccolo’s life to an untimely end, Sayers’ book documenting their friendship became the basis for the TV movie, “Brian’s Song” starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. The film won the 1972 Golden Globe Award as the Best Film Made for Television and spawned a cult following that has persisted for almost three decades, and even resulted in a remake by Disney and ABC-TV in 2001.

 

After all is said and done about Gail Sayers, this is my favorite quote of his, “”Football is a very short-term proposition. Football really prepares you for nothing. The only thing I got out of football was the ability to work hard, and that’s it.”

 

Football Painting Chicago Bears Linebacker Dick Butkus

“Dick Butkus” 20” x 24” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL National League Conference. The painting is of the great Chicago Bears linebacker, Dick Butkus. Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.

“Dick Butkus” 20” x 24” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL National League Conference. The painting is of the great Chicago Bears linebacker, Dick Butkus. Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.

Dick Butkus graduated from the University of Illinois where he was a two time All- American line backer. A first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, Dick played for them from 1965-1973, and was named All-Pro linebacker seven times. Mr. Butkus was elected into the NFL “Football Hall of Fame” at Canton, Ohio in 1979. Many football garu’s consider Dick Butkus the finest line backer in the history of football.  The Chicago Bears retired his uniform number 51.

I Think I have painted or drawn Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears five times.  As I have said before, he is one of my all-time favorite players.  A great number of years ago I was in a lumberyard in Malibu (The old Malibu Lumber, on Pacific Coast Highway) and I turned to see who the guy next to me was (in Malibu there is a good chance for celebrity sightings)  Lo and behold it was Dick Butkus.  I slobered all over him, telling him how much I had enjoyed watching him play.  He asked if I had seen him on the silver screen..  I said I did not find watching him act quite as enjoyable but I did like him in those old in Miller Lite commercials. (Probably way before your time)

He had a group of different nicknames:  “The Robot of Destruction,”  “The Maestro of Mayhem,”  “The Enforcer,” and “The Animal.”   Arthur Kretchmer in his article “Butkus: One Season And One Injury With The Meanest Man Alive” says, when speaking to Butkus,  “Dave Meggyesy, the ex-Cardinal, says that football is so brutal he was taught to use his hands to force a man’s cleats into the turf and then drive his shoulder into the man’s knee to rip his leg apart. That ever happen to you?” Butkus’ response; …”Hell, no! All you’d have to do is roll with the block and step on the guy’s face.”

I lke his closing lines to Dick Butkus’s Hall of Fame induction speech.  There is something very humble about it.  “I consider being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the top of my dream. For only on the top can I see the whole view. And I can now see what I have done and what I can do from now on. I have a new vision and a new goal now and that is simply to be a better husband and a better father and a better person. Along with the other enshrinees, I will always try to be a proud representative of this the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thank you very much.”