Sports Artist John Robertson's most recent commercial project (upcoming Milwaukee Bucks 2018) the remodel of the NFL Green Bay Packers football stadium suites area that opened in July 2017 – (8 paintings) and three (8 feet by 15 feet) baseball paintings for the new MLB Atlanta Braves stadium that opened in April 2017. Click on the “About” link for more commercial sports stadiums and arenas work.
During the playoffs I have created football art painting of plays from the teams where some of my family live. This football painting is of the football team Philadelphia Eagles in the city where one of my niece’s lives. The painting is of receiver Torry Smith during the NFC Championship game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. In the third quarter of the football game, Smith caught a 41 yard pass from quarterback Nick Foles. Torry caught the ball in front of Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings and dove into the end zone. Torry had a good game with five catches for sixty-nine yards, but what made it special was this touchdown catch. That’s me with the painting – sports artist John Robertson
Torrey Smith Family Fund
I didn’t know much about Torry Smith before doing the painting. Mot of the time I just read basic statistics and a little history about the players – just to keep informed. What I discovered about Torry Smith was his foundation – The Torrey Smith Family Fund. It is a…”nonprofit that aims to provide youth with the tools they need to identify, unleash and reach their full potential.” Here is a website giving information about the foundation TorreySmith.org and information on his work in the community. It sounds like a great organization. What I liked in particular was a couple of things they did. To quote from his web page, ….During the 2016 offseason, Smith funded every school in East Baltimore to help give students the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. He appeared on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to promote the effort. Another progream,…”In honor of Torrey’s late brother, Tevin Jones, the Torrey Smith Family Fund awards four annual college scholarships to high school seniors. Recipients of the scholarship are awarded $5,000, distributed over four years. What a great gift to the community. All my best to you, Torry.
If you are here on my blog you should already know that I am a sports artist who has created sports paintings for the Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium. A great moment in Vikings football history was made last weekend in a playoff game with the New Orleans Saints when Vikings quarterback, Cade Keenum throws a forth-quarter walk-off pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs. For me, a Vikings fan this was an exciting moment and one that I wanted to capture in paint. Sometimes a sports play comes along that needs to be painted just for the joy of recreating a scene or action.
Seven Heaven Play
Some of you football fans already know that this play is called, seven heaven. For a sports artist this is a perfect opportunity to paint a great play. The play is a deep corner route and if the quarterback, in this case, Case Keenum hits the wide receiver, in this case it’s Stefon Diggs, then something heavenly happens. And in this particular case, the play saved the Minnesota Vikings season and crushed the New Orleans Saints and moved the Vikings into the NFC Championship Game.
Narrative of the Play
Here’s a quick rundown of how the play went down. There was 10 seconds showing on the clock and it was 3rd and 10 . The Vikings were at their own 39 yard line. Stefon Diggs runs the seven heaven route, catches the pass, the cornerback misses the tackle (I’m not giving his name as he has had enough hassle about his missed play) and Diggs scores. It was the first time a walk-off touchdown has been made in NFL playoff history. And what does Keenum say about this? With a dazed and goofy look there is not too much can one day accept, “Dude, I can’t believe this!” Who can. It was a spectacular finish to an exciting game.
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 sure 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.
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 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.
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 running 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.
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 lasted 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
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 for 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 the 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.
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 make 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.
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 Art 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 Owner’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.
Here are some interesting facts about a football: It takes about 600 cows to make one full season’s worth of NFL footballs.
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.
A cow has only a 1 in 17,420,000 chance of becoming an NFL football that is used in the
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.”
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
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.
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: 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.
Jim 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 of 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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
We walked into a small conference room at the San Francisco 49er’s Levi’s Stadium. We were there for a tour of the art collection in which the 49er’s had purchased five paintings from me for their collection. All three of the monitors in the room had one of my images on the screen. The original is 6 feet by 8 feet acrylic on canvas. We did not have access to where the original had been hung as that part of the stadium had not been totally finished.
“You can do high-end art, and it can depict sports and the environment and still be fine art,” said Tracie Speca-Ventura, founder of Sports & the Arts, which has handled art at venues such as Yankee Stadium and Marlins Park and has drawn interest from the Kings about their new arena. “Everyone looks down on sports art,” she said. “So that’s what my fight was, and it’s something the 49ers really got behind. The (York family) became invested and so did management. It became very intimate with this building.”… “It goes back to, art’s not for the elitist,” she said. “Art can really be for the people. We are all impacted by it… It captures a moment and an era.”
I had painted this larger than life football painting of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning a little while back but it seemed appropriate to post as the season is coming up . I always enjoy listening to interview of Eli as he comes up with some good quotes. He said, “Opportunities are running out, and this is the do-or-die situation when the ball is in your hands, and you can either help your team to victory or not. And so I want to be in those situations. I think about them, and almost look forward to them.”
This large-scale image of Eli is approximately 3 1/2 feat by 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
My contribution to the Venice Family Clinic Artwalk silent auction in Venice, Ca. You can view and bid online and see other artwork donated for the clinic at: http://theveniceartwalk.org/500_silentartauction.htm. #VeniceFamilyClinic. #Venice Artwalk
Sports image of 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. The painting was in the recent Santa Monica Museum “Incognito” show in Santa Monica, Ca.
The great Chicago Bears running back, number 40 Gail Sayers Known as “the Kansas Comet”. (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1960s and early 1970s,, Sayers is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian’s Song. The painting is 10 1/2′ by 14 1/2′ acrylic and ink on paper mounted on a backing cardboard. Over the backing is newsprint articles ind information about the Chicago Bears The size does not include the frame. Favorite Gail Sayers quote, “”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. Well, I played football, but you guys are out here giving a lot to make lives and to save lives. You need each other as much as we need you. Please continue to do what you’re doing.” Speaking to soldiers.
Running back Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears image. Payton has a couple of quotes that represents what kind of guy he was. The first one lives up to his nickname of “Sweetness”. The quote is, “Most important thought, if you love someone, tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.” And the second quote speaks of his about the way in which he played the game. “Running alone is the toughest. You get to the point where you have to keep pushing yourself.” Payton is one of my grandson’s favorite player so I painted this as a gift to him for his 21st birthday.
The sports art image painting is 24’ x 36” acrylic and ink on canvas.
One of my favorite players, Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears. I had asked for suggestions on Facebook who to paint nest. My friend Greg suggested Butkus. Favorite quote from Butkus “I’m not so mean. I wouldn’t ever go out to hurt anybody deliberately – unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something.” The image is about 6 1/2 feet on a 4 feet by 8 feet piece of paper using ink and acrylic.