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.
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.
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.”
Deon Sanders was a star cornerback who played 14 NFL seasons from 1989-2005. Here is what I think is the best part of Deon Sanders – Hall of Fame enshrinement speech of Aug 7, 2011. Deon Sanders was a star cornerback who played 14 NFL seasons from 1989-2005:
“This game, this game, this game. And I went at this game and attacked this game because I made a promise that I needed this game to fulfill.
I made a promise when I was seven years old to this young woman at the age of 27. She was working two jobs just to see if ends could see one another because they never met. And she was slaving over pots and pans on that precise day. I can remember, it was a little high chair right by the kitchen. In the kitchen there was a high chair right by the stove that she was cooking.
And I said, mama, because I was tired of seeing her go to work and come home all tired. I said I’m going to be rich one day. Mama, “I’m going to make a lot of money, and you will never have to work another day of your life.” My mama said “that’s fine, but until then you get that lawnmower and go out there and cut that grass.”
14 years later, that’s why you can’t give up on your dream, your promise, because 14 years later, this dream, this promise came. That I was able to allow my mama to go into a job and say I’m not doing it anymore. My son has blessed me.
But there is something inside of me, mama, that I never told you. That I never could admit, and I’m going to share it with all of you, because now we’re family. I played for a youth team called the Fort Myers Rebels and they blessed me. They took me all over the country to expose me to things, to expose you to things.
Everybody on their team, their parents owned something. Their parents were doctors or lawyers or the chief of police. It was that type of organization. Me and one of my friends were the only African American kids on that team. It was a very affluent team, and I was ashamed of my mama because my mama worked in the hospital. She cleaned up the hospital, and I was ashamed of my mama who sacrificed, who loved me, who protected me, who gave me everything. I want to make sure I was best dressed in school and I had everything that was laid that came out. I had it first.
I was ashamed of my mama because one of my friends in high school, he saw her in a hospital one night pushing a cart, and he came back and he clowned me, he ridiculed me and he mocked me because of my mama.
So I made a pledge to myself that I don’t care what it takes, I don’t care what it may take, I’m not going to do anything illegal, but my mama would never have to work another day of her life.”
Deon Sanders was a star cornerback who played 14 NFL seasons from 1989-2005. Sanders Played for a variety of NFL football teams and used both # 21 and #37. He was sometimes called “Neon Dion” because of his flashy style on the field and in his personal dress code. Sanders once said, “I never wear the same shoe twice.” As a continuation of his thoughts about being flashy he said, ““If you look good, you feel good, If you feel good, you play good, If you play good, they pay good.”
Sanders played football primarily at cornerback, but also as a kick returner, punt returner and occasionally as a running back or wide receiver. Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back and Sanders’ teammate from 1995-99 said about him, “You don’t get to this level by not performing. A lot of guys play the game, but when you start looking at his performance and what he’s been able to accomplish in the period of time that he played, you know he shut down one side of the football field. That says a lot about an athlete and a player.
He played for the Atlanta Falcons, the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens, winning the Super Bowl with both the 49ers and the Cowboys. Sanders was a perennial All-Pro and one of the most feared pass defenders to ever play the game. While at Dallas – Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager said of Deon Sanders, “I think he could be, and you can make a good argument, the best to have played the position. I think it’s noteworthy of the impact he made. At one time he had the most touchdowns per touching the ball of anybody in the National Football League. When he got his hands on it, if anybody could, he could take it to the house. I think that’s pretty interesting and that’s why we made him a receiver when he was here. That’s why we started using him on punt returns when he was here as well, just because of his entire career.”
These photos show one of my paintings in the owner’s suite of the San Francisco 49er’s in their new Levi’s Stadium, http://www.levisstadium.com/ I have 5 paintings in the new San Francisco 49er’s Art Collection at Levi’s Stadium, It is part of over 200 original paintings. If you go to a previous post you will see one of my paintings shown on the large LED video display screen that are in the end zones of the stadium.
My wife,http://www.lynnhanson.com/LynnHanson.com/home.html has 14 drawings also in the San Francisco 49er’s art collection. We traveled to the stadium a few days ago for the opening of the stadium with the 23 other artists that are in the 49er’s collection. We toured the stadium, met some really nice 49er people and had a great reception for the artists and the press.
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.
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.
Football image, sports art of Cincinnati Bengals Giovani Bernard running back , One of the early statements about Bernard was, “Bernard is the future at running back in Cincinnati” Obviously the future is now with Bernard who is in contention as a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate. I watched him on TV in a game a couple of weeks ago and was inspired to do this painting of him. The painting is 40” by 96” ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.