Tag Archives: lineman

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.

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.