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.
In watching the NCAA finals between Villanova and Michigan it made me think of what it takes to be a great athlete – because, I think, the same principles apply to almost anything anyone wants to do. In my case it is or was to be a good artist I say good and not great as I know what my physical and mental laminations are. One does have to start out with some sort of talent but it is how they use them.
There are differences. In basketball it is a team sport and you have to learn early that you try to do what’s best for the team. Trying to make sure everyone’s playing together as one unit. In painting, it is pretty much up to the individual artist in creating their work. But to be more than that individual artist you have too participate in a team effort to be part of a larger picture of artists around you – artist that gives you support and guidance and help you develop.
It’s like a fourteen year old kid who practices and learns to be a really good shooter, and learns great ball handling and dribbling skills but until he can play on a team and be part of it, he won’t amount to anything. He will just be a kid shooting basketballs down at the gym. What you want to happen is for a new talent to join up with more advanced players, or in my case mid-career artists, who can take a development route towards more advanced play.
The problem arises when players (artists) want to take a shorter route, to get into the marketplace without all the tools that take time to develop. In the case of a a high school player, he might think he is ready for the pros, or the college player who wants to leave early out of the program and sign early. Occasionally it works for that exceptional player but normally they need to stay and mature. I don’t care what you want to do – artist, basketball player asparagus farmer, whatever it is. Whatever it is, there is no easy path except hard work and time.
Amway Sports Arena
Basketball sports art. The new Amway sports arena in Orlando Florida purchased this basketball art. This is where the NBA Orlando Magic plays. The sports image came from a photograph I took of the basketball players that play on the courts in Venice CA. The basketball courts were the ones used when filming the great basketball movie, “White Men Can’t Jump.”
Chipper Jones made it! Chipper Jones MLB baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Well done on making it into the Hall of Fame on your first year of eligibility. This baseball painting of Chipper Jones for the SunTrust Stadium, Delta Sky Club in the new in Atlanta Braves stadium in 2017. The sports art painting is 15 feet by 8 feet in acrylic paint.
Chipper Jones data
Third baseman Chipper Jones played his whole career with Atlanta Braves for 19 years. Jones had a relatively easy time getting into baseball’s Hall of Fame as he got named on 97.2% of the ballots. His statistics shows his record of eight-time All-Star and the 1999 National League MVP, Jones had a career batting average of .303 with 468 home runs. Any baseball fan can see why Chipper was selected with numbers that show a combination batting average of over .300 %, .400 on-base average, 500 slugging average and 400 home runs. Those number show why Chipper Jones on his first year of eligibility jumped into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Chipper Jones Thoughts
Here is a few thoughts Chipper Jones has said about playing baseball that sums up his statistics and how he played the game. Jones said, “We can bunt guys over. But we’re built on power. That’s American baseball.” But in contrast to that statement he also said that he felt his proudest accomplishments was that he had more walks than strikeouts. About his percentage numbers? “I was always of the belief that if you go up there and you’re the toughest out possible every single time you walk up to the plate, the numbers are going to take care of themselves,’’ he said. About entering the MLB Baseball Hall of Fame? “This is day that’s going to change my life forever. We have a handful of those during our lifetime, transcendent moments that just change your life forever. Today was certainly one of them.’’
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.
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 photo
he had just had autographed a page from a book that has one of my paintings of the famous “Purple People Eaters” . They were the great front four linemen for the Vikings. “The Purple People Eaters” included; Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall. The painting commission hangs in the new Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I met Jim at the art opening for the US Bank stadium a week ago.
Jim Marshall “Silver Eagle”
Jim Marshall created from the nickname he gave himself “silver eagle”. He liked to draw an eagle on his football uniform that “became synonymous with the Viking legend,” according 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. My wife is from Minnesota and I have been going back with her at least once or twice a year since we have been together. Marshall is a few years older than me so we are contemporaries. He is a big, big man standing six foot four and two hundred and forty five pounds.
“Purple People Eaters” painting by Sports Artist John Robertson
The painting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas. The “Purple People Eaters’ painting is in the Gold Suites lobby to Norsemen’s suites in the US Bank stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play. This is a private area for the suite owners but the doors are sometimes left opened so one can see them from the public area.
One of my pieces ( artist John Robertson) In the new Minnesota Vikings stadium is The “Purple People Eaters” which shows the legendary linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall. The painting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas. The “Purple People Eaters’ painting is in the Gold Suites lobby to Norsemen’s suites. This is a private area for the suite owners but the doors are sometimes left opened so one can see them from the public area.
What was fun about the opening is meeting Carl Eller and Jim Marshall who autographed the photograph art book featuring the stadium’s artists. We also had a chance to meet the great Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant.
US Bank Football Stadium
We went to the art collection opening at the new U.S. Bank Stadium where the NFL Minnesota Vikings will be playing their football games starting this 2016 2017 football season. The stadium has a museum-quality art collection. Both my wife (Lynn Hanson) and I have pieces of art in this collection.
U.S. Bank Stadium has some unique features in comparison to other NFL stadiums, It has the largest transparent roof in the nation and five 95-feet high pivoting glass doors that will open to a nearly three-acre plaza and the Minneapolis downtown skyline. While the stadium’s roof will be fixed, the transparent 200,000 square feet of glass throughout the building will give fans an outdoor feel in a climate-controlled environment. The stadium seats are just 41 feet from the sideline. Seven levels in the stadium and it has two of the largest and highest-quality HD video boards in the NFL that are located in both the east and west end zones.
Minnesota Vikings Stadium Art Collection
To see a short video of some of the collection you can go to : http://www.usbankstadium.com/about-the-stadium/art-collection/ You will see two of my paintings in the video. What is an interesting side comment is that my name is not listed on the collection artist’s list although my paintings are in the stadium. My understanding is that only a couple of artists that were not from Minnesota were included in the collection – me being one of them. This was intentional as the other artists not from Minnesota were also left off the list. My wife, Lynn Hanson was include as she is from Minnesota and her sister lives about an hour from downtown Minneapolis.
I have no idea when Jim Thorpe showed up in my conscientiousness. But he seemed to always be there. I am sure it had to do with my step-father who loved football. In my youth we
used to go to the old LA Rams games at the LA Coliseum in 1952 -53 to see quarterback Bob Waterfield, and Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsh, and my favorite of all nicknames for a football player, Dick “Night Train” Lane.
I am sure my step-dad told me the stories that most people heard about Jim Thorpe – winning the gold medal in the pentathlon in 1912 Olympics, crowned by the King of Sweden as “the greatest athlete in the world. In which Thorpe said, “thanks King.” This is what Thorpe said about track and field; “…Track and field, because it was something I could do by myself, one-on-one, me against everybody else.” And then my step-dad would go one about Thorpe’s college football career at Carlisle and becoming an All American in 1912 and 1913. He played professional football for seven different teams and signed with the New York Giants baseball team in 1913. He had different feelings about playing college football and professional football. Thorpe said, “[T]he college game…brings out that something which is lacking in the pro game–I guess you could call it spirit. The college player…will willingly sacrifice his leg to gain the necessary yards that spell victory for his team. That’s spirit. The professional gridder will play it safe, because he wants to be in condition to earn more money in his next game. That’s business.”
As an Athlete
There were years Thorpe played in both pro sports of football and baseball at the same time. And then the bad news came that he had played sports for money during the Olympic years and was stripped of his medals. As Thorpe said about it, ” “I went to play baseball in North Carolina for a couple of summers and paid for it the rest of my life.”
As I loved to play sports, particularity football I knew his story well. We always thought of Jim Thorpe as the great football player from his success at Carlisle Indian Industrial School. (as an aside: The link is to the Wikipedia information about Carlisle and very interesting – about early turn-of-the-century college football and Indian affairs) I, like a lot of boys wanted to be a football player. This was long before there was any real organized football for children. (We were called children then, not youth.) So we got shoulder pads and helmets (with Ram colors and insignias) and banged into each other on the grass and sidewalks in front of our houses. In those days the helmets had one single bar in front of the face so it was easy to catch an elbow or knee into the face. Sixty years have not erased some of the scars.
Hall of Fame – Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe was eventually inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1963 in the inaugural class of 17 athletes. Grantland Rice, a legendary sportswriter said that Thorpe was the greatest football player ever. It wasn’t because he was the best at any particular aspect of the game, passing, running, tackling but that he was really good in all of them making for a great, all around football player.
As we all know Andre Ethier the MLB left-handed outfielder is still out with his broken leg mending. He has played his whole major league baseball with the Dodgers. He did start in the Oakland farm system but he’s never did play in the Major League with Oakland and started with the Dodgers in 2006. Andre does have an interesting ritual before every game—ever since he was in the minors—he eats a peanut butter and honey sandwich on wheat bread and two spoonfuls of tuna. One of the interesting things Ethier has said about himself is, “I wasn’t an all-American, and I wasn’t drafted until the second round. I wasn’t that guy everybody said to watch out for the next couple of years because I was going to make a big impact. I guess that lights a little fire under you and makes you want to show what you can do.”
Value of Playing for one Team
There is something valuable in a player that has only played for one team. They seem more real, not a rent-a-player, moving from one team to another. They care more about their own team. In his eight years with the Dodgers he has seen the good, the bad and the ugly – the success in October and the failures that can start in the July’s – and the seasons with the injuries. He’s a he’s a 2-time All-Star with a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove in his history.
Because he has been able to perform under pressure he was given the nickname “Cap’n Clutch”. In one season he had six walk-off hits which included four walk-off home runs that tied the Major League record for most in a season. When asked about it in a Sporting News interview he said, “It’s one of those funny things. People understand that I’m pretty intense when I go up there, pretty focused and locked in; I can have that tight, white knuckled- grip look to me. I wasn’t that good in those situations early in my career; I was awful in those big, game-changing at-bats. I think I established that you can learn to become good at that but it takes a certain easiness and calmness to do it. There’s nothing better than having a feeling going up there: I want to be in that situation; I can’t wait to get that at-bat. Then you hit the ball and you look as you run around the bases—you just ended a game like that with one swing. It’s a great feeling. You’ve got to want to be in that situation because a lot of times you’re going to fail. But it’s what you look for. If anything, I’ve shown that I’m able to handle that situation and come through.” A couple of his accomplishments: He broke the Dodger record for most consecutive at-bats with a hit. He’s the only Dodger to have more than 30 doubles in six consecutive seasons.
What others Say About Andre Ethier
As Don Mattingly, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers said, “It’s like you’d rather have Andre up with the game on the line in the ninth…” Mattingly continued, “That’s kind of the thinking there. You save for the biggest at-bat in the ninth.” This gives the Los Angeles Dodger fans those great “Captain Clutch” late-inning heroics.
There has been some question about Ethier batting against left-handers. In a GQ article Andre addressed a the question asked by Nathaniel Penn : “Against right-handed pitchers, your numbers are spectacular. Against left-handed pitchers, you’ve struggled throughout your career. That spring your manager, Don Mattingly, had to defend you and affirm that he’s not going to platoon you this season—i.e., bench you when the Dodgers are facing a left-handed starting pitcher. At this point in your career, how do you go about improving your ability to hit lefties?
[This area] is one where I think more than anything this spring we—I mean me and [Dodgers hitting coach] at the time, Mark McGwire—have been working really hard. Nothing mechanical, just more the mental side: visualizing and making ourselves better and really figuring out a way to just be confident in all situations.
Sometimes as a baseball player or just an athlete in general you stick to the things you do well and you keep practicing those things. Those areas where you have issues you try to fix ’em but at the same time you try to limit your exposure to those. But in baseball you gotta go up there and face everyone in every situation. I think it’s a thing where now lefties are coming out of the bullpen earlier in the game to face left-handed hitters. There’s maybe two lefties in the bullpen that are there every day just to try to get you out when those big at-bats are coming. You gotta learn those guys; it’s just how the game’s really been evolving.”
Although he has not played this season he does have a good perspective on his future play. Andre said, When I get back … “I just want to take advantage of every day that I’m in the lineup.”
A number of years ago when the NBA Brooklyn Nets were playing under the name of the New Jersey Nets I had painted a group of basketball and hockey paintings for the Prudential Sports Arena in New Jersey. I did three basketball paintings for them.
I think the painting is of Kris Humphries when he played for the New Jersey Nets. I am not absolutely sure. What do you think? Certainly there is enough photos of Kris to make the comparison – on and off the court. Humphries later signed with the Atlanta Hawks.
Kris Humphries Odd History
Humphries has, in my opinion kind of an odd history with his marriage to reality TV personality Kim Kardashian. It was turned into a Ringling Bros. circus in a two-part TV special showing the preparations (Just what I wanted to see on TV) – and the wedding itself aired on E network (Something else I did not want to miss Unfortunately my Tivo was nor working that day) in what the Washington Post called a “media blitz” related to the wedding. The marriage didn’t last long, 72 days – half a basketball season. Humphries requested an annulment on the grounds of fraud or a decree of legal separation rather than Kardashian’s requested divorce. A lot of the news outlets thought (along with half the sports world) Kardashian’s marriage to Humphries was a publicity stunt for financial gain orchestrated by E! Entertainment and Kris and Kim Kardashian to promote the Kardashian family’s brand and their television ventures. (Well, it worked) Humphries and Kardashian’s divorce was finalized on June 3, 2013.
Someone recently saw the NHL Red Devils paintings at the arena but I have no idea if the basketball paintings were moved to the new Barclays Stadium in Brooklyn where the Brooklyn Nets now play. If anyone has seen the paintings I would appreciate any information about them
About the Basketball Painting
The Brooklyn Nets NBA Art painting is 36″ x 48″ acrylic and ink on a gallery wrapped frame. Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold, including this one. 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.
Under the new baseball slide rule into second, “both baseball players have to wear a dress.” At least, that is what one of the Major League baseball managers was quoted as saying. His point being that the MLB was taking all of the “sport” out baseball.
If the baseball player can’t go into second base with “spikes up and wide” in an attempt to break up the double play, then where is the excitement and risk of the game? One of the new rules state: “A runner sliding into second has to make “a bona fide attempt” not just to slide into the base, but also to “remain on the base.” In other words, “no interference”. In the case of this baseball painting the base runner is trying to interfere with the shortstop.
Keep Baseball Entertaining
It seems to me, part of the reason to slide into second base, during the possibility of a double play, is to interfere with the play. Another way to break up the double play is to run the base path so the baseman can’t throw straight to first base. So, instead of taking out the danger of the play, with the baseball slide rule they should put a rule in to make it a greater risk for the base runner to run the bases. And that would be, the base runner has to run the bases in a straight line between the bases. But, with the new rule, the baseman may throw the ball at the base runner, and the base runner is not allowed to duck. That kind of evens out the whole “fairness” of a need for a slide rule. Let’s make sure both basemen and base runners are, “at risk” and keep the game as entertaining as ever. Maybe, even more entertaining.
If the League thinks it is protecting baseball players, it is eliminating not the most dangerous aspects of the game. The most dangerous? – getting hit by a pitch. The next change is coming: protect the batter by putting him into a batting cage.
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.
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.”
The golf painting of PGA player Bubba Watson with hid perfect swing by sports art is John Robertson is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
When I was in college I managed a golf driving range for about a year. It could be boring standing at the counter asking, “premium or regular” which referred to the quality of the practice golf balls and not the quality of gasoline that was served at the “service” stations where I also worked. Among the other jobs at the golf driving range I had to do was to drive the “golf picker” which was an old Willies Jeep towing a raker that scraped up the golf balls from from the brown dirt. There were targets on the driving range at 50 yards and 100 yards and 150 yards and 200 yrds and 250 yards. But the main target was me driving the golf picker.
The fun part of the golf job was watching a golf hustler, who hung out at the driving range, hustling customers with his trick shots. He was about 5 feet 4 inches tall, and had to be over two hundred pounds. He wore crazy colored golf shorts and was as hairy as a fat, brown bear. I found a mentor.
I saw him out drive people with a shovel and a rake. I saw him make a bet with a guy that he could stand on one picnic bench, tee up a golf ball on another picnic bench (he put the tee between the crack between the two strip of wood on the bench) and with his favorite garden rake, drive the ball off the bench over 175 yards and hit the target out on the range. I saw him stand on one side of the golf shack and with a garden hoe, pitch the ball blindly over the shack and come within ten feet of the 75 yard target. I saw him pocket a lot of money. The owner said when he came around, chase him off. But the owner was seldom there and I was mentored and entertained. Also, as the saying goes, “don’t poke the bear.”
I had painted this image of Floyd Mayweather Jr. A couple of years ago and it probably is posted on this blog – but I thought I would post it again because of his unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana in their WBC welterweight championship fight a few nights ago. At thirty
-seven Mayweather is still going strong. He remains unbeaten in 47 fights. Tough to argue that he is not one of the great fighters. .
I’m not sure why I never really understood what boxing means. The loneliness of the fighter in the ring, the sweat and smell of the fighters, the grunting and groaning, the grappling and the punching just inches away from each other. It is about as basic as it can get. Primitive.
Gillette Friday Night Fights Pabst Blue Ribbon bouts
When I was a boy with my little baby face, I watched The Pabst Blue Ribbon bouts on Wednesday, Gillette Friday Night Fights and Saturday night fights with my father on a black and white TV. We watched a lot of fights – some of the great ones. There was the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Jersey Joe Walcott, Archie Moore (my favorite but hated his fight with Ali), Ezzard Charles, Joe Louis and Floyd Patterson. Some of these guys lasted into the 60’s.
At the time, all I could see was that two men trying to hurt each other for no reason that I knew of. I didn’t know about the money, the power over someone else, or that the pure love of fighting were reasons to fight. I didn’t see the discipline and control. I didn’t understand what it meant to a fighter who was blasted into the ropes, knocked there by a combination of devastating jabs and cross hooks. And as he crumbles to the canvas how his great goal was coming to an end. As Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
And what else I learned is what is so contrary to our basic, primitive instincts – that to be successful as a fighter you have to step into it. Maybe that is why I found it so captivating – the ability of a fighter who may be under a barrage of punches to the face, to lean in, to step in, instead of backing away from the assault. Because that is the life lesson I take from watching all those fights with my father. You have to stick your face out there.
Floyd Maywheather Jr. quote which should apply to everything we do: “I approach every fight like it’s my last fight.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is currently undefeated as a professional and is a five-division world champion. Super featherweight, Lightweight, Light welterweight, Welterweight, and Light middleweight. He has won ten world titles in the four different weight classes. EPSY has awarded Mayweather Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Mayweather is a two-time Ring magazine Fighter of the Year (winning the award in 1998 and 2007); he also won the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) Fighter of the Year award in 2007. Nicknames: Pretty Boy Money, TBE (The Best Ever). Height 5 ft. 8 in. Reach 72 inches. 47 wins – no losses. Olympic Games in Atlanta (1996) received a Bronze Medal as a featherweight. Information from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This golf art came about when Sonia posted a photograph of her son Bear Huff on my Facebook page . This is what she said “This is my son playing in the World Jr Masters Golf Tournament in Las Vegas, NV last year at 9 years old. Bear has been playing golf since he was 1 1/2 and in tournaments since he was 4.” He began his love of the game from watching his biggest fan and coach…his Daddy!
What I like about the game of golf is some of the interesting words used, like: “Birdies, Bogeys, and Bump and ” which to the to the uninitiated has little meaning. I always think of it in terms of football when a defensive back lines up in front of a wide receiver and bumps the receiver as he leaves the line of scrimmage (in the old days of football that was a slap to the helmet) to disrupt his route. In Nascar racing a “bump and run” is when a car from behind bumps intentionally the car in front of him (like a police pit maneuver) and then passes him by. Back to golf. The “bump and run” is, unlike a standard chip shot, where you want to carry the fringe of the green (that’s the hairy stuff around the green’s edge,), the goal with the bump-and-run is to get the ball to bounce a few times short of the green and roll to the hole.
Stupid Golf Joke
Which leads me to a stupid golf joke. Two golfers were trying to figure out which ball belonged to who as both were using a Titleist number three. Unable to decide they went to the clubhouse and asked the golf pro for a ruling After hearing their story and congratulating them both on their fine golf shot asked, “Now who was playing with the yellow ball?
I thought I might share a soccer painting I did for someone who has followed my paintings. They took the photograph of their eight year old son playing soccer in his after school sports program. The painting is 5 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
As you can see by the way this boy approaches the ball that he knows how to kick a soccer ball. You can tell that he has a high soccer IQ. Even being so young he looks quite impressive the way he is running down the field. I’d say, a natural athlete. I really don’t know anything about him other than receiving the photo. But it is fun to make up stories about the boy in the painting. So, the questions are:
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.
I had a great opportunity one season to go to the first game of the Stanley Cup in Los
Angeles and see Drew Doughty of the LA Kings play.. As my son-in-law says “Drew Doughty is a superstar defenseman.” He is an integral part of the well-oiled machine that is the LA Kings. One of the nicest things a teammate can say about another is what teammate Justin Williams says, “Doughty gets better as the season progresses. The great thing about him is he doesn’t know how great he really is.
How Drew Doughty Started Playing Defensemen
Drew tells an interesting story about how he started playing as a defenseman. “Back when I was a kid in London I was a forward all the way until major bantam hockey. Then one day we were short some defensemen at camp so they asked if I would play back on defense for a couple games. I had been on the team for a while and I had kind of established myself so I tried it out and it and I played well. So my coach asked if I minded switching to defense and I was happy to and it worked out.”
When anyone asks about his ability to play his supporters tell you all Doughty needs to do is go out and play his game. “Drew is a very simple kid – what you see is what you get,” veteran Sean O’Donnell says. “He doesn’t over think things. Whether he makes a good play or a bad play, he moves on. He’s got a short memory.”
Once again, it all goes back to his mindset. “On the ice I’m not worried about making a mistake,” Doughty says. “I’m never thinking, ‘If I make this play, what can go wrong?’ I’m thinking, ‘When I make this play, it’s going to happen the proper way and I’m going to make it.’ That helps me. I don’t get down on myself. Of course I’m angry for a little bit, but I get over it pretty quickly. I go back out there and I’ll make that same play again.”
Because of the quality of play Jonathan Quick, who is considered one of the best hockey goalies in the NHL, it surprised me to find out that he was picked 72nd overall in the 2005 draft. 72nd? With the LA Kings he had won two Stanly Cups, 2012 and 2014, and awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable player of the 2012 Stanly Cup playoffs.
In an article by Lisa Dillman, Dustin Brown was talking about the line between confidence and arrogance, and described how Jonathan Quick sets the tone for the veteran-heavy Kings by trending toward the first quality. “It’s more of the same with Quickie,” Brown said. “It’s just the type of confidence he exudes, really. It’s a trickle-down effect. When you have a goalie who is not arrogant but very confident, it goes a long way in the demeanor of the whole team. “Quickie’s quiet. He’ll make a glove save and he won’t do the big ‘I-saved the puck’ [flourish]. I guess that’s the only way I can explain it. He’ll make a save that he has no business making and he’ll act like it’s a routine save.” Including what was considered by many to be the save of the season, on Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets at Staples Center on March 29. Quick was down, on his belly, and raised his leg to make an incredible kick save. “The Scorpion Kick or whatever they call it,” Brown said. “It’s like that. Saves like that he shouldn’t make. He doesn’t make a big deal about it. But if you’re looking from the other team, you’re like: ‘Did he really just make that?
My son-in-law, who first got me interested in hockey and especially the LA Kings, plays in a hockey league. His team is named the “Ice Holes” and he is the most penalized player on the team. I will write about that some other time. The interesting part is their goalie – who is a woman. I did not realize this until after watching a number of his games. With her pads, gloves, chest/arm protectors, pants, etc., she stands well over six feet with her skates on. One would never know she was hidden under all that gear. I have seen her do an incredible butterfly save and pop back up in a second. In front of the goal she can move side to side like the fabled cat. To grab a puck on the ice I have seen her crawl on her belly like a reptile. As the saying goes, she “controls the space.” A puck coming in at 8o+ miles per hour as a good hard (amateur) slap shot to the body is not always painless. Getting knocked down is close combat can lead to other pain. Yet she takes the pain better than a man. No whining. She has been through childbirth. Try that for pain Mr. Hockey Player. So when it is time for teams in my son-in-law’s league to choose players they – “pick the girl”
As I had never painted a golfer before and have shown little interest in golf, some of my friends asked why I painted the great PGA champion golfer, Phil Mickelson. They know I am a sports fan but didn’t think I had any connection with golf.
In my early twenties – twenty, to be exact, I was just out of the service and I needed a job. To paraphrase William Makepeace Thayer, I wanted to become wealthy, influential, virtuous and a honored man. The mother of the girl I was seeing was dating a man who owned a golf driving range. It was on Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood, Ca and only a few blocks from UCLA. Originally I was hired to drive the picker – an old, opened army jeep with a wire mesh cage around the driver’s area. Behind it dragged the picker, which scoured the earth for golf balls and rolled them up into a bin. I was on my way to great success.
When driving the picker the people practicing on the driving range found great sport in trying to hit the moving target – me in the jeep. When the golf balls hit their target they bounced off the cage with a loud bang the scared the crap out of me. The golf balls could never penetrate the cage but sometimes they embedded themselves in the wire mesh. I never got used to the balls ricocheting off the wire and jeep.
After picking up the balls they were then brought into the golf shack and dumped into a big, upright, wringer washing machine and cleaned. Then they were pulled out onto huge drying trays. And now I was able to make my own, very important decisions – sort the golf balls by quality. Uncut golf balls went into the premium basket, slightly cut went into a good basket and the badly cut golf balls went into a third, really crappy basket of golf balls. Each was then put out front for the golfers to choose the price and quality of golf balls they wanted to hit.
I drove the picker and sorted balls for about three months, and then the manager quit. The owner promoted me (with a raise in salary) and I became “The Manager.” Greater success was coming faster than I had anticipated. I think I made about $1.45 an hour. Yes, it was a long time ago. Minimum wage was $1.25 an hour. My responsibility, as manager, was to stand behind the counter and hand out golf balls. “Premium or cut?” I would ask. It was better than working at Uncle John’s Pancake House but not as fun as working at the Wilshire Gas Station (where premium gas sold for 29.9 cents. Yes. 30 cents a gallon.
The golf range land was leased from the Federal Government and after about a year of working there the government cancelled the range owner’s lease, (something to do with not paying his rent) took back the land and eventually built a whole Federal Government Complex in Westwood – the Wilshire Federal Building. And there went my interest and success in a golfing career.
The quarterback on a basketball court is the point guard – and the most important. He is the one who leads the team by trying to make the good decisions for the plays. He generally handles the ball more than any other player on the court and passes the ball off to other players to lead them towards a goal. All of this leads me to the good reason of why it is important for people to play sports. I did as a child and as an adult participated in sports into my sixties and still exercise regularly.
One of the things sports taught me was developing teamwork. This is a way to learn how to help others, and thereby themselves, to work together towards a specific goal, (winning). We see this problem of teamwork all the time in the major professional sports. I think the best example of that is in the NBA where there are “star” players and “winning” teams. I will not point out the specific teams that have (as we used to call them as a kid) “ball hoggers” as I am sure you know who they are. But I will point out an example of a great NBA team, the LA Lakers when they were led by, what most consider the best point guard ever, Magic Johnson. Some people have referred to Magic Johnson as the indisputable “Point God.” He was an absolutely great, all around player who probably sacrificed individual statistics for the greater good of the team – and in doing so, brought other teammates up to play at a higher level. And, of course, won more games.
Magic Johnson played in 12 All-Star games, won five NBA rings, three years the MVP awards and won most valuable player in three Finals. His career Stats 19.5 points per game, 11.2 assists per game, 5.5 re-bounds per game and 1.9 steels per game. Those 11.2 assists per game shows how much Magic was a team player. At 6 feet 9 inches he dominated the point guard position.
To have a great team is to have a leader who will work to have all contribute to it’s success. And without that great leadership in the “point guard” position few teams have had a high level of successful seasons.
As a boy and like so many others I thought Joe DiMaggio was the baseball player to follow and worship. We did not have a major league team in Los Angeles at the time so the Yankees were the team we followed. (What? No TV? Nope. Not then. This was 1948-1951) Joe was nicknamed “Joltin’ Joe” and “The Yankee Clipper” and was what we all wanted to grow up to be – American Major League Baseball center fielder for the Yankees. Dreams. Boyhood dreams.
Even adults thought that Joe DiMaggio was something special. Kevin Costner, who made that great baseball movie, “Field of Dreams” said about Joe DiMaggio, “There are certain people’s names that are reminders of what men can be like. To this day, when I hear the name Joe DiMaggio, it is so much more than a man’s name. It reminds me to play whatever game I’m in with more grace and pride and dignity…He is a man who speaks to us about how to walk through life and how to receive the admiration only the famous can know…and about how to wear defeat and disappointment as if it were just a passing storm. Men like Joe DiMaggio are not just of their own time. They are men for the ages.”
I remember in 1952 collecting Topps Baseball Cards – buying packs and packs of gum to get that Topps, Joe DiMaggio 1952 card. So I gathered about one-hundred-and-seventy-five cards before discovering that he retired before the production of the 1952 cards were printed. (I still have the 1952 Topps cards I collected as a boy. And no they are not in good condition. Who knew then. I glued the cards into a paper scrapbook so on the back of the cards there are these great hunks of Elmer’s Rubber Cement and bits of paper attached to the cards.)
I continued to follow the Yankees until the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles for the 1958 season and my allegiance changed. But, to me, baseball was never the same with DiMaggio gone from the game. I really didn’t have much thought about DiMaggio being gone or what it might have meant to me until 1967. The was the year one of my favorite movies came out, “The Graduate” a coming of age movie about a college graduate entwined in the process of adulthood, the loss of innocence, manhood, etc. And in the movie soundtrack is one of the great Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel songs, “Mrs Robinson.” The classic lines in the lyrics:
”Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, wo wo wo
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson
‘Joltin Joe’ has left and gone away, hey hey hey
Hey hey hey”
At that time I kicked and fought not to be an adult. I had dropped out of high school – did my stint in the Navy, tried college a number of times and struggled to find direction. Somehow the movie helped. I was not alone but “Joltin Joe’ (had) left and gone away.”
Joe” DiMaggio November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999) played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak (May 15 – July 16, 1941), a record that still stands. DiMaggio was a three-time MVP winner and an All-Star in each of his 13 seasons. During his tenure with the Yankees, the club won ten American League pennants and nine World Series championships. At the time of his retirement, he ranked fifth in career home runs (361) and sixth in career slugging percentage (.579). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, and was voted the sport’s greatest living player in a poll taken during the baseball centennial year of 1969. — From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is what a couple of other great baseball players said of Joe DiMaggio:
(Joe) DiMaggio was the greatest all-around player I ever saw. His career cannot be summed up in numbers and awards. It might sound corny, but he had a profound and lasting impact on the country.” – Ted Williams
“Heroes are people who are all good with no bad in them. That’s the way I always saw Joe DiMaggio. He was beyond question one of the greatest players of the century.” – Mickey Mantle
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.”
I think “The Babe” was one of the first of the truly national baseball celebrities who was a great crowd pleaser. Branch Rickey (ex-Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers) said of Babe, Ruth, “He has created an expectation of hero worship on the part of the youth of this country, and it was a most fortunate thing that Ruth kept faith with the boyhood of America because they loved him.” I am sure there are comparisons to some of the current baseball players – but so many of today’s athletes seem to have a team of publicists promoting them. And they may not have anywhere near the character “The Babe” had. He said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
Here is Babe Ruth’s “The King of Swat” Hall of Fame speech of June 12, 1939
“Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I hope some day that some of the young fellows coming into the game will know how it feels to be picked in the Hall of Fame. I know the old boys back in there were just talking it over, some have been here long before my time. They got on it, I worked hard, and I got on it. And I hope that the coming generation, the young boys today, that they’ll work hard and also be on it.
And as my old friend Cy Young says, “I hope it goes another hundred years and the next hundred years will be the greatest. You know to me this is just like an anniversary myself, because twenty-five years ago yesterday I pitched my first baseball game in Boston, for the Boston Red Sox. (applause)
So it seems like an anniversary for me too, and I’m surely glad and it’s a pleasure for me to come up here and be picked also in the Hall of Fame. Thank you.”
This San Francisco 49er’s painting of mine hangs in Levi’s Stadium depicts one of the most memorable events in NFL history – the January 10, 1982, NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.
The story behind the painting. The Cowboys defensive end Ed “Too Tall” chases a backpedaling Joe Montana toward the sideline, and seems certain to either send him out of bounds or sack him. But at the last moment, and after pump-faking to get 6-foot 9-inch “Too Tall” Jones to jump, Montana throw a high pass to the back of the end of the end zone to Dwight Clark for the wining touchdown. Montana said that “Too Tall” Jones knocked him to the ground so he didn’t see Dwight Clark make the catch. “Too Tall” Jones reacted to the play by saying to Montana “You just beat America’s Team”. Montana said to Jones, “Well, you can sit at home with the rest of America and watch the Super Bowl.”
The 5 foot by 6 foot painting, acrylic on canvas hangs in one of the hallways of the new e49er’s Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara, Ca. One an earlier post you can see it photographed on the stadium’s large video screen.
“The Spitter” spitball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.
A spitball is an illegal pitch in which the ball has been altered by the application of saliva, petroleum jelly, or some other foreign substance. The pitch causes the ball to move atypically due to the altered wind-resistance and weight on one side of the ball. Alternative names for the spitball are spitter, mud ball, shine ball and emery ball, although technically, an emery ball is one where the ball has been abraded in much the same way that the original cut ball had been physically cut. The altering of the ball’s state by the use of artificial substances such as sun block, dirt or degradation by fingernails or other hard substances is illegal tampering.