If you claim to be a big fan of American football, you should know the legendary names in the sport’s history. These legendary athletes continue to be an inspiration not only to football fans but to aspiring players and athletes in general. The Pro Football Hall of Fame, selected every year by a committee in Canton Ohio, honors players and coaches who have made a special contribution to football. Knowing about the players and coaches of the past and present will give you a deeper appreciation of the sport. Below are some of the most respected payers and coaches in the history of American football.
The first AFL (American Football League) professional football player to be honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Lance Alworth was one of the star players of the San Diego Chargers, joining the team in 1961. He later played for the Dallas Cowboys for the last two years of his career. By the time he retired, he had caught 542 passes and rushed for a whopping 10,266 yards.
Earning the nickname “the bullet” during his college days in the University of Virginia, Bill Dudley was famed to have never missed his target. In 1942, he was invited to join the Pittsburgh Steelers and, during his first season, was named Rookie of the Year. Bill Dudley was enlisted in the armed forces during World War II but returned in 1945 just in time for football season.
Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Everything” for his many talents, George Halas became a renowned Football player for the Chicago Bears, as well as a manager and coach for the Bears during his lifetime. Every year, football teams compete in the NFC Championship Game for the George Halas Trophy.
One of the most famous American Football coach in the sport’s history, Vince Lombardi brought the Green Bay Packers countless of victories. Retiring as coach in 1968, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971. The most sought-after prize in American Football, the Super Bowl Trophy, is named after him.
Walter Payton caught the attention of important figures in pro football during his college days in Jackson State University, where he is said to have scored single handedly, 46 points in one game. During the 1975 draft, he was invited to play the first round for the Chicago Bears. IN the course of his thirteen year career, he rushed for a total of 16,276 yards, making him the most successful rusher in NFL history.
Born in 1947, Orenthal James Jones had a successful college football career, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968 by the largest margin ever. In 1969, he was the first player to be drafted in the NFL and became one of the best running backs in history. He was named NFL Player of the Year four times, in 1972, 1973, 1975, and 1976. O.J. Simpson retired and pursued a career as an actor and broadcaster and in 1994, was subjected to and acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and friend Ronal Goldman.