Portal:American football/Selected biography archive

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September 24, 2006, to April 12, 2007[edit]

Harold Donald Carson (born November 26, 1953, in Florence, South Carolina) is an American collegiate and professional American football inside linebacker and defensive end, best known for his having played all thirteen of his National Football League seasons with the New York Giants franchise; for his having, over his professional career, been selected nine times to the Pro Bowl; for his having helped the Giants to the 1986 National Football Conference (NFC) East division championship and thereafter to the Super Bowl XXI title; for his having, whilst playing for the South Carolina State University Bulldogs, twice won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) defensive player of the year award and his having been named, subsequent to the 1975 National Collegiate Athletic Association season, an All-America; and for his having, in part in view of such, been enshrined in 2002 in the College Football Hall of Fame, pictured, and in 2006 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Having attended McClenaghan and Wilson Senior High Schools in Florence County, Carson matriculated in 1972 at South Carolina State University, for the team of which he played, principally as a defensive end, in every game across his four seasons. In his junior and senior seasons, Carson served as team captain and in each year earned defensive player of the year and all-conference honors in the MEAC, in the hall of fame of which he was subsequently enshrined, en route to his team's winning, in each season, the MEAC conference. In 1975, behind Carson, who tallied 117 tackles, more than any player in school history, and seventeen quarterback sacks, the Bulldogs recorded six shutouts and conceded just 29 points across ten games, fewer across a ten-game season than had any other Division II team previously.

Carson was selected by the Giants in the fourth round of the 1976 NFL draft, and appeared in twelve games during the Giants' 1976 season, ultimately earning a starting middle linebacker position after the eighth week of the season and eventually earning all-rookie team honors. In 1977, he played in fourteen games and, as in 1976, recovered an opponent's fumble. Carson partook of all sixteen games contested by the Giants in each of the 1978 and 1979 seasons, over the two years recovering four fumbles, to one of which a touchdown was appended, and intercepting six passes and achieving selection to the NFC Pro Bowl side, which, in the latter year, he was unable to play due to injury; in the former year, his third in the league, Carson was named to the all-NFC team and second all-NFL team by The Sporting News and selected by head coach John McVay as a team captain. Having sustained injury during the 1979 season and having exacerbated such injury prior to the 1980 season, Carson played in just eight Giants games during the latter season, but returned, aged 27 years, to play the 1981 season in its entirety, once more recovering a fumble and earning selection to the 1981 Pro Bowl, in which he contributed to the NFC's permitting the American Football Conference just seven points.

The 1982 season was shortened to nine weeks in view of a strike action undertaken by the National Football League Players' Association, but the 1983 season was fully played, and Carson, although able due to injury only to play ten games, earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection; he was joined in the Pro Bowl by Lawrence Taylor, the second selection in the first round of the 1981 draft and also a 1981 and 1982 selection and in each year the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, with whom Carson would qualify for four subsequent Pro Bowls and with Brad Van Pelt, Brian Kelley, Frank Marion, and whom Carson formed a linebacking corps, known often as the Crunch Bunch in view of its physical nature, that, between 1980 and 1983, combined to catch sixteen interceptions and recover sixteen fumbles.

July 20 to September 24, 2006[edit]

Fielding Harris Yost (April 30, 1871 – August 20, 1946) was an American football collegiate head coach and university athletic director, best known for having coached the University of Michigan Wolverines for 25 years, during which time his teams won four National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I consensus national championships, maintained—between 1901 and 1905—a four-season unbeaten streak, and captured ten Big Ten Conference championships, after the first of which his team won the first Rose Bowl Game ever contested, in part for which he was an inaugural inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.

Born in Fairview, West Virginia, United States, Yost began his coaching career at the Universities of Nebraska (1898) and Kansas (1899), leading the teams to a combined record of 18 wins and three losses before, after a year during which he served on the coaching staff of the Stanford University Cardinal, assuming the Michigan coaching job.

During Yost's first season, the Wolverines team won all 10 regular season games they played, scoring 506 points whilst permitting none, before travelling to Pasadena, California, for a January 1, 1902, Rose Bowl against Stanford, which Michigan defeated 49–0, earning recognition as the nation's top collegiate team and, in 1936, retroactive national championship honors from the Helms Athletic Foundation.

Under Yost, the Wolverines would once more win all 11 games played during the 1902 season—for which the Helms Foundation again declared the team to have been national champion—and would finish the 1903 season having conceded just one draw over 12 games, although Princeton University, having won all 11 games the team played, was considered to have been the national champion.

Yost led Michigan to 22 more consecutive wins over the 1904 and 1905 seasons before the Wolverines finally fell to the Big Ten rival and eventual national champion University of Chicago, then coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg, in their 13th game in 1905 season. During Yost's first five years at Michigan, then, his teams won 55 games, lost one, and tied one, compiling a .974 winning percentage while outscoring opponents 2,821 to 42; the team's defensive success was credited largely to Yost's inventing the linebacker position, whilst the team's offensive success led to Yost's teams being labelled as Point-a-Minute squads.

The 1903 6–6 draw Yost's team permitted to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers was instrumental in the development of an interstate rivalry and a concomitant trophy: at Yost's direction, a Michigan student manager purchased a small earthenware jug from which Yost might drink during the game, and Yost (ostensibly inadverently) left his jug behind after the game. A Minnesota custodian found the jug and fans decorated it to commemorate the team's draw, writing to Yost that he might garner the trophy only upon his team's defeating Minnesota; the Little Brown Jug has devolved on the winner of the game betwixt the two schools since 1909.

July 5 to July 20, 2006[edit]

Image:Terry Bradshaw.jpg
Terry Paxton Bradshaw (born September 2, 1948) is a former American football quarterback and television commentator on FOX NFL Sunday, best known for having played fourteen seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers after having been drafted first overall in 1970, during which time he won four Super Bowl titles, during two of which he was named game most valuable player; earned Pro Bowl honors four times; claimed the 1978 league most valuable player award; was selected by Sports Illustrated magazine as its 1979 Sportsman of the Year; and ultimately earned election into both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Bradshaw attended Woodlawn High School, captaining the school's football team to a championship game and participating in athletics, setting a national high school record in the javelin toss. Bradshaw matriculated at Louisiana Tech University, and, in 1969, as a junior, Bradshaw passed for 2,890 yards, ranking first amongst National Collegiate Athletic Association College Division (now Division II) players, and subsequently led his team to a 20-point win over Rice University in the Grantland Rice Bowl.

Having started every game of the subsequent season but having often been removed when the Bulldogs achieved an ostensibly insurmountable lead, Bradshaw passed for only 2,314 yards in his senior season and, in view of his playing in the less-than-prominent Gulf States Conference, did not receive consideration for the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards. Bradshaw performed well in the Senior Bowl, though, and was ranked as the best player in the 1970 NFL draft, in which he was selected by the Steelers, for whom he became starting quarterback the following season.

In 1972, Bradshaw, assisted by the Steel Curtain defense and running back Franco Harris, led the Steelers to the first of eight consecutive American Football Conference Central division championships, notably connecting with Harris for a touchdown in a 1972 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders in a play that came to be referred to as the Immaculate Reception. The Steelers, though, lost the AFC Championship game one week later to the Miami Dolphins.

June 18 to July 5, 2006[edit]

Billy Shaw
William Lewis Shaw (born December 15, 1938, in Natchez, Mississippi) is an American football offensive guard who is the only player never to have played in the National Football League to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 1999.

Shaw played on the offensive (as a guard and offensive tackle) and defense (as a linebacker) units while a collegian at the Georgia Institute of Technology, from which he was, in 1961, drafted by the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (in the 14th round, with the 184th overall selection) and the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League (in the second round, with the seventh overall selection) and elected to play for the Bills, principally because he wanted to play at guard; the Cowboys intended to start Shaw as a linebacker.

Shaw played in eight consecutive AFL All-Star games between 1962 and 1969, during which time he was five times a first-team and twice a second-team all-league selection. Playing behind Shaw, quarterback Jack Kemp and running back Wray Carlton each qualified achieved All-Star status, with Kemp's winning the league most valuable player award in 1965. The Bills claimed the Eastern Division championship in three consecutive years and won the league championships after the 1964 and 1965 seasons.

Shaw also worked with other African-American Bills players in a group led by fullback Cookie Gilchrist to move the 1965 AFL All-Star game from New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Tulane Stadium of which it was scheduled to be played, to Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas, in order that black players would not have to endure likely refusals of service in New Orleans.

May 28 to June 18, 2006[edit]

Doug Flutie
Douglas Richard Flutie (born on October 23, 1962) is a former professional gridiron football player in the National Football League (American football) and Canadian Football League (Canadian football). His success as a quarterback is noteworthy because he is substantially smaller (standing 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m), and weighing 180 pounds (82 kg)) than most quarterbacks.

Within the United States he is perhaps best known for his career at Boston College, where his Hail Mary pass pass on November 23, 1984, is considered among the greatest moments in college football history; Flutie would win the Heisman Trophy and Walter Camp, Maxwell, and Davey O'Brien Awards later that year, in part because of his performance in that nationally-televised game against the University of Miami. In Canada, he is well known for his three Grey Cup victories (1992, 1996, 1997) in the CFL; he was also named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player six times, including four years consecutively from 1991 to 1994.

Doug Flutie was born in Manchester, Maryland, to Lebanese-American parents, but his family moved to Melbourne Beach, Florida, in 1968 and then again to Natick, Massachusetts, in 1976.

Flutie graduated from Natick High School, where he was an all-league performer in football, basketball, and baseball; in view of his stature, he was known to teammates as the wee one. He matriculated at Boston College, which was the only Division I-A university to have recruited him, in 1981, and became a starter for the Screamin' Eagles immediately upon his arrival.

March 4 to May 28, 2006[edit]

Jim L. Mora
James Lawrence (Jim) Mora (born November 19, 1961, Los Angeles, California) is the current head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He is the son of retired coach Jim E. Mora. Jim Mora is often mistakenly referred to as Jim Mora, Jr. Since the father and son do not share the same middle name, "junior" is not applicable. He was hired as head coach on January 9, 2004, previously working as defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. Mora played defensive back at the University of Washington from 1980 to 1983 appearing in two Rose Bowls.

February 26 to March 4, 2006[edit]

John Madden
John Earl Madden (born April 10, 1936, in Austin, Minnesota) is a former American football coach for the Oakland Raiders who later became an extremely popular TV football announcer, author, and commercial pitchman for various products and retailers. He won a Super Bowl as the Raiders head coach on January 9, 1977, but is perhaps best known for his nearly three-decade career as a broadcaster. That subsequent profession resulted in countless endorsement deals, including the popular, NFL-branded home video game series that has carried his name since 1991: Madden NFL.

He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on February 4, 2006.