This Week in NFL History: July 30 through August 5

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Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Relive and recapture iconic moments. Recall an anniversary of an event that forever changed the landscape of the NFL. It’s all here in This Week in NFL History. This Week in NFL History will look back at some of the most memorable events that have occurred during this week historically in professional football.


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This Week in NFL History

July 30

1887-Owner Timothy Mara (Giants: 1925-59) born in New York City (d. 1959)

Career Highlights: Mara was the founder of the New York Giants. Under his ownership, the Giants won NFL Championships in 1927, 1934, 1938, and 1956. Mara was instrumental in establishing a professional football fanbase in New York City and successfully fighting off challenges from the second and third incarnations of the American Football League and the All-America Football Conference. Mara was one of 17 inaugural inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. His son, Wellington, was co-owner of the Giants from 1959 until his death in 2005. Mara’s grandson, Timothy, owned a 50 percent stake in the team from 1965 until 1991. His other grandson, John, is currently co-owner, CEO, and president of the Giants.

1960The Boston Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills 28-7 in the first American Football League (AFL) preseason game in league history before a crowd of 16,000 at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo

1961-Punter Reginald (Reggie) Roby (Iowa: 1979-82, selected 167th overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 1983 NFL Draft; Dolphins: 1983-92, Redskins: 1993-94, Buccaneers: 1995, Oilers: 1996-97, 49ers: 1998) born in Waterloo, Iowa (d. 2005)

Career Stats: 992 punts for 42,951 yards (average punt: 43.3 yards), five punts blocked

Roby was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (1984, 1989, 1994) and a two-time All-Pro (1984, 1994). He was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team.

1968-Linebacker Terry Crews (Western Michigan: 1987-90, selected 281st by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1991 NFL Draft; Rams: 1991, Chargers: 1993, NFL Europe Rhein Fire: 1995, Redskins: 1995) born in Flint, Michigan

Career Highlights: Crews embarked on an acting career after his retirement from the NFL. He is best known his role as Julius Rock in the sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris”. He also appeared in the motion pictures “White Chicks”, “The Longest Yard”, “Training Day”, and “The Expendables”.

1969-Defensive end Robert Porcher (South Carolina State: 1988-91, selected 26th overall by the Detroit Lions in the 1992 NFL Draft; Lions: 1992-2004) born in Wando, South Carolina

Career Stats: 600 combined tackles (429 solo), 95.5 sacks, one interception, three passes defended, 18 forced fumbles

Porcher was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (1997, 1999, 2001) and a three-time All-Pro (1997, 1999, 2001). He is the Lions’ all-time leader in career sacks.

2007-Head coach William (Bill) Walsh (49ers: 1979-88) died at age 75 in Woodside, California (b. 1931)

Career record: 102-63-1 (Regular season: 92-59-1, Postseason: 10-4)

Walsh is best known for his use of the West Coast offense, a system characterized by short, horizontal passing routes in lieu of running plays that could make defenses vulnerable to long passes or long runs. He won three Super Bowls (XVI, XIX, XXIII) and was a two-time NFL Coach of the Year (1981, 1984). Walsh was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993. He also served as 49ers vice president and general manager (1999-2001). Walsh also had two tenures as head football coach at Stanford (1977-78, 1992-94 Career record: 34-24-1, Conference record: 19-19).

July 31

1941-Defensive end Gerald (Gerry) Philbin (Buffalo: 1961-63, selected 33rd overall by the Detroit Lions in 1964 NFL Draft, selected 19th overall by the New York Jets in the 1964 AFL Draft: Jets: 1964-72, Eagles: 1973,) born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Career Highlights: Philbin was a two-time First-team All-AFL selection (1968, 1969) and a Second-team All-AFL selection in 1967. He helped the Jets win the 1968 AFL Championship and Super Bowl III. Philbin was named to the AFL All-Time Team.

1956-Head coach William (Bill) Callahan (Raiders: 2002-03) born in Chicago, Illinois

Career Record: 17-18 (Regular season: 15-17, Postseason: 2-1)

Callahan led the Raiders to Super Bowl XXXVII, where they were defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coached by Jon Gruden (who Callahan succeeded as Raiders head coach). Callahan was also head coach at Nebraska (2004-07, Coaching Record: 28-23: Regular season: 27-22, Conference: 15-17, Bowl: 1-1). He is currently assistant head coach/offensive line coach of the Washington Redskins.

1961-Offensive lineman Christopher (Chris) Hinton (Northwestern: 1979-82, selected fourth overall by the Denver Broncos in the 1983 NFL Draft; Colts: 1983-89, Falcons: 1990-93, Vikings: 1994-95) born in Chicago, Illinois

Career Highlights: Hinton started in 172 of his 177 career NFL games.

Hinton is best remembered as the player traded to the then Baltimore Colts for quarterback John Elway days after the 1983 NFL Draft (Elway was selected with the first overall pick by the Colts but refused to play for them and threatened to pursue a baseball career with the New York Yankees if he wasn’t traded). Hinton is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection (1983, 1985-1989, 1991) and a three-time All-Pro (1985, 1989, 1993). He was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2001.

1962-Linebacker Kevin Greene (Auburn: 1981-84, selected 113th overall by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1985 NFL Draft; Rams: 1985-92, Steelers: 1993-95, Panthers: 1996, 49ers: 1997, Panthers: 1998-99) born in New York City, New York

Career Stats: 733 combined tackles (669 solo), 160 sacks, five interceptions, 25 passes defended, 23 forced fumbles, 26 fumbles recovered, one defensive touchdown

Greene is third all-time on the NFL career sacks list. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection (1989, 1994-96, 1998) and a three-time First-team All-Pro (1989, 1994, 1996). Greene was the 1996 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and led the NFL in sacks in 1994 (14) and 1996 (14.5). He was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016. Greene is currently a linebackers coach with the New York Jets. He won Super Bowl XLV as a linebackers coach with the Green Bay Packers.

1971-Quarterback Gustave (Gus) Frerotte (Tulsa: 1990-93, selected 197th overall by Washington Redskins in 1994 NFL Draft; Redskins: 1994-98, Lions: 1999, Broncos: 2000-01, Bengals: 2002, Vikings: 2003-04, Dolphins: 2005, Rams: 2006-07, Vikings: 2008) born in Kittanning, Pennsylvania

Career Stats: 1,699 completions in 3,106 attempts for 21,291 yards, 114 touchdowns, 106 interceptions; QB Rating: 74.2. Career record: 46-50-1 (Redskins regular season: 19-26-1, Vikings regular season: 10-3, Vikings postseason 1-1 Broncos regular season: 4-3, Broncos postseason 0-1 Rams regular season: 1-2, Bengals regular season: 0-3, Lions regular season: 2-4, Lions postseason 0-1, Dolphins regular season: 9-6); 197 carries for 315 yards and six touchdowns

1974-Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (UCLA: 1992-95, selected fourth overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 1996 NFL Draft; Ravens: 1996-2007) born in Washington, D.C.

Career Stats: Ogden started in 176 of his 177 career NFL games

Ogden, the Ravens’ first-ever draft pick, was an 11-time Pro Bowl selection (1997-2007), a four-time First-team All-Pro (1997, 2000, 2002, 2003), and a five-time Second-team All-Pro (1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006). He was named to the Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor in 2008 and the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. Ogden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

1982-Linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Troy: 2001-04, selected 11th overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2005 NFL Draft; Cowboys: 2005-13, Broncos: 2014-16) born in Auburn, Alabama

Career Stats: 659 combined tackles (505 solo), 138.5 sacks, three interceptions, 26 passes defended, 35 forced fumbles, eight fumbles recovered, three defensive touchdowns

Ware was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection (2006-12, 2014, 2015), a four-time First-team All-Pro (2007-09, 2011) and a three-time Second-team All-Pro (2006, 2010, 2012). He led the NFL in 2008 (20) and 2010 (15.5) and was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. Ware won Super Bowl 50 with Broncos.

1988-Wide receiver Adriel Jeremiah (A.J.) Green (Georgia: 2008-10, selected fourth overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2011 NFL Draft; Bengals: 2011-present) born in Summerville, South Carolina

Career Stats: 481 receptions for 7,135 yards and 49 touchdowns

Green has made the Pro Bowl every year since entering the NFL (2011-16) and was named a Second-team All-Pro in 2012 and 2013. He held the record for most passes caught by a player in their first three seasons (260 from 2011-13) until the record was broken by Odell Beckham Jr. in 2016.

1988The Miami Dolphins defeated the San Francisco 49ers 27-21 in the third installment of the American Bowl at London’s Wembley Stadium

August 1

1928-Offensive tackle William (Clay) Matthews Sr. (Georgia Tech: 1946-48, selected 247th overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1949 NFL Draft; 49ers: 1950, 1953-55) born in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (d. 2017)

Career Highlights: Matthews’ NFL career was interrupted by his service in the Korean War. He is known for being the patriarch of an NFL family. He is the father of linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. and Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews and the grandfather of linebacker Clay Matthews III (currently with the Green Bay Packers), offensive tackle Jake Matthews (currently with the Atlanta Falcons), linebacker Casey Matthews, and offensive lineman Kevin Matthews.

1948-Wide receiver Clifford (Cliff) Branch (Colorado: 1968-71, selected 98th overall by the Oakland Raiders in 1972 NFL Draft; Raiders: 1972-85) born in Houston, Texas

Career Stats: 501 receptions for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns

Branch was a four-time Pro Bowl selection (1974-77) and a four-time First-team All-Pro (1974-77). He led the NFL in receiving yards in 1974 (1,092) and receiving touchdowns in 1974 (13) and 1976 (12). He won three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII) with the Raiders.

1976The Seattle Seahawks lose to the San Francisco 49ers 27-20 in their first exhibition game in franchise history before a crowd of 60,825 at the Kingdome in Seattle

1978-Running back Edgerrin James (Miami [FL]: 1996-98, selected fourth overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL Draft; Colts: 1999-2005, Cardinals: 2006-08, Seahawks: 2009) born in Immokalee, Florida

Career Stats: 3,028 carries for 12,246 yards and 80 touchdowns; 433 receptions for 3,364 yards and 11 touchdowns

James was a four-time Pro Bowl selection (1999, 2000, 2004, 2005), a two-time First-team All-Pro (1999, 2005), and a two-time Second-team All-Pro (2000, 2004). He was the 1999 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and led the NFL in rushing yards in 1999 (1,553) and 2000 (1,709). James is the Colts’ all-time leader in rushing yards (9,226) and rushing touchdowns (64). He was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2012 and named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.

1985-Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey (LSU: 2005-07, selected fifth overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2008 NFL Draft; Chiefs: 2008-12, 49ers: 2013-16, current free agent) born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Career Stats: 328 combined tackles (225 solo), seven sacks, one forced fumble, four fumbles recovered

1989-Cornerback Trevin Wade (Arizona: 2008-11, selected 245th overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft; Browns: 2012, Saints: 2013-14, Giants: 2015-16, current free agent) born in Round Rock, Texas

Career Stats: 86 combined tackles (71 solo), 11 passes defended, four fumbles recovered, two defensive touchdowns

1990-Offensive lineman Justin Pugh (Syracuse: 2009-12; selected 19th overall by the New York Giants in the 2013 NFL Draft; Giants: 2013-present) born in Newtown, Pennsylvania

Career Stats: Pugh has all 55 of his career NFL games.

2001-Offensive tackle Korey Stringer (Ohio State: 1992-94, selected 24th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1995 NFL Draft: Vikings: 1995-2000) died at age 27 in Mankato, Minnesota (b. 1974)

Career Stats: Stringer started in 91 of his 93 career NFL games

Stringer was a 2000 Pro Bowl selection. He died from complications brought on by heat stroke during Vikings training camp. Stringer’s death brought complications of players “bulking up” to the light (Stringer was 6’4”, 335 pounds at the time of his death). It also brought changes in how teams conduct training camp including practicing in lightweight, light colored clothing, water and shade being made readily available and the presence of a doctor at all practices. Stringer’s widow filed lawsuits against both the NFL and Riddell, the manufacturer of Stringer’s pads and helmet. His No. 77 was posthumously retired by the Vikings and he was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor in 2001.

August 2

1932-Owner Lamar Hunt (Chiefs: 1959-2006) born in El Dorado, Arkansas (d. 2006)

Career Highlights: Hunt was the principal founder of the fourth incarnation of the American Football League (AFL), leader of the “Foolish Club” (the self-imposed name of the AFL’s original eight franchise owners), and owner of the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans, who were in direct competition with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs in 1963. He was instrumental in the AFL/NFL merger and was responsible for naming the championship game between the two leagues the Super Bowl. Hunt also hired head coach Hank Stram, who led the Chiefs to victory in the final AFL Championship Game (1970) and Super Bowl IV. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972. Hunt was also the owner of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew SC, Sporting Kansas City, and FC Dallas,

1937-Running back/tight William (Billy) Cannon (LSU: 1957-59, selected first overall by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1960 NFL Draft, territorial pick of the Houston Oilers in the 1960 AFL Draft; Oilers: 1960-63, Raiders: 1964-69, Chiefs: 1970) born in Philadelphia, Mississippi

Career Stats: 602 carries for 2,455 yards and 17 touchdowns; 236 receptions for 3,656 yards and 47 touchdowns

The signing of Cannon, the 1959 Heisman Trophy winner, was the first major victory of the fledgling AFL. He was a two-time AFL All-Star (1961, 1969), a two-time All-AFL First-team selection (1961, 1967), and a two-time All-AFL Second-team selection (1960, 1968). He led the AFL in rushing yards in 1961 (948), won three AFL Championships (1960 and 1961 with Oilers, 1967 with Raiders), and played in Super Bowl II.

1961The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts 36-7 in the fourth interleague game between the NFL and CFL

1963The College All-Stars defeated the NFL champion Green Bay Packers 20-17 in the 30th edition of the College All-Star Football Classic in front of a crowd of 65,000 at Soldier Field. It was only the second time in the series that a college team defeated the NFL champion. Hall of Fame quarterback Otto Graham coached the College All-Stars.

1967The New Orleans Saints lost their first preseason game in franchise history to the Los Angeles Rams 16-7 in Anaheim, California

1968The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers defeated the College All-Stars in 35th edition of College All-Star Football Classic 34-17 in front of a crowd of 69,917. Most Valuable Player of the College All-Star team was Syracuse running back (and future Hall of Famer) Larry Csonka.

1970-Linebacker Elijah Alexander (Kansas State: 1988-91, selected 254th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1992 NFL Draft; Buccaneers: 1992, Broncos: 1993-95, Colts: 1996-99, Raiders: 2000-01) born in Fort Worth, Texas (d. 2010)

Career Stats: 426 combined tackles (335 solo), 6.5 sacks, five interceptions, one pass defended, five forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered, one defensive touchdown

Alexander was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of bone cancer, in 2005 and established the Tackle Myeloma Foundation to funds and awareness about myeloma. He succumbed to the disease Mar. 24, 2010 at age 39.

1988-Wide receiver/punt returner Golden Tate (Notre Dame: 2007-09, selected 60th overall by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2010 NFL Draft; Seahawks: 2010-13, Lions: 2014-present) born in Hendersonville, Tennessee

Career Stats: 445 receptions for 5,416 yards and 29 touchdowns; 88 punt returns for 936 yards, five kick returns for 93 yards

Tate won Super Bowl XLVIII with Seahawks and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2014

August 3

1940-Wide receiver Lance Alworth (Arkansas: 1959-61, selected eighth overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1962 NFL Draft, selected eighth overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 1962 AFL Draft; Chargers: 1962-70, Cowboys: 1971-72) born in Houston, Texas

Career Stats: 542 receptions for 10,266 yards and 85 touchdowns

Alworth was a seven-time AFL All-Star (1963-69), a six-time First-team All-AFL (1963-68) and a Second-team All-AFL in 1969. He was the 1963 AFL Player of the Year. Alworth led the AFL in receiving yards leader in 1965 (1,602), 1966 (1,383), and 1968 (1,312). He led the AFL in receptions in 1966 (73), 1968 (68), and 1969(64), and in receiving touchdowns in 1964 (13), 1965 (14), and 1966 (13). Alworth won the 1963 AFL Championship with the Chargers and Super Bowl VI with the Cowboys. He was a member of the AFL All-Time and NFL 75th Anniversary Teams. Alworth was inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame in 1977 and his No. 19 was retired by the Chargers in 2005. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978, the first player inducted whose career was primarily in the American Football League.

1956-Tight end Todd Christensen (BYU: 1974-77, selected 56th overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1978 NFL Draft; Cowboys: 1978, Giants: 1979, Raiders: 1979-88) born in Bellefonte, PA (d. 2013)

Career Stats: 461 receptions for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns

Christensen was a five-time Pro Bowl selection (1983-87) and a four-time All-Pro (1983-86). He led the NFL in receptions in 1983 (92) and 1986 (95). Christensen won two Super Bowls (XV, XVIII) with the Raiders. At the conclusion of his playing career, Christensen served as a color commentator for both NFL and collegiate games.

1977-Quarterback Thomas Edward Patrick (Tom) Brady (Michigan: 1995-99, selected 199th overall by the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft; Patriots: 2000-present) born in San Mateo, California

Career Stats: 5,244 completions in 8,224 attempts for 61,582 yards, 456 touchdowns, and 152 touchdowns. QB Rating: 97.2. Career record: 208-61 (Regular season: 183-52, postseason: 25-9); 532 carries for 940 yards and 17 touchdowns

Brady is a 12-time Pro Bowl selection (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009-16), a two-time First-team All-Pro (2007, 2010), and a two-time Second-team All-Pro (2005, 2016). He has lead the NFL in passing yards in 2005 (4,110) and 2007 (4,806). Brady led the NFL passing touchdowns in 2002 (28), 2007 (50), 2010 (36), and 2015 (36). Brady was the 2007 and 2010 NFL Most Valuable Player and was a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2007, 2010). Brady has won five Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI) and four Super Bowl MVPs (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, LI). He is one of two players (Hall of Fame linebacker Charles Haley) to win five Super Bowls and the only one to win them all with the same team. Brady is fourth all-time in career passing yards, fourth in career touchdown passes, and third in career passer rating. He has won more division titles (14) and playoff games than any other quarterback in NFL history. Brady has also appeared in more postseason games than any player at any position in NFL history.

1979-Defensive tackle Kristopher (Kris) Jenkins (Maryland: 1997-2000, selected 44th overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2001 NFL Draft; Panthers: 2001-2007, Jets: 2008-10) born in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Career Stats: 279 combined tackles (220 solo), 24 sacks, 10 passes defended, two forced fumbles

Jenkins was a four-time Pro Bowl selection (2002, 2003, 2006, 2008), a two-time First-team All-Pro (2002, 2003), and a Second-team All-Pro in 2008

1986The Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears defeated Dallas Cowboys 17-6 in first installment of American Bowl at London’s Wembley Stadium

1989-Quarterback Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech: 2007-10, selected 180th overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 NFL Draft; Ravens: 2011-14, Bills: 2015-present) in Hampton, Virginia

Career Stats: 530 completions in 851 attempts for 6,257 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. QB Rating: 92.3. Career record: 14-14 (Bills regular season: 14-14)

Taylor won Super Bowl XLVII with Ravens and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2015

2011-Defensive end Charles (Bubba) Smith (Michigan State: 1964-66, selected first overall by the Baltimore Colts in the 1967 NFL Draft; Colts: 1967-71, Raiders: 1973-74, Oilers: 1975-76) died at age 66 in Los Angeles, California (b. 1945)

Career Highlights: Smith was a two-time Pro Bowl selection (1970, 1971) and a First-team All-Pro in 1971. He won the 1968 NFL Championship and Super Bowl V with the Colts. He went on to have a successful career as an actor.

Smith’s most famous role was Moses Hightower in the Police Academy movie series. He was posthumously found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurological condition affecting a number of athletes in contact sports, including many NFL players.

August 4

1949-Running back Robert (John, also known as The Diesel and/or Riggo) Riggins (Kansas: 1968-70, selected sixth overall by the New York Jets in the 1971 NFL Draft; Jets: 1971-75, Redskins: 1976-79, 1981-86) born in Centralia, Kansas

Career Stats: 2,916 carries for 11,352 yards and 104 touchdowns; 250 receptions for 2,090 yards and 12 touchdowns

Riggins made the Pro Bowl in 1975 and was a First-team All-Pro in 1983. He led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 1983 (24) and 1984 (14). Riggins won Super Bowl XVII with Redskins and was named Most Valuable Player. He was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and inducted into the Redskins Ring of Fame in 1990. Riggins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992

1964-Defensive end Clyde Simmons (Western Carolina: 1982-85, selected 233rd overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1986 NFL Draft; Eagles: 1986-93, Cardinals: 1994-95, Jaguars: 1996-97, Bengals: 1998, Bears: 1999-2000) born in Lanes, South Carolina

Career Stats: 967 combined tackles (914 solo), 121.5 sacks, three interceptions, 25 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries, two defensive touchdowns

Simmons was a four-time Pro Bowl selection (1989, 1991, 1992, 1996), a two-time First-team All-Pro (1991, 1992), and a two-time Second-team All-Pro (1996, 1997). He led the NFL in sacks (19) in 1992. Simmons finished his career 11th on the all-time sacks list. He is currently a defensive line coach with the Cleveland Browns.

1967The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers defeated the College All-Stars 27-0 in the 34th edition of the College All-Star Football Classic before a crowd of 70,934 at Soldier Field. The Most Valuable Player of the College All-Star Team was Michigan State defensive end (and 1967 NFL Draft first overall pick) Charles “Bubba” Smith.

1997-Wide receiver Raymond (Ray) Renfro (North Texas: 1949-51, selected 48th overall by the Cleveland Browns in 1952 NFL Draft; Browns: 1952-63) died at 67 in Fort Worth, Texas (b. 1929)

Career Stats: 281 receptions for 5,508 yards and 50 touchdowns.

Renfro was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (1953, 1957, 1960). He was the father of former NFL wide receiver Mike Renfro.

2013-Defensive tackle Arthur (Art, also known as Fatso) Donovan (Notre Dame: 1941, Boston College: 1946-49; selected 204th overall by the New York Giants in the 1947 NFL Draft; Colts: 1950, New York Yanks: 1951, Dallas Texans: 1952, Colts: 1953-61) died at age 89 in Baltimore, Maryland (b. 1924)

Career Highlights: Donovan’s collegiate career was put on hold because of his service in World War II. He began his professional career playing for three teams that folded: the first incarnation of the Baltimore Colts, the New York Yanks, and the first incarnation of the Dallas Texans, who would move to Baltimore to become the second incarnation of the Colts. Donovan helped the Colts win the 1958 and 1959 NFL Championships. He was a five-time Pro Bowler (1953-57) and a four-time First-team All-Pro (1954-57). Donovan was named to the 1950s NFL All-Decade Team and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. He was the first Colts player to be inducted in Canton. Donovan, who was known for his jovial personality, published an autobiography entitled “Fatso” in 1987. He appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman numerous times. David Letterman won Donovan’s No. 70 jersey in a commercial with Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno aired during Super Bowl XLI.

August 5

1940-Quarterback Roman Gabriel (North Carolina State: 1959-61, selected second overall by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1962 NFL Draft, selected first overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 1962 NFL Draft; Rams: 1962-72, Eagles: 1973-77) born in Wilmington, North Carolina

Career Stats: 2,366 completions in 4,498 attempts for 29,444 yards, 201 touchdowns, and 149 interceptions. QB Rating: 74.3. Career Record: 86-66-7 (Rams regular season: 74-39-6, Rams postseason: 0-2, Eagles regular season: 12-25-1)

Gabriel was the 1969 NFL Most Valuable Player. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection (1967-69, 1973), a First-team All-Pro in 1969 and a Second-team All-Pro in 1967. Gabriel led the NFL in completions (270) in 1973 and touchdowns in 1969 (24) and 1973 (23).

1946-Head coach Bruce Coslet (Jets: 1990-93, Bengals: 1996-2000) born in Oakdale, California

Career Record: 47-78 (Jets regular season: 26-38, Jets postseason: 0-1, Bengals regular season: 21-39)

Coslet was a tight end for the Bengals (1969-78, 61 receptions for 878 yards and nine touchdowns).

1959Chicago Cardinals defeated the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts 55-26 at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium. It was the first interleague matchup between the NFL and CFL.

1961Chicago Bears defeated the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes 34-16 in the third interleague matchup between the NFL and CFL.

1962-Offensive lineman William Roberts (Ohio State: 1980-83, selected 27th overall by the New York Giants in the 1984 NFL Draft: Giants: 1984-94, Patriots: 1995-96, Jets: 1997) born in Miami, Florida

Career Stats: Roberts started in 154 of his career 195 NFL games

Roberts was selected the Pro Bowl in 1990 and won two Super Bowls (XXI, XXV) with Giants

1967AFL’s Denver Broncos defeated NFL’s Detroit Lions 13-7 in an exhibition game. It was the first time an AFL team ever defeated an NFL team.

1978The New Orleans Saints defeated Philadelphia Eagles 14-7 in an exhibition game that was the first NFL game played in Mexico City

1978-Cornerback Will Allen (Syracuse: 1996-2000, selected 22nd overall by the New York Giants in the 2001 NFL Draft; Giants: 2001-05, Dolphins: 2006-11, Patriots: 2012) born in Syracuse, New York

Career Stats: 527 combined tackles (455 solo), five sacks, 15 interceptions, 117 passes defended, seven forced fumbles, six fumbles recovered, one defensive touchdown

1991-Head coach Paul Brown (Browns: 1946-62, Bengals: 1968-75) died at age 82 in Cincinnati, Ohio (b. 1908)

Career Record: 222-112-9 (Browns regular season: 158-48-8, Bengals regular season: 48-36-1; Browns postseason: 9-5, Bengals postseason: 0-3)

Brown was one of professional football’s greatest innovators. He was the first coach to use game film to scout an opponent, hire a full-time staff of assistant coaches, and test players on their knowledge of the playbook. Brown invented the face mask, the taxi squad, and the draw play. He helped integrate professional football by bringing in the modern era’s first African-American players. The Cleveland Browns were named in his honor. He won seven league championships (1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 in the All-America Football Conference. 1950, 1954, 1955 in the NFL) as coach of the Browns. Despite his innovative mind, he wasn’t well-liked because of his combative, controlling nature. Brown was fired in 1963 after a conflict with Browns owner Art Modell. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967. Brown became a founder, head coach, and general manager of the Bengals after a five-year hiatus from coaching. He couldn’t duplicate the success he had with the Browns and retired from coaching in 1975 but remained the team’s owner and president until his death. The Bengals made two Super Bowl appearances (XVI, XXIII) with Brown in the front office, losing both times to the San Francisco 49ers and Bill Walsh (a former Bengals assistant who was passed over for the head coaching job). Brown’s son, Mike, is currently, the Bengals’ owner, team president, and general manager. 

Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for cover32 and covers the NFL and New York Giants, like and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.

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