Frederick Wayman “Duke” Slater (December 9, 1898 – August 14, 1966) was an American football player who will be enshrined posthumously as part of the 2020 Centennial Class in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
In high school in the early 1900’s, he had to choose between buying shoes or a helmet in order to play football. He chose shoes so he played every game of his career at Clinton High School without a helmet. He played the tackle and fullback positions.
In 1918, at the age of 20, he was allowed to enter the University of Iowa and play for four years despite his age due to rules being relaxed during World War I. He earned four letters along with All Big Ten and All-American honors.
He made history when he joined the NFL’s Rock Island Independents in 1922, becoming the first black lineman in NFL history. And that’s just the beginning of this story.
The NFC South entered Week 1 of the 2020 season with so many questions and story-lines that we couldn’t wait to see how they played out!
Quarterback Tom Brady has a new uniform after joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Teddy Bridgewater is a starter for the Carolina Panthers. Drew Brees is back for the New Orleans Saints and better than ever? And the Atlanta Falcons are, well, The Falcons…
Since the Bucs faced the Saints we knew at least one team in this division would have to come out of the weekend with a loss…. but THREE teams? I didn’t see that one coming!
The 2020 NFL offseason has been anything but typical. Training camps are underway with no fans in attendance and our glimpses of the teams have been sketchy at best.
But in looking around the AFC North, at the additions from the draft, the free agency moves and the returns from injury, it seems as if it’s just another normal off-season.
I have to say the team to beat is the Baltimore Ravens – regardless of what Steeler Fan wants to believe. And while Pittsburgh and the Cleveland Browns battle to be second fiddle, I think we all know the Cincinnati Bengals need a lot more help than #1 draft pick Joe Burrow as quarterback.
Let take a look at what each team has been up to so far this year.
In the 15th round of the 1942 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected Mac Speedie (January 12, 1920 – March 5, 1993).
But instead of starting a professional football career in the midst of World War II, Speedie enlisted in the U.S. Army and never played for them.
After four years of military service, he caught the attention of Cleveland Browns Head Coach Paul Brown. Moving to the end position on the offense, he quickly became a pass-catching dynamo… which is why he is a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class of 2020.
We hope you are all staying healthy and finding your way through this strange time we are living in.
The lack of sports has really opened my eyes to exactly how much of my time was devoted to following these entertaining athletic events. But it’s also given me a greater sense of humor when trying to find things to occupy all this free time.
Hence “The Sweet Sixteen of Football Movies” that we hosted last week. Thank you to everyone who voted. If you didn’t vote then you don’t get to complain about the results! Yeah, that’s how I roll!
Another NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone leaving fans hungry for the Draft in April! Do these results actually affect when a player is drafted? You betcha!
But how much of an impact do they have? Frankly, it’s hard to tell. History tells us that bad results have a larger effect than any surprisingly good results. Teams largely rely on tape of a player’s actual activity in games to do the largest portion of their rankings.
However, we also know that seeing these guys perform standardized tests under pressure and intense scrutiny tells teams a lot about their character which can also factor into their decisions on Draft Day.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some top performers on the offensive side of the ball…
The Dallas Cowboys will be re-signing Prescott. It could take a while, but it will get done. Same with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Winston. While he wasn’t stellar last year, I think they’ll stick with him a little longer.
So that leaves Brees, Brady and Rivers looking for new homes. Hmmm.
But the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant yesterday in a helicopter crash reaches us all. He was only 41 years old.
His work ethic, the #MambaMentality, is something so many athletes try to emulate. And the impact of his life and death is global, it crosses all sports and it affects all kinds of people.
We all send our thoughts and prayers to the families affected by this awful tragedy. It wasn’t just Kobe who was lost, but also his young daughter Gianna, who many of us came to know through the glimpses we saw of them together on social media. Seven other people died in this helicopter crash as well. Kobe may be garnering the headlines due to his place in basketball history, but there are four other families that are not being forgotten.
5 families forever changed.
There are no words that I can provide for comfort but my hope is, may these families find peace of mind and soul.