Jack Youngblood

Herbert Jackson Youngblood III (born January 26, 1950) is an American former college and professional football player who was a defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL) for fourteen seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. He was a five-time consensus All-Pro and a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Before playing professionally, Youngblood played college football for the University of Florida, and was recognized as an All-American. He is considered among the best players Florida ever produced—a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and one of only six Florida Gators to be named to the Gator Football Ring of Honor.

After retiring as a player in 1985, Youngblood worked in the Rams' front office until 1991. He also worked in the front office of the Sacramento Surge of the World League (WLAF) from 1992 to 1993, and the administration of the Canadian Football League's Sacramento Gold Miners from 1993 to 1994. He was a vice-president, then president, of the Orlando Predators from 1995 until 1999. From 1999 through 2002, he served as the NFL's liaison for the Arena Football League.[1]

Youngblood has made forays into broadcasting (both radio and television), acting, and business, and has written an autobiography. He was a popular spokesperson for various products, and he has been consistently involved in charity work, starting in college, continuing throughout his NFL career, and remaining so today. Currently, Youngblood serves on the NFLPA Mackey-White Traumatic Brain Injury Committee.[2]

In 2014, Youngblood opened the Jack Youngblood Center for NeuroEnhancement in Orlando, Florida, which purports to treat the symptoms of traumatic brain injury and offer care to patients in effort to restore normal brain function. Youngblood has stated, "The bonus with this therapy is that the time invested is minimal, while the results are extraordinary."[3]

Jack Youngblood
Color photo of Jack Youngblood, 51-year-old white man dressed in gold jacket, blue shirt, tie and sunglasses, giving his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech in 2001.
Hall of Fame induction speech in 2001
No. 85
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:January 26, 1950 (age 69)
Jacksonville, Florida
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school:Monticello (FL) Jefferson Co.
College:Florida
NFL Draft:1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:202
Games started:188
Quarterback sacks:151.5
Fumbles recovered:10
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Jack Youngblood was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the son of Herbert J. and Kay Youngblood. He has two sisters, Paula and Lynn. Youngblood attended Monticello-Jefferson County High School in Monticello, Florida, graduating in 1967.[4] As an offensive lineman and linebacker, he was a starter on offense and defense and team captain of the state champion Tigers, earning All-State honors in 1966 after recording 70 tackles.[5] He was also All-Big Bend, All-Conference and the Big Bend Linemen of the Year and the Outstanding Lineman for the Tigers that season while leading a defense that shutout seven opponents and allowed ten touchdowns in 12 games, including the state playoffs. He was a four-year letterman in football and also played basketball at M-JC High as well as participating in 4-H, Student Council, and Key Club International.

Youngblood was named to Florida's All-Time High school football team by Sports Illustrated in 1989. In November 2007, he was recognized as one of the state of Florida's thirty-three all-time greatest high school football players when he was voted to the Florida High School Athletic Association's All-Century High School football team.[5]

College career

At the University of Florida, Youngblood was a brother of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity (Alpha Omega Chapter),[6] and was a three-year varsity letterman for coach Ray Graves and coach Doug Dickey's Florida Gators football teams from 1968 to 1970.[7] Youngblood had entered school at 195 pounds and put on 10 pounds a year through weight-lifting, finishing around 245 pounds.[8] Youngblood and his teammates were part of the testing for what became Gatorade, a beverage created by doctors Robert Cade and Dana Shires, designed to help Gator athletes who had to practice and play in Central Florida heat. Said Youngblood, "Dr. Cade began experimenting with Gatorade my freshman year. He tried to kill us all! That first stuff was lethal! It was thick, like syrup, and had an aftertaste. Then, it started to look like milk."[9]

As a freshman, Youngblood played defensive end, wearing number 52, for the Gator freshman team. It was his first experience on the defensive line, after playing linebacker in high school. As a sophomore, Youngblood played defensive end and defensive tackle (recording 24 tackles and four sacks) while also handling the kicking chores for the Gators, kicking a career-long 42-yard field goal to provide the three-point winning margin in his first collegiate game which was against Air Force.

In 1969, Youngblood was part of a 9–1–1 Gators team that upset the Tennessee Volunteers in the Gator Bowl in coach Ray Graves's final game as coach at Florida.[10] Youngblood played a key role in the Gator Bowl recording nine tackles and forcing a fumble.[11] Youngblood first gained national attention after an October 4, 1969, five-sack performance 21-6 win versus instate rival Florida State University. He set a school record for sacks (14) in 1969 and led the teams' defensive linemen with 66 tackles.

In 1970, Youngblood was recognized as a first-team All-American,[12] while recording 58 tackles and leading the team with 10 sacks to finish his Gator career with 29 quarterback sacks. Additionally, he was a finalist for the Outland Trophy following the 1970 season[13] and was voted the 1970 SEC lineman of the year. Youngblood was also named to the SEC All-Conference team in 1970, which ended three winning seasons while at Florida. He was also the 1970 recipient of Florida's Fergie Ferguson Award, which goes to the senior who displays outstanding leadership, character, and courage.[14] His performance in the Florida–Georgia rivalry earned him a spot in the Florida–Georgia Game Hall of Fame as well.[15][16] In the 1970 edition of the game, Florida trailed Georgia by seven points and the Georgia offense had driven to Florida's one-yard line, Youngblood stopped a Georgia running back short of the goal line and forced him to fumble and then recovered the loose ball beginning a rally that gained a come-from-behind 24–17 victory.[17]

Some regard Youngblood, who was considered to be an excellent pass rusher,[18][19] as the best defensive lineman in Gators history as well as one of the top five players in the University of Florida's football program.[20] When Time magazine chose him for their 1970 All-America Team, it said of Youngblood: "Deceptively fast for his size, he reads screens and swing passes so adroitly that he intimidates quarterbacks by his mere presence."[21] His coach Doug Dickey told The Sporting News, "He is difficult to move when you run at him, has the speed and agility to pursue down the line of scrimmage, and the strength and quickness to rush the passer." In one of a series of articles written for The Gainesville Sun in 2006, Youngblood was ranked as the No. 5 all-time greatest player for the Florida Gators.[22]

Youngblood graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in finance in 1972.

NFL career

Youngblood was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the 1971 NFL Draft.[23] He was the 20th overall pick in that draft and signed a 3-year $105,000 contract including a $30,000 signing bonus.[24] That season, he backed up Deacon Jones at left defensive end and started four games when Jones was sidelined with a severely sprained arch.[25] He was named All-Rookie by Football Digest and after the season Jones was traded to the San Diego Chargers. In 1972, the left defensive end position was Youngblood's as he led the Rams defensive linemen in tackles with 70, and started 11 of the 14 games he played, recording six sacks.

In 1973, Youngblood was a Second-team All-pro selection and went to the first of his seven Pro Bowls and led the Rams with ​16 12 sacks.[26] The Ram defense led the NFL in fewest yards allowed and fewest rushing yards. He was voted the Rams defensive lineman of the year by the Rams Alumni Association. Beginning in the 1973 season, the Rams added the unrelated Jim Youngblood to its roster, so from that time on, both Youngbloods had the unique distinction of having their entire name on the back of their jerseys, the given name appearing above the family name. The following year, 1974, the Rams again led the NFL in rushing defense and Youngblood led the Rams with 15 sacks while being voted a consensus First-team All-Pro and being named to his second Pro Bowl.[27][28][29] The Rams advanced to the NFC Championship game, losing 14-10 to the Minnesota Vikings.[30]

Youngblood was honored as the NFC Defensive Player of the Year by United Press International in 1975 and Pro Football Weekly named Youngblood the NFL defensive lineman of the year. For the third consecutive season Youngblood led the Rams in sacks (15) and was named to the Pro Bowl and a consensus All-pro again, repeating his 1974 honors.[31][32] In a December 1975, 35-23 playoff win over the St. Louis Cardinals, Youngblood pass-rushed Cardinals offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf, penetrated into the backfield, then tipped and intercepted a pass by Jim Hart, returning the interception 47 yards for a touchdown.[33] Later in the game, Youngblood forced a fumble that was recovered by teammate Fred Dryer, blocked an extra point attempt, and sacked Hart to stop a Cardinals drive.[34][35]

Youngblood repeated his NFC Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1976 while co-leading the Rams in sacks with ​14 12, being named to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl, and being a consensus first-team All-Pro for the third straight season.[37][38] The following year, 1977, Youngblood was voted to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl and a consensus All-NFC selection and second-team All-Pro while leading the Rams in sacks for the fifth straight season. In 1978, the Rams led the NFL in total defense and Youngblood was named to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl and was a consensus first-team All-Pro for the fourth time in five years.[39][40]

One of the athletic feats for which Youngblood is best known, is that of playing in the 1979 playoffs, including Super Bowl XIV, with a fractured left fibula.[41][42] He also played in the 1980 Pro Bowl with the injured leg, a week after the Super Bowl.[43] In the playoffs, Youngblood sacked Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach near the sideline in the waning moments of the divisional playoff game versus the Cowboys.[44] Playing with the fractured leg was noted by Sports Illustrated in their Top 10 list of athletes playing in pain.[45] For that and other achievements Jack was dubbed the "John Wayne of football" by Jim Hanifan and echoed by Hall of Fame coach John Madden.[46] The NFL Network series NFL Top 10 selected Youngblood's performance in the 1979 playoffs as top on its list of the "Gutsiest Performances" of all time.[47]

For the 1979 season, Youngblood had a career-high 18 sacks[48] and was a consensus first-team All-Pro for the fifth time. He was voted to his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl.[49][50] In 1980, he was second-team All-Pro and first-team All-NFC while leading the Rams with ​11 12 sacks. In 1981, Youngblood led the Rams with ​12 12 sacks and was the Rams outstanding defensive lineman. In the off-season, prior to the 1981 season, Jack had emergency surgery to remove a hot-dog sized blood clot from under his left arm. It was a result of repeated trauma to a nerve in his arm that blocked the flow of blood.[51] Despite the broken leg and numerous other injuries, Youngblood played in 201 consecutive games, a Rams team record; and only missed one game in his 14-year NFL career.[52] He played in seven straight Pro Bowls, five NFC Championships, and one Super Bowl. He was also the Rams' defensive captain from 1977 through 1984 and was voted the Dan Reeves award 3 times, which is awarded to the team's MVP. He had ​151 12 career sacks and led the Rams in sacks nine times despite playing first in assistant Coach Ray Malavasi's stop-the-run-first defensive scheme and then in his final two seasons in Defensive Coordinator Fritz Shurmur's 3-4 two-gap scheme[53] which limited some pass rush opportunities to make sure the opponent's running game was handled.[54]

Youngblood faced a challenge in 1983 when the Rams adopted Shurmur's 3-4 defense. Critics thought Youngblood might be too small to play that position, yet he performed in it well (recording ​10 12 sacks in 1983 and ​9 12 sacks in 1984 while Rams were among the NFL's best defenses at stopping the run) despite being considered undersized.[51] Among the standout games in Youngblood's final two seasons were the opening game of the 1983 season, against the New York Giants in which Youngblood recorded two sacks; and the 1983 season finale against the New Orleans Saints. In the Saints game Youngblood recorded 10 tackles, two sacks, recorded a safety and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by Pro Football Weekly for the effort.[55] In Week 5 of 1984 against the New York Giants, Youngblood recorded two sacks, drew three holding calls and was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week by the NFL.[56][57] Then, in Week 10, against the St. Louis Cardinals, he dominated the game sacking Neil Lomax three times and drawing three holding calls, and blocking a potential game-tying field goal on the game's final play to preserve a 16-13 Rams win.[58]

His streak of consecutive games played ended in Week 15 of the 1984 season, when Youngblood had to sit out his first football game since being a collegiate player in 1970. He had suffered a ruptured disc in his lower back two weeks earlier. Despite the injury, he returned for the season finale against the 49ers and the playoffs.[59] He attributed his ability to play to a series of back adjustments that allowed him more freedom of movement, even though team doctors told Youngblood he was out for the season and needed surgery.[60] He was voted the Rams' recipient of the 1984 Ed Block Courage Award[61] by "representing everything that is positive about professional football and serving as an inspiration in their locker rooms being a positive role model in his communities". Though the injury ended his streak, Youngblood still holds the record for most consecutive starts in the NFL by a strong-side defensive end with 184.[62]

Jack4d-1
Youngblood at the Hall of Fame Gold Jacket Dinner, 2001

When Youngblood retired on August 27, 1985, he asked his career to be remembered for "dignity, integrity, respect and pride".[63]

Season sack totals: 1971 (3), 1972 (6), 1973 (​16 12), 1974 (15), 1975 (15), 1976 (​14 12), 1977 (​8 12), 1978 (7), 1979 (18), 1980 (11⅓), 1981 (​12 12), 1982 (4), 1983 (​10 12), 1984 (​9 12), Career Total (​151 12)

Los Angeles Rams records

  • Most consecutive games played (201)
  • Most career sacks in the playoffs (​8 12)
  • Most playoff starts (17)
  • Most career safeties — tied (2)
  • 2nd most career sacks (​151 12)
  • 2nd most career blocked kicks (8)

Post-NFL career

Acting and broadcasting

Youngblood appeared in two television movies: C.A.T. Squad in 1986 and C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf in 1988. In the telefilms, Youngblood played a Secret Service agent in the "Counter Assault Technical Squad" named John Sommers who was the "best weapons and munitions man in the business" and who was a fine secret service agent but hated big cities like Washington D.C. and New York and was thus banished to Alaska. In the plot-line of the movies "John Sommers" was a member of the Air Force Reserve who piloted SR-71 spyplane.[64] In these films, Youngblood starred along with Joe Cortese,[65] Steve James,[66] and Deborah Van Valkenburgh.[67] For "Python Wolf", he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor.[68]

Both films were directed by William Friedkin who is most noted for directing The Exorcist, The French Connection, and The Boys in the Band.[69]

Youngblood was a reporter and co-host for ESPN's NFL GameDay show in 1985 and 1986, alongside Chris Berman and was succeeded by current co-host, Tom Jackson in 1987. In 1988, he auditioned for the NFL on CBS's NFL Today along with Dick Butkus, Lyle Alzado, and Gary Fencik, with Butkus being hired to fill the co-host slot. Youngblood was also a regular guest on ESPN programs Star-Shot (1988), Sportslook (1984, 1986, 1988) and Great Outdoors (1989) programs.

Youngblood was a radio analyst for the Los Angeles Rams from 1987–1991, the Sacramento Surge in 1992, and a television analyst for the Sacramento Gold Miners in 1993.

In 2000, Youngblood was hired as the co-host for Wal-Mart's Great Outdoors (with Bert Jones) and served in that capacity through 2003. Wal-Mart's Great Outdoors was telecast 52 weeks a year and was a mainstay on ESPN's popular Saturday morning outdoors programming block, drawing impressive ratings throughout its 10-year history.[70]

Autobiography

In 1988, Youngblood authored (with Joel Engel) his autobiography, Blood. The book outlined Youngblood's drive and passion for professional football and reviewed his career, his injuries, his successes, and his failures on the football field. The book recounts when, between the 1973 and 1974 seasons, Youngblood traveled to Logan, Utah, to help Rams teammates Merlin and Phil Olsen with their summer football camp. An altercation in the parking lot of a local pub resulted in Youngblood having a .44 pistol stuck in his eye and the trigger pulled and fortunately the chamber was empty, although other chambers were not. A cut eyelid was the only injury he sustained. After initially pleading innocent, the assailant later pleaded guilty and received a one-year suspended sentence.[71] The book was favorably reviewed by Publishers Weekly as "an unusual sports book".[72]

Football administration

After his retirement, Youngblood worked in player relations and marketing for the Rams from 1985–90 and served as the Rams' color analyst for the Rams Radio Network from 1986-1991.[73][74] Youngblood moved to the World League of American Football as the Director of Marketing for the Sacramento Surge in 1991 (although he remained as Rams color announcer for the 1991 season), during which time the Surge won the 1992 World Bowl.[75] He moved to the Sacramento Gold Miners of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1993. He also served as a color analyst for both the Surge and the Gold Miners radio networks and hosted a sports radio talk show at KHTK-AM 1140 in Sacramento, California, when that station became a sports format station in 1994.[76][77][78]

In 1995, he returned to his native Florida as Vice President and General Manager, then later as President, of the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League.[76] One of his major projects with the Predators was taking the team a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In 1998, Youngblood's final year with the team, the club won its first Arena League championship, defeating the favored Tampa Bay Storm. In 1999, he began to work for the AFL office as a liaison to the National Football League and served as a special consultant to the Arena Football League and arenafootball2.[79]

Jackyoungbloodthroback
Youngblood at the Throwback Bowl, 1997

Business

Youngblood was a division president of Dave Liles Ethanol Fuels,[80] which produces a fuel additive that purports to boost octane, clean fuel systems, and help the environment by reducing engine emissions and being completely biodegradable.[81] He also owns and maintains a farm in his native North Florida, in which he currently raises pine trees and where he raised cattle until 2002.[82]

During his NFL career, Youngblood partnered with Los Angeles Rams teammate Larry Brooks to open "The Wild Bunch" in 1980, a western clothing store that featured high-end western wear, including cowboy boots, cowboy hats, silver belt buckles, jeans, and other country apparel. Additionally, while still active with the Rams, Youngblood worked with BankAmericard, in a public relations capacity.[83] He also owned and operated the South Coast Club in Huntington Beach, California, during his career.[84]

Additionally, some of the sponsorships and advertising ventures Youngblood was involved with were a Miller Lite TV commercial in 1985 and Honda Power machines in 1985.[85] He had print ads for Pro Tron Weights, regional ad, 1984, Dan Post Handcrafted Boots, national print-ad 1986, Cal-Gym, national print-ad, 1986, and was a national spokesman for Protatonin in 2001.[86][87] In the mid-1980s he modeled Munsingwear briefs in a series of magazine and billboard ads.[88] In the mid-1970s Jack did television commercials and print-ads for In-N-Out Burger, a California-based fast food chain.

Continuing popularity

During his career, Youngblood gained a loyal following which seems to continue through today. In July 2006, a game-used Jack Youngblood jersey sold for $6,565 in an online auction.[89] Fox News' Mike Straka listed Youngblood as having one of the NFL's "great names".[90]

In 2007, Sports Illustrated named Youngblood the greatest professional athlete to wear the uniform number 85.[91] Youngblood was given the same honor in the 2004 book Right on the Numbers by Nino Frostino,[92] and the Best Athletes by the Number blog.[93] One of Youngblood's biggest fans, David G. Lewber, died on June 28, 2007. Mr. Lewber was buried in his autographed Jack Youngblood jersey a week later on July 3, 2007.[94]

In October 2011, D.W. Cooper released Because It Was Sunday, a biography about Youngblood's playing career.[95]

Awards and honors

College

Youngblood was an All-America selection in 1970, as well as being the SEC Lineman of the Year, All-SEC, and a finalist for the Outland Trophy. After his college career, Youngblood played in the Senior Bowl and recorded four sacks.[97] He was named the Outstanding Lineman of the Game and in 1989 he was voted into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame.[98] Additionally, he was voted a member of the 50th Anniversary Senior Bowl All-Time Team in 1999.[99]

For his achievements he was selected to the All-Time SEC team in 1983. He was voted to the All-SEC Quarter-Century Team (1950–74) as well as being voted to the 25-year All-SEC teams which spanned from the 1961 through the 1985 seasons.[100] He was voted best defensive end in SEC for the years 1960-85.[101] Additionally, he was voted to the SEC All-Decade team for the 1970s.[102] In 1995, Youngblood was voted one of the SEC Football Legends and was presented at the SEC championship game in Atlanta, Georgia.[103]

Youngblood, who is regarded by some as the best defensive end in Gators history,[17][20] was named to the All-time Florida Gators team in 1983, and in 1999 he was voted to the Florida Gator All-Century Team. In 2006, he was named to the 100-year Anniversary Gator Team.[17] In 1975, Youngblood was voted to the Florida Sports Hall of Fame which features great athletes who played college or professional athletics and have a Florida connection.[104] In 2001, he was elected to the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame.[105] Five years later, in 2006, Youngblood was among the first four Gator legends to be inducted into the Florida Football Ring of Honor, alongside Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, and Emmitt Smith.[17]

In 1992, Youngblood was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He was also selected to the FWAA 1969-1994 All-America Team with players like Lawrence Taylor, Jerry Rice, John Elway, Tony Dorsett, Ronnie Lott, and Jack Tatum.[106] In 1999, he was named to the Sports Illustrated NCAA Football All-Century Team as one of only six defensive ends named to the squad.[107]

He was named by one SEC publication as the Top All-Time SEC Defensive of All-Time.[108] Youngblood was also named by the Birmingham News as one of the Top 10 defensive linemen in SEC history,[109] ranking with SEC greats as Reggie White, Doug Atkins, and Bill Stanfill. In addition, he is one of the three the top defensive lineman in history of the SEC, making the 75th Anniversary All-SEC Team in 2007 as determined by votes of SEC fans.[110]

National Football League

Youngblood was elected to NFL All-Pro teams five times (1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979) during his 14 years with the Rams and was an All-NFC selection seven times (1974–80). In addition, Youngblood was a second-team All-Pro in 1973, 1977, and 1980 and was second-team All-NFC in 1973 and 1984. He was also named to seven Pro Bowls and was a first alternate to the game in 1984, his final season. Youngblood was on the 1984 All-Madden team and was chosen by John Madden as the player who most exemplified the All-Madden team.[111]

Youngblood is a member of the Los Angeles Rams' 50th Anniversary Team (1985), and the Rams All-Century Team chosen after the 1999 season. In October 2001 he was honored in the St. Louis Rams Ring of Fame, along with Jackie Slater.[112] Youngblood was voted the Rams' Outstanding Defensive Linemen by the Rams' Alumni nine times (1973, 1975–76, 1978–81, and 1983–84).

Youngblood, in 1987, was voted to the Orange County (California) Sports Hall of Fame along with Pat McCormick, Ann Meyers and Cap Sheue.[113] Four years earlier Youngblood was recognized as the 1983 Orange County Sportsman of the Year by the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation. Other notable honorees have been Jim Nantz, Peter Ueberroth, John McKay, Bill Walsh, and Pete Carroll.[114][115]

Youngblood played in 201 consecutive games, a Rams team record; he only missed one game in his 14-year NFL career. He was the Rams' defensive captain from 1977 through 1984 and was voted the recipient Dan Reeves award three times, which is awarded to the team's most valuable player. He had ​151 12 career sacks and led the Rams in sacks nine times[116] despite playing first in assistant coach Ray Malavasi's stop-the-run-first defensive scheme and then in his final two seasons in defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmer's 3-4 two-gap scheme which limited some pass rush opportunities to make sure the opponent's running game was handled. His highest single-season sack total was 18 in 1979.

He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 along with Ron Yary, Lynn Swann, Jackie Slater, Mike Munchak, Marv Levy, and Nick Buoniconti and inducted in August in Canton, Ohio.[117] Youngblood echoed his post-retirement sentiments in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech by stating, "I didn't sack the quarterback every time I rushed the passer. I didn't make every tackle for a loss. I guess — no one could. But, it wasn't because I didn't have the passion to, the desire to. I hope that showed".[118]

Youngblood's style of play and perceived ability to play hurt brought many notations in NFL lore. In 1996 NFL Films named him to their list of the 100 Toughest Players of All-Time and in 2006 NFL writer Neil Reynolds featured Youngblood in his 2006 book "Pain Gang,"[120] in which Reynolds names Youngblood as one of the 50 Toughest players of All-Time. In addition, Blitz magazine, The Sporting News, Football Digest, and Sport magazine have singled Youngblood out as one of the toughest and one of the hardest hitting players of all-time. He was named by Yahoo! writer Charles Robinson as the best-ever player taken in the 20th slot of the 1st round of the NFL draft calling Youngblood "the essence of today's defensive end——a mixture of strength, toughness and speed that few ends boasted in the 1970s."[121] In 2000, Sports Illustrated ranked Youngblood as No. 4 in its list of the greatest pass rushers of all-time, behind only Deacon Jones, Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor.[122]

During his career, Jack won the respect of both teammates and opponents. Dan Dierdorf, a Hall of Fame tackle, said that Youngblood was "by far the toughest opponent I faced in my career",[123] a thought echoed by Viking Hall of Fame tackle Ron Yary who said, "There wasn't anybody who was tougher to block than Jack".[124] Other NFL greats such as Hall of Fame tackles Bob Brown[125] and Rayfield Wright,[126] rank Jack among the top players they faced.[119] Opposing quarterbacks ranked Youngblood highly, with two of them, Fran Tarkenton and Roger Staubach, stating that Jack was the top defensive lineman they faced in their careers.[119] Hall of Fame defensive tackle Merlin Olsen paid Youngblood the highest compliment by stating that Jack was the "perfect defensive end".[127] Running backs also entered the chorus, "I remember bouncing off Jack Youngblood and it was just like a pillar of strength over there on the defense," Rocky Bleier recalled. "Jack played hurt, he played tough, and he was a great opponent."[128]

To all the praise, Youngblood responded, "I don't consider myself tough, I consider myself a nut for some of the things I did".[129] Youngblood concluded, "I wasn't the biggest guy, I certainly wasn't the strongest and I wasn't the fastest either. But I think one of my biggest assets was that I had an undeniable determination to be the best that has ever put his hand on the ground, I had a genuine desire to be great."[130]

Charitable activities

While at the University of Florida, Youngblood was involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes while also speaking to youth groups and raising funds for needy children. One such event was a 57-mile bicycle ride he organized which intended to send disadvantaged youth to a summer camp.[131] Youngblood was involved in the 1974 NFL-USO tour to Vietnam and Southeast Asia. In 1977, Youngblood was the chairman of the Los Angeles-area "Right to Read" program and active in the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation. The same year, he was the United Way spokesman for the Rams and was the club's Man of the Year nominee in 1975 and 1983. In 1986 He participated the Hands Across America, an event to end hunger in the United States. Other NFL stars including Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett were also in the nationwide hand-holding line. In his final 13 years (1979–1991) in Los Angeles, Youngblood sponsored a celebrity golf tournament for the John Tracy Clinic for Deaf Children,[132] and was active with programs at the Children's Hospital for Orange County. He was named the Orange County "Sportsman of the Year" by the hospital in 1987.

Since 2001, Youngblood has been the St. Louis Rams' host for the Taste of the NFL charity event,[133] a dinner held annually at the Super Bowl to raise funds for Feeding America-The Nation's Foodbank Network.[134] In April 2007, Youngblood was inducted into the National Football League Alumni Association's prestigious Order of the Leather Helmet, which is the highest award for the NFL Alumni given to those "who make a lasting impression on the game".[135]

Throughout his NFL career and after Youngblood has been a skilled public speaker, sought after by corporate, athletic, and Christian groups due to his activity and success in those arenas. He attends hunting, fishing and golf outings when associated with a good cause.[136] He is active in the Orlando chapter of Young Life, a nationwide organization[137] whose goals include attempting to mentor young men and women in the Christian faith.[137] Jack's wife, Barbara Youngblood, serves on the Executive Committee for Young Life for the Orlando Chapter.

Youngblood serves on the Honorary Advisory Board of the St. Louis Rams[138] ( it is now the Los Angeles Rams so this should at least be past tense) notables like Bill Cosby, August A. Busch III, Jonathan Winters, Dick Gephardt, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Stan Musial, Maxine Waters, Dr. Toby Freedman, et al. Former members of the Rams Advisory Board, created in 1981, include Lord David Westbury, former Ram and Evangelist Rosey Grier, Maureen Reagan, Henry Mancini, Bob Hope, Danny Thomas, Jane Upton Bell, and former President Gerald Ford among others.

Youngblood is involved in helping former NFL players in need by supporting the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund (GGAF). The Gridiron Greats sponsors golf tournaments, autograph signings, memorabilia auctions, clay pigeon shoots and dinners to raise funds for retired players.[139][140][141]

See also

References

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  2. ^ Associated Press, "Mackey-White Traumatic Brain Injury Committee Committee holds first meeting," ESPN.com (January 26, 2010). Retrieved January 28, 2009.
  3. ^ "Jack Youngblood Center for NeuroEnhancement". Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  4. ^ "Jack Youngblood presents Golden Football Award to JCMHS -". ECB Publishing. December 24, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "FHSAA announces 33-member All-Century football team". fhsaa.org. Florida High School Athletic Association. December 12, 2007. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "Famous Alumni". ato.org. Alpha Tau Omega. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
  7. ^ 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 83, 87, 91, 96, 102–103, 186 (2011). Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  8. ^ "Jack Youngblood". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  9. ^ Wilton Sharpe (2007). Gators Glory: Great Eras in Florida Football. Cumberland House Publishing. p. 236. ISBN 1-58182-621-4.
  10. ^ "1969 Florida Gators Schedule and Results". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
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External links

1969 Florida Gators football team

The 1969 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida during the 1969 college football season. The season was the tenth, last, and arguably most successful season for Ray Graves as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. Graves' 1969 Florida Gators finished their regular season with an overall record of 8–1–1 and an SEC record of 3–1–1, placing fourth among the ten SEC teams. Florida concluded the year with a Gator Bowl victory over SEC-champion Tennessee. Afterwards, Graves resigned from the head coaching position to become the university's athletic director, and was replaced by Tennessee head coach Doug Dickey.Graves' final Gators squad was led by a surprising group of second-year offensive players known as the "Super Sophs", that included quarterback John Reaves, wide receiver Carlos Alvarez and tailback Tommy Durrance.

1971 Los Angeles Rams season

The 1971 Los Angeles Rams season was the team's 34th year with the National Football League and the 26th season in Los Angeles. The team looked to improve on its 9-4-1 record from 1970. The Rams would finish one game below their goal, as they finished 8-5-1 and finished 2nd in the NFC West behind the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams would start out strong, as they started 4-1-1 in their first 6 games before splitting their final 8 games. Despite sweeping the 49ers on the season (the 49ers would win the NFC West at 9-5), a crucial tie against the Atlanta Falcons in week 2 proved to doom the Rams, because had they beaten Atlanta, they would've clinched the NFC West by virtue of their sweep over the 49ers.

1975 Los Angeles Rams season

The 1975 Los Angeles Rams season was the team's 38th year with the National Football League and the 30th season in Los Angeles.

In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1975 Rams as the tenth-greatest defense in NFL history. Said ESPN.com, "Fred Dryer. Jack Youngblood. Merlin Olson. Get the idea? They weren't the "Fearsome Foursome," but with those guys anchoring the defensive line, and All-Pros Isiah Robertson (linebacker) and Dave Elmendorf (safety), the Rams were almost impossible to score against. The Rams went 12–2, holding opponents to just 9.6 points a game, (the second-lowest average in NFL history) and ending the season with a six-game winning streak during which they gave up just 32 points. The defense wasn't as impressive in the postseason, surrendering 23 points in a first-round 35–23 victory over the offensive powerhouse Cardinals before losing 37–7 to the Cowboys in the NFC title game."

1980 Pro Bowl

The 1980 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 30th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1979 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 27, 1980, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before 48,060 fans. The final score was NFC 37, AFC 27.Don Coryell of the San Diego Chargers lead the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry. The referee was Dick Jorgensen.Chuck Muncie of the New Orleans Saints was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning NFC team received $5,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $2,500.Starting in his seventh and final Pro Bowl, defensive end Jack Youngblood of the Los Angeles Rams played in the game with a fractured left fibula, just as he had played during the NFC Divisional Playoff and in Super Bowl XIV. Pro Bowl Flashback Friday: Jack Youngblood's broken legThis was the first of thirty consecutive Pro Bowls played in Honolulu. It also marked a return to the game being played on a Sunday.

1984 Los Angeles Rams season

The 1984 Los Angeles Rams season was the franchise's 47th season in the National Football League, their 48th overall, and their 39th in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The Rams looked to improve on their 9–7 record from 1983 and make the playoffs for the second consecutive season and 10th in the last 12. They improved on their record by one game, going 10–6, good enough for second place in the NFC West behind the 15–1 San Francisco 49ers. In the playoffs, the Rams lost a low-scoring game to the New York Giants at home, 16–13. During this season, second-year running back Eric Dickerson set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a season, with 2,105 yards.

C.A.T. Squad

C.A.T. Squad (also titled Stalking Danger) is a 1986 television film starring Joseph Cortese, Jack Youngblood, Steve James, Bradley Whitford, and Barry Corbin. It is directed by William Friedkin and written by Gerald Petievich, who had collaborated on To Live and Die in L.A. the previous year. The original score was composed by Ennio Morricone.

The film follows the titular squad, an elite black ops unit, investigating a terrorist plot to sabotage a NATO defense project. It aired on NBC on July 27, 1986. It was followed by a sequel, C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf, in 1988.

Florida Gators football

The Florida Gators football program represents the University of Florida in American college football. Florida competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They play their home games in Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (nicknamed "The Swamp") on the university's Gainesville campus. The team's current head coach is Dan Mullen. The Gators have won three national championships and eight SEC titles in the 112-season history of Florida football.

History of the Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team that play in the National Football League (NFL). The Rams franchise was founded in 1936 as the Cleveland Rams in the short-lived second American Football League before joining the NFL the next year. In 1946, the franchise moved to Los Angeles. The Rams franchise remained in the metro area until 1994, when they moved to St. Louis, and were known as the St. Louis Rams from 1995 to 2015. The Rams franchise returned to Los Angeles in 2016. This article chronicles the franchise's history during their time in Los Angeles, from playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum between 1946 and 1979, to playing at Anaheim Stadium (now known as Angel Stadium of Anaheim) in Anaheim from 1980 to 1994, and its return to Southern California beginning with the 2016 season.

Jim Youngblood

Jimmy Lee Youngblood (born February 23, 1950) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins. He played college football at Tennessee Tech and was drafted in the second round of the 1973 NFL Draft.

KHTK

KHTK (1140 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Sacramento, California. KHTK broadcasts a sports radio format as "KHTK Sports 1140" as an affiliate of the CBS Sports Radio network.

KHTK broadcasts a 50,000 watt HD Radio signal (the second Sacramento AM station, after KIID, to broadcast in HD), audible as far north as Redding, as far south as Monterey and into the suburbs of San Francisco.KHTK broadcasts in the HD Radio format and programming is also simulcast on an HD subchannel of sister station KNCI (105.1-HD3).Its transmitter is located in Wilton, and its studios are in North Sacramento (just north of the American River).

KHTK serves as flagship station for Sacramento Kings basketball and UC Davis Aggies football, as well as Sacramento's radio home for Oakland Athletics baseball, Oakland Raiders football and San Jose Sharks hockey.

KHTK emerged after long-time country giant KRAK switched formats in 1994, due to the declining AM music audience. KHTK started out with a talk radio format (as "Hot Talk 1140") until converting to a full-time sports format, which was originally branded as "Sports 1140" before adopting "The Fan" branding in November 2011. On January 1, 2013, KHTK began to identify itself as "CBS Sports 1140." On July 1, 2013, 6 months after identifying as "CBS Sports 1140," KHTK switched its branding back to "KHTK Sports 1140", then to "Sports 1140 KHTK". One of KHTK's initial sports hosts was Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood, who co-hosted with Mike Remy, the station's former program director.

On July 31, 2008, the CBS Corporation announced that KHTK and its five sister stations in Sacramento were being put up for sale as part of the planned divestiture of radio stations outside the top-15 U.S. radio markets; it remained a CBS Radio station until its 2017 merger with Entercom, when KHTK was placed into a divestiture trust and became operated by Bonneville International under a local marketing agreement. Bonneville acquired the station outright in 2018.

Larry Brooks

Lawrence Lee Brooks Sr. (born June 10, 1950), is a former American Football defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams eleven seasons from 1972 to 1982 in the National Football League. Brooks was drafted in the 14th round of the 1972 NFL Draft after playing college football at Virginia State University. He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

List of Los Angeles Rams first-round draft picks

The Los Angeles Rams, a professional American football team based in Los Angeles, joined the National Football League (NFL) as Cleveland Rams in 1937. The Rams began playing in 1936 as a charter member of the second American Football League. Although the NFL granted membership to the same owner, the NFL considers it a separate entity. In 1946, Rams' owner Dan Reeves, fed up with poor attendance at Cleveland Stadium, moved the Rams to Los Angeles, and the team played there from 1946 to 1979. Before his death in 1979, later Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom planned a move within the Los Angeles metropolitan area to Anaheim, using the venue now known as Angel Stadium, and his widow and successor Georgia Frontiere went through with the move in 1980, with the team still officially representing Los Angeles. The Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995 and renamed the team St. Louis Rams. In January 2016, the Rams and the NFL announced that the team would return to Los Angeles. The team now plays in its original L.A. venue, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, while awaiting the 2020 opening of its new stadium in suburban Inglewood.The Rams first participated in the 1938 NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting, more commonly known as the NFL Draft. The Rams did have a 1937 pick, but it was picked by the NFL for an expansion team and later the Rams were later admitted into the league before the 1937 season. Every year during April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second–worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.The Rams' first selection as an NFL team was Johnny Drake, a fullback from Purdue in 1937. The Rams have selected the number one overall five times, drafting Corbett Davis in 1938, Billy Cannon in 1960, Terry Baker in 1963, Orlando Pace in 1997, and Sam Bradford in 2010 The Rams have drafted second overall seven times and the third overall two times. Five eventual Hall of Famers were selected by the Rams: Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch, Merlin Olsen, Tom Mack, Jack Youngblood, and Eric Dickerson. The team's most recent first round selections are Greg Robinson, an offensive tackle from Auburn, Aaron Donald, a defensive tackle from Pittsburgh, Todd Gurley, a running back from Georgia, and Jared Goff, a quarterback from California.

List of most consecutive starts and games played by National Football League players

This is a list of the most consecutive starts and games played by a player by position in the NFL.Brett Favre's starts streak of 297 games is the longest all-time. Among defensive players, Jim Marshall's starts streak of 270 is the longest all-time. Of special note is punter Jeff Feagles, who played in 352 consecutive games which is the longest of all-time for a special teams player. Special teams players are not credited with starts in the NFL. In 2018, Ryan Kerrigan became the most recent player to surpass someone at his position for consecutive starts, having broken the previous mark for left outside linebackers previously held by Jason Gildon.Updated through 2018 season

Bold denotes an active streak

Los Angeles Rams awards

This page details awards won by the Los Angeles Rams American football team. The Rams were formerly based in St. Louis (1995–2015) and Cleveland (1936–1942, 1944–1945), as well as Los Angeles (1946–1994, 2016–present).

National Football League 1970s All-Decade Team

This is a list of all National Football League (NFL) players who had outstanding performances throughout the 1970s and have been compiled onto this fantasy group. The team was selected by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The squad consists of first- and second-team offensive, defensive and special teams units, as well as a first- and second-team head coaches.

Punter Ray Guy was the leading vote-getter for the 1970s All-Decade Team, receiving 24 of a possible 25 votes. O.J. Simpson and Lynn Swann were next with 22 and 21 votes, respectively. Linebacker Jack Ham and Tight end Dave Casper each received 20 votes. Next were Defensive end Jack Youngblood and Joe Greene who each had 18 votes.

Holdovers from the National Football League 1960s All-Decade Team were Bob Lilly, Dick Butkus, Merlin Olsen, Larry Wilson, Jim Bakken, and Willie Brown.

Sacramento Gold Miners

The Sacramento Gold Miners were a Canadian football team based in Sacramento, California. The franchise was the first American team in the Canadian Football League. The Gold Miners inherited a home stadium, front office staff and much of the roster of the Sacramento Surge from the defunct World League of American Football. The team played its home games at Hornet Stadium.

Sacramento Surge

The Sacramento Surge was a professional American football team that played in the World League of American Football (WLAF) in 1991 and 1992. The team played its first season at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, and the second season in Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State University campus. It was owned by Managing General Partner Fred Anderson and the General Manager was Michael F. Keller. In charge of Special Projects was Jack Youngblood, who also partnered with Joe Starkey and Ronnie Lott on the Surge radio broadcasts KRAK.

The team was coached by former Buffalo Bills quarterback–head coach Kay Stephenson. Charlie Sumner was the defensive coordinator and Jim Haslett was a defensive assistant coach.

The Surge won the World Bowl in 1992, the only American team to do so. On this championship team were future professional wrestler Bill Goldberg and investment guru Pete Najarian.

After the WLAF ended its American presence at the end of the 1992 season, Anderson continued Sacramento's presence in professional football by acquiring a Canadian Football League expansion franchise. The new team was named the Sacramento Gold Miners; Stephenson and several Surge players were retained in the change, as were the team colors of aqua and yellow.

Sunday NFL Countdown

Sunday NFL Countdown is an American pregame television program that covers the NFL action for that week. The official name is Sunday NFL Countdown presented by Snickers. The show airs on ESPN, ESPN HD, TSN and TSN HD from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern time every Sunday during the National Football League regular season. In Europe it is aired by ESPN America.

It is very similar to The NFL Today on CBS and Fox NFL Sunday, which airs on Fox. The show's former names include NFL GameDay from 1985 to 1995, NFL Countdown from 1996 to 1997, and since 1998, Sunday NFL Countdown (to demarcate from the Monday night version of the series). In 2006, the program introduced new graphics and a new logo to resemble the network's Monday Night Football logo.

Chris Berman had been the studio host since 1986 succeeding Bob Ley. Jack Youngblood was the first analyst. In 1987, he was replaced by Pete Axthelm and Tom Jackson.

The show's awards include seven Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Weekly Show (1988, 1991, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2003, and 2006 seasons) and five CableACE Awards (1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 seasons).

On September 7, 2014, which was the 35th anniversary of ESPN's launch, Sunday NFL Countdown debuted a brand-new studio inside Digital Center 2 of ESPN's main facilities in Bristol. With it, came a new logo and also, a new graphics package similar to that of SportsCenter. Like SportsCenter, a Helvetica font is used, but with the lower-thirds having white text on a black background, as opposed to black text on a white background. Starting September 8, every NFL show produced at ESPN now shares its new graphics, new logo, and a new set (except Monday Night Countdown, which itself shares the same graphics package and theme music as Monday Night Football).

On September 13, 2015, Sunday NFL Countdown was shortened from 3 hours to 2 hours, due to a new Sunday edition of NFL Insiders being aired in the 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET time slot. Therefore, Sunday NFL Countdown was moved down an hour to 11 a.m. ET. On September 10, 2017, Sunday NFL Countdown moved back to the 10 a.m. ET time slot and became a 3-hour program once again, resulting in the cancellation of NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition after 2 seasons.

The show usually originates from Bristol, but it originates in the city hosting the Super Bowl for its Super Bowl edition. On November 20, 2016, the show originated from Mexico City, which was hosting the Monday Night Football game the following night between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders. In January 2017, ESPN announced that Berman would leave the show at the end of the 2016-17 season, ending his 31-year tenure as host of this program. Berman was replaced with Samantha Ponder, who had previously co-hosted and contributed to College GameDay from 2012–2016.

Jack Youngblood—awards and honors

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