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Ollie Matson dies

Discussion in 'All Other Team Discussions' started by JBlood, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

    Dec 4, 2004
    I remember him because of his size (he was huge for the day) and his speed. My condolences to his family.

    NFL Hall of Famer Ollie Matson dies at 80
    February 20 Los Angeles Times

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    "Ollie Matson, a remarkably versatile football player who had the misfortune during a 14-year career in the National Football League to play on mostly bad teams, among them some of the worst Los Angeles Rams clubs in history — and made it to the Hall of Fame anyway — has died. He was 80.
    Matson died of respiratory failure Saturday at his Los Angeles home, said his nephew, Art Thompson III. He had been in home hospice care for the past week and had suffered from dementia for several years.
    He blocked, caught passes — he threw a few as well — and, early in his career, played defense as well as offense. But Matson, thanks to his Olympic-caliber speed, was known for his breakaway running with the ball — from scrimmage, after catching passes or on kickoff and punt returns. Averaging 4.4 yards, he rushed for 5,173 yards, caught 222 passes for 3,285 yards and altogether gained 12,884 yards on rushes, receptions and returns.
    He scored 40 touchdowns running from scrimmage, 23 on receptions, nine on returns — including a 105-yard kickoff return against the Washington Redskins in 1956 — and one on a fumble recovery. And for all of that, in only two of his 14 seasons with the Chicago Cardinals, Rams, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles did his team finish above .500.
    He was NFL rookie of the year in 1952 and All-NFL four times. He was selected to play in six Pro Bowl games — winning the Most Valuable Player award in one — and was so desired by the Rams that in 1959 they traded eight players and a draft choice to get him, and him alone, from the Cardinals. Yet he never got close to playing in a championship game.
    In a way, Matson's NFL career was an extension of his college career at the University of San Francisco. There, he rushed for an NCAA-record 3,166 yards in three years as a starter and, as a senior, led the Dons to a 9-0 record, only to see the team snubbed when bowl invitations were issued and his offensive achievements dismissed in All-American selections. He led the nation with 1,566 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns in 1951, yet he finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting and was recognized only as a defensive back on All-American teams."
  2. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

    Feb 13, 2010
    weird how heisman voting broke down back in the day. I guess it was extreme regional biases if he finished 9th

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