Football News Headlines
NOTE: The intent of the News Section is not to dwell on negative stories that are more suited to be found in the Police and Crime Section of your local newspaper, but to report and document stories that cover the entire realm of The World of Football. Chances are, you may not have seen some of these stories before.
(Obituary) January 19, 2020 – Danny Talbott, who played professional baseball and football, dies at the age of 75. Talbott played college football at the University of North Carolina. He was named ACC Player of the Year in football in 1965 and ACC Athlete of the Year in 1966. Talbott was also named Most Valuable Player in the 1966 East-West Shrine Game. He even helped lead the school’s baseball team to a College World Series appearance in 1966. Talbott was selected in the 17th round of the 1967 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, but he opted to try pro baseball first. He played one year of minor league baseball in Miami with a Baltimore Orioles' farm team. Talbott then signed with the Washington Redskins and was a backup quarterback for three seasons. Talbott was inducted in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
(College/FBS) January 13, 2020 - The LSU Tigers defeated the Clemson Tigers 42-25 in the National Championship Game. LSU finished the season 15-0.
(College/FCS) January 11, 2020 - The North Dakota State Bison defeated the James Madison Dukes 28-20 in the Football Championship Subdivision title game played in Frisco, Texas. It was the eighth FCS title for the Bison in the last nine years. NDSU finished the season with a 16-0 record, the first at any college level since Yale did it in 1894.
(Obituary) January 7, 2020 – George Perles, a college football head coach for 12 seasons, dies at the age of 85. Perles played college football for one season at Michigan State before a knee injury ended his playing career. He then became a student assistant coach at the school. Perles spent 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a defensive line coach, defensive coordinator and eventually an assistant head coach, helping lead the team to 4 Super Bowl victories in the 1970s. He returned to MSU and was the head coach of the Spartans from 1983-1994, winning two Big Ten titles and a win over USC in the 1988 Rose Bowl. He also became the school’s athletic director in 1990. Perles was let go during the 1994 season. An NCAA investigation forced MSU to forfeit the 11 games that he had coach that season due to an academic cheating scandal. Perles himself was not accused of any wrong doing. In 2006, Perles was elected to the school’s Board of Trustees and remained on the board through 2018.
(Obituary) January 2, 2020 – Houston Hogg, one of the first African-Americans to break the color barrier in the Southeastern Conference, dies at the age of 71. Hogg played college football at Kentucky from 1967-1970. He was a running back and lettered on the football team in 1969 and 1970. The university unveiled a statue of Hogg and three of his team mates in September 2016 at Kroger Field. The school named Hogg an honorary captain for the 2019 season opener against Toledo and recognized him on the field during the game for his role in integrating the SEC.
(Obituary) January 2, 2020 – Sam Wyche, a head coach in the NFL for 12 years, dies at the age of 74. Wyche played college football at Furman. He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968 and played quarterback for three seasons through 1970. He then played for the Washington Redskins in 1971 and 1972, the Detroit Lions in 1973 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976. Wyche then went into coaching. He started out as the quarterback’s coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 1979-1982 before becoming a college football head coach at Indiana in 1983. He went on to be the head coach of the Bengals from 1984-1991, leading the team to an appearance in Super Bowl XXIII. He was also the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1992-1995. His last NFL job was with the Buffalo Bills in 2004 and 2005 as the team’s quarterback’s coach. After that, Wyche became a teacher and was an assistant football coach at Pickens High School in South Carolina through 2018.
(Obituary) January 1, 2020 – Les Josephson, a running back in the NFL for 11 seasons, dies at the age of 77. Josephson played college football at Division II Augustana College. He signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys in 1964, but was traded to the Los Angeles Rams during training camp. He played for the Rams from 1964-1974. His nickname was the “Blonde Bull” because of his blonde hair and his hard-running style. After his playing career was over, he became a sportscaster and actor. Josephson was Warren Beatty’s double as the LA Rams quarterback in the 1978 movie, “Heaven Can Wait.” He was also a technical consultant on the 1976 Disney movie, “Gus” and appeared in an episode of the TV show, “Police Woman.” Josephson also spent 20 years as a college football radio color analyst for the Arizona Wildcats.
(Obituary) January 1, 2020 – Doug Hart, a cornerback in the NFL for eight seasons, dies at the age of 80. Hart played college football at Texas Arlington and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1963 as a rookie free agent. However, he was cut by the Cardinals in training camp and then signed with the Green Bay Packers. He spent the 1963 season on the Packers’ taxi squad, which is today known as the practice squad. Hart played for the Packers from 1964-1971 and won three straight NFL titles as well as Super Bowls I and II.