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The 1967 NFL Draft that changed face of the league

The 1967 NFL Draft that changed face of the league

A half-century ago the NFL Draft was so low key and simple NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle stood at a chalkboard in a New York hotel ballroom. He scrawled names in chalk as they were called out.The overwhelming anticipation hovering over the draft was not who would go where. It was...

Thomas Sirk doubles up on pro day chances

Thomas Sirk doubles up on pro day chances

DURHAM, N.C. -- Thomas Sirk is sending a message for NFL scouts: Good things come in pairs. Sirk played quarterback at two colleges, Duke and East Carolina. He earned two degrees, a bachelor’s in political science and masters in liberal arts. Now he’s trying to show NFL scouts...

The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen

The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen

The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker QueenBy Lori LeachmanClick here: A daughter's tale of family and football* * * Lori Leachman, an economics professor at Duke University, is the daughter of Lamar Leachman, a former NFL assistant coach with the Detroit Lions...

Mayfield and Manziel owe their universities

Mayfield and Manziel owe their universities

Baker Mayfield reminds me of Johnny Manziel.I state that meaning beyond the fact they are short quarterbacks that won the Heisman Trophy thanks to 4,000-yard passing seasons inflated by a spread offense. But that’s not all.They also share tasteless gesticulating and showboating...

Daniel Jones brings NFL talent to Quick Lane Bowl

Daniel Jones brings NFL talent to Quick Lane Bowl

Duke quarterback Daniel Jones is still considered an NFL prospect despite and up-and-down season. Duke's 4-0 start was followed by a six-game losing streak and two wins at the end to clinch a berth in the Quick Lane Bowl.My story on Duke quarterback Daniel Jones in the Detroit...

My Rashaan Salaam 2003 comeback story

My Rashaan Salaam 2003 comeback story

Note: My Union-Tribune story from March 25, 2003 at the start of Rashaan Salaam’s rookie year. By Tom Shanahan, Staff Writer BOCA RATON, Fla. – Rashaan Salaam is discussing the mistakes he made in the NFL, and his hopes for a comeback at age 28. As he drives his Land...

My Rashaan Salaam rookie year story

My Rashaan Salaam rookie year story

Note: My San Diego Union-Tribune story from Sept. 22, 1995 at the start of Rashaan Salaam’s rookie year.By Tom Shanahan, Staff WriterCHICAGO – Rashaan Salaam drives to work past mansions in suburban Lake Forest along the Lake Michigan shore.  He takes a narrow road, leading...

Wolfpack defensive line threatens Notre Dame

Wolfpack defensive line threatens Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s rout of USC last week changed more than the Irish’s national ranking with a climb into the top 10. The Irish are no longer underrated.Old Notre Dame historically has received the benefit of doubt if not overrated, but a 5-1 start...

The NFL Draft then and now

The NFL Draft then and now

Pete Rozelle laid the foundation of the NFL goliath we know today with his vision. Yet, not even the late, great commissioner could have foreseen the NFL Draft growing into an annual Oscars-like production.A half-century ago the event was so simple Rozelle stood at a chalkboard...

Riki Ellison impact felt beyond playing days

Riki Ellison impact felt beyond playing days

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors pioneering athletes that have excelled at a purely American game originated on the other side of the globe from their South Pacific roots.Riki Ellison, the first Maori- and New Zealand-born athlete to play in the NFL, joins the...