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Some News from our Co-Executive Director, Rick Waters


The National Football League (NFL) season is nearing the end and many of us are gearing up for the playoffs, while others are in consolation mode saying, maybe next year. I’m a college football fan myself, and my team is in the playoffs this year along with producing another Heisman Trophy recipient, so I’m a happy camper! That information aside, I wanted to share a couple of bits of NFL history that many people are unaware, and I find interesting. I’ll bet you didn’t know the first president of the NFL was Jim Thorpe, Sac & Fox Indian from Oklahoma. One of the greatest athletes of all time, he also played professional baseball and won an Olympic Gold Medal during his career. Another interesting fact is that in the first year of the NFL, there was a team coached by Thorpe and comprised almost entirely of American Indian players. They were called the Oorang Indians out of Marion, Ohio and one of the 18 original NFL teams. So, when you’re watching your favorite NFL team and the play on the field becomes boring, you can ask your friends, “hey, did you know there was once an all Indian NFL team?”


Rick Waters

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