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July 3 in Pats History: Godfather of the End Zone Celebration

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Sep 19th

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jmt57

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Today in Patriots History
Founding Father of the End Zone Dance


Happy 72nd birthday to Elmo Wright
Born July 3, 1949 in Brazoria, Texas
Patriot WR, 1975; uniform #17
Signed as a veteran free agent on October 17, 1975

The 16th overall pick of the 1971 draft appeared in four games for the Pats in '75, capturing the final four receptions of his career while gaining 46 yards. Although he had just 1,116 yards in his NFL career, he left an indelible mark for all future wide receivers in the game of football.




While at the University of Houston, Elmo Wright set an NCAA record with 34 touchdown receptions, averaging 22 yards per catch for the Cougars. He became the first player to high step his way to the end zone, and is considered to be the godfather of the end zone dance.




College Football Hall of Fame | Elmo Wright

During an era when Houston ranked among the nation's leaders in rushing, Elmo Wright managed to leave his mark as a receiver and remains in the top five of nearly every receiving category in school history. He becomes the third Cougar player elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.​

A consensus First Team All-American in 1970, Wright was named the Touchdown Club of Columbus Player of the Year after leading Houston to a No. 19 final ranking. He earned Second Team All-America honors in 1969 after leading the NCAA with 14 touchdowns and guiding the Cougars to a No. 12 final ranking and a win over Auburn in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. In 1968, Wright helped Houston finish at No. 18 while earning Honorable Mention All-America honors and setting a still-standing NCAA single-season record with eight touchdown receptions of 50 yards or more. His 111.6 career receiving yards per game were the second most in FBS history at the end of his career and still rank 12th all-time.​

Fifty years later, Wright still owns five Houston records – all-purpose career average yards per play (21.0), yards per reception in a season (27.9 in 1968), yards per reception in a career (21.9), 200-yard receiving games in a season (2 each in 1968 and 1969) and 200-yard receiving games in a career (4). He posted career marks of 34 touchdown receptions and 3,347 receiving yards, which rank second and fourth in Cougar history, respectively. Wright also sits second in Houston annals for 100-yard receiving games (15) and 1,000-yard receiving seasons (2) while placing third in both single-game receiving yards (262 vs. Wyoming in 1969) and single-game touchdown receptions (4 – two occasions). He led College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Yeoman's Cougars to upsets over No. 17 Ole Miss in back-to-back seasons, and he scored twice in the team's historic 100-6 win over Tulsa in 1968.​




Former Chiefs WR Elmo Wright still dancing after touchdowns. Hey, Hank Stram was OK with it.









 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Today in Patriots History
More July 3rd Trivialities


Happy 58th birthday to Larry Williams
Born July 3, 1963 in Orange, California
Patriot RG, 1992; uniform #75
Signed as a free agent on April 1, 1992

The 6-5, 292 lb lineman was a 10th round pick by the Browns in 1985 out of Notre Dame, and he was Cleveland's starting left guard from 1986-88. At the age of 29 Williams appeared in 13 games with nine starts for the Pats, on that abysmal 2-14 Dick MacPherson team that didn't win until Dante Scarnecchia took over on an interim basis. Williams retired from pro football in 1993 as a member of the Patriots, and after that '92 season I can understand why.

In his post-football career Larry worked for six years as a lawyer, and then the two-time All-American returned to the collegiate scene. From 2004 to 2011 he was the athletic director at the University of Portland. In 2011 Williams became the athletic director at Marquette University, and in 2015 he took over the same position at Akron University before retiring four months ago.

Dec 5, 2011:

Dec 14, 2013:




March 3, 2013:




Happy 54th birthday to Todd Jones
Born July 3, 1967 in Hope, Arkansas
Patriot OT, 1963; uniform #63
Claimed off waivers from Dallas on August 31, 1993

I really don't know much of anything about this guy. Searches for Todd Jones are cluttered with news about a former ATF employee by the same name that went to work for the NFL league offices as the chief disciplinary officer. Our Todd A. Jones was an All-American in 1991 at Henderson State, and played in four games for Bill Parcells and the Patriots in 1993 - which was an odd season based on the fact that the Patriots had two bye weeks. Those were the only games he made it onto the field, though he was with the Browns, Cowboys, Patriots, Broncos and Cardinals at various points from 1991 to 1995.




Happy 74th birthday to Claxton Welch
Born July 3, 1947 in Portland, Oregon
Patriot RB, 1973; uniform #43
Claimed off waivers from Kansas City on October 24, 1973

Claxton Welch appeared in a pair of November 1973 games for the Pats, and had six receptions against the Jets in his only NFL start. He had previously been with Dallas and played on special teams in seven postseason games with the Cowboys, earning a ring from Super Bowl VI.

Aug 29, 2018:

Welch made brief stops in New Orleans, Kansas City and New England before a series of knee operations brought his NFL career to a close. He enrolled at Seattle University, where he earned a masters in English and went on to a career in insurance and financial advising with Coldwell Banker.​




Happy 81st birthday to Chuck Sieminski
Born July 3, 1940 in Swoyersville, PA
Pats 14th round (110th overall) pick of the 1962 AFL draft, from Penn State

The Pats took a flyer on the defensive tackle, who was also drafted by the 49ers in the fourth round of the '62 NFL draft. Sieminski chose to sign with the Niners, and played six years in the NFL with San Francisco, Atlanta and Detroit.

Nov 4, 2004:

Chuck Sieminski was a two-way tackle for the Nittany Lions, earning letters from 1960-62 under Engle. From Swoyersville, Pa., he earned second team All-America honors in 1962 and in '67 was selected to the All-Time Penn State Team by the Pittsburgh Press. Recognized as a strong blocker and tackler, Sieminski earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1962. He played in the 1963 Senior Bowl.​

Sieminski was drafted in the fourth round by the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers. He played defensive tackle for six years in the NFL with San Francisco, Atlanta and Detroit before starting a career as a high school teacher in Mountain Top, Pa.​




July 3, 2003:
Pats sign center Bill Conaty for offensive line depth. The graduate of Milford (CT) Academy had been with the Bills for the previous six seasons, but was placed on injured reserve on August 26 and never did play for the Pats.
Conaty should add depth to Pats o-line | espn


July 3, 2002:
Safety Tony Scott is claimed off waivers from the Jets. The special teamer/backup was waived at the end of training camp.
After released by Jets, Scott lands with Pats | espn


July 3, 1986:
Following a Pro Bowl season in which he had seven picks and an NFL-best 189 yards on those interception returns, the Patriots re-sign free safety Fred Marion. The native of Gainesville, Florida played in 144 games for the Pats from 1982-1991, and ranks third in franchise history with 29 career interceptions.


July 3, 1964:
The Boston Patriots trade fullback Billy Lott to Denver for an undisclosed draft pick. In college Lott was on the Ole Miss that crushed the Texas Longhorns 39-7 in the Sugar Bowl; he came to the Patriots along with Babe Parilli in the lopsided 1961 trade that sent Alan Miller, Hal Smith and Dick Christy to Oakland. Lott averaged 4.6 yards per carry that season, but was never the same after a knee injury in '62.
Who was Billy Lott? | Tales from the American Football League




Other pro football players born on this date with a New England area connection:

- Jack Hagerty (1903-1982); this native Bostonian went to Dorchester High School. He was a RB/QB/PR with the Giants from 1926-32, then became head coach at Georgetown, once winning 23 straight games. After coaching for 16 years he became the Hoyas' athletic director until retiring in 1969.
Jack Hagerty, Retired Coach, Athletic Director at GU, Dies | Washington Post

- Jordan Reed, 31 (7/3/90); a graduate of New London High School in Connecticut before proceeding to the University of Florida. A third round pick in the 2013 draft, the tight end had 11 touchdowns in 2011, and had 355 receptions and 28 TDs in his NFL career.

- Cameron Brate, 30 (7/3/91); the Harvard grad scored 20 touchdowns from 2016-18 for Tampa Bay, and earned a super bowl ring with the Bucs last year.

- Ray MacMurray (1889-1996); guard from Dartmouth class of 1917 played for the 1921 Muncie Flyers.
Raymond MacMurray | Dartmouth Sports




And some notable pro football players born on July 3rd:

- Jethro Pugh (1944-2015); fearsome Dallas Cowboy DT from 1965 to 1978 played in 23 playoff games, an amazing number for back in those days.

- Neil O'Donnell, 55 (7/3/66); despite throwing three picks in Pittsburgh's Super Bowl 30 loss to Dallas, the Jets couldn't help but Jete, and immediately signed the QB to what was then a mega-contract a month later in 1996. O'Donnell proceeded to go 0-6 in his first six games with Gang Green, then missed time with a separated shoulder, and for the trifecta was out for the rest of the season due to a torn calf muscle.

- Manny Fernandez, 75 (7/3/46); the defensive tackle went to three super bowl games with the Dolphins from 1968-75, winning two rings.

- Grant Wistrom, 45 (7/3/76); Rams DE may have been on the losing end in Super Bowl 36, but he did receive four championship rings: three with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and one with St. Louis in SB 34.

- Paul Naumoff (1945-2018); the linebacker was famous for an under-the-chin tackle of Syracuse’s Larry Czonka in the 1966 Gator Bowl, and once played in 142 consecutive games for the Lions - and missed only two games over twelve seasons with Detroit.

- Manny Lawson, 37 (7/3/84); OLB had twelve sacks, 172 tackles and six forced fumbles for the 49ers from 2008 to 2010.
 

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Today in Patriots History
Founding Father of the End Zone Dance


Happy 72nd birthday to Elmo Wright
Born July 3, 1949 in Brazoria, Texas
Patriot WR, 1975; uniform #17
Signed as a veteran free agent on October 17, 1975

The 16th overall pick of the 1971 draft appeared in four games for the Pats in '75, capturing the final four receptions of his career while gaining 46 yards. Although he had just 1,116 yards in his NFL career, he left an indelible mark for all future wide receivers in the game of football.




While at the University of Houston, Elmo Wright set an NCAA record with 34 touchdown receptions, averaging 22 yards per catch for the Cougars. He became the first player to high step his way to the end zone, and is considered to be the godfather of the end zone dance.




College Football Hall of Fame | Elmo Wright

During an era when Houston ranked among the nation's leaders in rushing, Elmo Wright managed to leave his mark as a receiver and remains in the top five of nearly every receiving category in school history. He becomes the third Cougar player elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.​

A consensus First Team All-American in 1970, Wright was named the Touchdown Club of Columbus Player of the Year after leading Houston to a No. 19 final ranking. He earned Second Team All-America honors in 1969 after leading the NCAA with 14 touchdowns and guiding the Cougars to a No. 12 final ranking and a win over Auburn in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. In 1968, Wright helped Houston finish at No. 18 while earning Honorable Mention All-America honors and setting a still-standing NCAA single-season record with eight touchdown receptions of 50 yards or more. His 111.6 career receiving yards per game were the second most in FBS history at the end of his career and still rank 12th all-time.​

Fifty years later, Wright still owns five Houston records – all-purpose career average yards per play (21.0), yards per reception in a season (27.9 in 1968), yards per reception in a career (21.9), 200-yard receiving games in a season (2 each in 1968 and 1969) and 200-yard receiving games in a career (4). He posted career marks of 34 touchdown receptions and 3,347 receiving yards, which rank second and fourth in Cougar history, respectively. Wright also sits second in Houston annals for 100-yard receiving games (15) and 1,000-yard receiving seasons (2) while placing third in both single-game receiving yards (262 vs. Wyoming in 1969) and single-game touchdown receptions (4 – two occasions). He led College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Yeoman's Cougars to upsets over No. 17 Ole Miss in back-to-back seasons, and he scored twice in the team's historic 100-6 win over Tulsa in 1968.​




Former Chiefs WR Elmo Wright still dancing after touchdowns. Hey, Hank Stram was OK with it.









"High stepping it into the end zone!"

Now I know where that came from

Thanx
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
"- Neil O'Donnell, 55 (7/3/66); despite throwing three picks in Pittsburgh's Super Bowl 30 loss to Dallas, the Jets couldn't help but Jete, and immediately signed the QB to what was then a mega-contract a month later in 1996. O'Donnell proceeded to go 0-6 in his first six games with Gang Green, then missed time with a separated shoulder, and for the trifecta was out for the rest of the season due to a torn calf muscle."

I love that line in bold.

I was originally upset at the time that Dallas defeated Sh!tsdirt...America's Most Hated Team...A clown for a HC...Deion Sanders & Charles Haley defecting from SF...But in retrospect I'm now happy that they did because of the two additional championships Stolen by the Stealers in 2005 (thanks Bill Leavy) & 2008 (Kurt Warner)...Meanwhile Jerruh & Steve haven't won another title since then; 25 years & counting, their longest drought ever...
 

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