Football Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Sports Art Miracle Image

Minnesota Vikings Miracle

Football season is getting close so I thought you would like to see, probably, one of my favorite plays of all time was the Minnesota Miracle pass from the Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum to wide receiver Stefon Diggs last season that saved the Minnesota Vikings season and crushed the New Orleans Saints and moved the Vikings into the NFC Championship Game.

As some of you know I am a sports artist who has created artwork for a number of sports stadiums and arenas, including the Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium.  Sometimes a sports play comes along that needs to be painted just for the joy of recreating a scene or action.  So here is my interpretation of the great "Seven Heaven" football catch.

Seven Heaven Play

The football play, "seven heaven" is a deep corner route and if the quarterback, in this case, Case Keenum hits the wide receiver, in this case it’s Stefon Diggs, then something heavenly happens.   And in this particular case, one of the greatest plays of all time.  The football play, if you would llike to watch it again, is  here:  

link to a video of the play

.  

Here’s a quick rundown of how the play went down.  There was 10 seconds showing on the clock and it was 3

rd

and 10 .  The Vikings were at their own 39 yard line.  Stefon Diggs runs the seven heaven route, catches the pass, the cornerback misses the tackle (I’m not giving his name as he has had enough hassle about his missed play) and Diggs scores.  It was the first  fourth-quarter, walk-off touchdown in NFL playoff history.  As an aside here is an interesting comment about the

walk-off touchdown.

The football image was painted by sports artist John Robertson and is 6 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Football Art Painting Philadelphia Eagles NFC Championship Torry Smith

Philadelphia Eagles Football Art 

During the playoffs I have created football art of plays from the teams where some of my family live.  This football painting is of the team Philadelphia Eagles in the city where one of my niece’s lives.  The painting is of Torry Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Championship game
against the Minnesota Vikings played at Lincoln Financial Field. Torry in the third quarter, received a 41 yard pass from quarterback Nick Foles.  Smith caught the ball in front of Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings and beat him to the end zone. Torry had a decent game with 5 catches for 69 yard, but what made it special was this touchdown catch.  

Torrey Smith Family Fund 

I didn’t know much about Torry Smith before doing the painting.  Mot of the time I just read basic statistics and a little history about the players – just to keep informed.  What I discovered about Torry Smith was his foundation - The Torrey Smith Family Fund.  It is a…”nonprofit that aims to provide youth with the tools they need to identify, unleash and reach their full potential.”  Here is a website giving information about the foundation. TorreySmith.org and  information on his work in the community.  It sounds like a great organization.  What I liked in particular was a couple of things they did.  To quote from his web page, …..”Torrey’s Back to School Program” is held each August with the purpose of ensuring that low-income elementary and middle school students have the basic items needed to begin the school year. Teachers also receive supplies they need to start the school year “Torrey’s Back to School Program” is held each August with the purpose of ensuring that low-income elementary and middle school students have the basic items needed to begin the school year. Teachers also receive supplies they need to start the school year”  What a great gift to the community from the Torrey Smith Family Fund.  All my best to you, Torry.

San Francisco 49er's Art Levi Stadium painting

Levi’s Stadium Art Paintings

One of sportsLevi’s Stadium Art Painting artist John Robertson’s San Francisco 49ers football art at the new SF 49ers Levi’s stadium. It was fun to see his work on the 48 foot by 200 foot LED video display screen at Levi's Stadium art collection where he has a number of sports art paintings.

Sports Artist John Robertson completed the group of football paintings for the 49er’s a couple of years ago.  As you can see in the photo that the painting was projected up onto the Levi’s stadium jumbotron screen overlooking the playing field.

 About the Joe Montana “the Catch” painting

 The painting is of the 49er’squarterback Joe Montana throwing a pass in the famous “The Catch” play where the defensemen lineman Too Tall Jones, from the Dallas Cowboys is rushing him and eventually knocks Montana to the ground.  Joe Montana did get the pass off and the football play depicted in the painting is completed to wide receiver Dwight Clark. 

About the Levi's Stadium Art Collection

 Here is some information about the art from the Levi's Stadium website: http://www.levisstadium.com/art/

"The Art Collection at Levi’s® Stadium celebrates the 49ers legendary history, the organization’s current success and the vibrant culture of the greater San Francisco Bay Area. No other multi-use stadium contains the quantity and scope of original artwork that this collection has procured. The galleries highlight diverse, local artists and include pieces that have personal ties to the 49ers organization. The 49ers are thrilled to present a collection that enhances the building by creating a fully integrated visual experience.
Guests will encounter larger than life portraits of 49ers greats, alongside charcoal sketches that celebrate notable regional figures such as Steinbeck and Kerourac (actually created by John Robertson’s artist wife, Lynn Hanson) Visitors may marvel over pieces from the Ranchos of the Santa Clara Valley and the timeless psychedelics of the storied Fillmore Music Hall. The collection has been crafted to engage and provoke everyone from the casual fan to the art aficionado."

"The Art Collection at Levi’s® Stadium is home to over 200 original pieces and more than 500 photographs. The museum-quality artwork featured is comprised of mixed mediums such as acrylic, charcoal, enamel, oil, pastel, pen and ink, stencil, metals and sculptures. Of the 23 original artists showcased, 20 hail locally from California. The photographs in the collection are from the archives of the 49ers and their esteemed group of team photographers, as well as from the San Francisco Chronicle and many local libraries and historic centers..


Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters on TV

Minnesota Vikings Painting


My niece  was watching a Minnesota Vikings verses the Dallas Cowboys Thursday night football game on NBC the other night.  After a after a commercial, one of the paintings I did for the Minnesota Vikings, US Bank Stadium "The Purple People Eaters" flashed on the screen.  I am not
sure in what context they showed my painting. or what kind of reference they made about it.  She had a chance to photograph the television set with the painting featured on the screen and then posted the image on her Facebook account.

It is always a surprise to me when I am watching either a movie or television show and, all of a sudden, out of nowhere one of my paintings shows up on the screen.  Generally I am supposed to be informed and sign a release for the use the image with the purchase of a painting.  Then I am not informed.   I have had images pop up  a couple of times when something crops up completely out of context to the painting.

Paranormal Activity 2


The oddest experience was when I was watching a horror - scary movie and in one of the opening scenes one of my paintings is in the background.  I am not sure which movie but it was from the movie series. Paranormal Phenomenon I think it was called Paranormal Activity 2. 


What is so odd about the painting is that it's of a guy who was walking past my studio with a parrot on his shoulder.  I asked if I could photograph him with the parrot and took a few shots One of the photos was of him holding the parrot on his hand.  I had sold the painting to an interior decorator/designer for a client. I totally forgot that I had done the painting then a couple of years later it appears in the movie. 

Running Backs Defensive Backs Sports Art Paintings

Running Backs and Defensive Back


There is a handful of NFL Hall of Fame running backs and defensive backs who have worn number 24. The player in the painting wearing number 24 can be anybody.  He could be a running back or a cornerback or a free safety after intercepting a pass.  I wanted it to be an unidentified player and leave
the interpretation up to the viewer.  This way you can project your own favorite player wearing the number.  Below I have described a few of the possibilities.

Lenny Moore - Baltimore Colts number 24


Lenny Moore is probably the best who wore number 24.  He played in Baltimore from 1956 – 1967  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 1975.   Lenny was a 7  Time Pro Bowler and  5  Time First Team All – Pro.  There is a big difference in playing in the NFL now as opposed to playing in the 50's and 60's.   Lenny Moore was asked in a interview, "When you watch the Ravens and other National Football League teams play, is there something you like more about today’s football game than the game it was when you played?"  Lenny's answer. "I just enjoy it because of the nature of what it’s all about. It’s still the same to a degree with other modifications that they added in, different techniques, different calls, and how they monitor the game is a lot different. A lot guys wouldn’t have been able to play during our day that are playing today, with the things they do.  There was no whistle - you’d just be blasting people man, just be beating on people. Jumping, knocking them down. It wasn’t until you were just about dead man that the whistle blew, but that’s the way it was – punching, elbowing, slapping."

Willie Brown - Oakland Raiders - Cornerback Number 24


What I like about another player who wore number 24 is that he was overlooked in the draft - number 24, Willie Brown. Brown played college football at Grambling State University and when he left college in 1963 no professional team drafted him.  He did sign with the Houston Oilers of the old(AFL,  (American Football League) but was cut during training camp. He moved on to the AFL's Denver Broncos and then it all started for this non-drafted player.  Brown became a starter by the middle of his rookie season. In his second season Willie Brown won All-AFL and played in the AFL All-Star Game, recording nine interceptions for 144 yards.  In 1967, Brown was traded to the AFL's Oakland Raiders and spent the remainder of his playing career there. He served as defensive captain for 10 of his 12 years with the team. He was named to five AFL All Star games and four NFL Pro Bowls. He was also named All-AFL three times and All-NFL four times.

 Willie Wood - Green Bay Packer - Free Safety


Another Willie - Willie Wood  had a similar experience that Willie Brown had.  Wood was not selected in the 1960 NFL draft, and contacted head coach Vince Lombardi to request a tryout.  Tthe Packers signed him as a rookie free agent in 1960. After a few days with the quarterbacks, he requested a switch to defense and was recast as a free safety, and was a starter in the season. He started until his retirement in 1971.  Willie Wood won All-NFL honors nine times in a nine-year stretch from 1962 through the 1971 season, participated in the Pro Bowl eight times, and played in six NFL championship games, winning all except the first in 1960.  Not bad for another non-drafted player.

Champ Bailey - Denver Broncos - cornerback- number 24


The great Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, said ChampBailey was the best cornerback he had faced in his long career.  This is what Smith said about his comment. “But the reason that I really just say Champ is (best) because everybody wants to talk about the success of all these guys who are in their fourth or fifth years. I’m in my 15th year, and I’m 36. Some of these guys, when I was a rookie, were in elementary school. So I’m not going to crown a guy who’s been in the league six years and had three years of success and three years of failure or average. I want to see how he is in three or four more years when his speed goes, and he has to learn how to use his technique. That’s just me, but that’s where I feel like the legacy is built.’’
   The 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most-ever by a cornerback, is tied for most ever (with Hall of Famer Ken Houston) for a defensive back and is tied for third all-time among all defensive players. Only Merlin Olsen, with 14 Pro Bowl selections, and Reggie White and Ray Lewis, with 13 each, had more on defense.

Marshawn Lynch - Seattle Seahawks - running back number 24


It's time to put a running back in with the cornerbacks.  Marshawn Lynch.  The Hall of Fame flanker and running back was All-NFL five times and the NFL Player of the Year in 1964. He starred for the Colts for 12 seasons (1956-67).  As some of you might know Marshawn was never a person who liked to give interviews or answer questions.   In one famous interview "I ain’t got nothing to say," the Seahawks running back told NFL Network's Michael Robinson, a former Seattle fullback, in a 2014 interview. "I just want to play football."   After a big win against the Arizona Cardinals Lynch was on camera with reporters in the hallway outside of Seattle's locker room he responded to every question by simply stating, "Thanks for asking."   He had stomach problems during the game and when asked about it, he said, "I appreciate you asking about my stomach," Lynch said. "Thank you."


Art Information about John Robertson Sports Artists painting.


Sports Art by John Robertson.  Football player image of a running back is 30" x 40" acrylic and ink on a gallery wrapped frame.

NFL Football Offensive Linemen sports artists John Robertson

NFL Offensive Linemen The "Big Boys" of Football


The offensive linemen plays one of three positions, center, guard or tackle, and usually the biggest players on the team.  I can't think of anything more intimidating in football, or in  most sports, than to have an offensive lineman out in front of a running back.  His job is to make space for the runner.
   Visualize a wedge, snow plow train barreling down deep, snow covered railroad tracks.  And with speed and power this huge wedge plow on the front of the iron, diesel engine throws the snow hundreds of feet off the tracks.

Most offensive linemen are just anonymous monsters, part of this wall of other brutes.  But there are some that have stood out in the NFL.  Some had great nicknames like, " Smash-Mouth" or "Night-Train" or "The Jordon Spreader".  

Gene Upshaw Oakland Raiders


There was Gene Upshaw, Oakland Raiders and a Hall ­of ­Famer.  He played 15 seasons at guard between 1967 and 1981. Upshaw started 207 out of 217 career games and was named to seven Pro Bowls. Upshaw was also a two­-time Super Bowl champion­­ with rings in 1977 and 1981.

 Art Shell Oakland Raiders


 Another great Raider offensive linemen was Art Shell.  At his playing size of 6’5″ and 265 pounds, Shell would  drop his hips and use pounding leverage to clear space for running backs or put up a shield and protect his quarterbacks.

Forrest Gregg Green Bay Packers


One of my favorites is Forrest Gregg of the old Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers.  Lombardi said Gregg was greatest player that he ever coached. As a Packer, Gregg brought back five championships to the Green Bay “Frozen Tundra.” In the twilight of his career, he won Super Bowl VI with the Dallas Cowboys.  Gregg played in a then-record 188 straight games between 1956 and 1971. Gregg made nine trips to the Pro Bowl and seven appearances on the First­-Team All­-Pro list.

Anthony Muñoz Cincinnati Bengals


 And who some considered the best offensive lineman of all time is Anthony Muñoz - left tackle, Cincinnati Bengals.  He was the "real deal"  with size, strength, athleticism, and technique.  He played at six feet six inches and weighted two-hundred and seventy-eight pounds. He could create an alleyway that a truck could drive through - or "wall off " a blitzing linebacker.  Munoz played in nine Pro Bowls between 1976 and 1985 and named lead guard on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All­-Time Team.

About Sports Artists John Robertson Painting



The Lineman painting is approximately 48 inches by 70 inches, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  (That means no stretcher bars or frame)  It hangs like a tapestry or banner.

Receiver Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Receiver Making Catch Painting

Over the years the Minnesota Vikings have had some of the great receivers in the NFL - players like Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Steve Jordan, Anthony Carter, Jake Reed, Ahmad Rashad, etc. etc. etc. So when I went to paint this receiver for the new Minnesota Vikings, US Bank Stadium Art Collection
there was not one particular player I used as a model.  It would be too hard to single out one player for an individual painting.

What I wanted to represent was the flying aspect of a hero or warrior of the Vikings.  The Vikings had the best of the best warriors, and for so many years the Minnesota Vikings have had some great receiver players.  Like the gathering of the very best Viking warriors, the Minnesota Vikings, over the years, have gathered great receivers to play along-side each other. And this painting is a tribute to them.

Valhalla Suites Receiver Painting


The Minnesota Vikings have hung the painting in the Valhalla Suites area of the US Bank Stadium.  The painting is hung to the lobby area and the stairway entrance as you descend to the Valhalla Suites.  Here is a description of the suites from the Vikings website:  Located 17 rows from the field
and between the 20 yard lines members will have access to the private Owner’s and Medtronic Clubs featuring elite all-inclusive food and beverages. Suites range between 24-32 tickets and come with VIP parking, other event access, away game trips and much more.

Only 17 rows off the field
Private Medtronic Club Access
All-inclusive Food and Beverages
Situated between the 30 yard lines
Highest End Suite furniture and finishes in the building
12-24 tickets per Suite
Only 12 Suites at this level

About the Vikings Painting by Sports Artist John Robertson


The receiver painting is four feet by eight feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas. 

Football Linemen Painting Art NFL

Football Linemen Painting

 In football linemen get little glory but the real football battles are fought there, as they say, "in the trenches" My favorite linesmen’s were from the "old school" Green Bay Packers. During late summer of 1963 I spent a couple of weeks in Green Bay and had the opportunity to watch the Packers daily
practice. In those days the practices were open and we could actually sit on the player’s bench and talk with them.

 My Favorite Linemen

 My two favorite players were Frederick "Fuzzy" Thurston and Jerry Kramer. They were key member of the Packers' offensive line during the team's glory years from 1959 through 1967, when they won five NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls. Kramer was an All-Pro five times, and a member of the NFL's 50th anniversary team in 1969. Thurston was named to the 1961 and 1962 All-Pro teams. Kramer , 6'3", 250 lb. right guard, (and "Fuzzy" (Fuzzy was at left guard) were an integral part of the famous "Packer Sweep", a signature play in which both guards rapidly pull out from their positions on the line and lead-block for the running back going around the end.
"Fuzzy" is famous for his quote in response to a sportswriter's question asked of him how he prepared for the famous Ice Bowl game (where the game-time temperature was 15 degrees below zero). Thurston's response was "about 10 vodkas."


This photo gives you a sense of the actual size of the painting.  Painting of football linemen by sports artist John Robertson is approximately  88" x 60" (approx. 7 1/2 feet by 5 feet)

Art Show for the Super Bowl Artist John Robertson

The Acme Packers, Green Bay
 Packers, painting is 4 feet by 7 1/2 feet,
 acrylic on unstretched canvas.
  (No stretcher bars or frames).

 ART OF THE NFL

This is another one of my paintings that is in the Celebration of Super Bowl 50, a group Super Bowl Art Show (with three large-scale football paintings)

Early on in their history (in 1919) , the founders of the Green Bay Packers got money for their uniforms from the Indian Packing Company, a business specializing in canned meat. Even after the company was bought by another meat processor the Acme Packing Company they kept the Packers name and called the team the Acme Packers.  Though the original sponsor of the team was the Indian Packing Company, it was under Acme that the team joined the American Professional Football Association (soon to be the NFL) in 1921

The Acme Packers, Green Bay Packers, painting is 4 feet b y 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  (No stretcher bars or frames.

The Super Bowl is being held in the San Francisco 49er's Levi Stadium this year which is right down the road from the gallery.

JCO'S Place - Fine Art  Los Gatos
45 North Santa Cruz Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95030


The show is up from Jan 12 - Feb 7

Football Painting of Emmitt Smith Running Back Dallas Cowboys Art

This is a painting of the All Pro Dallas Cowboys Emmitt Smith.  The football art of Emmitt Smith running back for the Dallas Cowboys is by artist John Robertson is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

 Here is a link to a great bio of Emmitt Smith on his official web site.  This is a short bit about him from the site.  "Smith first rose to prominence via an illustrious football career, which included three Super Bowl championships as a member of the Dallas Cowboys and the honor of being the only player to have won a Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP and NFL Rushing Crown in the same season. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010, Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, having amassed 18,355 yards during his 15 seasons.

Emmitt Smith was inducted into the  Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.  Here is a link to his Hall of Fame speech.  Very inspiring.

To get an idea of what  gracious guy Emmitt Smith is one only needs to read what he had to say when DeMarco Murray became the all-time leading ball carrier for the Dallas Cowboys.   Smith's single season record was 1,773 yards set in 1995. Murray also wrapped up the rushing title as the league's top running back.  "I couldn't be happier for him," Emmitt Smith said. "He is very deserving of this recognition. This is something that I know DeMarco will share with the whole team, because he knows that they all had a hand in his success." .... "I am proud of him because I know how hard it is to do what he did this year," Smith said. "I am also proud because I've watched him bounce back from some injury setbacks in his first few years. He's a worked through all that, and he deserves to have this record. I want him and the whole team to keep up this level of play and carry it into the playoffs."

Football Painting Players Running Back and Tackle Art


The football art painting is 6 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

 Why didn't I play football in high school?  Pain.  Suffering. Didn't make sense to me.  Didn't have the time either because I wanted to go surfing after school.  If I was going to hit anything it was never going to be the school books or another guy on a football field.  All I wanted to do was to hit the beach.  Actually I would climb over the chain-link gym fence at lunchtime and ditch school early to go surfing.  I had a Fifty-Five Ford business coup (great link to photo of a 55 Ford Business Coup similar to what I had) that had no back seat so the surfboard could slide in the trunk and go through where the back seat should have been.  In those early days of surfing there was no surf rack.  The boards either rode inside the car or rested on a towel and tied to the roof with straps wound through the windows.   We did take a football to the beach with us to pass around as we rested between times in the water.  After getting tossed into the ocean and soaked in saltwater a number of times the ball dried out and become hard as a rock.  After a period of time the leather got salt stains on it's surface - and the dogs used it as a salt lick.

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold.  (They sell fast)  But there are a few available.  If you click on the link for Paintings for Sale you can see what is available.  What I suggest is that you contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something specific for you.  Just clink on the contact page for information.

Football art USC Trojans UCLA Bruins running back image art

Big win for Jim Mora this last Saturday as head coach of the  UCLA Bruins is 3 and 0 verses the USC Trojans.  UCLA wins big 38 to 20. Credit to both teams who, wanting to get at each other, fought hard with a high scoring game.  These teams are a classic cross town rivalry.   It was a fun game to watch, particularly if you are a UCLA fan.  Which I am.

UCLA Bruins carrying the football.  The football art is painted on a 10" x 10" archival board covered with newsprint about the Bruins football team from 1990.  Painted with ink and acrylic.

Sports image of football running back from USC Trojans carrying the football.  The football art is painted on a 10" x 10" archival board covered with newsprint about the Trojans football team from 1990.  Painted with ink and acrylic. 

These paintings are already sold but if you would like something similar please email me through the contact page.  

Football painting Gail Sayers running back Chicago Bears

“Gail Sayers”  10” x 14” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old newsprint,) Gail Sayers considered one of the great players with the Chicago Bears.  Newsprint attached to stretched canvas.  To view paintings for sale please visit:
John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.

Gail Sayers said, “"give me 18 inches of daylight that's all I  need", which meant that all the offensive line had to do was to open up a small hole in the defensive line for him of 18 inches and he could squeeze and zig-zag through for some good yardage.  Mike Ditka, who played for Chicago and later coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New Orleans Saints for three years said of Sayers, “if you’re talking about making people miss and cutting back, nobody was ever better than him.”  Dick Butkus, the great linebacker who played with Sayers (and one of my all time favorite players) said of Sayers “He had a great ability to come at you and then…he’s gone.  He was something to play with.  I’m just glad he was on our team.”

Gail also known as "The Kansas Comet" was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1960s and early 1970s. He played college football for the University of Kansas, and was twice recognized as an All-American. He was a first-round pick in the 1965 NFL Draft, and played his entire pro career for the NFL's Chicago Bears.  Selected to the Pro Bowl four times (1965, 1966, 1967 and 1969) and five times in consecutive All-Pro (1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969), he is part of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1977. His number 40 was retired by the franchise of the Chicago Bears. It is also part of the NFL team of the 1960s and the team's 75th anniversary of the NFL. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian's Song. During his seventh season in Chicago, Sayers suffered a career-ending knee injury. He retired from the sport in 1972

George Halas,was the iconic founder and owner of the National Football League's Chicago Bears.  Halas didn`t believe in starting rookies, but with Gail he felt a little different and Sayers delivered.  In his first heavy pre-season action, he raced 77 yards on a punt return, 93 yards on a kickoff return, and then startled everyone with a 25-yard scoring pass against the Los Angeles Rams. –Sayers' records include most touchdowns in a rookie season,  (22 in 1965).  Also in Sayers record book he had the most touchdowns in a game (6, tied with Nevers and Jones), highest career kickoff return average (30.56), and most return touchdowns in a game. 

Gail Sayers said, “There's no way I would have made the Hall of Fame or set any of the records I did by myself. No matter how many yards I gained, whether it was three or 300, someone had to be there to make the block.

Here is a portion of Gail SayersHall of Fame speech, July 30, 1977, that I like best, “God gave me a great gift and I had a lot of help developing for this occasion. Reaching this point, however, is not as important as striving to get here. This is true in all professions and all of life's activities. There are doctors, lawyers, schoolteachers, plumbers all who strive to do their very best with their abilities. We hear a lot today about how the American people have lost their dedication to excellence. I don't believe that is true. Each  of us excels at different things, sometimes in areas that are only a hobby, more often in our life vocation. The most important thing, however, is to strive to do our very best. Nothing is more of a waste than unrealized potential. Sometimes failure to use one's talents to the fullest is often the fault of the individual. Nothing could be more tragic. I am sure many of you have been to a Special Olympics and if you have, I am sure you have felt the same exhilaration I have felt in watching young people with disabilities strive as hard as they can in various events. The sense of satisfaction they get from striving is to them much more important than where they finish in the competition. As Robert Rawlings said, 'A man's reach should exceed his grasp'. It is describing to reach a goal that is important and if you should reach that goal, set new goals and strive for them.” 

A Friend In Deed.  While at his first training camp, Sayers met fellow running back Brian Piccolo. The two became close friends and were the first racially mixed roommates in the history of the Bears. After cancer brought Piccolo’s life to an untimely end, Sayers’ book documenting their friendship became the basis for the TV movie "Brian's Song" starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. The film won the 1972 Golden Globe Award as the Best Film Made for Television and spawned a cult following that has persisted for almost three decades, and even resulted in a remake by Disney and ABC-TV in 2001.

After all is said and done about Gail Sayers, this is my favorite quote of his, ""Football is a very short-term proposition. Football really prepares you for nothing. The only thing I got out of football was the ability to work hard, and that's it."

Football Painting Dick Butkus Linebacker Chicago Bears

 “Dick Butkus”  20” x 24” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL National League Conference.  The painting is of the great Chicago Bears linebacker, Dick Butkus.  Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.  To view paintings for sale please visit:
John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.

I Think I have painted or drawn Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears five times.  As I have said before, he is one of my all-time favorite players.  A great number of years ago I was in a lumberyard in Malibu (The old Malibu Lumber, on Pacific Coast Highway) and I turned to see who the guy next to me was (in Malibu there is a good chance for celebrity sightings)  Lo and behold it was Dick Butkus.  I slobered all over him, telling him how much I had enjoyed watching him play.  He asked if I had seen him on the silver screen..  I said I did not find watching him act quite as enjoyable but I did like him in those old in Miller Lite commercials. (Probably way before your time)

Dick Butkus graduated from the University of Illinois where he was a two time All- American line backer. A first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, Dick played for them from 1965-1973, and was named All-Pro linebacker seven times. Mr. Butkus was elected into the NFL "Football Hall of Fame" at Canton, Ohio in 1979. Many football garu's consider Dick Butkus the finest line backer in the history of football.  The Chicago Bears retired his uniform number 51.


He had a group of different nicknames:  “The Robot of Destruction,”  “The Maestro of Mayhem,”  “The Enforcer,” and “The Animal.”   Arthur Kretchmer in his article “Butkus:One Season And One Injury With The Meanest Man Alive” says, when speaking to Butkus,  "Dave Meggyesy, the ex-Cardinal, says that football is so brutal he was taught to use his hands to force a man's cleats into the turf and then drive his shoulder into the man's knee to rip his leg apart. That ever happen to you?" Butkus’ response; …"Hell, no! All you'd have to do is roll with the block and step on the guy's face."


I lke his closing lines to Dick Butkus’sHall of Fame induction speech.  There is something very humble about it.  “I consider being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the top of my dream. For only on the top can I see the whole view. And I can now see what I have done and what I can do from now on. I have a new vision and a new goal now and that is simply to be a better husband and a better father and a better person. Along with the other enshrinees, I will always try to be a proud representative of this the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thank you very much.”

Football painting, Deon Sanders Star Cornerback Dallas Cowboys San Francisco 49ers

Deon Sanders painting  12" x 16" ink and acrylic.  The background is newsprint (from old Sporting News, newspaper about baseball) attached to the canvas board.  The paper is then distressed to give it a old and beat-up, used look.  To view paintings for sale please visit:
John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.

Deon Sanders was a star cornerback who played 14 NFL seasons from 1989-2005.  Sanders Played for a variety of NFL football teams and used both # 21 and #37.   He was sometimes called "Neon Dion" because of his flashy style on the field and in his personal dress code. Sanders once said, "I never wear the same shoe twice." As a continuation of his thoughts about being flashy he said, "“If you look good, you feel good, If you feel good, you play good, If you play good, they pay good.” 

Sanders played football primarily at cornerback, but also as a kick returner, punt returner and occasionally as a running back or wide receiver.  Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back and Sanders' teammate from 1995-99 said about him,  "You don't get to this level by not performing. A lot of guys play the game, but when you start looking at his performance and what he's been able to accomplish in the period of time that he played, you know he shut down one side of the football field. That says a lot about an athlete and a player.

He played for the Atlanta Falcons, the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens, winning the Super Bowl with both the 49ers and the Cowboys.  Sanders was a perennial All-Pro and one of the most feared pass defenders to ever play the game.   While at Dallas - Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager said of Deon Sanders,  "I think he could be, and you can make a good argument, the best to have played the position. I think it's noteworthy of the impact he made. At one time he had the most touchdowns per touching the ball of anybody in the National Football League. When he got his hands on it, if anybody could, he could take it to the house. I think that's pretty interesting and that's why we made him a receiver when he was here. That's why we started using him on punt returns when he was here as well, just because of his entire career."

Here is what I think is the best part of Deon Sanders'  Hall of Fame enshrinement speech of Aug 7, 2011.   Deon Sanders was a star cornerback who played 14 NFL seasons from 1989-2005:

"This game, this game, this game. And I went at this game and attacked this game because I made a promise that I needed this game to fulfill.

I made a promise when I was seven years old to this young woman at the age of 27. She was working two jobs just to see if ends could see one another because they never met. And she was slaving over pots and pans on that precise day. I can remember, it was a little high chair right by the kitchen. In the kitchen there was a high chair right by the stove that she was cooking.

And I said, mama, because I was tired of seeing her go to work and come home all tired. I said I'm going to be rich one day. Mama, “I'm going to make a lot of money, and you will never have to work another day of your life.” My mama said “that's fine, but until then you get that lawnmower and go out there and cut that grass.”

14 years later, that's why you can't give up on your dream, your promise, because 14 years later, this dream, this promise came. That I was able to allow my mama to go into a job and say I'm not doing it anymore. My son has blessed me.

But there is something inside of me, mama, that I never told you. That I never could admit, and I'm going to share it with all of you, because now we're family. I played for a youth team called the Fort Myers Rebels and they blessed me. They took me all over the country to expose me to things, to expose you to things.

Everybody on their team, their parents owned something. Their parents were doctors or lawyers or the chief of police. It was that type of organization. Me and one of my friends were the only African American kids on that team. It was a very affluent team, and I was ashamed of my mama because my mama worked in the hospital. She cleaned up the hospital, and I was ashamed of my mama who sacrificed, who loved me, who protected me, who gave me everything. I want to make sure I was best dressed in school and I had everything that was laid that came out. I had it first.

I was ashamed of my mama because one of my friends in high school, he saw her in a hospital one night pushing a cart, and he came back and he clowned me, he ridiculed me and he mocked me because of my mama.

So I made a pledge to myself that I don't care what it takes, I don't care what it may take, I'm not going to do anything illegal, but my mama would never have to work another day of her life." 

Football art painting for Venice Family Clinic Artwalk



My contribution to the Venice Family Clinic Artwalk silent auction in Venice, Ca.  You can view and bid online and see other artwork donated for the clinic at: http://theveniceartwalk.org/500_silentartauction.htm. #VeniceFamilyClinic. #Venice Artwalk 

Football art USC Trojans running back image art


Sports image of football running back from USC Trojans carrying the football.  The football art is painted on a 10" x 10" archival board covered with newsprint about the Trojans football team from 1990.  Painted with ink and acrylic.  The painting was in the recent Santa Monica Museum "Incognito" show in Santa Monica, Ca.

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Footbal Art (US Soccer) Image Painting of Lionel Messi FC Barcelona


The great Argentine football player Lionel Messi. Commonly ranked as the best player in the world   Messi is an Argentine footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. World Cup Football Art.  Painting of Messi kicking a football.  Painting is 24 1/2" by 23 1/4" acrylic and ink on football (soccer) pages and photographs mounted on wood.  (US Soccer painting) 

 One of my favorite quotes from Messi, " In football as in watch making, talent and elegance mean nothing without rigour and precision."

Football art Cincinnati Bengals Giovani Bernard running back image

Football image, sports art of Cincinnati Bengals Giovani Bernard running back ,  One of the early statements about Bernard was,  “Bernard is the future at running back in Cincinnati”  Obviously the future is now with Bernard who is in contention as a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate. I watched him on TV in a game a couple of weeks ago and was inspired to do this painting of him.  The painting is 40” by 96” ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Football player inn shoulder pads


The painting of the football player in shoulder pads is 5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  I am in the photo so you can get an idea of how big the painting is.  I really enjoy painting this large but it takes quite a bit of paint to complete this.  There was a tv commercial that showed a football player in shoulder pads and I thought it would be a challenge to paint a guy this large in my studio.