Football’s Hispanic heritage

Football’s Hispanic heritage

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The National Football League and the 32 member clubs are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) with a variety of special events. The celebration makes perfect sense considering that the NFL is by far the favorite spectator sport of Hispanics in the U.S. according to an ESPN poll.

Furthermore, rosters around the NFL in 2010 include many players of Hispanic descent including such stars as Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets Mark Sanchez, tight end Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons, running back Knowshon Moreno of the Denver Broncos, and San Diego Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo.

Latino players in the National Football League are nothing new however. The earliest documented Hispanic player came in 1927 when “Lou” Molinet, a halfback out of Cornell, played for the Frankford Yellowjackets.

A multitude of Hispanic players continued to appear on rosters around the NFL over the years. A sampling of these individuals include Hall of Fame end Tom Fears, one of the first big-threat receivers in NFL history, and quarterbacks like Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett. Fears and Flores also continued on in football as head coaches in the NFL.

Here’s a look at some of notable firsts and milestones for Hispanic players and coaches in the NFL>>>

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