To expand an image, click on it

Bobby Bell football photo by Don Sparks

Minnesota linebacker Bobby Bell as a College All-Star in 1963. He went on to a HOF career with Kansas City. The annual College All-Star Game at Soldier Field featured an all-star team of college seniors against the reigning NFL champion. The series ran from the mid-30's to the mid-70's, and drew as many as 100K+ fans to a game

Dick Butkus football photo by Don Sparks

Bears HOF linebacker Dick Butkus. He was drafted 3rd in the 1965 draft, just ahead of Gale Sayers

Bart Starr football photo by Don Sparks

Packer HOF QB Bart Starr was drafted out of Alabama #200 in the 17th round of the draft, but went on to be MVP of the first 2 Super Bowls, which the Packers won. Here he is in the locker room at Packer training camp

Joe Namath football photo by Don Sparks

"Broadway" Joe Namath was a QB at Alabama (as was Bart Starr), and was selected in the first round of the '65 NFL draft after Butkus and Sayers. He was also selected by the NY Jets of the AFL, where he signed and went on to win the Rookie of the Year award. He led the Jets to the AFL's first victory over the NFL in Super Bowl III in 1969, before the leagues merged

Notre Dame Mike Townsend football photo by Don Sparks

Notre Dame captain and All-American Mike Townsend celebrating with the crowd after their victory over #1 ranked USC in South Bend on Oct. 27,1973. ND went on to win the national title

Dick Butkus - Jim Grabowski football photo by Don Sparks

Dick Butkus and Jim Grabowski both played in the Chicago Public League, were teammates on Illinois' 1964 Rose Bowl championship team and they played together one year on the 1971 Bears

Los Angeles Rams Deacon Jones football photo by Don Sparks

Deacon Jones, the 'Secretary of Defense', was a HOF defensive end and 8x Pro Bowler. With the Rams he was part of the 'Fearsome Foursome' defensive line. Here he is at Wrigley Field, with QB Roman Gabriel in the background

Chicago Bears Gale Sayers football photo by Don Sparks

Bears 1965 Rookie of the Year and HOF running back Gale Sayers against the Colts at Wrigley Field on November 7, 1965

Condredge Holloway football photo by Don Sparks

Condredge Holloway was the first Black quarterback to start in the SEC in 1972. Don traveled to Knoxville to shoot this game

Baltimore Colts football photo by Don Sparks

Though double-exposed, this is a good shot of the Colts' Johnny Unitas on the sidelines at Wrigley Field on November 7 1965, along with Raymond Berry (82), Wendell Harris (26), Mike Curtis (partially hidden) and Tony Lorrick

Cleveland Browns Jim Brown football photo by Don Sparks

Browns running back Jim Brown at an exhibition game at Soldier Field on 9/7/62. Brown was an All-Pro every year he played and is the only RB to average over 100 yards per game

Terry Baker football photo by Don Sparks

1962 Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker at the College All-Star Game at Soldier Field on Aug 2, 1963. The All-Stars beat the Packers that night, the last time that happened in this series. Baker is the only person to win the Heisman and play in the NCAA Final Four

Donnie Anderson football photo by Don Sparks

In 1965, Donnie Anderson was drafted seventh, behind Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers and before Craig Morton and Joe Namath. With the Packers he played in the backfield with Jim Grabowski, labeled the 'Gold Dust Twins'

Anthony Davis football photo by Don Sparks

USC's Anthony Davis against Notre Dame at South Bend in 1973. He was held to 55 yards this day, after having scored 6 TD's against ND the previous year

Vince Lombardi football photo by Don Sparks

Packers coach Vince Lombardi during training camp. Lombardi never had a losing season, and won 5 NFL titles in 7 years, including the first 2 Super Bowls. The Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor

Fran Tarkenton - Allie Sherman football photo by Don Sparks

Giants QB Fran Tarkenton with coach Allie Sherman on the sidelines at Wrigley Field on Nov 12,1967. Sherman was Coach of the Year twice in taking the Giants to the championship game 3 straight year ('61-'63). He was also the first to hire 2 Black assistant coaches in the NFL. Fran Tarkenton requested a photo after we got him to autograph one

Paul Warfield football photo by Don Sparks

Paul Warfield was a running back and defensive back at Ohio State. Drafted by the Browns, he was converted to a wide receiver. This HOFer played in 7 title games, including 3 Super Bowls with Miami. Here he is at the College All-Star Game at Soldier Field in 1964 against the Chicago Bears

Jim Ringo football photo by Don Sparks

Packer HOF center Jim Ringo was a 10-time Pro Bowler during his 15 year career. Though small in stature, his quickness and technique made him well suited for the famous Packer sweep

Sherman Howard football photo by Don Sparks

Sherman Howard played several years in the NFL before coaching HS football at Harlan HS in Chicago. When he passed in Dec. 2019 at 95, he was considered the oldest living Black NFL player. He and Don would drive to Green Bay to watch NFL games. Don took a number of his training camp shots then

Lenny Moore football photo by Don Sparks

Penn State graduate Lenny Moore was the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1956 for Baltimore. The HOFer played with Unitas in 2 NFL championship games, including 'the greatest game ever played' against the Giants in 1958

Bob Hayes football photo by Don Sparks

"Bullet" Bob Hayes won 2 Gold medals in the 1964 Olympics and was drafted by Dallas. His speed revolutionized pro football and he proved to be a good receiver. He scored 71 TD's, averaged 20 yards per catch and played in 3 Super Bowls (one win). Hayes was inducted into the HOF after some years delay, perhaps because of his legal and drug issues. He is the only person to win an Olympic Gold medal and a Super Bowl ring

Mel Renfro football photo by Don Sparks

Mel Renfro was a versatile football player and track athlete, who at Oregon was part of a world-record 440 relay team that included Harry Jerome. The HOFer was a 10x All-Pro defensive back with Dallas, playing on 2 Super Bowl championship teams. His wife asked for a copy of this photo when we had him autograph one

Bobby Douglass football photo by Don Sparks

Bobby Douglass was known more for his running than passing. In 1972 he set a record for most rushing yards by a QB, which stood for 34 years

Archie Manning football photo by Don Sparks

Archie Manning, father of QB's Peyton and Ali, was drafted 2nd in the 1971 draft and spent most of his 13 years with the Saints

Bart Starr football photo by Don Sparks

Bart Starr at Wrigley Field. When autographing one of our photos, Starr commented on how he always liked playing in Wrigley

Gale Sayers football photo by Don Sparks

Gale Sayers negative

Jerry Kramer football photo by Don Sparks

Jerry Kramer was an integral part of the famous Packer sweep for a decade, and threw the key block for Bart Starr on the QB sneak that won the 1967 NFL "Ice Bowl" championship against Dallas. Kramer was inducted into the HOF by the Veterans Committee in 2018

Jerry Kramer football photo by Don Sparks

Not widely recognized, Jerry Kramer was also a kicker in college and for a period with the Packers. He here is attempting a field goal against the College All-Stars in 1963, with Bart Starr holding. This game was the last time the pros lost in this series. Ironically, Kramer was on the winning side in 1958 as an All-Star when they beat the Detroit Lions

Willie Davis football photo by Don Sparks

Willie Davis was the 181st pick in the 1956 draft, ahead of Bart Starr at 200. Davis did not play until 1958 due to military service. The HOF defensive end was a 5x All-Pro and 5x NFL champion, including Super Bowls I and II

Paul Hornung football photo by Don Sparks

Paul Hornung, the "Golden Boy", won the Heisman in 1956 at Notre Dame, despite a 2-8 record. He played in the 1957 College All-Star Game with Jim Brown. Drafted by the Packers, he, Bart Starr and Jim Taylor led the Packers to 4 NFL championships. This photo was scanned from a contact sheet

Floyd Little football photo by Don Sparks

Floyd Little was recruited in college by Notre Dame and the US Military Academy, but was persuaded to attend Syracuse by Ernie Davis, where he became a 3x All-American. The HOFer spent his career with Denver and retired as the NFL's 7th leading rusher

Chicago Bears football photo by Don Sparks

Chicago Bears defense

Joe Kapp football photo by Don Sparks

Joe Kapp played in the CFL until Minnesota traded for him to replace Fran Tarkenton, who had been traded to NY. He led the Viking to the Super Bowl in 1968, losing to the Baltimore Colts. Kapp is the only player to play QB in the Super Bowl, Rose Bowl and Grey Cup (CFL)

Don Maynard football photo by Don Sparks

HOF receiver Don Maynard was the first player to sign with the New York Titans of the AFL, who later became the Jets. In 1965 Joe Namath was drafted, and they led the Jets to an upset win in Super Bowl III. He is shown here in the 1969 College All-Star game at Soldier Field, after their Super Bowl victory

Gale Sayers football photo by Don Sparks

Gale Sayers, pursued by Dave Robinson and Willie Wood

John Mackey - Johnny Unitas football photo by Don Sparks

Johnny Unitas with John Mackey on the bench

Chicago Bears football photo by Don Sparks

Bears bench with Ralph Kurek and Dick Gordon

Charley Johnson football photo by Don Sparks

St Louis Cardinals QB Charley Johnson. Bears defenders include Dick Butkus (51), Joe Fortunato (31) and Richie Petibone (17)

Joe Namath football photo by Don Sparks

Joe Namath in action

Hank Gremminger football photo by Don Sparks

The Packers Hank Gremminger in training camp. He played cornerback in Green Bay for 10 years, and was part of 3 championship teams. He is a member of the Green Bay Hall of Fame

Ronnie Bull football photo by Don Sparks

Bears Ronnie Bull eluding Paul Krause with Jim Marshall in pursuit

Minnesota Vikings football photo by Don Sparks

Vikings sideline with Carl Eller and Allen Page, part of the "Purple People Eaters" defensive line

Fran Tarkenton football photo by Don Sparks

Fran Tarkenton was drafted by the expansion team Minnesota Vikings in 1961. In their first game in '61 they defeated the Bears, with Tarkenton passing for 4 TD's. He was traded to the NY Giants in '67 and back to Minnesota in 1972, where they made it to 3 Super Bowls, losing all of them. RB #24 in the picture is Tucker Frederickson, who was the #1 pick in the 1965 draft, ahead of Butkus and Sayers. This photo was scanned from an old contact sheet

Mike Lucci football photo by Don Sparks

Mike Lucci

Willie Wood football photo by Don Sparks

HOFer Willie Wood was the first Black QB in the Pacific Coast Conference. Undrafted, he requested a tryout with Vince Lombardi and signed with the Packers and moved to safety. He was a starter all 11 years and a 5x All-Pro. Here he is after an interception in the 1963 College All-Star Game

Anthony Davis football photo by Don Sparks

Anthony Davis at South Bend, 1973

Taylor-Beathard-Warfield football photo by Don Sparks

1964 College All-Stars Charley Taylor, Pete Beathard and Paul Warfield. Taylor was the game's MVP. Taylor and Warfield went on to HOF careers in the NFL. Beathard won a national championship at USC

Jim Taylor football photo by Don Sparks

The Packers HOFer Jim Taylor teamed with Paul Hornung as "Thunder and Lightening" in the 60's. In 1962 Taylor led the league in rushing (the only year Jim Brown did not win the title) and was MVP. In 1967 he scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl history as the Packers won Super Bowl I

Doug Buffone - George Allen football photo by Don Sparks

Doug Buffone with coach George Allen at Soldier Field. Allen was defensive coordinator for the Bears from '62-'65, including the championship '63 season. He also was responsible for the college drafts, and is credited with the selections of Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers. Buffone was drafted in 1966 and played 15 years. He is the Bears all-time leader in interceptions at LB, his first two being against Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas

Mike Ditka football photo by Don Sparks

HOFer Mike Ditka grew up in Pennsylvania, where his coach was Press Maravich, Pistol Pete's father. Ditka was drafted by the Bears in 1961 and was Rookie of the Year. He was part of their NFL champion team in 1963. As a coach, he led the Bears to their Super Bowl XX win in 1986 and was named Coach of the Year twice

Dick Butkus football photo by Don Sparks

Bears linebacker Dick Butkus peering in on Archie Manning

Sonny Jurgensen football photo by Don Sparks

HOF QB Sonny Jurgensen played 18 years with Philadelphia and Washington

Dick Gordon football photo by Don Sparks

Dick Gordon with Mike Ditka and Johnny Morris

Notre Dame football photo by Don Sparks

Notre Dame players Mike Townsend (27) and Luther Bradley (20) celebrating their win over USC on Oct. 27,1973. Bradley had a key interception late in the game to seal the victory. The Irish went on to win the national championship.

Notre Dame crowd football photo by Don Sparks

Notre Dame crowd celebrating victory over #1 ranked USC

Los Angeles Rams football photo by Don Sparks

LA Rams with Lamar Lundy (85) and Deacon Jones (75) at Wrigley Field

Rosey Taylor - Bennie Mcrae football photo by Don Sparks

Bennie McRae making tackle with Rosey Taylor and Dick Butkus

Lou Groza football photo by Don Sparks

HOF kicker Lou Groza played 21 years for the Cleveland Browns, winning 4 titles and being named MVP in 1954. He was one of the first to attempt 50+ yard field goals. Groza was the NFL's leading points leader when he retired

James Harris football photo by Don Sparks

James Harris was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1969 draft, along with OJ Simpson. He became the first Black to start a season as quarterback for a professional football team

OJ Simpson football photo by Don Sparks

OJ Simpson won the Heisman Trophy at USC in 1968. He played most of his career with Buffalo, becoming the first to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. The HOFer went on to an acting and broadcasting career

Joe Kapp - Bud Grant football photo by Don Sparks

Viking QB Joe Kapp with coach Bud Grant. Grant was drafted by the NFL and NBA in 1950, and chose to play for the Minneapolis Lakers (with George Mikan) in the NBA's inaugural season. He briefly returned to the NFL as a player, and started coaching in 1967. With Kapp and then Tarkenton as QB's, the Vikings appeared in 4 Super Bowls, losing all of them

Jim Grabowski football photo by Don Sparks

At Illinois Jim Grabowski finished 3rd in Heisman voting his senior year, and graduated as the Big Ten's all-time leading rusher at that time. Here he is in 1971, the year he and Dick Butkus were reunited on the Bears

Jim Brown football photo by Don Sparks

Jim Brown against the Bears in an exhibition game

Johnny Rodgers football article w Don Sparks photos

EBONY article on 1972 Heisman winner Johnny Rodgers, photos by Don

Jim Plunkett football photo by Don Sparks

Jim Plunkett won the Heisman in 1970 at Stanford, the first Latino to do so. He was QB for 2 Super Bowl championship teams, the only one to win twice and not be in the HOF

John Unitas football photo by Don Sparks

HOF QB Johnny Unitas won 4 championships, one during the Super Bowl era, and 3 MVP awards. In 1958 Baltimore defeated the NY Giants in the first NFL overtime game, often called the greatest game ever played. Unitas had tried out for the Notre Dame football team, but was considered too small

Dave Robinson football photo by Don Sparks

Packers Dave Anderson tackling Gale Sayers

Tom Matte football photo by Don Sparks

Colts Tom Matte at Wrigley in 1967. Matte played 12 years for the Colts, including the 1969 Super Bowl loss to the Jets, and their win in Super Bowl V

Roger Staubach football photo by Don Sparks

Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy with the Naval Academy in 1963, and went on to a HOF NFL career with Dallas, winning 2 Super Bowls

Minnesota Vikings football photo by Don Sparks

The Vikings "Purple People Eaters" (Jim Marshall, Alan Page, Carl Eller) making tackle on Gale Sayers

Dan Reeves football photo by Don Sparks

Dan Reeves spent his entire playing career with the Cowboys and went to 2 Super Bowls. As a coach, his teams made 7 more appearances, giving him the most behind Bill Belichick. Here he is against the Cardinals with QB Don Meredith in the background

Green Bay Packers football photo by Don Sparks

Bart Starr with Fuzzy Thurston blocking in the 1963 College All-Star Game

Green Bay Boyd Dowler football photo by Don Sparks

Packers Boyd Dowler after an incomplete pass, defended by Curt Gentry

Richie Pettibone - Aaron Thomas football photo by Don Sparks

NY Giants Aaron Thomas making a move on the Bears Richie Pettibone.

Cleveland Browns Leroy Kelly - Mike Phipps football photo by Don Sparks

Mike Phipps handing off to Leroy Kelly. Kelly was drafted in 1964 to the championship Browns team that featured Jim Brown and Ernie Davis in the backfield. Kelly took over for Brown when he retired after 1965. The HOFer was a 4x All-Pro and 2x rushing leader. Mike Phipps followed in the footsteps of Bob Griese at Purdue, and played in the pros for Cleveland and the Bears

Ron Vander Kelen football photo by Don Sparks

Wisconsin's Ron Vander Kelen, who led the College All-Stars to a victory over the NFL champion Packers in 1963, the last time the All-Stars won in this series. He played sparingly in the NFL, as a backup to Fran Tarkenton for a time. The book 'Starry Knights' by John McCarthy tells a great story of the All-Star series history and this upset game

Vikings Carl Eller football photo by Don Sparks

HOF defensive end Carl Eller, a member of the "Purple People Eaters", was a 5x All-Pro and is the Vikings all-time sack leader. He played in 4 Super Bowls in the 70's with Joe Kapp and Fran Tarkenton, but they never won

Dallas Cowboys Craig Morton football photo by Don Sparks

Craig Morton was drafted 5th in 1965, right behind Butkus and Sayers. In Dallas, he alternated with QB Roger Staubach for a period. Morton is the first starting QB to appear in the Super Bowl for more than one franchise (Dallas and Denver)

Minnesota Vikings Gene Washington football photo by Don Sparks

Vikings Gene Washington being tackled by the Bears Joe Taylor with Richie Pettibone looking on

Chicago Bears Willie Galimore football photo by Don Sparks

Speedster RB Willie Galimore played 6 years for the Bears, including the 1963 championship season. During training camp in 1964, he died in a car crash with teammate Bo Farrington. His son Ron Galimore was the first Black U.S. Olympic gymnast

Green Bay Packers Forrest Gregg football photo by Don Sparks

Forrest Gregg, the HOF tackle, was a 9x All-Pro and was part of 3 Super Bowl championship teams with Green Bay and Dallas

Chicago Bears Gale Sayers football photos by Don Sparks

January 1966 EBONY article on Gale Sayers, photos by Don

Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Mansfield football photo by Don Sparks

Ray Mansfield was the starting center for the Pittsburgh Steelers for a decade, including their 2 Super Bowl victories in '74 and '75. This photo was taken on July 23 1976, during the College All-Star Game at Soldier Field, which was the last game ever played in the series

Dallas Cowboys Bob Hayes football photo by Don Sparks

October 1965 issue of EBONY. Don shot this photo of Bob Hayes at the College All-Star Game in 1965 against Cleveland

George Mira football photo by Don Sparks

George Mira in the College All-Star Game in 1964. After 8 seasons in the NFL, he signed with the AFL Montreal Alouettes in '72, and played with Johnny Rodgers, CFL Rookie of the Year, in 1973

Calvin Hill

Calvin Hill

John Unitas

Johnny Unitas warming up.

Don Sparks Photography