02. Don Hutson

Nola McConnan + Tim Cortes

1 in stock

Watercolor Painting

Nola McConnan + Tim Cortes

In 2013 the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary by adding a new addition adjacent to the original building. The new section of the Hall of Fame was joined to the existing section by means of a passageway called the Time Tunnel. The Hall of Fame decided to decorate the...

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In 2013 the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary by adding a new addition adjacent to the original building. The new section of the Hall of Fame was joined to the existing section by means of a passageway called the Time Tunnel. The Hall of Fame decided to decorate the passageway by showing life-size portraits of The 15 Greatest NFL Players of All Time. The Hall of Fame hired Scott Sillcox of Heritage Sports Art to create the player images. This framed piece contains the three actual original pieces of art that were used to create the life-size image of Player #2 in the timeline – Don Hutson. To the viewer’s left is the actual original watercolor painting of Don Hutson’s uniformed body. The original artwork in the center-top-left is the actual original painting of Hutson’s head and face, while the original artwork in the center-top-right is that of Hutson’s helmet. The image to the viewer’s right is the final art that was electronically created using the three original pieces of art, and it is this compiled image that has been enlarged to life-size and can be found in the Time Tunnel at the Hall of Fame.

Don Hutson’s first touchdown came on an 83-yard pass from Arnie Herber in just his second game as a Green Bay Packer. He wound up with 99 career touchdown receptions, a record that stood for more than four decades. When Hutson retired in 1945 after 11 superb seasons, he held 18 NFL records, including 488 career receptions.

That was 200 more than his closest competitor. Hutson invented modern pass receiving. He created Z-outs, buttonhooks, hook-and-gos, and a whole catalog of moves and fakes. Although he had been an All-America at Alabama in 1934, there were plenty who doubted the skinny speedster could stand the pace of pro football. But it wasn't long before his mere presence on the field had changed the defensive concept of the game. 

Don could outmaneuver and outrace virtually every defender in the league. He led the NFL in receiving in eight of his 11 seasons and in scoring five straight years. Twice, in 1941 and 1942, he was named the league’s MVP.

Like everyone in the days before free substitution, Hutson was a 60-minute player who spent most of his career as a very fine safety on defense. In his final six seasons, he swiped 30 opposing quarterbacks’ passes. Often after scoring a touchdown, he would kick the extra point. In one quarter of a 1945 game, he caught four touchdown passes and kicked five PATs for an amazing 29 points.

Had it not been for a unique decision by NFL President Joe Carr, Hutson might never have become a landmark pass-catcher. After college, Don signed contracts with both the pass-minded Packers and the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that rarely passed. Carr ruled the contract with the earliest postmark would be honored. The Packers' contract was postmarked 8:30 a.m., 17 minutes earlier than the Dodgers' pact. Thus Hutson became a Packer.

DONALD ROY HUTSON ... UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA ... 6'1'', 183 ... ALABAMA ALL-AMERICAN, 1934 ... NFL’s FIRST "SUPER END" ... ALSO PLACEKICKED, PLAYED SAFETY ... NFL RECEIVING CHAMP EIGHT YEARS ... TOPPED SCORERS FIVE TIMES ... ALL-NFL NINE YEARS ... MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, 1941, 1942 ... HAD 488 CATCHES FOR 7,991 YARDS, 99 TDS ... SCORED 811 POINTS ... HELD 18 MAJOR NFL RECORDS AT TIME OF RETIREMENT ... NAMED NFL’s ALL-TIME END, 1969 ... BORN JANUARY 31, 1913, IN PINE BLUFF, ARKANSAS ... DIED JUNE 26, 1997 AT AGE OF 84.

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