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C-Mac
05-06-2006, 05:43 AM
http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2006/05/05/gretz_the_great_nfl_melting_pot/

Hadnt seen this posted.

May 05, 2006, 4:24:40 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ

In the old days, the NFL Draft was filled with players with names like Katcavage, Marconi, McIlhenny, Pajaczkowski and Pellegrini.
This year’s NFL Draft featured players named Youboty, Kiwanuka, Adeyanju, Aromashodu, Hali and maybe the longest full name ever in the draft:
Babatunde Oluwasegun Temitope Oluwakorede Adisa Oshinowo.
Actually that’s not correct. It’s:
Babatunde Oluwasegun Temitope Oluwakorede Adisa Oshinowo, Jr.
The NFL Draft provides a real sociological microscope not only into the game, but also to what our country has gone through over the years.
Consider that first group of names – Katcavage, Marconi, etc. – were all players selected in the 1956 NFL Draft. That was during a time when many first and second generation Americans were coming of age. Football was the chosen game of physical expression for many European immigrants from countries like Poland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Hungary and Russia. They came out of small towns and cities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois and New Jersey. Like the rest of the country, the pro football world was centered on the Northeast and Great Lakes. That’s where the players lived and breathed the game.
When the population shifted to the south and west, it was reflected in the NFL Draft. In the 1956 draft, there were 360 players selected and some of the schools they came from that were not among the perennial college football powers were Hamline (MN), Colgate, Illinois-Chicago, Beloit (WI), Case Western Reserve and Trinity (CN).
By 1976, there were 487 players being drafted and among the schools that had players selected were California-Davis, San Diego State, California-Riverside, Cal State-Northridge and California-Chico.
By 1986, the draft had more and more players with roots in Florida, whether they played at colleges in the Sunshine State, or went north to play in major college programs across the country. More and more players were being selected from Louisiana and Georgia, to go with the large numbers from California and Texas, and the declining numbers from the Northeast and Great Lakes states.
In the 21st Century, players from the west and south continue to dominate the NFL Draft. This year it was also full of young men with roots on the continent of Africa. Driven from their homeland for the same reasons families were driven out of Europe 75 years earlier – poverty, war, sickness – these players or their parents came to America searching for a better life. These players are immigrants or first-generation Americans staking their claim to the red, white and blue dream through the game of football.
Tamba Hali was the first of those players of African decent to find a football home in the 2006 Draft, as the Chiefs used the 20th pick of the first round on him. Born in Liberia, Hali left his homeland at the age of 10 because of the hideous civil war that destroyed the country.
DE Mathias Kiwanuka out of Boston College was next, taken with the final choice of the first round by the New York Giants. He was a first-generation American, the grandson of Benedicto Kiwanuka, the man who was elected Uganda’s first prime minister in 1961. It was 11 years later that his grandfather was assassinated by Idi Amin.
Buffalo selected CB Ashton Youboty in the third round out of Ohio State. Youboty was born in Liberia, moved to Philadelphia as a child and then on to Texas, where he caught the football bug like almost all kids in the Lone Star state.
In the fourth round, DE Victor Adeyanju of Indiana was taken by St. Louis. He was born in Nigeria and came to this country as a youngster.
The sixth round saw Cleveland drafting DT Babatunde Oshinowo of Stanford. Actually he’s Babatunde Oluwasegun Temitope Oluwakorede Adisa Oshinowo, Jr. Friends and coaches at Stanford called him Baba. He’s a Nigerian prince, even though he was born in this country, a first generation American.
Also in that round was offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka of Syracuse, selected by Atlanta. He’s a native of Nigeria.
WR Devin Aromashodu from Auburn was born in Alabama; a first-generation American after his father came over from Nigeria. Miami drafted him in the seventh round.
The Land of Opportunity, nothing shows it better than the National Football League Draft.

DaFace
05-06-2006, 06:27 AM
Umm...I'm sure this is a coincidence, but Pasquarelli posted this same article (practically) yesterday too. And his is much better. Kinda strange, really.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2434221&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines

JBucc
05-06-2006, 06:46 AM
Umm...I'm sure this is a coincidence, but Pasquarelli posted this same article (practically) yesterday too. And his is much better. Kinda strange, really.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2434221&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines
I remembered that headline but I didn't remember who wrote it. For a second there I thought Gretz got an ESPN article.