The 2013 NFL season kicks off on Sunday, September 8th. On this year’s star roster is a record number of black quarterbacks. For the first time in history, the NFL will start with nine black quarterbacks. Among those on the list is E.J. Manuel of the Buffalo Bills, the only quarterback taken in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. Newton was the only rookie to ever pass for 4,000 yards in a single season. The lineup also includes veteran Michael Vick, the first black quarterback to be selected first overall in 2001 with the Atlanta Falcons.
The historical season is the result of a job first given to Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, the first black quarterback of the NFL and the league’s first black head coach. Pollard took the field for the Akron Pros along with Bobby Marshall, who started for the Minneapolis Marines in 1920.
Ironically, Washington Redskins owner George Marshall led an informal ban on black athletes in 1934 for nearly twelve years. There wouldn’t be a black presence in professional football again until 1946.
NFL player Willie Thrower became the third black quarterback in league history when he threw eight passes in one game for the Bears in 1953. Then in 1955, Charlie “Choo Choo” Brackins was signed by the Green Bay Packers.
Subsequently, Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, when he led the Washington Redskins to a victory in 1988. Williams had been selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the 17th pick in the first round of the 1978 draft.
In this year’s NFL season, the nine black quarterbacks that are expected to start things off include, Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Robert Griffith III (Washington Redskins), Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers), E.J. Manuel (Buffalo Bills), Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers), Terrelle Pryor (Oakland Raiders), Geno Smith (New York Jets), Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks).
The new season kicks off Sunday, September 8, 2013 with a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.
Forbes Top 10 List of Most Liked NFL Players
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1. 1. Troy Polamalu, All-Pro safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers ranked number 1 on Forbes list of most liked NFL players.(AP)
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2. 2. Drew Brees, Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints ranked number 2 on Forbes list of most like NFL players.(AP)
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3. 3. Charles Woodson, Defensive Back for the Greenbay Packers ranked number 3 on Forbes list of most liked NFL players.(AP)
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4. 4. Peyton Manning, Quarterback for the Denver Broncos ranked number 4 or Forbes list of most liked NFL players.(AP)
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5. 5. Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback for the Greenbay Packers ranked number 5 on Forbes list of most liked NFL players.
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6. 6. Rob Gronkowski, Tight End for the New England Patriots ranked number 6 on Forbes list of most liked NFL players.
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7. 7. Robert Griffin III, Quarterback for the Washington Redskins ranked number 7 on Forbes list of most liked NFL players.
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8. 8. Brian Urlacher, Linebacker for the Chicago Bears ranked number 8 on Forbes list of most liked NFL players. (AP)
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9. 9. Donald Driver, Wide Receiver for the Green Bay Packers ranked number 9 on Forbes list of most liked NFL players.
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10. 10. Matthew Stafford, Quarterback for the Detroit Lions ranked number 10 on Forbes list of most liked NFL players.
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Celebrity NFL Fans
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1. 1. Dwyane Wade also is a Chicago Bears fan, pictured here with the Chicago Bliss.
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2. 2. T.I. loves the Atlanta Falcons (Photo: AP)
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3. 3. Drake's favorite team is also the Atlanta Falcons. (Photo: AP)
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4. 4. Kenan Thompson also is a fan of the Falcons (Photo: PR Photos)
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5. 5. Brian McKnight is a Buffalo Bills fan. (Photo: PR Photos)
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6. 6. President Barack Obama cheers for the Chicago Bears. (Official White House Photo
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7. 7. Condoleezza Rice is a Cleveland Browns fan. (Photo: AP)
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8. 8. Jamie Foxx loves the Dallas Cowboys. (Photo: PR Photos)
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9. 9. LeBron James also is a Dallas Cowboy fan. (Photo: AP)
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10. 10. Don King is a Detroit Lions fan. (Photo: AP)
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11. 11. Jennifer Lopez loves the Miami Dolphins (Photo: AP)
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12. 12. Darius Rucker also is a Miami Dolphins fan. (Photo: AP)
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13. 13. Minnesota Vikings is the team Lil Wayne loves.(Photo: AP)
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14. 14. Aaron Neville supports his home team the New Orleans Saints (Photo: AP)
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15. 15. Denzel Washington is a fan of the New York Jets.(Photo: AP)
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16. 16. Jay Z will is also a fan of the New York Jets.(Photo: AP)
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17. 17. Ice Cube loves him some Oakland Raiders (Photo: AP)
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18. 18. Tiger Woods also is an Oakland Raiders fan.(Photo: AP)
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19. 19. It's the Philadelphia Eagles for Will Smith. (Photo: AP)
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20. 20. 50 Cent is also a big fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.(Photo: AP)
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21. 21. Snoop dogg is a Pittsburg Steelers fan.(Photo: AP)
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22. 22. Wiz Khalifa is also a Pittsburg Steelers fan.(Photo: AP)
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23. 23. Nelly, of course if a fan of the St. Louis Rams.(Photo: AP)
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24. 24. Anthony Anderson cheers for the Washington Redskins(Photo: AP)
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25. 25. Wanda Sykes is also a Washington Redskins fan.(Photo: AP)
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