Sports Views: I have already seen the names of these football players | Sports


I type a lot of names daily and every once in a while a name I’ve seen before pops up.

Three household names came up when I typed in football names this week: Ivan Rodriguez, Eric Dickerson and Kyle Rote.

Ivan Rodriguez is a linebacker for the Rains Wildcats, but at the time, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez was the best catcher that ever played baseball for the Texas Rangers. Pudge played for the Rangers from 1991 to 2000 and again in 2009. He also played for the Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

Not only did Rodriguez hit .296 for his career with 2,844 hits and 311 home runs, but he had a cannon for a pitching arm. He received 13 Gold Gloves for his work behind the plate and was a 14-time All-Star. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017, his first year of eligibility.

Eric Dickerson is a senior offensive and defensive lineman for the Boles Hornets. At the time, Eric Dickerson was a standout running back from Sealy who also shone for the SMU Mustangs, then in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. He rushed for 4,450 yards and 47 touchdowns for the Pony Express at SMU, most for 13,259 yards and 90 touchdowns in the NFL and also caught 281 passes for 2,137 yards and six scores.

Dickerson was 6-3 and his game weight was usually around 220 pounds, but he was fast enough to win a 100-yard state title from Sealy. He held the NFL single-season rushing record with 2,015 yards in 1984 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

Kyle Rote is a linebacker for Dallas Lutheran.

There were two Kyle Rotes who stood out in Dallas. Kyle Rote Sr. was an all-state running back at San Antonio Jefferson and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1950 while playing for the SMU Mustangs. He still holds the university record for the longest punt: 84 yards. The New York Giants selected Rote with the first overall pick in the 1951 NFL Draft. He played for the Giants from 1951 to 1961, winning four Pro Bowls. He was an all-around athlete who also played professional baseball.

Kyle Rote’s son, Kyle Rote Jr., was a standout athlete for the Highland Park Scots who also played professional football from 1972 to 1978 with the Dallas Tornado and in 1979 with the Houston Hurricane. Like his father, he was a good all-around athlete who won three Superstars competitions on TV.

These are three good names to stick to if you’re a high school football player in these parts. That’s for sure.

Moving from NCAA Division II to Division I and from the Lone Star Conference to the Southland Conference will certainly be a challenge for Texas A&M University-Commerce in all sports.

The women’s soccer team, the first A&M-Commerce program to compete in NCAA Division I, has played three games so far this season and hasn’t scored. The Lions lost 4-0 to Oral Roberts, 3-0 to Louisiana-Monroe and 2-0 to UT-San Antonio

The next game for the Lions could be more difficult. They play Thursday in Colorado. Colorado won its first games this season by scores of 5-0 against Weber State and 5-1 against San Diego.

It will be interesting to see how other Lion teams fare this season.

RIP to Len Dawson, who passed away this week at the age of 87. Dawson was a standout quarterback in college with Purdue, where he befriended assistant coach Hank Stram, who would later become Dawson’s head coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. Dawson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, played 19 seasons of professional football, starting with the Pittsburg Steelers and then with the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Texans, who became the Chiefs when owner Lamar Hunt moved the team to Kansas City. Dawson passed for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns.

He also did a good job of analyzing NFL TV shows.

David Clayboun is sports editor of the Herald-Banner


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