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Remembering Art Donovan
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The NFL lost a great lineman and an even greater storyteller with the recent passing of Hall of Famer Art Donovan. David and Elliott had the pleasure of interviewing the Colts legend a few weeks before his passing, and will share that interview on this week's program. We'll also hear from Jan Stenerud, the only pure kicker inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Episode Segments:
Sports and Torts: Hall of Famer Art Donovan
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Sports and Torts: Hall of Famer Jan Stenerud
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Art Donovan
In each of his first three seasons, Donovan played for a team which went out of business. He started out with the first Baltimore Colts, who folded after his rookie season in 1950, followed by the New York Yanks in 1951, and their successor, the Dallas Texans, in 1952. After the Texans franchise was moved to Baltimore in 1953 and became the second Baltimore Colts, Donovan played with that team. He became one of the stars in an outstanding defense and was selected to five straight Pro Bowls, from 1953 through 1957. The Colts won back-to-back championships in 1958 and 1959. He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. He published an autobiography, Fatso, in 1987. He was noted as a jovial and humorous person during his playing career and capitalized on that with television and speaking appearances after retiring as a player. He owned and managed a country club near Baltimore. Donovan also appeared ten times on the Late Show with David Letterman, telling humorous stories about his old playing days and about other "old school" footballers he played with and against. He related a story that he played without a helmet and in fact is shown on football cards without a helmet. Letterman wore Donovan's No. 70 Colts jersey in the infamous Super Bowl XLI commercial with Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno. Donovan died August 4, 2013 at Stella Maris Hospice in Baltimore from a respiratory disease at age 88. He was surrounded by 15 to 20 family members. Donovan is survived by his wife; a sister; a son, Arthur J. Donovan III of New York City; daughters Debbie Donovan Smith of Towson, Maryland; Christine Donovan of McLean, Virginia; Mary Donovan O'Hern and Kelly Donovan-Mazzulli, both of Lutherville; and seven grandchildren.

Art at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Jan Stenerud
Jan Stenerud was born in Fetsund, in the county of Akershus, Norway. Stenerud came to the United States on a ski jumping scholarship to attend Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.Late in his sophomore year, Stenerud was spotted kicking a football by the college's basketball coach who relayed the news of his abilities to the football coach. He joined the football team and in 1965 kicked a 59-yard field goal, then a college football record, against the rival Montana Grizzlies. He was recruited to the MSU team by Jim Sweeney. tenerud was one of the first professional football players to be used as a dedicated kicker, because of his excellent "sharpshooting" ball-kicking performance. He was one of the first placekickers to use the "soccer style", a technique the Hungarian-born Pete Gogolak had recently introduced in the AFL. During his 3 years in the AFL, Stenerud hit 70% of his field goals, compared with a 53% average for the other kickers in the AFL and NFL. After the 1969 season, Stenerud won Super Bowl IV with the Chiefs when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7. In that game, Stenerud kicked three field goals, scoring the first 9 points of the game for his team. His first, a 48-yarder, would remain the longest field goal in a Super Bowl until January 1994, when the record was broken by the Buffalo Bills kicker Steve Christie in Super Bowl XXVIII. Stenerud missed two field goals and had another kick blocked on Christmas Day, 1971 in an AFC divisional playoff game against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins won the game 27-24 in double overtime on a 37-yard field goal by Garo Yepremian. The game is the longest in NFL history at 82 minutes, 40 seconds of playing time, and was also the final football game in Kansas City Municipal Stadium. Stenerud retired after the 1985 season, after 19 years (3 AFL, 16 NFL). In his career, he converted 373 out of 558 field goals (67 percent) and 580 out of 601 extra points (97%). Overall, Stenerud scored a total of 1,699 points. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest tenured (19 years) Professional Football player to have played in the AFL. The last former AFL player in Professional Football was Charlie Joiner (Houston Oilers, 1969), who retired from the San Diego Chargers after the 1986 season. Enshrined in 1991, Stenerud, along with George Blanda and Lou Groza is one of only three kickers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he is the only one of those three who did not play another position (Blanda played Quarterback, Lou Groza played Offensive Tackle). The Chiefs have retired jersey number 3 in his honor. In 1994, he was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team. In recent years Stenerud has been involved in a Kansas City firm that is involved in designing stadiums and sports arenas. He also worked as a commentator for Scandinavian TV channel TV3's Super Bowl Sunday coverage in the 1990s, and still maintains strong ties with his native Norway. The street where he grew up, in the municipality Fetsund, was renamed in his honor.

Jan at the Pro Football Hall of Fame