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When Football Was Football - Sports History Network EPISODE 23, 29th March 2021
The Agony and Ecstasy of Ollie Matson

The Agony and Ecstasy of Ollie Matson

When Football Is Football is part of the Sports History Network - The Headquarters For Your Favorite Sports' Yesteryear.


There have been very few Olympic medalists that are also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In fact, we can think of only two: Jim Thorpe and Ollie Matson. Thorpe grabbed the gold medal in both the decathlon and the pentathlon in 1912 at the Stockholm games, while Matson won both a silver and bronze medal at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. Matson took third in the 400-meter run and then was a member of the U.S. 4X400-meter relay team that took the silver that year. And, ironically, both were members of the Chicago Cardinals football team!

 Thorpe’s time with the Cardinals was brief, playing just a single game in 1928 in what would prove to be his final game played in the National Football League. Matson, however, considered himself a “lifer” in the Cardinals organization, joining the club as a first-round draft pick in 1952.......

Read the entire episode blog post and check out some other cool info regarding this episode here.


Each episode takes the listener back to the very early days of the National Football League. Author Joe Ziemba will share a forgotten or lost story from one of the NFL’s two oldest teams: The Bears and the Cardinals. Team championships, individual exploits, or long-buried items of interest from the earliest years of the NFL will be dusted off and resurrected for the listener. Not for the football faint-of-heart since these programs will document when the struggling Bears nearly went out of business or when Cardinals’ players earned $15 a game and were proud of it! It’s NFL history—with a twist!. See Joe's books below.

Cadets, Canons, and Legends: The Football History of Morgan Park Military Academy

When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL

Music for the episode - https://www.purple-planet.com/