Francis Newton Gifford was an American football player and television sports commentator. After a 12-year playing career as a halfback and flanker for the New York Giants of the National Football League, he was a play-by-play announcer and commentator for 27 years on ABC's Monday Night Football. Gifford won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award from United Press International in 1956, the same season his team won the NFL Championship. During his career, he participated in five league championship games and was named to eight Pro Bowls, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. After retiring as a player, Gifford was an Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, known for his work on ABC's Monday Night Football, Wide World of Sports and the Olympics, he was married to television host Kathie Lee Gifford from 1986 until his death. Gifford was born in Santa Monica, the son of Lola Mae and Weldon Gifford, an oil driller, he graduated from now named Bakersfield High School. Following Gifford's death in 2015, his wife Kathie Lee Gifford said that her late husband grew up in a poverty-stricken home and that he and his family sometimes ate dog food.
She said they lived in 29 places before Gifford attended high school, because his father could not find work during the Depression. She said that as a young child, the family attended church every week and Gifford "asked Jesus into his heart and that remained with him for the rest of his life". Gifford was unable to gain an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California because of his low grade point average in high school, so he played a season of football for Bakersfield Junior College. While at Bakersfield, he made the Junior College All-America team and earned the grades needed to enroll at USC. At USC, Gifford was named an All-American after rushing for 841 yards on 195 carries during his final season. While at USC he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, he graduated from USC in 1952. Gifford spent his entire NFL career with the New York Giants, beginning in 1952, playing both offense and defense, he had five trips to the NFL Championship Game. Gifford's best season may have been 1956, when he won the league's Most Valuable Player Award and led the Giants to the NFL title over the Chicago Bears.
He lost 18 months in the prime of his career. During a 1960 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, he was knocked out by Chuck Bednarik on a passing play, suffering a severe head injury that led him to retire from football in 1961. However, Gifford returned to the Giants in 1962, his Pro Bowl selections came at three different positions — defensive back, running back, flanker. He permanently retired following the 1964 season. During his 12 seasons with the Giants Gifford had 3,609 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns in 840 carries. Gifford completed 29 of the 63 passes he threw for 14 touchdowns with 6 interceptions; the 14 touchdowns is the most among any non-quarterback in NFL history. Gifford was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 30, 1977. After his death, an autopsy on his brain revealed that he lived with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a disease related to repeated head trauma; as of September 18, 2015, 87 out of 91 former NFL players tested had been diagnosed with the disease.
After his playing days ended, Gifford became a broadcaster for CBS, covering football and basketball. When Monday Night Football was launched in 1970, ABC had planned to have Gifford in their broadcast booth, but he still had a year remaining on his contract with CBS, he therefore recommended his friend Don Meredith, hired. The following year, Gifford replaced Keith Jackson as Monday Night Football's play-by-play announcer, remained involved with the show for 27 of its next 28 years, his low-key delivery provided a perfect counterbalance to broadcast partners Meredith and Howard Cosell. In an era with only three television broadcast networks, the series became the longest-running prime-time sports program in television history, developed into one of television's most valuable franchises. In 1986, Al Michaels took over play-by-play duties, Gifford switched to a commentator role. However, Gifford did play-by-play for the next several years whenever Michaels was covering post-season baseball games for the network.
Following his affair with airline flight attendant Suzen Johnson in 1997, Gifford was replaced in the broadcast booth by Boomer Esiason in 1998. That season, he was reassigned to a nominal role for ABC's Monday night pregame show, but the program was cancelled after one season. Gifford was not offered a new role by the network. Gifford was host of British TV network Channel 4's NFL coverage with British born former New England Patriots kicker John Smith in 1986, which included coverage of Super Bowl XXI. Additionally, he narrated the official Super Bowl XLVIII highlight film for NFL Films, for which he had narrated the New York Giants' annual highlight films. Gifford was a reporter and commentator on other ABC sports programs, such as coverage of the Olympics and golf, he an
Ricky Lee Nixon is a former Australian rules footballer in the VFL/AFL and a former sports agent. Recruited from Golden Square in the Bendigo Football League, Nixon played four games for the Carlton Football Club between 1983 and 1985, for one goal, amid limited opportunities; the half-back flanker moved to St Kilda, where he played 51 games including one final, with 32 goals, between 1986 and 1991, but Nixon was never able to establish himself with the club. A contractual dispute with the Saints in March 1992 saw him move to the Hawthorn Football Club, where he played eight games, including one final, for six goals, before his retirement in 1993; the most high-profile sports agent in Australia, Nixon established his sports management company, Flying Start, in 1994 after eight years of teaching physical education at Carey Grammar. The company grew to become one of the leading sports management companies in Australia. Nixon was a pioneer of group marketing of prominent athletes in Australia with his Club 10 team of AFL players, which included Gary Ablett, Sr. Wayne Carey, Jason Dunstall, Tony Lockett and Garry Lyon.
He is acknowledged as a major leader in the innovative marketing of athletes and has been rated by The Age newspaper as the fourth most influential person of the past decade in the AFL. Flying Start's players included Ben Cousins, Nick Riewoldt and Tom Hawkins. Nixon started a fitness club at Docklands Stadium, where he co-owned the Locker Room Bar and Cougars Sports Bar with Michael Gudinski, he commentated AFL on radio station Triple M and has been awarded the Australia Day Sports Medal for services to sport by the prime minister. He has since entered the education business with Flying Start providing online courses, including "How to be a Sports Agent". In 2008 Nixon began a well-publicised campaign to escalate the Irish experiment and set up a formal system for recruiting promising young Irish Gaelic footballers for AFL teams; the plan was criticised by many Gaelic football officials and players, including Sydney's Tadhg Kennelly. Some consider that the campaign, which included screening camps in Ireland in August 2008, will result in a talent drain from Ireland to Australia, something that Nixon refutes.
On 19 February 2011, it was claimed by a number of press agencies that Nixon had an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl. The girl had been embroiled in a series of controversies involving players from the St Kilda Football Club, including one of Nixon's major clients, Nick Riewoldt. Nixon admitted to visiting the girl at her hotel room on at least three occasions – including Valentine's Day – and providing her with alcohol; the girl characterised the relationship as an "affair" and indicated that she was unaware at the time that Nixon was married. The controversy follows Nixon's drink driving charge in 2009 when he left the scene of an accident that he was involved in, he was given a two-year suspension by the AFL Players' Association Accreditation Board, on 18 March 2011. In July 2012 Nixon was charged with five offences following an alleged assault. In March 2013 Nixon pleaded guilty to charges of assault against his former fiancee and attempting to flee the police, he was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.
In May 2013 Nixon was pulled over by police for speaking on his mobile phone while driving. Nixon, Ricky. It's a Jungle Out There: The Inside Story of Managing and Marketing the AFL. Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia. ISBN 978-1-4050-3741-9 Nixon, Ricky. Ricky Nixon - My Side. Melbourne: Toot Toot Productions Pty Ltd. ISBN 978-0-646-94800-3 Ricky Nixon's playing statistics from AFL Tables Ricky Nixon at AustralianFootball.com
Paulo Sérgio Rosa known as Viola, is a former Brazilian footballer. He got his nickname from the same named brand of his first boots. Viola is famous for his strong personality on the pitch and great appearances in many teams he has played for throughout his long career, his first great appearance was in his second match, in the final game of 1988 Campeonato Paulista between Corinthians and Guarani, regarded by the press as having a better team. Viola was called just because the main Corinthians forward, was called by the Brazil national football team and sold to Pescara – and because his main substitute, Marcos Roberto, was with a broken arm. Viola was not having a great offensive exhibition, but could score the title goal in the extra time – by putting his leg in the way of a lopsided shot from Wilson Mano, turning it into an assist. Despite becoming a sudden star, Viola did not have a regular basis of good exhibitions and passed through some loanings until 1992 – he was not part of the first Corinthians title at Brasileirão, in 1990, when he was loaned to São José.
He had a reasonable year in 1992, not resembling anymore the skinny boy from 1988. In 1993, Viola did another title goal to Corinthians in the Campeonato Paulista, celebrating it with a pig imitation – mocking with the of Palmeiras nickname, but in the second final match, the rivals won the tournament. Viola continued to celebrate his goals in joking ways, increasing his popularity, he was first called by the Brazil team, going to 1993 Copa América and to 1994 FIFA World Cup when he came as a substitute in the extra time, bringing an electric performance to a tied game. Viola ended 1994 as runner-up with Corinthians in the Brasileirão. By the beginning of 1995, Viola was sold to Valencia, but remained for more six months in Corinthians - the winning the Campeonato Paulista and the Copa do Brasil. However, he did not suit himself in Spain. Despite having reasonable goal numbers, he chose to come back to Brazil by the mid of 1996 signing with Palmeiras, he did not have a regular frequency of good exhibitions, left the club after the runner-up campaign in the 1997 Brasileirão, signing with Santos.
He earned again good performances, leading the team to the semifinals of the Campeonato Paulista and of the Brasileirão, to the 1998 Copa Conmebol title. He ended the Brasileirão as top scorer, his career's last good moments were in Vasco da Gama, by 1999 and 2000, as a supporting member of the runner-up squad of 2000 FIFA World Club Cup and of the 2000 Copa Mercosur and Brasileirão champions. Viola had an unsuccessful return to Santos in 2001. In he left Brazil again to join Turkish side Gaziantepspor, where he scored 18 goals in 46 Super Lig matches during a 1½-season spell. In mid-2003, back to Brazil, Viola would defend many other teams, alternating them with some showbol matches and a reality television show participation by 2010, his last coming back trial was in Taboão da Serra, in 2015. Corinthians São Paulo State League: 1988, 1995 Copa do Brasil: 1995Santos Copa Conmebol: 1998Vasco da Gama Brazilian League: 2000 Copa Mercosur: 2000 Brazil FIFA World Cup: 1994 São Paulo state league's top scorer: 1993 Brazilian league's top scorer: 1998 Copa Conmebol's top scorer: 1998 Viola at National-Football-Teams.com Guardian Article Viola at Sambafoot