fbpx
 
Mary Thorpe represented her grandfather, the legendary Jim Thorpe, who was named fifth best college football player in history at the

College Football Playoff National Championship game in New Orleans on Monday night.

NEW ORLEANSThe granddaughter of the legendary Jim Thorpe represented her late grandfather during a halftime celebration of the greatest college football players in history during last night’s College Football Playoff National Championship game in New Orleans.  

Thorpe (Sac & Fox/Potawatomi) was named No. 5 on the list of the 150 Greatest Players in College Football’s 150 Year History. The list was curated by ESPN as part of the 150th anniversary of college football in the United States.    

Jim Thorpe ran for 3,616 rushing yards as a halfback for Carlisle.

Calling him “as great an all-around athlete as sports have ever seen,” ESPN announcer Rece Davis introduced Thorpe’s granddaughter, Mary Thorpe, as she stood alongside college football legends Jim Brown, Archie Griffin, Earl Campbell, Herschel Walker and other legends of the gridiron. 

An Oklahoma native, Jim Thorpe rushed for 3,616 yards and earned All American honors twice  as a running back for Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Penn.  

Thorpe went on to participate in the 1912 Olympic Games for the United States of America, 14 years before American Indians were recognized as citizens of the country. Thorpe won the gold medal in both the decathlon and pentathlon events at the Stockholm Olympics, but was stripped of his medals when a reporter revealed he had played semi-professional baseball. It was not until after his death that Thorpe’s amateur status was restored, and his name reentered in the Olympic record book.

Thorpe went onto play professional baseball for the-then New York Giants between 1913-1919 and later played professional football for six teams in the National Football League. The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted Thorpe as part of its inaugural class in 1963.   

Monday night’s honor was part of ESPN and its College Football 150 initiative to celebrate the 150th season of football. The rankings were the results of a poll voted by a group of former coaches, players, administrators and media. The top 11 players honored last night were: 

  1. Jim Brown, Syracuse
  2. Herschel Walker, Georgia
  3. Bo Jackson, Auburn
  4. Archie Griffin, Ohio State
  5. Jim Thorpe, Carlisle
  6. Red Grange, Illinois
  7. Earl Campbell, Texas
  8. Dick Butkus, Illinois
  9. Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State
  10. Gale Sayers, Kansas
  11. Roger Staubach, Navy

More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (September 25, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola Hits the Ground Running: Her First Bill Introduced Clears Committee Two Days Later
EXCLUSIVE: Deb Haaland Q&A on Road to Healing Tour Progress
September 20 is National Voter Registration Day: Native Organizations Team Up to Increase Native Youth Voter Engagement
Tribal Business News Round-Up: Sept. 19

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]