Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Leroy Neiman Holds a Special Place in Sports History 5

Posted on June 23, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Leroy Neiman's style and persona were both one-of-a-kind.

It is one thing to artistically capture an event, person or a moment with the assistance of a camera, but it is a completely different endeavor to try and articulate a moment using a paint brush and canvas. Arguably, no one has ever quite captured great sports moments and athletes with the same flair and style as Leroy Neiman, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 91.

If you followed sports in the 1970s, it is likely you have instant visual recognition both of Neiman’s colorful paintings and of his flashy personal style including his one-of-a-kind mustache and flamboyant attire. In an era where colors and flash were in style, Neiman was a perfect fit.

The official painter for five Olympiads, a long-time contributor to Playboy magazine, if it was a big event during the 1970s, it is likely that Neiman was there with his paints, canvas and stogie. His one-site work provided instant permanency to events from Super Bowls to World Series to boxing matches. His appearance in Rocky II gave instant credibility to a fictional story. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

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