Moon and Briscoe highlight HOF's Black History Month celebration

Moon and Briscoe highlight HOF's Black History Month celebration

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Warren Moon addresses the guests during a special event on Wednesday.
Hall of Famer Warren Moon and Marlin Briscoe, a pair of pioneering quarterbacks, joined forces with a professor from the University of Iowa to help the Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrate Black History Month at the museum.

Moon, the first modern era African American quarterback enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Briscoe, the sport’s first African American starting quarterback of the modern era were joined by an academic historian Dr. Michael Lomax from the University of Iowa. The three were on hand Wednesday evening for a special event at the museum before participating in today’s educational seminar that was moderated by the Hall of Fame’s President/Executive Director Steve Perry.

HOF President/Executive Director Steve Perry (podium) listens as the panel - (l-r) Michael Lomax, Marlin Briscoe, and Warren Moon - respond to questions from high school students.
More than 850 students engaged on site with the panel during two sessions held in the museum’s NFL Films Theater. An overflow crowd viewed the seminar from a conference room on the Hall’s second level. An estimated 300 additional students from across the country joined through the Hall of Fame Educational Outreach Program’s distance learning system.

In attendance at the Hall of Fame for today’s seminar were the following high schools from Northeast Ohio and surrounding region: Woodridge (Peninsula); Choffin Career and Technical Center (Youngstown); Firestone (Akron); East Canton; Canton South; Steubenville; Sandy Valley (Magnolia); Maple Heights; Summit Academy (Youngstown); YMCA Phoenix (Akron); Martin Luther King (Cleveland); Crestwood (Mantua); Glenoak (Canton); and East Tech (Cleveland).

An additional eleven schools from five states and Washington D.C. connected through videoconference. Those schools included: Starr Commonwealth (Albion, MI); Los Fresnos (TX); Shenandoah Valley; Juvenile Center (Staunton, VA); West Carrollton (OH); Holy Angels (Dayton, OH); Humble (TX); Warren (Vincent , OH); Ballou Sr. (Washington, D.C.); Luke Moore Academy (Washington, D.C.); Mound Street Academy (Dayton, OH); and Johnston Middle School (Houston, TX).

More about the guest panel:

Warren Moon
Quarterback Warren Moon was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, his first year of eligibility.

The 6’3”, 212-pound quarterback was undrafted coming out of the University of Washington and embarked on a successful career in the Canadian Football League where he guided the Edmonton Eskimos to five straight Grey Cup championships.

In 1984, the Houston Oilers signed Moon as a free agent and he quickly established himself as one of the NFL’s finest quarterbacks. Over the next 17 seasons, Moon passed for nearly 50,000 yards and threw 291 touchdowns. He recorded nine 3,000-yard seasons and eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark four times.

Moon, who set the Oilers record for passing yards in his first season in Houston, really flourished when the team installed the run-and-shoot offense in his third NFL year. He responded by becoming just the third quarterback in history to record back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons (1990-91). He repeated that feat later in his career as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

A nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Moon also played for the Seattle Seahawks (1997-98) and the Kansas City Chiefs (1999-2000).

Moon’s HOF Bio>>>

Marlin Briscoe
On September 29, 1968, the Denver Broncos sent rookie Marlin Briscoe into action at quarterback with just under 10 minutes to play in the home opener against the Boston Patriots. The 14th round draft pick nicknamed "The Magician" wasted little time completing his first pro pass when he immediately hooked up on a 22-yarder to Eric Crabtree. The following drive, Briscoe directed the Denver offense on an 80-yard drive capped by his brilliant 12-yard touchdown run.

Briscoe made history that day by becoming the first African American to play quarterback in the American Football League. He furthered his legacy one week later when he started at quarterback against the Cincinnati Bengals. By taking over the reins for the Broncos, Briscoe became the first African American starting quarterback in modern pro football history.

Briscoe, who became a Pro Bowl wide receiver after he was traded to the Buffalo Bills in 1969, accumulated 224 career catches before retiring following the 1976 season. Briscoe also played with the Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, and New England Patriots.

More on Marlin Briscoe>>>

Michael Lomax
Dr. Lomax is a professor in the Department of Health and Sport Studies at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. His academic interests include critical cultural analysis of race and sport, sport and entrepreneurship, and sport business.

He has authored numerous academic articles and books focusing on ethnicity and sports. In the past, Dr. Lomax had utilized the Hall’s Archives & Information Center for some of his research.


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