IRVING, Texas — As college football embarks on its 150th season in 2019, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame highlighted the numerous activities taking place in the coming months that will pay homage to the sport and its legacy of creating educational opportunities; building leaders; and enriching communities.
“More than 5.33 million people have played college football since the first game between Princeton and Rutgers on November 6, 1869,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “Included in that number are many of our nation’s greatest leaders who often cite their gridiron experiences as the key to their success. Additionally, the sport is annually enjoyed by tens of millions of fans, and it has grown significantly over the years with new teams constantly added and more than 80,000 student-athletes slated to play for college programs this fall.
“So, I think it’s safe to say that college football has become an integral part of our national landscape, worthy of a major celebration during the upcoming season. Many of the key leaders of our sport have worked hard to put such a plan in motion, and we want to thank everybody involved in preparing for the game’s 150th anniversary.”
The College Football 150th Anniversary (CFB150) non-profit, headed by Executive Director Kevin Weiberg, was launched to stage several initiatives to commemorate the milestone, and several organizations have announced their own plans for celebrating the 150th anniversary. Joining the effort, the NFF has established a special ceremonial committee, the NFF 150th Anniversary Team of Excellence, which is comprised of NFF Board Members who played football and have gone on to great success in life, to oversee the organization’s plans.
“The NFF has been in the vanguard of promoting the game for the past 73 years,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “And we wanted to take a leadership role in celebrating the 150th anniversary, including providing the office space for CFB150 at our corporate headquarters; staging events at the Hall in Atlanta; and incorporating the milestone into all of our key messaging whenever possible. It’s a great opportunity for us to reflect on all of the amazing opportunities college football creates for the young people and the countless regions across the country who are enriched by having programs in their communities.”
The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, which is run by CEO Dennis Adamovich, has several initiatives. The CFB150 Specialty Exhibit, delivered by UPS, represents the most extensive project at the Hall. Open now and throughout the anniversary season, the special exhibit features dirt from the field where the first game in 1869 took place; the revised NCAA rule book after the 45 fatalities that took place between 1900-05; the first penalty flag ever used from 1941; and countless other rare artifacts covering all 150 years of college football. Click here to view a few of the many artifacts on display. Numerous other initiatives, which are listed below, are taking place at the Hall during the season as part of the CFB150.
Countless college and universities, conferences, bowl games and media companies have signed on to support the initiative this year. Stakeholder organizations supporting the effort include the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), College Football Playoff (CFP), Football Bowl Association, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) and the NCAA, NAIA and the junior college associations.
All of the organizations have planned a variety of different activations that will amplify the anniversary messages and build overall awareness for the effort. The special CFB150 logo has been widely circulated, and it will appear on uniform patches, helmet decals, field stencils, public service announcements, TV telecasts, social media channels and numerous other places during the season.
Several neutral site games at both the FCS and FBS levels have committed to highlight the anniversary with in-stadium promotions during their games. The NCAA, the CFP and the bowl games have similar plans during their respective championship games, which will conclude the historic 2019 season.
The CFB150 worked with the NCAA to establish a special “Week Zero” for the season, and the Kickoff Week will feature four games on Aug. 24. The two games at the FBS level are the Camping World Kickoff between Miami and Florida in Orlando, Florida, on ESPN and a game between Arizona and Hawaii in Halawa, Hawaii, on the CBS Sports Network. Two more games will take place at the FCS level: the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff between Youngstown State and Samford in Montgomery, Alabama, on ESPN and Villanova against Colgate in Hamilton, New York, on the CBS Sports Network.
The CFB150 has also planned a special celebration week to commemorate the anniversary of first game, which took place on Nov. 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 9, the CFB150 Anniversary Week will feature a special event at Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Nov. 6 and a tribute game between Miami (Ohio) and Ohio in Athens, Ohio.
The NFL will also take part in CFB150 Anniversary Week with a special tribute to college football during the Nov. 4 Monday Night Football Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Celebration week will conclude with Princeton playing Dartmouth at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, on Nov. 9.
“The storied success, tradition and leadership of the Princeton Football program is of great pride to our university and our athletics community,” said Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the Ford Family Director of Athletics at Princeton. “For 150 years Princeton football teams and players have achieved at the highest levels of the sport and have helped shape the game of football at every stage of its history. We are thrilled to celebrate our 150th season — including a match-up with Dartmouth at Yankee Stadium on November 9th — and Princeton Football’s important and pioneering role in the development of college football.”
“It’s a tremendous honor to take part in this game as part of the celebration of the 150th year of college football,” Harry Sheehy, the Dartmouth Athletics Director. “Playing a traditional rival at the iconic venue of Yankee Stadium makes for a sensational experience for coaches, players and fans alike. We look forward to Dartmouth fans flooding New York City to support the Big Green.”
“The New York Yankees and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl are thrilled to be hosting Princeton University and Dartmouth College on Saturday, November 9 as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of College Football,” said Mark Holtzman,Vice President, Non-Baseball Sports Events, New York Yankees. “Given that Princeton played in the first College Football game 150 years ago and Yankee Stadium will soon be celebrating its 100th anniversary of hosting college football as well as being the host over the last century for some of the most memorable college football games ever played---It’s only right for this game to be played at Yankee Stadium, the most famous outdoor sporting venue in the world that has played host to many of the world’s greatest athletes and teams.”
NFF 150th Anniversary Team of Excellence
Comprised of NFF Board Members who played football and have gone on to great success in life, the committee includes:
Archie Manning, Team Captain
Troy Aikman (UCLA)
Carl Allegretti (Butler)
Barry Alvarez (Nebraska)
Ray Anderson (Stanford)
Bill Battle (Alabama)
Joe Castiglione (Maryland)
Kevin Clifford (Wabash [IN])
Gene DeFilippo (Springfield [MA])
Bill Emerson (Penn State)
Bob Epling (Furman)
Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)
Jack Ford (Yale)
Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame)
Rick George (Illinois)
Roger Goodell (Washington & Jefferson [PA])
Archie Griffin (Ohio State)
Jeff Immelt (Dartmouth)
Jerry Jones (Arkansas)
Lincoln Kennedy (Washington)
Robert Kraft (Columbia)
Jack Lengyel (Akron)
Ronnie Lott (USC)
Kevin Plank (Maryland)
George Pyne (Brown)
Corby Robertson (Texas)
Roger Staubach (Navy)
Lynn Swann (USC)
John Swofford (North Carolina)
Rod West (Notre Dame)