Career Highlights: Named the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, quarterback Alex Smith retired in the 2021 off-season after he came back from a near life-threatening leg injury to lead the Washington Football team midway through the 2020 season to an NFC East title. Last season, Smith worked as an ESPN analyst. A 16-year veteran, Smith was traded to Washington in 2018 after leading Kansas City for five seasons. A three-time Pro Bowler, Smith posted three 11-win seasons with the Chiefs and in 2017 posted career-highs in completions, yards and led the NFL in passer rating. In 2015, he led the Chiefs to an 11-game winning streak, their first playoff win since 1994, and was named the Chiefs co-MVP. Prior to the Chiefs, Smith spent seven years with the San Francisco 49ers. He started the first nine games of the 2012 season, before suffering a head injury, as the team finished with an 11-4-1 record and played in Super Bowl XLVII. Smith had a breakout season in 2011 leading the 49ers to a 13-3 record. He threw 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions, setting the 49ers record for fewest interceptions in a season.
Career Highlights: Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith is one of the all-time great running backs in NFL history amassing an NFL record 18,355 rushing yards, an NFL record 164 rushing touchdowns, four NFL rushing titles, four rushing touchdowns leader honors, three Super Bowl titles with the Dallas Cowboys and a league (1993) and Super Bowl (XXVIII) MVP award. A 15-year NFL veteran (13 with the Cowboys), Smith was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He is the only running back to ever win a Super Bowl championship, the NFL MVP award, the NFL rushing crown, and the Super Bowl MVP award all in the same season (1993). An eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection, Smith spent his final two seasons with Arizona but retired as a Cowboy in 2005. Following the 2001 season, Smith became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons and the first player with 11 1,000-yard seasons. Other NFL records include: 78 regular season 100-yard rushing games, 4,409 carries, 1,586 post-season rushing yards, 19 post-season rushing touchdowns, and seven post-season 100-yard rushing games.
Career Highlights: Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young won three Super Bowl Championships with the San Francisco 49ers. Inducted into the 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame, Young was a two-time NFL MVP, seven-time Pro Bowler, three-time First-Team All-Pro, three-time Second-Team All-Pro, and two-time NFC Offensive Player of the Year. He spent most of his 15-year career with San Francisco and holds numerous NFL records including six passing titles. His best season was 1994 when he posted a then-record 112.8 passer rating completing 324 of 461 passes for 3,969 yards and 35 touchdowns. Young added seven rushing touchdowns as he guided the 49ers to a NFC West title, and an incredible 49-26 win over San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX. Young passed for 325 yards, threw a record six touchdowns, was the game’s leading rusher, and was named the Super Bowl MVP. During his NFL career, the left-hander threw for 3,000 or more yards six times and had 20 or more touchdown passes in a season five times, and posted a passer rating of 100 or higher six times.
Career Highlights: All-Star pitcher David Wells is a two-time World Series champion and one of only 23 pitchers in MLB history to pitch a perfect game. As a New York Yankee, Wells shutout the Minnesota Twins 4-0 on May 17, 1998. Wells played for nine different teams during his 21-year MLB career (Toronto, Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, San Diego, Boston, Los Angeles Dodgers). Nicknamed “Boomer” for his physique, Wells was 82 games over .500 for his career, a record superior to many of the finest pitchers in baseball history. His 239-157 win-loss career record included a 173-99 mark since 1995. He debuted for Toronto in 1987 as a reliever and finally secured a job as a starter when he was 30 years old. A three-time All-Star, Wells won the World Series with Toronto (1992) and the Yankees (1998). Named the 1998 American League Championship Series MVP, Wells posted career bests of 20 wins in a season (was the American League wins leader) and 169 strikeouts with the Blue Jays in 2000.
Career Highlights: Former MLB All-Star pitcher Tim Wakefield was instrumental in helping Boston win two World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007. Best known for his signature knuckleball pitch, Wakefield started his major league career in 1992 with Pittsburgh for two years, and then spent the next 17 seasons with the Red Sox. He was one of only five American League pitchers to start at least one game in 17 consecutive seasons for the same team. Wakefield also recorded at least four wins and 125 innings in each of his 17 years in Boston. Named the 1995 AL Comeback Player-of-the-Year, Wakefield’s 186 wins with Boston places him third on the all-time Red Sox win list behind Cy Young and Roger Clemens (192 each). Wakefield ranks first all-time in Red Sox innings pitched (3,226), and second in wins at Fenway Park (97), second in appearances (627) and second in strikeouts (2,156). An All-Star in 2009, Wakefield finished his career with a 200-180 record and 4.41 ERA in 627 games. Wakefield was also known as one of baseball’s most charitable players being named the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award honoree.
Career Highlights: Actor and singer Jack Wagner stars as Bill Avery in Hallmark Channel’s beloved television series, “When Calls the Heart,” which finished filming its ninth season in late 2021. Wagner has a Netflix romantic comedy titled “Falling for Christmas” premiering later this year, and also recently starred in Hallmark movies “The Wedding March” and its’ four follow-up films over the past six years, in addition to “Love on the Vines.” Wagner starred in several other movies made for television, but, is best recognized for his roles on the soap operas “General Hospital,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Santa Barbara” and the prime-time hit series “Melrose Place.” The popular star was nominated for a 2005 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in “The Bold and the Beautiful” and also received rave reviews for his portrayal of Tony in the National Touring Company production of “West Side Story.” Wagner jumped on the entertainment scene in 1984 launching a successful recording career with his gold hit, “All I Need.” He released other albums through the years, with his most recent “On The Porch” album in 2014. An accomplished golfer, Wagner is a two-time American Century Celebrity Golf Championship winner.
Career Highlights: Considered one of the NFL’s most dominant defensive linebackers in history, Brian Urlacher was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. The fan-favorite and popular Urlacher spent his entire 13-year NFL career with the Chicago Bears (2000-12), where he played in 182 career games, starting all but two. An eight-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-Team All-Pro and Second-Team All-Pro honoree, he recorded a Bears’ team-record 1,353 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries, and 11 forced fumbles. Urlacher was the 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and the first Chicago defender to lead the team in tackles in his first four NFL seasons. In 2006, he played a pivotal role in helping the Bears to a 13-3 record, the NFC’s top playoff seed, and two post-season victories before losing to Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLI. Urlacher’s other accolades include: 2012 Ed Block Courage Award, 2007 Brian Piccolo Award, 2006 AP All-Pro Team, 2005 AP and Pro Football Weekly NFL Defensive Play-of-the-Year, 2001 Football Digest NFL Defensive Player-of-the-Year, and 2000 AP NFL Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year.
Career Highlights: Former Washington Redskins star quarterback Joe Theismann led the Redskins to two consecutive Super Bowls, beating the Miami Dolphins to win the 1983 Super Bowl title. Theismann’s accomplishments in 1983 include being named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, NFL Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Pro, and Pro Bowl MVP. A 12-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, Theismann played 163 consecutive games for the Redskins from 1974 to 1985. He holds Redskins records for passing yardage, completions and attempts. Theismann was the 1982 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his community service. Prior to the NFL, he was a two-time Canadian Football League All-Star for the Toronto Argonauts. An All-American at Notre Dame, Theismann led the Fighting Irish to consecutive Cotton Bowls and still holds the Irish school record for most passing yards (526) in a single game. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003, Theismann enjoyed an extensive broadcasting career as well, as he served as an NFL analyst for CBS Sports, ESPN and the NFL Network for many years.
Career Highlights: Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz is an eight-time All-Star, Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion. In his illustrious 20-year MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, Smoltz was a two-time National League wins and strikeout leader, and the first pitcher in history to top both 200 wins and 150 saves. With a lifetime 15-4 post-season record and 2.67 ERA, Smoltz helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series. The only Braves player to be part of the franchise’s historic run of 14 consecutive division titles, Smoltz’s best year was 1996 when he went 24-8 with a 2.94 ERA, including winning a franchise-record 14 straight games, an NL record 24 wins, and the Cy Young honor. Predominately a starting pitcher, Smoltz spent three and a half seasons as Atlanta’s closer, and became only the second pitcher to have both a 20-win season and a 50-save season (2002). His other accolades include: 1997 Silver Slugger Award, 2005 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, and 2005 Roberto Clemente Award. His career statistics include a 3.33 ERA, 3,084 strikeouts and 154 saves.
Career Highlights: Aaron Rodgers is a four-time NFL Most Valuable Player, a Super Bowl champion, and one of the NFL’s all-time elite quarterbacks. A 17-year NFL veteran with the Green Bay Packers, Rodgers is a 10-time Pro Bowler, four-time First-Team All-Pro (including 2021), and was named Second-Team All-Pro once. Other accolades include four-time NFL passer-rating leader (including 2021), two-time passing touchdowns leader, and the 2020 completion percentage leader. The 2011 Associated Press Athlete of the Year, Rodgers holds more than 30 NFL records including all-time career leader in passer rating, most consecutive seasons with a passer rating over 100, best touchdown to interception ratio, 402 consecutive passes without an interception, and many more. He also holds numerous Packers records including passing yards in a season, most touchdown passes and total touchdowns in a season, and highest season completion percentage. Rodgers led the Packers to the 2011 Super Bowl title over Pittsburgh and was the Super Bowl MVP after an impressive 15-1 regular season. He threw for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns with just six interceptions, good for a quarterback rating of 122.5 (the single best passer rating in NFL history).