Johnny Bright

Author to Sign Book on Drake Legend Johnny Bright Before Home Football Game

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | Books, Iowa History Journal | No Comments

DES MOINES, IOWA — The legend of Johnny Bright, Drake’s greatest athletic hero, springs back to life this month as Johnny graces the cover of two new publications – a magazine and a book.

A beautiful artwork of Bright is on the cover of Iowa History Journal, a magazine that covers all aspects of Iowa history, from sports to entertainment, to business and politics, and various historical figures and events.

The Bulldog star led the entire nation in total offense in both 1949 and 1950, and was leading it again in 1951 when he was knocked out of action in one of the ugliest incidents in college football history. Bright was a first team All-American and finished fifth in the balloting of the 1951 Heisman Trophy despite missing two of the Drake games due to the incident.

Bright is also one of four Iowa football stars featured in a new book, Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright.

There will be a book signing by Mike Chapman, author of Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stores of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright, prior to Drake’s homecoming football game against Marist this Saturday.

Read more details…

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Triumph & Tragedy Online Purchase Available

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Books | No Comments

Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright is available for purchase online through Paypal. The cost is $26.95 + $5 for shipping and handling.

You can also purchase by calling Culture House Books at 641-791-3072.

For details on the book view the previous post regarding it.

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New book features Iowa football legends

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 | Books | No Comments

Four iconic Iowa sports figures are featured in a new book entitled Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright.

The book was written by Mike Chapman and is published by Culture House, an Iowa company that specializes in biographies. It features 57 photos, many of which have never been published before, and a foreword by Jim Zabel, legendary WHO radio sportscaster.

Triumph and Tragedy is a book that Chapman has been working on for several years. It tells the stories of four football heroes at the University of Iowa, Iowa State and Drake, each of who faced tragedy in life after excelling on the football field of competition.

Read on for more details on Becker, Trice, Kinnick, and Bright…

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Johnny Bright: Drake’s Greatest Legend

Friday, September 3rd, 2010 | Columns, Iowa History Journal | No Comments

by Mike Chapman (excerpt from Iowa History Journal, Volume 2, Issue 5)

When Johnny Bright strolled onto the cozy Drake University campus in the fall of 1948, no one could have realized what was in store for the Des Moines college in particular, and the game of football in general. After his three-year varsity career wound up in 1951, Bright left a legacy of achievement that may never be matched at any college.

The dynamic, athletic young man from Indiana had it all, including a name that lent itself to visions of grandeur. And it is sad that today very few Iowa football fans even know who Johnny Bright was and what he once meant to Drake University and to the state as a whole.

Continue reading…


Iowa History Journal Volume 2, Issue 5 Now Available

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

With football season kicking off all across the state of Iowa and the nation, now is the perfect time to revisit the story of one of the greatest football players in the history of our state. Johnny Bright played his first game at Drake University in the fall of 1949 – and over the next three years blazed a trail that is simply amazing.

Bright led the entire nation in total offense as a sophomore, as a junior, and was leading the nation as a senior when he suffered one of the most reprehensible occurrences in the history of college sports. Bright and the Bulldogs took a 6-0 record into Stillwater, Oklahoma, on October 20, 1951, to meet the Oklahoma A&M Aggies. What happened that day has been a dark spot ever since.

Bright was badly injured and missed two of the next three games but still finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year. He went on to a tremendous career in the Canadian Football League and eventually became a highly regarded educator in Edmonton, Canada.

This issue of Iowa History Journal offers the compelling story of Johnny Bright along with some fabulous pictures. You won’t want to miss it.

Read more to see what’s inside this issue…

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