Tag Archive | Footwear

Exhibit floor highlight



Object: Shoe

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Nike, Inc.
Made in China
Materials: Leather, Thread

The most popular sport in the United States is American football, with professional football and college football the most popular forms of the game. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton. However, the game played back then looked completely different from what fans today are used to. The first game consisted of 25 players with a round ball and could only kick the ball, not touch it with their hands. Rutgers won the game  with a score of 6-4.  The sport is thought to have evolved from rugby and soccer, blending and modifying the rules of both. This object is a pair of football cleat shoes belonging to Dat Nguyen, the first Vietnamese-American to be drafted into the NFL and be recognized as an All-Pro.

Early football game between Harvard and McGill.

Early football game between Harvard and McGill.

Dat Nguyen was born in Arkansas in a refugee center. His family had fled South Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War. His family then moved to the small fishing town of Rockport-Fulton on the Texas gulf coast. While in High School Nguyen played football as a middle linebacker. He earned honors as a punter and was recruited by Michigan, UCLA, Notre Dame, Texas and Florida. However, Nguyen decided to stay close to his home town and attended Texas A&M University. Nguyen played on the Aggie football team from 1995-1998. Throughout his football career he was always thought to be too small to play the position of linebacker. However, he proved his critics wrong and excelled. He received multiple awards including the Bednarik Award and Lombardi Award. Nguyen is known as one of the greatest defensive players in the Texas A&M history and was inducted into the Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.

Dat Nguyen #59 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates during a game. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Dat Nguyen #59 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates during a game. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

In 1999 after a successful college career Nguyen was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round. The Dallas Cowboys are one of two NFL teams in Texas, and is regarded as the most valuable team in the world, worth 4 billion dollars. The Dallas Cowboys got their start in the 1960s. Over the years the team’s name has changed from the Dallas Steers to the Dallas Rangers and eventually the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys had a rough start their first season but eventually improved and got their first taste of success in 1965. The Cowboys continued to improve and made several Super Bowl appearances. While with the Cowboys, Nguyen excelled and became a starting middle linebacker. However, while with the Cowboys Nguyen sustained several different injuries and played on and off. He eventually retired in 2006 leading the team in tackles in the years 2001, 2003, and 2004.

Following his career as an NFL player Nguyen became an assistant coach for the Cowboys and remained there until 2010. Nguyen then went back to his alma mater and became an inside linebacker coach. Nguyen left A&M in 2011 after a successful season. Today Dat Nguyen can be found as a co-host of The Blitz with Jason Minnix. To keep up with Nguyen he can be found on twitter @dat959. [Joscelynn Garcia]

Additional Sources:

Nguyen, Dat, and Rusty Burson. Dat Tackling Life and the NFL. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2005.

Professional Football Researchers Association

Watterson, John Sayle. College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

Weyand, Alexander M., and Parke H. Davis. American Football, Its History and Development. New York: D. Appleton, 1926.

Object: Boots


Rocky Carroll
Materials: Leather

The boots pictured above are made from leather, dyed black, and have the State of Texas on them with the Texas Rangers‘ logo as well. These cowboy boots belonged to George W Bush, former Governor of Texas and the 43rd President of the United States. The boots were designed and made by Rocky Carroll.

George W Bush was born on July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut to parents George HW Bush and Barbara Pierce Bush. After attending school in Texas, Bush enrolled in at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, from 1961 to 1964. When he graduated he went on to study at  Yale University where he completed a Bachelor’s degree in History in 1968. After college, Bush enlisted in the Air National Guard, serving in both Texas and Alabama until he was discharged in November 1974. He then completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard University in 1975. Bush was elected Governor of Texas in 1994 and served as Governor until 2000, when he was elected as the 43rd President of the United States. Bush served two terms as President and after his second term was done he returned to Texas as a private citizen.

Rocky Carroll, who made the boots pictured above, is a Texas boot maker that handcrafts custom leather boots. He has made boots for every President of the USA from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, the Queen of England, and several other high profile people. Carroll is the son and grandson of boot cobblers and has also helped his children open boot shops. He opened his first shop when he was 18 and has been making boots ever since. In 1964 he joined the Harris County Sheriff‘s Reserves and would work the graveyard shift, then turn around and open is store in the morning. He retired in 1996 and has been working at his store ever since. [Abby Goode, edited by Jennifer McPhail]

Additional Resources:

Burgan, Michael. 2004. George W. Bush. Minneapolis, Minn: Compass Point Books.

Bush, George W. 2010. Decision points. New York: Crown Publishers.

Carlson, Paul Howard. 2000. The cowboy way: an exploration of history and culture. Lubbock, Tex: Texas Tech University Press.

Johnson, Frank W., Eugene C. Barker, and Ernest William Winkler. 1916. A history of Texas and Texans. Chicago: American Historical Society.


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