Sunday is Father's Day and congratulations to all of those dads all over the world. Of course, we've seen our share of famous fathers throughout the history of the National Football League.

So here's a look at some of the more notable dads and fathers (in alphabetical order) involved in the game of professional football ... with a few twists.

Famous Fathers Of The NFL Slideshow


Sid Gillman: Father of modern passing game

In this age of aerial-attack football, meet the man who built that airplane. Sid Gillman's days in pro football saw him as head coach of the Rams, Chargers and Oilers. He amassed a 123-104-7 record with the three franchises (including playoffs) and won an AFL title with the Chargers in 1963 and went 87-57-6 with the club in 11 seasons. But what Gillman was most known for getting the ball in the hands of his pass catchers. His teams were vertical when pro football was primarily a ground game. With the Chargers, the passing combination of Hall of Fame receiver Lance Alworth and quarterback John Hadl was lethal. Gillman is also enshrined in Canton. And it's a certainty that he flew to his induction ceremony rather than drive.


George Halas: Papa Bear

Is there a National Football League without George Halas? Perhaps not but we’ll never know ... thank goodness.Papa Bear gave us the Decatur Staley in 1920, which became the Chicago Staley in 1921 and the Chicago Bears a year after that. He was part of that organization from its inception until 1983. Only fellow Hall of Famer Don Shula (347) has won more overall games in NFL history than Halas (324), who also led the Bears to six of the franchise's nine NFL championships.


Jack Harbaugh

Does anyone remember Jack Harbaugh, the NFL quarterback? You wouldn't. Harbaugh was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 25th round of the 1961 AFL Draft but he did not play. However, he had a very significant role when it came to Super Bowl XLVII. Of course, his sons John (Ravens) and Jim (49ers) were the head coaches in that game, a thriller in which Baltimore outlasted San Francisco, 34-31, in New Orleans. By the way, there’s no truth to the rumor that it was actually Jack Harbaugh who turned out the lights in the third quarter of that game. The story goes that he told his sons it was past their bedtime.


Eugene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb

Is there anyone who lived up to the nickname "Big Daddy" than Eugene Allen Lipscomb? Listed at 6-6, 284 (and this was the early 1950s and ‘60s), the massive defensive tackle played in 112 games with the Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers from 1953-62. He was a three-time Pro Bowler with Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Lipscomb never played an 11th season. He died of an apparent heroin overdose in May 1963. He was a larger than life figure, to say the least.


Archie Manning

Peyton and Eli’s father could chuck the ball pretty well himself. But Archie Manning was the second overall pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1971, the franchise’s fifth year of existence. Both Peyton Manning and Eli Manning were the first overall picks in their respective drafts in 1998 and 2004 by the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers, respectively. The latter’s rights were traded to the New York Giants and the rest is history in the form of two Super Bowl titles. Of course, Peyton won a ring in Super Bowl XLI but fell short in XLIV, both while with the Colts. Now the older Peyton is leading the Denver Broncos. And since the brothers remain in different conferences, there’s always the possibility of a Super reunion of these Februarys.


Tim Mara

Back in 1925, it was a gentleman named Tim Mara that gave the relatively new National Football League the New York Football Giants. The Mara name remains a force in the league. Tim Mara is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as is his son Wellington, who inherited the organization and saw his share of championship glory. With Wellington's passing in 2005, the Giants are now partly in the hands of John K. Mara, the team's president and chief executive officer. And they remain one of the league's most enduring franchises with a total of eight NFL titles, trailing only the Green Bay Packers (13) and Chicago Bears (9) in this department.


Clay Matthews

It's time to pay a little extra attention because we're getting ready to discuss the legacy of the Matthews family in the NFL. It started with Clay Matthews, Sr., a defensive lineman with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1950s. Sons Clay Jr. (pictured here) and Bruce because NFL standouts. Clay played for the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons for 19 seasons and was a four-time Pro Bowler with the Browns. Bruce did him a few better, also playing 19 seasons but with the Houston-Tennessee Oilers/Tennessee Titans. He was named to a record-tying 14 Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. These days, Clay Jr.'s sons Clay and Casey, both linebackers, are trying to make their mark in the league. The former has been named to four straight Pro Bowls as a member of the Green Bay Packers while Casey toils for the Philadelphia Eagles.


Merlin Olsen: Father Murphy

OK, taking a few liberties here. For those of you who remember the television drama "Little House on the Prairie," you are certainly also familiar with "Father Murphy." The character was played by Merlin Olsen. Yes, that Merlin Olsen. The Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle and 14-time Pro Bowler with the Los Angeles Rams had garnered a little television experience as a football analyst and low and behold, here he was in a very successful primetime series. How successful? "Little House" gave us "Father Murphy" as Olsen's character spawned a spinoff…which is different from a spin move.


Art Rooney, Sr.

In 1933, the Pittsburgh Pirates joined the National Football League. Huh? Not to worry. It wasn't long that the team changed its name to "Steelers." But it wouldn't be until 1972 before the franchise would win a playoff game. Six Super Bowl titles later, the Steelers have been the league's most successful team since the 1970 merger. Of course, Art Rooney Sr. is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And so is his son, Dan Rooney, who recently returned to the organization in a new capacity after serving as an U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. These days, it’s Arthur J. Rooney II (Dan's son) that oversees the Black and Gold.


Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson

He was the first overall pick in the 1994 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He played 13 seasons for the Bengals, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins. He totaled 54.5 sacks and five interceptions with those four clubs. Yet defensive lineman Dan Wilkinson was never named to a Pro Bowl. Perhaps much more was expected from a No. 1 overall pick. But let's never forget: Wilkinson didn’t draft himself first overall and enjoyed a very respectable career.

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-- Read more by Russell S. Baxter at and follow him on Twitter @BaxFootballGuru.