Here’s your scorecard to 50 years of USO tours by the NFL

Johnny Unitas photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts


Andrew Luck and John Unitas are two of the players who participated in 50 years of USOs. (Photos courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts)

Talk of Fame Network

Fifty years ago, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle conceived the idea of sending NFL players to Vietnam on “a goodwill tour” of U.S. troops. Rozelle wanted to demonstrate the league’s support for the military fighting overseas, and he wanted to be the first in the door.

He was. It was the first move by any American sports organization to send a group of players to Vietnam and the Far East.

In recognition of the anniversary, Pro Football Journal’s John Turney lists the groups of players who participated, beginning in 1966 with Hall-of-Famers John Unitas, Frank Gifford, Willie Davis and Sam Huff:

The tour continues today, with the Indianapolis Colts heavily invested – sending seven of the last eight (including coach Chuck Pagano, twice) in the past two years.

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