“Mr. Inside” attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and starred on the football team, winning three straight national titles from 1944-1946 and making the All-American team in each of those years. Aside from maybe his counterpart, Glenn "Mr. Outside" Davis, Blanchard was an unmatched athlete during his time at West Point—he played linebacker, fullback, kicker, and punter for the team, and even competed for the Academy's track and field team. Although Blanchard never played professional ball—he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL—he was the first college junior to win the Heisman Trophy, and was unquestionably one of America's greatest sports stars at a time when college football dominated America's sporting attention.
The APFA, by 1922 known as the National Football League , has remained the predominant professional football league in the United States, and, effectively, the entire world. The evolution from a haphazard collection of teams in big and small cities to the much more rigid structure it is in the present was gradual; the smaller markets were squeezed out in the late 1920s and early 1930s, a championship game was established in 1933, a draft was established in 1936, and schedules were standardized in the 1930s. A competing league has historically arisen to attempt to challenge the NFL's dominance every 10 to 15 years, but none managed to maintain long-term operations independent of the NFL and only two—the All-America Football Conference of the late 1940s and the American Football League of the 1960s—were strong enough to successfully compete against the league before the NFL subsumed their operations. Minor league football, although their leagues' memberships were unstable, began to arise in the late 1930s and remained viable as a business model up into the 1970s.
The White House tradition dates back to at least President Andrew Johnson, when he hosted the Brooklyn Atlantics and Washington Nationals amateur baseball clubs in August 1865, as ESPN notes . President Ronald Reagan largely is considered the first commander in chief to regularly honor teams. Now, about a dozen professional, . national and college sports organizations visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue each year. The events allow players to meet the sitting president (either Democrat or Republican), tour the building and be recognized as world champions, not to mention the photo opp, presentation of a personalized jersey, helmet or other memorabilia to the United States leader...and the list of jokes.