illinois-deaf-football-legend

Bob Poncar, the fullback with the 1961 Illinois School for
the Deaf football team, did something impossible!

He averaged 17.6 yards per carry during that season.

Said a teammate, Herb Mapes, an offensive guard:

Everytime he carried the ball, it was an automatic first down

He was so strong that – as a prank – he would challenge his
friends to an armwrestling match, and allow them to “almost”
down him, few inches from the table. He would say “you ready”
thus puzzling his opponents. And before they realized it, would
do a reverse and slam their arms down!

He was said to become the second deaf football player (after
Joe Russell, 1957, Mississippi SD) to make the national
(hearing) All-American team.

He never played college football, hurting his knee during
the end of the football season.

Old timers still talk about him as the Illinois legend, always
running over people.