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Andy Farkas And The History Of Eye-Black

Posted by Jake Kring-Schreifels on January 3, 2015 – 12:45 pm

(Lacrosse Playground)

(Lacrosse Playground)

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If you happened to be watching the Capitals and Blackhawks playing in the Winter Classic on Thursday, you might have heard a piece of Redskins –and sports — history.

As the sun’s glint on the outdoor ice caused some atypical glare issues, some hockey players pasted on eye-black, prompting a story about the sun-blocking adhesive’s origins.

It prompted Doc Emrick to give us this nugget.

The first known athlete to use eye-black was Andy Farkas, a fullback for the Washington Redskins, who played in the NFL from 1938-1945.

He was pictured wearing eye-black as far back as 1942, using burnt cork instead of the more contemporary grease or often-used black stickers.

In 1939, Farkas’ second year with the Redskins, he led the NFL in rushing attempts (139), receiving average (27.3 yards per catch), scoring (11 touchdowns), and was second in rushing yardage (547) and made the All-Pro team that year.

According to this study, using the grease stick helps with the glare, while the stickers provide no relief.

Now you know.


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