Sports Legends of East Texas exhibit at the Gregg County Historical Museum

Published: Sep. 1, 2015 at 9:30 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2015 at 10:10 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - If you just can't get enough football..and there's always room for football..well, you can get an in-between games dose of it at the Gregg County Historical Museum.

We got a preview of the museum's Sports Legends of East Texas exhibit with the help of a former NFL quarterback.There are a lot more sports figures from around here than I realized. You may have heard of Balloonist Bill Bussey and jaw-cracking George Foreman, and there are also pro golfers, baseball players, and of course the NFL represented here with jerseys and pictures and statues.

"Oh my gosh, he's so life-like," I said about a statue of Jeb Blount.
"That's because I am," Jeb, who was obviously not a statue, said. My bad.

Jeb is not a statue, but was an Oakland Raider and Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback in the 1970's. He knows a little about some of the East Texans who made it to the pros.

"The two finest golfers not only in East Texas, but the state of Texas and the United States of America: This is Buster Cupit, and Jackie Cupit at the Texas Open. I think this fellow's name is Jack Nicklaus, in fact it is, and this is Arnold Palmer, and both Buster and brother Jackie defeated Palmer and Nicklaus," Jeb explained about a photo on display.

Jeb also interacted with East Texans gone pro like Y.A. Tittle.

"Y.A. asks me, he says, 'Well, Jeb' (I'm 22 at the time) he says, 'Well, Jeb, do you have what it takes to be a quarterback in the National Football League?' I said, 'Mr. Tittle, I believe I'll answer that with one of your quotes: I may not be the best quarterback that ever lived, but I'm the best I've ever seen.' And I mean he was embarrassed, and he said 'No, no I didn't say that,'" Jeb recalled.

We continued through the exhibit.

"Overnight sensation Lovie Smith," Jeb pointed out.
"That was a long night," I commented.
And there's a picture of the 1948 Sugar Bowl Championship Team.

"My late father Pepe Blount is on the end: number 80, standing. Then there's this fellow named Landry with a full head of hair. Oh, that's Tom Landry," Jeb observed.

"I didn't know he ever had hair," I commented.

Landry wasn't from East Texas, but there are plenty of others.

"It's well worth your time. Come down and see for yourself," Jeb added.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults and a dollar for children, but here's a little tip for you. Go on Saturday; admission will be free. And there just may be a Gregg County sports legend on hand for autographs.

The exhibit is open until September 19. 

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