Pickup Football Pioneer Credited With Idea For ‘5 Mississippi’ Blitz Count Dead At 94

CHATTANOOGA, TN—Hailing him as a revolutionary figure who forever changed the way the game was played, sources confirmed Friday that Art Folson, the pickup football pioneer credited with introducing the famed “Five Mississippi” blitz count, has passed away at the age of 94. “Art was a true visionary, and his innovative idea to prohibit defenders from rushing the quarterback until they said ‘Mississippi’ five times succeeded in increasing scoring and encouraged the development of more complex defenses,” said former teammate Norman McBride, 90, adding that Folson’s numerous other contributions, such as allowing the quarterback to start each play with the ball in his hands and proposing that two completions equaled a first down, guided the sport through its uncertain formative years. “Of course, without Art’s suggestion that we simply throw the ball to the other team on kickoffs, pickup football teams might still be punting balls wildly out of bounds after every single touchdown. He was one of the game’s most brilliant minds, and his legacy will forever live on in the countless pickup football games played across this country every single day.” Family members confirmed that Folson will be buried in his trademark blue sweatshirt that was the first to ever be used to mark the boundary of an end zone.


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