Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center
Santa Rosa, CA
It’s a Foul, It’s a Field Goal, It’s Football, Charlie Brown! features approximately 70 original Peanuts comic strips and highlights the Gang’s gridiron efforts.
Peanuts fans know that for nearly 50 years, Schulz drew an annual fall comic strip of Lucy pulling a football away from poor old Charlie Brown. Schulz never intended this to become a yearly tradition, but he kept thinking of funny new ways for Lucy to get the best of Charlie Brown. It all started,” he said, “with a childhood memory of being unable to resist the temptation to pull the football at the kick-off. We all did it, we all fell for it.”
Once, when Charlie Brown was sick in the hospital, Lucy pledged to never pull the football away from him again. After his health improved, Charlie Brown found Lucy to redeem this promise. But of course, Schulz never let Charlie Brown kick the football, because then “the foundation collapses,” he pointed out. To solve this dilemma in the storyline, Schulz had Charlie Brown miss the football, and kick Lucy instead.
In the wider world of Peanuts, the football field was shared between girls, boys, a beagle, and a little bird. Snoopy entertained readers as “The World Famous Football Coach,” and the “Mad Punter,” while Woodstock gave his best efforts to kick and catch a ball that was bigger than him. Schulz found that football worked well with all of his characters in fact, and in total, he wound up using the theme in more than 250 comic strips. So in the words of Marcie, good luck to the teams “on the ol’ gridlock,” this year, and here’s to another “Splendid Bowl!”
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website