Warren McVea
No. 6     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1946-07-30) July 30, 1946 (age 73)
Career information
College: Houston
NFL Draft: 1968 / Round: 4 / Pick: 109
Debuted in 1968 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1973 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
AFL Cincinnati Bengals
AFL Kansas City Chiefs
WFL Detroit Wheels
WFL Houston Texans
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Stats at
Stats at

Warren McVea (born July 30, 1946 in San Antonio, Texas) was a football player who made civil rights history by becoming the first African-American to play the sport for the University of Houston.

McVea, known as "Wondrous Warren" during his high school football career at San Antonio's Brackenridge High School, was a multi-faceted player, serving as running back, flanker and a punt/kick return specialist. Offered scholarships by 73 colleges in 1964, McVea signed with Houston and during his three years on the football team, earned All-America recognition twice.

McVea holds the distinction of being on the receiving end of the longest pass play completed in Houston history – a 99-yard reception against Washington State University on September 23, 1966. That game marked the first football game ever played on artificial turf.

McVea would go on to play professionally for the American Football League's Cincinnati Bengals in 1968, then was traded tho the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs for kicker Horst Muhlmann and a draft choice on September 8, 1969. McVea's timing proved to be excellent as the Chiefs went on to capture the final American Football League championship, before defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV on January 11, 1970. During his years in Kansas City, TV commentators referred to him as "The Flea", reflecting his small size and ability to avoid defenders.

After four more years in Kansas City, McVea signed with the fledgling World Football League's Detroit Wheels, and was immediately considered one of their top players. However, one month into the season, McVea was traded to the Houston Gamblers, most likely due to the precarious financial situation of the franchise. He later finished out his playing career with a tryout with the Houston Oilers, but injuries effectively ended the comeback.

McVea's post-football career saw his life unravel when in 1985, he was arrested for theft after asking a Houston restaurant for food (ostensibly for the poor), claiming that he was working for the Oilers and promising them free tickets to games.

In 1989, he was convicted and sentenced for setting a female acquaintance's apartment on fire. Then in 1993, he was arrested for drug possession again and given 25 years in prison.

Leaving prison for good in 2000, he was inducted in the University of Houston's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004, and works as a courier to deliver photo film to retail stores.

See alsoEdit

Other American Football League players

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