A few more stories

Recollection by Wellington Mara

We lost the last game of the season in 1937 to the Redskins and finished second, and the next year we beat them 36-0 on the last day to win our division.  In the second game of the season in 1939 we played a scoreless tie, and a few games later we battled them at home.  We won 9-7 when their kicker, Bo Russell, missed a field goal in the final seconds.  In those years, the Redskin Marching Band sat in the centre field area of the Polo Grounds and half of them cheered when the kick went up, thinking it was good, while the other half moaned, thinking it was bad.  George Presto Marshall who owned the Redskins, believed the half that cheered.  The referee was a Providence, Rhode Island postmaster and as soon as Marshall got back to Washington, he tried to get him fired.

The Purple Lawman, Lon Evans

Lon Evans was a Hall of Fame guard who played for the Packers in the 1930s.  Later he was to become Sheriff of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Texas.  On the wall of his office was a replica of a letter sent to Henry Ford on April 14th, 1934 that reads in scrawling script.

Dear Sir,

While I still have breath in my lungs I will tell you what a dandy car you make.  I have drove Fords exclusively when I could get away with one.  For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got every other car skinned and even if my business hasn’t been strictly legal it don’t hurt “anything” to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8”.

Yours truly, Clyde Champion Barrow

A footnote beneath the signature states, “On May 25th, only slightly more than a month after receipt of this letter, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were ambushed and killed on a lonely road between Gibsland and Sailesin, Louisiana.

Henry Ford must have got a kick out of receiving this letter.

Who’s that guy by Pat Summerall

My first year with the Giants was 1958 and I remember going out to training camp in Salem, OR.  The second or third day there I went to a team meeting in the evening.  We had had two practises that day, and some of us went out for refreshments before the meeting.  The room was rather noisy and boisterous.  One of our coaches, Johnny Dell Isola, was taking roll and was having trouble getting the place quietened down.  But when the door opened, a man I hadn’t met yet walked in and a hush fell over the room.  I turned to the guy next to me, Don Heinrich, and asked, “Who the hell is that?”  Don said, “That’s Vince Lombardi, and you’ll soon understand why people get so quiet when he’s around.

Vince Lombardi by Sonny Jurgensen in 1971

Just working under Vince Lombardi was the greatest opportunity I ever had.  He made so much sense.  You were really prepared when you got out on the field.  In five days, I learned more from him than I had in 12 years of Pro football.

Henry Jordan

I play for the love of the game, the love of money, and the fear of Lombardi.

When he says, “sit down” I don’t look for a chair.

Don Hutson

For every pass I caught in a game, I caught a thousand in practice.

Dandy” Don Meredith

Tom Landry is a perfectionist.  If he was married to Raquel Welch, he’d expect her to cook.

Norm van Brocklin

With Tarkenton, you have to have an exceptionally good third and forty offense.

Bob Lilly, after the Ice Bowl

We went home in disbelief.


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