Coffin Corner Index


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Number 1:

Paul Brown by Jack Clary. Biographical article by the man who wrote "PB". Anecdotes shed light on the great coach's personality and what made him a success. Includes full coaching record and list of men who played or coached for Brown who went on to become NFL head coaches.

Book Review: Upon Other Fields on Other Days by Jim Koger by Bob Carroll. Review of the book whhich lists over 2,300 former college and pro football players who were killed or reported missing in a United States war from the Spanish-American War to the Vietnam War.

Players Who Have Gained 200 Yards Receiving in a Game by Ken Pullis. Chronological listing of 96 NFL receivers (from 1942-90) who gained over 200 yards in a single game; includes date, receiver, team, opponent, number of passes caught, yardage, and touchdowns.

A Missed Opportunity: The 1917 Pro Football League by Bill Wagner. Baseball owners Charles Comiskey and Frank Navin considered forming a pro football league in 1917.

Who Really Did It? Gipp or Thorpe? by Emil Klosinski. All those stories about Jim Thorpe drop-kicking field goals from the 50-yard line? George Gipp of Notre Dame really did it.

1950 A Landmark Year by Stan Grosshandler. The season that saw the merger of the NFL and the AAFC was exceptional from its unexpected beginning to its rousing finish. The Cleveland Browns under Coach Paul Brown swept all before them, but they were far from the only success story. Includes All-NFL selections.

Number 2:

The Salt Lake Seagulls by Buck Bashore. The story of Utah’s only venture into professional football—the 1946 Salt Lake Seagulls of the PCFL.

Statistical Leaders of the 1920s by Bob Gill. The writer’s tabulation of the top five, or thereabouts, in passing, rushing, and receiving for each season of the 1920s, based on the best information available.

1940s All-Pro Teams by PFRA Research. All-Pro selections from 1940 through 1949.

Origins of the WLAF by Tod Maher. The story behind the World League of American Football, which sported seven teams in the U.S. and three in Europe, and its inaugural season.

Starting at the Bottom Compiled by Steve Brainerd. The third compilation of players who went from pro football’s minor leagues or independent teams (or in some cases, outlaw major leagues) to the majors—the NFL, the AFL of the 1960s, or the AAFC of 1946-49.

Quiz: Forgotten Fill-Ins by Bob Gill. Who replaced Lou Groza during his one-year retirement and other trivial questions.

Paying with Pain by Jack Rhodes. Examining the physical toll exacted by playing football, especially with the advent of artificial turf and more violent collisions caused by increasingly larger and faster players. Several former players, such as E. J Holub, Jim Ridlon, and Ray Schoenke, offer their perspectives.

Book Review: Heart of a Lion: The Wild and Woolly Life of Bobby Layne by Jim Sumner. A review of Bob St. John’s Heart of a Lion, a largely uncritical biography of legendary quarterback Bobby Layne.

Book Review: The Old Core by John Gunn by David Neft. A review of John Gunn’s The Old Core, a history of major Marine Corps football from its start just before World War I to its end at the conclusion of World War II.

The Great Ones: Final Results of Tournament by Pat Premo. PFRA members vote to decide the greatest team of all-time.

A Plan for PFRA 1993 by Executive Director.

Inflation of 1920: A Tale of Two Cities (South Bend & Ft.Wayne) by Emil Klosinski. How two Indiana teams—the South Bend Arrows and the Fort Wayne Friars—successfully maintained operations despite runaway inflation after World War I.

The Game (Highest scoring Canadian League game) by Robert Sproule. Revisiting the 1990 game where Toronto beat the B.C. Lions, 68-43—the highest scoring affair in Canadian football history.

Inside the Numbers (Looking at those 200 yard receivers) by Carl S. Grijalba. Breaking down the list of receivers with 200-yard games. A sample factoid: When the player gained 200 yards receiving playing at home his team won 80 per cent of the time.

Number 4:

The Early Struggles of Professional Football: Evansville, Indiana, 1920-22 by Marc Maltby. The Ex-Collegians, Crimson Giants, and Pros gave Evansville residents a taste of professional football and its attendant problems for three seasons in the early 1920s.

HOF Sketches: Baugh, Blood, Carr, Grange, Halas, Hein by Bob Carroll.

Too Many Guns: The 1950 Browns-Eagles World Series by Jack Ziegler. The NFL’s much-anticipated 1950 season opener pitted the defending two-time champion Philadelphia Eagles against the “cheese champions” of the AAFC, the Cleveland Browns. The Browns’ easy 35-10 victory in front of 70,000 shocked Philadelphians marked the rise of a new dynasty and the fall of an old one.

Book Review: Fritz Pollard: Pioneer in Racial Advancement by John M. Carroll by Bob Gill. The reviewer renders his verdict: “John Carroll has done an outstanding job of sorting the truth from fiction and half-truth surrounding the controversial career of Fritz Pollard, one of the most significant figures from the NFL’s formative years.”

The Power and the Glory - Single-Wing Football by Jim Campbell. A history of the offensive formation that once dominated pro and college ball.

Move over Gipp, Thorpe ... Make Room for Bowser! by Emil Klosinski. A visit with 93-year-old Ard Bowser unlocks a treasure chest of memories about the Canton Bulldogs, playing with injuries, and a kicking contest with Jim Thorpe.

Number 5:

A Century of Firsts in Pro Football, 1892-1992 by Pro Football Hall of Fame Insider! A listing of landmark dates, such as the first night game (November 21, 1902) and the first use of penalty flags by game officials (1948).

Hail to the Real Redskins: All-Indian team from Hominy, OK by Arthur Shoemaker. The Hominy Indians drew many of its players from the renowned Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, and were competitive enough to beat a team of barnstorming New York Giants after they’d just won the 1927 NFL title.

Requiem for the Nighthawks: Milwaukee's bid for a 2nd NFL franchise by Bob Gill. A rundown of the Milwaukee Nighthawks’ first and only season, complete with scores and roster.

Glory Days: Andy Robustelli and the Giants popularized the D by Norm Miller. Hall-of-Fame defensive end Andy Robustelli recalls the famous front four of the New York Giants’ glory days: Roosevelt Grier, Dick Modzelewski, Jim Katcavage, and himself. The quartet played virtually intact from 1956 through 1962, winning six division crowns and one NFL tile in that seven-season span.

This Week in Pro Football sketchings by Bob Carroll.

The Books That Just Wouldn't Die (Southern Exposure and Minor Masterpieces) by Bob Gill. Drawing on research by Tod Maher, the author updates roster information for the American Football League of 1946-50 and the Dixie League of 1946-47.

1923 Football Rules Revisited by Joe Plack. The modifications published in the 1923 Spalding’s Guide can be divided into two groups: changes in rules and changes in wording.

Mini-bios Again: Three Coaches- Bill Owen, Keith Molesworth, Paul Schissler by Bob Gill. A look at a few of the top coaches in football’s “other” leagues: Bill Owen (brother of Steve Owen), Keith Molesworth, and Paul Schissler.

The NFL's Forgotten Franchise: Syracuse Pros in 1921 by Tod Maher. The Syracuse franchise was neither formally admitted nor withdrawn from the APFA in 1921, so does the team’s record count in the official standings?

Starting from the Bottom: More Other Leaguers by Steve Brainerd. The latest installment in the list of players who graduated from pro football’s minor leagues or independent teams (or in some cases, outlaw major leagues) to the majors—that is, the NFL, the AAFC, or the AFL of the 1960s.

Quiz: Rookies by Bob Gill. Since the inception of the NFL draft in 1936, only one player without college experience has ever been chosen in the first round. Can you name him—or answer any of the other trivia questions involving rookies?

Number 6:

American Football League Firsts by Pro Football Hall of Fame Insider! The first use of wireless microphones by referees (1975) and other historic firsts.

From Blaze to Ashes: The Chicago Fire of the World Football League by David Yamada. Although the Chicago Fire finished 7-13 in the WFL’s maiden season of 1974, “for a few brief shining months, the Fire managed to capture the fancy of many Windy City football fans who were starved for a team that promised to play exciting, winning football.”

I Did Not Play: Team Roster Errors in Pro Football by Mel Bashore. The writer cites two instances of college players whose names have mistakenly appeared in the records and on the rosters of pro teams.

Oh! Those 23-17 Overtime Games by Jim Campbell. On August 28, 1955, three years before their loss in the famous “sudden death” title game with Baltimore, the New York Giants dropped an exhibition game to the Los Angeles Rams in experimental overtime by the same haunting 23-17 score.

Super Teams League (Computer Simulation) by Raymond Lee. The author used computer simulations to determine who among 14 great teams of the 1950-90 era would emerge as the “champion of champions.”

This Week in Pro Football #2 sketchings by Bob Carroll.

George V. Kenneally Sr. A Forgotten Hero by Philip J. Carver. Remembering the life and many achievements of George V. “Gigi” Kenneally, who was dubbed “The father of Pro Football in New England.” His career in football spanned 40-plus years at every level of competition, from high school and semi-pro to the professional ranks. He was involved in every facet of the game as a player, coach, manager and owner.

9.7: Willie Fleming's spectacular 1963 season in the CFL by Robert Sproule. Recounting the CFL record-breaking season of Willie “The Wisp” Fleming, who in 1963 averaged an astonishing 9.7 yards per rush while gaining 1,234 yards for the B.C. Lions.

A Short History of Player Lists (overview) by Bob Carroll. Trying to make sense of the various team rosters published in media guides and pro football encyclopedias.

1922 Season by PFRA Research

2020 Convention
June 18-21, 2020
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Canton, Ohio

This month's Coffin Corner

1958 Baltimore Colts

The 1966 Green Bay Packers

The All-America Football Conference

The Early History of Professional Football

A Minor Masterpiece