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THE COFFIN CORNER - VOLUME 15 - 1993

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Number 1:

The Bengals' 25th Anniversary Season by Jack Clary. A recap of Paul Brown’s return to football with the expansion team Cincinnati Bengals. Includes season-by-season records, 1968-1992.

Bronx, Blacks, and the NFL by Victor Mastro and John Hogrogian. The Bronx, one of New York City’s five boroughs, has been the setting for many developments in the racial integration of the NFL.

HOF Sketchings. Drawings of Hall-of-Famers Lem Barney, Al Davis, John Mackey, John Riggins, Pete “Fats” Henry, Cal Hubbard, Don Hutson, and Curly Lambeau.

What Else? (other newsletters) by Editor. Barry Mandell serves as a one-man clearinghouse for the sports book field and disseminates the information in a bi-monthly newsletter, The SportsBook File.

A New Quarterback Rating System by Michael Neft. A look at how the NFL has ranked passers through the years and his suggestions for a new rating system.

Great Forgotten Ends of the 1930s by Stanley Grosshandler. Who remembers Perry Schwartz and Eggs Manske? The author does.

Hunchy (Hoernschemeyer) by Mark Latterman. Bob “Hunchy” Hoernschemeyer was a versatile back for a full decade in the AAFC and NFL, helping to lead the Detroit Lions to back-to-back NFL titles in 1952-53.

More Crimson Giants (Letter from Herb Henderson) by Mel Bashore. The Crimson Giants of Evansville, Indiana were “a losing proposition,” said former star player Herbert Henderson, who recalls the 85-yard punt he once made against Hammond.

Number 2:

Oh, Those 23-17 Overtime Games [repeat] by Jim Campbell. Three years before the New York Giants were beaten by Baltimore in “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” they played an OT preseason game against the Rams—-and lost by the same haunting score.

A Man of Many Jackets (George Gibson) by Jimmy Patterson. George Gibson, guard and coach for the Minneapolis Red Jackets and Frankford Yellow Jackets in 1930, recalls the realities of the NFL’s “post-graduate football.”

Blocking Backs by Stanley Grosshandler. Blocking backs are often overlooked in the history books, but players like Max Krause, Ben Kish, and Leland Shaffer have been key ingredients to many championship teams.

Dan Fouts, 1993 Enshrinee by Don Smith. Looking back on the 15-year career of San Diego Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts, one of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Top 20 Lists by Pro Football Hall of Fame. The leading lifetime rushers, receivers, passers, and scorers through the 1992 season.

Chuck Noll by Don Smith. A profile of Hall-of-Fame coach Chuck Noll, a private person for whom money and personal acclaim meant nothing as he guided the Steelers to four Super Bowl wins in the 1970s.

Fifty Years Ago - The Nadir (1943) by Stanley Grosshandler. With rosters ravaged by World War II, the 1943 season may have been the lowest point in the history of the NFL.

1921: A Stat Look by Charles J. Grijalba. Examining the 66 games of the 1921 season to determine the importance of scoring first to win a game.

Number 3:

Thorpe's Farewell Season (1927 Portsmouth) by Bob Gill. Jim Thorpe was a 40-year-legend given new life with Portsmouth in 1927, but he threw his chance at a long-term coaching career away.

Quiz: Milestones by Bob Gill. Testing one’s knowledge of 10 pro football milestones.

In the Beginning: Firsts for NFL franchises by Tod Maher. A comprehensive listing of various first games played by every member, past and present, of the NFL and AFL. Each team’s first game ever, first league game, first home league game, first league win, and first playoff game are listed. In some cases, one game fills more than one category. A few historical notes are also included.

Top 20 Combined Net Yards, Career Pass Ratings & Stats, Coaches by PF Hall of Fame. Lifetime leaders in combined net yards (rushing, receiving, and interception, punt, kickoff, and fumble returns). Also career passing ratings and the top 20 coaches in career victories.

Mini-bios Ohio Valley League: Virgil Perry, Joe Linneman by Bob Gill. Profiles of halfback Virgil Perry and fullback Joe Linneman, stars of the 1920s.

Stagg's Lines: The great coach hated pro football by Jack Clary. The great Amos Alonzo Stagg, the “Father of American Football,” hated the pro game.

Two That Didn't Make It: Indianapolis and Washington fail in NFL bids by Bob Gill. The 1933 Indianapolis Indians and Washington Passers failed in their bids to land a franchise in the NFL.

Starting from the Bottom: More Other Leaguers etc. by Steve Brainerd. Another installment in the list of players who graduated from pro football’s minor leagues, outlaw major leagues, or independent clubs to the the NFL, AAFC, or AFL of the 1960s.

Number 4:

Black Hats in a Golden Age (1950s Tough Guys) by Bob Barnett and Bob Carroll. Players like Hardy Brown, Bucko Kilroy, and Ed Sprinkle were notorious for their rough—some said dirty—play during the 1950s. The authors select their “All-Rugged Team,” both offensive and defensive platoons.

3 Great Lines: Fearsome 4some, Purple People Eaters, Steel Curtain by Mike Gershman. The Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome,” Minnesota’s “Purple People Eaters,” and Pittsburgh’s “Steel Curtain” were defensive lines as well-known for their nicknames as for their deeds. .

Larry Little by Don Smith. Miami Dolphins guard Larry Little was a true rarity, a player in an obscure position whose play was so superior that he attracted headline attention.

This Week in Pro Football #3 sketchings by Bob Carroll.

Earth to Ratterman and Other Hall of Fame Artifacts by Joe Horrigan and Bob Carroll. George Ratterman’s radio-equipped helmet, Red Grange’s ice tongs, and Tom Dempsey’s kicking shoe are just a few of the items from pro football’s rich heritage housed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Another Newsletter by Football Times by Editor.

Number 5:

I Played with Thorpe (Zeke Roberts 1900-93) by Mel Bashore. The football memories of Guy “Zeke” Roberts, who played with grid legends Jim Thorpe and Wilbur “Fats” Henry during the 1920s.

Another Look at Interception Stats (Recovering Green Bay's Interceptions by 1930s) by Bob Gill. Although the NFL didn’t start publishing individual interception statistics until 1941, a careful perusal of newspapers can yield partial interception records for previous seasons.

Morrall Victory for a Backup QB by Bob Gill. ). Earl Morrall was second banana for much of his 21-year career, but he was an integral part of Super Bowl championship teams in Baltimore and Miami in the 1970s.

Did Nevers Ever Say Never Again? by Bob Gill. Ernie Nevers' post-NFL exhibition games. Ernie Nevers had about the shortest career of anyone in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He retired twice—once after 1927, his second season, and again after 1931. In between, he’d returned in 1929, but he never came back after his second goodbye. Or did he?

Struggling to Stay in the Black (Providence Steam Roller in 1927) by Bob Gill. A close look at the profit and loss sheets for the 1927 Providence Steam Roller.

This Week in Pro Football #4 sketchings by Bob Carroll.

Starting from the Bottom: More Other Leaguers Who Worked Their Way Up by Steve Brainerd. The final 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: the NFL, the AFL of the 1960s, or the AAFC of 1946-49.

A Redskin Reminiscence (Before the 'Skins moved to Washington) by Steve Hokuf. Former Boston Redskin and PFRA member Steve Hokuf recalls the team before its move to Washington, including the time they all had to wear war paint in a game against the Bears.

Quiz: Notorious Non-Achievers by Bob Gill. Consider yourself a Hall-of-Famer if you can correctly answer these 15 questions about botched field goals, suspensions, and other mistakes and misdeeds.

The Old Pro (John Curly Klosinski) by Emil Klosinski. A son’s tribute to his father, John “Curley” Klosinski, a journeyman tackle in the pre-NFL days.

Three Centers: Mel Hein, Bulldog Turner, Chuck Bednarik by Mike Gershman. Biographical sketches of three of the few centers enshrined at Canton: Mel Hein of the Giants, Clyde “Bulldog” Turner of the Bears, and Chuck Bednarik of the Eagles.

Number 6:

Bill Walsh: 49er Genius by Don Smith. The genius of coach Bill Walsh, who in three years turned the 2-14 San Francisco 49ers into Super Bowl champs.

A Collection of Golden Memories (from the 49ers' No. 1 fan) by Lido Starelli. The remarkable quest of memorabilia collector Lido Starelli to find the program of every regular season or exhibition game, home or away, that the 49ers have ever played.

Mini-Bios: Russ Letlow, Jim Poole, Luke Johnsos, Ray Bray by Bob Carroll.

The Toughest 49er Ever: Hardy Brown by Dwight Chapin. Hardy Brown’s sledgehammer shoulder tackles made him the most feared man in the NFL during the 1950s. “He was so tough,” one of his 49ers teammate said, “he was damned near illegal.”

This Week in Pro Football #5 sketchings by Bob Carroll.

Walter Payton: Sweetness in Chicago by Don Smith. In 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987, “Sweetness” literally rewrote the NFL record book with his ball-carrying feats.

The Case for Benny Friedman by Joel Bussert. An exhaustive review of contemporary news accounts and first-person observations leaves no doubt about the greatness of the pass-slinging quarterback.

When Real Football Players Kicked Field Goals by Stanley Grosshandler. A purist pines for those days when “real” football players like Lou Groza, Pat Summerall, Cliff Patton, and Jim Patton booted three-pointers.

1919 Season by PFRA Research

. An overview of the last season before today’s NFL was launched.

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