Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pillars of the NFL: Johnny "Blood" McNally

In Patrick McCaskey's Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships he covers the ten greatest NFL coaches of all-time.  Among the Pillars are two coaches from Green Bay, Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi.  In Pillars, we describe some of the key players  for these great coaches and we'd  thought we'd reproduce some of that for our posts. 

Johnny "Blood" McNally 

Hall of Famer Johnny Blood McNally walked on hotel ledges, climbed flagpoles, ran along the top of railroad cars, and hung out with social outcasts.  In addition to being a very good football player, the quirky, highly intelligent McNally was a poet, public speaker, seaman, bartender, hotel clerk, cryptographer, and economics professor.

He was one of the most colorful players in NFL history, if not the most colorful, and Curly Lambeau managed to keep his off-field antics in check long enough for “Blood” to achieve great results in Green Bay.  McNally was a speedy halfback who was a superb receiver.  He was often the difference between losing and winning—a game breaker.  

Three exceptional players (all Hall of Famers) that Lambeau added in 1929 were essential to his first championship run: Johnny “Blood” McNally, Cal Hubbard, and “Iron Mike” Michalske. The great players enabled Lambeau to put together a memorable string of championships that predated Lombardi by the decades.  Lambeau's Packers were champions in 1929-1931. 

Pillars of the NFL is the only book that includes the complete history of the NFL top ten coaches.  Everyone who loves NFL history will enjoy this great book.  

(Cal Hubbard is also remembered as a great MLB umpire after his football playing days.  He is the only man inducted into the Pro Football and National Baseball Halls of Fame.)
During the summers in Green Bay, Hubbard began umpiring baseball games. In 1936, he began a new career as an American League umpire. He became almost as famous as a baseball umpire as he had been as a football player. In 1958 he was appointed umpire-in-chief of the American League. Hubbard is the only person to be enshrined in both the Baseball and Pro Football Hall of Fames. - See more at: http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?player_id=101#sthash.TJrb6uoW.dpuf

Copyright 2014, Sporting Chance Press