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THE COFFIN CORNER - VOLUME 12 - 1990

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VOLUME 13 (1991)

Number 1:

The Eagle Tackle Was Albert (Wistert) by Bob Carroll. What are the odds of three guys with the same last name playing the same position at the same university and all three winning All-America honors? Albert Wistert was the only of the three Wistert brothers to go from the University of Michigan to the NFL—and he made quite a name for himself as a perennial consensus all-NFL tackle with Philadelphia.

Canadian Football: Past to Present by Bob Sproule. A timeline of highlights in Canadian football, from 1861 to 1956.

The NFL's Six Most Significant Games by Stan Grosshandler. A round-up of a half-dozen landmark NFL games, from Red Grange drawing 70,000 to the Polo Grounds in 1925 to the Jets’ monumental upset of the Colts in Super Bowl III.

A Conversation with Hank Luebke by Richard Topp. The writer’s chance encounter with an old-timer who was a two-way tackle for the 1941 Buffalo Tigers.

The AFL: A League Too Often Misremembered by Greg Thomas. The many ways that the American Football League was “a breath of fresh air” when compared with the stodgier NFL.

Mini-Bios: Campbell, Hannah, Jones, Schramm, Stenerud, Eller, Greenwood, Youngblood. Mini-biographies of Earl Campbell, John Hannah, Stan Jones, Tex Schramm, Jan Stenerud, Carl Eller, L. C. Greenwood, and Jack Youngblood.

Number 2:

The Last Fall of the Titans by John Hogrogian. A long, detailed article about the 1962 New York Titans, who would finish 5-9 and go under at the end of the season. One of the coaches was brutally honest about the squad’s ability, telling players, “Most of you aren’t good enough to play anywhere else.”

The First Hut (humor) by Dr. Charles T. Gregory. The “professor of leisure history” humorously answers the question: Why do quarterbacks call the snap with the exclamation “Hut”?

Marion Motley: Some Say He Was Greatest by Insider! As a fullback and linebacker, Marion Motley was a powerful runner, devastating blocker, and punishing tackler.

Starr Still Shining Bright by Joe Zagorski. An interview with Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr about his playing career and his activities in retirement.

Mini-Bios: Hornung, Houston, Lanier, Tarkenton, Mackey, Sears, Swann, Wistert. Brief sketches of Paul Hornung, Ken Houston, Willie Lanier, Fran Tarkenton, John Mackey, Vic Sears, Lynn Swann, and Al Wistert.

Number 3:

Tigers Roar in Tennessee: Memphis 1930s by Bob Gill. A deep dive into the history of the Memphis Tigers, considered the first major pro team in the South. From 1929 through 1934, the Tigers enjoyed “their own place in the football sun.”

No Such Word as Can't by Kevin Everett. The inspirational tales of Tom Dempsey, Elroy Hirsch, and Hugh McElhenny, all of whom overcame injuries or physical handicaps to star on the gridiron.

Starting at the Bottom by Steve Brainerd. A comprehensive listing of all the players who graduated from minor-league or independent clubs to the NFL, the AAFC, and the AFL of the 1960s.

Forgotten Men (Harry Mattos, Andy Karpus) by Bob Gill. Harry “The Toe” Mattos may have been the best all-around career minor-league player of the 1930s and ‘40s, while Andy Karpus managed to play for nine teams in four different leagues between 1937 and 1941.

Mini-Bios: McCormack, C.Taylor, Weinmeister, Gatski, Namath, Rozelle, Simpson, Staubach. Biographical sketches of Mike McCormack, Arnie Weinmeister, Charley Taylor, Frank Gatski, Pete Rozelle, Roger Staubach, O. J. Simpson, and Joe Namath.

Number 4:

American Football League Attendance 1960-69 by Bob Carroll. A season-by-season overview of attendance in the AFL, broken down by team and venue.

Jock Sutherland: Forgotten Coaching Great by Jack Ziegler. Aloof, conservative, and demanding, Jock Sutherland turned losing teams around in Brooklyn and Pittsburgh. Prior to that he was one of college football’s most successful coaches, leading Pitt to four unbeaten seasons, two national championships, and four trips to the Rose Bowl.

Shelby Who? Ohio Pro Football in 1910 by Bob Carroll. Revisiting the 1910 season, when two teams from tiny Shelby—the Blues and the Tigers—had a legitimate claim to the Ohio state championship.

The Season of '41 by Stan Grosshandler. Highlights of the last season before the NFL and the rest of America went off to fight World War II.

Mini-Bios: Jurgensen, Mitchell, Warfield, W. Brown, Musso, Olsen, Bobby Bell, Gillman. Thumbnail biographies of Sonny Jurgensen, Bobby Mitchell, Paul Warfield, Willie Brown, George Musso, Willie Brown, Bobby Bell, and Sid Gillman.

Number 5:

Forgotten Firsts by Bob Gill. The author, in cooperation with David Neft, lists the first time an NFL player rushed for 100 and 200 yards, passed for 200 and 300, caught passes for 100 yards, etc.

The Titans Become the Jets by John Hogrogian. The final, litigation-filled days of the sad New York Titans, as Harry Wismer tried in vain to stave off selling the team to the group headed by Sonny Werblin.

Balancing Dollars and Sense by Bob Gill. Based on Pearce Johnson's profit-loss ledgers for the minor league Providence Steam Roller of 1940, this presents a wealth of information about the economics of minor league football before World War II.

Starting from the Bottom: Part 2 by Steve Brainerd. The second installment (from Mike Evans to Harry Kline) of a list of players who graduated from the minor leagues to the majors.

Mini-Bios: Bob Lilly, J.Otto, Badgro, Blanda, Willie Davis, Ringo, Atkins, Huff . Series of eight cartoons and brief biographies of Bob Lilly, Jim Otto, Red Badgro, George Blanda, Willie Davis, Jim Ringo, Doug Atkins, and Sam Huff.

Number 6:

1975 Green Bay Packers by Joe Zagorski. The Packers hoped to regain the glory of the Lombardi-years by hiring Bart Starr as coach, but the results in a frustrating transitional season were only 4-10.

Philadelphia Memories by Jim Campbell.

The Longest Football Game Ever (to 1962) by Don Smith. The longest game ever (up till then), the 1962 American Football League Championship Game pitted the Dallas Texans against the defending champion Houston Oilers in a bang-up overtime game.

The 1962 Grey Cup: Played in a Fog by Jack Zeigler. The Winnipeg-Hamilton CFL championship took 25 hours to complete when fog became so heavy in the fourth quarter the game was delayed until the next day.

1946 Season: From One War to Another by Stan Grosshandler. World War II was over but the NFL had a new fight on its hands with the birth of the All-America Football Conference. This article concentrates on the NFL's season.

Mini-Bios: Larry Wilson, Nitschke, Lary, Butkus, Unitas, Mix, Deacon Jones, Herb Adderley . Series of eight cartoons and brief biographies of Ray Nitschke, Larry Wilson, Dick Butkus, Yale Lary, Ron Mix, Johnny Unitas, Herb Adderley, and Deacon Jones.

2020 Convention
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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