Ernie Nevers

Ernest Alonzo Nevers (June 11, 1902 – May 3, 1976), sometimes known by the nickname "Big Dog",[1] was an American football and baseball player and football coach. Widely regarded as one of the best football players in the first half of the 20th century, he played as a fullback and was a triple-threat man known for his talents in running, passing, and kicking. He was inducted with the inaugural classes of inductees into both the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. He was also named in 1969 to the NFL 1920s All-Decade Team.

Nevers played four sports (football, basketball, baseball, and track and field) for Stanford University from 1923 to 1925 and was a consensus first-team All-American in football in 1925. He played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Duluth Eskimos in 1926 and 1927 and the Chicago Cardinals from 1929 to 1931. In 1929, he set an NFL record that still stands by scoring 40 points in a single game. Nevers also played professional baseball as a pitcher for the St. Louis Browns of the American League from 1926 to 1928 and the Mission Bells of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in 1928 and 1929.

Nevers also had a long career as a football coach, including stints with Stanford (assistant, 1928, 19321935), the Chicago Cardinals (head coach, 1930–1931, 1939), Lafayette (head coach, 1936), Iowa (assistant, 19371938), and the Chicago Rockets (assistant, 1946).

Ernie Nevers
Ernie Nevers
No. 11
Position:Fullback
Personal information
Born:June 11, 1902
Willow River, Minnesota
Died:May 3, 1976 (aged 73)
Greenbrae, California
Career information
High school:Santa Rosa (CA)
College:Stanford
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards

Early years

Nevers parents, George and Mary Ann Nevers, were immigrants to the United States from New Brunswick, Canada. In addition to Ernie, they had five sons (Harry, Frank, John, George, and Arthur) and one daughter (Edith).[2][3][4][5] By the time Nevers was born, the family had moved from New Brunswick to Willow River, Minnesota, where Nevers was born in 1902.[6][7] The family moved again to Superior, Wisconsin, where Nevers grew up and attended Central High School. In 1920, the family moved to a ranch and fruit farm in the Rincon Valley section of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California.[2][3] Nevers attended and graduated from Santa Rosa High School where he was a star athlete. He led the Santa Rosa football team to the NCS championship.

In 1921, Nevers attended Santa Rosa Junior College and was the star of the school's football team. In a game against Petaluma, he scored four touchdowns and kicked six extra points and a field goal.[8]

Stanford University

In 1922, Nevers enrolled at Stanford University. He played for the freshman football team at fullback and halfback in the fall of 1922.[9]

1923–24 academic year

As a sophomore, Nevers became a star for the 1923 Stanford varsity football team.[10][11][12] He was described as "a sweet punter and a general all-around backfield star" and "the backbone of the Stanford offense."[13]

In the final game of the 1923 season, the dedication game for California Memorial Stadium, Nevers gained more yards than the entire California team. After the game, the Los Angeles Times wrote: "The desperate drive of Ernie Nevers . . . will go down in history as one of the greatest individual efforts ever seen on a gridiron."[14][15]

At the end of the 1923 season, Nevers was selected by the United Press as the first-team All-Pacific Coast fullback.[16] He was also selected by Walter Camp as the third-team fullback on the 1923 College Football All-America Team.[17]

After the 1923 football season was over, Never demonstrated his overall athletic ability by also starring for Stanford's basketball, baseball and track teams.[18][19] He was rated as the Pacific coast's best player in both football and basketball, the best college pitcher, one of the leading track performers, and "a crack swimmer" as well. In April 1924, Stanford's assistant director of physical education, Harry Maloney, called Nevers "a freak genius" who also excelled in the classroom.[18]

1924–25 academic year

As a junior, Nevers was sidelined for most of the football season after suffering two broken ankles. Under head coach Pop Warner, the 1925 Stanford football team won the Pacific Coast Conference championship with a 7–0–1 record in the regular season before losing to Notre Dame and the famous Four Horsemen backfield in the 1925 Rose Bowl. Five days after having a cast removed from one of his ankles, Nevers played all 60 minutes of the Rose Bowl, averaged 42 yards on his punts, and carried the ball 34 times for 114 yards, only 13 yards less than all the Four Horsemen combined.[20]

Nevers again proved to be a multi-sport star, competing for Stanford's basketball and baseball teams in the winter and spring of 1925. A newspaper account from February 1925 stated that he was "pressing for honors as the best all around athlete in the annals of the west."[21] During the summer of 1925, Nevers worked for the Starrett Meat Company in Guerneville, California, and pitched for the town's baseball team.[22]

1925 season

As a senior, Nevers and Pop Warner led the 1925 Stanford football team to a 7–2 record. At the end of the 1925 season, Nevers was a consensus All-American, receiving first-team honors from, among others, the All-America Board, the Associated Press, Collier's Weekly, the International News Service, Liberty magazine, the Newspaper Enterprise Association, and Athlete & Sportsman magazine.

Professional football and baseball player

Jacksonville football team

In December 1925, Nevers received between $25,000 and $35,000 to play professional football for a team in Jacksonville, Florida. Nevers' team played two exhibition games against NFL opponents: the Chicago Bears, led by Red Grange, on January 2, and the New York Giants on January 9. However, meager crowds forced the team to fold after only two games.[23][24][25]

1926 St. Louis Browns

After his first venture with professional football ended, Nevers joined the St. Louis Browns of Major League Baseball. He appeared in 12 games, 11 as a pitcher, for the 1926 Browns, compiling a 2–4 win-loss record and a 4.46 earned run average (ERA) in 74-2/3 innings pitched. At the plate, he had a .185 batting average in 27 at bats.[26] Nevers threw the ball in an unusual underhand delivery. On August 13, 1926, in the highlight of Nevers' 1926 season, he pitched a complete game victory over the Detroit Tigers, giving up eight hits and two runs against a lineup that included Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Heinie Manush, Charlie Gehringer, and Harry Heilmann, and Bob Fothergill who hit .367 that year.[27]

1926 Duluth Eskimos

In September 1926, Nevers left the Browns to play professional football for the Duluth Eskimos of the National Football League (NFL).[28] Nevers' childhood friend Ole Haugsrud owned the Eskimos. The 1926 Eskimos, with a 16-man roster, played a 29-game schedule and compiled a 19–7–3 record. Nevers reportedly played 1,714 minutes out of a possible 1,740 minutes that year.[29] Highlights of Nevers' 1926 season included the following:

  • On September 19, 1926, in Nevers' first game for Duluth, the Eskimos played their only home game, defeating the Kansas City Cowboys, 7–0. Nevers scored the game's only touchdown, kicked the extra point, and was reportedly "here, there and everywhere performing in a triple threat role."[30]
  • On October 10, 1926, Nevers led the Eskimos to a 26–0 victory over the Hammond Pros. Nevers threw a touchdown pass to Joe Rooney and also scored a rushing touchdown.[31]
  • On October 17, 1926, Nevers threw a touchdown pass, scored a rushing touchdown, and kicked three extra points in a 21–0 victory over the Racine Tornadoes.[32]
  • On October 31, 1926, the Eskimos defeated the Milwaukee Badgers, 7–6. The Los Angeles Times described Nevers as "the whole show", noting that he threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Rooney in the final five minutes and then kicked the extra point to give the Eskimos the victory.[33]
  • On November 11, 1926, Nevers scored all 13 Duluth points (two rushing touchdowns and an extra point) in a 14–13 loss to the New York Giants. Nevers' second touchdown was scored in the fourth quarter, but his kick for extra point to tie the game was blocked by Tillie Voss.[34]
  • On November 21, 1926, Nevers scored every point for the Eskimos in a 10–2 over the Canton Bulldogs. Nevers rushed for a touchdown and kicked a field goal and an extra point.[35]
  • On November 27, 1926, Nevers scored every point in a 16–0 victory over the Hartford Blues. He kicked three field goals, including one from placement at the 45-yard line, scored a touchdown, and kicked an extra point. After the game, The Hartford Daily Courant wrote: "The men of Nevers type must be depended upon to build professional football if it is to survive."[36]

Out of the 29 games played by the Eskimos in 1926, 14 are considered official by the NFL; in those games, Nevers scored 71 points on eight touchdowns, 11 extra points, and four field goals.[7] At the end of his rookie season, Nevers was a consensus pick for the fullback position on the 1926 All-Pro Team, receiving first-team honors from Collyer's Eye magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and the Green Bay Press-Gazette.[37][38]

1927 St. Louis Browns

Nevers returned to the St. Louis Browns in 1927. He appeared in 33 games for the team, 27 as a pitcher, and compiled a 3–8 win-loss record and a 4.94 ERA in 94-2/3 inning pitched and a .219 batting average in 32 at bats.[26] He is often remembered for having given up two home runs to Babe Ruth during the 1927 season in which Ruth broke the major league record with 60 home runs.[39]

1927 Duluth Eskimos

In 1927, Nevers became head coach of the Eskimos in addition to his regular position at fullback. The 1927 Eskimos compiled a 1–8 record and finished in 11th place in the NFL. Highlights of Nevers 1927 season included the following:

  • On October 23, 1927, Nevers completed 16 of 20 passes and threw four touchdown passes in a 27–0 victory over the Pottsville Maroons.[40][41]
  • On October 30, 1927, Nevers scored all 20 Duluth points on three touchdowns and two extra points in a 21–20 loss to the Cleveland Bulldogs.[42]
  • On November 13, 1927, Nevers ran 36 yards for a touchdown and kicked the extra point to account for Duluth's scoring in a 13–7 loss to the Providence Steam Roller.[43]
  • On December 11, 1927, Nevers threw two touchdown passes to Cobb Rooney and kicked two extra points to account for all 14 Duluth points in a 27–14 loss to the Chicago Bears.[44]

After the season, Nevers was again selected by the Green Bay Press-Gazette, based on the results of a questionnaires sent to the league managers and reporters, as the first-team fullback on the 1927 All-Pro Team.[45]

Mission Bells and Stanford football

Nevers career in Major League Baseball came to an end in the spring of 1928. In six games for the Browns, he compiled a 1–0 record and 3.00 ERA in nine innings pitched.[26] His final major league appearance was on May 4, 1928, at age 25.[26] Nevers was sold by the Browns for $7,500 to the Mission Bells, a Pacific Coast League baseball team in San Francisco, in late May 1928.[46] He appeared in 35 games for the Reds in 1928, compiling a 14–11 record in 206 innings and batting .374 in 91 at bats.[47] Nevers proved a draw for the Mission team, as Stanford fans and locals from Sonoma County flocked to see Nevers pitch.[48]

In March 1928, Nevers announced that he would not return to professional football that fall, opting instead to serve as an assistant coach to Pop Warner at Stanford.[49] Nevers said of professional football: "I hurt my back last year and don't care to take any more chances."[50] He returned to Stanford in September 1928 as coach of the reserve football players.[51]

In February 1929, Nevers resigned from his coaching job at Stanford to return to the Mission baseball club in the PCL.[52] He appeared in 41 games during the 1929 season and compiled a 7–8 win-loss record.[47]

Chicago Cardinals

1929 season

In the fall of 1929, Nevers returned to the NFL to play fullback for the Chicago Cardinals. Highlights of Nevers' 1929 season include the following:

  • On November 6, 1929, he led the Cardinals to a 16–0 victory over the Providence Steam Roller in the first night game in NFL history; in that game, Nevers threw a 45-yard touchdown pass, kicked a 23-yard field goal, and ran for another touchdown.[53][54]
  • On November 24, 1929, Nevers scored all 19 points (three touchdowns and an extra point) in the Cardinals' 19–0 victory over the Dayton Triangles.
  • Four days later on November 28, 1929, Nevers set an NFL record for points scored by a player in a single game. Nevers scored all 40 points in the Cardinals' 40–6 victory over the Chicago Bears; in that game, Nevers scored on six touchdowns (also an NFL record) and four extra points.[55]
  • On December 1, 1929, in a narrow loss to the New York Giants, Nevers threw a touchdown pass, intercepted a Benny Friedman pass and returned it to the Giants' one-yard line, rushed for a touchdown, and kicked an extra point.[56]
  • On December 8, 1929, Nevers passed for two touchdowns, ran for a touchdown, and kicked two extra points in a 26–0 victory over the Orange Tornadoes.[57]

At the end of the 1929 season, Nevers was a consensus pick as the fullback on the 1929 All-Pro Team, receiving first-team honors from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, based on the return of 16 ballots sent to the team owners, managers, and sports writers of clubs in the NFL,[58] Collyer's Eye magazine,[59] and the Chicago Tribune.[60]

1930 season

In 1930, Nevers returned to the Cardinals as both head coach and fullback. Highlights of his 1930 season included:

  • On October 25, 1930, Nevers rushed for two touchdowns and kicked four extra points in a 34–7 victory over the Frankford Yellow Jackets.[61]
  • On October 26, 1930, Nevers accounted for all 23 points in a 23–13 victory over the Portsmouth Spartans. In that game, Nevers threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Cobb Rooney, ran for two touchdowns, and kicked a field goal and two extra points.[62] In a single weekend, with back-to back games against Frankford and Portsmouth, Nevers accounted for four rushing touchdowns, a passing touchdown, a field goal, and six extra points.
  • On November 16, 1930, Nevers led the Cardinals to a 13–6 victory over the 1930 NFL champion Green Bay Packers. The victory broke the Packers' 22-game losing streak. Nevers threw a touchdown pass to Bunny Belden, ran for a touchdown, and converted one of two extra point attempts to account for all of the Cardinals' points.[63]

At the end of the 1930 season, Nevers was again selected as the consensus first-team fullback on the 1930 All-Pro Team with Bronko Nagurski being picked for the second team at the position.[64][65]

1931 season

Nevers returned to the Cardinals as fullback and head coach in 1931. Highlights of his seasons included:

  • On November 1, 1931, Nevers led the Cardinals to a 14–7 victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers. Nevers averaged 52 yards on his punts in the game, threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kassell, rushed for a touchdown, and kicked two extra points.[66]
  • On November 15, 1931, the Cardinals defeated the Green Bay Packers, 21–13, giving the Packers their first loss of the year. Nevers threw two touchdown passes and kicked three extra points in the game. The Associated Press called it "one of [Nevers'] greatest exhibitions".[67] The Packers went on to win the 1931 NFL championship.
  • On November 22, 1931, Nevers ran for two touchdowns and kicked two extra points as the Cardinals defeated the Portsmouth Spartans, 20–19.[68]
  • In his final NFL game, played before a crowd of 1,500 at Wrigley Field on November 29, 1931, Nevers led the Cardinals to a 21–0 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Nevers accounted for every point scored in the game with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Malloy, two rushing touchdowns, and three extra points.[69]

At the end of the 1931 season, Nevers was again selected (for the fifth time in five years in the NFL) as the fullback on the All-Pro Team, receiving first-team honors from the Green Bay Press-Gazette based on the returns of ballots sent to each club in the league as well as sports writers and officials,[70] the United Press,[71] and Collyer's Eye.[72]

On January 25, 1932, Nevers broke his wrist on the final play of a charity football game in San Francisco. Afterward, Nevers announced his retirement as a player, stating that he was getting out while he was "still in one piece," and expressing a desire to pursue a career as a coach.[73]

Coaching career

In March 1932, Nevers was hired as an assistant coach under Pop Warner at Stanford. His initial assignment was to coach the "goof squad".[74] At the end of the 1932 season, Warne resigned as Stanford's head coach, but Nevers remained as an assistant coach under Tiny Maxwell through the 1935 season. During that time, Stanford won three consecutive Pacific Coast Conference championships and played in the 1934, 1935, and 1936 Rose Bowls.

In January 1936, Nevers resigned his position at Stanford to accept the head coaching job at Lafayette College.[75] Nevers was welcomed to the Easton, Pennsylvania, campus with a parade and street celebration as classes were suspended for the day and Lafayette students anticipated the school's "return to 'Big Time' position" of previous years.[76] The 1936 Lafayette team compiled a 1–8 record.[77]

In March 1937, Nevers resigned his post at Lafayette upon being appointed backfield and ends coach for the University of Iowa under head coach Irl Tubbs. Tubbs had been Nevers' high school football coach in Superior, Wisconsin.[78] Nevers coach at Iowa for two years during which time the team compiled records of 1–7 in 1937 and 1–6–1 in 1938.

In December 1938, after the Chicago Cardinals had compiled a 2–9 record during the 1938 season, Nevers was hired as the team's head coach.[79] The 1939 Cardinals compiled a 1–10 record. In February 1940, Nevers resigned from the Cardinals, saying he wished to reside permanently in San Francisco.[80][81]

Awards and honors

Nevers received numerous honors and awards during and after his playing career, including the following:

  • In 1925, the football field at Santa Rosa High School was renamed Nevers Field in his honor.
  • After Nevers left Stanford, his jersey (No. 1) was retired by the football program. It was Stanford's only retired number for more than 50 years until Jim Plunkett's number was also retired.[1]
  • In 1931, a committee of 12 leading football coaches led by Pop Warner met to determine the greatest football player of all time. Nevers finished in a tie with Red Grange for second place behind only Jim Thorpe. Warner actually picked Nevers first and noted: "Ernie Nevers played his position by far the best of any player I ever saw. He had a wonderful physique – was big and powerful yet very active. Nevers was the mental type every coach likes to have on his football team. He was a fine punter, a fine forward passer, a great line plunger and a marvel on defense. Ernie Nevers was a football player without fault."[82]
  • In April 1951, Nevers was selected as the fullback on the all-time All-America team selected in a nationwide poll by the Associated Press as part of the process to select nominees for the National Football Hall of Fame.[83]
  • In November 1951, Nevers was selected as one of the inaugural inductees for the National Football Hall of Fame (later renamed the College Football Hall of Fame).[84]
  • In 1962, he was selected by Sports Illustrated as the best college football player of all time.[85]
  • In 1963, Nevers was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of its charter class.[86]
  • In 1969, at the time of college football's centennial, Nevers was selected at fullback on college football's all-time All-America teams selected by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Football News.[87][88] He was also named that same year to the National Football League 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.[89]
  • In 1979, Nevers was selected as one of the inaugural inductees (along with Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio and Bill Russell) into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.[90]
  • In 2003, he was honored by the United States Postal Service as one of four players (along with Red Grange, Walter Camp, and Bronko Nagurski) to be featured on a postage stamp as early gridiron heroes.[91]
  • In 2010, the NFL Network ranked Nevers 89th on its list of the 100 greatest players of all time.[92]

Family, military service, and later years

Nevers was married to Mary Elizabeth "Mae" Heagerty in February 1926 in San Francisco.[93]

On August 20, 1938, Nevers served as an official for a golf match at Duluth, Minnesota between blind golfers Clinton F. Russell of Duluth and Dr. W. H. I. Oxenham of England, both of whom had been featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not!.[94]

In September 1942, Nevers enlisted at age 39 in the United States Marine Corps; he was given the rank of captain.[95] In the spring of 1943, he was stationed at the Olds Gunnery School in Lansing, Michigan.[96] While Nevers was stationed at a Marine base in Santa Barbara, California, his wife became ill with pneumonia; she died in a San Francisco hospital in July 1943.[97] Nevers left for the South Pacific theater of World War II in October 1943.[98] In April 1944, he was reported by the Associated Press to have been stationed for the past several months with a marine amphibious unit in the Pacific.[99] In October 1944, Nevers returned to San Francisco after spending 10 months in charge of ground personnel with a squadron in the South Pacific.[100] In December 1944, while stationed at Naval Station Treasure Island in San Francisco, Nevers was promoted to the rank of major.[101] In February 1945, he became the athletic officer at the Marine Corps base in San Diego.[102]

At the end of February 1945, Nevers agreed to serve as an assistant coach with the Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference upon his discharge from the Marine Corps.[103] As of mid-May 1945, Nevers was awaiting his discharge papers and had become associated with a trucking company pending the commencement of his coaching duties with the Rockets.[104] Nevers ultimately served in the fall of 1946 as the backfield coach for the Rockets.[105]

Nevers was remarried to Margery Luxem Railton of Chicago in February 1947. It was the second marriage for both.[106] They had a daughter, Tina (born May 1948),[107] and a son, Anselmo.

After retiring from football, Nevers lived in Strawberry and then Tiburon, both in Marin County, California and worked in public relations and sales promotion for a wine association and a wholesale liquor company.[39][83][108] In 1950, Nevers and his wife had a television show broadcast on Friday nights on KGO in San Francisco.[109] In September 1954, Nevers began another television show known as "Out on a Limb With Ernie Nevers".[110]

Nevers died in May 1976 at age 73 at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, California.[39] Press accounts differed as to the cause of his death, one indicating that he had been suffering from a kidney disorder,[111] and another saying he had been under treatment for a heart condition.[112] He was buried at Mount Tamalpais Cemetery in San Rafael, California.[113]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b "George Nevers Rites Will Be Held Saturday". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. April 14, 1933. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  3. ^ a b "Mrs. M. A. Nevers, Grid Star's Mother, Dies". The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, California. December 8, 1937. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  4. ^ "Frank Nevers". Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, California. March 29, 1953. p. 8 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ Some family detail is taken from the 1910, 1920, and 1930 U.S. Census entries for George Nevers and family.
  6. ^ "Minnesota Birth Index". Ancestry.com.
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  60. ^ Wilfrid Smith (December 22, 1929). "Packers, Giants Get 8 Places On All-Pro Eleven". Chicago Tribune. pp. 2–3 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  61. ^ "Cardinals Romp to 34–7 Triumph Over Frankford". Chicago Tribune. October 26, 1930. p. 32 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  62. ^ "Portsmouth Routed, 23–13, By Cards' Rally". Chicago Tribune. October 27, 1930. p. 23.
  63. ^ Wilfrid Smith (November 17, 1930). "Packers Lose to Cards, 13–6, After 22 Wins: Nevers' Plunge In Last Period Routs Leaders". Chicago Tribune. pp. 27, 29 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  64. ^ George Whitney Calhoun (December 20, 1930). "Dilweg, Michalske Named On All-American Pro Team; Grange, Nevers Also Chosen". Green Bay Press-Gazette. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com. open access
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  66. ^ "Cardinals Win 1st Game; Beat Brooklyn, 14–7: Nevers Leads Chicagoans to Victory". Chicago Tribune. November 2, 1931. p. 29 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  67. ^ "Ernie Nevers and His Cards Defeat Green Bay Eleven". The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, WI). November 16, 1931. p. 15 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  68. ^ Wilfrid Smith. "Cards Plow To 20–19 Victory Over Spartans: Nevers Scores Twice in Muddy Battle". Chicago Tribune. pp. 23–24 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  69. ^ "Cards Conquer Cleveland, 21–0, In Charity Game: Only 1,500 See Nevers' Men Triumph". Chicago Tribune. November 30, 1931. pp. 2–4 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  70. ^ George Whitney Calhoun (December 19, 1931). "Four Green Bay Players Chosen On All-American". Green Bay Press-Gazette. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  71. ^ George Kirksey (December 15, 1931). "Dutch Clark Is Named On All-America Pro Team: Kirksey Selects Leading Stars On Annual Selection". The Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  72. ^ "1931 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  73. ^ "Ernie Nevers Grid Career At End; Famed Fullback Expects To Become Coach". The Sandusky Register. January 26, 1932. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  74. ^ "Name Nevers On Stanford Coach Staff". Santa Ana Register. March 16, 1932. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  75. ^ "Nevers Named Lafayette Coach, Quits Tribe: Tiny Sorry But Wishes Aid Good Luck". Oakland Tribune. January 17, 1936. p. 32 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  76. ^ "Lafayette Suspends Classes To Welcome Ernie Nevers As Head Football Coach". Pottstown (PA) Mercury. March 17, 1936. p. 8 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  77. ^ "2010 Lafayette Football". Lafayette College. 2010. p. 118. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  78. ^ "Ernie Nevers To Coach Backfield and Ends at Iowa". Chicago Tribune. March 16, 1937. p. 22 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  79. ^ George Strickler (December 2, 1938). "Nevers Returns To Pro Ranks As Coach of Cards". Chicago Tribune. pp. 27, 39 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  80. ^ "Nevers Mails Resignation as Cards' Coach". Chicago Tribune. February 20, 1940. p. 19 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  81. ^ "Ernie Nevers Quits as Cardinal Coach". Los Angeles Times. February 20, 1940. p. 29 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  82. ^ "Who Is Football's Greatest Players?". The Cincinnati Enquirer. November 22, 1931. p. 95 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  83. ^ a b Russ Newland (April 12, 1951). "Nevers Named All Time All America Back". Santa Cruz Sentinel. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  84. ^ "53 Men Honored In Hall of Fame: Hutson, Nevers Go In on First Ballot". News-Herald (Marshfield, WI). November 5, 1951. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  85. ^ https://www.si.com/vault/1962/09/24/624853/the-best-college-player-of-all-time
  86. ^ "Seventeen Former Grid Stars Named To Football Fame Hall". The Shreveport (LA) Times. January 30, 1963. p. 11A – via Newspapers.com. open access
  87. ^ "Grange, Nagurski Top Modern All-Time Team In College Football". The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA). September 18, 1969. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  88. ^ "Simpson, Nobis Named All-Time All-Americans". The Cumberland News. September 9, 1969. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  89. ^ "Unitas, Brown, Sayers on All-Time NFL Team". Great Falls Tribune. September 7, 1969. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  90. ^ "Baseball Greats Join Inductees In Bay Area Hall of Fame". Santa Cruz Sentinel. October 12, 1979. p. 43 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  91. ^ Doug Zellmer (September 16, 2003). "Football legend honored on postage stamp: Ernie Nevers recognized as an early gridiron hero". The Oshkosh Northwestern. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  92. ^ "Top 100 Players of All Time". The Hartford Courant. November 7, 2010. p. E7 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  93. ^ "Ernie Nevers and Wife Mix Signals, Dodge Rice Play". Oakland Tribune. February 17, 1926. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  94. ^ "Blind Golfers Match Strokes in City Today". Duluth News-Tribune. August 20, 1938. p. 1.
  95. ^ "Ernie Nevers Gets Marine Captaincy". Santa Ana Register. September 17, 1942. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  96. ^ "City Is Host To Grid Great". Lansing State Journal. April 4, 1943. p. 17 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  97. ^ "Mrs. Ernie Nevers Claimed By Death in S.F. Hospital". The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California). July 14, 1943. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  98. ^ Russ Newland (October 23, 1943). "Captain Ernie Nevers of Marine Corps Finally Gets His Oveseas Assignment". Reno Gazette-Journal. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  99. ^ "Nevers, Former Star, to Seek Post-War Pro Grid Franchise". Decatur Herald and Review. April 9, 1944. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  100. ^ "Ernie Nevers Back From Pacific Area Reports On Athletics and Snakes". Reno Gazette-Journal. October 5, 1933. p. 18 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  101. ^ "Nevers Becomes Major". The Fresno Bee. December 22, 1944. p. 22 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  102. ^ "Ernie Nevers Joins San Diego Marines". The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California). February 9, 1945. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  103. ^ "Dick Hanley To Coach Chicago All-America". Chicago Tribune. March 1, 1945. p. 21 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  104. ^ "Nevers To Leave Marine Service". Petaluma Argus-Courier. May 23, 1945. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  105. ^ "Pat Boland Named Rockets Coach". The Honolulu Advertiser. October 30, 1946. p. 16 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  106. ^ "Ernie Nevers Will Wed Chicago Woman Today". Chicago Tribune. February 1, 1947. p. 15 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  107. ^ "Ernie Nevers A Proud Father". Petaluma Argus-Courier. May 26, 1945. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  108. ^ ""Why Big Hubbub?" Ernie Nevers Asks". The Cincinnati Enquirer. July 22, 1956. p. 55 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  109. ^ "On Second Thought". Oakland Tribune. July 23, 1950. p. 25 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  110. ^ "Ernie Nevers To Start TV Series". Independent-Journal (San Rafael, Calif.). September 17, 1954. p. 11 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  111. ^ "Grid great Nevers dies". Chicago Tribune. May 4, 1976. p. 4-1 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  112. ^ "Death Stops Greatest 60-Minute Football Player in Ernie Nevers". Palladium-Item, Richmond, Indiana. May 4, 1976. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  113. ^ "Ernie Nevers". Find-a-Grave. Retrieved April 16, 2017.

Further reading

  • Sullivan, George (1972). The Great Running Backs. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 31–36. ISBN 0-399-11026-7.

External links

1924 Stanford football team

The 1924 Stanford football team represented Stanford University in the 1924 college football season. Stanford's first year head coach was Pop Warner, hired from Pittsburgh, where he had led the Panthers to three national championships.

Under Warner, Stanford won its first Pacific Coast Conference championship led by Ernie Nevers, who would later be inducted into both the future College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Stanford was undefeated in the regular season and advanced its second ever postseason appearance, but lost to Notre Dame in the 1925 Rose Bowl.

1925 Rose Bowl

The 1925 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game. It was the 11th Rose Bowl Game. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated Stanford University, 27–10. The game featured two legendary coaches, Knute Rockne of Notre Dame, and Pop Warner in his first year at Stanford. The game also featured the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame. Elmer Layden of Notre Dame and Ernie Nevers of Stanford were named the Rose Bowl Players Of The Game when the award was created in 1953 and selections were made retroactively.This was the first appearance for Notre Dame in any post season bowl game. It was the second appearance for Stanford in a bowl game, since their appearance in the First Tournament East West football game, later known as the 1902 Rose Bowl. This was the first appearance of the Notre Dame football team on the West Coast, and eventually led to the founding of the Notre Dame – USC rivalry. This game marked the first time a wirephoto, known at the time as a "telepix", was transmitted of a bowl game.

1926 All-Pro Team

The 1926 All-Pro Team consists of American football players chosen by various selectors at the end of the 1926 season as the best players at their positions for the All-Pro teams of the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL). Selectors for the 1926 season included the Green Bay Press-Gazette poll, the Chicago Tribune, and Collyer's Eye. Three players were unanimously selected as first-team players by all three selectors: fullback Ernie Nevers, halfback/quarterback Paddy Driscoll, and tackle Ed Healey.

1926 St. Louis Browns season

The 1926 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 62 wins and 92 losses.

1927 Duluth Eskimos season

The 1927 Duluth Eskimos season was the Eskimos' final season in the NFL. Coached by Ernie Nevers, the Eskimos finished with a 1–8 record. The team scored 68 points and allowed 134.

1929 Chicago Cardinals season

The 1929 Chicago Cardinals season was their 10th in the league. The team improved on their previous output of 1–5, winning six games. They finished fourth in the league. The Cardinals-Steam Roller game was the first night game in NFL history, which the Cardinals won 16–0, on two touchdowns, an extra points and a field goal by Ernie Nevers. Nevers also scored 40 points, the most by a player in NFL history, against the Bears in a 40–6 victory.

1931 All-Pro Team

The 1931 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1931 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Green Bay Press-Gazette based on the returns of ballots sent to each club in the league as well as sports writers and officials, the United Press (UP), and Collyer's Eye (CE).Players displayed in bold were consensus first-team selections. Four players were unanimously selected for the first team by all three selectors: Portsmouth Spartans quarterback Dutch Clark; Chicago Bears halfback Red Grange; Chicago Cardinals fullback Ernie Nevers; and New York Giants guard Butch Gibson.

Dewey Scanlon

Dewey D. Scanlon (August 16, 1899 – September 24, 1944) was an American football coach, and was the head coach for the National Football League's Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos from 1924 to 1926 and for the Chicago Cardinals in 1929. As an NFL head coach, he compiled a record of 17–15–4 in four seasons. He also appeared in one game as a wingback for Duluth in 1926. Scanlon was born in Duluth, Minnesota and attended Valparaiso University.

Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos

Duluth, Minnesota, hosted a professional football team called the Kelleys (officially the Kelley Duluths after the Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store) from 1923 to 1925 and renamed as the Eskimos (officially Ernie Nevers' Eskimos – after their star player Ernie Nevers) during the two seasons of 1926 and

1927 in the National Football League. The team was put together by Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store owner M. C. Gebert with the help of Dewey Scanlon, a college graduate who played football at Valparaiso University in Indiana. After being a traveling team during most of their time as the Eskimos, they withdrew from the league after the 1927 season.

The Kelleys, residing in the northernmost city in the NFL at the time, had the disadvantage of not being able to play at home during late November and early December, due to the harsh winters in northern Minnesota. This meant that Duluth either played unusually short seasons (they played only 16 games in three years as the Kelleys—seven in 1923, six in 1924 and three in 1925) or had to play on the road (as the Eskimos did, which allowed them to have much longer schedules). Duluth's best season came in 1924, when the Kelleys went 5–1, putting the Kelleys in fourth place.

The Kelleys lost their name sponsorship in 1926, but signed star running back Ernie Nevers. The team renamed themselves Ernie Nevers's Eskimos in response to these developments. The 1926 NFL season saw an increased emphasis on traveling teams: the Los Angeles Buccaneers represented the West Coast, the Louisville Colonels represented the Southeast, and the Buffalo Rangers represented Texas and the Desert Southwest. The Eskimos joined in on the trend, becoming a traveling team (assumably representing the far northern states) and allowing themselves to play a far longer season than the Kelleys did. After one home game at the beginning of the 1926 season, the Eskimos never played in Duluth again. The team finished in the middle of the NFL standings in 1926, prompting the Eskimos to continue the traveling team setup. In 1927, the results were far more negative: winning only one game, owner Ole Haugsrud sold the team back to the league at the end of the season. A distinction of the Eskimos is they were one of the first NFL teams to use a logo.When Haugsrud did this, part of the deal gave him first rights for any future NFL team in Minnesota. He passed on buying a stake in the Minneapolis Red Jackets in 1929. However, when the NFL voted to expand in 1960 to the Twin Cities, Haugsrud was able to buy 10% of the Minnesota Vikings (90% of the team was owned by an ownership group that had originally planned to launch a separate team in the American Football League).

Due to various transactions, the Kelleys/Eskimos have a tenuous link to the modern NFL. Edwin Simandl, a promoter in Orange, New Jersey; bought the defunct franchise for the 1929 season and used it to promote his decades-old Orange Tornadoes to the major leagues. The NFL, however, did not consider the Tornadoes to be the successors of the Eskimos. The Tornadoes moved to Newark for the 1930 season before going back to the minors. When Simandl handed the franchise rights back to the league, it was understood that the first new expansion team of the 1931 season would receive the Tornadoes' old franchise. Because of the Great Depression, no buyer was found, and the league ended up putting the franchise on the field as the Cleveland Indians under collective ownership.

In 1932, a Boston group received the next expansion franchise; strong circumstantial evidence indicates that it was awarded the assets of the failed Tornadoes/Indians organization. This group used it to start the Boston Braves. In 1933, the team was renamed the Redskins, and in 1937 it moved to Washington, D.C. where it still plays as the Washington Redskins. However, due to the two-year period of dormancy, the Redskins and the NFL consider the Boston/Washington franchise as a separate organization dating to 1932, and not as a continuation of the Tornadoes—or for that matter, of the Eskimos/Kelleys.

The film Leatherheads is partially based on the story of the Duluth Eskimos.On May 18, 2015, local lawmakers of one town in the Duluth-Superior area passed a motion to bring the NFL back to the region via team relocation and also voted in favor of an outdoor football stadium despite no current means of financing it. It is unclear if their proposal was ever formally submitted to the NFL.

Fred Gillies

Frederick Montague Gillies (December 9, 1895 – May 8, 1974) was an American football player and coach for the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League. He graduated from Cornell University in 1918 and was a member of the Quill and Dagger society. He appeared in 72 games, 51 of which as a starter, as a tackle for the Chicago Cardinals between 1920 and 1933, earning All-Pro honors in 1922. He coached the team in 1928, which was his final season as a player and only as a coach, to a 1-5 record.

Fred later married Blanche Wilderand and adopted Theo Janet Howells, the biological daughter of Blanche's sister, Gertrude Wilder. Gillies also worked and volunteered for the Republican Party.

In 1932, he was a survivor in a plane crash that took the life of aviator Eddie Stinson, the founder of Stinson Aircraft Company. Gillies suffered a leg injury, as a result of the accident, which left him in a leg brace for the rest of his life.

LeRoy Andrews

LeRoy B. Andrews, or commonly Roy Andrews, (born June 27, 1896) was an American football player and coach. He played college football at Pittsburg State University. In 1923, he played for the St. Louis All Stars. From 1924 to 1927, he was a player-coach for the Kansas City Blues/Cowboys and the Cleveland Bulldogs. From 1928 to 1931, he coached the Detroit Wolverines, the New York Giants, and the Chicago Cardinals.

List of Arizona Cardinals head coaches

The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are a member of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team began as the Morgan Athletic Club in 1898 in Chicago, Illinois. The team's second name was the Racine Normals, since it played at Normal Field on Racine Street. In 1901, they were renamed to the Racine Street Cardinals, a name that came from the University of Chicago jerseys that the team used, which were described as "Cardinal red". The team was established in Chicago in 1898 and was a charter member of the NFL in 1920. The team has played their home games at the University of Phoenix Stadium since 2006 and is the oldest franchise in the NFL.The team has moved to numerous cities during its history. After staying in Chicago from 1920 to 1959, it moved to St. Louis, Missouri and remained there from 1960 to 1987. It played in Tempe, Arizona, from 1988 to 2005, before eventually settling in Glendale, Arizona in 2006, where it now resides. Since 1920, two Cardinals coaches have won the NFL Championship: Norman Barry in 1925 and Jimmy Conzelman in 1947. Five other coaches—Don Coryell, Jim Hanifan, Vince Tobin, Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians—have led the Cardinals to the playoffs, and in 2009 they went to the Super Bowl.There have been 40 head coaches for the Cardinals franchise since it became a professional team in 1920; fourteen of the team's coaches are former Cardinals players. Ernie Nevers and Jimmy Conzelman are the only coaches to have had more than one tenure with the team. Pop Ivy and Gene Stallings both coached the team during its move from one city to another. Cardinals coach Roy Andrews is tied for the lowest winning percentage among the team's coaches (.000), having lost the only game he coached, in 1931. Co-coach Walt Kiesling lost all 10 games he coached in 1943, when the team merged with the Steelers during World War II and was known as Card-Pitt. Co-coaches Ray Willsey, Ray Prochaska, and Chuck Drulis have the highest winning percentage among Cardinals coaches (1.000). The team's all-time leader in games coached is Ken Whisenhunt, who was hired on January 14, 2007, with 96. Whisenhunt was fired on December 31, 2012, after the Cardinals recorded a 5–11 record in 2012.The all-time leader in wins is Arians with 50, including one playoff victory. The all-time leader in wins is Bruce Arians with 50, including one playoff victory.

List of Arizona Cardinals seasons

This is a list of seasons completed by the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are an American football franchise competing as a member of the West division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The list documents the season-by-season records of the Cardinals' franchise from 1920 to present, including postseason records, and league awards for individual players or head coaches.

List of athletes who played in Major League Baseball and the National Football League

Fewer than 70 athletes are known to have played in both Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL). This includes two Heisman Trophy winners (Vic Janowicz and Bo Jackson) and seven members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Red Badgro, Paddy Driscoll, George Halas, Ernie Nevers, Ace Parker, Jim Thorpe, and Deion Sanders). However, none of the players on the list has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 1920, the inaugural season of the NFL, 11 veterans of MLB (including George Halas and Jim Thorpe) became the first athletes to accomplish the feat. Since 1970, only seven athletes have done so, including Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders. Jackson was the first athlete to be selected as an All-Star in both MLB and the NFL. Sanders holds the longevity record, having appeared in 641 MLB games and 189 NFL games.

Ole Haugsrud

Ole Haugsrud (May 13, 1900 – March 13, 1976) was an American sports executive. Haugsrud was born in Superior, Wisconsin.

Haugsrud was owner of the Duluth Eskimos of the National Football League (NFL) in the late-1920s. His signing of Ernie Nevers and having the Eskimos barnstorm, is credited as helping grow the league at critical time. He later sold the team back to the NFL. Part of the deal was that he would have first rights to any future NFL team in the state of Minnesota. Though he passed on a stake in the Minneapolis Red Jackets in 1929, when the NFL expanded to Minneapolis–Saint Paul in January 1960, Haugsrud was given 10% ownership. He remained part owner of the Minnesota Vikings until his death in 1976. Haugsrud was the senior nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973. He was not elected.

The Vikings name and team colors are the same as Haugsrud's high school, Central High School in Superior. The Vikings secondary logo that is still in use is a modified version of Central's original logo.

There is a field in Superior, Wisconsin called Ole Haugsrud Field. The University of Wisconsin–Superior football team played there until the team went out of existence in the mid-1990s. The Superior High School Spartans played there until 2014 (when the high school's new stadium opened).

Seattle Rangers

The Seattle Rangers were a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. The team was founded in 1967 as a member of the Continental Football League and played in the Western Division. The original franchise name of Jets was abandoned due to a lawsuit filed by the American Football League's New York Jets. The NHL's New York Rangers reportedly pressured the team to change their name from Rangers in 1969.In May 1968, the Rangers signed a formal agreement with the Denver Broncos to act as a farm team of sorts for the AFL club. Later in the year, football legend Ernie Nevers became a stockholder and member of the team's board, with the intent of helping the team become a member of the NFL or AFL. Head coach Mel McCain was fired during the 1968–69 offseason.

Less than a year after attempting to purchase the Boston Patriots of the AFL, Rangers owner Lafa Lane announced his intention to sell a controlling interest in the Rangers. Lane resigned as chairman and president of the team at the end of October 1969, although the team did finish its season. With the end of the CFL in 1970, the Seattle Rangers also ceased operations although no official announcement was made.

Sonoma County Sol (WPSL)

Sonoma County Sol was an American women’s soccer team, founded in 2005. The team was a member of the Women's Premier Soccer League, the third tier of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. The team played in the North Division of the Pacific Conference. The team folded after the 2008 season.

The team played its home games at Ernie Nevers Field on the campus of Santa Rosa High School in the city of Santa Rosa, California, 55 miles north of San Francisco. The team's colors was blue and white.

The team was a sister organization of the men's Sonoma County Sol team, which plays in the National Premier Soccer League.

The Spirit of Stanford

The Spirit of Stanford is a 1942 American drama film directed by Charles Barton and written by Howard J. Green, William Brent and Nick Lukats. The film stars Frankie Albert, Marguerite Chapman, Matt Willis, Shirley Patterson, Kay Harris and Robert Kellard. The film was released on October 8, 1942, by Columbia Pictures.

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