Elmer Kenneth Strong (April 21, 1906 – October 5, 1979) was an American football halfback and fullback who also played minor league baseball. Considered one of the greatest all-around players in the early decades of the game, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1957 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and was named to the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team.
A native of West Haven, Connecticut, Strong played college baseball and football for the NYU Violets. In football, he led the country in scoring with 162 points in 1928, gained over 3,000 yards from scrimmage, and was a consensus first-team selection on the 1928 College Football All-America Team.
Strong played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Staten Island Stapletons (1929–1932) and New York Giants (1933–1935, 1939, 1944–1947), and in the second American Football League for the New York Yankees (1936–1937). He led the NFL in scoring in 1934 and was selected as a first-team All-Pro in 1930, 1931, 1933, and 1934. He also played minor league baseball from 1929 to 1931, but his baseball career was cut short by a wrist injury.
Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, 1967
|Born:||April 21, 1906|
West Haven, Connecticut
|Died:||October 5, 1979 (aged 73)|
New York, New York
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||206 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||West Haven (CT)|
|College:||New York University|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Strong was born in the Savin Rock section of West Haven, Connecticut, in 1906. His father Elmer F. Strong was a Connecticut native who worked as an egg and dairy inspector. Strong attended West Haven High School where he was a star baseball and football player.
Strong next attended New York University (NYU) where he played baseball and football. In baseball, he was NYU's center fielder for three years and drew attention for his fielding and power hitting. As a halfback for the 1928 NYU Violets football team, he led the country in scoring with 162 points, tallied some 3,000 total yards from scrimmage, and was a consensus pick on the 1928 College Football All-America Team.
Strong gained widespread fame when he led NYU to a 27–13 upset victory over undefeated Carnegie Tech. He threw two long touchdown passes, rushed for two touchdowns, and kicked three extra points, leading Grantland Rice to write:
This attack was led by a runaway buffalo, using the speed of a deer, and his name was Ken Strong. He ran all over a big, powerful team, smashed its line, ran its ends, kicked 50 and 55 yards, threw passes and tackled all over the lot. Today he was George Gipp, Red Grange and Chris Cagle rolled into one human form and there was nothing Carnegie Tech had that could stop his march.
Carnegie Tech coach Walter Steffen said of Strong's performance: "This is the first time in my career that one man was good enough to run over and completely wreck an exceptionally good team. I can tell you he is better than Heston or Thorpe."
Strong played 16 seasons of professional football from 1929 to 1940 and 1944 to 1947. He earned a reputation as a triple-threat man and a versatile athlete who played on offense and defense and in the kicking game. The Pro Football Hall of Fame's biography of Strong states: "Strong could do everything – run, block, pass, catch passes, punt, placekick, and play defense with the very best."
Unable to reach terms with the New York Giants, Strong signed instead with the Staten Island Stapletons. He played for the Stapletons for four years from 1929 to 1932. While statistics are not available for the 1929 NFL season, Strong was regarded as one of the best backs in the NFL. He started all 10 games at halfback for the 1929 Stapletons. In his first NFL game, he threw a long forward pass to set up the Stapleton's first touchdown and scored all of the team's 12 points on two short touchdown runs. He also had a 70-yard run in a scoreless tie with the Orange Tornadoes on November 3, 1929. Two days later, Strong had a 50-yard touchdown run against the Providence Steam Roller. At the end of the 1929 season, Strong was selected by Collyer's Eye and the Green Bay Press-Gazette as a second-team All-Pro.
In 1930, Strong appeared in all 12 games for the Stapletons and scored 53 points on two rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns, one field goal, and eight extra points. His point total ranked third in the NFL in 1930, trailing only Jack McBride (56 points) and Verne Lewellen (54 points). On September 28, 1930, he caught two touchdown passes, threw a 40-yard pass that set up a third touchdown, and kicked three extra points in a 21–0 victory over the Frankford Yellow Jackets. In December 1930, he led the Stapletons to a 16–7 victory over the New York Giants for the pro football championship of New York City; Strong accounted for all 16 Stapleton points, running 98 yards for a touchdown, passing for a second touchdown, and kicking a field goal and an extra point. He was selected as a first-team player on the 1930 All-Pro Team by Collyer's Eye and the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
In 1931, Strong appeared in all 11 games for the Stapletons and scored 53 points on six rushing touchdowns, one punt return for a touchdown, two field goals, and five extra points. His 53 points ranked fourth in the NFL, trailing only Johnny Blood (84 points), Ernie Nevers (66 points), and Dutch Clark (60 points). On November 22, 1931, Strong scored all 16 points in a 16–7 victory over Cleveland; he had two rushing touchdowns, including a 50-yard run and kicked a field goal and an extra point. At the end of the 1931 season, Strong was selected as an All-Pro for the second year in a row, receiving first-team honors from the United Press (UP) and Collyer's Eye.
Strong's output dropped off in 1932 as he moved to the fullback position. He appeared in 11 games and ranked sixth in the NFL with 375 rushing yards, but scored only 15 points on two touchdowns and three extra points. At the end of the 1932 season, the Stapletons team folded.
In 1933, Strong signed with the New York Giants. The 1932 Giants had compiled a 4–6–2 record, but the 1933 Giants, with Strong at fullback and Harry Newman at quarterback, improved to 11–3 and advanced to the 1933 NFL Championship Game. Strong led the NFL with 64 points in 1933; his points were scored on three rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns, a touchdown on an interception return, five field goals, and 13 extra points. On November 26, 1933, he became the first known player in NFL history to score on a fair catch kick. The 30-yard kick was made at the Polo Grounds in a win against the Green Bay Packers. After the 1933 season, Strong received first-team All-Pro honors from the United Press, Collyer's Eye, and the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
In 1934, Strong again played in every game for the Giants as a fullback. He rushed for 431 yards and scored 56 points (six rushing touchdowns, four field goals, and eight extra points) in the regular season. His greatest fame derives from his role in the Giants' comeback victory over the Chicago Bears in the 1934 NFL Championship Game; Strong scored 17 points for the Giants on a 38-yard field goal, two fourth-quarter touchdowns on runs of 42 and 8 yards, and two extra points. Strong received first-team All-Pro honors in 1934 from the NFL and others.
In 1935, Strong helped lead the Giants to their third consecutive NFL Championship Game. In a 10–7 victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers, he was only able to play a few minutes due to injury, but he still managed to score all of the Giants' points on a 24-yard touchdown run and a 24-yard field goal. Slowed by injury in 1935, he was described as "a celebrated invalid" who "hobbled" from the bench to kick a field goal for the Giants in a 3–0 victory over the Bears on November 17. In the 1935 NFL Championship Game, a 26–7 loss to the Detroit Lions, Strong scored all of the Giants' points on a long touchdown catch and run and the extra point.
In August 1936, Strong signed with the New York Yankees of the newly formed second American Football League. Strong's departure from the NFL was the new league's first raid on the NFL. Strong later recalled that Giants owner Jack Mara wanted Strong to accept a pay cut from $6,000 to $3,200; the Yankees agreed to pay him $5,000.
During the 1936 season, Strong earned a reputation as "the best blocker in the game." He also: kicked a field goal and two extra points in a 17–6 victory over Brooklyn on October 14; scored a touchdown and kicked the extra point in a 7–6 victory over Pittsburgh on October 21; and kicked three field goals in a 15–7 win over Cleveland on November 23.
In 1938, Strong was a player and head coach for the Jersey City Giants, the New York Giants' farm team in the American Association. He was barred from playing in the NFL because of his decision to jump to the American Football League in 1936. Tim Mara, owner of the Giants, reportedly negotiated a deal with Strong to play for Jersey City in exchange for which Mara would seek Strong's reinstatement in 1939. He kicked 13 field goals, scored 51 points, and was named to the all-league team. He led the Giants to a 7–1 record and the league championship, scoring 10 points in Jersey City's championship game victory over the Union City Rams.
Strong returned to the New York Giants in 1939. He appeared in nine games and scored 19 points on four field goals and seven extra points. Strong is also believed to be the second player (after Mose Kelsch) to have devoted an entire season to placekicking; his 1939 season with the Giants had him playing very little outside of kicks.
In the summer of 1940, Strong became ill with stomach ulcers, underwent emergency surgery, and was hospitalized for four weeks. He said that he intended to return to playing when his health permitted. He played for the Jersey City Giants while recuperating in the fall of 1940, led Jersey City to another league championship, then announced his retirement as a player in November 1940.
He came out of retirement in 1942 to play for the Long Island Clippers, scoring 12 points in four games.
In 1944, with talent in the NFL depleted by wartime military service, Strong returned for a third stint with the New York Giants. He appeared in all 10 games for the 1944 Giants, including six as a starter. In his first three games with the Giants in 1944, Strong at age 38 accounted for 22 of the team's 48 points. He helped lead the team to the 1944 NFL Championship Game, scoring 41 points on six field goals and 23 extra points.
After the war ended, Strong remained with the Giants for another three years as the team's place-kicker and remained one of the league's leading scorers with 41 points in 1945, 44 points in 1946, and 30 points in 1947. His 32 extra points in 1946 ranked second in the league. In April 1948, at age 41, Strong announced his retirement as a player.
In 12 seasons in the NFL, Strong received first-team All-Pro honors four times (1930, 1931, 1933, and 1934) and scored 520 career points (including 36 points in the post-season) on 38 touchdowns, 39 field goals, and 175 extra points.
In October 1937, Red Cagle, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, rated Strong at the greatest all-around football player. Cagle said: "Strong ... can do everything. He's a great punter, place kicker, pass thrower, and how he could carry his 198 pounds! I played with and against Strong, and he always stood out. He is tops when the chips are down ... Ken is also a brilliant blocker, so I guess that makes him the class."
Walter Steffen, also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, said: "I'll tell you he is easily the greatest football player I ever saw – and I've been around over twenty-five years ... I can tell you honestly that since 1905 I've never seen a football player in his class for all-around stuff."
In 1939, Grantland Rice rated Strong and Jim Thorpe as the greatest players in football history. In Strong's favor, Rice cited Strong's "unusual speed", the "driving force in his legs", and his stamina.
Harry Grayson wrote: "An amazing runner, blocker, passer, kicker, and defensive man, Strong was, in the opinion of many who saw him, the greatest football player of them all." Grayson later called Strong "a runaway buffalo with the speed of an antelope."
Strong received numerous honors for his football career, including the following:
Strong also played professional baseball for several years. He was signed by the New York Yankees before graduating from NYU and spent the summer of 1929 with the New Haven Profs of the Eastern League. He was an outfielder for New Haven, appearing in 104 games and compiling a .283 batting average with 21 home runs and 43 extra-base hits.
Strong began the 1930 season with New Haven. In mid-May, he joined the Hazleton Mountaineers of the New York–Pennsylvania League, appearing in 117 games and compiling a .373 batting average with 41 home runs (an league record), and 88 extra-base hits.
In January 1932, the Detroit Tigers purchased rights to Strong. He was considered a tremendous major league prospect, but a wrist injury sustained late in the 1931 season when he ran into the outfield fence proved to be a fracture. Strong underwent surgery, but the Detroit surgeon removed the wrong bone. Strong never recovered the full use of his right wrist. In July 1933, Strong won a $75,000 jury verdict in a lawsuit against the surgeon who removed the wrong bone. The verdict was later reversed on appeal.
In December 1931, Strong married Mabel Anderson of Long Island. Strong and his second wife remained married for nearly 48 years and had a son, Kenneth Robert Strong, born in approximately 1932.
After retiring from football, Strong lived with his wife and son in Bayside, Queens, and worked as a liquor salesman. From 1962 to 1965, he was an assistant coach for the New York Giants, working with the team's kickers.
On February 19, 1957 Strong made an appearance on the game show To Tell the Truth. He was contestant number 3 claiming to be Thomas P. Loughran, a former boxer.
The 1928 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1928. The seven selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1928 season are (1) Collier's Weekly, as selected by Grantland Rice, (2) the Associated Press, (3) the United Press, (4) the All-America Board, (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and (7) the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA).1928 NYU Violets football team
The 1928 NYU Violets football team represented New York University in the 1928 college football season. Ken Strong led the nation in scoring.1928 college football season
The 1928 football season have both the USC Trojans and the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado claim national championships. USC was recognized as champions under the Dickinson System, but the Rose Bowl was contested between the #2 and #3 teams, California and Georgia Tech. The game was decided by a safety scored after Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels ran 65 yards in the wrong direction. Vance Maree blocked the ensuing punt which gave Georgia Tech a safety deciding the 8-7 win.
The Florida Gators led the nation in scoring as a team, led by its "Phantom Four" backfield, with 336 points. They were remembered by many sports commentators as the best Florida football team until at least the 1960s. NYU halfback Ken Strong led the nation in scoring as an individual, with 162 points, and tallied some 3,000 total yards from scrimmage.1930 All-Pro Team
The 1930 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 1930 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Green Bay Press-Gazette (GB), based on the returns of ballots sent to the league's coaches, club officials, sports writers and officials, and Collyer's Eye (CE).1933 All-Pro Team
The 1933 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 1933 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the NFL coaches (NFL), the United Press, Red Grange for Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Green Bay Press-Gazette (GB).1933 NFL Championship Game
The 1933 National Football League Championship Game was the first scheduled championship game of the National Football League (NFL) since its founding in 1920. It was played on December 17 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, and the attendance was estimated at 25,000.The game was between the champions of the league's newly created divisions: the Chicago Bears (10–2–1) of the Western Division and the New York Giants (11–3) of the Eastern Division. Chicago gained the home field due to a better winning percentage in the regular season; after this year the home field alternated, with the Eastern Division champion hosting in even-numbered years and the Western in odd.
Chicago scored the winning touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, capping a 23–21 victory. It was the Bears' second consecutive championship and third under founder and head coach George Halas.1934 All-Pro Team
The 1934 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 1934 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), the Green Bay Press-Gazette (GB) based on the composite view of the coaches of 10 NFL teams and a half dozen NFL officials, Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Chicago Daily News (CDN).Players displayed in bold were consensus first-team selections. Five players were selected as first-team All-Pro players by all five selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; Chicago Bears halfback Beattie Feathers; Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski; Chicago Bears end Bill Hewitt; and New York Giants center Mel Hein.1934 NFL Championship Game
The 1934 National Football League Championship Game, also known as the Sneakers Game, was the second scheduled National Football League (NFL) championship game. Played at the Polo Grounds in New York City on December 9, it was the first title game for the newly created Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy. With a remarkable fourth quarter, the New York Giants defeated the Chicago Bears 30–13.The defending champion Bears entered the game undefeated at 13–0, with an 18-game winning streak. The Giants (8–5) won consecutive division titles, but had lost their final regular season game at Philadelphia. The Bears were favored to repeat as champions.A freezing rain the night before the game froze the Polo Grounds field. After Giants end Ray Flaherty remarked to head coach Steve Owen that sneakers would provide better footing on the frozen playing surface, Owen sent his friend Abe Cohen, a tailor who assisted on the Giants sideline, to Manhattan College to get some sneakers. There, Brother Jasper, the athletic director (and the later namesake of the Manhattan Jaspers) emptied the lockers of the school's basketball team. Cohen arrived in the third quarter with nine pairs of basketball sneakers from the college.The Bears led 10–3 at the half when the Giants switched to the basketball sneakers. A Chicago field goal was the only score in the third quarter, extending the lead to ten points. Early in the fourth, Giants quarterback Ed Danowski threw a touchdown pass to Ike Frankian to close the score to 13–10. (The pass was initially intercepted at the Bears' 2-yard line, but Frankian then grabbed the ball out of the defender's hands.) On the next New York drive, running back Ken Strong scored on a 42-yard touchdown run. Later an 11-yard run by Strong was turned into another touchdown for the Giants, and they scored for a final time on Danowski's 9-yard run, a fourth unanswered touchdown. New York outscored the Bears 27–0 in the fourth quarter to win 30–13.Many of the participants have been interviewed since the game took place, most notably Bronko Nagurski of the Bears and Mel Hein of the Giants. Generally, players from both sides have attributed the Giants' second half dominance to their selection of footwear. As Nagurski put it, "We immediately said something was wrong, because they suddenly had good footing and we didn't...they just out-smarted us." A mini-documentary of the game, narrated by Pat Summerall, can be seen in the 1987 video "Giants Among Men." NFL Films named the game the #8 bad weather game of all time.1990 Central Michigan Chippewas football team
The 1990 Central Michigan Chippewas football team represented Central Michigan University in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) during the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their 13th season under head coach Herb Deromedi, the Chippewas compiled an 8–3–1 record (7–1 against MAC opponents), tied with Toledo for the MAC championship, lost to San Jose State in the California Bowl, and outscored their opponents, 283 to 146. The team played its home games in Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, with attendance of 121,270 in six home games.Led by a strong defense, the team shut out Cincinnati (34–0), Bowling Green (17–0), and Kent State (42–0), and held nine of twelve opponents to fewer than 14 points. On September 22, 1990, the defensive unit set a school record, holding Bowling Green to only two first downs in a 17-0 victory. The following week, the defense set another school record with six interceptions in a 31–7 victory over Miami (OH). The team also set a school record with 83 punts forced over the course of the 1990 season.The team's statistical leaders included quarterback Jeff Bender with 1,978 passing yards, tailback Billy Smith with 1,047 rushing yards, and flanker Ken Ealy with 916 receiving yards. Ealy's 916 receiving yards was a single season school record until 1996 when the record was broken by Reggie Allen. Bender received the team's most valuable player award and also received the MAC's Vern Smith Leadership Award and the MAC Offensive Player of the Year award. Eight Central Michigan players (WR Ken Ealy, OG Paul Jacobson, QB Jeff Bender, RB Billy Smith, DL J.J. Wierenga, ILB Rich Curtiss, DB David Johnson, and DB Ken Strong) received first-team All-MAC honors. Coach Deromedi received the MAC Coach of the Year award.2011 USARL season
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EC Villacher SV are an ice hockey team in the Erste Bank Hockey League. They play their home games at Stadthalle (capacity approximately 4500 spectators) in Villach, Austria. The team colors are blue and white. Their mascot is an eagle - Villach's coat of arms represents an eagle's claw.Ken Strong (ice hockey)
Kenneth "Ken" Strong (born May 9, 1963) is a Canadian-born retired professional ice hockey player who (as a naturalized citizen) played for the Austrian national ice hockey team in the 1994 Winter Olympics. He also briefly played 15 games in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1980s. As a youth, he played in the 1976 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Mississauga.List of NCAA major college football yearly total offense leaders
The list of college football yearly total offense leaders identifies the major college leaders for each season from 1937 to the present. It includes yearly leaders in two statistical categories: (1) total offense yards, and (2) total offense yards per game. From 1937 to 1969, the NCAA determined its national total offense individual title based on total yardage. Starting in 1970, the NCAA began making that determination based on total offense yards per game.NYU Violets football
The NYU Violets football team represented the New York University Violets in college football.New Haven Warriors
The New Haven Warriors were a rugby league football team based in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. They played in the American National Rugby League (AMNRL) from 2006 to 2010 and in the USA Rugby League (USARL) from 2011 to 2012 before withdrawing. They played their home games at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven, Connecticut.
The team was established in 2006 as an AMNRL expansion team. In 2011 they became one of seven clubs that withdrew from the AMNRL to form the new USA Rugby League. The Warriors won the 2008 AMNRL Championship and made playoff appearances every year from 2006 to 2011, advancing to the AMNRL Grand Final in 2010 and the USARL Grand Final in 2011. They were named for the New Zealand professional club the New Zealand Warriors of the National Rugby League.Staten Island Stapletons
The Staten Island Stapletons also known as the Staten Island Stapes were a professional American football team founded in 1915 that played in the National Football League from 1929 to 1932. The team was based in the Stapleton section of Staten Island. They played under the shortened nickname the "Stapes" the final two seasons. Jack Shapiro, who was a blocking back for the Stapletons, was the shortest player in NFL history. The team was based in Staten Island, New York.West Haven, Connecticut
West Haven is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 55,564.West Haven High School
West Haven High School is a secondary school located in West Haven, Connecticut, which educates students in grades 9–12. The mascot of West Haven is the Blue Devil.
Staten Island Stapletons