Pro Football Illustrated was an American sports magazine dedicated to professional American football. It was among the first magazines to extensively cover professional football. It began annual publication in the 1940s and ran through the 1970s. From 1943 to 1948 the magazine selected an All-Pro team.
The 1943 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players who were chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team for the 1943 football season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), the International News Service (INS), Pro Football Illustrated, the New York Daily News (NYDN), and the Chicago Herald-American (CHA).1944 All-Pro Team
The 1944 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players who were chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team for the 1944 football season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), the International News Service (INS), Pro Football Illustrated, and the New York Daily News (NYDN).1945 All-Pro Team
The 1945 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players who were chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team for the 1945 football season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), the International News Service (INS), Pro Football Illustrated, and the New York Daily News (NYDN).1946 All-Pro Team
The 1946 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players who were chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team for the 1946 football season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), Pro Football Illustrated, and the New York Daily News (NYDN). The AP selections included players from the National Football League (NFL) and All-America Football Conference; the UP, PFI, and NYDN selections were limited to players from the NFL.1947 All-Pro Team
The 1947 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players who were chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team for the 1947 football season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), Pro Football Illustrated, and the New York Daily News (NYDN). The AP selections included players from the National Football League (NFL) and All-America Football Conference; the UP, PFI, and NYDN selections were limited to players from the NFL.1947 Cleveland Browns season
The 1947 Cleveland Browns season was the team's second in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Coached by Paul Brown, Cleveland finished with a 12–1–1 win–loss–tie record, winning the western division and the AAFC championship for the second straight year. As in 1946, quarterback Otto Graham led an offensive attack that featured fullback Marion Motley and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie.
After a number of coaching changes and roster moves in the offseason, including signing punter Horace Gillom and fullback Tony Adamle, the Browns began with a 30–14 win over the Buffalo Bills, the first of a string of five victories. The team lost its only game of the season to the Los Angeles Dons in October. Five more wins followed before a come-from-behind tie in November with the New York Yankees, the team Cleveland defeated in the 1946 AAFC championship. The Browns won their last two games, including a 42–0 shutout against the Baltimore Colts in the finale, to set up a championship game rematch with the Yankees in December. Cleveland beat the Yankees 14–3 in New York on an icy field to win its second championship in a row.
Graham was named the AAFC's most valuable player after leading the league in passing yards, with 2,753, and passing touchdowns, with 25. Speedie led the league in receiving, and several other Cleveland players were named to sportswriters' All-Pro lists. Brown was named the league's coach of the year by Pro Football Illustrated. The Browns played all their home games in Cleveland Stadium, attracting an average crowd of 55,848, the best home attendance record in both the AAFC and the competing National Football League (NFL).1947 NFL season
The 1947 NFL season was the 28th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded the regular season by one game from eleven games per team to twelve, a number that remained constant for fourteen seasons, through 1960.
The season ended when the Chicago Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Championship Game on December 28.1961 All-Pro Team
The Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), Pro Football Illustrated (PFI), New York Daily News (NYDN), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and Sporting News (SN) were among selectors of All-Pros for the 1961 National Football League season.All-America Football Conference
The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football league that challenged the established National Football League (NFL) from 1946 to 1949. One of the NFL's most formidable challengers, the AAFC attracted many of the nation's best players, and introduced many lasting innovations to the game. However, the AAFC was ultimately unable to sustain itself in competition with the NFL. After its folding, three of its teams were admitted to the NFL: the San Francisco 49ers, the Cleveland Browns and the original Baltimore Colts (not to be confused with the later Baltimore Colts team, now the Indianapolis Colts).
The AAFC was the second American professional football league (the first being the third American Football League of 1940–1941) to have its teams play in a double round robin format in the regular season: each team had a home game and an away game with each of the other AAFC teams.
The Cleveland Browns were the AAFC's most successful club, winning every annual championship in the league's four years of operation.All-Pro
All-Pro is an honor bestowed upon professional American football players that designates the best player at each position during a given season. All-Pro players are typically selected by press organizations, who select an "All-Pro team," a list that consists of at least 22 players, one for each offensive and defensive position, plus various special teams players depending on the press organization that compiles the list. All-Pro lists are exclusively limited to the major leagues, usually only the National Football League; in the past, other leagues recognized as major, such as the American Football League of the 1960s or the All-America Football Conference of the 1940s, have been included in All-Pro lists.
Beginning in the early 1920s, All-Pro teams have traditionally been assembled from press polls of individually voting sportswriters. After polling the writers, the votes are tallied to determine the selected players and the results have historically been published through various news syndicates. Today, the teams are mostly published online or announced on various televised sports programs. Some organizations publish two All-Pro lists, a "First Team" and a "Second Team," with the first consisting of more prominent players than the second.
The Associated Press (AP) and its All-Pro selections are the most widely recognized today. Other polls include the United Press International All-Pro poll, which began in the 1940s and continued in various forms until 1997, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team, which ran from 1954 until 1996, and the Pro Football Writers Association All-Pro teams, which were inaugurated in 1966 and continue to be released annually. The NFL itself compiled official All-Pro lists beginning in 1931 but abandoned the practice in 1942.
The All-Pro designation, while not officially sanctioned by the NFL, is generally considered a more prestigious honor than the NFL's official all-star designation, a Pro Bowl recognition: a minimum of twice as many Pro Bowlers are selected as first and second team All-Pro slots combined, and Pro Bowl selections often drop out, allowing a lesser player to also receive the honor by default, which does not occur with the All-Pro list.Bert Bell
De Benneville "Bert" Bell (February 25, 1895 – October 11, 1959) was the National Football League (NFL) commissioner from 1945 until his death in 1959. As commissioner, he introduced competitive parity into the NFL to improve the league's commercial viability and promote its popularity, and he helped make the NFL the most financially sound sports enterprise and preeminent sports attraction in the United States (US). He was posthumously inducted into the charter class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bell played football at the University of Pennsylvania, where as quarterback, he led his team to an appearance in the 1917 Rose Bowl. After being drafted into the US Army during World War I, he returned to complete his collegiate career at Penn and went on to become an assistant football coach with the Quakers in the 1920s. During the Great Depression, he was an assistant coach for the Temple Owls and a co-founder and co-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.
With the Eagles, Bell led the way in cooperating with the other NFL owners to establish the National Football League Draft in order to afford the weakest teams the first opportunity to sign the best available players. He subsequently became sole proprietor of the Eagles, but the franchise suffered financially. Eventually, he sold the team and bought a share in the Pittsburgh Steelers. During World War II, Bell astutely argued against the league suspending operations until the war's conclusion.
After the war, he was elected NFL commissioner and sold his ownership in the Steelers. As commissioner, he implemented a proactive anti-gambling policy, negotiated a merger with the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), and unilaterally crafted the entire league schedule with an emphasis on enhancing the dramatic effect of late-season matches. During the Golden Age of Television, he tailored the game's rules to strengthen its appeal to mass media and enforced a policy of blacking out local broadcasts of home contests to safeguard ticket receipts. Amid criticism from franchise owners and under pressure from Congress, he unilaterally recognized the NFLPA and facilitated in the development of the first pension plan for the players. He survived to oversee the "Greatest Game Ever Played" and to envision what the league would become in the future.Bulldog Turner
Clyde Douglas "Bulldog" Turner (March 10, 1919 – October 30, 1998) was an American football player and coach. He was elected, as a player, to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1960 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966. He was also selected in 1969 to the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team.
Turner played college football as a center at Hardin–Simmons University from 1937 to 1939 and was selected as an All-American in 1939. After being selected by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1940 NFL Draft, he played professional football for the Bears, principally as a center on offense and linebacker on defense, for 13 years from 1940 to 1952. He was selected as a first-team All-Pro eight times (1940–1944, 1946–1948) and was a member of Bears teams that won NFL championships in 1940, 1941, 1943, and 1946.
After his playing career was over, Turner held assistant coaching positions with Baylor University (1953) and the Chicago Bears (1954–1957). He was the head coach of the New York Titans of the American Football League (AFL) during the 1962 AFL season.Dan Fortmann
Daniel John Fortmann (April 11, 1916 – May 23, 1995) was an American football player, coach, and team doctor. He played college football at Colgate University. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears as a guard from 1936 to 1943. He was selected as an All-Pro for seven consecutive years from 1937 to 1943. He was the Bears' team captain starting in 1940 and led the team to NFL championships in 1940, 1941, and 1943.
Fortmann was the line coach for the Pittsburgh Panthers football team in 1944 and in 1945 served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. He engaged in a medical practice in Southern California from 1946 to 1984 and was the team physician for the Los Angeles Rams from 1947 to 1963. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1983.Fred Gehrke
Clarence Fred Gehrke (April 24, 1918 – February 9, 2002) was an American football player and executive. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Cleveland / Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Cardinals from 1940 through 1950. To boost team morale, Gehrke designed and painted the Los Angeles Rams logo in 1948, which was the first painted on the helmets of an NFL team. He later served as the general manager of the Denver Broncos from 1977 through 1981. He is the great-grandfather of Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, Christian Yelich.Milan Lazetich
Milan "Sheriff" Lazetich (August 27, 1921 – July 9, 1969) was an American football player in the 1940s. He played college football for the University of Montana and University of Michigan. He was a first-team All-Big Ten tackle and second-team All-American in 1944 for the Michigan Wolverines. He later played professional football for the Cleveland Rams and Los Angeles Rams. He played on the 1945 NFL Championship team as a rookie and was an All-Pro guard/linebacker for the Rams in 1948 and 1949.Pete Pihos
Peter Louis Pihos (; October 22, 1923 – August 16, 2011) was an American football player and coach.
Pihos played college football, principally as an end and fullback, for Indiana University from 1942 to 1943 and 1945 to 1946. He was selected as a first-team All-American in 1942, 1943, and 1945. His college playing career was interrupted by service in the United States Army during World War II. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966, the first Indiana player to be so honored.
Pihos played professional football as an end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1947 to 1955. While with the Eagles, he helped the team win back-to-back NFL championships in 1948 and 1949. He was selected six times to play in the Pro Bowl (1950–1955) and six times as a first-team All-Pro (1948, 1949, 1952–1955). During his career, he was one of the NFL's leading receivers. He was named to the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team in 1969 and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
After his playing career was over, Pihos was the head football coach for National Agricultural College (later renamed Delaware Valley University) from 1956 to 1958. He also held coaching positions with Tulane University (assistant coach, 1959–1960) and the Richmond Rebels (head coach, 1964–1965).Ron Wolf
Ron Wolf (born December 30, 1938) is the former American football general manager (GM) of the National Football League's Green Bay Packers. Wolf is widely credited with bringing success to a Packers franchise that had rarely won during the two decades prior to Wolf joining the organization. He also played a significant role in personnel operations with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders from 1963 to 1975 and again from 1978 to 1990. He joined Green Bay's front office in November 1991 from a personnel director's job with the New York Jets. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August 2015.Tony Canadeo
Anthony Robert Canadeo (May 5, 1919 – November 29, 2003) was a professional American football player who played halfback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Green Bay Packers from 1941 to 1952, having missed most of the 1944 season and the entire 1945 season while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. Canadeo was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois before moving to Spokane, Washington to attend Gonzaga University. He played football for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, where he earned the nickname "Gray Ghost of Gonzaga". Drafted by the Packers in the 1941 NFL Draft, Canadeo went on to play multiple positions, including running back, quarterback, defensive back, punter, and return specialist.
Before the war, Canadeo was a triple-threat halfback for the Packers, leading the team in rushing and passing in 1943. When he returned from the war in 1946 he served primarily as a running back, and in 1949 became the third player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a season. He retired as the Packers' all-time rushing yards leader, and as of 2018 ranks fourth in franchise history in that category. Canadeo's number 3 was retired by the Packers immediately following his retirement as a player. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974. After his playing career, Canadeo worked as a color commentator for NFL on CBS, covering Packers with Ray Scott. He also was a long-time member of the Green Bay Packers, Inc. Board of Directors and Executive Committee, most notably during the Vince Lombardi era. Canadeo died in 2003 at the age of 84.Wash Serini
William Washington Serini (March 11, 1922 – June 21, 1994) was a guard in the National Football League. He played four seasons with the Chicago Bears before playing his final season with the Green Bay Packers.