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.
|Born:||May 5, 1919|
|Died:||November 29, 2003 (aged 84)|
Green Bay, Wisconsin
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Chicago (IL) Steinmetz|
|NFL Draft:||1941 / Round: 9 / Pick: 77|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Tony Canadeo attended Charles P. Steinmetz Academic Centre, formerly known as Steinmetz High School, a public four-year high school located in Chicago's Belmont Cragin neighborhood.
Canadeo played college football at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he was first known as the "Gray Ghost of Gonzaga," due to his prematurely graying hair. Canadeo, of Italian ancestry, was named an "outstanding Italian American athlete" for 1939 by the National Italian American Civic League. Others honored included Joe DiMaggio of Major League Baseball and golfer Gene Sarazen. As a senior Canadeo starred in Gonzaga's 13–7 upset win over the heavily favored University of Detroit. The University dropped the football program in 1941, so he was the last Gonzaga alumni to play pro football. He also boxed for the Bulldogs during his senior year, and was named team captain.
Canadeo was not particularly fast or elusive, and was smaller than average NFL players even for his time. However, he was a determined and tenacious player. Contemporary Jim Benton called him one of the three toughest players to tackle, alongside Frank Sinkwich and Steve Van Buren. He was also versatile, playing multiple positions on offense, defense, and special teams. This versatility caused Green Bay Packers head coach Curly Lambeau to take notice, despite Gonzaga being a smaller college.
Canadeo was selected by the Packers in the ninth round with the 77th overall pick of the 1941 NFL Draft, held in December 1940. By August 13, Canadeo was one of only seven players to sign a contract with the team out of the twenty Green Bay had drafted. Most of the remaining unsigned players either joined the military or chose not to play professional football. Lambeau looked to use Canadeo to bolster a backfield that included aging stars Clarke Hinkle and Arnie Herber. Before the season, Canadeo competed with Herber and Cecil Isbell for the starting quarterback role. He starred in an exhibition game against the New York Giants, as he and Frank Balasz led a scoring march through a muddy field in the third quarter.
Herber was waived by the Packers at the end of training camp and Isbell became the Packers' quarterback, while Canadeo had a reserve role in the offense during his rookie season. That season, he played in the first ever NFL playoff game, in which he picked up seven yards on five carries as the Packers lost 33–14 to the eventual NFL champion Chicago Bears. As a backup to Isbell in 1942, Canadeo passed for 310 yards and rushed for 272 more. One of his three touchdown passes was a toss to receiver Don Hutson from one inch away from the goal line. When scolded by one of his coaches for passing so close to the goal line, Canadeo quipped, "Cecil Isbell tossed a four-incher not long ago for a record and I wanted to beat it – you don't get an opportunity like that very often."
In 1943, Isbell quit his playing career to coach for Purdue University, his alma mater. Canadeo took over for Isbell at tailback and led the Packers that season in both rushing and passing yards. He gained 489 yards and three touchdowns on 94 carries, had 875 passing yards and nine touchdowns, and scored two touchdowns as a receiver. He and Harry Clarke of the Bears battled for the rushing title late in the season, but Canadeo ultimately finished fifth in the league in yardage. After the season, he was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.
Canadeo's honorable discharge from the navy in August 1943 had allowed him to play for the Packers that season. However, he played in only three games during the 1944 season, missing the team's victory in the 1944 NFL Championship Game due to service in World War II. During the war, he first served in the U.S. Navy, then joined the U.S. Army and missed all of the 1945 season.
Canadeo returned in 1946, and in February he and several other Packers players received offers to play in the All-America Football Conference, a rival league to the NFL. He turned down the offer and during the season became Green Bay's primary running back. He remained in that position for the next four seasons while still occasionally passing the ball. He led the Packers in rushing yards in each of those four seasons. In 1948 he was named a second-team All-Pro by United Press International and Pro Football Illustrated.
Canadeo became the first Packers player and the third player ever in the NFL to rush for 1,000 yards in a season when he rushed for 1,052 yards in 1949. However, he failed to win the rushing title, as Steve Van Buren of the Eagles claimed it with a record 1,146 yards. The two running backs ran a close race for the rushing yards lead throughout the season, with Canadeo leading for much of it. With three games to play, Canadeo was ahead of Van Buren 831 yards to 792. Van Buren's 205 yards against the Steelers the next game to put him ahead for good. Despite Canadeo's output the Packers struggled to a 2–10 (.167) record.
Sharing running back duties with Billy Grimes in 1950, Canadeo finished fourth on the team in rushing yards, but scored four touchdowns. Grimes, who led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns, was quick to give Canadeo credit. "Tony Canadeo is one of the toughest players I ever played with," he said. "He did a lot of blocking for me, and that helped me a lot."
Canadeo's production and carries dropped over his final two seasons, but in 1951 he caught a career-high 22 passes. He retired after the 1952 season, having carried 1,025 times for 4,197 yards and 26 touchdowns in his career. His carries and rushing yards totals were Packers records at the time, and as of 2016 he ranks fourth all-time for the franchise in rushing yards. He also passed for 1,642 yards and sixteen touchdowns, and caught 69 passes for 579 yards and five more scores. In addition to his accomplishments on offense, Canadeo recorded nine career interceptions on defense, and before the war was the team's primary punter.
|1945||GNB||Did not play due to service in World War II|
|Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com |
|Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com |
Sportswriter Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said of Canadeo in 2003, "Of all the players, coaches, and executives who left an imprint on the Packers organization, none did it for longer than the affable Canadeo." Canadeo is one of six Green Bay Packers to have his number retired by the team. His number (3) was retired immediately after he left the NFL in 1952, preceded by Don Hutson (14) in 1951 and followed by Bart Starr (15) in 1973, Ray Nitschke (66) in 1983, Reggie White (92) in 2005, and Brett Favre (4) in 2015. In 1961, kicker Ben Agajanian, who played only three games for the Packers, wore Canadeo's No. 3 after being assigned it by mistake.
The Helms Athletic Foundation named Canadeo to its football hall of fame in 1957. He joined former teammates Clarke Hinkle, Arnie Herber, and Don Hutson. In 1973, he was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
Canadeo was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974, which he described as a dream come true. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the same year, the first player from Gonzaga to be so honored, edging Ray Flaherty by two years. He remains the only player from the 1941 draft class inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Two years before his induction in Canton, Canadeo received a kidney transplant, which was donated by his son Robert. Robert played football for the University of Colorado in the 1960s.
After his playing career, Canadeo continued his association with the Packers as a television analyst—calling the team's games with Ray Scott on CBS in the 1960s—and a member of the organization's executive committee. He remained listed as one of the directors emeritus until his death in 2003. He worked as a sales representative in Green Bay for Whittaker Metals during the 1970s. Canadeo and his wife, Ruth, married in 1943 during the football season. The Packers lost the following game, causing coach Lambeau to say there would never be another wedding during the season. Canadeo and Ruth remained together until his death in Green Bay in 2003 at the age of 84.
The 1939 Gonzaga Bulldogs football team was an American football team that represented Gonzaga University during the 1939 college football season. In their first year under head coach Puggy Hunton, the Bulldogs compiled a 6–2 record, shut out five of their last six opponents, and outscored all opponents by a total of 100 to 45. Among its victories, Gonzaga defeated two Pacific Coast Conference teams, including an undefeated Oregon team that was ranked No. 11 prior to the game.The team was led by backfield star Tony Canadeo who later played 11 seasons for the Green Bay Packers and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.1940 Gonzaga Bulldogs football team
The 1940 Gonzaga Bulldogs football team was an American football team that represented Gonzaga University during the 1940 college football season. In their second year under head coach Puggy Hunton, the Bulldogs compiled a 5–4–1 record and outscored their opponents by a total of 133 to 79.Senior halfback Tony Canadeo was the star of Gonzaga's 1940 team. He later played 11 seasons for the Green Bay Packers and was inducted in 1974 into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.1941 NFL Draft
The 1941 National Football League Draft was held on December 10, 1940, at the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C.1949 All-Pro Team
The 1949 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 1949 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), and the New York Daily News.Bob Monnett
Robert C. Monnett (February 27, 1910 – August 2, 1978) was a professional American football player who played halfback for six seasons for the Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1973.Charley Brock
Charles Jacob "Charley" Brock (March 15, 1916 – May 25, 1987) was an American football center and linebacker.Charlie Mathys
Charles Peter "Charlie" Mathys (June 20, 1897 – January 18, 1983) was an American professional football player. He played running back for one season (1920-1921) for the Hammond Pros and Quarterback, Kicker, and Punt Returner for five seasons (1922-1926) for the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League.Gerry Ellis
Gerry Ellis (born November 12, 1957
in Columbia, Missouri) is a former professional American football player who played running back for seven seasons for the Green Bay Packers.Gonzaga Bulldogs football
The Gonzaga Bulldogs football team represented Gonzaga University in the sport of college football. Gonzaga last fielded a varsity football team 78 years ago in 1941. From 1892–1941 (excluding having no teams from 1894–1895 & 1900–1906), Gonzaga went 129–99–20.
Like many colleges, the football program went on hiatus during World War II (in April 1942), but after the war the administration decided not to resume it. The program had been in financial difficulty prior to the war.GU's most notable football player was running back Tony Canadeo (1919–2003) from Chicago, who played in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers from 1941 to 1952 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974. Ray Flaherty joined him as a hall of famer (as a head coach) in 1976. Flaherty was a Gonzaga teammate of Hust Stockton, a noted halfback in the 1920s (and the paternal grandfather of basketball star John Stockton). Their head coach at Gonzaga was Gus Dorais, who threw to college teammate Knute Rockne at Notre Dame in 1913.
The Gonzaga football stadium, built in 1922, was used for city high school football until it was deemed unsafe by the city after the 1947 season. The white-painted wooden venue hosted a professional preseason game in 1946 under the lights, between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers of the new All-America Football Conference. High school football moved to Ferris Field in 1948 and to the new Memorial Stadium in 1950, renamed for Gonzaga alumnus Joe Albi in 1962. The Gonzaga Stadium football field is now occupied by the Foley Center Library (1992) and its Foley Lawn.Gonzaga–Idaho football rivalry
The Gonzaga–Idaho rivalry was the football game between Gonzaga University and the University of Idaho. The respective campuses, in Spokane, Washington, and Moscow, Idaho, are approximately ninety miles (145 km) apart.
The football teams met 28 times from 1910 to 1941 and Idaho held a slight advantage at 16–10–2 (.607). For the last twenty meetings, from 1921 on, the rivalry was exactly even at 9–9–2 (.500), and the final ten were split at five wins each. They did not meet in 1912, 1917, or 1926, and Idaho did not have a varsity team in 1918. Idaho joined the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) in 1922, while Gonzaga remained independent.
Gonzaga's dominating wins in 1939 and 1940, both shutouts, were led by halfback Tony Canadeo, a future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With Canadeo in the NFL, Idaho rebounded in 1941 to win 21–7 in Spokane in what was the final game in the series.
During World War II, Gonzaga did not field a team after 1941, while Idaho played in 1942 and went on hiatus in September 1943. After the war, Idaho resumed football for the 1945 season, but Gonzaga opted not to, as its program had been in financial difficulty before the war.Hank Bruder
Henry George "Hank" Bruder Jr. (November 22, 1907 – June 29, 1970) was an American football player in the National Football League. He played nine years with the Green Bay Packers from 1931 to 1939 and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1972. Bruder attended Northwestern University, where he was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.He was part of the offensive line that blocked for Pro Football Hall of Fame back Johnny "Blood" McNally.Irv Comp
Irving Henry Comp Jr. (May 17, 1919 - July 11, 1989) was an American football player. He played his entire seven-year National Football League (NFL) career with the Green Bay Packers and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1986. Comp holds the record for the packers most interceptions in a season of 10 in 1943.
Born in the Bay View section of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Comp had sight in only one eye. He attended college and played college football at Benedictine College, then known as St. Benedict's College. He graduated in 1942, and became a member of the Ravens Hall of Fame in 1988.Comp was drafted in the third round with the 23rd pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1943 NFL Draft.List of Green Bay Packers players
The following is a list of notable past or present players of the Green Bay Packers professional American football team.List of Green Bay Packers retired numbers
The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Since their founding in 1919, over 1,600 players, including 30 Pro Football Hall of Famers have played for the team. Of those 30, 6 players have had their uniform numbers officially retired by the organization. Professional sports franchises, including the Packers, retire uniform numbers to recognize the contributions that a player has made towards the team. It is customary that after the uniform number is retired, it is no longer worn by future players with that team. These uniform numbers are usually prominently displayed within the team's arena or stadium. In the case of the Green Bay Packers, the retired numbers are displayed above the box seats in the north end zone of Lambeau Field.The first number retired by a team in a professional sport was ice hockey player Ace Bailey, whose No. 6 was retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1934. The retirement of jersey numbers has spread to all major sports since then, including baseball, cricket, ice hockey, basketball, American football, and association football. There is no formal process for retiring jersey numbers; the criteria for and necessity of doing so are left up to each team. Some teams have even retired numbers to honor their fans, such as the Twelfth Man or the Sixth Man, and to honor the victims of tragedies, like when the No. 58 was retired by the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team to honor the 58 people killed in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.List of Green Bay Packers starting quarterbacks
The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) and are the third-oldest franchise in the National Football League (NFL). The club was founded in 1919 by coach, player, and future Hall of Fame inductee Curly Lambeau and sports and telegraph editor George Whitney Calhoun. The Packers competed against local teams for two seasons before entering the NFL in 1921.
The Packers have had 46 starting quarterbacks (QB) in the history of their franchise. The Packers' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Curly Lambeau, Tony Canadeo, Arnie Herber, Bart Starr and Brett Favre. The team's first starting quarterback was Norm Barry, while the longest serving was Brett Favre. The Packers' starting quarterback for the 2018 season was Aaron Rodgers, who was playing in his 14th season in the NFL.
They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Packers.List of NFL on CBS commentator pairings
CBS Sports began televising National Football League games in 1956. The network inherited the rights to games of most of the teams from the defunct DuMont Television Network; back then, each NFL team negotiated its own television deal. From 1956 to 1967, CBS assigned their commentating crews to one team each for the entire season. Beginning in 1968, CBS instituted a semi-merit system for their commentating crews. Following the 1993 season, there was no NFL on CBS after the network lost its half of the Sunday afternoon TV package (the National Football Conference) to the Fox Broadcasting Company. However, CBS gained the American Football Conference package from NBC beginning in 1998. The names of the play-by-play men are listed first while the color commentators are listed second; sideline reporters, when used, are listed last.Lynn Dickey
Clifford Lynn Dickey (born October 19, 1949) is a retired National Football League quarterback, who played for the Houston Oilers and the Green Bay Packers in the 1970s and 1980s.Ray Scott (sportscaster)
Ray Scott (June 17, 1919 – March 23, 1998) was an American sportscaster, best known for his broadcasts for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. His brother Hal Scott was also a sportscaster.Red Dunn
Joseph Aloysius "Red" Dunn (June 21, 1901 – January 15, 1957) was a professional American football player who played running back and was an exceptional punter for eight seasons for the Milwaukee Badgers, Chicago Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1976. He is the grandfather of former quarterback Jason Gesser.
Nicknamed "Red" for the color of his hair, Dunn possessed an equally colorful personality. He earned five letters competing in football, basketball and baseball at Marquette Academy. Dunn later attended Marquette University, earning All-America honors while leading the Golden Avalanche in 1922 and 1923 to a 17–0–1 record. While a Packer, he served as Curly Lambeau's "field general" for the 1929, 1930, and 1931 NFL Champions.
After this playing days Dunn moved to coaching, assisting Frank Murray and Paddy Driscoll at Marquette from 1932 to 1940. Dunn is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.
Tony Canadeo—championships, awards, and honors