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Thread: Who Am I?
Who Am I?
At 6'4" and 235 lbs, considered the first large QB in the NFL. I made my T.V. debut on Gilligan's Island.
Re: Who Am I?
Seriously, I think it was Roman Gabriel. Don't ask me why I think that, only that it seems like my dad told me that once a LONG time ago.
Re: Who Am I?
I was an NFL receiver that was selected to the Pro-Bowl only once.
I moved on from the NFL to television and the big screen.
I played the team-captain of the Chicago Bears in the movie Brian's Song.
Who Am I?
Re: Who Am I?
As you know, we have no chapter at Adams College, which is why we agreed to see you. But I must tell you, gentlemen, you have very little chance of becoming Tri-Lambdas. I'm in a difficult situation here.
I mean, after all...you're nerds.
--Bernie Casey (only this time as UN Jefferson in "Revenge of the Nerds")[SIGPIC]http://www.stickershoppe.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/MLRPANCmini.jpg[/SIGPIC]This is for Randy! GO BRM!
-01-10-2009 #7bigredman Guest
Re: Who Am I?
I was a long-time Cleveland attorney, and the real father of the Rams. The team was born in 1936 in exclusive Waite Hill, a suburb east of Cleveland.
"A friend of mine, Paul Thurlow, who owned the Boston Shamrocks, called me. He said a new football league was being formed. It was to be called the American Football League. He said a fellow named Buzz Wetzel, an AlI-America back from Ohio State who had played for the Chicago Bears, was trying to put together a team for Cleveland and his effort was faltering. He needed financial support.
"I never had seen a pro game and was something less than enthusiastic. But I told Wetzel and Thurlow to visit me at my home. I asked some others from Waite Hill to be there too – Dan Hanna, who was publisher of the Cleveland News, John Hadden, the attorney, Ed Bruch and Bill Otis.
"The result was our formation of a group to back the team. We invited Bill Reynolds, Dave Inglis, Bob Gries, Dean Francis, John F. Patt, Burke Paterson and a few others, all prominent Clevelanders. Each put up $1,000 and Hanna and I put up somewhat more. I can’t recall the exact amount.
"Buzz was to run the show, serve as coach and player, too. One day, Buzz said, ‘Now we’ve got to come up with a name.’ Reporters from the Plain Dealer and Press were there. I asked the newspapermen for their advice. They agreed it should be a short name, ‘One that would easily fit into a headline,’ they said.
"Fordham was a big football school at the time and its nickname was the Rams. One of the writers suggested we use Rams, too. I said to Buzz, ‘We can’t get one shorter than that.’ That settled it. We became the Rams."
The Rams played seven games in its birth year and won five. Not bad. But nobody cared, even if the name was a joy for the headline writers. The Rams played to empty seats. The new American Football League made no impact on the local fans, or fans elsewhere for that matter. To them, there was only one pro league – the established National Football League.
"At the end of the season, Dan Hanna and I had lunch downtown at the Union Club. He talked about plans for the 1937 season for the Rams.
"’Count me out,’ I said. ‘The American League is a failure.’
"Dan said, ‘Do you think we can get into the National Football League?’
"We decided to call Joe Carr, the president of the NFL. Cleveland had been in the league some years earlier. He came to Cleveland and encouraged us to apply. He said the league was going to add one team.
"So in December, 1936, I went to the NFL meeting in Chicago and made my presentation. They told me to sit down and wait. Next, a man from Houston made his presentation. They thanked him and told him to leave. I thought that was very impolite since I was allowed to remain. Next, a man from Los Angeles made a pitch for Los Angeles. They excused him, too. I couldn’t understand it, because their presentations were every bit as good as mine.
"As soon as the two others had left the room, George Preston Marshall (owner of the Washington Redskins) jumped up and said, ‘I move we give it to Cleveland.’ Everybody agreed. It was set up. They had decided on us in advance. They wanted to keep the teams in the east and midwest.
"They asked me, ‘Are you prepared to pay for the franchise? You’ve got to pay right now if you want it.’ The amount was $10,000. This was on a Friday and I didn’t have that much money. This was depression time, you know. I had $7,000 in the bank.
"But I said, ‘Sure,’ and wrote out a check for $10,000. I hurried back to Cleveland, got $5,000 from Hanna, took $5,000 from my savings and rushed to the bank Monday morning to cover the check."
And so, the Cleveland Rams were born again – officially in the National Football League for the first time. The Rams had a few holdover players from 1936 and 10 from the college draft. The league had made the selections for the "new team" before the franchise e had been awarded. The first choice was a fullback from Purdue, Johnny Drake.
"We signed our No. 1 draft choice for $275 a game," I recall. "He turned out to be Rookie of the Year and people later said to me, ‘You’re a smart man. You sure know football talent.’ I had nothing to do with the draft. But I smiled and looked wise."
Wetzel remained as general manager and Hugo Bezdek was hired as coach on the recommendation of Bert Bell (owner of the Philadelphia team, who later became president of the NFL). Bob Snyder, an established pro, was signed. (The trouble with mentioning some names is that those readers with sharp memories might ask, "Why didn’t you mention so-and-so?" Since all can’t be listed, the rest of that first Rams’ team in the NFL shall remain nameless. And perhaps it’s for the best.)
The squad began workouts at Lake Erie College in Painesville. The Rams had an 11-game schedule, opening with the Detroit Lions at the Stadium the night of Sept. 10. Their remaining four home games were played at League Park.
Here is how John Dietrich, the Plain Dealer sports writer, began his story of the opening game:
"From the murky depths of the Stadium (the lights were poor at the time), a drizzling rain glistening from their shiny new uniforms, the Cleveland Rams, newcomers to the National Football League, took a good, long look at what lies ahead. The outlook is somewhat fearful. Before 20,000 … the Rams went down before the Detroit Lions, 28-0."
The following week, Gordon Cobbledick, a writer from Philadelphia, had a brighter report:
"The doleful guessers who predicted that the Cleveland Rams would be lucky to win one game this year were thoroughly confounded tonight when the grizzled Hugo Bezdek’s pupils charged to a 21-3 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles before a crowd of 11,376 in the great Philadelphia Municipal Stadium.
"Uncovering a sensational aerial battery in Bob Snyder, former Ohio University flash, and Johnny Drake, Purdue’s foremost gift to Cleveland professional football, the Rams took charge of the game in the second period and never relinquished their command for a minute."
But the "doleful guessers" proved to be right. That was the only game the Rams won. The Rams’ home attendance averaged 8,900 for the season. Top ticket price was $2.20, including tax.
"A local charity took over our last game of the year," I recall. "We were to play Sammy Baugh and his Redskins at League Park. There was a big snow and almost nobody showed up except the players."
For 1938 the Rams scheduled their early games at Shaw Stadium and the remaining ones at League Park. The Stadium was too big and the rent too high. When the season started with three successive losses, me and my fellow partners met at the Union Club. Something had to be done. First, Wetzel was fired. Then Bezdek. Art (Pappy) Lewis, the regular guard who also served as Bezdek’s assistant, was elevated to "temporary" head coach. Under Lewis the Rams won their next game, beating the Lions at Shaw Field and finishing 4-7 for the season for a fourth-place slot in the five-team Western Division. Attendance remained low.
Despite the improvement under Pappy Lewis, it was decided a "name" coach was needed. Earl (Dutch) Clark, an experienced coach who had been a fine pro quarterback, was named to run the team in 1939. More importantly, the Rams began to acquire better players. Parker Hall was signed as quarterback and Jim Benton as an end. Benton, aIthough slow, had great moves and even better hands. Hall and Benton became an outstanding passing combination.
With the better players the optimistic owners moved the games to the Stadium. The team finished 5-5 and attendance improved somewhat. The owners were so delighted they made Clark a vice president and director of the club as well as coach. Next season the team dropped to 4-6.
In 1941, Dan Reeves, 29, a former athlete who had been associated with his father in a successful New York grocery chain, offered to buy the club. I got his partners together. There were about 23, as I recall. "We had been paying ‘Irish dividends’ each year,". "That’s an expression meaning we lost money. Not much, but a few thousand every season. We had to keep adding partners at $1,000 each and Hanna and I would loan the club $1,000 every so often, just to keep afloat. When Reeves offered us $135,000 for the franchise, everybody said ‘grab it.’ It meant a small profit for each of us." Now Dan Reeves had the Rams.
Who am I?
Last edited by bigredman; -01-10-2009 at 06:02 PM.
-01-10-2009 #8AlphaRam Guest
Re: Who Am I?
-01-11-2009 #9bigredman Guest
Re: Who Am I?
You win you little Princess you!!!