Early NFL Players Tackle Off-Season Jobs

Before the television era of professional football, which certainly changed the financial outlook of the National Football League, most players still needed to work at some other profession, often both during and after the football season. In 1941, the Chicago Tribune reported that “Twenty-seven percent of the young men under contract to teams in the National Football … Read more

The Story of Ernie Nevers’ First Pro Football Game

Fans of football history usually find the name of Ernie Nevers to be a familiar one. Maybe not a household word in 2021, but certainly one that ripples with respect with the knowledge that Nevers was one of the all-time greats in the National Football League. And yet, his entrance into the world of pro football … Read more

From Okinawa to Wrigley Field: WWII Vets Outflank Halas!

As we celebrate our first anniversary of “When Football Was Football” on the Sports History Network, we can look back at a wide variety of episodes from the golden days of football in the Chicago area. While we’ve covered topics such as the first-ever indoor football games held in Chicago, the individual heroics of players … Read more

Marshall Goldberg: From the Dream Backfield to First Defensive Specialist

Cardinals’ legend Marshall Goldberg was in the news recently when newly acquired defensive standout J.J. Watt asked to wear #99 for the Cardinals this season. The only problem was that this esteemed jersey number has been “retired” by the team since before the 1951 season in honor of Mr. Goldberg’s playing career. Watt has since … Read more