Category Archives: Photo of the Week

Lombardi Artifact Unexpectedly Reappears

Lombardi jacket

I would be remiss if I did not repeat the news that a long-lost artifact of (Flying) Vince Lombardi, the ever-vigilant patron of this site, unexpectedly reappeared in a Goodwill Thrift Store in West Asherville, NC.

Yes, for only 58 cents a hipster couple from Tennessee purchased what turned out to be a jacket Lombardi wore while a coach at West Point, with “Lombardi 46” still inscribed on the tag. The Pro Football Hall of Fame asked the couple to donate the sweater for its archives — but no dice. The pair is holding out for the dough, and at auction the item could fetch as much as $20,000.

That’s the American spirit!

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“The Perfect Football Face”: Dutch Clark, Cleveland Rams Head Coach (1939-1942)

Dutch Clark

THE PERFECT FOOTBALL FACE: Dutch Clark in gladiatorial profile,1934. (Photo courtesy LIFE magazine)

Imaging missing play in an NFL Championship Game so you can tend to your offseason job — then, decades later, being inducted into the inaugural class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Lewis and Clark

LEWIS AND CLARK: Cleveland Rams head coach Dutch Clark (left) and assistant coach Art “Pappy” Lewis in 1941, probably at training camp in Berea, Ohio. (Photo courtesy Cleveland Press Archives at Cleveland State University)

Impossible, you say?

Not for Earl “Dutch” Clark.

For a time in the 1930s Clark was the highest-scoring and best-paid player in the National Football League, quarterbacking the Portsmouth Spartans and (after the team had moved to the big city) the Detroit Lions.

In December 1932 the Spartans and the Chicago Bears tied for first place, so a playoff game was arranged — indoors, at Chicago Stadium, due to inclement winter weather. No one, least of all Clark, anticipated the NFL season was going to extend an extra week. Can’t make it, Clark told Portsmouth coach Potsy Clark. Have to get back to my offseason job as head basketball coach at Colorado College. 

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Cheers! One City That Is Not Dodging Its History

imageThe Dodgers won the 1955 National League pennant (and the World Series, against the hated Yankees), then left for Los Angeles two years later. Cause for mourning, right? And for tossing the team forever down the memory hole, just for spite.

Not in Brooklyn. The borough celebrates its sporting past, warts and all, in myriad ways — including Brooklyn Brewing Company’s “Pennant Ale ’55.”

If only Cleveland would honor its Rams history in even this small way. How refreshing would that be?

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Glamour Comes to Cleveland

Waterfield and Russell
The December 17, 1945, cover date of this LIFE magazine profile of Cleveland Rams quarterback Bob Waterfield and his motion-picture starlet wife Jane Russell was propitious if not completely coincidental: Waterfield — a triple-threat quarterback, placekicker and punter — led the Rams to the NFL Championship the previous day by defeating the Washington Redskins, 15 to 14. In the background: the third-base grandstand of Cleveland’s League Park, then home of the Rams as well as the Cleveland Indians. (Photo: LIFE magazine)

 

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This Once Was an NFL Stadium, Pt. 3: League Park

League Park and Cleveland skyline

League Park and football fieldWith Cleveland’s downtown skyline on the horizon, vestiges of historic League Park and its freshly restored ticket office (above, right) are prepared for a grand reopening this summer as a public baseball facility — though with nary a mention of the pro football history that was made here.

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