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: 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.