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These Were the Men Who Played for Love of Game

November 07, 1987

In 1926, the Duluth Eskimos, a professional football team, played in 29 cities in 112 days. Ernie Nevers, newly signed by Duluth, played all but 27 minutes in this impossible schedule. Team rosters were limited to 18 players. In most cases, players were paid out of gate receipts which were collected by passing the hat among spectators.

These were football players. No weight room, no guaranteed payments, no agents, no bonuses, no union, no pension, no drugs, no steroids and no strikes.

Where are the men of that stamp today? Where are the Pottsville Maroons, the Muncie Flyers, the Columbus Tigers, the Portsmouth Spartans and the Canton Bulldogs? Where are Johnny Blood, Father Lumpkin, Shorty Long, Jim Thorpe and Pete Calac?

There were truly men who played football for the love of the game. They did it without driving Porsches and Ferraris, and never complained about how poorly they were treated as do the crybabies of today who call themselves football players.

J.T. HUNTER

Los Angeles

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