The NFL has been around for 90 years, but few football fans in 2010 have much of an idea of what the league was like in the pre-World War II days. That’s why this newspaper page from 1940 is such a great find.
As Paul Lukas of ESPN.com notes, it’s a rare full-color look at the uniforms of the day, with the Packers in navy blue and the Giants in bright red. We’ve all seen those uniforms as throwbacks, but it’s fun to see what the players of the day actually looked like while wearing them.
And to my way of thinking, it’s even more fun to read what a newspaper was saying about the NFL at the time.
“Coming into its own after years of struggle, professional football has carved itself a solid niche in the affections of American sports lovers,” the newspaper insert begins. “The action in the pro games, the power of the defense, the variety and adroitness of attack displayed by football’s greatest stars who’ve served glamorous apprenticeships on college gridirons, provide fans with new high standards of athletic performance.”
A blurb on Perry Schwartz notes that “Off-season, Perry, now 24, runs a farm in Mendocino County, Cal.”
The item on Davey O’Brien says he’s 5-foot-7 and 147 pounds and that he set a new record by “completing 21 aerials in a single game.”
Andy Farkas is described as “the shiftiest, hardest-running back in pro football, this former University of Detroit Ace. They call him Anvil Andy and Muscles because this 5-foot-10, 190-pound husky really pounds along when he lugs the leather.”
Of Cecil Isbell, we’re told, “He does everything well, but his forward passing is something the fans rave about — and so do his appreciative teammates on the champion Green Bay Packers.”
It’s fun stuff. Take a look.