do you call an NFL team with a starting center
deaf in one ear, the
starting end blind in one eye and the starting
halfback has bleeding
ulcers? The Steagles. You cheated, didn’t you?
No? You just looked up
at the headline and made an educated guess?
Good for you.
Well, yeah, the Steagles, a
1943 team made by
combining the Pittsburg Steelers and the
Philadelphia Eagles who,
according to author Matthew Algeo, may
have saved the NFL.
Yes, every time I watch NFL
football I thank the
Steagles. If Art Rooney had not volunteered to
lend his Steeler players
to join the Eagles there would not have been
enough teams to field a
league. The other option was to cancel the
season and as Matthew Algeo
says in his book “Last Team Standing” a
competing league, the
All-American Football Conference, emerged in
1946 which may have been
the death knell to the NFL had they blown off
the 1943 and 1944
Last Sunday the Steelers
played the Eagles in the
roughest game of the year. Pittsburg’s
quarterback sacked eight times,
said to have the Roethlisberger knocked out of
him. Donovan McNabb was
harassed so much even Rush Limbaugh felt sorry
for him. Yeah, these
guys hate each other.
Hard to imagine them
teaming up except it was WWII
and six hundred NFL players either drafted or
joined the military. With
the rest of us working 48-hour-weeks and
needing a Sunday diversion
guys with one eye and one good ear and flat
feet gave us a ten-team,
ten-game season. But enough of a season the
Steagles set an attendance
Their thirty player roster
included guys like Jack
Hinkle, who came within one yard of leading
the league in rushing, Bill
Hewitt (an NFL Hall-of-famer) and Allie
Sherman. Most were two way
players, some played four positions. The
team came within one
game of winning their division.
By the way, in 1944 Rooney
again lent his to combine
with another team, the Chicago Cardinals to
make the Card-Pitts.
Unfortunately teams walked all over them, to
where they went 0-10 and
became known as the Car-Pets.
I like the concept of
combining teams in times
of need. Today, if a war or national emergency
occurs I can see
combining teams from the same state. In Ohio
it would be the Browns and
the Bengals to make the Brown-Gals.
After all, Paul Brown created both teams.
And what a cheerleading squad they could have
made up mostly of ….
In New York they’d be the Giant-Jets
with blue and green colors. Their logo would
be a 787 or some other giant jet.
In Northern California,
Oakland and San Francisco make up the Forty-Nine-Raiders,
pirates who prospect for gold… miners with eye
In Texas, Houston and
Dallas combine as the Cowboy-Texans
with their logo to be cow horns with stars on
the tips. Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders uniforms
to change… not one wit.
In Florida, Tampa Bay and
Miami get together for the Buccan-olphins.
Again with the pirates only this time the eye
patch is on a dolphin.