This is hilarious. From Starlog Magazine January 1977 issue, which probably had a newstand date of November 1976. Perhaps the first mention of Star Wars in Starlog. A second article says the release date was being pushed back to late 1977. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. ST was the perfect summer movie.
Hurricane Express 1932 Classic Movie Serial from 1932 starring a 25 year old John Wayne. Epic length nearly four hours. When his father is killed in a train wreck, Larry Baker (John Wayne) vows to unmask a mysterious criminal called “The Wrecker,” who has targeted the L&M Railroad for deadly” accidents.
The Three Musketeers 1933 Tom Wayne, played by John Wayne, rescues Clancy, Renard and Schmidt in the Arabian desert and they join him in going after El Shaitan, a bad guy who is never seen as he tries to wipe out the Foreign Legion. Look for Lon Chaney Jr. and Noah Beery Jr. in the supporting cast.
Shadow of the Eagle 1932 The Eagle uses sky writing to make threats against a corporation. Nathan Gregory owns a traveling fairground and is thought to be the Eagle. Craig McCoy (John Wayne) is a pilot who goes looking for the Eagle when Gregory turns up missing.
These movies are in the Public Domain
Eddie Lacey is gone to Seattle. What a shame. In another era, Eddie would have been a Packer for life with a shot at becoming one of the team’s all-time leading rushers. Congrats to him for landing a decent contract in Seattle. It was almost inevitable that GM Ted Thompson would not resign him after the ankle injury last season. But at the same time, one of the top organizations in the NFL has confidence in his recovery and durability.
Eddie departs Green Bay as the tenth leading rusher in team history in only four seasons. Only Ahman Green and John Brockington had more 1,000 yard seasons. One more year would likely have seen him move into fourth place on the all-time Packer rushing list behind only Green, Jim Taylor and Brockington. Oddly, there seems to be a ceiling in Green Bay in that only five rushers in team history have topped 4,000 career rushing yards. Eighties rushing leader Gerry Ellis retired after seven seasons with 3,826 and Hall Of Famers Clark Hinkle with 3,860 and Paul Hornung 3,711 to name only two others who were stopped short of the mark. Other standouts who plateaued below 4,000 include Donny Anderson, Eddie Lee Ivery and current Offensive Coordinator Edgar Bennett who was part of the 96 Super Bowl team. Overlooked is the fact that Aaron Rodgers has been steadily moving up the list and is now at number 14 with 2,544 yards. He may be the next Packer to top 4,000 yards rushing.
On the other hand, fifteen Packers have topped 4,000 yards receiving. Despite the classic image of the Packers as a run happy team from the Lombardi and Dan Devine eras, the passing game has usually taken precedence in Green Bay.
Anyway, good luck to Eddie. We wish him well and wish he could’ve remained a Packer for life, but that’s not how today’s NFL works. The players benefit, and rightfully so, from free agency, but it’s tough to see a guy like Eddie head down the road to a conference rival.
It’s the cult of Lombardi. When writers talk about the men who played in Green Bay from 1959 to 67, they’re usually cast as supporting players in the life of Vince Lombardi with the asterisk that all of their success as professional football players and after was due to their association with the legendary coach, to which the players themselves would readily agree. But Lombardi himself would not be happy with this distorted history. He knew that once his men took the field, it was all on them. He prepared them, physically and emotionally, but the men on the field won the games and they continued winning after they left Green Bay.
We’ve all heard the stories of Bart Starr and Paul Hornung, Jerry Kramer, Forrest Gregg, Willie Davis. Among the accomplishments of just those few are bestselling author, Super Bowl Head Coach and board member of MGM Studios. But there were 108 men who played football for Vince Lombardi and each one of them contributed to the success that built the legend of St. Vincent and the Green Bay Packers. This book attempts to tell the story of all of those men. Among them are physicians, attorneys, nuclear engineers and a federal marshal. Two ended up homeless and battling to recover their lives.
Vince Lombardi has been the subject of dozens of books, but until now, no author has undertaken the mammoth project of tracking every player who took the field for him in Green Bay or written the narrative drama of every season game by game.
Stanton Greene has followed and written about the Green Bay Packers for five decades. He is the author of The Green Bay Packers The Dan Devine Years 1971-1974 and Brett Favre – Hall Of Fame A Game By Game Chronicle Of A Green Bay Packers Legend, also available on Kindle.
Jeff Pearlman’s book may have all the dirt, but this book has all the numbers. For the football purist, every touchdown, every game. Relive the glory and the excitement as Brett and the Packers battled from last place to the Super Bowl. In honor of Brett Favre’s election to the NFL Hall Of Fame, this is the first book to cover his entire career, chronicling his record breaking rise to the top of the National Football League. Every one of the 277 games Favre played as a Packer is here in statistical detail, set in a fast paced narrative that takes you back to the rise of the Packers from worst in the league to Super Bowl Champions. Included are all the epic games, from the first come from behind victory versus the Bengals in 1992, through Super Bowls 31 and 32, the Irvin Favre Game, the 2003 playoffs Fourth and 26 and the final overtime battle to the finish against the New York Giants on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in January 2008.
If you love the down and dirty numbers of football, this is your book. A fantasy football fanatic’s bible, covering more than 300 games, the complete statistical guide to Brett Favre’s amazing career.
Stanton Greene, popular sportswriter and author of The Green Bay Packers The Dan Devine Years 1971-1974, is back with another book on his favorite subject, the Green Bay Packers. Brett Favre – Hall Of Fame A Game By Game Chronicle Of A Green Bay Packers Legend is a must read for pro football fans.
Volumes have been written about the Green Bay Packers detailing virtually every aspect of their storied history except one, the two decades of folly that lay between the legendary reign of Vince Lombardi and their resurgence in the 1990s under Mike Holmgren and Ron Wolf. The most pivotal of those years were the four presided over by college football Hall Of Fame Coach Dan Devine. During those years, the Packers won what would be their only division title between 1968 and 1994. Their decline from that pinnacle was so inexplicable and precipitous that it has defied pundits for four decades, engendering a mythology in Green Bay that has defamed a brilliant coach.
In his time, Dan Devine was a lightning rod for opinion, generating either intense loyalty or extreme loathing. Some have called him the worst coach in Packer history, but his record belies that. He turned around one of the sorriest teams in professional football in a single season, earning NFC Coach Of The Year honors in 1972. But by the end of 1974, Devine had so polarized the Packers that a group of players had mutinied and threatened to try and forfeit the season closer. Even legendary quarterback Bart Starr had gotten in on the intrigue as he maneuvered to take over the Packers.
Devine also pulled the trigger on perhaps the worst trade in NFL history, giving up five top draft choices to the Los Angeles Rams for a sore armed 34 year old quarterback. Little remembered is his equally brilliant dealing which brought NFL Hall Of Fame linebacker Ted Hendricks to the Packers that same year.
In Green Bay, Dan Devine has become the cherished whipping boy of a generation, while even a hint that several Packer icons may have employed less than stellar tactics in plotting to remove him can create a firestorm of opinion. In fact, it’s the ugliest episode in Packer history and that’s saying a lot in light of what happened in the 1980s. Buy it and make up your own mind. It’s not a pretty picture.
Using contemporary sources, the author has pulled together a never before told tale of glory, ineptitude and intrigue that will shed new light on Devine’s tumultuous years in Green Bay. Plus a myriad of facts, trivia and statistics including a full analysis of every regular and preseason season game from 1971 to 1974. A must read for Packer fans.
John Ralston and Dan Devine’s career arcs in the NFL were almost identical. Both were Head Coach and General Manager, both had their greatest success in their second season on the job and both faced player rebellions that helped ouster them during their final seasons. Devine coached in Green Bay from 1971 to 74, Ralston in Denver from 1972 to 76. The difference was, Devine left behind an aging, disorganized team, while Ralston left behind a rebuilt organization both on and off the field that went to the Super Bowl for the first time the following season. The foundation of today’s Denver Broncos was laid by John Ralston in the mid-seventies.
Before Ralston, the Broncos had never posted a winning season in twelve years, winning no more than five games in a season for ten consecutive years, including Ralston’s rookie year in the NFL. But in 1973, he led a ragtag Broncos squad to within one score of upsetting the Oakland Raiders for the AFC West Division Title at 7-5-2. The team slipped backwards in 1974, still competitive, but at 7-6-1 far behind the dominate Raiders who finished 12-2. They fell further in 1975 to 6-8, but rebounded to 9-5 in 1976, but again, well behind the 13-1 Raiders.
Like Devine, Ralston’s undoing was at the quarterback position. A trade before his first season in 1972 acquired veteran Charley Johnson, who had led the Cardinals to several winning seasons before giving way to Jim Hart. Thought to be washed up, Ralston stole Johnson from the Oilers for a third round draft choice. Johnson was a team leader and chief architect of the 73 squad. But hobbled by bad knees, Johnson had lost his effectiveness by 1975 and retired, leaving Ralston with Steve Ramsey, who he had inherited from the previous regime. Ramsey was a subpar quarterback, but in the era before free agency, the best he could find. The Bronco offense staggered under his leadership in 76 and the rock ribbed defense rebelled, demanding Ralston resign at season’s end.
Ralston was especially known for his can-do approach to thinking. A graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course, Ralston had brought his college approach to the NFL with ice cream socials on Saturday nights before games and having the team hold hands in the huddle. But what was inspirational in 1973, had become old hat by 1977. Despite this, Ralston had built an exceptional team that included Linebackers Randy Gradishar and Tom Jackson. 33 of his players were on the 1977 team that went 12-2 and won the AFC Title before being defeated in the Super Bowl by the Dallas Cowboys. The difference? New Coach Red Miller had brought in veteran Quarterback Craig Morton.
Listen to this from a Sports Illustrated article from 1977.
Ralston was a great delegator of authority, a trait the players came to construe as a lack of ability. They whispered that the coach could not even diagram the offense. Whether he could or couldn’t, the offense did not work. The rift between the team’s offensive and defensive players grew so wide that they avoided one another on the bench during games. “We were frustrated,” admits Linebacker Randy Gradishar. “The defense was holding teams down, and then the offense would let them up.”
The exact same charge has been leveled against Devine time and again by detractors.
Like Devine, Ralston had and still has his defenders. Quarterback Charley Johnson, who outside football earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, has boundless respect for Ralston, but notes that his taking back the play calling in 1975 resulted in disaster. This should sound familiar to Packer fans who remember the infamous 1972 playoff game with Washington in which Devine and Starr struggled with the same control issue.
Ironically, Dan Devine could have picked up Charley Johnson before the 1972 season as well and in 1974, the Dallas Cowboys had offered him Craig Morton for less than he paid for John Hadl, but Devine had thought Morton over the hill. Devine’s record in the NFL was 25-27-4. Ralston’s was 34-33-3. Both coaches were laid low, to an extent, by relying too much on college inspirational coaching tropes. Devine was accused of being dishonest by his players, Ralston of being corny and out of touch. Both men were enormously successful at the college level. Both proved that coaching methods that worked with 19 and 20 year old college football players, could be successful on a limited basis at the pro level, but wore thin after a couple of years.
Congrats to Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots on winning their fifth Super Bowl win. But amid all the hoopla, there’s one thing missing; an acknowledgement of the men who came before them. While Brady and Belichick have surpassed Terry Bradshaw, Chuck Noll and Joe Montana’s four Super Bowl wins, they have in fact, only equaled Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi’s accomplishment of winning five NFL Championships. To hear all the media blabber, you’d think the NFL didn’t exist before Super Bowl I in 1967 and that is sad.
And it’s not just the NFL, it’s the sports media in general. Whenever Sports Illustrated runs a piece about the history of the game, it usually cuts off its research at the 1970 merger of the NFL and AFL. I think it’s pure laziness. In a story about the winningest Quarterback-Coach combinations they ran a couple years ago, their 1970 beginning date conveniently cut out Vince Lombardi-Bart Starr and Hank Stram-Len Dawson who would have both been in the top ten even after half a century.
So while I give a tip of the hat to Brady and Belichick, it would be nice if someone in the media made even a small allusion to the fact that what they have done, has already been done fifty years ago in a little town in Wisconsin called Green Bay.
As Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and General Manager Ted Thompson pat themselves on the back for making it to the NFC Championship game, it’s time to take a closer look at what, if not for Aaron Rodgers’ astonishing play, would have been a losing season.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel summed it up perfectly in his January 28, 2017 article, so I won’t reiterate it here. Instead, I’m providing the link so you can read it yourself. But I am adding my own two cents worth over how I feel the Packers are going off the rails.
While we finished 10-6, winning yet another coveted North Division Title, and got all the way to the Conference Championship Game, this team could easily have gone 4-12. And unless the Packers go all in for 2017, 4-12 could be the result next year.
That the team needs defensive help and a real running back are obvious. But the problem extends to the coaching staff and management, all the way past Thompson to the team president’s office.
With Thompson’s past history in mind, it’s unlikely the Packers will retain Running Back Eddie Lacy. After two spectacular seasons to start his pro career, Lacy dropped off a bit in 2015, for which he was endlessly excoriated in the press and by the coaching staff. Unfairly I thought. Lacy came through for the team late in the season and was integral in a two game playoff run. He was running at top speed through five games in 2016 before an ankle injury finished his season. And while McCarthy has stated he wants Lacy back, it’s doubtful Thompson will get the job done. Some running back poor team will outbid the Packers for him and it won’t take much. While it would be foolish to throw a lot of money at Eddie, he deserves a decent signing bonus based on past service alone. The Packers got him at a discount, as all teams get all running backs these days. If they were to give Eddie a signing bonus and an incentives based contract, they could no doubt keep him in the green and gold, but Ted has ever paid anything for a running back, so that’s off the list, which will leave the Packers with a patchwork quilt of castoffs and wide receivers trying to play the position. Next up; the defense.
The outside rushers, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers are old and both about to fall off the depth chart and they have no cornerbacks. The draft is only seven deep with not much of instant value beyond the first three rounds, so that’s not the only answer. Free agency is and Ted almost never goes into free agency.
As to the coaching, how on Earth can McCarthy justify bringing back Dom Capers? As I’ve said time and again, I love Dom for coaching that amazing defense in 2009-2010 and again in 2014, but he’s had little else in the years in-between and the playoff blowout losses have usually been on his guys. It is time for Dom to retire, but McCarthy won’t push him.
The same can be said of Thompson. He’s been talking about retirement for a year now, but won’t go. So, in the meantime, the Packers take the chance of losing Eliot Wolf to another team as GM and we’ll be stuck up the creek when Ted does, finally, wander away to his home in Texas.
The problem at the root of all this is the top management, Mark Murphy. Green Bay’s strength and its weakness is its non-profit situation. While it prevents the team from being carted away to another city as we’ve seen in St. Louis and San Diego and soon in Oakland, it also leaves us often without a firm hand on the rudder. Murphy is supposed to be that hand.
After Lombardi left, the team floundered for two decades because it could not grow past the Mom and Pop store approach of letting the head coach do it all, usually a former Lombardi disciple. Bob Harlan was masterful in bringing in an outside football man in Ron Wolf who ran the organization brilliantly for a decade. Wolfe operated, in effect, as a team owner. After he left, Harlan misstepped, allowing Mike Sherman to run the team under the Lombardi model. After five moderately successful years, he turned back to the Ron Wolf style, bringing in Thompson, which resulted in a Super Bowl victory only five years later.
In the meantime, Harlan had retired and Mark Murphy had replaced him as Team President in 2008. He inherited both Thompson and McCarthy, who won the aforementioned Super Bowl for him in only his third year on the job. As a result, Murphy has behaved more as an employee of Thompson, than his employer, resulting in the current impasse. In effect, Thompson is behaving as if he were the owner of the team with no consequences for his actions and inactions.
As the calls for Thompson to resign and McCarthy to remove Capers mount, maybe it’s not just a new GM we need, but a new Team President who will take control of the Packers again.
Opinion By Stanton Greene, author of:
You either loved him or you hated him and to listen to most of his ex-Packer players today, they hated him. But in 1972, when Green Bay won the Central Division Title, most of them, if not loved, at least backed their coach, while many the young men who played for Devine at Missouri and Notre Dame came away with a lifetime admiration.
So how do you reconcile the dichotomy? Is it just a matter of once the Packers started losing in 73 that his players turned on him? Not so. Many on the team backed Devine to the last pitiful gasp, a 10-3 loss on a muddy field in Atlanta in December 1974 that followed a week in which a vote of confidence had been called for in support of the coach by the faithful on the team, while the other half threatened to boycott the game in a mutiny. Though most Packer fans prefer to write Devine off as a villain of epic proportions in Green Bay history. the answer to the mystery of Dan Devine is complex.
In the course of researching my book, The Green Bay Packers The Dan Devine Years 1971-74, a common thread among the men who played for Devine is that they came away feeling he had deceived them, which is not a usual result of a player-coach relationship. Disappointment at failure, frustration and outright hatred, are not uncommon, but the phrase liar is an unusual one. I’ve heard it applied to NFL Hall of Fame Coach George Allen as well. What did Devine and Allen have in common? Like Vince Lombardi, they often used emotional ploys to motivate their teams, which is what led to some conclusions about the evolution and eventual devolution of Dan Devine’s relationship with his players in Green Bay.
Devine was a College Football Hall of Fame coach. And in order to succeed at that level, you have to be able to deal with adolescent young men who are often times little more than boys. In the process, Devine, no doubt, developed psychological tactics to motivate and manipulate his college players. Remember the Green Jerseys Game at Notre Dame? It sounds silly, but it worked. Devine employed these same devices in Green Bay to great success in 1972, but when the program went south on him in 73, it left a bitter taste in his player’s mouths.
So what happened? Just exactly what did Devine do or say that pissed these guys off so much? The common thread seems to be that he treated them like 18 year old college freshman instead of professional football players. Here’s a prime example. Devine was the first NFL head coach to schedule an off season mini-camp. At the inaugural session in 1971, he honked off the Lombardi veterans, who still numbered a dozen, by showing them film of his Missouri squad and telling them that this was how football was to be played. Oh-oh.
Devine struggled in the shadow of Lombardi. He did not pay proper homage to the great man either, complaining that it irked him to have to drive to work every morning on a street named for his predecessor. This unattributed expression of frustration may have been taken out of context or misquoted, but you get the idea. Lombardi had left behind an enormous legacy. It had devoured Phil Bengtson as it would Devine. But in 1972, Devine pulled off a miracle, coaching the Packers to 10-4 Central Division winning season. But the shine was off the trophy before the season even ended.
In the first round playoff game versus Washington, Devine took away the play calling duties from Quarterback Coach Bart Starr who had been n integral part of the team all year. The resulting 16-3 loss may have been inevitable as the Packers were overmatched on offense by the veteran Redskins’ defense, but it upset many of the players and led to Starr’s resignation after the season.
Another factor in the Devine-Starr season ending feud may have been that Starr was getting an inordinate amount of credit for the team’s success in the press and among the fans. Devine stated that he tendered a letter of resignation to the team’s Executive Committee after the season, an indication of the pressure he was feeling and pique he was already exhibiting, chafing, not only, under the legend of Lombardi, but the specter of Starr, the heir apparent in waiting.
Back to the 72 season, I’ve talked about that in detail in a blog you can find here, but to briefly recap, Devine benefited from a smattering of Lombardi veterans, including Dave Robinson and Ray Nitschke who provided locker room leadership as well as on field skill. Defensive Coordinator Dave Hanner, another Lombardi holdover, and Starr, who was the de facto offensive coordinator, or co-coordinator with Devine, were also major assets. But the strength of the team was a cast of young pros that included all-stars running back John Brockington, cornerback Willie Buchanon and kicker Chester Marcol. Youth dominated the team and according to contemporary newspaper accounts and quotes from the ballplayers themselves, Devine provided inspirational leadership.
By 1974, nasty, vendetta-like rumors about Devine’s personal life were swirling around Green Bay. Devine would later blame disgruntled ex-employees of the team. At the same time, a campaign to replace Devine with Starr was underfoot. All the while, Devine was employing a myriad of college tropes to attempt to motivate his team, which had in the span of two years, gone from one of the youngest in the league, to old by football standards.
What’s not common knowledge is that Devine was a tough coach in the Lombardi style, a man who sought to motivate by criticism and pushing his players hard, even taking his gripes about ballplayers to the press, which naturally didn’t sit well. Just ask Joe Montana who was benched numerous times due to breaking Devine’s stringent rules at Notre Dame. Ed Blaine, who played for Devine at Missouri in the early sixties and later for Lombardi, said that Devine’s style was much in the tradition of Lombardi, which in itself, was not uncommon in that era. He pushed his team hard and when it collapsed at the end of the 74 season, the players mutinied.
Still, nearly half the club was in Devine’s corner, including future Hall of Fame linebacker Ted Hendricks. A vote of confidence was held, but did not carry the day. Still, everyone thought he would be back to fulfill the last year of his contract in 1975. Instead, Devine shocked the team by leaving for Notre Dame the day after the season ended. Apparently, he did not even make an announcement to the team. They were informed through the press. You can imagine how the guys who’d backed him felt.
Devine had used a variety of contract extensions and carrot and stick, praise and demeaning tactics to motivate his players. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. It certainly had in 1972 and in key games in 1974 that included upset victories over Minnesota and Los Angeles who would meet in the Conference Championship Game that year. But when it failed, it failed big. Coupled with Devine’s callous farewell, it’s difficult to find a player willing to say anything good about him today, though there are a few.
Safety Jim Hill, who became an immensely successful broadcaster in California, has nothing but praise for Devine. Ted Hendricks remained a friend throughout the rest of Devine’s life. Then again, Ted got out of Green Bay after that one season and went to the Raiders where he was part of three Super Bowl Championship teams, while the rest of the Packers were stuck in Siberia, as Green Bay was known in those days. Scott Hunter, who suffered more than most from Devine’s carrot-stick psychology, is a class guy whose only public criticism has been concerning the play calling in the 72 playoff game. Most of those who supported Devine during his tenure, are now muted, saying tepidly that he wasn’t cut out for the pro game, while the majority are outspoken in their contempt for the man.
And then of course, there’s the infamous 1974 mid-season trade for John Hadl that cost the team a slug of draft choices. Devine’s early brilliance in drafts and trades was linked directly to Personnel Director Pat Peppler, who left for Miami after the 72 Draft. On his own in 73 and 74, Devine stumbled badly, scoring only once, though it was huge, when he scooped up Ted Hendricks for a song and a dance. And even when Starr failed to sign him, Hendricks defection to Oakland bought the Packers two number one draft choices in the days when the NFL was busy stomping down free agency.
But in strictly looking at Devine’s coaching in Green Bay, it was a mixed bag. In 1972 and for much of 74, Devine did an outstanding job of coaching. 1971 and 73 were a washout and the team’s collapse at the end of 74 may have been a result of factors beyond Devine’s control due to an unprecedented battle for control of the team at all levels, from the locker room to the coaching staff and Executive Committee.
From this, a mythology of incompetence has attached itself to Devine in Green Bay and is perpetuated by his ex-players and the Green Bay sports press who are ever willing to let the former demi-gods of Green Bay make unquestioned statements and print them as fact. The Green Bay press has, in fact, gone out of its way to try and belittle Devine as a college coach as well; a thesis that does not bear out.
Devine was deeply flawed as a professional coach, but he battled against almost insurmountable odds in Green Bay due to a fan base, Executive Committee and press that were worshiping at the altar of Lombardi. A less thin skinned individual might have handled it better, but the personality quirks that Devine is excoriated for in Green Bay, are virtually synonymous with college coaches who have achieved his level of success. Check out Woody Hayes, Frank Kush and Joe Paterno to name just a few.
Why do I continue to write about Dan Devine? Because his 72 Green Bay team was the one that made a Packer fan out of me for life and it seems that everyone still alive who was associated with that team is determined to rip it apart because of their personal issues with Devine. In the words of Don Henley and the Eagles, I think it’s time to Get Over It and instead of grousing, honor this amazing team and everyone involved with it, which includes Dan Devine. Thank you and that’s my rant.