In the early part of the 20th century the 1917 Georgia Tech Golden Tornadoes were the best of the best.  The Golden Tornadoes, latter became the Rambling Wrecks.

The team was extremely dominating in 1917 as the team scored 491 points and gave up 17.  The team went 9-0-0, had 7 defense shutouts, while scoring over 60 points four times. The opponents they beat played a .627 winning percentage.  Some opposition.  A challenge to the Golden Tornadoes were the Pittsburgh Panthers finishing at 9-0, scoring 230 points and giving up 15 points with 7 shutouts.

By comparing common opponent, one can see the obvious greatness of Georgia Tech:

Against Penn (9-2) Georgia Tech won 41-0; Pittsburgh won 14-6.

The team was a rushing dynamo with a 320.7 offense rushing attack.  All news and other organizations ranked Georgia Tech first.

Starting Lineups:

Offense: (single wing with wrinkles)  A single has an unbalanced line were the two offensive tackles are paired to one side of the center (unbalanced line).  Halfbacks did most the passing.  Quarterbacks were some time runners and mostly blockers,

JOE GUYON-OFFENSE HB-(5) QB-(5) DEFENSE-CB- (5) PA-TB-KB 58.9 Pct. complete for 543 yards and 5 TDs with 2 Int. rushing 618 yards for a 7.4 yard avg. per carry, 9 kickoff returns for a 38.9 avg. and 2 TDs, 10 punt returns for an 18.5 average and a 38.3 punting avg., while kicking 4 XP out of 8 tries.  Passing two-1’s and a 2, rushing has 1 one,  7-15s.  Height 5-11, Weight 190 Age 23.

EVERETT STRUPPER-OFFENSE HB (5) FB (5), CB(5) SS(5) OA  ONE 1, One 2,  10-15s.  Everett rushed for 1,150 yards for an 11.3 per carry ,scored 18 touchdowns rushing (including a 95 yard run. 5-9 156 20

JUDY HARLANS-OFFENSE  FB (3) SS (3) WITH 341 yards rushing for  a 5.8 AVG., Returned kickoffs for 38.9 avg. Returned an Int. 65 yards for a TD.  One 2 with 3 15s. 5-11 178 19

ALBERT HILL-OFFENSE  QB (5) HB (5) CB (5) 669 Yards rushing for a 5.4 avg., returned kickoffs at a 34.6 clip. and passing was 58.3 Pct. with 2 Tds. One 2 with 4 15s and 4-16s.  5-7 164 20

SHORTY GUILL WR (3) HB (3) DE (3) with 3/4 master defense. 9 receptions (led team) for 162 yards and 108 yards rushing for a 9.0 avg.  5-6 161 20

SI BELL-TE (3) DE (3) with 4 catches for 98 yards. 6-1 179 22

PUB PHILLIPS C (5) MLB (5)  Height 6-0 Weight 182 Age 20

DAN WHELCHEL G (3) master 3/4,  OLB-(3) 6-1 198 21

HAM DOWLING G (3) OLB (3) 5-7 172 21

WALKER CARPENTER  OT-(5) TE (3) DT (5) 6-2 184 23; 2 Receptions for 30 yards.

BILL FINCHER OT (4) TE (4) master offense 4/5; master defense 4/5 KA-KO kicked 49 XPs out of 52 tried. No field goals for the team.  6-0 188 20

Basic 44 offense and 44 defense.   Master Offense 44/47 and master defense 44/45.

Real Life scores.



GT—41-0 OVER PENN (powerful team of the east losing only to Pittsburgh 14-6 and Georgia Tech)


GT—63-0 OVER WAHINGTON AND LEE (worst defeat in school history)

GT—83-0 OVER VANDERBILT (worst defeat in school history)



GT—68-7 OVER AUBURN (for the conference title-a real powerhouse)


In the war years of 1942, 43 and 44 a number of great college and pro players either enlisted or were drafted into the Army, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard.  During this time the Service football teams came into being, playing at the college level. Great teams like 1944 Randolph Field, 1943 & 1944 Iowa Pre-Flight, Second Air Force, Great Lake Navy and among others the March Field Marines.

These teams were powerhouses to be sure, as they were made up of Pro football and College players.  Some of the pros were all pro or future hall of famers. Some of the college players were all Americans.  Army and Navy had super teams during this era (read the write up about the 1944 Army I did a few months ago), but the teams in the first paragraph were service teams and not academies.

Among the best was the 1944 Randolph Field Ramblers.  The Ramblers had a record of 12-0-0, scoring 518 points and giving up 19.  The defense of the Ramblers had 9 shutouts, allowing a rush against average of 1.0 (that’s right 1.0) per carry or 29.6 yards per game.  The pass defense gave up 31% complete and 81.6 yards passing per game. Total defense yards given up, was 110.8 per game.  Quite a defense.  The offense only averaged 43 points a game scoring and was ranked 8th in rushing, 8th in passing yards and 3rd in total yards per game in the country.  The defense was number one in rush defense, number two in total defense and number one in scoring defense.

The team was led by:

Single Wing HB (5) CB (5) NFL Hall of Famer Bill Dudley. Dudley had 464 yards passing for 9 TDs, rushed for 595 yards and an 8.2 average, caught 7 passes for 93 yards, returned 9 kickoffs for 278 yards and a TD, returned 26 punts for 381 yards, kicked 6 XP and 1 FG, punted for a 48.5 average and intercepted 3 passes for 64 yards. I guess I would have to make three cards for all of these accomplishments.  H 5-10 W 175 B 12/24/23. Two 1s and a 2.

HB (3) CB (4) John Goodyear rushed for 326 yards, 5.1 avg., 2 receptions and 1 Int.  H 6-0 W 190 B 6/10/20 numerous 15s and 3 Ks.

FB (4) FS (4) Tippy Madarik had 494 yards rushing, 7.1 avg. 6 receptions for 104 yards and 1 Int.  H 5-11 W 200 B 7/15/22

QB (3) SS (4) Ken Holley with 100 yards rushing for 4.0 avg. H 5-10 W 185 B 10/9/19

WR (5) DE(5) Harry Burrus had 24 receptions for 444 yards and 3 Tds. H 6-1 W 195 B 4/6/21 Grade A/B

TE (50 DE (5) Jack Russell had 8 receptions for 138 yards H 6-1 W 215 B 8/29/21. Jack was All Pro in the American Football conference in 1946 and 47.

C (3) MLB (4) John “Tom” Robertson H 6-0 W 199 B 7/25/17 played for the 1946 AAFC NY Yankees, which lost the title game 14-9 to the Cleveland Browns.

G (4) OLB (4) Bill Landis

G (4) OLB (4) Jack Freeman H 6-0 W 195 B 1/20/22 Played Pro football with Brooklyn of the AAFC

T (5) DT (5) Martin Ruby H 6-4 W 249 B 6/4/22 All Pro AAFC

T (3) DT (4) Master 4/5 Walt Merrill  H 6-2 W 217 B 9/7/17 played 3 years in the NFL

Offense = 44 Defense = 48, Master Offense 44/44 Defense 48/49

Other important players were: HB Dippy Evans with 456 yards rushing for an 8.1 yard average. Peter Layden HB-QB with 225 yards passing for 2 TDs and rushing for a 4.1 average, returning kickoffs for a 26.6 avg. and punts for a 12.5 avg. while intercepting 3 passes.  Bob Cifers of the 1942 Champion Redskins with 265 yards rushing, 5.1 avg. and 3 receptions and Ev Elkins rushing for 4.4 yards per carry.

The toughest game was the Treasury Bowl held on Dec. 16, 1944 in which the Ramblers beat the powerfull 2nd Air Force Superbombers by a 13-6 score.

Over 95% of the team played Pro Football.



1984 Philadelphia Stars vs 1974 Birmingham Americans

Yesterday I received the nicest surprise in the mail, a care package from my dear friend, Mr. Dave Urban. He was kind enough to send me his 1974 Birmingham Americans from the World Football League (WFL) and the 1984 Philadelphia Stars from the United States Football League (USFL). I’ve always wanted to play a game with his cards and now I can’t wait to kick this game off.




The Stars of Philadelphia and Baltimore (1985) were the best team in the 3 year history of the USFL.  1984 Stars were above all the rest of the teams in the league history.  The Stars finished the year with a 16-2-0 record.  Philadelphia scored 479 points and gave up 225.  The average score was 26.6 to 12.5. The only two losses suffered by the Stars were to the NJ Generals (with 7 former starting NFL players on defense) by scores of  17-14 and 16-10.  In the playoffs the Stars beat the Generals 28-7, the Stallions 20-10 and the Wranglers 23-3 in the Title game.  A season and post season record of 19-2.

The defense of the Stars was so good that only twice did they give up 20 or points and finished the season with 14 consecutive games of allowing 19 or less points.

The Stars All Pros were: QB-Chuck Fusina, HB-Kelvin Bryant, C-Bart Oates, G-Chuck Commiskey, and Irv Eatman on offense.  On defense FS-Mike Lush, CB-Garcia Lane, DT-Pete Kugler, and MLB-Sam Mills (HOF NFL).

Offense (42 basic, 42/44 master) players and some numbers.

QB(5)-Chuck Fusina Pct.-64.9 Td-31 Int-9 Rush Avg-6.3 one-1, one-3, one-4, two-6s.

FB(3) (master 3/5)-Allen Harvin a hard nose blocker had 3.5 avg. with 485 yards rushing.

HB(5)-Kelvin Bryant with 1460 yards rushing for a4.7 yard avg. with one-2, three 15s, four 16s.

WR(3)-Willie Collier with 56 rec. for 757 yards.

WR(3)-Scott Fitzkee with 55 rec. for 895 yards.

TE(3)-Steve Folsom with 46 rec. for 485 yards.

C(5)-Bart Oates 6-3 267 Lb.

G(3)-George Gilbert 6-3 265 Lb.

G(5)-Chuck Commiskey 6-5 280 Lb.

T(5)-Irvin Eatman 6-6 280 Lb.

T(2)-Mike McClearn 6-4 274 Lb.

Defense (45 basic and master)

FS(5)-Mike Lush, Int.-7

SS(4)-Antonio Gibson, Sacks-2

CB(4)-Jonathan Sutton, 4 Int.

CB(5)-Garcia Lane, 5 Int.

MLB(5)-Sam Mills, Sack-5, Int.-3

MLB(3)-Glen Howard, Sacks-3, Int.-1

OLB(3)-John Bunting, Sacks-1, Int.-1

OLB(3)-George Cooper, Sacks-6, Int.-2

DT(5)-Pete Kugler, Sacks-3

DE(4)-Don Fielder, Sacks-6

DE(4)-William Fuller, Sacks-6


Gary Davidson in 1973 announced plans for a 12 team Pro League to begin July 1974 and wind up with a World Bowl Championship, the first week of December.  The league unfortunately had few millionaires and too many doctors, dentists and car dealers for owners, thus the lack of a lot money.

The league had three divisions: Eastern with Florida Blazers, New York Stars, Philadelphia Bell, Jacksonville Sharks.  Central Division with Memphis Southmen (probably the most talented team at 17-3), Chicago Fire and Detroit Wheels. Western Division with Southern California Sun, Hawaii Hawaiians, Portland Storm and Houston Texans.

The season would consist of 20 games for each team.  During the season, there were a number of franchise city shifts and folding of teams.  Some teams played 20 games, many played less. The final four were Birmingham Americans, Florida Blazers, Philadelphia Bell and Memphis Southmen.

The WFL had a number of rule changes from the NFL. The changes are:

  1. Touchdowns are worth 7 points.
  2. No kicking of extra points, the Action Point was started from the 2.5 yard line and was earned by a pass or a run.  A TD with an Action Point would give a team 8 points.
  3. Goal post was near the end of the end zone. NFL adopted.
  4. Kickoffs from the 30 yard line.
  5. Missed FGs returned to line of scrimmage. NFL adopted.
  6. Receivers need one foot in bounds for catch.
  7. Fifth quarter split into two 7.5 minute halves to break ties.
  8. No fair catches on punt returns.
  9. An offense back can go in motion toward line of scrimmage.
  10. Harsh marks moved more to center of field. NFL adopted.
  11. Offensive holding reduced to 10 yards from 15 yards. NFL adopted.

The Birmingham Americans going 15-5 during the season, playing tough football beat the Hawaiians 22-19 and then beat the Blazers 22-21 for the TITLE because of a missed Action Point by Florida.

Starting Lineup and some numbers: Offense (39-basic and master)

QB(3)-George Mira-passing one 2, two-3, one-5, three-7s. 49.5% complete, 17 Td and 14 Int.

FB(3)-Charlie Harraway-running two-15s, 4-16s, and two-17s. 496 yards rushing and 3.6 avg.

HB(3)-Paul Robinson-running one-2, one-15, two-16s. 599 yards rushing for 3.6 avg.

WR(4)-Dennis Homan-A-9 61 rec, 930 yards.

E(5)(1974 terminology for wide receiver or Tight End)-Alfred Jenkins A-8 60-Rec, 1326 yards.

E(2)-Jim Bishop C-5 Rec-17 237 Yards.

C(3)-John Matlock 6-3, 248 Lb.

G(5)-Buddy Brown 6-1, 250 Lb. All Pro

G(3)-Joe O’Donnell 6-3, 250 Lb.

T(5)-Bob Wolfe 6-6, 250 Lb. All Pro

T(3)-Paul Costa 6-4, 244 Lb.

Defense (40 basic and master)

FS(3)-Dicky Lyons 3 Int.   SS(4)-Randy Lee 2 Int.

CB(4)-Steve Williams 2 Int.  CB(3)-Cecil Leonard 4 Int.

MLB(4)-Warren Capone 4 Int.

LB(5)-Ross Brupbacher 4 Int. All Pro  LB(4) Jimmy Teal 2 Int.

DT(3)-Clarence Washington 6-3 270 Lb.  DT(3) John Andrews 6-5 265 Lb.

DE(4)-Dick Trower 6-4 245 Lb.  DE(3)-Larry Estes 6-6 260 Lb.


The Army Black Knights of 1944 and 1945 are considered the best college football teams ever to play.  This story is about the 1944 edition that Coach Red Blake said was the greatest team he ever coached.  1945 team was the best squad he ever coached.

1944 was a powerhouse going 9-0 and scoring 504 points while giving up 35. The average win was 56-4 per game.  Before the game with Villanova, Blake let his assistant run the team as he went out and scouted Notre Dame for an upcoming game.  The score was a disappoint to Blake as the team only won 83-0.  Other team scores were 46-0 over North Carolina, 59-7 over Brown, 69-7 over Pittsburgh, 76-0 over Coast Guard (a number of Pro players enlisting), 27-7 over Duke (won Sugar Bowl), Villanova, 59-0 over second ranked Notre Dame (I guess Blake’s scouting worked), 62-7 over Pennsylvania and 23-7 over the then 2nd ranked Navy.  The schedule they played was a .623 record of all teams.

What made this team so good was the use of two platoons, The starters would play the 1st and 3rd quarters and the second team (shock troops) would play 2nd and 4th quarters.  The second team had Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis (wow).

My statistics came from the West Point Library.  A number of years ago, I visited West Point and it’s library, but it was a few years later that I called them for the stats.  It was around 10 AM when I asked the Captain for the stats.  He said “yes sir, I will have the stats for you at 2 PM”, I called back and he gave me the stats for 1944 and 1945.  After we were finished, he asked me for my rank, I told him I was just an ordinary citizen.  I have in the past done the following: 1984 calling the Houston Gamblers of the USFL for stats and actually talked to Mouse Davis about his run and shoot offense, Going to different Universities libraries for stats.   Below is the first team (quarters 1 and 3), and the second team roster (quarters 2 and 4), along with some stats and result numbers.

Doug Kenna 1st-Team-QB(5) FS(5) 5-11-180lb-pass-53.5% for 5 TDs, rush at 5.2 avg. Pass-two-2’s, 2-3’s, one 4, one 6; rush six-15s, two-16s.  Kickoff return 25.0 avg., punt return 22.0 avg.

Tom Lombardo 2nd-Tm-QB(4) FS(4)-pass-57.4% for 3 TDs, rush 4.1 avg.  Pass-two-2s, one 3, two-6s. rush two 15s and one 16.

Bobby Dobbs 1st-Tm-FB(4) (SS(4) rush 5.4 avg., 2 receptions. six 4s, 5-6s.

Doc Blanchard 2nd Tm-FB(5) SS(5) rush 5.5 avg.  one 2, three-4s, six-6s. 3 defense interceptions.

Max Minor 1st Tm-HB(4) CB(4) rush 7.5 avg., 6 receptions for 121 yards. 2 defense int.  one K, five 15s, eight 16s.

Glenn Davis 2nd Tm-HB(5) CB(5) rush 11.5 avg., 13 receptions. 4 defense Int. one-1, one-2, nine-3s.  Also returned kickoffs and punts.

Dale Hall 1st Tm-HB(4) CB(4) rush 6.9 avg. one K, nine 15s.

Dick Walterhouse 2nd Tm-rush 6.0 avg. eight 15s, three 16s. 1st stringer Kicker and punter.

Ed Rafalko 1st-Tm-WR(4) DE(3) 12 receptions

Dick Pitzer 2nd Tm-WR(4) DE(3) 8 receptions

Barney Poole plays all quarters TE-5 DE(5) 8 receptions 6-2 231 lb

Bob St. Onge-1st Tm-C(4) MLB(4)

Herschel Fuson-2nd Tm-C(4) MLB(4)

Joe Stanowicz-plays all quarters G(5) OLB(5)

John Green-plays all quarters G(5) OLB(5)

Al Nemetz-1st Tm OT(3) DT(4)

William Webb-2nd Tm OT(3) DT(4)

Tex Coulter-plays all quarters OT(4) DT(4) the largest of all Army players at 6-4 250lb.

The offense is 47 for both squads basic and master and the defense is 47 for both squads basic and master.