Category Archives: NFL – Philadelphia Eagles

Baugh vs O’Brien Opens 1939 NFL Season

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Running to his left with the pigskin in his non-throwing left hand, Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback DAVEY O’BRIEN (# 8), the diminutive (5’7″ 150 lbs) Heisman Trophy winner from Texas Christian University, looks to be in trouble as Washington Redskins right end CHARLEY MALONE (# 19) gives chase in front of a record-setting crowd of 42,000 spectators at Philadelphia Municipal (later re-named John F. Kennedy Memorial) Stadium on September 17, 1939.
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Exactly twelve calendar days before the defending national champions from TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY kicked off their NCAA campaign opposite the host UCLA Bruins at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, two former record-setting Horned Frogs passers who were both consensus All-America selections while in college squared off against one another as the visiting WASHINGTON REDSKINS and PHILADELPHIA EAGLES collided on the very first day of the 1939 National Football League season.

The Washington Redskins were spearheaded by the legendary SAMMY BAUGH, who, as a rookie professional out of Texas Christian University in 1937, had the legendary the entire NFL in passing yardage while also establishing a new league record for pass completions in a single season. This, of course, was the same year that Baugh also threw for what was then a mind-boggling 335 yards and three touchdown passes in the annual NFL Championship Game. Thanks to two fourth quarter scoring tosses from Slingin’ Sammy, the underdog Redskins rallied to defeat the favored Chicago Bears 28-21 and celebrate the very first NFL title in the franchise’s history.

The Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, were hoping that history might soon repeat itself and, according, had made DAVEY O’BRIEN the fourth overall player selected at the 1939 National Football League Draft. In order to convince the little quarterback who had propelled the Horned Frogs to a perfect 11-0 campaign and the national championship title in 1938 to become the very first Heisman Trophy winner to ever actually play in the NFL, the Eagles induced O’Brien with a two-year contract worth a reported $ 12,000 per season. Interestingly enough, Baugh’s terms his first year in Washington called for the rate of $ 8,000 per season, a handsome figure which had made the Slinging Sammy the highest-paid player on the entire Redskins team.

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Associated Press report
September 18, 1939

“BAUGH BESTS O’BRIEN IN BEATING EAGLES”

Little Davey O’Brien must wait another day — possibly next Sunday — to successfully portray his David vs Goliath role.

The former Texas Christian quarterback made his professional league football debut yesterday at Philadelphia and came off second best in his passing duel with the Washington Redskins’ “Goliath” — Slinging Sammy Baugh, himself a former T.C.U. star.

A crowd of 42,000 — the largest ever to see the Eagles at Philadelphia — watched a scoreless battle for three quarters. Then Baugh hurled a 30-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Malone for a 7 to 0 triumph. O’Brien’s passing and ball-carrying helped the Eagles reach the Redskins’ 17-yard line in the opening period, but he wrecked his own cause with a fumble.

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Always recognized as a top notch two-way player, Washington Redskins defensive back SAMMY BAUGH puts an abrupt halt to the forward progress of Philadelphia Eagles fullback DAVE SMUKLER during the National Football League contest watched by the record-setting crowd of 42,000 spectators at Philadelphia Municipal Stadium on September 17, 1939.
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Washington Redskins reserve end BOB MCCHESNEY was the one and only UCLA Bruins alum throughout the whole of the ten-team National Football League in 1939. Three years earlier, it was McChesney, who had along with Brooklyn Dodgers guard VERDI BOYER become the first two UCLA players ever to appear in the crack NFL. As it went, neither Boyer nor McChesney had been chosen at the first-ever National Football League Draft in 1936.

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Sciarra Scores, Eagles Win

sciarra-phil-ballOn a most memorable day that saw the Philadelphia Eagles take the field at Veterans Stadium on South Broad Street without the services of its two starting running backs, it would be the very first ‘read option quarterback’ in franchise history who swept around right end to score the only touchdown of the entire National Football League contest against the visiting Green Bay Packers on November 5, 1978.

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO — savvy Philadelphia Eagles safety and punt returner JOHN SCIARRA (# 21), the nation’s consensus All-America selection at quarterback for the 1975 NCAA season and the Most Valuable Player of the 1976 Rose Bowl affair that witnessed the UCLA Bruins upset the previously unbeaten and untied Ohio State Buckeyes, holds the ball ‘like a loaf of bread’ to present the illusion that the distinct possibility of a forward pass still remains as fallen Green Bay Packers linebacker GARY WEAVER (# 52), the seven-year NFL professional who played his college football at Fresno State, eats a little astroturf at the since demolished Vet.

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(John Ernesto photo/Reading Eagle/11-06-78)
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The Green Bay Packers were riding high with a record of seven wins against just two losses and were entertaining serious aspirations of recapturing Super Bowl glory for the first time in more than a decade when arriving in the City of Brotherly Love to face the injury-riddled Philadelphia Eagles, an up and down squad sporting the record of four wins and five losses.

Indeed, head coach Bart Starr’s Packers looked well on the way to their eighth victory of the season after striking early on a 79-yard touchdown pass from David Whitehurst to future Hall of Fame speed burner James Lofton, the former Stanford University All-America who was enjoying a standout NFL rookie campaign. Luckily for the Eagles, however, youthful Green Bay tackle Greg Koch was caught holding an opponent and so Philadelphia supporters were immediately spared from witnessing any scoring celebrations just yet. The visiting Packers did, however, take the lead in the first quarter on the strength of a 42-yard field goal from Chester Marcol, the native of Poland who spent nine years kicking an American football at the highest professional level.

Green Bay went on to roll up 386 yards of total offense — this as compared to the meager 148 yards generated by Philadelphia — but, much to the delight of the folks in the land where authentic cheesesteaks rule, somehow managed to continuously to shoot themselves in both feet via penalties and turnovers.

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(John Ernesto photo/Reading Eagle/11-06-78)
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The most critical of all the Packers’ mistakes came in the second stanza when Green Bay center Larry McCarron short-hopped his long snap to punter David Beverly, the experienced veteran who just so happened to be standing not so far away from the goal line that his own team was defending. A comedy of errors ensued as Beverly, after first failing on an attempt to scoop up the elusive pigskin, then tried to kick the ball off the ground as would a soccer player only to make a proper mess of that endeavor, as well. Within short order, charging Philadelphia linebacker Ray Phillips had successfully stormed in to procure the available sphere less than five yards from the Eagles’ preferred destination.

Enter John Sciarra, the the first-year NFL defensive back who had spent his first two professional campaigns performing at both quarterback as well as slot receiver for the British Columbia Lions in the Canadian Football League. The Philadelphia Eagles had been experimenting all throughout the 1978 NFL season with the so-called ‘option play’, a tactic that had traditionally always been almost exclusive to the collegiate game up to that point in time. Perhaps not so surprising, given the fact that the Eagles’ third-year head coach Dick Vermeil had worked extensively with both Sciarra and the option play during his previous occupations on campus at UCLA.

On second down from the Green Bay two-yard line, the versatile Sciarra took a conventional snap from under center and sprinted off to his right on what appeared to be a classic pro-style ‘roll out’ play. The was never any question, however, that the former UCLA quarterback would actually run the well-known risk of passing the football forward. And so Johnny Everything scored rather easily while the Eagles, for all intents and purposes as a result of the Packers’ unabated ineptitude, had essentially won.

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Philadelphia Eagles defensive back ERIC JOHNSON (# 49), the second-year player out of Washington State University who recovered two fumbles during his rookie professional campaign the previous season, watches intently as butter-fingered Green Bay Packers punter DAVID BEVERLY (# 11) struggles mightily to cope with the situation during the National Football League contest at Veterans Stadium on November 5, 1978 …. (UPI photo/The Milwaukee Journal/11-06-78)
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Veterans Memorial Stadium
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance – 64,214

GREEN BAY …………. 3 … 0 … 0 … 0 = ….. 3
PHILADELPHIA …… 0 … 7 … 3 … 0 = … 10

1st qtr …….. GB : Marcol 42 FG
2nd qtr … PHIL : Sciarra 2 run (Mike-Mayer kick)
3rd qtr … PHIL : Mike-Mayer 27 FG

Game Statistics
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rushing yards ….. Green Bay 174 (4.8 avg), Philadelphia 51 (1.7 avg)
passing yards ….. Green Bay 212 (18/33), Philadelphia 97 (13/20)

total yards ……….. Green Bay 386, Philadelphia 148

yards lost, penalty …….. Green Bay 74, Philadelphia 15

fumbles lost ……………….. Green Bay 2, Philadelphia 0
interceptions thrown ….. Green Bay 3, Philadelphia 1

Philadelphia Eagles rushing
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Billy Campfield ………….. 34 yards …… 3.1 avg
Cleveland Franklin …….. 22 yards …… 1.5 avg
John Sciarra …………….. – 2 yards … – 1.0 avg
Ron Jaworski ……………. – 3 yards … – 1.5 avg

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Philadelphia Eagles linebacker RAY PHILLIPS (# 52), who played his prep football at Milwaukee’s West High School in Wisconsin before going on to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, recovers a pivotal second quarter fumble against the Green Bay Packers during the 1978 National Football League contest at good ole’ Veterans Stadium on South Broad Street in Philadelphia … (John Ernesto photo/Reading Eagle/11-06-78).

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Torhueter Horst War Das Erste Profispieler Zu Wechseln


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Die Fussballkarte zeigt Kicker HORST MUEHLMANN, der auch in die alte North American Soccer League gespielt hat, mit der Philadelphia Eagles in der National Football League … Ich hatte diese Karte, wann ich eine Jugend war.
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Ehemalige Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen Torhueter HORST MUEHLMANN aus Deutschland war der erste ehemalige Profi Fussballspieler, zum ein Kicker in der National Football League zu werden.

Muehlmann war in Dortmund geboren und sein Fussball Laufbahn als eine Jugend mit BV Brambauer beginnt. Dann der Torhueter wechselte nach Borussia Dortmund, bevor Muehlmann ist schliesslich in Gelsenkirchen mit Schalke 04 angekommen. Das Jahr ist 1961 und es gab noch kein Bundesliga — die Koenigsblauen spielt in der alten Oberliga der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

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Es ist die letzte Fussballsaison der Oberliga West, bevor die Bundesliga kommt an. Das Datum ist 23.03.1963 und Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen spielt gegen MSV Duisburg mit 18.000 Zuschauer an dem alten Wedaustadion. Koenigsblauen Torhueter HORST MUEHLMANN (schwarzes Hemd) hat ein Duell in der Luft mit den Angreifern von MSV Duisburg.
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Muehlmann hatte 26 von 30 Spiele zwischen den Stoecken mit Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen waehrend der erste Bundesligasaison von 1963/64. WILLI SCHULZ, 66 A-Laenderspiele und fuer Bundesrepublik Deutschland an dem 1966 FIFA Weltmeisterschaft gespielt hat, hervorragender Verteidiger mit der Koenigsblauen jetzt war. Schalke 04 beendete das erste Jahr des Bundesliga in dem achten Platz.

Aber dann Muehlmann hat seinen Torhueterplatz verloren, zuerst zu dem jugoslawischen GYULA TOTH und dann zum JOSEF ELTING. Er hat nur sechzehnmal in den letzten zwei Jahre mit der ersten Mannschaft erschienen. 1966 ist damals an die SC Bonner in der zweitklassigen Regionalliga West, der 26 Jahr alte Torhueter.

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Torhueter HORST MUEHLMANN, der zweiter Platz von dem links ist, steht mit den Startelf von Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen vor einem Spiel in dem Bundesliga.
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Am Sommer von 1968, kam Muehlmann nach Amerika und unterzeichnete einen Vertrag mit der Kansas City Spurs der North American Soccer League. Aber noch wieder, der deutsche Torhueter sitzt auf der Bank viel oft. Muehlmann spielt nur ein Mal alle Saison in der NASL.

Aber dieser Zeit in der Geschichte, American Football League und National Football League Mannschaften Hilfe brauchen. Ein “Field Goal” ist schwierig zu machen, weil weinige das Ball immer genau steuren koennen. Niemand koennen auch das Ball sehr weit mit dem Fuss schicken. Und die zwei ungarischen Brueder, Charlie and Pete Gogolak, hatten bereits die Weise gezeigt — es war “soccer-style” benannt und jede amerikanischefussball Mannschaft moechte ein andere Gogolak zu haben.

Am Sommer von 1969, Muehlmann hat eine Probe mit der Cincinnati Bengals der American Football League und einen Vertrag bekommt. Die frueher Bundesliga Fussballspieler ist einer der besten Kicker in der AFL sofort fuer die Bengals, die nicht schlecht sind. In dem naechsten Jahr kommen die zwei AFL und NFL Ligen zusammen, aber alles ist das selbe fuer Muehlmann.

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Muehlmann ist eine echte Waffe fuer den Angriff der Cincinnati Bengals, weil er sehr genau ist und von weit treten koennen. Er hat ein Rekord gemacht, dass lebt doch noch heute in der National Football League. Muehlmann hat mindestens ein Field Goal aus ueber 50 Yards in drei aufeinanderfolgenden Spielen gemacht.

In diesen Tag, ein Field Goal aus ueber 50 Yards sehr lang und schwierig war … bis heute, nur drei andere Spieler in der Geschichte der NFL dass auch (drei aufeinanderfolgenden Spiele mit drei lange Field Goal) getroffen hat.

Muehlmann hat sechs Jahre mit der Cincinnati Bengals gespielt und dann wechselte zu der Philadelphia Eagles in 1975, wo drei Saisons bleibt er.

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Nein, dass ich nicht in dem Foto ist. Aber es sieht ein bischen als mich von jenen Tag aus. Und es ist zweifellos ehemalige Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen Torhueter HORST MUEHLMANN (16) mit einem jungen Fan waehrend des Training Camps mit der Philadelphia Eagles in der National Football League. (Mann kann sehen, mit dem Trikot des Kickers das Jahr ist 1975)
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1971 ist der ehemalige SK Rapid Wien Stuermer und oesterreichische Nationalmannschaftspieler TONI FRITSCH zu der starken Dallas Cowboys gekommen, aber dass ist ein andere Geschichte fuer ein andere Tag…

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