A 1930’s publicity shot of Packers’ great Johnny “Blood” McNally is our offering for today. McNally played in the National Football League for 14 seasons, with five different teams. In his prime, McNally was 6'1" and 188 lbs., known for his speed, agility, and pass-catching ability. He got his professional start in 1925 with the Milwaukee Badgers, where he became famous as the "Vagabond Halfback" for his off-the-field behavior and spontaneity. In 1926 and 1927 he played for the Duluth Eskimos, and in 1928 he played with the Pottsville Maroons. Between 1929 and 1936 he played with the Green Bay Packers, with whom he won four championships. In 1937, he moved on to the Pittsburgh Steelers (then called the Pirates), where on his first play he ran back a kick 92 yards for a touchdown. He ended his NFL career in 1939 as the head coach of the Pirates. From 1950-1952, he coached football at Saint John's where he amassed 13-9 record during his three year stint.
McNally's spontaneous and bizarre behavior didn't stop with his football career. Upon one occasion, out of boredom, he climbed to the top of a train, walked to the engineer's car, dropped through the ceiling, and spent the rest of the trip entertaining the drivers.
In the Second World War, McNally served as a cryptographer in India. McNally returned to Saint John's at age 42 to finish his economics degree and write a textbook on the subject.
McNally was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. Johnny Blood's life and career are the basis for the character Dodge Connolly in the movie Leatherheads, which opened April 4, 2008. The character is played by George Clooney. McNally died in 1985.