The Players

The Game Before the Money Roster (HOF denotes Pro Football Hall of Fame member)– Below is a list of players who have shared their stories with us. In the upcoming book, each player will have his own chapter presented in chronological order, based on when his professional career began.

You can read short bios of each player on the this site’s sub pages. Hover over “The Players” on the menu, and links to the sub pages will appear. Each player is categorized by his rookie campaign.

Alternatively, you can click on a players’ name below to go to his section, or click on the section’s title.

A great majority of these players earned multiple Pro Bowl selections. Most are inductees of the College Football Hall of Fame. All have tremendous stories to share.

 

Players whose career began before 1950 

Chuck Cherundolo – Center Cleveland Rams 1937-39, Philadelphia Eagles 1940, Pittsburgh Steelers 1941, 42, 45-48.

Ace Parker (HOF) – Tailback, Defensive Back, Quarterback Brooklyn Dodgers 1937-41, Boston Yanks 1945

Buddy Lex – Tailback William and Mary, Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Inductee. Speaks in proxy for Ace Parker. Only non-professional player interviewed.

Bob Kahler – Defensive Back, Halfback Green Bay Packers 1942-1944

Al Wistert – Offensive and Defensive Tackle Phila-Pitt “Steagles” 1943, Philadelphia Eagles 1944-51

Nolan Luhn – Offensive End, Defensive Tackle Green Bay Packers 1945-49

Charley Trippi (HOF) – Halfback, Quarterback, Defensive Back Chicago Cardinals 1947-55

Johnny Lujack – Quarterback, Defensive Back Chicago Bears 1948-51

George Taliaferro – Halfback, Tailback, Quarterback, Defensive Back, Kick Returner Los Angeles Dons 1949, New York Yanks 1950-50, Dallas Texans 1952, Baltimore Colts 1953-4, Philadelphia Eagles 1955 (Note: The Yanks, Texans and Colts were technically the same franchise.)

 

Players whose careers began in the 1950s

Yale Lary (HOF) – Defensive Back, Punter Detroit Lions 1953, 54, 56-64

Frank Gifford (HOF) – Halfback, Flanker, Defensive Back, Wide Receiver New York Giants 1952-60, 62-64

Johnny Lattner – Halfback Pittsburgh Steelers 1954

Cotton Davidson – Quarterback Baltimore Colts 1954, 57, Dallas Texans 1960-62 Oakland Raiders 1962-68

Bob Skoronski – Offensive Tackle Green Bay Packers 1956, 1959-1968

Bart Starr (HOF) – Quarterback Green Bay Packers 1956-71

Paul Hornung (HOF) – Halfback, Flanker, Quarterback Green Bay Packers 1957-66

Sonny Jurgensen (HOF) – Quarterback Philadelphia Eagles 1957-63, Washington Redskins 1964-74

Jim Taylor (HOF) – Fullback Green Bay Packers 1958-66, New Orleans Saints 1967

Don Maynard (HOF) – Wide Receiver, Kick Returner New York Giants 1958, New York Jets (Titans) 1960-72, St. Louis Cardinals 1973

 

Players whose careers began in the 1960s

Carroll Dale Wide Receiver LA Rams 1960-64, Green Bay Packers 65-72, Minnesota Vikings 73

Goose Gonsoulin Defensive Back Denver Broncos 1960-66, San Francisco 49ers 67

Dick Frey Guard Defensive End Dallas Texans 1960, Houston Oilers 61

Irv Cross Defensive Back Philadelphia Eagles 1961-65, 69 LA Rams 66-68

Garland Boyette Linebacker St. Louis Cardinals 1962, 63, Houston Oilers 66-72

Mick Tingelhoff – Center Minnesota Vikings 1962-78

Lee Roy Jordan Linebacker Dallas Cowboys 1963-76

Tony Lorick Fullback Baltimore Colts 1964-67, New Orleans Saints 68-69

Dan Reeves Running Back Dallas Cowboys 1965-72

Walt Garrison  Running Back Dallas Cowboys 1966-74

Ken Houston (HOF) Safety Houston Oilers 1967-72, Washington Redskins 73-80

Bob Griese (HOF) Quarterback Miami Dolphins 1967-80

Elvin Bethea (HOF) Defensive End Houston Oilers 1968-83

 

Players whose careers began in the 1970s

Jack Youngblood (HOF) Defensive End LA Rams 1971-84

Conrad Dobler Guard St. Louis Cardinals 1972-77, New Orleans Saints 1978-79, Buffalo Bills 80-81

Joe DeLamielleure (HOF) Guard Buffalo Bills 1973-79, 85, Cleveland Browns 80-84

Billy “White Shoes” Johnson Wide Receiver, Kick Returner Houston Oilers 1974-80, Atlanta Falcons 1982-87, Washington Redskins 1988

Doug English Defensive Tackle Detroit Lions 1975-79, 81-85

Louie Kelcher Defensive Tackle San Diego Chargers 1975-83, San Francisco 49ers 84

Chris Bahr Kicker Cincinnati Bengals 1976-79, Oakland/LA Raiders 80-88, San Diego Chargers 89