JOHN (BLOOD) MCNALLY

JOHN (BLOOD) MCNALLY

Class of 1963
Halfback >>> 6-1, 188
(Notre Dame, St. Johns - MN)
1925-1926 Milwaukee Badgers, 1926-1927 Duluth Eskimos, 1928 Pottsville Maroons, 1929-1933, 1935-1936 Green Bay Packers, 1934, 1937-1938 Pittsburgh Pirates

John Victor McNally. . .Famed "vagabond halfback" totally unpredictable funster on and off the field. . .Assumed "Johnny Blood" alias from Valentino movie title, "Blood and Sand". . . Superb runner with breakaway speed, exceptional pass receiver. . .Scored 49 TDs, 297 points in 14 seasons with five NFL teams. . .Official All-NFL, 1931. . .Second-team All-NFL, 1929, 1930. . . Pittsburgh player-coach in 1937-1938, assistant coach 1939. . .Born November 27, 1903, in New Richmond, Wisconsin. . . Died November 28, 1985, at age of 82.

John McNally still had a year of college eligibility remaining when he decided to take a shot at pro football. To protect his eligibility, he needed an alias, a common practice in the 1920s. He and a friend passed a theater where the movie, Blood and Sand, was playing. Suddenly, McNally exclaimed to his friend: "That's it. You be Sand. I'll be Blood." So "Johnny Blood" it was, through 14 seasons in the NFL.

At 6-1 and 188-pound “Blood” was unbelievably fast, a superb running back and possibly the finest receiver in the National Football League at that time. He could throw passes and punt with the best.

On defense he was a ball hawk and a deadly tackler. He played on five NFL teams in 14 seasons but his best years came with the Green Bay Packers, with whom he was a major contributor to four championship teams in 1929, 1930, 1931, and 1936.

His off-the-field antics, however, constantly drew attention away from his exceptional playing skills. A talented youngster, Johnny graduated from high school at 14, an age when he was small and immature and could not compete athletically.

At St John's College, however, he began to grow and his natural athletic talents burst into full bloom. He was the basketball team captain and a letter winner in three other sports – football, baseball and track – in his junior year.

Some say McNally clung so fiercely to boyhood he that never grew up, at least not until after his pro football days which ended when he was coach with the 1939 Pittsburgh Pirates. He didn't marry until he was in his mid-forties and it was his wife Marguerite, who described him most accurately. "'Even when Johnny does the expected," she said, "he does it in an unexpected way."

Year
Team
G
1925 Milwaukee
6
1926 Duluth
13
1927 Duluth
9
1928 Pottsville
10
1929 Green Bay
12
1930 Green Bay
10
1931 Green Bay
14
1932 Green Bay
13
1933 Green Bay
9
1934 Pittsburgh
5
1935 Green Bay
9
1936 Green Bay
8
1937 Pittsburgh
9
1938 Pittsburgh
10
Career Total
137
Additional Career Statistics: Passing: 70-24-299, 4 TD, 5 Int; Rushing: 20-386, 5 TD; Receiving: 67-1117, 37 TD; Punt Returns: 1 TD; Kickoff Returns: 1 TD; Interception Returns: 5 TD

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