Johnny “Blood” McNally may be as well known for his antics off the field as he was for his stellar play on the gridiron.
McNally, a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, helped build the reputation of pro football during the 1920s and ‘30s. A star halfback who played his college ball at Notre Dame and St. Johns (MN), played for five NFL teams from 1925 through his retirement in 1938. His most notable years came during his seasons with the Green Bay Packers who he helped lead to three consecutive NFL championships, 1929-1931. He also served as a player/coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates (who were later renamed the Steelers).
Blessed with terrific speed, McNally became one of the NFL’s first great pass receivers. However, it was his unpredictable style off the field that gained him great fame. Once referred to affectionately as “The Magnificent Screwball” by New York Times sportswriter Art Daley, McNally’s reputation off the field as a fun-loving, prankster became legendary. But, he also could recite poetry and even wrote a book on the Malthusian theory of economics.
During one of McNally’s visits to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the late 1960s, he commented, “I zigged and zagged on the field, and I’ve zigged and zagged off it to. I wouldn’t trade anything, not one of my experiences in football.”
McNally in photos>>>
Johnny "Blood" McNally's HOF Bio>>>