Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Thoughts - Blue Demon Dreams

As I watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, I started searching the web to dig deeper into DePaul's impact on the NFL. Since DePaul stopped playing football long before Super Bowl I, there has never been a Blue Demon to appear in a Super Bowl.

The research started on did show 15 Blue Demons student-athletes have appeared on the NFL gridiron.

The search opened a treasure trove of Blue Demon stories and excellence. Unveiled among the NFL alumni was Chet Chesney who played for the Bears in 1939-40. His greatest contribution came off the field when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-51.

Some careers were filled with football accolades like Max Fiske's 1937 season quarterbacking Pittsburgh, others played with stars like Otto Graham and Sammy Baugh, while many others may have played just one game.

As I searched, two of the alumni were student-athletes at DePaul, but didn't play football. Two other alumni actually played collegiately elsewhere, but did graduate from DePaul.

All those qualifiers, each of these individuals could call himself an alum, not just of DePaul, but of the National Football League.

DePaul's Alumni NFL Football Capsules
Youtube - Pictures of DePaul's Football Alumni in the NFL

Chuck Apolskis
End - 6-2 - 207 - 1938-39
1938 Chicago Bears – played one game

- called up from the Jersey City Giants

1939 Chicago Bears - played one game

Art Bramhall
Chicago Bears – 1931

Art Bramhall was featured earlier in on this Blog as a Blue Demon that played major league baseball. Bramhall also is listed in the Chicago Bears media guide in 1931. Following his retirement from football, he and his wife moved to Madison, Wisc. where he worked in radio. He became known as the "Voice of Wisconsin football and basketball. He was inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

Hal Carlson
Guard - 6-3 - 220 - 1937
1937 Chicago Cardinals – 1 game

Harold Cherne
Tackle - Guard - 6-0 - 230 - 1933
1933 Boston Redskins – played in four games

He played for football prep powerhouse Mt. Carmel.

Chet Chesney
Center – Linebacker 6-2 227 1939-40

1939 Chicago Bears – finished second in the NFL West – Center saw – seven different players make passes, including Hall of Fame Sid Luckman who was listed as left halfback

1940 Chicago Bears – 8-3-0 NFL West Division Champions – 1940 NFL Champions – beat Redskins 73-0 in Championship game – Named NFL –All-Pro – reserved

In addition to Chesney's two season playing in the NFL, Chesny owns the distinction of being the only DePaul student-athlete to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Blue Demon Center was elected as a Democrat to the Eight-first Congress (Jan. 3, 1949-Jan. 3, 1951).

Pat Dowling
End - 5-11 - 185 - 1929
1929 Chicago Cardinals – played in 13 games, starting 10

Dick Egan (unconfirmed)
End-Back - 1920-24
1920 Chicago Cardinals – played in seven games, starting two

1921 Chicago Cardinals – played one game, teaming with Blue Demon John Scanlon

1922 Chicago Cardinals – started nine games

1923 Chicago Cardinals – played in four games

1924 Kenosha Maroons – played two games

Max Fiske
Back-End - 6-0 - 199 - 1936-39

Max Fiske played four seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates (Steelers). His 1937 season, saw him among the NFL leaders in passing touchdowns, yards per game and passes completed. He was recently ranked top Steelers player to wear the No. 19 by In 1977, he was honored with induction into the Roselund Pullman Hall of Fame with DePaul teammate and NFL alum Tom Roberts.

1936 Pittsburgh Pirates – threw 15 passes, completing six for 64 yards

1937 Pittsburgh Pirates – started one game – completed 17-of-43 passes, leading the team in passing
Ranked 8th in passing touchdowns with four
Ranked 7th in passing yards/game
Ranked 10th in passes completed per game and pass attempts per game

1938 Pittsburgh Pirates – played 10 games, starting two -played alongside Whizzer White
1939 Pittsburgh Pirates – played one game

William Clarence Muellner
End - 5-11 - 175 - 1937
1937 Chicago Cardinals – played in one game

Red O’Connor
End - 5-8 - 175 - 1920-24
1920 Chicago Cardinals – played in three games

1921 Chicago Cardinals – played in five games, starting four – played with Blue Demon John Scanlon

1922 Chicago Cardinals – played in five games, starting four

1924 Chicago Cardinals – started three games

Tom Roberts
Tackle-Guard - 6-1 - 215 - 1943-45
Drafted in the 10th round by the New York Giants – 90th overall pick

1943 New York Giants – played nine games – Giants finished first in NFL East
1944 Chicago Bears – played seven games, starting two games – finished second in the NFL West

1945 Chicago Bears – played nine games, starting one game

In 1977, he was honored with induction into the Roselund Pullman Hall of Fame with DePaul teammate and NFL alum Max Fiske.

John Scanlon
TB / WR - 1921-26
1921 Chicago Cardinals - scored one rushing touchdown

1926 Louisville Colonels – played two games, starting one

Dick Stahlman
Tackle-Guard 6-2 219 1924-33 (unconfirmed)
1924 – Akron Pros, Kansas City Blues, Hammond Pros and Kenosha Maroons – started eight games

1925 Akron Pros – second team all-NFL – Green Bay Press Gazette
started eight games games at right tackle

1927 New York Giants – started ten games at left tackle – finished 11-1-1 - 1927 Champions

1930 New York Giants – played in seven games, starting two – NFL runner-up

1931 Green Bay Packers – started 10-of-14 games at left tackle – finished 12-2 – NFL Champions

First-team All-NFL Colliers Eye Magazine – Second-Team All-NFL by NFL
Played for the Toledo Mudhens minor league baseball

1932 Green Bay Packers – started 10-of-13 games at right tackle – NFL Runner-up – under Coach Curly Lambeau

1933 Chicago Bears – played in eight games, starting two games - 1933 NFL Champions -

Student-Athletes at DePaul - Non-Football Letterwinners
Bill Boedeker
Halfback - 5-11 - 192 - 1946-50

Bill Boedeker played basketball at DePaul with hoops legend George Mikan. After DePaul, he was invited to play basketball professionally for the Chicago Stags. After fighting in WWII, Boedeker played five seasons in the NFL with shrapnel. In 1948, Boedeker played for the Cleveland Browns who became the first professional football team in a major league to win every game of the regular season and then continue victorious through the championship game.

1946 Chicago Rockets – 1 start - 1 receiving TD - backed up Halfback Elroy Hirsch

1947 Cleveland Browns – 3 starts – 4 rushing - 1 receiving TD - 1947 AAFC Champions – 12-1-1

1948 Cleveland Browns – 3 starts – 3 rushing - 2 receiving TD – 1948 AAFC Champions – 14-0-0 – Coached by legend Paul Brown with quarterback Otto Graham and Rookie Ara Parseghian

1949 Cleveland Browns – 7 starts - 1 rushing – 2 receiving TD – 1949 AAFC Champions – 9-1-2 Ranked Ninth in the league in yards from Scrimmage with 640 yards

1950 Philadelphia Eagles/ Green Bay

Bill Daley
FB/ DB/LB - 6-2 - 210 - 1946-48

Bill Daley originally came to Chicago to box professionally and enrolled at DePaul. While at DePaul, he participated in track and field until one of his coaches moved to the University of Minnesota where Daley followed. There he was introduced to the football coach and the game of football.

First Round – 7th Pick 1943 - Picked with the seventh pick of the 1943 NFL Draft

1946 Miami Seahawks & Brooklyn Dodgers
– started three games1947 Chicago Rockets – started 12 games- rushing for 447 yards

1948 New York Yankees
– played in seven games

DePaul Student - Non-Football Letterwinners
Theodore Aloysius Lapka
End - 6-1 - 193 - 1943-46

Theodore Lapka had a Hall-of-Fame caliber collegiate career at St. Ambrose College graduating in 1942. While playing in the NFL Lapka attended and graduated form DePaul Law School. In 1943, Lapka caught a touchdown pass from Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh to help the Redskins advance to the World Championship game.

1943 Washington Redskins – played in seven games – made two receptions – won the NFL East – Lost to Bears in 1943 World Championship

1944 Washington Redskins – played in five games, starting two – four receptions including one touchdown

1946 Washington Redskins – played in seven games