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Thread: Elmer's Ghost

  1. #1
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    Default Elmer's Ghost

    After having been a season-ticket holder for so many years when the team was in St.Louis had to be in attendance for what may have been the last season for the Rams in that God-forsaken baseball town. Was glad that Cardinal fans travelled in such strong support of our team. We certainly added to a likely large group attending the game from Cedar Rapids, Iowa area to cheer on rookie David Johnson representing them and Northern Iowa University. And to be treated to his first NFL start made it all the more memorable.

    Enjoying the game in that half-empty cavernous building it was so striking how the Cardinal fans could be seen and heard dominating that space. I swear I could hear the ghost of Cardinal-great Elmer Angsman cheering David on to his great game. My father after he came home from the war followed the Fighting Irish attending many games before marrying. He was a big fan of HC Frank Leahy and to his dying day said that 1949 Heisman winner,Leon Hart, was the greatest college player he had ever seen play. He played on three national championship teams, in '46, '47 and 1949.

    Well, the 1945 team had a dynamic RB. He was Chicago-born, Elmer Angsman, who the Cardinals' and HC, Jimmy Conzelman, coveted. The team was being built around the great Charlie Trippi and wanted to add an elusive speedster to complement the future HOF triple-threat back. They focused on Elmer and the youngster, who had been the youngest player ever drafted up to that time, really came into his own under Conzelman.

    His place in franchise history was secured when in the only championship the team has he scored two TD's to help the team beat the rival Eagles. Elmer's ghost just has to be looking over David's shoulder now helping the rookie come into his own and I am sure David felt his presence.

    That's my take on No.31 and I'm sticking to it. No.31 is on his way now and if TNF game hosting the Vikings shows him matching or surpassing AP in performance I will give Elmer's ghost its just due...

    Well,

  2. #2
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    After watching the TNF game DJ sure showed this fan something. The coaching he is getting from 'Stump' Mitchell, the example of veteran players around him, the careful and timely use of him as a rookie now seem to be helping him bring his dynamic abilities to the gameplan.

    Against the Rams he ran for 99 yds had a couple of catches and around 135 total yds and on national TV outran AP 92 yds against just 69 yds and with fewer carries and, again, around 130 yds of total offense. Maybe he had a sizeable group travelling down from NIU to give him some 'giddyup' to his game in his first NFL start, but, then, what may have helped him against the Vikings? If he goes to Philadelphia and performs at that level for a third straight game, and remember, it's a SNF game, well, I will have to put my money on Elmer's Ghost.

    You see, the biggest game of Elmer Angsman's career was against the Eagles helping win the 1947 Championship. The team had an even better season in '48 and Elmer was, again, expected to play a pivotal role in defending their title, but a gruesome Nor'easter snowstorm in Philadelphis gave the NFL historic playing conditions that greatly affected the outcome. All I am saying is, if DJ continues his outstanding play?...Elmer is in the huddle...

    Also, note that DJ's alma mater, NIU, is playing its quarterfinal game against powerhouse North Dakota State this morning. It would be interesting to learn he is in attendance to cheer on his former coach and teammates. What an inspiration he is for that program and its recruitment. He and No.13 make quite a twin impact don't you think? Whatever DJ is doing with his extended layoff til the next game it better be following veteran example.

  3. #3
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    Great comparison! I always love reading your posts as a history buff.

  4. #4
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    You know Tom If our owner had not died in the late 40.s I wonder how many Championships we would have won? How sad
    Larry Wilson Jackie Smith Jim hart Mel Gray

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    I hear you, 'genesis07'. My father talked that way many times during the years of my growing into being a Cardinal fan. He said, Charlie 'Blueshirt' Bidwill, had the fire in his belly to stand up to George Halas and compete for Chicago's profootball fans.

    With him having been a minority owner of the Bears after coming to Halas' financial aid in the early '30's to keep the Bears alive he got bit by the 'football bug.' Halas got out from under that payback by encouraging Charlie to buy the Cardinal franchise but didn't realize he now was facing a determined man who was up to the challenge of a rivalry. The Depression years and then WWII got in the way of the Cardinals establishing themselves but as the war came to a close he identified talent to go after and rehired Jimmy Conzelman whom he respected.

    We already had Marshall Goldberg and Mizzou QB, Paul Christman. He signed Heisman Trophy runnerup, Charlie Trippi and then Notre Dame speedster, Elmer Angsman. He bolstered the line and behind Conzelman's leadership the rest is history. His passing took the wind out of our sails, according to my Dad, and with his son's being too young to take the reins the team's fortunes fell into the hands of Charlie's widow. The teams fortunes sagged rather fast for the '49 season was not successful and Conzelman left as HC. Yea, my Dad lamented the woulda-coulda-shoulda throughout the '50's when he schooled me in everything Cardinals. Halas bidded his time and manuevered the team out of Chicago on the pretext of NFL expansion and fighting the new rival league, AFL.

    The icing on the cake in this history is when we failed to sign, Joe Namath, as our QB for the future. How that failure upset me and forced fans to wait for Jim Hart and his development under Don Coryell.

    Maybe this is the year Don Coryell is enshrined and that past disrespect is rectified.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Slick View Post
    I hear you, 'genesis07'. My father talked that way many times during the years of my growing into being a Cardinal fan. He said, Charlie 'Blueshirt' Bidwill, had the fire in his belly to stand up to George Halas and compete for Chicago's profootball fans.

    With him having been a minority owner of the Bears after coming to Halas' financial aid in the early '30's to keep the Bears alive he got bit by the 'football bug.' Halas got out from under that payback by encouraging Charlie to buy the Cardinal franchise but didn't realize he now was facing a determined man who was up to the challenge of a rivalry. The Depression years and then WWII got in the way of the Cardinals establishing themselves but as the war came to a close he identified talent to go after and rehired Jimmy Conzelman whom he respected.

    We already had Marshall Goldberg and Mizzou QB, Paul Christman. He signed Heisman Trophy runnerup, Charlie Trippi and then Notre Dame speedster, Elmer Angsman. He bolstered the line and behind Conzelman's leadership the rest is history. His passing took the wind out of our sails, according to my Dad, and with his son's being too young to take the reins the team's fortunes fell into the hands of Charlie's widow. The teams fortunes sagged rather fast for the '49 season was not successful and Conzelman left as HC. Yea, my Dad lamented the woulda-coulda-shoulda throughout the '50's when he schooled me in everything Cardinals. Halas bidded his time and manuevered the team out of Chicago on the pretext of NFL expansion and fighting the new rival league, AFL.

    The icing on the cake in this history is when we failed to sign, Joe Namath, as our QB for the future. How that failure upset me and forced fans to wait for Jim Hart and his development under Don Coryell.

    Maybe this is the year Don Coryell is enshrined and that past disrespect is rectified.

    I agree! It is funny that for a year we played with the steelers as one team . LOL It is a long story but I am a big Jets fan as well as a big Cards fan. Love them both as equals......First time I have heard of a Cards fan talk about the loss of Namath.

    I have a feeling this year comes down to Carson & both lines playing very well.
    Larry Wilson Jackie Smith Jim hart Mel Gray

  7. #7
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    I wish we had that 70's OL or the 60's OL from those Cards teams this year
    Larry Wilson Jackie Smith Jim hart Mel Gray

  8. #8
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    I hear ya. The mid to late '60's had from LT over to TE, Bob Reynolds, Irv Goode, Bod DeMarco, Ken Gray, Ernie McMillin and Jackie Smith. This was a league-wide respected group. The Don Coryell teams of the mid-70's had our best franchise line of Roger Finnie, Bob Young, Tom Banks, Conrad Dobler, Dan Dierdorf, and Jackie Smith, all first or second team Pro Bowlers. Their line coach was Jim Hanifan and when he became HC he put together a very effective unit of Luis Sharpe, Terry Stieve, Dan Dierdorf, Joe Bostic, Tootie Robbins and Doug Marsh.

    If SKBA can put together a similarly consistent group any time soon our offensive production could exceed even what this year's record-setting offense accomplished.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Slick View Post
    I hear ya. The mid to late '60's had from LT over to TE, Bob Reynolds, Irv Goode, Bod DeMarco, Ken Gray, Ernie McMillin and Jackie Smith. This was a league-wide respected group. The Don Coryell teams of the mid-70's had our best franchise line of Roger Finnie, Bob Young, Tom Banks, Conrad Dobler, Dan Dierdorf, and Jackie Smith, all first or second team Pro Bowlers. Their line coach was Jim Hanifan and when he became HC he put together a very effective unit of Luis Sharpe, Terry Stieve, Dan Dierdorf, Joe Bostic, Tootie Robbins and Doug Marsh.

    If SKBA can put together a similarly consistent group any time soon our offensive production could exceed even what this year's record-setting offense accomplished.
    I question if the 60,s line was not better than the 70's line but in my book they were two of the all time best OL's in football back to back. Just that GB was so good with Lombardi their lines got all the credit.
    Larry Wilson Jackie Smith Jim hart Mel Gray

  10. #10
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    Knowing this give 'n take about the O-lines of yesteryear for Valley fans comes across a bit dated for this old-school fan it's fun. Those lines represent the high-octane years for offense in the team's modern history. Think about it...Charley Johnson setting new standards for QB play with HC's Wally Lemm and Charley Winner followed by Jim Hart taking the Cardiac Cards to three successive division titles along with Terry Metcalf and Mel Gray and seeing Coryell's line coach, Jim Hanifan, schooling Neil Lomax to new heights with O.J., Stump, and Roy"Jetstream"Gray.

    When going to my Row 1, Section 35 upper deck seat at Busch Stadium in the mid-'70's I would always get in as early as I could and just watch those O-lineman go thru their warmups. They'd loosen up and then Hanifan would put them thru their paces as a unit and I then sense them getting ready to battle the likes of Landry's 'Doomsday
    Defense,' or Allen's 'Old Gray Line,' or the Jet's 'Sack Exchange,' the 49'ers 'Gold Rush,' and the Ram's 'Fearsome Foursome.' They always held their own or dominated the opposing D-line.

    Just talking about it brings a smile to my graybeard face for I know what BA could accomplish if he and SK are able to have the complete package of barracuda O-lineman, a unit par excellance. The sky would be the limit for CP. Look what he has accomplished this season. Go Big Red...

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