Why so few carries? Well, Halas wanted to share the wealth. Besides, there was only so much energy in the Bronk's body. At least, that must have been part of it.
How to put Nagurski in historical perspective? In today's game, shorn of his defensive chores, he would have routinely cranked out 1,000-yard seasons. He would have had Larry Csonka or John Riggins numbers. He was very similar to Csonka in style, the way he would come up high at first and then dig his shoulders down and tunnel for yardage, but he played madder. I never saw Csonka or Riggins fly into such rages.
Hinkle, playing in the same era, was smoother. Nagurski was a rough nugget. Using modern techniques, he would have been a devastating pass blocker, in the style of Motley—who under Paul Brown in Cleveland became the first modern pass-blocking fullback. But Nagurski was a banger. Motley was a steamroller, a gathering force. He remains No. 1 on my alltime list.
Like Motley, Nagurski had his greatest years at the beginning of his career. I get the feeling that before his crushing back injury in 1935, Nagurski was a different player, tougher, wilder, more free-spirited. But we'll never know—at least until someone unearths the really old Nagurski footage.
Horrigan put the film back in the can.
"Want to see more games?" he said.
Yes, I would like to see more. All of it. But not now. I had found what I was after. I had seen what I wanted to see. I wanted to leave with the memories still fresh of two men who defined football for an era, Nagurski and Hutson. Power and grace.