"I never forget anything," said Greasy. "Bosh, I was just recalling my days as a player. Now, the last game I played was in 1930. I was 39 years old and I hadn't played for 12 years. It was in Ironton, Ohio, and I was coaching the Tanks there. I decided to put myself in at end against Portsmouth—they were in the NFL then, later took over the Detroit franchise. I weighed 161. The backfield that was opposing us included Lumpkin, formerly of Georgia, who weighed 224. Then there was McClain from Iowa at 245, Glassgow, an All-America at Iowa, at 190, and Bennett from Indiana."
"How much did Bennett weigh?" said Pritchard.
"Bennett," said Greasy, "weighed 193. Well, these were the kind of fellows who were coming around my end. Now, I had bet that I would play 60 minutes, and I had also bet that we would win. I took a terrible beating, but all I got that showed was a black eye. But I decided that game would be the grand finale of my playing career."
"Who won?" asked Pritchard.
"What was the score?"
"The score was 16-15," said Greasy. "And we also beat two other NFL clubs in exhibitions, the Chicago Bears by a score of 27 to 13 and the New York Giants—with Benny Friedman at quarterback—13 to 12.
"Of course, professional football had not caught on with the fans in those days. Baseball was the big thing. Baseball was a much faster game at that time. Why, Christy Mathewson, pitching for the New York Giants, once pitched a game in 54 minutes. He would rarely take as much as an hour and a half. He wouldn't fuss around with the rosin bag, hitch up his pants, scratch himself and keep mopping his face with his sleeve. He would get the ball from the catcher and in a matter of seconds he would pitch. Of course, in those days when I was playing—I was in organized baseball eight years—a pitcher could do a lot of things he can't do today. He had a big assortment of pitches. The spit ball, the shine ball, so on and so forth. Now the pitcher can't use any of those pitches. But the umpires give him all the time he wants to get set. The game that Mathewson pitched in 54 minutes might run to three hours today. Doubleheaders can go on far into the night. I will tell you something. Despite the fact that I played the game myself, I find some midseason games downright boresome. I don't go out to see them. Oh, I'll watch them on the TV, but it has to be something special like Willie Mays being in town or Old Timers' Day to get me to the stadium. But, on the other hand, I wouldn't miss a pro football game here in New York. I've got a box for the Giants' home games. I take my physician and my dentist along as my guests. We enjoy those games. You can't get bored with pro football—it's an open game, fast, action every minute, spectacular plays. People love the pro game. Why, the Giants are sold out solid all the time."
Greasy declined a drink. "I used to drink nothing but rye whiskey," he said. "Here some years back I went to three football banquets in three nights. I drank rye whiskey all night long three nights running. Fourth day I had a hangover that must have registered on the seismographs. I swore off."
"Tell them how you got the films of the Chicago Bears' T formation when you were coaching the Eagles," Pritchard said.