- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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He is correct on the surface when he says the Lions were a chronic second-division club when Parker took over, but neglects to mention that it was a hopeless entry when Bo McMillin took over in 1948. Bo promised the directors a championship in five years and showed steady progress toward that end. The 1950 club showed great advancement and missed a higher finish through a succession of narrow losses. But the groundwork had been laid and it was almost the same club?certainly the key personnel was the same?which won the championship in 1952?right on Bo's original schedule.
I do not intend to low-rate Buddy Parker, who has shown he's one of the better coaching hands, but it was McMillin who put together such key men as Les Bingaman, Lou Creekmur, Thurman McGraw, Leon Hart, Cloyce Box, Doak Walker, Bob Smith, Bob Hoernschemeyer and Bob Layne?and where would the Lions be without them?
Bo's trouble at Detroit stemmed mainly from his dual position of head coach and general manager. Rumor has it that the internal strife got a helping hand from inside.
It happened that the summer before I had met the great Hurry-Up Yost whose brother was working in the oil fields at Amos, West Virginia. He proudly paraded Coach Yost all over the place and even introduced us kids.
When it was officially announced that Michigan would actually journey west to play Stanford at the Exposition grounds in Pasadena, I think I must have had some vague idea that Yost would remember me and probably invite me to sit with him on the bench!