Archive for 'Pro Football Hall of Fame'

The EPIX network recently released a documentary entitled “Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football.” This documentary detailed how Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Bill Willis, and Marion Motley re-integrated pro football in 1946 after a 12-year NFL ban on African-American players. The documentary is, as I expected, a colossal disappointment on so many levels. I guess that means I’m in overall agreement with Variety, which called the documentary “unexpectedly forgettable” and described it as follows: “It’s such a stiff, by-the-numbers approach that ‘Forgotten Four’ provides little insight, feeling like the Hallmark Cards version of an HBO or ESPN ‘30 for…

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Guy Chamberlin

(This post on Guy Chamberlin, which originally appeared on, is the last in a four-part series on the men who coached Duke Slater during his career.) Duke Slater spent five years with the Rock Island Independents before the franchise folded. He then moved on to the Chicago Cardinals, playing his first full season with them in 1927. The Cards’ coach was Guy Chamberlin, one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, and an unheralded part of Duke Slater’s success in the NFL. Guy Chamberlin Guy’s father was a farmer who shortened the family’s surname from Chamberlain to Chamberlin to…

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Jim Conzelman

(This post on Jim Conzelman, which originally appeared on, is the third in a four-part series on the men who coached Duke Slater during his career.) In the 1920s, African-Americans had few opportunities in professional football. However, Duke Slater’s outstanding senior season at Iowa in 1921 drew the attention of several NFL teams. The closest NFL team to Iowa was the Rock Island Independents, just over the Mississippi River in Rock Island, Illinois. Slater signed a contract with the Indees just before the 1922 season, becoming the first African-American lineman in NFL history. Jim Conzelman Rock Island was led by…

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