Friday, September 27, 2013

The first pick in the inaugural NFL draft said: 'No thanks'

This era's winners of the HEISMAN TROPHY -- college football's highest honor -- can parlay that accolade into a top-earning contract in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
Such was not the case for the trophy's first winner, DUBUQUE native JAY BERWANGER.
In "FIRST HEISMAN: THE LIFE OF JAY BERWANGER," biographer Brian Cooper details how the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES selected Berwanger with the first pick in the inaugural NFL Draft.
The Eagles subsequently traded the draft rights of the UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO star halfback to the CHICAGO BEARS.
Berwanger wasn't interested.
The star collegiate player was more intent on track and field competition and ultimately a career in business than a shot at pro football glory. There simply wasn't enough money in a Depression-era NFL career to make it worthwhile.
My, how times have changed.


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