The 1940s was a time of change and growth in the National Football League. World War II was an interruption and delay, as well as ended a lot of football player's careers. But many went on to become well known NFL names and are remembered for their great contributions to All-American Football.
Pro Football player, Jim Benton was an Arkansas graduate who went on to play for Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams from 1942-47. Benton played the end position and led the NFL in receiving yards in 1945-46. His NFL receiving record is 303 yards against the Detroit Lions.
George Conner attended Holy Cross college in Notre Dame, Indiana and was the New York Giants number one draft pick in 1946. He was traded immediately to the Boston Yanks and then to the Bears. Conner was an All-NFL player at three positions- offensive tackle, defensive tackle and linebacker. He had the amazing ability to diagnose enemy plays and went on to play in four Pro-Bowl games.
Bruno Banducci was a Stanford college man who played guard position and was known to be an outstanding lineman throughout his professional football career. Banducci played for the Philadelphia Eagles, 1944-45 and San Francisco 49ers AAFC/NFL, 1946-54. He was a great team captain for many years and was selected as a first or second-team all-league member seven times.
Clyde Turner from Hardin-Simmons college, earned his "Bulldog" nickname by playing an excellent center position. He was known for his fantastic blocking, skilled pass-defending and superb ball-snapping. Turner's Pro-Football career with the Chicago Bears lasted from 1940-52. Clyde Turner was selected for seven All-NFL teams and landed the offensive line on four NFL championship teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.
Bob Waterfield came from UCLA and was the draft pick of the Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams in 1945. Waterfield was NFLs most valuable rookie football player in 1945 and led his team on to NFL championship, ending his football career in 1952. He won All-Pro honors three times and led the league in passing twice. Bob Waterfield gained Hall of Fame induction in 1965.
Many great NFL players of the 1940s have been forgotten over the years, but left an NFL impact forever. One laid down his life for the sake of America after joining the army, even though he could have been exempt due to his size, 6-6 height and 250 weight. He died six weeks after playing in the 1944 NFL championship, while searching for platoon comrades in the snowy mountains of France. He is a real hero of all time.
Thanks for highlighting these folks...not a lot of people will remember or appreciate 40s players.
Don't like football but really interesting list.
Your list has refreshed the 1940's football heros.h5
Good reporting. Interesting read about 1940's football heroes. Hi5
select one here...