Saturday, February 23, 2013

1926 Team Blanket Donated to Hall of Fame

I don't know how I missed this from last August, but a 1926 team blanket was recently donated to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Packers Hall of Fame Inc. announces donation of 1926 team blanket

The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. today announced the donation of a 1926 Green Bay Packers team blanket by Bill Cahoon of Dandridge, Tenn.

The blanket, which belonged to Bill Cahoon’s father, Ivan "Tiny" Wells Cahoon, is square and about four feet across. It is light purple with gold lettering that reads “Green Bay” with the number "10" on it. According to the Hall of Fame, it's possible that the item was originally blue, but has faded to light purple over time.

"I didn't even realize this blanket existed," Bill Cahoon said. "My sister gave it to me. I asked her, 'Where did you get this?' and she said, 'Mom gave it to me!' It's an interesting piece of history and I doubt if there are any others like it. I want to donate it to the Packers Hall of Fame so that others can see it. The Hall of Fame is very well-known and a lot of people will be able to view the blanket there."

Ivan Cahoon played as an offensive and defensive tackle for the Packers from 1926 to 1929. Under coach Curly Lambeau, Cahoon played in 31 games, starting in 27. Cahoon’s football career ended during the 1929 season, just before the Packers' first NFL championship, when he sustained a knee injury.

After his retirement from football, Cahoon maintained his connection to the sport by coaching high school football. In 1933, he took up the reins at Green Bay West High School.

In 1938, Cahoon became the coach and athletic director at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill., a job set up for him, according to his son, Bill, by Packers teammate Jug Earp. He then left Monmouth after two years and went up to Milwaukee to coach a professional team, the Chiefs. Then World War II broke out. He also coached some service teams during his time in the Army.

During World War II, Cahoon was promoted from captain to major. He died at an Army hospital in San Francisco, Calif. on Feb. 3, 1973 at the age of 72. A graduate of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., he was inducted into the Gonzaga Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.

Although the origin of the blanket is unknown, it is likely that it was given to Cahoon after the Packers 7-3-3 season in 1926 as a year-end gift.

"We are very excited to receive this blanket," said Tom Murphy, Packers Hall of Fame Inc. director and archivist. "We don't have many items from that era, so we are very thankful for Bill’s donation."

This is not Bill Cahoon's first donation to the Hall of Fame. In 1966 he donated a football that was given to his dad after his only career touchdown during the Sept. 25, 1927, contest against the Cleveland Bulldogs. That ball can now be seen in the Johnny "Blood" McNally display at the Hall of Fame.
A great story, and what an incredible artifact.

1926 was the team's second season in City Stadium after leaving Hagemeister Park.

The 1926 Green Bay Packers

The team went 7-3-3 that year, which was good enough to earn fifth place in the single-table NFL.

W L T %
Frankford Yellow Jackets 14 1 2 .933
Chicago Bears 12 1 3 .923
Pottsville Maroons 10 2 2 .833
Kansas City Cowboys 8 3 0 .727
Green Bay Packers 7 3 3 .700
New York Giants 8 4 1 .667
Los Angeles Buccaneers 6 3 1 .667
Duluth Eskimos 6 5 3 .545
Buffalo Rangers 4 4 2 .500
Chicago Cardinals 5 6 1 .455
Providence Steam Roller 5 7 1 .417
Detroit Panthers 4 6 2 .400
Hartford Blues 3 7 0 .300
Brooklyn Lions 3 8 0 .273
Milwaukee Badgers 2 7 0 .222
Dayton Triangles 1 4 1 .200
Akron Indians 1 4 3 .200
Racine Tornadoes 1 4 0 .200
Columbus Tigers 1 6 0 .143
Canton Bulldogs 1 9 3 .100
Hammond Pros 0 4 0 .000
Louisville Colonels 0 4 0 .000

Ties didn't count in the standings in those days—if they had, the 1933 Packers would have won their fourth championship in a row, as their 10-3-1 record was judged inferior to the champion Bears' mark of 7-1-6.

What a time to be a football fan in Green Bay; Curly Lambeau was still at the height of his playing career, and the Packers were on the verge of putting together the dynasty that would win three consecutive championships. This blanket must have been present for some amazing games.

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