Friday, September 16, 2016

"Train for Game with Giants", 1946

Seventy years ago today, this photo hit the wires:


SPRING VALLEY, N.Y.--Masterminding the Green Bay Packers are, left to right: Walter Kiesling, line coach; Curly Lambeau, head coach; and Don Hutson, backfield coach. They are shown at Spring Valley, N.Y., Sept. 16th, as the Packers began the final phase of training for their Sept. 20th Tribune Fresh-Air Fund game with the New York Football Giants.

Don Hutson had retired at the end of the previous season, but in his new role as coach he was often pictured wearing his old uniform in practice. Walt Kiesling himself had played for the Packers in 1935 and 1936, but neither he nor Curly Lambeau ever dug their uniforms out of mothballs.

Spring Valley is in Rockland County, New York, just across the Hudson River from Westchester County (and just north of New Jersey). The Packers were in town, as the caption indicates, to play the Giants in a charity game to benefit the Fresh Air Fund, which even to today gives New York City kids summer experiences in rural camps all up and down the East Coast.

Despite the work of Kiesling, Lambeau, and Hutson, the Packers lost that exhibition game, 35-21, in front of a crowd of over 48,000. The following week, the Packers were back in Green Bay to face the Chicago Bears in the season opener. Unfortunately for the Bays, that game didn't end any better, as the Bears rolled over them 30–7.

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