If Red Grange was alive today he would be 108 years old today.
As it is one of the founder members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 1963) made it to the ripe old age of 87.
Not bad considering he played the brutal sport of American Football in a time where a leather skull cap and a thick vest were considered sufficiant padding to protect people from the onslaught of rabid defenders.
Grange knew pain from an early age, he lost his mother aged five, and as a teenager at Wheaton High School in Illinois he was hit so hard in a hight school game he remained unconscious for 48 hours.
The achievements of Red Grange go beyond 99% of any human being who has ever picked up and carried a football, and it is during these times of billion dollar stadiums and billion dollar lawsuits that we should remember that without the likes of Red Grange there would be no multi million dollar football players.
The New York Times ran an article about Grange’s historic 1925 week 11 game for the Chicago Bears, in New York against the rookie franchise Giants. Was it not for 73,000 fans turning up to see the ‘Galloping Ghost’ in the flesh (let alone the 20,000 refused entry on the day) it is arguable that the Giants would have ceased to exist by the end of that year. The other four teams that entered the NFL in 1925 (Detroit Panthers, Pottsville Maroons, Providence Steam Roller and the Canton Bulldogs) all failed to survive.
Anyone who loves the NFL must read all about Red Grange, especially on his birthday.
Lets all raise a toast to Red Grange – a man who deserves the status of legend.