Sports World Mourning for Jimmy Conzelman
II Sports World Mourning for Jimmy Conzelman THERE WASN'T the usual pre-kickoff pre-kickoff pre-kickoff frivolity among the press box old-timers old-timers old-timers at last night's College AH-Star AH-Star AH-Star football game. The old guard was silently mourning mourning long-time long-time long-time pal, Jimmy Conzelman. Jimmy died yesterday in St. Louis at 72. Jimmy coached the Chicago Cardinals Cardinals to a 28 to 0 victory ovfir Frank Leahy's All-Stars All-Stars All-Stars in the 1948 game on the lake front. You certainly remember those great Cardinals: Elmer Angsman, Charley Trippi, Marshall Goldberg, Pat Harder, Pnul Christman, et al. Conzelman Conzelman was their peerless, great white-maned white-maned white-maned father, and directed them to football conquests that still are remembered remembered on Chicago's South Side. Charles I Stormy Bldwlll and his Mrs., early arrivals at the Stars vs. Chiefs game, particularly mourned Conzelman. Conzelman. Bidwill is president of the Cardinals, now based in bt. Louis, ana also heads Chicago's National Jockey Club. It was Stormy's pappy, Charley LBluc Shirt Bidwill, who brought back Conzelman Conzelman to build the Cardinals into a National Football Leaguo contender when tho AU-Americn AU-Americn AU-Americn Conference based a team the Rockets in Chicago. "I knew that Jimmy had bean In 111 health," said Storm, Bidwill, "but we were shocked to hear of his death. He war such u great guy, personally, and a magnificent football man. "I was only a kid when I traveled with the Cards in the championship year of '47, and in 1948 when Conzelman led Sis to the Western Division title. Remember how we lot ihat '48 championship game to Philadelphia in the snow? In the Wake of the News BY DAVID CONDON ' Jimmy Cunzcliuun . . . game Is over "Those were the days, and Jimmy Conzelman helped make 'em. On those train trips he'd entertain us with his funny stories while he drank Coke by the case, "I was always sorry they never put pianos on the trains because you know how Conzelman loved to play the piano all night long. Whenever Conzelman was telling a story, or playing the piano, there was always a crowd of people who loved life and good times. x "You know why Conzelman quit the Cardinals? " Stormy asked, going on. And quicker than I could say "Waller Wolfncr," Stormy continued: "Jimmy told us at the time he left and repeated it as recently as last ycar--that ycar--that ycar--that ycar--that he left the Cardinals only because football coaching didn't offer much security or future for a man past 50 So he went with an advertising agency in St. Louis and joined some pension plan." f GORGE HALAS, founder of tho Chicago Bears, was V.f shocked to learn of the death of a man who had been football friend and foe for decades. Halas said; "My association v fh Jimmy Conzelman began when we were teammates on the ( ivat Lakes Naval Training Station football team in 1018. That was I'jitrly Driscoll's team, too. "Conzehriiiii was a quarterback and halfback. Wo went down to ArnapoliR and beat Navy, 7 to 6. Then we played the Mate fslar,-. fslar,-. fslar,-. Marines in the 1919 Rose Bowl game. Even then cio1'. js thronged around Jimmy. There was never a dull r.ioment when Jimmy was around. "Few rcmomber that Conzelman helped Charlie Dresscn at quarterback when I had the 1920 Decatur Staleys. Later he played with the Rock Island Independents. And the Milwaukee Badgers, Detroit Panthers, and Providence Steamrollers. "You ask me how good Conzelman was for football? Well, he's enshrined in both the college and pro football Halls of Fame," -- -- WALLY HEIM AND BILL LEONARD, who led the St. Louis Browns' Fan Club delegation to the All-Star All-Star All-Star game, asked that we remind you that Conzelman once was an executive executive with the old St. Louis Browns' baseball team. Said Heim: "The Browns and the Cardinals! Jimmy certainly had a knack for associating with losers. The Cardinal fans all talk about Jimmy's great teams of 1947 and 1948. They seem to forget that ho coached a couple of their dog teams before World War II." Elmor Laydcn, the Four Horsemen fullback and .head coach of the 1930 All-Star All-Star All-Star team that lost to the Giants on field goals by Ward Cuff and Ken Strong, recalled how Conzelman took his 1936 Washington of St. Louis team down to play Notre Damo. Those were the days when coaches weren't too important to attend the Friday night press parties, and at this one Conzelman moaned how "Coach Lnyden's great big giants and monsters are gonna massacre my little boys." Midway in the evening there was a cloudburst, and as Jimmy watched it thru a window, his face brightened into a king-sized king-sized king-sized smile. "The deluge," suid Conzelman. "Now, in the mud and water, my little boys got a chance." Pal Harder Paul Christman Marshall Goldberg Layden put an arm around Conzelman and said: "Jimmy," I'm sorry. The field is covered by a tarpaulin." 1 I WAS SUPPOSED to write a column about all tJifl,i personalities and pageantry surrounding last night's All-Star All-Star All-Star game. You know, about the folks in attendance, like the Park'-District Park'-District Park'-District president, Dan Shannon, and his Mrs.; Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Do Paul Garrlty Vince has seen 24 All-Star All-Star All-Star games;' Indiana Coach Johnny Pont, and Athletic Director Elroy Hlrscll1' of Wisconsin. I hope the houseful of celebrities, whose names T usually mention, will understand. George Strickler, exccutiyc director of Chicago Tribune Charities, Inc., certainly wiji understand. .-' .-' Sometimes a guy with a heavy heart has to gel it off his , chest. Strickler and I were nuts about Jimmy Conzelman. and I hud to tell you about him in this morning's essay. And right now we'll bet Jimmy's saying to St. Pete: "Stop me if you've'-heard you've'-heard you've'-heard this one . . ."