|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on March 2, 2011 at 3:01 AM||comments (1)|
The month of March has barely arrived and we have already lost over 20 pro football players. It looks as though 2011 could turn out to be a very sad year for our pro-football pioneers. The highest number of recorded deaths were in 2002 with 166 players passing away that year. I hope this year is far less.
On another note, we have recorded 5,500+ player deaths from 1920 - 2011 so far. This includes players from the old AFL days of the 1920's - 1940's. Many of which have not been published anywhere else. A daunting task for sure, but we are up to the challenge. There are still about 150 players that are being researched and/or confirmed.
|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on February 17, 2011 at 9:41 AM||comments (0)|
The work to "update" the pro-football encyclopedia and the many online sites that have copied or to be more accurate, "ripped off" their work and make it their own seems endless. We have literally found hundreds and hundreds of faulty data that can be best described as a mistake, and at worse, deceitful.
As we go through the process, we can actually see the 'research' patterns and methods the so called "experts" in the field have employed in there quest to provide you with an accurate history of professional football.
Some of the blunders are just down right awful. We can site many examples of shoddy research, but for now, I will only talk about some of the mistakes we have found. For example, one of the most egregious errors that we found is the one where they take information for a woman that passed away and use her birth and death data in place of an actual player with the same first and last name and use it in the encyclopedia. Why do this? Were they guessing? Did they assume that nobody would ever fact check the information or were they in such a hurry to publish a book that they used the first thing they found? We will probably never know the reasoning.
There are also numerous examples of players dying many years ago that were either still listed as alive or listed as having died 70+ years after the fact. (See George 'Babe' Ruetz, 1922 Racine Legion).
Do I sound bitter? I hope not. I am and have become very frustrated with the work I see from the experts. How can these people put out a book, get paid for it, and have so many inaccuracies? I can understand the fact that people make mistakes and with this type of research, on this scale, things can certainly happen.
All that being said, there are mistakes that we, as professional football researchers can do nothing about. Sometimes you will read that a player died 'last night'. Does this mean before midnight or after midnight, which can throw off the death date? Who really knows. We were not there and especially if it was 50+ years ago. These types of mistakes are minor and are not something to get upset about. But when a player is alive and has been reported as deceased in the 1970's (See Bill Gray, 1947 Washington Redskins) that is frustrating to say the least.
I can remember when I bought "Total Football" in the 1990's. I was amazed. What a great book, or so I thought! It had all the pertinent information I could ever hope to acquire.
Over the years, I would make notations on a players page. I placed a check mark next to their name when I wrote them a letter (which I did often) and of course I updated the death data as time when on. The book today is literally in 6 pieces because I used it so much. The binding tore off long ago and I had to use it in sections. It was certainly easier to maneuver!
Yes, the book is still an amazing piece of work, but little did I know the data provided was not what I would have hoped it was at the time. Little did I know, it would take me to this point.
We are 95% complete with this web site. We are still gathering information and trying to complete the last few hundred players. This includes the birth and death information from AFL League players of the 1920's - 1940's that have never been published. These are proving to be difficult, but I will tell you this, we will not put anything on this web site that has not been researched carefully.
|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on March 28, 2010 at 7:37 PM||comments (0)|
I have posted the deaths of pro football players from 1980 to 1989. A big thanks goes (again) to my buddy Steve. Without his help and research, this site would not be so accurate. It is 'a work in progress' partly because we are trying to be as accurate as possible and because the information that has been published by the "football encyclopedia" and related web sites are very unreliable.
I will keep updating the 1980's deaths .....keep checking!
|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on December 27, 2009 at 4:59 PM||comments (0)|
I have recorded the following data from 1990 - 2011.
Pro Football Player Deaths - 2,882 players
|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on October 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on August 29, 2009 at 10:53 AM||comments (3)|
This summer has been windy, rainy and seemed to fly by quicker than most. School is upon us and that always means an end to the fun relaxing days of summer. I guess it goes quicker the older you get. In any event, it did give me (and my right hand man in this project, Steve Jubyna) a great opportunity to go through the alive/death lists and try to make them as accurate as possible.
When I started this project, I really felt overwhelmed by the amount of research and data that would be needed to make this site one that is worthy of your attention. I can honestly say that the oldest living list, to 1,000, and the death list since 1990 are the most accurate that anyone has ever compiled. Andy it gets better by the day. I have said it before but there is nobody that knows more about the history of pro football than Steve J. He has been researching and compiling data for many years and is a stickler for accuracy. This site would not be where it is without his tremendous work. I am sure we have sent back and forth 1,000 emails this year alone discussing players and the accuracy of their reported data.
When working on the Pro Football deaths, I have tried to match the death dates from as many sources as possible. I was very surprised to see so many 'errors' from other online sources and from publications that are supposed to be checking and re-checking their data. I know with something so large, there are bound to be some mistakes. But, there have been many birth dates that have seemingly been pulled from the air. Death dates that are not even close to being the right player.
I have found a bunch of players that were reported as deceased but are most certainly alive. The most recent examples of this are, H. Leon Cunningham, William Bill Gray Jr., Charles Pavlich and Vic Schleich who in some instances, was reported as being deceased in 1990. Who the hell is doing this! It really makes me upset that there are people that for years have thought of themselves as football historians and make such mistakes.
I know there is a 'death list' being passed around by someone that is considered to be a very knowledgeable person in the autograph hobby. Well, the list is a joke. There are many missing players that should be on such a list and then there are many on the list that are alive. It is sad that people look up to this person as a knowledgeable informed pro football historian.
I had the opportunity to interview over 50 players this summer. It has been a great thrill to talk to them and hearing stories of their careers. I would like to thank them all again for their generosity and time. I hope they enjoyed going down memory lane with me as much as I did hearing about it!
As always, I will continue to research and update the information to make the lists as accurate as possible. Thank you for looking and keep checking back.
|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on May 28, 2009 at 7:08 PM||comments (0)|
I have been working hard at updating and searching for missing players that have not been reported as having died. Thanks to a few more knowledgeable football historians than I will ever be, Steve J., Mel B & Bill C., I have added many unreported deaths through the years 1990 - 2009.
It seems that a day doesn't go by without an addition to the necrology section. Most are for the years 1990 - 1996. I appreciate all the help and I will continue to work "backwards" and start doing the 1980's.
Keep checking! As of May 28, 2009, there are just over 2,300 pro football players that have passed away between the years 1990 - 2009.
|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on May 28, 2009 at 6:54 PM||comments (0)|
Remember the excitement when we found out that Sam 'Smoke' Salemi Dana was still alive? Everyone thought he passed away many years ago. He was very much alive and became the oldest living pro football player living to a ripe old age of 104.
Well, here is another long lost pro football player that has proven the old adage, don't always believe what you read. In many encyclopedias and publications over the years, Bill Gray was thought to be deceased.
I recently had the great honor to speak with William 'Bill' Robertson Gray Jr., 1947 & 1948 Washington Redskins player. It had been noted in many publications that Mr. Gray died in 1978! He is very much alive and well living in Oregon. He was born on December 27, 1922 and is now 86 years old.
There are many old time pro football players still around. It seems we only have to find them. I will be doing a more in depth interview with him in the days to come. Stay tuned!
|Posted by OldestLivingProFootball.com on May 21, 2009 at 8:42 PM||comments (0)|
After just over 2 years, this web site has grown a great deal and I wanted to thank everyone that sends me an e-mail with information or ideas about how to continue to make this a great place to visit. It has become a labor of love. It takes many hours to research and add new information. I really enjoy every moment. As I have stated many times before, this site is not perfect but I will continue to research information and update it as soon as new data becomes available.
I have many new ideas on ways to make this site grow. One that I am particularly excited about is the 'Interview' page I am developing. I have interviewed a number of the old time greats and will be posting stories in the next few weeks. I hope to be able to post a new interview once or twice a week.
Talking to these guys is a great thrill. They have some great stories and in site into the early days of pro football. One, for example is Ezzert 'Sugarfoot' Anderson (1947 Los Angeles Dons). We had a great conversation and he is still working in the football arena in Canada....at the great age of 89!
I also interviewed Chris 'Duke' Iversen (1947 New York Giants). The one thing he wanted to let us know is that his name is spelled Iversen, not Iverson. It seems to be spelled wrong in many places.
On a sad note, I was able to have a short conversation with Lyle S. Graham (1941 Philadelphia Eagles) a week before he passed away (February 27, 2009). I was hoping to have an in depth interview with him and never got the chance.
I will be posting these interviews shortly.