On June 25th, I ran an entry based on the Packer Bulletin for the upcoming Packers-Cardinals game scheduled for October 11, 1931, with comments from Cardinals’ Coach Leroy Andrew who was in town scouting the Packers. Since then, I interviewed Andrew’s surviving son Dal for a book I am currently researching (working title: Pioneer Coaches of Pro Football: Inventing the Profession in the Days of Leather Helmets and 60-Minute Men), and he relayed the following story that his father would tell about that scouting trip and the fervor of Packer fans.
That trip I heard about many times as a youngster. Dad would be talking to someone, getting acquainted, and pro football [would be brought up.] The question would come up: How can the Packers survive in such a small town? Dad would respond that it’s the degree of support, and he related it to that October of 1931. The Cardinals did not have a game that weekend, so Dad, consistent with being the scout as well as recruiter and so on, bought a round trip train ticket Chicago to Green Bay, went up, walked across the bridge. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the layout of Green Bay, but at that time [the train station] was just less than a half mile apart [from City Stadium].
He was scouting the team and he felt he had a good set of notes. He was really looking forward to getting back and cashing in on the notes as the crowd was walking out. He said, “Like a fool, instead of putting them in my pocket, I was sorting them out, getting them in sequence and so on when all of a sudden, somebody bumped me from the left side a little bit harder than he needed to. I turned around to look at him. With that, a hand went between my hands and grabbed all the notes.”
Dad turned back to go after him and instantly six of Green Bay’s biggest locals were right between him and this 13- or 14-year-old kid who was going under the fence that was conveniently held up by two more locals, and the kid with Dad’s notes was up and over the hill. Dad took one step in his direction, recognized how many people were between them, and he stopped and looked at the people. An elderly gentleman around him said, “It’s just as well they’re gone, mister. We weren’t about to let you out of town with them.” Packer fans had picked up on him and had been watching him apparently for some time and with a coordinated effort did not let the scouting notes get out of town.
When asked what happened at that point, Leroy responded: ”What could I do? I stopped at the cigar store on the way back to the train station, picked up a pad of paper, went and took a seat in the back row of the train car and started regenerating the notes as best I could from memory” Thanks to Dal “Andy” Andrew for filling me in on the rest of the story.
Custom card of 1931 Packers’ team.