The Pro Football Researchers Association announced its finalists for the Hall of Very Good on Friday.
Since its creation in 2003, the Green Bay Packers have been represented every year but one. This year, the ties are relatively insignificant with the wingback/quarterback/halfback/kicker Ward Cuff among the hopefuls.
Cuff played from 1937 through 1945 with the New York Giants before concluding his career in 1946 with the Chicago Cardinals and 1947 with the Packers. During his one year in Green Bay, he led the NFL with seven field goals and 16 attempts, converted all 30 extra points and rushed once for 7 yards.
Cuff, a fourth-round pick in 1937, finished fourth in the NFL in rushing in 1943 and seventh in 1944, and led the league both times in yards per carry. He was a three-time Pro Bowler.
Cuff’s Wisconsin ties run deeper than his Green Bay ties. According to his 2003 obituary in the New York Times, Cuff went to Marquette and played for the team that lost to Sammy Baugh’s TCU squad in the inaugural Cotton Bowl in 1937. He also was Marquette’s heavyweight boxing champion and record-holder in the javelin.
Later, he was an assistant coach at Oregon State and worked as an industrial recreation manager at Boeing.
The other finalists: linebacker Bill Bergey, running back Larry Brown, defensive tackle Curley Culp, safety Ken Easley, defensive end/end Horace Gillom, linebacker Larry Grantham, defensive end L.C. Greenwood, cornerback Lester Hayes, end Harlon Hill, tackle Winston Hill, tackle Dick Huffman, quarterback Jack Kemp, tackle George Kunz, defensive back Eddie Meador, tackle/center/coach Ted Nesser. guard Duane Putnam, receiver Gene Washington, center Ray Wietecha and lineman Swede Youngstrom.
Bobby Dillon, Boyd Dowler, Verne Lewellen, Cecil Isbell, Timmy Brown, John Hadl, Fuzzy Thurston, Lavvie Dilweg, Tobin Rote, Billy Howton, Dave Robinson and Jerry Kramer are the Green Bay players in the Hall of Very Good.
The Class of 2012 will be selected by the end of the year. Begun in 2003, the Hall of Very Good seeks to honor outstanding players and coaches who are not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is backing Dilweg for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.