With 29 days left until the start of the NFL season, our countdown to the big day continues.
Over the course of the next 29 days we focus on the number that represents the days remaining … and for today we take a look number 29.
Today we move on to #29 – a number that’s been worn by a total of 15 different players since 1950. However, aside from Casey Hayward, the current player wearing the number, there haven’t been many who were outstanding.
But once again we allow John Maxymuk, the author of “Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore them,” to take us back about through the years – once again to those teams of the 1930s – to examine the impact on the franchise by Charley Brock.
Right, but stay with us …
Let’s let Maxymuk explain:
Charley Brock was always a leader. He was captain at Nebraska, captain of the West team in the 1939 East-West Shrine Game, captain of the All-Stars in the 1939 College All-Star Game, and he was a pace-setter on the line for the Packers for nine years.
Undersized for a center at 180 pounds, he nonetheless was All Pro in 1945 and was a second team selection twice. His job as center in the single wing required him to snap the ball to a tailback several yards behind the line, not simply hand it back to a quarterback under center. He practiced his snaps an hour to an hour and a half each day. Five times he had his nose broken in an interior line scrum.
His primary value was on defense, where he was a terror at linebacker, intercepting 20 passes, recovering more than 11 fumbles (fumbles weren’t tabulated until 1945), and scoring four touchdowns on returns. He had a special skill in stripping ball-carriers of the pigskin. In his rookie year, he intercepted a pass, and he chased down a runner close to scoring in the 1939 title game shutout of the Giants.
After his playing career, Brock served as line coach at the University of Omaha in 1948 and then coached the Packers’ defense for one year before he was let go in the post-Lambeau transition. Charley had to sue the team for back pay.
He became a successful local businessman who formed the Packer Alumni Association, a booster organization, and served as its president for many years.
He was elected to the Packers Hall of Fame in 1973 and died in Green Bay in 1987.
Here is a list of all the Packers players who have worn #29 over the past 50 years