11 days to Packers football: Red Dunn

With 11 days left until the start of the NFL season, our countdown to the big day continues.

Thursday, Sept. 4, is the day when the Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to take on the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks.  

Over the  course of the next 11 days we focus on the number that represents the days remaining … and for today we take a look number 11.

Most recently, we took a look at numbers 13 and 12 – numbers worn by two kickers and two of the best quarterbacks to wear Packers jerseys - Chris Jacke and Chester Marcoland Lynn Dickey and Aaron Rodgers. That’s three Packers Hall of Famers and one destined to be inducted into that great hall.

Quick, name me one player who has worn #11 for the Packers – with the exception of current wide receiver Jarrett Boykin.

That’s what I thought. No, I couldn’t name any either – at least not off the top of my head.

OK, so when I went and retrieved the list off the Internet of the Packers players who have worn the number, my memory was jogged.

How could I possibly forget punters David BeverlyJoe Prokop and B.J. Sander? And I certainly shouldn’t have forgotten that Ty Detmer and Matt Hasselbeck wore the number while in Green Bay.

12 dunnSo once again we’ll turn to the expertise of John Maxymuk, the author of “Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore them,” who tells us about one of the Packers first quarterbacks and one who won 78 percent of the games in which he played during his five years with the team. He was also a part of the first Packers three-peat championship teams – Red Dunn.

I know, you have never heard of him, but you should.

Here is how Maxymuk describes Dunn’s time with the Packers:

Curly Lambeau was the Packers first star passer, but Joseph “Red” Dunn was their first great quarterback. Red joined the Packers in 1927 along with former college teammate end Lavvie Dilweg. Both were born and bred in Milwaukee and both went to Maquette University.

Dunn spent 1924 with the hometown Milwaukee Badgers and then moved on to the Chicago Cardinals fro two years before coming to Green Bay.

Each year Red shifted clubs, the record of the team he left would decline, while the record of the team he joined would improve. The addition of Dunn to the Packers signaled their ascension into the elite teams of the league.

Dunn was the team’s field general, its signal caller. And who can argue with success? In his five years as a Packer, the team went 47-11-6, a .781 winning percentage. Moreover, they won an unprecedented three consecutive titles. For his part, according to unofficial counts, Dunn caught 50 pass for 618 years and a touchdown, rushed 80 times for 290 yards and five touchdowns and completed 275-of-620 passes for 4,641 yards and 48 touchdowns. In addition, he kicked two field goals and 48 extra points. Even with the fatter ball use at that time he was an expert at the long pass. On Dec. 9, 1928, he beat the Bears with a 50-yard scoring pass to Dick O’Donnell in the final two minutes of the 6-0 game.

Red Dunn retired after the third straight title and the team’s record decline from 12-2 to 10-3-1 in 1932. Under current rules with ties counting as 1/2 win and 1/2 loss in a team’s winning percentage, they would have won a fourth consecutive title.

However, ties did not count in the standings then, so the Bears with one loss and six ties faced off against the Spartans with one loss and four ties to win the NFL championship. Perhaps it was divine retribution for reneging on the Spartans the previous year. Of course the only team to win three consecutive NFL titles since then were Lombardi’s Packers from 1965-67.

Here are the players to have worn #11 for the Green Bay Packers since 1950:

  From To AV
David Beverly 1975 1980 9
Jarrett Boykin 2012 2013 6
Steve Broussard 1975 1975 -1
Ty Detmer 1993 1995 0
Eddie Garcia 1983 1984 -1
Matt Hasselbeck 1999 2000 0
Alex Neutz 2012 2012  
Rick Norton 1970 1970 0
Joe Prokop 1985 1985 1
Alan Risher 1987 1987 2
B.J. Sander 2005 2005 1
Chastin West 2011 2011  
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