One of the most unusual characters in Packer history is John McNally, whose football alias became his moniker, “Johnny Blood.”
One of the most dangerous pass receivers in the pre-Hutson era, he played on four Packer championship teams in seven seasons.
Playing semi pro football in the Minneapolis area while attending St. John College, he took the name “Blood” from the movie marquee of a popular Rudolf Valentino picture of the era, “Blood and Sand.”
Turning pro in 1925, he earned the nickname “The Vagabond Halfback.” He was a Milwaukee Badger in 1925 and part of ‘26, finished the 1926 and ‘27 seasons as a Duluth Eskimo and was a Pottsville (Pa.) Maroon in 1928.
In 1929, “Blood” signed on with the Green Bay Packers. In addition to scoring 224 points as a Packer, he also became known for his antics:
• Jumped across a narrow ledge six stories from the ground to gain access to a Los Angeles hotel room.
• Fled a towel fight with Lavvie Dilweg by climbing on top of a fast-moving train and crawling across car tops until he reached the engine.
• Played almost an entire game with a collapsed kidney.
• Pushed rookie Don Hutson to the limit in a 100-yard dash at age 33.
• Was rescued by teammates while he was hanging on a ship’s stern flagpole on a Packer trip to Hawaii.
• Blew the top off a testing machine in a test for lung capacity.
• Danced, cart-wheeled and delighted a New York night club audience for over an hour.
• Once ran 50 yards for a touchdown on a lateral and when QB Red Dunn called the same play later in the game, “Blood” simply smiled and lateraled the ball back to Dunn.
From 1937-’39, he was player-coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He served in the Army Air Corps in World War II and earned his college degree after the war. Johnny “Blood” McNally was elected as a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
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