TTZ: Don Beebe
Club Level: Craig Hentrich
As legendary off the field as he was on it, John McNally, who played under the name Johnny Blood, was a central figure in the Packers' early championship success.
Starting his professional career in 1925 with the Milwaukee Badgers, McNally spent two seasons with the Duluth Eskimos (1926-27) and one with the Pottsville Maroons (1928) before arriving in Green Bay in 1929.
Having graduated high school at 14 and dropped out of St. John's (Minnesota) to play pro ball, McNally was 26 when he joined the Packers. And it was thanks in large part to his rushing and receiving that the Packers won three straight NFL championships from 1929-31, plus a fourth in 1936.
In his first season with the team, McNally led the Packers in rushing with 406 yards and two touchdowns on 104 carries.
In 1931, McNally led the NFL in scoring with 84 points on 14 touchdowns (2 rushing, 11 receiving, 1 return). In 1932 he tied for sixth in the league with four touchdowns (3 receiving, 1 return) and led the team in receptions with 14.
Three seasons later, in 1935, he led the team with a career-high 25 receptions, which stood as a franchise record until 1936 when Don Hutson turned in his first of what would be 10 straight seasons leading the team in catches.
The 6-foot-1, 188-pound McNally was known for his blazing speed, which also contributed to his effectiveness on defense.
He was unquestionably one of the NFL's first colorful personalities.
McNally is reported to have once leaped from a balcony to head coach Curly Lambeau's eighth-floor window ledge to collect an advance. Another time, when he was running late, he stopped the Packers' team train by blocking its path with his car -- with him still in it -- so he could be let on.
In 1922, he created his alias. Still at St. John's at the time, McNally wanted to earn money playing for the Eskimos, but college players weren't allowed on pro teams so it was common for players to create aliases to slip through the cracks of the system.
As the story goes, McNally and a teammate were walking through Collegeville, Minn., and noticed a marquee advertising the movie Blood and Sand, starring Rudolph Valentino. From that, McNally adopted the last name 'Blood' and appointed his friend 'Sand.'
McNally's Packers career was interrupted by one season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1934, and it was with that team that he finished his career (1937-38).
McNally wore several different uniform numbers during his Packers career: 14, (1933-34), 20 (1931-32), 24 (1929-30), 26 (1935) and 55 (1936).
In 2003, the Packers honored McNally by naming after him a banquet room within the Lambeau Field Atrium.
John Victor McNally, born November 27, 1903, in New Richmond, Wis., died November 28, 1985, at the age of 82.
(Blood) McNally's Career Stats courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau: