Francis “Jug” Earp
Height: 6-0; Weight: 236
College: Monmouth (Ill.), 1917, 1919-20
Earp started out as a right tackle, but wound up playing mostly center for the Packers and started for most of his 11 seasons. In 1929 and 1930, when the Packers won their first two NFL championships, he shared the center position with fellow Packers Hall of Famer Boob Darling. Earp also was credited with being the first Packers center to snap the ball with one hand.
Earp played both offense and defense in the Iron Man Era of pro football, and teammates viewed him as a spark plug on those early Packers teams. He was a second-team selection on one of the three all-pro teams chosen in 1929. In 1931, he became the first Packers player to appear in 100 games.
"He could prod us and nobody would take offense because you couldn’t help but like Jug,” former teammate and fellow Packers Hall of Famer Charlie Mathys said in 1969. “He best exemplified the Packer spirit that we have today and that the nation’s football fans have come to expect of the Packers.”
Earp began his pro career in 1921 with the Rock Island Independents. He was released after two games in 1922 and signed with the Packers. In 11 seasons in Green Bay, he played in 120 games and started 86, including 57 at center and 29 at tackle. He played mostly tackle in 1922, 1923 and 1925, then mostly center from 1926 to 1931. Whatever the arrangement, Earp also played one game with Frankford in 1925 and three with the New York Yankees in 1927.
Earp later served as the director of public relations for the Packers from 1950 until he was forced to resign in May 1954.
Born July 22, 1897, in Monmouth, Ill. Given name Francis Lewis Earp. He was a second cousin once removed of famed western lawman Wyatt Earp. Died Jan. 8, 1969, at age 71.
- By Cliff Christl