Former Green Bay Packer quarterback John Hadl recently passed away at the age of 82. Hadl, a very good QB in his day, was traded to Green Bay at the age of 34 and his best days were behind him. It was 1974, several years past the golden era of Vince Lombardi.
If Hadl knew what was coming, he’d have run the other way
In the infamous trade with the Los Angeles Rams, the Packers gave up two 1st round picks, two 2nd round picks and a 3rd round pick, in what came to be known as the Lawrence Welk trade. (A one, a two, a one, two, three) It is considered to be the worst trade in Green Bay Packer history.
Back then, a group of us got together for every Green Bay Packer game, and we always had a raucous good time, yelling and shouting at the tv, the players, and each other.
My late best friend Jim, got a particular charge out of John Hadl’s performance at Green Bay, and dubbed him “Bandy Legs”. At the time, the Packers had a terrible offensive line, and opposing defenders would often charge through and chase poor old Hadl around like a pack of coyotes after a chicken. Hadl would run his butt off, some times evading the defenders, sometimes not. Jim would be laughing like a hyena, yelling “run Bandy Legs, run!” It was hilarious.
In one memorable game, a defender came crashing through and hit Hadl so hard, Hadl’s helmet went flying. After the play, Hadl collected his helmet, and proceeded to chew out one of the errant offensive linemen. We roared with laughter, as the poor guy just stood there with his head hanging down.
Hadl played a total of 22 games for Green Bay, throwing 9 touchdown passes, and 29 interceptions. He went on to play for another NFL team, before mercifully retiring in 1977.
Jim was a hoot!
Whenever I remember those good old days and our wild football parties, I always think of my buddy Jim, yelling “Bandy legs…Bandy Legs!!”, as poor old John Hadl ran for his life, scrambling around in the backfield. 🙂