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My grandpa's letter from Pete Gogolak

Greg from LI : 1/23/2020 9:13 pm
While going through the stuff in my grandfather's house this week after he passed away this past weekend, I came across this letter he received from Pete Gogolak in 1970, along with a team newsletter. Thought some of the more historic minded might be interested.

The signing of Gogolak heightened  
Big Blue '56 : 1/23/2020 9:16 pm : link
the NFL-AFL war. Hastened the eventual accord and merger
I had forgotten that camp was at C.W. Post -  
Del Shofner : 1/23/2020 9:20 pm : link
how many years did that last?

Very cool BTW, Greg.
Did Kanicki and Shay  
Vanzetti : 1/23/2020 9:20 pm : link
Bolster the defensive line?
years ago Pete gave my mom some preseason tickets  
Platos : 1/23/2020 9:39 pm : link
i don't know how he got them or why but obviously he didn't care to go so he gave them to my mother who was a bank teller at a bank he went to.

i was definitely grateful but when me and my bro sat down in our seat i was thinking "damn, if the team gave him these seats they should be ashamed of themselves" we were up deep in the nose bleeds lol
steve in ky : 1/23/2020 9:43 pm : link
Sorry for your loss.

Thanks for sharing, Gogolak was one of my favorites as a boy. The first soccer style kicker in the NFL.
I thought Kanicki and Shay were good contributors while they played.  
Ivan15 : 1/23/2020 9:47 pm : link
If I recall, Shay had a career ending leg injury so his main contribution was in personnel and scouting for many years.
There were other factors but Gogo switching leagues was one of the  
Ivan15 : 1/23/2020 9:50 pm : link
biggest because NFL owners had to spend big money to compete with the AFL.
dune69 : 1/23/2020 9:55 pm : link
Sorry about your grandfather. Neat letter. Gogolak was a joy to watch. Some years, Gogolak was the only highlight we had.
Growing up in Ithaca I watched Gogolak at Cornell...  
GFAN52 : 1/23/2020 9:59 pm : link
Great memories.
Thanks for the kind words  
Greg from LI : 1/23/2020 11:11 pm : link
It's never easy to lose someone who's been such a big part of your life, but he was 96 and had lived as full a life as anyone can hope for. Just consider myself lucky that I had so many years with him in my life.
Sorry for your loss,  
Mr. Bungle : 1/23/2020 11:47 pm : link
RE: I thought Kanicki and Shay were good contributors while they played.  
Bleedin Blue : 1/24/2020 12:39 am : link
In comment 14791566 Ivan15 said:
If I recall, Shay had a career ending leg injury so his main contribution was in personnel and scouting for many years.

Shay, shattered his leg in the loss to the LA Rams at home. He tried at a comeback to no avail.
He and his wife are family friends, who had dinner at my house on occasion. They still keep in touch with my aunt.
Bleedin Blue : 1/24/2020 12:41 am : link
Sorry for your loss. It must’ve been great to share your love for the Giants with your grandfather!
Jim Kanicki  
yalebowl : 1/24/2020 6:34 am : link
We traded Homer Jones for Jim Kanicki. Ron Johnson was thrown in to complete the deal. That part turned out to be the best part of the trade.
RE: Growing up in Ithaca I watched Gogolak at Cornell...  
Steve in ATL : 1/24/2020 7:08 am : link
In comment 14791575 GFAN52 said:
Great memories.

I grew up in Ithaca too. Unfortunately the Giants stop playing preseason games there before I was old enough to go.
As usual the real story about Wellington signing Gogolak  
arniefez : 1/24/2020 11:00 am : link
and the BS whitewashed Mara phony history are completely opposite.

Signing Gogolak didn't help the merger it made it more difficult and Wellington knew he was violating the unwritten rule among NFL owners of not escalating the salary war with the AFL.

NY Times

Apart from his ability, Gogo will be remembered best, and inaccurately, as the player who caused the merger of the American and National Leagues. The Hungarian‐born Gogolak was drafted 12th by Buffalo of the A.F.L. after a brilliant career at Cornell. The original soccer‐ style kicker, he was ignored by the N.F.L. draft. Who wanted to bother with one of those crazy side‐winders from an Ivy League school?

After two fine seasons with the Bills, Gogolak played out his option and became a free agent. Wellington Mara signed him for the Giants in May, 1966, much to the disgust of other N.F.L. owners.

The Jets had Namath. Wellington signed a kicker to compete. Nothing tells you more about the Wellington years than that.

Here's a great article from Tex Schramm about how the merger really came about. If you don't know who Tex Schramm is google him. The Pete he talks about is of course Pete Rozelle.

Pete and I decided that we should keep the early stages of a peace plan limited to the people most directly involved—Wellington Mara of the New York Giants and Lou Spadia of the San Francisco 49ers, the NFL owners in two-team cities—until it was developed further. We felt that if the NFL could come up with an acceptable plan that was good for the sport, it could then be presented to the American Football League. If they liked it, fine. If not, we could settle down to an all-out war. At the moment we were half fighting and half making love. We wanted the decks cleared.

Pete and I outlined a plan to Mara in a telephone conversation in early March; it was, in rough outline, the same plan that was eventually accepted by both leagues. Wellington was something less than enthusiastic, but he said that if the basics of the plan were strong enough so that the rest of the owners accepted it, the special New York problems could probably be solved.

The NFL meeting was scheduled for Washington beginning May 16. Pete suggested that I come to New York early so that we could have a meeting with Wellington and Lou Spadia. The meeting took place at the Plaza on the evening of May 13 at 9 p.m., and it did not go too well. Lou was still unenthusiastic, and Wellington seemed less receptive than he had been previously. I did not know at the time that he was contemplating signing Pete Gogolak.

Then on Tuesday at the meeting Well dropped his Gogolak bomb. His signing of the Buffalo place kicker was perfectly legal and aboveboard, but it obviously came at a bad time for peace negotiations. Far from triggering an agreement between the leagues, it almost ended the possibility of peace. At a time when we wanted the owners in as harmonious a mood as possible, it created division and anger. And, of course, it created even more problems for Lamar.

Today's accurate history lesson is now over.

Even in Greg..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 1/24/2020 11:41 am : link
sharing an awesome tie to the Giants and a really cool story, Randal/arnie has to come in with his anti-ownership bullshit.
FatMan in Charlotte  
arniefez : 1/24/2020 1:38 pm : link
Unfortunately Greg's grandfather letter doesn't show for me. I'm sure it was cool.

Less cool was the typical Mara knob slobbing from the usual suspects present company included.

I'm pro truth, anti Mara bullshit and still waiting for you to re-post the salaries of the medical and training staffs for all 32 NFL teams. When I post my opinion I say so. When I post facts I state them as facts. What I don't do is lie.

I'm still waiting for your RE-POST of something you never posted and couldn't post because no way in hell does that information even exist. Liar.

Have a nice day.

FatMan in Charlotte : 1/24/2020 3:11 pm : link
"knob slobbing". You are a fucking moron.

Sorry that positive comments about the ownership of the team you supposedly root for bothers you that much.

By the way - I already posted the info you keep bitching about. Maybe ask Randal what it said you assclown.
I knew Pete's son and daughter-in-law  
Mike in Marin : 1/24/2020 3:14 pm : link
a little. Sadly, his son died in an avalanche. He was a really great guy.
I agree  
arniefez : 1/24/2020 5:30 pm : link
FatMan in Charlotte You are a fucking moron.

You're lying. Post it again you lying sack of crap.

There is zero chance that is public information and it would be illegal to post it without the permission of the people getting those pay checks. Liar.

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