Split your own firewood, warm yourself twice

[November 24, 1929]

The saying goes, split your own firewood, warm yourself twice. Hard work is the best medicine. Through hard work we earn victories.

Across the northcountry, November is wood stacking season, with some hunting and football mixed in. The animals big and small stock up for the long winter ahead. As Cousin Walter says every year in November, "Keep chopping! The wood-stove is hungry! You can never have enough firewood!"

The New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers are clearly the most talented teams in the National Football League, no doubt about it. But what separates a Champion from second-best? For three quarters these two teams looked quite equal, but in the fourth quarter the Packers powered to the finish while the Giants crumbled in front of their home fans.

In the end Coach Lambeau's side chopped more wood. Nobody can argue otherwise. They've got the blistered hands and sore backs to prove it. But blistered and sore animals are the last to quit.

With two of his regular star players lost to injury, Lambeau stuck with his starting 11 through 59 minutes of play. Those 11 men played every snap against a powerful opponent, offense, defense, special teams.

"Oh how we hated to see the substitute come in," said Jug Earp after the game. "We wanted to go all the way without help. We told Curly, 'We don't need him. Jim'll be all right. He just got a little bump.' But Curly sent Paul in, anyway."

Game notes from the press box:

Welcome to week ten of the 1929 NFL season. As the NFL Championship is determined by league record today's matchup of undefeated teams will likely determine the title.

Some notable inactives: Ace Packers passer Red Dunn (dislocated shoulder) and versatile weapon Eddie Kotal (collarbone) will both miss today's crucial game due to injuries suffered against the Bears in week eight.

25,000 fans have packed the Polo Grounds and there is a light rain falling.

Packers win the toss and defer, then force an immediate three-and-out. Good start. Blood McNally returns the punt all the way to the New York 40. Excellent starting field position.

Bo Molenda and Verne Lewellen go right to work on the ground, behind hideous carve-blocking by Cal Hubbard and Mike Michalske. My word.

TOUCHDOWN PACKERS!!! Lewellen passes twenty yards to Hurdis McCrary for the score. Packers look like they've been shot out of a canon in the first quarter. 7-0 Packers.

Giants seem to be waking up now. Been a while since I've seen a team move the ball successfully against this Packers defense. Benny Friedman just connected on a long forward pass to Ray Flaherty. Giants have first and goal from the ten.

INTERCEPTION. Hurdis McCrary halts the attack. Friedman really stared down the route and McCrary cut underneath the receiver for the turnover. Packers will lead at the half, 7-0.

Packers do nothing with opening possession of second half, punt.

Cal Hubbard mauled Hap Moran for a loss of eight on first down... Moran was taken to locker room on the donkey cart. He might be dead. That was quite a tackle. Clean, but vicious.

Giants are not intimidated, however, Tiny Feather gains 20 on second, then Friedman connects with Flaherty at the Green Bay 25.

Another pass to Tiny, then Friedman hits Tony Plansky for a wide-open 15 yard score. APPLESAUCE!

First points surrendered by Packers defense since week seven in Minneapolis. Friedman shanks the extra point however, Packers still lead 7-6.

Both defenses doing good work now, teams trading punts. Lewellen just booted a gem, downed at Giants 10. Giants go nowhere and punt from own end-zone, Blood McNally returns it to the NY 37.

In a closely fought game, Blood's special teams play has given the Packers an edge in this game. Consistently winning field position battle.

Beginning of fourth quarter in a nail-biter. Packers driving after a fake punt turned into a 30 pass from Lewellen to McNally.

TOUCHDOWN PACKERS!!! Bo Molenda rumbles in from two yards, then also kicks the extra point. Packer lead 14-6.

As per tradition, Molenda and teammates are doing the polka-dance on the sideline. Bo loves to polka dance. Everyone does.

Friedman now slinging the ball around, down big late in the game. On third down ball ricochets off a lineman's skull and big man Jug Earp intercepts the pass at the New York 39.

New York gave Green Bay a great test through three quarters, but the wheels are coming off the wagon for the Giants here in the fourth quarter. They simply haven't seen a line with this much beef all season. Packers wearing them down, despite making just one substitution all afternoon.

Lewellen passes long to Molenda but he is tackled at the New York three.

Next play, TOUCHDOWN PACKERS!!! Blood McNally runs through five tackles around the left end and into the end-zone for the score. Molenda shanks the kick but it matters not. Packers win the pivotal contest, 20-6, putting their stamp on the 1929 season.

There shall be a great Bacchanalia in Green Bay when news of the victory reaches the northcountry! Huzzah!

Packers Book Club quote of the week:

The major said he had heard a report that I could drink. I denied this. He said it was true and by the corpse of Bacchus we would test whether it was true or not.

Not Bacchus, I said. Not Bacchus.

Yes, Bacchus, he said.

-Farewell to Arms