After the Pirates released John Karcis, Izzy Weinstock and Bill Wilson, the Pittsburgh Press reported Art Rooney was aware of problems within the team. Rooney promised to dig to the bottom of it and come up with some answers.

The newspaper suggested it was coach Blood’s handling of the players that was at the root of the dissension.

“I’m backing Blood positively,” Rooney confirmed. “I think he’s a good coach. I can’t talk for the players. I will say though, that the only players I have heard complain about Blood’s tactics are the ones that have been released.

Blood took a weaker team last year and made them contenders. We have a hard schedule this year, something we can’t help. We’ve got the highest priced team in the league.

I know there is dissension, but I’m going to find out all I can about it. I may have to fire a lot of players, but I’ll find it and try to overcome it.”

The owner expressed the hope the discord would motivate the team into winning their next eight games. “I hope they do, but I’m afraid they won’t,” Mr. Rooney said.

Weinstock, one of the released players, revealed he had an argument with Blood during the summer over the Pirates offense. “I could say plenty, but I won’t,” he added.

Karcis scoffed at the idea he was released because he wasn’t performing. “I didn’t get a chance to show whether I had slipped or not,” he said.

Both players said that every player on the team liked “Whizzer” White and that his $15,000 salary was not the cause of trouble.

Some who saw the loss to the Eagles said Blood had played himself at quarterback for forty five minutes. They also commented that Bill Davidson, one of the mainstays from the previous season, only played for the last two minutes and that Karcis was not used until the other two fullbacks had been hurt.

Weinstock paid his own expense for the trip to Buffalo on the basis he would be reimbursed if he played, but he did not get on the field. Buffalo sports writer were unanimous in labelling “Whizzer” a great player, but the Pirates a “sandlot” team.

The September 22 edition of the Pittsburgh Press ran this article, penned by Henry McLemore of the United Press.


Pittsburgh Press photoChalk up another triumph for mind over matter! Byron (Whizzer) White is in town – and he still walks, talks, eats, sleeps, smiles and laughs.

Since the first of this month, this Phi Beta Kappa and Rhodes scholar from Colorado has played in nine football games against the toughest professional opposition. In each of them he was Whizzer White, the All-American target. He was the one his rivals wanted to hit, wanted to show up with as savage blocks and tackles as they could throw. He took ‘em high and low from the bruising Bears, Giants, Lions and Eagles.

Already he has taken a jolt for each of those 15,000 dollars he will get at the end of the season, and hundreds more lie ahead. But he didn’t have a patch of tape on him, or a single bruise when I talked with him yesterday.

He was chipper and happy and looking forward to tomorrow night when his Pittsburgh team takes to the field against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

“It’s tough, but it’s well,” Byron said. “And to be perfectly honest with you, it’s a lot tougher than I thought it would be. In a college game there were never more than a couple of fellows who shook you up when they hit you.

But the pro starts eleven guys who half kill you on each play. When they get tired, eleven more just a little tougher come in. But, believe me when I tell you there is little or no dirty football.

Every once in a while somebody will give you a knee, but knees and fists aren’t half as common as they are in college games. The pros hit you so hard they don’t have to resort to rough stuff. Take that Dave Smukler (Philadelphia Eagles). No, on second thoughts, don’t take him. He’ll kill you.”

White didn’t try to hide his indignation when it was mentioned that there were rumours going about that his teammates were jealous of his publicity and salary and had not been blocking any too vigorously when he carried the ball.

“That’s a lie,” he said. “Everyone on the team, from Art Rooney down has been swell to me. The players give me everything they’ve got. My failures are my own. I threw away that game to Philadelphia right at the start when I fumbled the ball. But there wasn’t one word of criticism, or one dirty look from any of the players.

‘Pressing’ Hurts Style

Asked if he was as good a professional football player right now as he was when he played for Colorado against Utah last fall, White replied, “I’m smarter. But I’m not as good a ball carrier or kicker or passer. The opposition in pro football has something to do with that of course. But, so has the strain I’ve been under.

You know, I have been exhibited like a freak since I signed with the Pirates. Not that I’m complaining – if I paid a player $15,000 I would exploit him to the hilt too. It’s tough to play your best game when you feel that nothing short of a 50-yard run or a 75-yard pass will satisfy the customers.

I find myself ‘pressing’ all the time in an effort to live up to my reputation. I try not to, but I can’t help it. You know that no player was ever as good as my publicity made me out to be. Well, maybe ‘Dutch Clark’ is. But I’m no Dutch Clark. He’s the tops.

Whizzer, 188 pound of modesty, talks as if he was a flop. The figures don’t bear him out. He is tied for the lead in scoring with 18 points, second in rushing yards with 118 and fourth in receiving with seven receptions for 88 yards.

Byron White page 5 >>>