Posts Tagged ‘Drop kick’

Frank Hudson

January 4, 2011

Yesterday, Frank Hudson’s grand nephew contacted me regarding information concerning the great drop-kicker, particularly the date and place of his death. The latest information I had on Hudson was in the 1930 census that showed his location as being on a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the place he relocated to when leaving Carlisle. The information trail had run dry there a few years ago when I was actively researching his life. Knowing that some information sources had become available since that time, I decided to see if any of them had any new (to me) information on him.

Knowing that old census data is released every ten years, I checked to see if the 1940 census is now available. It isn’t but is scheduled for release on April 1, 2012. That means that next year I will be able to fill in some holes of missing data on the people I have researched. It also means that I probably won’t know what Frank Hudson’s were in 1940 until then.

I decided to take a shot at searching old newspapers again because additional newspapers are added to NewspaperArchive.com every day. My search found two mention of Hudson’s recent demise—one in January 1951, the other in December 1950. The 1951 mention contained very little information, but the 1950 article placed him on a farm near Wycombe, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. That would have made him somewhere between 70 and 75 years old when he died, a ripe old age for a man of his generation.

Now that I know where he was living when he died, I know where to look for more information on his later life. I expect that Bucks County has a very active historical society. Perhaps they will have an obituary for him. Now for the hard part—waiting for their response.

Indians’ Legs Better Suited for Kicking

December 2, 2010

Pop Warner made many observations regarding his Carlisle Indian players, almost all regarding their behavior, much of which he thought was a result of their culture. But on one occasion he discussed an anatomical difference he had observed. Warner claimed that the lower legs of white boys and Indians were different. It was his observation that one group’s lower legs dropped straight down from the knee whereas the other’s curved outward.* It was this difference that gave the Indian boys an advantage in kicking the football over white boys.

Warner often mentioned how his Indian players would practice some skill endlessly, in some case for years, until they perfected it. An example was Frank Hudson who drop-kicked footballs year round including when there was snow on the ground. He simply moved indoors to the gym during inclement weather. Hudson also practiced with both feet until he became ambidextrous (it’s not clear if ambipedal is a word) and was able to dropkick field goals with either foot. He also became the game’s best dropkicker, arguably of all time. In addition to practicing a skill, Warner noticed that that the Indians watched proficient players’ closely to learn a skill. An example he gave was of Mike Balenti kicking four field goals, two from over 40-yards away, against Navy without having attempted one in a game before. Balenti attributed the success to his having watched Hudson and Frank Mt. Pleasant.

Warner thought that many more Carlisle players were good at kicking than were the white players he coached before and after because of a physiological advantage. He believed that the shape of Indians’ lower legs was better suited to kicking. It would be interesting to know if Warner was seeing things or if what he said is true.

*I misplaced the article in which Warner stated this and would appreciate it greatly if someone could inform me as to where I can find it.