Bill Groman – As Good as Odell?

autographed 1962 fleer bill groman
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I don’t follow contemporary football very much, but you’d have to live under a rock to not have heard of Odell Beckham.  Here is a great recollection of an AFL’er who, for most of us, has been lost to history.


Todd Tobias (789 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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4 Responses to Bill Groman – As Good as Odell?

  1. Eddie Arminio says:

    I don’t remember Bill Groman, I’m sure he was a great receiver.I’m also sure of what I saw of Odell Beckham last Sunday, Bill Groman had more class in his pinky finger than Beckham has in his whole body.The old sayings , “act like you’ve done this before” and” play with the clean hit” are commandments these street punks in today’s NFL should learn. Half of the blame goes to coaches and owners. It should be like when Mike Singletery threw Vernon Davis off the field for not trying.Don’t let the inmates run the asylum.

  2. EZB says:

    Great story. It’s unfortunate that careers were cut short by injury in that era. Can you imagine if the same were true in today’s era? Brady and Manning and so many more would no longer be playing.

  3. Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

    I had totally forgotten about Bill Groman ! ! ! Now I remember that he had amazing numbers for those two championship seasons. Charlie Hennigan is remembered for catching 101 passes in 1961, but really, I had forgotten that Groman caught 50 passes and 17 touchdowns.

    I remember that Don Hutson scored 17 touchdowns for the Packers in 1942, and Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch scored 17 TD’s for the Los Angeles Rams in 1950. I think Hutson caught 76 passes in ’42, and Hirsch caught 74 passes in ’50.

    Also, the offenses. I don’t remember what the ’42 Packers did, but the ’50 Rams scored an astronomical 466 points in only 12 games–that’s an all-time record 38.8 points per game. The ’61 Oilers scored 513 points in 14 games–37.6 points per game.

    As for how the teams did, the ’42 Packers finished 8-2-1 and second place in the Western Division behind the 11-0 Bears–the Redskins beat the undefeated Bears, 14-6, for the NFL Championship. The ’50 Rams lost the NFL Championship Game to the Cleveland Browns, 30-28, while the ’61 Oilers, of course, beat the Chargers, 10-3, for the AFL Championship.

    • Matt Haddad a.k.a. overdrive1975 says:

      To fill in the gaps:

      The ’42 Packers scored 300 points in 11 games–27.3 points per game. Yes, Don Hutson scored 17 touchdown that year–on 74 catches.

      I had it wrong on Crazylegs Hirsch. He caught 42 passes and 7 touchdowns on the 1950 team that scored 466 points. His mega-monster season came the following year, when the 1951 Rams beat the Browns, 24-17, for the NFL Championship. The Rams scored 392 points–32.7 points per game–with Crazylegs catching 66 passes and 17 touchdowns.

      Crazylegs also gained an eye-popping 1,495 yards that season–22.7 yards per catch.

      Don Hutson and Crazylegs Hirsch are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As others have already discussed, Groman’s injury-shortened career has been mostly forgotten. I’m the first to admit to being guilty.

      Very interesting that Groman is the only player to win 4 AFL titles ! ! ! I didn’t know he was on the ’64 and ’65 Buffalo Bills.

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