Good for the Gander

In 1923, Ollie Kraehe, owner of the NFL’s St. Louis All-Stars, approached Green Bay Packers coach Curly Lambeau with a tempting offer: He would give him end Jack “Dolly” Gray in exchange for some cash that he needed to fund his team. Lambeau leapt at the deal: Gray was reputed to have been an All-American honoree at Princeton in 1922 and sounded like the best player on Kraehe’s team.

Two weeks later, Lambeau cornered Kraehe and demanded an explanation — in his first game with the Packers, Gray had played terribly.

Kraehe told him the truth: The man had approached him earlier that year, representing himself as a Princeton star, but he played so badly that after three games Kraehe had investigated and found no such background — he was simply an impostor. Kraehe had traded him on to Lambeau as a joke, letting him coast on his phony reputation and expecting to take him back when the joke was over. But by that time the impostor had disappeared. His identity remains unknown.