Johnny “Blood” McNally is one of the most storied players in the history of the Green Bay Packers, and in the history of professional football as a whole. He was a member of the Packers during the team’s glory years in the 1920s and 1930s, and he played a crucial role in the team’s success during that time. He is a true Packers HOF legend and happens to have a killer nickname!
The Nickname Origins of Packer Legend “Blood” McNally
Born in New Richmond, Wisconsin in 1903, McNally’s given name was John McNally. He earned the nickname “Blood” during his high school days, when he was known for his toughness on the football field.
According to legend, he earned the nickname after getting into a fight during a game and emerging from the altercation with a bloody nose. Another version of the story suggests that McNally’s nose was broken during a game, causing it to bleed profusely, and the nickname stuck from there.
Regardless of the exact origin of the nickname, it became a part of McNally’s persona and followed him throughout his football career. He embraced the nickname and was known for his tough, hard-nosed playing style on the field. He was a player who was never afraid to take a hit or get into a scrap, and his nickname only added to his reputation as a fearless competitor.
McNally went on to play college football at Notre Dame, where he was a star player and helped lead the Fighting Irish to a national championship in 1924.
After his college career ended, McNally began playing professional football for a number of different teams, including the Milwaukee Badgers, the Duluth Eskimos, and the Pottsville Maroons. In 1929, he joined the Green Bay Packers, where he would spend the majority of his career.
NFL and Packers Career
During his time with the Packers, McNally was a versatile and dynamic player who excelled at a number of different positions. He played halfback, quarterback, and receiver on offense, and he also played defensive back and linebacker on defense. He was known for his speed, his toughness, and his ability to make big plays in clutch situations.
One of McNally’s most famous moments came in the 1936 NFL Championship game against the Boston Redskins. McNally had been nursing a leg injury in the weeks leading up to the game, and it was unclear whether he would be able to play. But on game day, McNally took the field and played one of the most memorable games of his career. He caught a touchdown pass, threw a touchdown pass, and even kicked an extra point, helping lead the Packers to a 21-6 victory and their fourth championship in seven years.
McNally retired from football after the 1938 season, but his legacy lived on. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, and he remains one of the most beloved and iconic figures in Packers history.
Off the field, McNally was just as colorful as he was on it. He was known for his eccentric personality and his penchant for partying and womanizing. He once famously said, “I’d rather live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep.” That quote has come to embody McNally’s spirit and his approach to life.
In the end, Johnny “Blood” McNally was more than just a football player. He was a larger-than-life figure who embodied the spirit of the game and the spirit of the Packers. He was tough, fearless, and always willing to take risks. And he will always be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever wear the green and gold.