When the Packers celebrated the 100th anniversary of their founding on Aug. 11, Calhoun’s place in franchise history was discussed frequently. Calhoun, of course, co-founded the Packers that day in 1919, along with Earl “Curly” Lambeau. At the time, Calhoun was the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s city editor, and while Lambeau was elected captain, Calhoun was named manager.
Calhoun was just 28 years old at the time, and was the great-grandson of Daniel Whitney, the founder of the city of Green Bay. He not only served as manager, but also covered the team for the newspaper and was the team’s publicity director.
He also was known to have passed the hat in the stands to collect donations from fans at games. The Packers joined the American Professional Football Association on Aug. 27, 1921, before the league was renamed the National Football League in 1922.
Calhoun loved his role with the fledgling team and waxed nostalgic in a 1962 column he wrote for the Press-Gazette, an excerpt of which ran in the book “Mudbaths and Bloodbaths.” Calhoun particularly enjoyed Packers games against the archrival Chicago Bears in the Windy City.
“The Chicago excursions were always humdingers to one who traveled with the Bays for over a quarter of a century,” he wrote. “Fond memories exist over the four-dollar-round-trip fares on both railroads; early services in the churches so the fans could catch the 7 o’clock a.m. Sunday trains; and, last but not least, red fire along the railroad tracks as we were riding home, and the crowds at the stations, joyful with victory. It was a great life!”