Jack Davis - an original Patriot

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Nov 11, 2010.

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    It's that point in mid-week where the talk of the previous game has died down, but talk of the next game has not yet heated up. So I figured I'd pass this along for anybody that like early Pats history.

    Before last Sunday's game I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with a member of the original Patriots team thanks to a mutual acquaintance. His name is Jack Davis and he was a starting guard on the 1960 team. Here are a few of the things he mentioned.

    • When he first played at The University of Maryland he wore a helmet with one of those single face guards - think of what Joe Theisman used to wear. He lined up opposite a defensive lineman on his team for a drill and the DL asked him why he was wearing that style of face guard. Jack had barely responded 'that's the kind a like' when the whistle blew; a millisecond later he was on the receiving end of a forearm shiver to his face. From that day on wore a helmet with the full face guard.

    • He was drafted by the Redskins in 1958. In that training camp he met Bob Dee, and they became lifelong friends; in fact Jack was a keynote speaker at Dee's funeral service. Dee was the first person Jack mentioned when we spoke and he obviously had a lot of respect for him and felt very highly about him.

    • Jack didn't think much of Lou Saban, the Pats first coach at the time. I would be more specific, but the profanity filter would prevent you from seeing his exact words.

    • On the other hand he thought very highly of Mike Holovak. He said Holovak was a very intelligent guy who really understood the game of football, and did a very good job coaching and teaching the players. It's probably no coincidence that the Pats were 5-9 and then 2-3 under Saban, then turned it around with a 7-1-1 record for the remainder of the '61 season under Holovak.

    • Jack brought up Gino Cappelletti and I said that I felt it was a huge oversight that he was not in the NFL Hall of Fame. Jack responded that 'once they had the merger all the old AFL players were forgotten, as if they never existed', shaking his head. He says he and Gino have remained friends; they speak with one another about once every three weeks.

    • He also talked a little bit about the early games; I sensed that he was proud to have played in the very first game in AFL history.

    • Jack also told me that he met and talked quite a bit about Bob Kraft. He said Kraft brought him up for the anniversary (I don't recall if it was the 40th or 50th) and everything was first class. He said not only did Kraft pay for everything - he said he didn't have to spend any of his own money at all the entire time he was there - but Bob also took a lot of time to talk to him (and everyone else) individually and really get to know him. He said he thought Kraft seemed to be genuinely interested in the old players as individuals; it wasn't like a 'shake your hand, nice to meet you and move on' type of thing.

    Anyways, he seems like a really nice guy and hope to talk to him more in the future. He was with a group of several other friends of his when I met him so I didn't want to infringe and let him get back to them, but hopefully I can get a chance to speak to him again soon. He's 78 now and his health is failing a bit - he's been in a wheelchair for about a month or so now after taking a fall the he is still recovering from - but I'd like to hear more; I'm fascinated by the early history of the Pats and the AFL. If or when that happens I'll pass that along if people are interested.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  2. SoCal Bong

    SoCal Bong Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Awesome report. Thanks so much for sharing that. It would be great if the Pats would interview these guys on video (beyond what was done for History of the Patriots) since the opportunity to do so diminishes year by year.
  3. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #15 Jersey

    Enjoyed that post. Look forward to any new conversations that you may have. Thanks.
  4. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    thanks for the report from my side too
  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    I wasn't sure how much interest there would be in this.

    However, I DID know of one Pats fan from Italy that would definitely be very interested.:D

    Sorry I didn't have more for you. Hopefully I'll be able to speak with him again soon for a longer period of time. I'd like to talk some more about Billy Sullivan, some more of the other original players as well as players on other teams, etc.
  6. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    Thanks for that!

    Another voice heard, but it's pretty much acknowledged that Mike Holovak saved the franchise i n the early days.
  7. buile

    buile PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    Thanks very much for this post.
  8. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    That was really interesting, thanks for sharing. Would love to read more if you get a chance to talk to him again.
  9. IndyKen

    IndyKen Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Thanks for posting that. I was a very young lad back in 1960 - but I do have some remembrances of those early years. I remember Bob Dee, Larry Eisenhower, Houston Antwine, Larry Garron, etc. I especially liked Bob Coyne's cartoons in the Record after each Sunday game! I believed all those early Patriots players were simply supermen.
  10. nashvillepatsfan

    nashvillepatsfan In the Starting Line-Up

    Thanks for sharing that JMT. I'd love to be able to sit down, and talk to the players from the 60's, and 70's. Thats also very classy of Bob, but not really a surprise. Afterall, he was at one time, just a fan. I'll bet he gets a kick out of talking to the old players too.
  11. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    pls do that - always interesting
  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Excellent post!
  13. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    I can only ditto this. When I was in the Bronco's camp in the early 70's, Saban was the HC. I can't say much about him though. The only time I had any real direct contact with him, was when he thanked me for my efforts....after I turned in my playbook. :D
  14. Wax Frog

    Wax Frog In the Starting Line-Up

    #87 Jersey

    PM it to me and I'll creatively rephrase it! ;)

    Seriously, add me to the list of those intrigued at the opportunity to learn about the beginning...
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  15. pats60

    pats60 On the Game Day Roster

    #12 Jersey

    A great post .I think Davis was a backup.
    The pats had a small core of fans when it started
  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    I'll ask him next time I see him. Pro Football Reference listed him as a starting RG, Charley Leo at LG and Abe Cohen also on the roster at G, but their listings for teams that old can't be assumed to be 100% accurate. They also list a few other players at multiple positions including guard: Tony Sardisco, Bill Striegel and Art Hauser.

    1960 Boston Patriots Starters, Roster, & Players | Pro-Football-Reference.com
  17. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Wow PFK, I ddidnt know you were a former NFL player. Much respect. I bet you have some interesting stories too.
  18. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Jmt57, thanks for the story. I've been a Pat's fan since 1975, so any history prior to then is incredibly fascinating to me. Great stuff !
  19. Willie55

    Willie55 In the Starting Line-Up

    Great post! 4-star rating for this one.
  20. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Sorry Scott, but I wasn't exactly an NFL player. To be that you actually have to make the team. ;) One year I cam close. Me an another guy were the last 2 DBs cut, but that was as close as I got.
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