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“They had lived.

“They had seen the alpha and omega of the forward pass.”

(Gives you chills, doesn’t it?)

Kawal, by the way, wasn’t even a receiver. He was a center who caught exactly one pass in his NFL career. No, this was the ultimate circus play, the ultimate crowd pleaser. It had been used by the Bears “in similar exhibitions,” the Sun reported, “but never in a league contest.”

Indeed, there’s no indication they ever ran it in a real game that season — Crawford’s one season in the NFL. Their 1935 statistics show 13 different players throwing passes, but not Fred.

Even allowing for a certain amount of exaggeration, though — something newspapers were occasionally guilty of back then — Crawford’s was an epic toss, probably the longest the NFL has ever seen. The next longest I’ve found — and believe me, I’ve looked — was “only” 70 yards.

And let’s not forget, Fred was throwing “uphill” and “against the wind.” There’s no telling how far the ball would have gone under normal conditions.

Excerpted by permission from The National Forgotten League: Entertaining Stories and Observations from Pro Football’s First Fifty Years by Dan Daly. Copyright (c) 2012 by Dan Daly. Published by University of Nebraska Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Available wherever books are sold or via University of Nebraska Press (1-800-848-6224). Follow Dan on Twitter @dandalyonsports.