Bernstein, Joe "Bonecrusher" : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Bernstein, Joe "Bonecrusher"

Joseph G. Bernstein

According to the The Golden Hurricane, 50 Years of Football at Tulsa, Bernstein was a "plunger who had played football in the East, migrated to Tulsa and nonchalantly called [coach Francis] Schmidt on the telephone and announced he was ready to play."

Bernstein played one game as a professional in 1921 (while still in college) with the New York Brickley's Giants in the American Professional Football Association, the forerunner of the NFL. The team was coached by Charlie Brickley, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and only played in two league games, losing both by a combined score of 72-0.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. November 23, 1897 - d. March 28, 1967

Career Highlights:
Bernstein made an immediate impact when he arrived on the Tulsa campus in 1920. He helped the 1920 team finish the season 10-0-1 and outscore their opponents 621-21. That team had eight home wins, still the most in Tulsa history, and has been inducted into the Tulsa University Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1921, Tulsa finished with a record of 6-3-0, but rebounded nicely the following season to again finish undefeated (9-0-0). That year, Tulsa changed their name to the Yellow Jackets; it would be a few more years before they were known as the Golden Hurricane.

After graduating from Tulsa in 1923, Bernstein played ten games over two seasons in the NFL with the Rock Island Independents and the Hamburg Pros. In 1923, the Independents had a record of 2-3-3, and one of Joe's teammates was Max Kadesky. In 1924, Joe played for both the Independents (5-2-2) and Pros (2-2-1); one of his teammates on the Pros was Lenny Sachs (a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame).

Origin:
Elmira, New York

Career Dates:
Bernstein played fullback at LSU and Tulsa University from 1920-1922. He then played in the NFL as a fullback, guard, and tackle with the Rock Island Independents from 1923-1924, and for the Hamburg Pros in 1924.

Physical description:
6'0", 190 pounds



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References:
The Encyclopedia of Football, by Roger Treat (New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1976 -- 14th Edition)
Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League, edited by Bob Carroll, Michael Gershman, David Neft, and John Thorn (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)


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