Goldenberg, Charles "Buckets" : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Goldenberg, Charles "Buckets"

Charles Robert Goldenberg

One of the greatest linemen of his era, Goldenberg was a member of the Green Bay Packers for 13 seasons at a time when most players' careers lasted only a few years. In fact, Buckets' 13 seasons with the Pack are the fourth most in team history. A three-time All-Pro at guard, he helped lead the Packers to three NFL championships, and was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-1930s Team.

Buckets, who also played linebacker, is apparently responsible for one of football's most effective offensive plays -- the draw play -- although he and Hall of Famer Bulldog Turner of the Chicago Bears told different stories. According to Turner, Buckets would drop back to cover passes from his linebacker position, leaving a hole in the center of the defensive line. Buckets told a different story and said, "I could always tell when (Bears quarterback Sid) Luckman was going to pass as he would drop his left foot back...When I saw this, I would yell to the other guard to cover my hole and I would take off after Sid and usually nail him. Eventually Bulldog realized what I was doing and suggested Sid hand off to (fullback Bill) Osmansky rather than pass. Sure enough, he did and Bill goes roaring through the hole I left for a big gain. Thus the draw play was born." Goldenberg is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 10, 1911 - d. April 16, 1986

Career Highlights:
Born in Odessa, Goldenberg grew up in Milwaukee and became a fantastic back at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1930s, where he achieved national prominence in a 1930 game against Penn. Buckets later recalled that the game gave him his greatest personal satisfaction and said, "Penn came to Madison highly touted as one of the finest teams in the East in 1930. They made press statements that this game with Wisconsin was only a warm-up prior to Notre Dame the following week. Perhaps they took us too lightly because Wisconsin won 27-0. I feel I had a great afternoon. I scored two touchdowns." That season, the Badgers had a record of 6-2-1 and outscored their opponents, 227-40. Buckets was named 'Knute Rockne Board' All-America honorable mention, and Knute Rockne All-Western. In 1931, Wisconsin struggled and had a record of 5-4-1, but they rebounded the following year. In 1932, the Badgers finished with a record of 6-1-1 and Goldenberg was named AP All-Western Conference second team.

After graduating in 1933, Buckets joined the Green Bay Packers in the NFL -- the Packers had won three straight NFL titles (1929-1931), but were showing their age when Buckets arrived. He had an outstanding rookie season with the Packers (5-7-1) as he ran the ball 52 times for 213 yards (4.1 average) and led the team in scoring with 42 points. In 1934, he was used more as a blocking back but still scored 2 touchdowns for the Packers, who ended the season 7-6-0. In 1935, the Packers added Hall of Famer Don Hutson and Buckets was used almost exclusively as a blocking back; he carried the ball only 15 times for 52 yards. In 1936, the Packers (10-1-1) returned to glory, winning the NFL Championship, and Buckets shifted to guard. He said: "The reason I played guard starting in '36 was the team was short on guards...I have always said a guard is just a fullback getting his brains knocked out."

By 1938, Buckets was exclusively a guard, and had become one of the best in the league. That year, the Packers (8-3-0) returned to the NFL Championship game, losing to the New York Giants, 23-17, before a then-record crowd of 48,120 at the Polo Grounds. In 1939, the Packers finished the season with a record of 9-2-0 and avenged the previous year's loss in the championship game by defeating the Giants, 27-0, in the title game; Buckets said he always felt the 1939 team was the best he ever played on. After that championship team, Buckets continued to star for the Packers through several seasons of frustration. From 1940-1943, Green Bay finished second in the NFL West behind the Chicago Bears. In 1944, the Packers finally broke through with a record of 8-2-0, finishing first in the NFL West, and defeating the Giants in the NFL Championship, 14-7. Buckets retired following the 1945 season, having played 120 career NFL games; his thirteen seasons was second most in league history at the time of his retirement. At a time of two-way warriors, Buckets was considered one of the best.

After his career ended, Buckets was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame (1973), and was named to the Hall of Fame's All-1930s Team. In 1946, he was named to the Packers' All-Time Team as a guard.

Odessa, Ukraine

Career Dates:
Goldenberg played as a back at the University of Wisconsin from 1930-1932. He then played as a guard, blocking back, linebacker and defensive back in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers from 1933-1945.

Physical description:
5'10", 220 pounds

Career Statistics:
In the NFL:
Games: 120

Rushes: 108
Rushing yards: 365
Rushing average: 3.4
Rushing touchdowns: 6

Receptions: 11
Receiving yards: 111
Receiving average: 10.0
Receiving touchdowns: 1

Interceptions: 8
Interception return yards: 73
Interceptions returned for touchdowns: 2

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
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)