Arnold "Arnie" Charles Herber (April 2, 1910 – October 14, 1969) was a professional football quarterback who played 11 seasons for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL), playing from 1930-40. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966 and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1972.
He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison for one year before transferring to Regis College. He retired in 1940, but returned four years later to a draft-depleted NFL in 1944, finishing his career with the New York Giants.
Herber was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin and was a Green Bay Packers fan from a young age, all while starring at local West High School in football and basketball. After attending college for a few years to no notoriety, Herber came back to Green Bay and worked in the club house as a handyman. Coach Curly Lambeau gave Herber a try-out and Herber joined the team after Green Bay's first NFL Championship in 1929.
Green Bay PackersEdit
Green Bay had posted an undefeated 12-0-1 record and won the NFL title the year before Herber was on the roster. In his first year, 1930, the Packers continued their success and won another title with Herber playing tailback in the famous Notre Dame Box formation. In 1931, with Herber throwing more than usual for that era to early greats like Johnny "Blood" McNally, the Packers reeled off nine straight wins to start the season and held on to win a third straight title. No other team in NFL history, besides the Packers themselves in the 1960s, has won three consecutive titles.
The NFL didn't start keeping statistics until 1932—when they did that year, Herber finished as the top passer in the league with 639 yards and nine touchdowns. He won the passing title again in 1933 with 799 yards and eight touchdowns. But Herber reached his peak as a pro starting in 1935 with the arrival of Don Hutson. Hutson, the league's first true wide receiver, changed the game with his graceful moves, precise patterns, and superb hands. Herber, who loved to throw the ball long, was a perfect fit for Hutson's talent. Hutson's first NFL reception was an 83-yard touchdown pass from Herber on the first play of the game when the Packers beat the Chicago Bears, 7-0. In 1936, Herber and Hutson rewrote (temporarily) the NFL passing-receiving record book. Herber tossed a record 177 passes for a record 1239 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Hutson set new records with 34 catches, 526 yards receiving, and eight touchdowns, all marks he would soon improve. Green Bay finished 10-1-1 and went to the NFL title game, which they won 21-6 over the Boston Redskins. In that game, Green Bay passed for 153 yards and Herber threw two touchdowns, one to Hutson.
Sharing time with another great passer, Cecil Isbell, Herber led the Packers to the title game again in 1938 and 1939. In the 1938 championship, Green Bay lost to the New York Giants, 23-17, despite another touchdown pass from Herber. In 1939, Green Bay avenged that loss with a 27-0 drubbing of the Giants. Herber threw for another touchdown in the 1939 title game. In 1940, Isbell began to get more playing time than Arnie, so Herber retired after 11 seasons with Green Bay.
New York GiantsEdit
Herber came back to the draft-depleted NFL in 1944, answering a call to play for the New York Giants. Herber threw sparingly but efficiently, for 651 yards and six touchdowns. As usual for Herber-led teams, the Giants won their conference and went to the title game. Herber's old squad, the Packers, still featuring Don Hutson, beat the Giants 14-7. Herber played one more forgettable season with the Giants and then retired for good.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame: Member biography