Ronnie Knox

Last updated
Ronnie Knox
Ronnie Knox.jpg
Knox from 1956 UCLA yearbook
Born:(1935-02-14)February 14, 1935
Chicago, Illinois
Died:May 4, 1992(1992-05-04) (aged 57)
San Francisco, California
Career information
CFL status American
Position(s) QB
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight198 lb (90 kg)
College California, UCLA
High school Santa Monica (CA)
NFL draft 1957 / Round: 3  / Pick: 37
Drafted by Chicago Bears
Career history
As player
1956 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
1956 Calgary Stampeders
1957 Chicago Bears
1958–1959 Toronto Argonauts

Ronald Knox (February 14, 1935 – May 4, 1992) was a National Football League and Canadian Football League quarterback. He played college football at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Contents

High school and college

A high school All-American at Santa Monica High School, Knox played under the tutelage of coach Jim Sutherland. [1] He played his freshman season for Pappy Waldorf's California Golden Bears before abruptly transferring to UCLA in the fall of 1954. Knox's stepfather, Harvey Knox, was accused of interfering with the Bears' coaching staff and of making extreme monetary demands on the university.[ citation needed ]

The elder Knox had also interfered with his son's high school coaches and Ronnie played for three different high school teams (Beverly Hills, Inglewood, Santa Monica) in three years. [2] Harvey Knox was also accused of interfering in the business of his stepdaughter, actress Patricia Knox. [2] Knox played one season at UCLA in 1955 before being declared ineligible due to accepting "under-the-table" financing. [3]

Professional football

After leaving UCLA, Knox signed a movie contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but he would never appear in any pictures for the studio. [4] Knox signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, [5] but would leave the team after one month to once again pursue a film career. Knox signed with the Calgary Stampeders on October 3, 1956, six days after quitting the Tiger-Cats. [6]

Selected in the third round of the 1957 NFL Draft, Knox signed with the Chicago Bears. He was suspended indefinitely by head coach (and owner) George Halas in early October 1957 for violations which included his stepfather's public criticism of the team and missing two practices and a quarterback tutoring session without reason. [7]

Due to a bitter dispute with the Bears, Knox was not allowed by Halas to play for the Bears or play for any other NFL team. [8] Instead, he signed with the Toronto Argonauts midway through 1958 CFL season with a promise by Harvey Knox to the team that he would not interfere. His most notable performance came on October 25, 1958 when, playing the Ottawa Rough Riders, he passed for 522 yards, then a team record and still second most in Argonaut history. After splitting up with his stepfather, [9] Knox would play only one more season of football before retiring, saying that football was a "game for animals." [10]

Film actor, a drifter, and a poet

After leaving Toronto, Knox appeared in a few movies and television shows, [11] but did not return to football, despite offers from the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers of the newly formed American Football League.

In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s Knox drifted around California, residing only a short time in various towns, prior to moving again. In July 1988 a reporter located him as he was moving out of a one-room apartment in Canoga Park. Knox had lived there for just several weeks, spending the majority of his time writing poetry. Aside from past residences in McKinleyville, Malibu, and San Francisco, Knox lived for short periods in other states, i.e. Maine and Texas. He also lived for brief stints in Mexico and Europe.

Having been single since a divorce from painter Renate Druks in 1964, his philosophy was to stay free. Knox compared his lifestyle to the noble savage written about by James Fennimore Cooper. He read English literature by the hour, stretched out on a cot or in his worn out twelve-year-old car. He yearned for a life at sea. [12]

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References

  1. Fan Has Fond Memories of Knox, Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1988, Pg. 3.
  2. 1 2 Knox, Harvey (September 6, 1954). "Why Ronnie Knox Quit California". Sports Illustrated. p. 32.
  3. "Ronnie Knox Plans Stiff Fight To Retain Football Eligibility". United Press Associations. May 23, 1956. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  4. Eller, Claudia (May 4, 1999). "MGM Continues to Struggle to Reinvent Itself". Los Angeles Times.
  5. "Ronnie Knox Ends College Career; Signs With Hamilton Pro Eleven". Associated Press. August 19, 1956. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  6. "Harvey and Ronnie Agree to Terms With Calgary". Los Angeles Times. October 3, 1956. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  7. "Ronnie Knox suspended". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. October 4, 1957. p. 20.
  8. "Ronnie Knox going back to Toronto". Prescott Evening Courier. (Arizona). Associated Press. February 19, 1959. p. 11.
  9. "Ronnie Knox Splits Up With Stepfather". Los Angeles Times. June 14, 1958. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  10. "'It's game for animals,' says poet Ronnie Knox as he quits football". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. September 16, 1959. p. 2C.
  11. "Ronnie Knox Quits Football For Acting". The Miami News . United Press International. July 26, 1958.
  12. Poetry in Motion, Los Angeles Times, July 17, 1988, Internet article.