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Last Pottsville survivor, Duke Marhefka, dies at 101

Joseph C. "Duke" Marhefka, the last-known surviving player from the Pottsville NFL team, died at age 101.

Mr. Marhefka died in Easton on Monday, said his wife, Gladys.

He spent only the 1924 season as running back with Pottsville. The next year the team adopted the nickname "Maroons" and beat the Chicago Cardinals in what was billed as the NFL title game.

But the NFL rescinded the title a week later _ and took away Pottsville's franchise _ because the Maroons violated league rules by playing Notre Dame on the Philadelphia homefield of a rival, the Frankford Yellow Jackets.

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in May the league would "reassess" what team deserves to be called the 1925 champions.

After leaving Pottsville, Mr. Marhefka went on to play for the Philadelphia Quakers.

"He loved the Pottsville Maroons," Gladys said. "He's got all this literature here, pictures of his team when he played up there and everything."

Pottsville Maroons Memorial Committee chairman Nick Barbetta said the few other remaining Maroon veterans died in the 1980s.

EAGLES: Mario "Yo-Yo" Giannelli, who played on two NFL championship teams with Philadelphia and is a member of the Boston College Sports Hall of Fame, is dead at 82.

He died Sunday at the Chelsea Soldier's Home.

Mr. Giannelli played on BC's 1942 Orange Bowl team against Alabama. His college career was interrupted by World War II, when he took part in the invasion of Okinawa. He also was an Army boxing champion.

He was back at Boston College in 1948 and played selected to play in the college All-Star Game against the NFL champion Chicago Cardinals.

Drafted by the NFL's Boston Yanks, he was traded to Philadelphia, where he was a two-way lineman from 1948 to 1951.

In 1967, Mr. Giannelli was honored by his hometown as one of 10 outstanding athletes who brought the name "City of Champions" to Everett.

PATRIOTS: Free-agent center Bill Conaty signed. He spent six seasons with the Bills, where he started 18 of 67 games. He started every game in 2001, but none last season. Conaty was not drafted out of Virginia Tech in 1997.

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