The Oregonian – January 4, 1942
By David W. Hazen
“Jumping Joe” Savoldi is going to make Portland his jumping headquarters for a few months. Mrs. Savoldi and son Joe III are coming out from Three Oaks, Mich., to set up housekeeping while Joe is kicking ‘em cold on the new wrestling circuit.
“Oh, sure, wrestlin’ is on its way back,” said Joe the Jumper, thumping his chest a couple of thumps. “And they’re goin’ to be better matches, the customers are goin’ to get tops; they demand it, so they’ll get it. The people are workin’ now, they got more money to spend. They are sport-minded, so the boys in our profession are goin’ to give them something in wrestlin’ that will be worth goin’ many miles to see.
“It’s part of the defense program – keep people entertained, busy, when they have time off from the shop. The government encourages sports. But, partner, I am willing and ready to do anything Uncle Sam wants me to do. When the call comes, I’m ready.”
The former great Notre Dame fullback – many sports writers say Joe is the greatest fullback that ever jumped in a Notre Dame uniform – has become a business man, a manufacturer in Michigan since the days when he kicked ‘em over at the auditorium here a few years ago.
“I have a soft-drink plant back in Three Oaks,” he said, “and have built up a very fine business. And now we are making our own feature drink, ‘Drop Kick,’ which is going to be a big seller in a few years. You’ll get it out here. It will give a certain soft drink that started down in Atlanta, Ga., a real run. ‘Drop Kick’ is a soft drink, sure, but everybody’s gonna like it.”
So, after ordering a couple of cases, the talk fell to football. That’s Savoldi’s middle name.
“Notre Dame’s got a great coach now in Frank Leahy,” announced the 32-year-old all-American. “He was a teammate of mine for three years. He was a tackle. Frank is a great coach, he’s got what it takes.
“He’s a wonderful showman, as well as knowing what a fellow should do and shouldn’t do in a game. He wants football played well, and he also wants the spectacular. He figures the public pays the freight and so he wants the public to see a good show.”
Asked if there’s any difference in the game today and when he was starring (‘28, ‘29, ‘30), “Jumping Joe” replied:
“I don’t see much difference, only they pass more now. We used to pass only when we were behind, or when there was a tie and we had to do something in a big hurry. But now, they’ll pass on the first down when they are 20 points ahead, or on the fourth down when they are ten points behind.
“The orthodox stuff seems to be out – three downs and then punt. ‘Rock’ would have killed us – he’d have fired the whole team – if we would have passed when we were ahead. The boys make fewer mistakes now that the coach can send in a man anytime, and the man can talk right away. It isn’t up to the quarterback like it used to be when Carideo called our signals.”