He was a teammate of the Panhandles' infamous Nesser Brothers and later married their sister Mary Rose. However, on one occasion John did not play for Columbus. According to his daughter, Cassidy, the Panhandles sometimes would go to different places and the opposing team would not have enough players. To keep the game scheduled, the opposing team would take somebody from the Panhandles. They were never allowed to take one of the Nesser brothers. During one such game, John, was picked to play against his own team and the Nessers. 'I was the poor fool who got picked to play against the Nessers, and they pulverized me.' He used to say, 'I think that was my scariest day, other than the day I asked the brothers if I could marry their sister.'