Nearly Unbeatable Vols

When Northwestern Almost Left the Big Ten

A High School with College Facilities

A Big 12 Sleeper

UNLV Traditions

1948 Camellia Bowl

Plunkett Prevails

Cradle of Coaches

Georgia Tech Traditions

Football Doubleheaders

Pro Bowl in Superdome

Origin of the 12th Man


Football: Did You Know? ­ I

Football: Did You Know? ­ II

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Football: Did You Know? – III

Nearly Unbeatable Vols
From 1927 through 1932, Major Robert Neyland's Tennessee Volunteers lost only one game. That was 18-6 at Alabama on October 18, 1930. The Vols were unbeated in 33 straight before that fateful day and then reeled off another 28 game non-losing span.

Neyland, a West Point grad who had served in World War I, became head coach in Knoxville in 1926 when he was an ROTC instructor. He had earlier been an assistant coach at Army when General Douglas MacArthur was the superintendent.

After an 8-1 season in his maiden year – the only loss to Vanderbilt in the second-to-last game – Neyland led his Vols to the 1927 Southern Conference championship with an 8-0-1 mark, the ony blemish a 7-7 tie with Vandy. 1928 saw UT win 9 and tie 1, this one a scoreless tie with Kentucky. That season saw the resumption of the UT-Alabama series which has continued unbroken to this day. The Vols' 15-13 win in Tuscaloosa over a team that had just played in the Rose Bowl brought Tennessee its first national attention. 1929 was soiled only by another tie with UK. After winning the first three contests in 1930, the Vols fell to a Bama team led by Albert Elmore and John Suther. That season finished 9-1. Then 1931 brought another 9-0-1 campaign, with another tie in Lexington by the same 6-6 score as two years earlier. The season ended with a 13-0 victory over NYU at Yankee Stadium in the "New York Charity Game." 1932 was still another 9-0-1 Southern Conference championship year, the tie to Vanderbilt 0-0.

Some of the stars on those early teams of "The General" were: Bobby Dodd, who later coached many years at Georgia Tech and for whom an annual coaches award is named; Gene McEver (shown above returning the opening kickoff 98 yards against the Crimson Tide in 1928), UT's first All-American; and Herman Hickman, an All-American G who later played in the NFL and coached Yale.

In the new Southeastern Conference in 1933, the Vols finally experienced a "down" year: 7-3. They improved to 8-2 in 1934. Then the first of Neyland's three stints at UT ended when he was recalled to the Army to serve in Panama.
When Northwestern Almost Left the Big Ten
On November 1, 1955, the campus newspaper of Northwestern University ran a front-page editorial prompted by the Wildcats football fortunes or, more accurately, misfortunes. They were 0-6 after a 49-0 trouncing by Ohio State, the Wildcats' 20th straight Big Ten defeat. The last winning season had been 1951, and that was only 5-4. The next three years went like this: 1952: 2-6-1; 1953: 3-6; 1954: 2-7. New coach Lou Saban had done nothing to turn around the downward spiral and would be let go after one 0-8-1 season in 1955. (One of Saban's assistants was George Steinbrenner.)

Here is the key excerpt from the Daily Northwestern editorial.

"We think that, under the present conditions, there are three courses open:

  1. Northwestern can let things ride as they are and continue to lose six or seven conference games each year.
  2. Northwestern can make some drastic changes in its athletic policies and start fielding Big Ten caliber teams once more.
  3. Northwestern can get out of the Big Ten.
We doubt anyone concerned with the Wildcats' plight would be in favor of the first alternative ... We think the third solution is the much more logical."

Northwestern did not, of course, leave the Big Ten. Instead, the school hired Ara Parseghian from Miami (OH) to take over the football program. Ara had played HB at Miami after serving in the Navy in World War II. He played RB and DB for the Cleveland Browns (and their legendary coach Paul Brown) in 1948-9 before an injury ended his pro career. He then coached at his alma mater under Woody Hayes. When Woody moved to Ohio State in 1951, Ara took the reins at Miami and led the Redskins (as they were known then) to a 39-6-1 record over the next five years.

Ara improved Northwestern immediately, finishing 4-4-1 in 1956 with three conference wins. However, the 1957 squad reverted back to old habits, finishing 0-9. But Ara got the ship back on course in 1958 for a 5-4 record, including three Big Ten wins. He then produced these results.

  • 6-3 in 1959, including a 45-13 victory over Oklahoma and a 30-24 triumph at Notre Dame;
  • 5-4 in 1960 with another victory over OU, this one in Norman 19-3, and another one over ND (7-6);
  • 4-5 in 1961 with a third straight win over the Irish, 12-10;
  • 7-2 in 1962, including an 18-14 win over his mentor Hayes and the Buckeyes and still another ND victory (35-6);
  • 5-4 in 1963, including another triumph over OSU, 17-8. (ND was not on the schedule.)
Notre Dame, mired in the most prolonged slump in its history (19-25 from 1960-1963), decided "If you can't lick 'em, join 'em." So the Irish hired Parseghian to turn around their fortunes, which he certainly did, compiling a 95-17-4 record and three National Championships in 11 seasons in South Bend.

Northwestern later had another bad stretch that made the '50s look good. But that's a story for another day.
A High School with College Facilities
Chase Daniel led Missouri to a 12-2 record in the 2007 season, including a Cotton Bowl victory, and a #4 final ranking in the AP Poll. Chase graduated from Carroll High School in an affluent suburb of Dallas. Homes there sell for an average of $576,356. The Carroll Independent School District spares no expense to provide its students the highest quality educational and athletic experience.

  • The high school's facilities are so nice the Cowboys have borrowed them.
  • The school has an enrollment of 2,545 and an annual athletic budget of $500,000.
  • The football team plays in a $15.3 million stadium where crowds average 10,000.
  • The school also boasts a $3.4 million indoor practice facility.
  • More than 350 students play football.
  • Reserved tickets for the season require buying a personal seat license.
The bottom line is that Carroll has better facilities than many colleges. The Dragons have gone 90-2 since 2002 and won four state championships. Their 49-game winning streak ended during the 2007 season.

Todd Dodge (former Texas QB) coached Carroll from 2000-6, compiling a record of 98-11. Now the head coach at North Texas, it is debatable whether he enjoys better facilities there than he had at Carroll. (The Mean Green's average attendance in 2007 was 17,734.) Carroll grads who don't go to big-time colleges play before smaller crowds in college than they enjoyed in high school.

A Big 12 Sleeper
Think of the Big 12 and you probably think of Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska as having the best football tradition. But here are some facts about another Big 12 school.

  • Since the inception of the Doak Walker Award in 1990 (for outstanding RB), it is the only Division I-A school to have two different players receive the honor (Byron Morris 1993 and Byron Hanspard 1996). (Ricky Williams of Texas won it twice in 1997-8 and Darren McFadden of Arkansas in 2006-7.)
  • It is the only Big 12 school to lead the nation in passing three straight years (2003-5).
  • It is the only Big 12 school that has been bowl eligible in each of the league's 12 seasons (although they did not go to bowls with 6-5 records in 1997 and 1999). They were also bowl-eligible their last two seasons in the Southwest Conference for a current streak of 14 years.
  • The school has now played in a school record eight straight bowl games (2000-2007). This span corresponds to the tenure of the current head coach.
In case you haven't guessed yet, the school in question is Texas Tech. The coach is Mike Leach.
UNLV Traditions
Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) has one of the youngest football programs in Division I-A. The school first fielded a team in 1968, 11 years after UNLV was founded and 10 years after basketball began. The school started in Division II, going 8-1 in the very first season. They competed in the Big West Conference from 1982-1995 before becoming a charter member of the WAC in 1996. However, in 1999, UNLV moved to the new Mountain West Conference.

Why does a Far West school have the nickname "Rebels?" The school chose the monicker because it thought of itself as stepping out of the shadow of Nevada-Reno to the north. Runnin' Rebels was coined in 1974 to refer to the basketball team, which gained national prominence under Jerry Tarkanian in the 1980s and early 1990s.

In keeping with its anti-establishment tradition, the school chose gray, the color of the Confederate military uniforms, and scarlet from the Confederate flag. The first mascot was a winking cartoon wolf named Beauregard, who wore a Confederate cap. After African-Americans protested, he was replaced in the early 1970s.

In 1999, UNLV became the first college team to win a game on the last play while trailing and not in possession of the ball. Playing at home, Baylor led 24-21 with the ball on the Rebel 8 with 8 seconds left. Instead of having his QB take a knee, Bear coach Kevin Steele called for a running play. The RB fumbled and DB Kevin Thomas picked up the pigskin in the end zone and ran 100 yards for the winning TD.
1948 Camellia Bowl
The Camellia Bowl was played at McNaspy Stadium in Lafayette LA December 30, 1948. Hardin-Simmons met Wichita State.

The Cowboys of Hardin-Simmons, a Baptist college in Abilene TX, were coached by Warren Woodson. They had a 4-4-2 regular season record in the Border Conference. Wichita State, which finished 5-3-1 for second place in the Missouri Valley Conference, accepted the other spot when Dayton turned down the invitation because the Flyers did not want to miss Christmas with their families and their vacation jobs. The Shockers' first-year coach was Jim Trimble, who later coached the Philadelphia Eagles (1952-55) and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL (winning the Grey Cup in 1957).

Camellia Bowl

The favored Cowboys outpassed and outrushed WSU for a 49-12 victory on a clear, cold day before only 5,000 fans. As a result, the bowl was never played again. (A different Camellia Bowl was held in the 1960s for lower division teams in Sacramento CA.)

There was also a Camellia Bowl Invitiational Basketball tournament in New Orleans in 1948. Southwestern Louisiana Institute (the forerunner of today's ULL) defeated Loyola (N.O.). A boxing competition was also held as part of the bowl events.

I've saved the most interesting feature of this bowl game for last. This was Hardin-Simmons' third bowl game of the 1948 post-season! The Cowboys tied College of the Pacific 35-35 in the Grape Bowl at Lodi CA on Dec. 11 and defeated Ouachita College 40-12 in the Shrine Bowl at Little Rock Dec. 18.

Plunkett Prevails
Jim Plunkett
Jim Plunkett won the 1970 Heisman Trophy after leading Stanford to a 9-3 season and a Rose Bowl win over Ohio State.

Jim had an unusual upbringing because both his parents were blind. After meeting at a school for the sightless in New Mexico, they married and eventually moved to San Jose CA where William Plunkett worked at a Post Office news stand to provide his wife and three children with a living, although at times they survived on welfare.

In his senior year of high school, Jim led his team to an undefeated season. This earned him a spot in California's annual Shrine Game. However, the North roster was so stocked with QBs that he was moved to defensive end! He performed ably at that unfamiliar position in the game.

He entered Stanford the following fall. However, he quickly developed a serious medical problem that required an operation to remove a tumor on his thyroid. Although the growth proved benign, he was seriously weakened when he returned to the practice field. Since he had fallen behind the other three QBs, coach John Ralston, remembering Plunkett's sterling performance in the all star game, asked him to move to DE. However, Jim told his coach, "I am a quarterback."

To regain his touch, he threw 500-1,000 passes a day. Nevertheless, Ralston redshirted him for his sophomore year. The next year (1968), Jim seized the starting position behind center. Over the next two seasons, he threw 34 TDs and gained 4,829 aerial yards. Amid the success, he suffered another personal setback when his father died.

Since he had redshirted, he was eligible for the NFL draft after the 1969 season. The chance to earn money to help his widowed mother was tempting, but he turned it down to return for his senior year. His sensational final season not only led to college football's most prestigious award but also made him the #1 overall pick in the draft by the New England Patriots.

Cradle of Coaches
Miami University in Oxford OH is known as the "Cradle of Coaches" because a nunber of prominent football coaches played or coached there before achieving greater fame at more prominent college programs or the National Football League.

  • Earl Blaik played four years at Miami. He later coached Dartmouth for seven years and Army (where he also played two years) for 18. His all-time record of 166-48-14 earned him election to the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Paul Brown, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, played two years at Miami after transferring from Ohio State. He later coached the Buckeyes before founding the Cleveland Browns and revolutionizing coaching in the NFL. He later started another team, the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Sid Gillman, also enshrined in Canton, coached in Oxford before becoming head coach of the Los Angeles Rams. Considered one of the greatest innovators in the passing game, he is most known for coaching the San Diego Chargers.
  • Weeb Ewbank, coach of the Baltimore Colts 1958 NFL champs and the New York Jets Super Bowl III winners, played QB at Miami and coached basketball, not football, at his alma mater. He is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Woody Hayes, legendary Ohio State coach, headed Miami's program before moving to Columbus. He is in the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Ara Parseghian played and coached at Miami before leading Notre Dame to a 95-17-4 mark. He joined Blaik and Hayes in the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend.
  • Bo Schembechler played T at Miami and took over as head coach from 1963-8. Of course, he is beloved at Michigan where he won 13 Big Ten championships in 21 years. The College Hall of Fame boasts him as an honoree.
  • Paul Dietzel was an All-American C at Miami right after World War II. He coached LSU to the national championship in 1958.
  • Three other coaches from Miami:
    • Randy Walker, who was head coach at Northwestern when he died in 2006, played three years for the Redskins (now Redhawks). He also won more games than any head coach at his alma mater from 1990-8.
    • Ron Zook, one of Walker's teammates in Oxford, was an assistant in college and the NFL before succeeding Steve Spurrier at Florida in 2002-4. In 2007 he coached Illinois to the Rose Bowl.
    • Joe Novak played and was an assistant coach in Oxford. He is best known as coach of Northern Illinois from 1996-2007.
NFL Playoff Bowl
The "Playoff Bowl" was a second NFL post-season game following the 1960-1969 seasons. Played in the "dead week" between the championship game and the Pro Bowl, the game pitted the runner-up in the Eastern Conference against the runner-up in the West. Every one of the ten games was held in the Orange Bowl to take advantage of Miami's good January weather. The official name of the contest was the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl in honor of the league commissioner from 1946-1959.

Here are the results of the games.

Detroit Lions 17 Cleveland Browns 16
Detroit Lions 38 Philadelphia Eagles 10
Detroit Lions 17 Pittsburgh Steelers 10
Green Bay Packers 40 Cleveland Browns 23
St. Louis Cardinals 24 Green Bay Packers 17
Baltimore Colts 35 Dallas Cowboys 3
Baltimore Colts 20 Philadelphia Eagles 14
Los Angeles Rams 30 Cleveland Browns 6
Dallas Cowboys 17 Minnesota Vikings 13
Los Angeles Rams 31 Dallas Cowboys 0
The inaugural contest was held after the 1960 season, during which the American Football League began operation. The first Super Bowl was played after the 1966 season between the NFL and AFL champions. The following year, the NFL expanded to 16 teams and subdivided each conference into two divisions of four. The four division winners entered the playoffs, thus adding another week to post-season competition. The result was waning interest in the Playoff Bowl, with players on the competing teams openly voicing their displeasure at having to play a meaningless game.

The Packers played in the game following the 1963 and 1964 seasons. Coach Vince Lombardi was openly contemptuous of the game, calling it "the Shit Bowl, ... a losers' bowl for losers." After losing the '65 game, he complained even more. "A hinky-dink football game, held in a hinky-dink town, played by hinky-dink players. That's all second place is – hinky-dink." He vowed he would never finish second again (and he didn't).

The NFL-AFL merger was completed prior to the 1970 season. After discussing an extra game between the runners-up in the AFL and NFL, the owners ended the "losers' bowl" because it was superfluous in the expanded playoff schedule. The NFL treats the Playoff Bowls as exhibitions and does not include them in its post-season records. The only vestige of the Playoff Bowl that remains in today's NFL is the custom whereby the coaches of the teams that lose in the Conference Finals coach the Pro Bowl teams.

Georgia Tech Traditions
Here are some facts about Georgia Tech football.
Grant Field, Georgia Tech
Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field
  • Georgia Tech is the first school to win all four traditional major bowls: Rose, Orange, Sugar, and Cotton.
  • Its stadium, Grant Field, opened in 1913, making it the fourth oldest college football stadium, behind three Ivy League edifices: Franklin Field, Harvard Stadium, and Yale Bowl.
  • Grant Field is now called Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field in honor of Tech's legendary coach who compiled a 165-64-8 record from 1945 through 1966. Included was a 31-game unbeaten streak starting with the last two games of 1950 and ending with a loss at Notre Dame in the sixth game of 1953.
  • One of Tech's unique traditions is that, at away games, band members ask the stadium's PA announcer to page "George P. Burdell," a fictitious character in GT history. In 1927, Burdell's name appeared on class rosters, registration forms and grade reports.
Georgia Tech Coach Bobby Dodd
Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Dodd
Georgia Tech's Ramblin' Wreck
  • The school has two official nicknames: Yellow Jackets and Rambling Wreck. The fight song, "Rambling Wreck," dates to within a few years of the school's origin in 1888 when a large portion of the student body traveled to Athens to watch their heroes play Georgia in baseball. When the song first appeared in print in 1910 in a compilation of school cheers and songs, the words "hell" and "helluva" were edited out. The song became so well known worldwide that U.S. vice president Richard Nixon and Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev sang it together in Moscow in 1959. The Yellow Jacket moniker first appeared in 1905 and referred to the Tech supporters who wore yellow coats to games.
  • The official Rambling Wreck car made its appearance at the 1961 home opener and has led the team onto the field at every home game since. Buzz, the bumblebee mascot, made his debut in 1980.
Georgia Tech's "Buzz"
Football Doubleheaders
There were a number of occasions in the first 40 years of the 20th century when a college football team played two opponents on the same day.

  • The 1917 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets of famous coach John Heisman defeated both Furman (25-0) and Wake Forest (33-0) on September 29 in Atlanta. Tech finished 9-0 that year, outscoring opponents 491-17. Included was a 98-0 shellacking of Carlisle, which obviously was not the same power it had been in the "Pop" Warner/Jim Thorpe era. Heisman's team had defeated Cumberland 222-0 the year before in the most lopsided score in football history.
  • On October 9, 1926, Navy beat Drake 24-7 and Richmond 26-0 in Annapolis. The Midshipmen won their first nine contests before tying Army 21-21 at Soldier Field before 110,000, the largest crowd ever to see a football game to that point.
  • Michigan began its 1929, 1930, and 1931 seasons by besting two opponents on the same day. 1929 began with victories over Albion 39-0 and Mount Union 16-6 en route to a 5-3-1 record. The 1930 victims were Denison (33-0) and Eastern Michigan (7-0) as the Wolverines finished 8-0-1. Finally, in 1931 UM defeated Central State Teachers (now Central Michigan) 27-0 and Eastern Michigan 34-0 on October 3 in Ann Arbor en route to an 8-1-1 season, the loss coming to Ohio State (which was not the final game of the season until 1935).
  • Wisconsin went Michigan one better by playing doubleheaders each year from 1928-31. After opening 1928 with a 22-6 victory over Notre Dame, the Badgers defeated Cornell College (IA) 49-0 and North Dakota State 13-7 the following Saturday. Wisconsin began each of the next three seasons with doubleheader sweeps. 1929: Ripon 22-0 and South Dakota State 21-0, half of UW's wins in a 4-5 season. 1930: 53-6 rout of Lawrence and 28-0 pasting of Carleton on October 4 as Wisconsin finished 6-2-1. Finally, the 5-4-1 1931 season kicked off with defeats of Bradley (33-6) and North Dakota State (12-7). The next week Auburn came to Madison and tied the Badgers 7-7.
  • Still another Western Conference school, Chicago, regularly played doubleheaders during this same period, including two in 1929 (Beloit and Lake Forest on October 5 and Ripon and Indiana State on October 19). In 1928, the sweep of Wyoming and Lake Forest (by only 3-0) provided the only victories of Amos Alonzo Stagg's season. In 1931, the Maroons defeated Cornell (IA) in the opener but lost to Hillsdale in the nightcap, one of the few times a major school lost either game of a twinbill.
  • Other Western Conference teams also played two-on-one-day: Northwestern (1929), Purdue (1931), and Illinois (1932).
  • The practice spread to the West Coast during the 1930s. California played a twinbill every season from 1932 through 1939 with California-Davis one of the opponents every year. Southern Cal obeyed Ernie Banks and "played two" in 1933 and 1934 as did UCLA in 1934. Cal's 1939 DH is the last recorded instance of a team playing two official games on one day.
Pro Bowl in the Superdome
The Pro Bowl between the NFC and AFC All-Stars following the 1975 season was played in the newly-opened Superdome in New Orleans on Monday night, January 26, 1976. The game is interesting not only because it was played in N.O. but for two other reasons: (a) the fact that the players seriously discussed boycotting the game and (b) some interesting action that occurred during and right after the contest. First, the controversy that threatened the game.

  • Before the Super Bowl in Miami the previous week, Ed Garvey, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, and Kermit Alexander of the 49ers, the president, raised the possibility that the players might boycott the Pro Bowl. The reason was the uncertain status of the NFL's pension plan for the players. "The Pro Bowl is the pension game," said Alexander. "The money is supposed to go to the pension plan. If there's no pension plan, why should the players play in the Pro Bowl."
  • The NFL had not contributed to the pension plan for two years because the league had been operating without a collective bargaining agreement since the player strike of 1974. So Commissioner Pete Rozelle would not commit to contributing the proceeds from the Pro Bowl to the pension fund.
  • When Garvey met with the players in the Crescent City a week before the Pro Bowl, he updated them on the issues with the league but found most of them inclined to play. "I'm pretty sure it's going to be played," said Terry Metcalf of the St. Louis Cardinals. "I think it's a privilege to be invited."
  • A few days later, the players voted almost unanimously to play. Dallas S Cliff Harris probably spoke for the group: "It's an honor to play and the fans are hurt if we don't. But we want management to tell us something about the pensions."
Now the game itself.
Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Oilers
Billy "White Shoes" Johnson

Ray Guy, Raiders
Ray Guy

  • The uncertainty surrounding the game may have contributed to the small crowd of only 32,108.
  • The NFC had a hard time filling the final QB spot on its roster. Minnesota's Fran Tarkenton was picked but had a sore arm. His replacement, Roger Staubach of the Cowboys, had been pounded by the Steelers in the Super Bowl. League officials tried Archie Manning of the host Saints but he begged off with a sore arm. Ditto Atlanta's Steve Bartkowski and James Harris of the LA Rams. So the spot fell to Mike Boryla, a part-time starter for the Eagles, who turned out to be a hero in the contest.
  • After a scoreless Q1, the AFC took a 13-0 halftime lead. A 55-yard punt return by Billy 'White Shoes" Johnson of the Houston Oilers set up a 20-yard FG by Jan Stenerud of the Chiefs. Then a 32-yard screen pass from Dan Pastorini of the Oilers to Cliff Branch of Oakland led to a 35-yard FG. Finally, Pastorini hit his teammate Ken Burrough (a former Saint) for a 44-yard TD.
  • The NFC fought back with 9 points in Q3. Jim Bakken of the Cardinals kicked a 42-yard FG and his teammate Jim Hart shot a 4-yard pass to the Vikings' Chuck Foreman. The AFC blocked Bakken's PAT to keep the score 13-9.
  • Johnson ran back a Q4 punt 90-yards for what is still a Pro Bowl record (as is his 159 total punt return yardage for the game) to extend the AFC lead to 20-9. But Hart drove the NFC to the 14 from where he hit Metcalf for a TD.
  • A controversial play in the closing minutes helped the NFC score the winning TD. Steve Odom of Green Bay took a punt at his 10 and lateralled to Detroit's Lem Barney who zipped to the AFC 30. AFC players complained that a whistle had blown before the lateral, causing them to stop.
  • Boryla finally entered the game at this crucial point to direct the winning drive which ended with his 8-yard pass to Mel Gray, another Cardinal, with 1:09 left for a 23-20 triumph. Boryla finished second in the MVP voting to Johnson.
  • Another interesting play occurred during the game when a punt by Oakland's Ray Guy from his own 10 hit the gondola hanging 90 feet over midfield. Officials made the AFC punt again according to the "ground rules" in effect in the Superdome.
Cardinals QB Jim Hart
Jim Hart

Lem Barney, Detroit Lions
Lem Barney

Origin of the 12th Man
The upper deck of Kyle Field proudly remembers Texas A & M's "12th Man" tradition. The story behind the name originates with E. King Gill, a player on the 1921 Aggie football squad who left the team at the end of the regular season to play basketball. However, he attended A & M's Dixie Classic game in Dallas against Centre on January 2. When many of his former teammates fell to injury, Gill was summoned to the field and asked to suit up. He went under the stands and donned the uniform of one of the injured players. Even though the team won 22-14 without him, Gill's willingness to do what he could continues in the tradition of Aggie students standing in readiness for the entire game.
Kyle Field, Home of the 12th Man
Follow-up note: Centre arrived in Dallas for the Dixie Classic from San Diego, where it had defeated Arizona in a post-season game a week earlier 38-0.