Tag Archives: College Football

Sports: Jim Thorpe

Jin Thorpe is in the hall of fame of professional football, college football, the US Olympics, and track & field. Uploaded to photobucket by Greg Bauch.

Jim Thorpe called football his favorite sport. And he certainly excelled at it, both at the collegiate and professional levels. But he excelled in everything he tried. Track and field. Baseball. Lacrosse. And get this – Jim Thorpe won the 1912 intercollegiate ballroom dancing championship. So you think you can dance?

Thorpe’s early life was beset by tragedy. He was a twin, but his brother died of pneumonia at age nine. His mother died in childbirth. His father died of gangrene following a hunting accident. So Thorpe, a Native American from Oklahoma, wound up at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It happened that Carlisle had a tremendous coach at the time – “Pop” Warner. He not only recognized Thorpe’s talent (who wouldn’t have?), but knew how to develop it.

Little Carlisle rode Thorpe’s strong shoulders to a national collegiate championship in football in 1912, highlighted by a 27-6 victory over Army. Thorpe was named an All-American in 1911 and 1912.

Uploaded by media-2.web.britannica.com.

Oh, and between those two seasons, Thorpe decided to try out for the US Olympic team. He went to Sweden, where he competed in the pentathlon and decathlon. He participated in several field events he had virtually never tried before, such as the pole vault and javelin throw. He won the gold medal in both events. His medals were presented by King Gustav V of Sweden, who told Thorpe, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.” To which Thorpe replied, “Thanks, King.”

Thorpe played Major League Baseball for the New York Giants and Boston Braves. In the league that was to become the NFL, he won three championship titles. And he barnstormed for a couple of years with the “World Famous Indians” basketball team.

Jim Thorpe is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, the United States Olympic Hall of Fame, and the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. He was named the number three athlete of the 20th century by the Associated Press, behind only Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan…

Sports: The Army-Navy Game

The game has been played in Philadelphia 81 times, but will be played in D.C. occasionally in the future. Uploaded to Flickr by jagwoodlex.

They started playing the game back in 1890, and Navy shut out the Army that year, 24-0. Last year they did it again, winning 34-0. They’ve now met 109 times, and the Navy holds a slight edge in the series, with 53 wins to the Army’s 49 (seven ties).

There was a time when this was not only a fierce rivalry, but one that actually mattered in college football. These schools, particularly the Army, were among the sport’s powers in the 1930s and 40s. In fact, in both the 1944 and 1945 seasons the national championship was at stake. The Army, blessed with two of the sport’s all-time greats in Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, won both games.

Uploaded to Flickr by themurf.

Part of what makes this game so special is the pageantry involved, as both student bodies march into the stadium, and cheer on their on-field heroes. Part of is the pranks the service academies play on the other leading up to the game. And part is the respect all Americans have for our military, as demonstrated by all the Presidents who have attended – Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Coolidge, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, Clinton, and George W. Bush. Eisenhower actually played in the game as a halfback and linebacker for Army (they lost).

Americana: Tailgating

It's hard to beat an SEC tailgate. Uploaded by a.espncdn.com.

It's hard to beat an SEC tailgate. Uploaded by a.espncdn.com.

Long gone are the days when tailgating was limited to fried chicken and potato salad. Go to a ballgame today and you’ll see exclusive set-ups that would be the envy of a Beverly Hills caterer.

One group at an NFL stadium builds a football temple each week. Three pop-up tents contain gas grills, cookstoves, 10 folding tables, a satellite dish, and a wide-screen TV. And the food would make the Food Network jealous. Lobster tails, steaks, crab, and turducken. (Yes, it’s what it sounds like.) And, of course, lots of adult beverages.

Hokies are as good in the parking lot as on the field. Uploaded by vtmagazine.vt.edu.

Hokies are as good in the parking lot as on the field. Uploaded by vtmagazine.vt.edu.

Of course, most people’s idea of tailgating isn’t to build a mobile four-star restaurant. Take me, for example. I’m happy with burgers on a hibachi, barbecue and baked beans, homemade banana pudding, and sweet tea. Oh, baby.

Here are 10 things to bring to a tailgate (which you could easily forget), courtesy of tailgating.com: 1. Jumper cables 2. Toilet paper 3. Plastic trash bags 4. Extra ice 5. Rain gear 6. First-aid kit 7. Sun block 8. A newbie 9. Comfortable shoes 10. Antacid