Today's Tidbit... 100 Years of Football: 1940-1946
This is the thirteenth in a series looking back at “100 Years of Football,” syndicated cartoons published by Jerry Brondfield and Charles Beck in 1969. Today's version covers the period from 1940-1946.
We featured a picture of Tom Harmon a few days ago in the story about tearaway jerseys, but he found plenty of other ways to keep out of defenders’ grasps. Another triple threat who was bigger than the average Wolverine, Harmon would have starred in any era.
After some success coaching at Tulane, Clark Shaughnessy took over at Chicago following Stagg’s retirement. The school was already deemphasizing sports, but Shaughnessy’s teams performed better than expected thanks to Jay Berwanger, the first Heisman winner. His adaptation of the T formation placed the QB at the center of the offense and was the most important offensive innovation in the game’s history, not resulting from a rule change. The second most important came the next year, with Don Faurot’s option play out of the Split T.
The college programs that were helped most and hurt the least by war conditions were Army and Navy. Although some classes finished early, their players were neither drafted nor allowed to enlist, and everyone wanted to go there. Army had great teams and players, including Davis and Blanchard.
One statistic tells the story of “Mr. Outside” Glenn Davis’ domination at Army. During the 1944 season, he averaged 11.1 yards per carry. “Mr. Inside” Doc Blanchard normally ran between the tackles and did so well enough to earn a Heisman, just like Mr. Inside.
Ohio State’s Lee Horvath beat out the West Pointers for the 1944 Heisman, but the 1946 West Point-Notre Dame game with Johnny Lujack starring for the Irish was the only college game with four Heisman winners on the rosters.
Click the appropriate link for other stories in the series:
1870s | 1880s | 1890s | 1900-1905 | 1905-1910 | 1910-1915 | 1916-1922 | 1923-1926 | 1927-1930 | 1931-1935 | 1935-1939 | 1940-1946 | 1946-1952 | 1953-1963 | The Pros | Modern NFL and Post-1906 All-Stars
The holidays are approaching, so put these books on your shopping list if you want to be nice rather than naughty.
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