Today's Tidbit... 100 Years of Football: 1935-1939
This is the twelfth 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 1935-1939.
Jim Crowley, one of Notre Dame’s Four Horsemen, told stories of a 1922 game in which the Hail Mary play first appeared. However, the term was first used contemporaneously with the 1935 Notre Dame-Ohio State game. The season also saw the awarding of the first Heisman Trophy to Jay Berwanger, an all-around player at Chicago.
After coaching at three other schools, including taking Tulane to the Rose Bowl, Bernie Bierman returned to his alma mater, Minnesota. He had a decade of great teams, winning five national championships, including five in a row, in a run that compares with the best by any coach of any era.
One of Bierman’s players at Minnesota was Bud Wilkinson, who assisted Bierman at Iowa Pre-Flight during WWII, and later put together his own streak at Minnesota. Running the Single Wing. Bierman beat Ohio State in 1940 in a key game without attempting a pass.
Dutch Meyers’ TCU teams of the 1930s were among the first to feature more complex passing schemes with ball tossers like Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien, the first Heisman winner to play in the NFL. Baugh became an NFL star, while O’Brien led the NFL in passing his rookie year and called it quits after his second year of playing for a losing team.
Jock Sutherland replaced Pop Warner as Pitt’s head coach and made them better, winning six national championships and playing in four Rose Bowls. His 1932 team took Colgate’s place in the 1932 Rose Bowl, while his 1935-1937 teams tied Fordham in three successive scoreless games.
Byron “Whizzer” White was the classic triple-threat halfback who also played basketball and baseball at Colorado. A first-round draft choice, he deferred his Rhodes Scholarship for a year to play for the Steelers and led the league in rushing. He then entered Yale Law, played another year in the NFL, and served in the Navy during WWII before finishing his legal education. He ultimately served as the U.S. Assistant Attorney General and then a Supreme Court Justice.
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
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