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Today's Tidbit... Making A Spectacle Of Himself
Ed Fischer grew up in Buffalo and then headed to New York City, where he played football at Columbia. A tackle, he captained Columbia's freshman football team during the 1921 season, setting himself up for a position on the varsity in 1922.
However, Fischer encountered significant problems with his vision entering the season, and in the days before contact lenses and face masks, it appeared he would be unable to play. Instead, Columbia developed a custom set of goggles with lenses made of unbreakable glass that allowed him to play. The goggles gave him an unusual appearance, but they allowed him to play, leading to a story and several images sent to the press. One or the other of the photos appeared in newspapers across the country.
Below are example articles in which Fischer appeared in 1922.
Fischer returned to the team for the 1923 season and again got his name and part of his face in the papers when he was shown preparing to hit a blocking sled without the benefit of the goggles. The work paid off since he spent the season as the starting right guard. Although there are no reports regarding his use of the goggles, Fischer had the opportunity to block for a future Hall of Fame player. Although Columbia's right halfback did not make a football hall of fame, he did pretty well for himself in another sport.
Despite a 5-4 record, Columbia did not have a strong team in 1922, given the strength of its schedule, so they brought in Percy Haughton as their coach for the 1924 season. Haughton captured four national titles at Harvard during the previous decade, so he was the right person to turn around the Lions' fortunes. Although preseason articles indicate Fischer planned to play his senior year, he apparently chose not to return to the gridiron for unknown reasons.
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