Today's Tidbit... A Referee's 80-Year-Old Boner
Eighty years ago Monday, Minnesota hosted Michigan in their annual battle for the Little Brown Jug, a traveling trophy that originated when the Wolverines left behind a water jug after their 1903 game in Gopherland.
The 1942 game resulted in Minnesota's ninth straight win over the Wolverines. However, the boys in blue still claim the loss resulted from a referee error, leading Michigan's student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, to summarize the result with the following headline.
Here's what happened. With the game tied 7-7 near the end of the first half, Michigan failed on a fourth down run from their own 46. Minnesota quickly completed two passes to move the ball to the 11, at which point Minnesota sent in Bill Garnaas at quarterback.
College football allowed free substitution starting in 1941. Before then, officials called a timeout when teams substituted players into the game. Unfortunately, the officials fell back on old habits because they incorrectly called a timeout to allow Garnaas onto the field.
Minnesota then called two running plays that put the ball on the six. With the clock running down, Garnaas recognized the Gophers did not have time to set up for a placekicked field goal attempt, so he had the team quickly line up. With one second left, the center snapped to Garnaas standing deep, and he dropkicked the ball for a field goal.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the second half, but Minnesota missed its extra point attempt, so the end-of-first-half field goal was the difference in the 16-14 final score.
Still, I'm unsure what the mistake on the field has to do with the referee's boner.
Subscribe for free and never miss a story. If you are a regular reader, consider becoming a paying subscriber to support my work.