Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Redskins Football

Tuesday night my Miami Redhawks  (or should I really say Redskins) season tickets were put to good use by the guys (M.L.  J.R. and K.M.).  What a great Miami memory - freezing our toes while sitting on the edge of the bleachers on a come from behind win against Ball State:  21-20.

Actually we didn't see the end of the game since the three reluctant and frozen Miami fans negotiated with me (the driver) to leave the game early if Miami scored the go ahead touchdown.  We did and in the warmth of the car listened to the last four minutes on the radio.

So much history of football at Miami (the Cradle of Coaches) with yet another statistic in the record books.  The first team to go 0-6 for the first half of the season and then win six in a row to actually get a chance at a Bowl invitation. 

When Jenna started at Miami (2009), I sent her a letter  (the MMM - Monday Miami Memory) each Monday for her first 14 weeks.  Letter #5 was my favorite describing the first Nationally Televised Miami Football Game:

Here is the except from the letter I sent Jenna (10/27/2009):

The first Miami Home game was with Bowling Green State University (BGSU) on  9/23/72.  In those days both Bands were allowed to play at half-time and this was the first nationally televised game at Miami.  It was played at Old Miami Field which is where  Pearson Hall and the Psychology building is now located.  Since the game was televised,  Dave Wottle was being honored.   Wottle was a junior at BGSU and had stunned the world by winning the gold medal in the 1972 Olympics 800 meter run coming from last place at the half way point to win the race against the Soviet favorite (remember it was the Cold War back then)– all while wearing a golf cap (unheard of for a runner). His was the last gold medal won in that race by an American to this day.

Well since this was going to be televised (remember there was not cable in those days just 3 channels and only two televised college football games each Saturday) , some of the freshmen guys in East Quad came up with this idea to get on television.  They made up signs with the letters BGSU.  Sitting in the Miami Student stands, they all stood up to display the letters during a time out.  What a nice sportman’s like gesture.  One of the students waited to see camera lock in (the red light showing they were on national television).  Once locked in, three additional Miami men stood up with their letters --- cks.  Yes -- right there on national television before they could cut it for tape delay was BGSUcks.  It was unheard of to allow filthy words on TV.  We lost the game 7 – 16 and were, to some, in national shame.
Miami University 1970s
Not only were these students reprimanded – Dr. Shriver issued a public apology for the Miami Freshman’s rude and crude behavior. For the rest of us the East Quad Freshmen were immortalized.  In fact South Quad was upset that East Quad had outperformed us in creativity and we began a major planning exercise on how we could top that!  The R.A.’s were getting very nervous as the ideas began to blossom.  One R.A. tried to think of something legal and without negative administration consequences and said “Why not a Flag Football Marathon?” The South Quad FreshMen would play flag football all day and night – rain or shine -for a week (Sunday November 5 to November 11).  We all signed up for different slots and played day and night.  I think it ended prior to plan because of the rain and mud (we were tearing up the beautiful Miami turf  by Morris Hall ) at 9:00am on Thursday November 9th and Papa contributed a total of 16 hours of play.

It was a spotty season for the Miami Redskins although we ended the season on an up note winning the Liberty Bell beating UC (at UC) 23 - 0.  That was a memorable game for Papa since the half time show included a high kick performance by the MMM band during part of a song (like the Radio City  Rockettes).  That’s tough to do with a clarinet and play simultaneously  --- Papa got out of step  briefly--  something easily seen by all and very embarrassing.

The very next day  - Sunday 11/19/1972 the Miami Marching Machine would play the same pre game and half- time show at the Bengals game at Riverfront Stadium.  The Bengals played the Baltimore Colts (yes – back then the Colts were in Baltimore).  Now the Colts were Papa’s favorite football team mainly because his hero was the famous Quarterback Johnny Unitas ---” Johnny U”.  Papa decided he would do whatever it took to shake Johnny U’s hand at the game.  The Bengals were favored but Papa was rooting for the Colts.  The Colts won 20-19 in an exciting last minute 26 yd field goal by Jim O’Brien.   At the end of the game, Papa ran out to shake Johnny U’s hand.  Didn’t say a word – just shook his hand.  A brush with greatness!!
So the message here is celebrate your memories (the good ones) and remember each day is an opportunity to create yet another good one.

"When it/s time for memories to really count ...... It's good to have one nearby"   Fred Owlett

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