|Cover of the Cuban National Sport Festival Program, 1936-37.|
In the fall of 1936, Carlos L. Henríquez, Jr., the Cuban Commissioner of Sports, organized an international sports festival to be held in Havana, Cuba, from December 26 to January 2, 1937. The festival included basketball, boxing, and tennis tournaments, a swim meet, athletic exhibitions, and two American football games opened and closed the event.
|Villanova and Auburn captains, Tony Sala and Walter Gilbert,|
shake hands before the game, 1937.
|Action photo taken during the Auburn-Villanova game, 1937.|
|Villanova punt forced to punt, 1937.|
Both Auburn and Villanova arrived in Havana on December 27. Even though the two schools had never met on the field, Auburn's head coach Jack Meagher and Villanova's head coach Maurice "Clipper" Smith were familiar with one another. In 1933, Smith's Santa Clara squad defeated Meagher's team at Rice, 13-0. Despite the head-to-head edge, Smith's respect for Meagher is apparent when he said, "Well, Jack Meagher is a Notre Dame man, so their attack is somewhat like ours; and they certainly seem to be a very alert, aggressive club," and, "They play a hard, tricky game and should give us all the opposition we'd ever need" (Villanovan, Dec. 15, 1936, p. 6-7).
|Auburn team photo 1936. Glomerata, Vol. 40, 1937, p. 180.|