Thursday, July 21, 2016

Author's Note

It has been a while since I have posted. I have been busy researching, writing, and revising my dissertation. I have plans to defend this fall and begin the process of turing it into a book.

As for this blog, I have plans to revise, reorganize, and expand it into a full website. In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to check-out two relatively recent posts I wrote for the academic blog, Sport in American History:

These posts offer examples of my current and future work on the subject.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

University of Alabama "B" Team vs. University of Havana (1946)

Ad from the Dothan Eagle, Sept. 22, 1946, p.18.
The date was wrong in the ad.
On November 9, 1946, the University of Alabama "B" Team hosted the University of Havana in Dothan, AL. The "Crimson Ripple" easily defeated the "Caribes" by a score of 53-18. I wrote a piece that was posted on about a year ago.

Here is a link to the story:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Games Held in Cuba, December 1939

Headline from the Havana Post, Dec. 10, 1939, p. 7.
As mentioned in the previous post, Georgia Teachers College played a game against the University of Havana in Cuba on December 9, 1939. This game marked the first of several played during holiday season between American and Cuban teams. The Rollins College "Tars" and the University of Tampa "Spartans" challenged the University of Havana "Caribes" at their home stadium. Rollins and Tampa also played a rematch while in Cuba. 
Headline from the Havana Post, Dec. 24, 1939, p. 11.
In the second contest of the year between Rollins College and the University of Havana, the Tars maintained their dominance by shutting-out the Caribes again, this time by a score of 71-0. Held on December 23, the one-sided game was played at night before about 3,000 spectators. Rollins scored practically at will. A touchdown run made by Rollins's substitutes in the second half stole the show. Their amazing display spanned 94-yards and included six laterals.
Headline from the Havana Post, Dec. 28, 1939, p. 7.
On December 27, Rollins College and the University of Tampa played a rematch at the University of Havana's stadium. In their first encounter on November 17, the Tars destroyed the Spartans by a score of 46-0. The Tampa Eleven wanted to prevent another shut-out in Cuba. Accounts of the game from the Havana Post and the Tampa Daily Times describe the game as a "roughly-played contest" including fist fights between players on the field and fans in the stands. Fred Manucy, right guard for the Spartans, was ejected for fighting with a Rollins player. Despite the closer margin, the Tars controlled the game by outscoring the University of Tampa 26 to 7 in the first three quarters. The victory capped a successful year for Rollins, ending the year with a record of 10 wins and 1 loss to the University of Miami Hurricanes.
Headline from the Havana Post, Dec. 31, 1939, p. 7.
The games between American and Cuban teams in December 1939 concluded with a match between the University of Tampa and the University of Havana on December 30. Played in the drizzling rain in front of a crowd of about 3,000 spectators, the game remained tight with the Spartans taking a 16-6 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Tampa team extended their lead by two more touchdowns, ending the game with a 28 to 6 win.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Georgia Teachers College (Georgia Southern University) vs. University of Havana (1939)

Photo of the 1939 team from The Reflector, p. 102.
[Seated: Hall, Ellison, Cox, Joyner, Anglin, Rountree, Reiser, Waller; Kneeling:
Morrison, Cason, Morgan, Dunn, Barnes, Davis, Mize, Robertson; Standing: Moss,
Coach London, Horne, Hammill, Langley, Paschal, McGowan, Pafford, Smith, Coach Smith]
In the fall of 1939, the football team from Georgia Teachers College won two games against the University of Havana. Located in Statesboro, GA, Georgia Teachers College (GTC) changed names several times over the years to reflect the school's maturation from the First District A&M School in 1906 to Georgia Southern University in 1990. The Stateboro school's first football program competed from 1924 to 1941. Its intercollegiate sports teams called themselves the "teachers" or the "professors," nicknames that referenced the institution's primary focus as a "teacher college." The athletic teams were also identified by other mascots and nicknames at various times, such as the "Culture," the "Aggies," and the "Blue Tide." Byron L. "Crook" Smith coached football and basketball at GTC from 1929 to 1941. The 1932 season produced the best results with his team going 7-3, but the 1939 season marked the school's first international contests and ended with a trip to Havana.       
The George-Ann, Oct. 25, 1939, p. 3.
In October of 1939, Georgia Teachers College played a football game against the University of Havana in Statesboro, GA. The actual date is hard to find, but it occurred roughly between October 11 and October 14. As the headline notes, the Teachers won 14-0. The account of the game from the GTC student newspaper describes the game as being hard fought. The Caribes threatened to score on several occasions but the Teachers' line held firm. GTC's two touchdowns came in the second and third quarters. The first resulted from a short run by quarterback Rountree and the other from a 25-yard halfback pass from Cox to Parker. Despite the intensity of the close game, both sides displayed good sportsmanship. 
The George-Ann, Dec. 18, 1939, p. 3.
In December of 1939, the Georgia Teachers College football team traveled to Cuba for a rematch against the University of Havana. On December 9, the Caribes hosted the Teachers at their home stadium. Similar to the first contest, the first half ended with the Teachers leading 7-0. GTC scored their first touchdown on a wild play that included a pass from Rountree to Parker and then a lateral to right tackle Pafford. The Teachers broke the game open in the third quarter, adding a touchdown from a blocked punt and another from a 5-yard run by Ellison. Both teams scored touchdowns in the final quarter, the Teachers with a 15-yard pass from Rountree to Morgan and the Caribes scored in the closing minutes of the game.

Despite the positive momentum from the 1939 season, the football program ended in 1941. GTC president Marvin S. Pittman suspended all intercollegiate sports that year because of the United States' entry into World War II. After the war, most sports programs restarted, but the college football was not played in Statesboro again until 1981.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

PHOTOS: Rollins College vs. University of Havana (1939)

Several U.S. teams played the University of Havana during the 1939 season. Rollins College played two games against the Caribes, once in Orlando and again after the season in Cuba. While researching, I came across a promotional card with the Rollins football schedule on the back.
Front of the promotional card.
Rollins College Archives and Special Collections.
Back of the promotional card.
Rollins College Archives and Special Collections.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rollins College vs. la Marina de Guerra Constitucional (Cuban Navy) (1938)

Photo of the gameday program's cover, 1937-1938.
Rollins College, Olin Library, Special Collections and Archives.
The photo above is the cover of a twenty-two page program for an American football game between Rollins College and la Marina de Guerra Constitucional (Cuban Navy). The game was scheduled for January 2, 1938, in Havana, Cuba, but a tragedy prevented it from being played. On December 29, 1937, three Cuban Naval airplanes crashed in Colombia while on a goodwill tour. The Rollins College football team arrived in Havana the following day and agreed with Cuban officials to cancel their game out of respect for the lost airmen. 
Photo of the rosters from the gameday program, 1937-1938.
Rollins College, Olin Library, Special Collections and Archives.
Unable to secure a replacement, Rollins coach Jack McDowall split his squad into two teams, one called “Rollins College” and the other “Cuban Navy,” and played an exhibition game that ended in a 26-26 tie. Similar to other American football teams that visited Cuba for a game, the Rollins football party visited popular tourist sites and attractions in Havana, such as the Capitol building, Morro Castle, the Prado, and a jai-alai match.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

PHOTO: Havana Post Editorial Cartoon (December, 1937)

Appeared in the Havana Post, Dec. 18, 1937, p. 7.
Revised photo courtesy of C. J. Schexnayder.
This editorial cartoon appeared in the Havana Post on December 18, 1937. As you can see, it criticizes North American bowl games for being too commercial, with the players being exploited by colleges for large paydays. By contrast, the exhibition game played by Auburn and Villanova in Havana on New Year's Day of 1937 and the game planned between Rollins College and the Cuban Navy for January 1, 1938, were more in keeping with the amateur ideal.

Next time you come across a sportswriter's condemnation of the money involved or the exploitive nature of the bowl system, remember similar arguments have been around as long as bowl games existed (even in a transnational context).