Monday, January 14, 2013

University of Miami (FL) vs. Club Atético de Cuba (1928)

One coach and six players of the Cuban Athletic Club flew from
Havana to Miami on a Pan American airplane.  October 27, 1928.
The University of Miami opened its second varsity season in 1928 by dominating the Club Atlético de Cuba (Cuban Athletic Club, Atlético, or C.A.C.), winning by a score of 62-0. By all accounts, the Hurricanes' passing game kept Atlético off balance the whole game. According to coverage from the University of Miami's student newspaper, "The Miami aerial attack was working smoothly and almost everyone was tossing them" and, in the style reminiscent of Grantland Rice, "The Cubans came by air, so O'Brien, quarterback, decided to have made them dizzy watching the pigskin sailing through the blue azure skies of Miami unmolested" (University News, Oct. 27, 1928, p.4).

Even though the game was one-sided, it was notable for two reasons. First, one C.A.C. coach and six players flew to Miami via Pan-American Airways. The rest of the team sailed to Key West and took the Overseas Railroad to Miami. Second, it was the first Miami football game that featured a student band. The 25-piece University of Miami band added to the game-day atmosphere in Coral Gables.

A quote from Marion Wallace's "The Cheer Leader," accurately summarizes the game:

"Well, the Cubans came by air, were defeated by air, and, we guess, went home full of air."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

University of Miami (FL) vs. University of Havana (1926)

Photo of the University of Miami's first football team in 1926.
University of Miami Digital Archives.
The University of Miami opened its doors in the fall of 1926 to 560 students. That same fall, Coach Howard "Cub" Buck organized the school's first football team.  The newly christened "Hurricanes" went undefeated, playing seven games on the freshman football level. At the end of the season, Miami hosted the University of Havana Caribes on Thanksgiving Day in Coral Gables. 
Advertisement for the football game between the University of Miami and
the University of Havana. University of Miami Digital Archives.
A report that appeared in The Miami News on the day before the game revealed Coach Buck's fears that his players were underestimating their opponents. The University of Havana Varsity, led by Coach James H. Kendrigan, outweighed the Miami Eleven by about five pounds per man and had more overall experience that the first year team. Those fears were unfounded. 
Photo of the game between the University of Miami and the University of Havana.
November 25, 1926. University of Miami Digital Archives.
On November 25, 1926, the young Hurricanes shutout the Caribes by a score of 23-0. Miami dominated the game, scoring ten points in the first quarter, seven points in the second, and six points in the third. According to most accounts, the Havana Eleven never threatened to score the whole game. The Hurricanes finished its first football season 8-0.