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Thursday, October 09, 2003

THE GOLDEN AGE OF FOOT-BALL 

This being the eve of the battle between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Michigan Wolverines for college football's storied Little Brown Jug (storied around these parts at any rate, and this despite the fact that the LBJ has spent about three quarters of its long life in Ann Arbor), today's Star Tribune dusted off longtime sportswriter Dick Gordon for some reminiscences about the teams' very first meeting, way back in the last aught-three (I refuse to provide a link because the Strib's baroque registration system really pisses me off):
Touchdowns were worth five points in those days, so even after the Gophers' Egil Boeckman scored late in the game, Michigan still led 6-5. The rules at the time dictated the ball be put in play from the spot of the touchdown, with a member of the team that scored punting the ball to a teammate. If the ball was caught by a teammate, the ensuing free kick (extra point) was from that spot. If the ball was dropped, the play was dead and no extra point was attempted.
I got a little hung-up on the name "Egil" and found it difficult to maintain my concentration thereafter, but it appears that early college football was a bizarre amalgam of kickball and wedding-bouquet tossing. Better than a bizarre amalgam of kickball and garter removal, but still.

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