Archive for the ‘Lone Star Dietz’ Category

The End of an Era

December 31, 2022

There was a time when there were no New Year’s Day football bowl games to watch or listen to on the radio. There weren’t even bowl-shaped stadiums to host them. In fact, what we call bowl games today weren’t called that. Records have been changed to “grandfather in” major New Year’s Day games that were played in this primordial period .

Needing a place to accommodate large crowds to its football games–the schools referred to as Ivy League today were football powers back then and attracted more spectators than just the players’ parents and alumni living locally—Yale University broke ground for a stadium with a seating capacity of 70,896 in 1913. It opened for the 1914 36-0 drubbing by rival Harvard. More than 68,000 spectators nearly filled the new stadium, named The Yale Bowl because of its bowl-like configuration.

After Washington State’s upset of Brown in 1916, the New Year’s Day contest between eastern and western powers in Pasadena became an annual event. But it didn’t have a proper home. When the game’s future seemed certain, the City of Pasadena acquired land in Arroyo Seco on which to build a football stadium. They broke ground in February 1922. Construction was completed in October of that year. The horseshoe-shaped facility was called “Tournament of Roses Stadium” or “Tournament of Roses Bowl” prior to the 1923 New Year’s game. It was then officially named “Rose Bowl” as a reference to the Yale Bowl, although it wasn’t a bowl at that time. But it would accommodate 57.000 spectators.

The first game played in the new stadium was the regular-season meeting of the University of California (Cal) and University of Southern California (USC). Cal won 12-0 but declined the invitation to defend the honor of the West on the upcoming New Year’s Day. USC, having the Cal loss as the only blemish on her record, accepted the invitation to defend against the Eastern interloper, 6-2-1 Penn State. The Nittany Lions’ head coach, Hugo Bezdek, was no stranger to Pasadena. He had taken his Oregon team to victory there in 1917 and again in 1918 when some of his old players, then preparing for combat in WWI, got him to coach their Mare Island Marines team for that game. He wasn’t so successful in 1923 because USC prevailed 14-3.

Over the years, the Rose Bowl was expanded to become a complete bowl and seating was increased to 104,594 (later reduced to 92,542). The number of bowl games (few of which were played in actual bowl stadiums) expanded over the years to 26. However, the rise of the FCS playoffs has impacted the bowl games significantly. The 2024 expansion to twelve teams in the playoffs, with the Rose Bowl probably hosting a quarter-finals game, brings an end to the Rose Bowl’s prominence.

The 2023 game ends the 100-year-long sequence of significant games, broken only by World War II, in the Rose Bowl. It is only fitting that Penn State is again the eastern contender as it was in 1923. Their head coach, James Franklin, lost his first appearance in the Rose Bowl to USC in 2017, also on January 2nd. It is a sad, but fitting, end to a great run for Penn State to bookend the birth of the stadium and the end of its glory.

The Rose Bowl under construction.
Note the horseshoe shape.

The Granddaddy of Them All Dies

December 29, 2022

Lone Star Dietz would roll over in his grave if he heard about this.

Distracted by several pressing issues, I paid scant attention to the headlines about the Rose Bowl this fall. Stumbling across an article by Pasadena-based Joe Mathews yesterday, I learned what the hubbub was about. Dietz’s Washington State warriors upset Brown in the mud on January 1, 1916, putting West Coast football on an even footing with the East, establishing the Rose Bowl as an annual event, and instituting the New Year’s Day football tradition. A major game, generally pitting an eastern challenger against a western defender, has been featured on January 1st each year since then, unless it falls on a Sunday as it does this year. In that case it is played on Monday the 2nd. Because of its historic importance, Keith Jackson called the Rose Bowl “The Granddaddy of Them All.” That old man dies Monday night at the end of the Penn State-Utah contest.

How did this happen? Mathews blames it on the perceived need to have a single national champion as lobbied for by President Obama and many others. While only four teams were involved in the playoffs, the Rose Bowl continued to be a major event. But with the playoffs expanded to twelve teams, the Rose Bowl wouldn’t likely have attracted highly ranked teams if it wasn’t part of the playoff system. Adding to the dilemma was the shift of two California schools from the Pac-12 to the B1G. The possibility of a western team, say USC, being the eastern invader becomes a distinct possibility, destroying the East-West nature of the game.

Seeing no viable alternative, the Rose Bowl has now thrown in with the NCAA championship scheme. Mathews figures future Rose Bowls will be quarter-final games. That long drop from importance brings with it a financial deficit. The Tournament of Roses will need to make that up somehow or the Rose Parade will become another tradition of the past. An era has sadly passed.

5Q Articles

December 15, 2022

I wonder if other newspapers are doing what my local paper, The Sentinel (Carlisle, PA), is doing. Rather than writing book reviews, they are publishing what they call 5Q articles. 5Q is shorthand for the five questions they provide the author to answer in writing, which they use, with “He said” interspersed randomly to give the appearance of an interview, to flesh out the body of the article. The on-line version includes photos and an image of the book’s front cover but the print version only includes the text. The column on the left was printed on the front page of the paper. The remainder was on page 7.A copy of the print version is provided. It may be necessary to view it in full-screen mode for the text to be large enough to read.

Who Were These Players?

May 25, 2022

I came across a photo of the complete 1913 football squad in the Lancaster New Era dated September 30, 1913. This photo includes a caption listing all the names of the players’ in the photo. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find several of them in the Carlisle Indian School files and can’t identify them. Some of the names could be misspelled, others could be nicknames, and the reporter may have gotten some of them wrong. Here are the ones I am having trouble identifying:

Name, position                                 Place in photo

Archibald, halfback                          First person on far left of third row (below Warner’s left shoulder)

Mann, fullback                                 Five players to the right of Archibald

G. Morin, guard                               Three players to the right of Mann

Hemlock, tackle                               Third layer from the right in the fourth row

Skundooli, guard                             First person on the far right of the fourth row

Barie (Barle?), guard                        Third person from the right in the bottom row

Winneco, halfback                           Second person from the right in the bottom row

Any help in identifying these players would be most appreciated.

Lone Star Dietz Paintings for Sale

December 16, 2021

I occasionally get asked about the value of Lone Star Dietz paintings. I have no idea what they would bring in the art market and I don’t know of any that sold at auction. Even that wouldn’t provide a precise value but it would give us an idea how his works go relative to other artists works. The subject matter could bring the price up for a subject many people would be interested in having and would lower the price for something less desirable.

My suggestion to someone wanting to sell a painting is to put it up for auction on ebay or another similar site with the starting price being the lowest amount the person would take for the painting. It might go higher, sell for the minimum price, or get no bids at all. In any situation, the seller would either get an acceptable amount or would still have the painting.

Two people are interested in selling Dietz paintings at present. The one immediately below wants to know what it’s worth. The second one is up for sale now on ebay.

The next one is up on ebay.

Leupp Indian Art Studio

May 13, 2021

I learned something new today while researching something different. The May 11, 1907 edition of The Washington Bee, a paper I’d never heard of before, included an article titled “Aid Art by Football: Carlisle Indian Players Build a Museum.” The piece was accompanied by a drawing of the Leupp Indian Art Studio. I already knew that the building was built with proceeds from the football program, but I didn’t know any of the details. Football cash bought the stone, lumber, glass and other materials needed to construct the building. Students from various shops on campus provided the labor. Boys created the millwork in their shop. Carpentry students did much of the construction. Other shops plumbed the building, installed the heating system, and roofed it. Art students painted and decorated the building. George Balenti, Cheyenne of Mike and John, designed the building by using the best ideas submitted by students—George had already graduated—and drew up the plans. The Balentis were a brainy bunch and even held two patents.

Originally intended to be a photo shop, it’s use was shifted to house the Native Art Studio when Winnebago artist Angel DeCora was hired. A section of the building was set aside for the photo shop. Although called a museum—at least by the reporter—displays were generally student projects, some of which were for sale.

The building still stands diagonally across the road from Pop Warner’s house, which was also constructed with football money, near what was the main gate at the time. The roof has been changed but the exterior is the same.

I learned something new today while researching something different. The May 11, 1907 edition of The Washington Bee, a paper I’d never heard of before, included an article titled “Aid Art by Football: Carlisle Indian Players Build a Museum.” The piece was accompanied by a drawing of the Leupp Indian Art Studio. I already knew that the building was built with proceeds from the football program, but I didn’t know any of the details. Football cash bought the stone, lumber, glass and other materials needed to construct the building. Students from various shops on campus provided the labor. Boys created the millwork in their shop. Carpentry students did much of the construction. Other shops plumbed the building, installed the heating system, and roofed it. Art students painted and decorated the building. George Balenti, Cheyenne of Mike and John, designed the building by using the best ideas submitted by students—George had already graduated—and drew up the plans. The Balentis were a brainy bunch and even held two patents.

Originally intended to be a photo shop, it’s use was shifted to house the Native Art Studio when Winnebago artist Angel DeCora was hired. A section of the building was set aside for the photo shop. Although called a museum—at least by the reporter—displays were generally student projects, some of which were for sale.

The building still stands diagonally across the road from Pop Warner’s house, which was also constructed with football money, near what was the main gate at the time. The roof has been changed but the exterior is the same.

Haskell Visits Carlisle part 2

April 22, 2021

On December 2, when asked about taking the Temple job, Warner was reported as saying, “Every time I go back East, they have me signing a contract with some other school.” Three days later, newspapers reported on his resignation from Stanford. The day after that, The Philadelphia Inquirer ran articles on Temple’s new coach, Warner, who had been hired for $15,000 a year. The $2,500 pay raise may have been less enticing than avoiding Stanford alumni who Warner thought were “after his scalp.”

On December 9, Temple published its football schedule for the upcoming year. The game with Haskell was expected to be a highlight of the early season, especially so because the Indians were led by Warner protégé Lone Star Dietz, a coach who generated headlines wherever he went.  Warner’s last game with Stanford was a 7-0 loss to another protégé, Jock Sutherland of Pitt. Bittersweet as it might have been, that game was not to be. Shortly after Warner’s announcement, Dietz’s future became the subject of speculation. Now in The Great Depression, the government had cut Haskell’s funding and had reduced its status to that of a high school. Dietz surely thought Haskell would no longer be able to field competitive teams and the media assumed he would be making a change. Names of various schools such as Holy Cross and Fordham popped up in print as possible new homes for him. On March 8, 1933, The Boston Globe ran an article headlined: “Lone Star Dietz to Coach Braves: Boston Football Team Signs Carlisle Star.” Dietz would be coaching in the NFL and not against Temple but who would lead Haskell then?

Dietz didn’t resign immediately. Instead, he stayed at Haskell until after spring practice because his NFL contract didn’t call for him to report until May 1. Haskell officials didn’t seem to be in a hurry to replace him. They said that no plans had been made regarding a successor and they wouldn’t select a coach for some time. That time came on August 4 when Henry Roe Cloud was named superintendent of Haskell Institute. The same day, Roe Cloud announced Gus Welch as Haskell’s head football coach and athletic director. It would have been nice to have been flies on Welch’s and Warner’s walls the day they realized they were scheduled to play each other and that it was late to cancel the game.

Welch had been critical of Warner at Carlisle and had submitted a petition that led to a government investigation of the school and reducing athletics’ importance at the school. Although later accused of interfering with Warner’s successor at Carlisle, Victor Kelley, Welch remained on good terms with the administration. Visiting the old school wouldn’t seem problematic for him. A crowd of thousands turned out to watch the Haskell players practice for two hours on Indian Field, where Jim Thorpe, Lone Star Dietz, Gus Welch and numerous others had played decades earlier. It had to be especially important to Haskell end Kendall, nephew of Carlisle great Bemus Pierce. Afterward, the players were then given a tour of Carlisle Barracks before departing for Philadelphia.

The game was anticlimactic. The Old Fox had no trouble defeating his former pupil 31 – 0.

On December 2, when asked about taking the Temple job, Warner was reported as saying, “Every time I go back East, they have me signing a contract with some other school.” Three days later, newspapers reported on his resignation from Stanford. The day after that, The Philadelphia Inquirer ran articles on Temple’s new coach, Warner, who had been hired for $15,000 a year. The $2,500 pay raise may have been less enticing than avoiding Stanford alumni who Warner thought were “after his scalp.”

On December 9, Temple published its football schedule for the upcoming year. The game with Haskell was expected to be a highlight of the early season, especially so because the Indians were led by Warner protégé Lone Star Dietz, a coach who generated headlines wherever he went.  Warner’s last game with Stanford was a 7-0 loss to another protégé, Jock Sutherland of Pitt. Bittersweet as it might have been, that game was not to be. Shortly after Warner’s announcement, Dietz’s future became the subject of speculation. Now in The Great Depression, the government had cut Haskell’s funding and had reduced its status to that of a high school. Dietz surely thought Haskell would no longer be able to field competitive teams and the media assumed he would be making a change. Names of various schools such as Holy Cross and Fordham popped up in print as possible new homes for him. On March 8, 1933, The Boston Globe ran an article headlined: “Lone Star Dietz to Coach Braves: Boston Football Team Signs Carlisle Star.” Dietz would be coaching in the NFL and not against Temple but who would lead Haskell then?

Dietz didn’t resign immediately. Instead, he stayed at Haskell until after spring practice because his NFL contract didn’t call for him to report until May 1. Haskell officials didn’t seem to be in a hurry to replace him. They said that no plans had been made regarding a successor and they wouldn’t select a coach for some time. That time came on August 4 when Henry Roe Cloud was named superintendent of Haskell Institute. The same day, Roe Cloud announced Gus Welch as Haskell’s head football coach and athletic director. It would have been nice to have been flies on Welch’s and Warner’s walls the day they realized they were scheduled to play each other and that it was late to cancel the game.

Welch had been critical of Warner at Carlisle and had submitted a petition that led to a government investigation of the school and reducing athletics’ importance at the school. Although later accused of interfering with Warner’s successor at Carlisle, Victor Kelley, Welch remained on good terms with the administration. Visiting the old school wouldn’t seem problematic for him. A crowd of thousands turned out to watch the Haskell players practice for two hours on Indian Field, where Jim Thorpe, Lone Star Dietz, Gus Welch and numerous others had played decades earlier. It had to be especially important to Haskell end Kendall, nephew of Carlisle great Bemus Pierce. Afterward, the players were then given a tour of Carlisle Barracks before departing for Philadelphia.

The game was anticlimactic. The Old Fox had no trouble defeating his former pupil 31 – 0.

A Sad Day in Carlisle

October 5, 2020

Friday was  sad day in Carlisle. Wardecker’s Men’s Wear closed for good. While recent fashion trends have hurt clothing sales, it was the Wuhan virus that did Wardecker’s in. Government reactions to the plague might be more accurate. In spite of diminishing demand for dress clothing, Freddie Wardecker had been able to keep the doors open by selling uniforms to health care workers, people involved in food preparation, police and others as well as by renting tuxedos. The state government’s shutdown decimated the need for new uniforms and eliminated proms. Brides-to-be reacted by scaling down or postponing their weddings. Without uniform sales and tuxedo rentals for proms and wedding, the store had little revenue with which to pay its bills, forcing it to close.

Wardecker’s was not an ordinary men’s store. It was a place with a lengthy history, beginning with Mose Blumenthal, proprietor of The Capital, a haberdashery on North Hanover Street. Along with operating the menswear store, Mose Blumenthal had a tailoring contract at Carlisle Indian School. This relationship proved useful to the Athletic Department in multiple ways. Well known is how Pop Warner had Mose sew an extra hem in the bottom of Charles Dillon’s jersey. However, one of Blumenthal’s employees probably did the work because Mose couldn’t operate a sewing machine.

Carlisle students generally had little money. A way of rewarding athletes for performing well was for the athletic director of school superintendent send chits worth $25 or $50 to Blumenthal, which players could use to buy suits and other clothing. Each player, including the famous ones, had a page or pages in Blumenthal’s log book to keep track of their chits and purchases.

Clothiers, like magic dragons, don’t live forever, so Mose sold his business to long-time employee James “Muck” Wardecker. Hence the name on the door: Wardecker’s Men’s Wear, formerly Blumenthal’s. Jim’s son, Freddie, was helping his dad back in 1967 when Bob Wheeler was interviewing people who knew Jim Thorpe. Wheeler’s work was made easier, after hitchhiking to Carlisle, when Muck tossed Freddie his car keys and told him to drive Bob to all the people he needed to visit. Wheeler’s definitive biography of Thorpe further cemented the ties between the Indian School and Wardecker’s.

Since then, Wardecker’s, with all its memorabilia, has been an important stop for every author or filmmaker wanting to write a book or make a movie about Jim Thorpe or the Indian School. Now, that is finished, but Wardecker’s had a great run and will remain strong in people’s memories.

1899 Carlisle vs. California

August 20, 2020

I was asked to write an article about a game I hadn’t previously given much consideration: the Christmas Day 1899 post-season contest between Carlisle Indian School and the University of California. I learned a good bit researching the game. The College Football Historical Society published it this month. Membership is only $17.00 a year, payable to:

Raymond Schmidt, PO Box 6460, Ventura, CA 93006

If you find this interesting, you might want to join the CFHS and get your own copies of editions with articles such as this one mailed directly to you.

Redskins No More

July 13, 2020

It’s happened. The Redskins are no more. The NFL version that is, not the teams that play under that name on reservations. Management of the team formerly known as the Redskins announced today that it has caved under tremendous financial pressure to change the team’s name but didn’t announce what the new name would be. Whatever it is, it should not refer to Indians. Washington, DC doesn’t deserve that the way it has treated over the years—unless it is an honest name, that is. Here are few candidate names DC has earned:

Treaty Breakers

Beltway Bandits

Swamp Creatures

Pedophiles

Hair Sniffers

Pencil Necks

Turncoats

Log Rollers

Impeachers

Dementeds

Harrassers

Exposers

Lilylivers

Transgenders

One reason team owner Daniel Snyder hasn’t selected a new name is because Alexandria, Virginia real estate agent Philip Martin McCaulay has already trademarked a large number of those Snyder might consider. Coleman Bentley of Golf Digest pointed out some McCaulay missed:

Filibusters

Earmarks

Washingtons

8th Grade School Field Trips

Gun Lobbyists

Fortunate Sons

Perhaps a reader will think up a better choice. Snyder will need one that appeals to more new fans than the number of long-time ones he loses over his and the NFL’s recent capitulations.