Archive for the ‘William Gardner’ Category

Carlisle Indians Affected Receiver Out-of-Bounds Rules

December 5, 2015

One Saturday last month, I saw two plays that harken back to a play the Carlisle Indians ran. While sitting in the bleachers in The Big House in Ann Arbor watching the Michigan-Rutgers game, I missed seeing exactly what the players on the field did at the time it happened but did see the Michigan fans’ reaction to receiving an unsportsmanship conduct penalty for “attempting to deceive.” Tight end Jake Butts followed a group of players being substituted out of the game to the sideline but didn’t go off the field. Instead, he lined up on the line of scrimmage near the sideline. After the ball was snapped, the Michigan quarterback saw that Butts wasn’t covered by a defender and hit him with a pass for a 56-yard gain. The defense had been fooled but the officials weren’t. Coach Harbaugh protested the 15-yard penalty as only he can do but the officials were unmoved.

Later that day, Nebraska beat Michigan State on a pass completed to a receiver who had been out of bounds before returning to the field to make the catch. The officials ruled that the Michigan State defender had pushed the Nebraska receiver out of bounds and, under the rules, he was allowed to return to the field and catch a pass.

Both of these plays relate to the 1907 Carlisle-Chicago game played in Chicago against what Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg thought was one of his best teams. That year, Carlisle had a great pair of ends in Albert Exendine and William Gardner (both of whom became lawyers but that isn’t part of this story). Stagg’s defensive scheme involved hitting each end with three defenders, one at a time in succession, every time they went out for a pass. Before on play, Exendine told fullback Pete Hauser (who had passing responsibilities that day due to Frank Mount Pleasant being injured in the Minnesota game the previous week) to hold the ball as long as he dared then heave it as far as he could. Exendine let a defender push him off the field, then scooted behind the Chicago bench and streaked along the sideline until he was deep in Chicago territory. He dashed back onto the field and waved his arms wildly to get Hauser’s attention. Hauser arched the ball high downfield to the wide open Exendine for a touchdown.

A few years later when William Gardner was coaching duPont Manual High School in Louisville, he had one of his ends nonchalantly wander over to a group of sportswriters standing along the sideline. When the ball was snapped, the end headed downfield and the tailback hit him with a pass. Gardner’s only miscalculation was that he picked too slow a runner for this trick play. The play was only partially successful because his end was tackled before he could score a touchdown.

These plays are just two examples of how Carlisle Indians have affected football rulesmaking.

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Guiding The White Brethren

October 26, 2012

The electronic version of the Fall 2012 edition of the magazine for the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is finally out. My article on Carlisle Indians who went on to coach other teams is on page 46 (page 44 of print version). The idea for this article came to me after attending Lone Star Dietz’s enshrinement ceremony into the College Football Hall of Fame. He is the only Carlisle Indian to be inducted as a coach. Six others, some of whom also coached, were enshrined previously but as players. It is unlikely that any others will receive this honor because no other Carlisle Indian coached as long or with nearly as much success as Dietz.

American Indian athletic prowess is getting much attention this year due to 2012 being the 100th anniversary of Jim Thorpe’s extraordinary triumphs in the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Games. Anyone unfamiliar with Native Americans’ success in the Olympics can read my several previous blog entries on this topic.

Worthy of note is that Dietz and the others had great success coaching white college and professional players. Many of them, including Dietz, coached Indian teams at one time or another but the vast majority of their coaching careers were with white college teams. Having played with Carlisle and knowing the Warner System gave these men instant credibility and opened doors for them. After going through those doors, success or the lack of it was the deciding factor. After all, sports have always been a meritocracy. Performance matters above all. Carlisle players succeeded on the field both as players and coaches. The graduate system of coaching that was tried in the early 20th century limited coaching opportunities for those who hadn’t attended major colleges but numerous smaller schools welcomed Carlisle Indians to lead their teams. Although far from an ideal situation, these men were given the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own merits and they largely succeeded.

http://content.yudu.com/A1yt4b/fall2012/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanindianmagazine.org%2Fabout-us

Line Ups for 1904 Carlisle-Haskell Game

June 20, 2012

Tex Noel recently sent me a link to a list of numerous books, programs and other football memorabilia that have been digitized and are available on-line. Included in the list was the program for the 1904 Carlisle-Haskell game which was held at the St. Louis World’s Fair, in part, for the entertainment of President Roosevelt who visited the fair but did not attend the game.

Page 3 of the program contains the proposed line ups for the two teams. At first glance, the Haskell line up looked similar to the one Steckbeck included in Fabulous Redmen,but the Carlisle line up was significantly different:

Program            Steckbeck

Jude           LE   Rogers

Bowen        LT   Bowen, Gardner

Dillen         LG   Dillon

Kennedy     C     Shouchuk

White          RG  White

Exendine    RT  Exendine

Flores          RE  Tomahawk

Libby           QB  Libby

Hendricks  RH  B. Pierce, Hendricks

Shelden        LH   Sheldon, Lubo

Lube           FB   H. Pierce

Jude, Kennedy and Flores didn’t get in the game. Coaches Ed Rogers and Bemus Pierce suited up for the game.  Hawley Pierce and long-time player Nikifer Shouchuk also played. The reason given for loading up the line up was that rumors swirled around that Haskell was even recruiting white ringers for the big game. That doesn’t seem to have happened. What did happen was that some of the best players ever to play at Carlisle could be found on both sides of the ball. Some, like Archiquette had previously played for Carlisle but were at Haskell in 1904 (and would return to Carlisle in 1905). Others like Charles Guyon (Wahoo), Pete Hauser and Emil Hauser (Wauseka), would star at Carlisle in the years that followed. The two line ups amounted to a who’s who in Indian football at that time.

Carlisle Indians as Coaches

June 8, 2012

While preparing the 1911 Spalding’s Guide for printing, I noticed that some former Carlisle players could be seen in the numerous 1910 team photos to be found in that volume.  That brought to mind an old newspaper article that I can’t lay my hands on now in which the writer opined as to why there were so few football coaches at a time when Carlisle Indian School players were grabbing headlines.  I don’t recall his reasoning or conclusions but do remember having read the article.

The truth is that several Carlisle Indian School players tried their hands at coaching with varying success.  The names that come quickly to mind are Bemus Pierce, Frank Cayou, Albert Exendine, Caleb Sickles, Lone Star Dietz, James Phillips, Joel Wheelock, Victor “Choc” Kelley, Mike Balenti, and Gus Welch (I keep adding names as they come to me while writing this article).  I’m sure there were others. Given enough time to research this issue, I’m sure that I could come up with more. But I don’t have the time right now because I must get the 1901 Spalding’s Guide ready to print.

The lengths of their careers varied, but Exendine, Welch and Dietz all had long coaching careers.  Of these, Lone Star Dietz had by far the most success and, as an acknowledgement of that success, was honored by the Helms Foundation many years ago. Next month, the College Football Hall of Fame will honor him. It is highly unlikely that any other Carlisle Indian will receive this honor because only a few had long careers and only Dietz, as far as we know, had a Hall of Fame worthy career as a coach.  Also, Exendine and Welch were already inducted as players. My immediate concern is not about the Hall of Fame but with 1910 team photos that include former Carlisle players.

Follows are two of the 1910 team photos.  I’ll leave it to the reader to find the Carlisle Indians in them, but here’s a hint: both wore their Carlisle letter sweaters.  I take that as an indication of how proud they were of having been part of those great teams.

Was Wahoo Really Present?

April 15, 2012

Beginning on page 7, Camp discussed three unbeaten eastern teams, two of which had ties to Carlisle.  Carlisle’s former coach, Pop Warner, completed his third consecutive undefeated season at Pittsburgh since leaving Carlisle after the 1914 season.  More on Georgia Tech later.

When discussing the state of Pacific Coast football on page 9, Camp gives a Carlisle alum high marks: “Washington State, with seven veterans of the previous season’s team, was again coached by ‘Lone Star’ Dietz, and under his guiding hand established a clear title to the Pacific Coast Championship…She [Washington State] would give many eastern teams a hard battle.”

On page 11, in lieu of his annual All America Team, Camp lists Honorable Mention college players.  Ends selected included Pete Calac, formerly of Carlisle, then playing for West Virginia Wesleyan.  Backs included Joe Guyon, formerly of Carlisle, then playing on Georgia Tech’s undefeated “Golden Hurricane” team.

Page 13 listed All-America selections made by other pundits.  Dick Jemison of the Atlanta Constitution named Guyon to his All-America team as a half-back.  Lambert G. Sullivan of the Chicago Daily News placed William Gardner at end on his The Real “All-Western” Eleven on page 17.  The All-Southern Eleven picked by seven football writers in the South placed Joe Guyon at half-back. And Fred Digby of the New Orleans Item put Guyon at full-back on his All-Southern Eleven as did Zip Newman of the Birmingham News.  “Happy” Barnes of Tulane did the same.  Closing out the college all-star teams on page 23 was the All-West Virginia Eleven picked by Greasy Neale, coach of West Virginia Wesleyan.  He selected his own player, Pete Calac, as one of the ends.

A photo of the Georgia Tech team appears on page 8 of the 1918 Spalding’s Guide.  Figure number 1 is Head Coach John Heisman.  That is no surprise.  Neither is it that number 13 is Joe Guyon.  The last person listed, number 22, is C. Wahoo.  From previous research, I know that is Charlie Wahoo, Joe Guyon’s brother Charles Guyon, who also used the fabricated name of Wahoo.  That all the other figures in the photo are numbered in order and that Wahoo is positioned out of order is suspicious.  So is that his figure is smaller than the others.  It’s well known that Heisman didn’t think much of him and that he used recruiting his brother for the team to leverage an assistant coaching position for himself.  Could this picture have been “photoshopped” to include him using a primitive tool available at the time?

 

<next time—More Carlisle Players in The Great War>

Carlisle Indians Star in WWI

April 12, 2012

This might be considered a senior moment piece as I have no recollection of why I intended to write about errors in ads this time.  I suppose that I noticed an error or two in the ads in the back of the 1912 Spalding’s Guide so will start by looking there.  Wait a few minutes for me to do a little research….

Perusing the 1912 and 1910 Spalding Guides did not trigger my memory nor did I discover some new error I previously overlooked.  So, I will write about something that is fresh in my mind.

Due to problems in scanning the 1918 Spalding’s Guide, I have had to manually clean up many pages, many of which I could not resist reading while working on them.  Something that jumped out at me was that, although Carlisle Indian School had a very poor season in 1917, former players’ names and, in some cases, pictures dotted the pages of this volume.  And it wasn’t because the pro game was being covered heavily.  It was because so many of them played on military teams even though they were not eligible for the draft as being noncitizen Indians.

Page 4 of the 1918 Spalding’ Guide is the first page in that book to mention any player.  On that page are the photos of Walter Camp’s All-Service Eleven for 1917.  Warner elected to not list an All-America squad for 1917 because so many star players were serving in the military and that many schools discontinued inter-collegiate athletics, played abbreviated schedules, or used inexperienced players.  However, the military squads often included several former college stars in their line-ups.  The quality of the football played by the military teams was so good that the games often drew large crowds, so large that the annual New Year’s game in Pasadena was played between two military teams.

The photograph on page 4 for player #6 was that of William Gardner, a star end on the great Carlisle Indian School team of 1907.  It matters not that Camp misspelled his name as Gardiner because he had Carlisle and Camp Custer right.  It is well known that Army Capt. Gardner served at Camp Custer and played on its team.  Camp made no mention of Gardner’s play but, on page 5, listed him at end on his ALL-AMERICA SERVICE ELEVEN, First Eleven.  Camp also placed him on his ALL-SERVICE SECTIONAL ELEVENS, Middle West Eleven on page 11.  At about 34 years of age (ages are uncertain for people of that time), Gardner was long in the tooth for an athlete of that era, having last played at Carlisle in 1907.  But he did play some pro ball for Canton in the years leading up to America’s entry into WWI.  Perhaps, Walter Camp was making up for his snub of Gardner in 1907 when he left the Indian star off his All America Team.

<next time—More Carlisle Players in The Great War>

ATF Came Calling Today

March 6, 2012

Today, I received an email completely out of the blue from the United States Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The message was from an ATF historian wanting to know if I had any photographs of one-time agent William Gardner. What made the request all-the-more surprising was that, when I was researching Gardner’s life, the Department of Justice disavowed having any knowledge of him, even after I appealed their initial decision. Obviously, Justice does know something about the Untouchable who busted up breweries alongside Eliot Ness many decades ago.

While talking with the ATF historian, I learned that the Bureau had undergone several reorganizations over the years and the Untouchables’ files had been thought to be lost somewhere along the way. Recently, eight of the files were found, including Bill Gardner’s. Perhaps the person writing a definitive biography of Eliot Ness uncovered them while doing his research. Now, I must wait for copies to arrive to see what remains in his file and to learn some things I didn’t know about his time with the Justice Department.

Apparently, Eliot Ness, who was a physically small man who played in a very rough game with the likes of Al Capone, recruited Gardner, a large powerful man, for his muscle. Ness may have wanted Gardner for protection both when out on operations and to be with him should the thugs attempt reprisals against him. Ness has written that he initially intended to use Gardner in undercover work but, immediately after seeing him, changed his mind. A six-foot-tall Sioux with a muscular build would not blend in well in Chicago; he would definitely not blend into the background. Gardner’s experience on the football field probably served him as well as his Dickinson law degree when he was raiding those bootleggers. It will be interesting to see what is lurking in his file.

Errors at LeatherHelmetIllus.com

October 27, 2010

I was recently asked if Pop Warner unveiled the single-wing against Penn in the Carlisle Indians’ fifth game of the 1907 season. Penn was actually Carlisle’s 7th opponent that year but that was probably just a typo made by the person asking the question. This was the first time I had heard (or read) that the single-wing was first used in that particular game. I have seen it attributed to several other times but not that one. A little research found a source for this claim but quite possibly not the only person to make it. Follows is an extract from an article on the Carlisle Indians in LeatherHelmetIllus.com:

‘Pop’ Warner unveiled the new [single-wing] formation against the University of Pennsylvania, on Oct. 26, 1907. So far that season no team had crossed the Quaker’s goal line. Carlisle was undefeated. A large crowd of 22,800 fans looked on. They were expecting a good game but they got more than they bargained for. Carlisle scored on the second play: a 40 yard pass from Hauser to Gardner, caught on the run. The diversified offense racked up 402 yards, to 76 yards for Penn., Carlisle went 8 of 16 passing. The game also marked the debut of Jim Thorpe. He broke free for 45 yards the second time he touched the ball. The Indians won 26 – 6.

After finding this, I set about locating game accounts in period newspapers. Before resolving the issue of the single-wing, I noticed a significant error—or the sports writers of the day had it all wrong. Nowhere did I find mention of (William) Gardner scoring a touchdown or anything else in that game. What I did find in the coverage by The Washington Post, The New York Times, United Press and other wire service accounts was that the Indians’ first score came on a field goal kicked by Pete Hauser early in the game. That score was followed by Fritz Hendricks’ 100-yard touchdown run after picking up Hollenbach’s fumble. Payne closed out the first-half scoring with a touchdown of his own around Penn’s end from the 4-yard line. Penn played better in the second half and didn’t allow Carlisle an offensive touchdown. However, Little Boy scored his touchdown by diving on a Penn punt that Albert Exendine had blocked and fell behind their goal line. Hauser closed out Carlisle’s scoring with a second field goal. Frank Mt. Pleasant kick the extra points after each touchdown. Although Mt. Pleasant and Hauser received much praise for their passing in this game, none of their tosses went for a touchdown to Gardner or anyone else.

The next blog will deal with the errors related to Jim Thorpe and the single-wing.

Indian Leads Polish Unit in WWI

September 17, 2010

Last weekend, we entertained some houseguests by taking them for a tour of Gettysburg Battlefield. In the evening afterward, one of our guests mentioned that her grandfather, an immigrant from Poland who lived in the Detroit area, had served in an all-Polish unit in the U. S. Army during World War I. I recalled from researching William Gardner (a chapter of Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs is devoted to him) that he was put in charge of an all-Polish unit at Camp Custer during WWI.

An article titled, “Gardner is the Only Real American Officer in Army,” ran in the October 6, 1917 edition of The Fort Wayne Sentinel. In part, it said:

Captain Gardner is in a unique position in the new army, for in the assignment of recruits to the various regiments and companies he was given a large group of men of foreign extraction from Detroit, nearly half of his company being of Polish extraction. Of the Polish contingent in Captain Gardner’s company there were many who could not speak or understand English so the first problem of this real American officer was how to make His new soldiers understand the language in which they will fight.

Gardner, however, in his first problem of his new life in the army, showed the same resourcefulness which made him the terror of foes whom he had met on the gridiron, for he immediately detailed one of his lieutenants to begin to learn Polish. The lieutenant began his duties, learning the Polish words for such commands as “squads right,” and “right face” and when Gardner’s commands were given to the company in English, the lieutenant repeated them in Polish for the foreign born soldiers in Uncle Sam’s army. The Poles were so pleased at Captain Gardner’s efforts to help them learn to fight for their new country that they took to drill with a will.

“My company won’t take a back seat for any company in the new army, even if they did have to learn soldiering through an interpreter.” says Captain Gardner, “They are the best drilled men in camp today, we think, just because they tried to work and show their appreciation of the work my lieutenants did with them.”

 Next time, Part II

Chicken Legs or Bird Legs?

June 21, 2010

I have wondered for some time where John S. Steckbeck found some of the the anecdotes he used in Fabulous Redmen. The other day while searching for something else—the usual situation—I came across a Project Gutenberg file for Football Days: Memories of the Game and of the Men Behind the Ball, a 1916 book by William H. Edwards, Princeton 1900, with an introduction by Walter Camp. In one section of the book, Edwards retells some of stories told by former Yale star Carl Flanders, who helped coach the Indians in 1906.

Because Flanders related these stories within a decade of them happening, they stand a better chance of being accurate than those that were told a half century, or longer, after that. Of particular interest was the topic of nicknames:

“The nicknames with which the Indians labeled each other were mostly those of animals or a weapon of defense. Mount Pleasant and Libby always called each other Knife. Bill Gardner was crowned Chicken Legs, Charles, one of the halfbacks, and a regular little tiger, was called Bird Legs. Other names fastened to the different players were Whale Bone, Shoe String, Tommyhawk and Wolf.”

I do wonder if Edwards got a couple of the names reversed or if Flanders remembered them incorrectly. During WWI, Bill Gardner was referred to in newspaper columns as “Birdie,” something that leads me to suspect that his nickname was Bird Legs not Chicken Legs. If that is so, then Wilson Charles was probably called Chicken Legs. Perhaps a descendent of his will let us know which was his correct nickname.