Posts Tagged ‘John Heisman’

Artichoke Played for Carlisle

April 26, 2012

I thought I’d continue with the theme of Carlisle Indians who played football in WWI by looking through the 1919 Spalding Guide for references to the Carlisle team or its players. Before starting that, I checked to make sure that I hadn’t done it before as my memory isn’t as good as it once was.  In January of this year, I did a piece about the Carlisle students whose names I wasn’t familiar with who were playing on military teams. I recollect having mentioned that, although the 1918 Spalding Guide included Carlisle’s schedule for that year, none of these games were played because the school was closed shortly before the beginning of the football season in 1918. Fortunately, some names I do recognize can be found in the 1919 book, too.

Om page 22 is the photograph of the 1918 Georgia Tech “Golden Tornado.”  Joe Guyon is #8 and John Heisman is #12.  Charles Guyon (Wahoo) isn’t in the photo.  Perhaps, Heisman got rid of him by then.  Page 188 displays headshots of players and coaches for the 1918 Mare Island Marines team. Lone Star Dietz, #3, coached this team composed mainly of his former Washington State players. So may of them were on this team that this photo was published as part of the Washington State yearbook for that year. The New Year’s Day game in Pasadena on January 1, 1919 was the second one for those who had also been on the 1915 Washington State squad that had played in Pasadena in 1916.

Page 263 includes a write up for the Base Section No. 5 team from Brest, a major port of embarkation: “On January 19, 1919, a Base foot ball squad was organized under Lieut. W. C. Collyer, former Cornell half-back.  This squad was composed of the above mentioned engineers, together with several stars gathered together from different outfits. Of these, the most prominent was Artichoke, a former Haskell and Carlisle Indian star.” Not being aware of anyone named Artichoke, I am confident that the player in question was Chauncey Archiquette, Jim Thorpe’s early idol. Unfortunately, a team photo wasn’t included to see that Artichoke was indeed Archiquette.

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More About Carlisle Players in 1917 Season

April 17, 2012

The photo on page 30 of Carlisle Indian School’s starting eleven for 1917, the last team that would represent the school, includes one player who would be heard from later, Nick Lassau.  To learn more about Nick, aka Long Time Sleep, read up on the Oorang Indians of 1922 and 1923.  Note that Carlisle’s uniforms had changed to include stripes across the midriff and the stripes that had been below the elbow were moved up above the elbow to align with the midriff stripes.  Page 35 may contain the last thing written about a Carlisle team in a Spalding’s Guide: “Carlisle showed improvement over the previous year, but until they get a team of first rate caliber they will do well not to schedule so many matches with the big colleges.”

Page 41 begins the section on Foot Ball in West Virginia with the All-West Virginia Elevens selected by H. A. Stansbury, Athletic Director of West Virginia University.  It was no surprise that Pete Calac of West Virginia Wesleyan headed the list.  No other Carlisle Indians were on it, most likely due to not playing for a West Virginia school.

Page 50, immediately preceding the Foot Ball in the District of Columbia section, contains a photograph of the Georgetown University team on which the players are numbered but no legend is provided.  Number 2, front row center in a sweater, is Georgetown’s Head Coach, Al Exendine, star end on the great 1907 Carlisle team.  Georgetown was the class of DC college teams as had become the norm under one of Warner’s former assistants.

John Heisman, Head Coach of Georgia Tech, authored the Review of Far Southern Foot Ball.  So, it is no surprise that he named Joe Guyon to his All-Southern Team at half-back.  About his own team, Heisman wrote, “This team was considered by many as the best of the year anywhere.  Whether it was or not need not here be debated.  But certain is that in Strupper, Guyon and Hill it possessed three back-field men who were the equal of any other three that could be named the country over.”  He said nothing about Guyon’s brother.

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

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’s 1918 Schedule

January 13, 2012

Yesterday’s mail brought the 1918 Spalding Guide. It includes a couple of interesting things about the Carlisle Indians. First off, the team photo (of the 1917 team) shows the players in different jerseys than we’re accustomed to them wearing. These appear (the small photo on the yellowed page isn’t the clearest) to have two stripes above the midriff and above the elbows on the sleeves. I think I may have seen one of these jerseys before, possibly in Wardecker’s store.

 About all that was written about the 1917 team, their last as things turned out, was what George Orton of the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in his piece about the mid-Atlantic region : “Carlisle showed improvement over the previous year, but until they get a team of first rate caliber they will do well not to schedule so many matches with the big colleges.” Perhaps, he thought Carlisle had been playing opponents well above their weight since 1914. Their 1917 schedule was brutal, causing the overmatched Indians to lose by huge scores to the likes of Army, Navy, Penn and John Heisman’s Georgia Tech, arguably the best team in the country that year.

 The Guide also includes schedules for most college and university teams as well as some prep school and high schools. Because Carlisle largely played against colleges and universities, its games were listed with theirs and not in the Scholastic schedule. Although the schedule wasn’t nearly as tough. It included Army and Pitt, the team that would be deemed National Champions for 1918. The schedule was as printed in the Carlisle school newspaper on May 24, 1918 except for the October 26 game with Detroit which wasn’t ultimately scheduled.

 Orton didn’t even hint that Carlisle was about to close. The published schedules included Carlisle. Had it been know well in advance of the football season that Carlisle Indian School was closing, their games would have been stricken from the list. This is further evidence that Carlisle’s closing was not inevitable after the 1914 Joint Congressional Investigation.

 By the way, Cornell’s 1917 jerseys again had stripes just below the elbow.

Warner Did Run Hidden Ball Play Against Penn State in 1897

January 30, 2011

In responding to a comment from Jeff Miller, I did a little more research on the hidden ball play and found something useful. In its coverage of the 1897 Cornell game, the December 1897 edition of the Penn State school newspaper, “The Free Lance,” described the dastardly play that Pop Warner ran under against their boys in the cover of almost darkness. Now we know for sure that Warner did first run the play essentially as he said he did. What we still don’t know is whether Heisman ran it a year or two earlier. Perhaps the Auburn, Vanderbilt or Georgia school newspapers covered their teams’ respective games.

Origin of hidden Ball Play

January 25, 2011

It is with some trepidation that I return the blog from its vacation. Readers have been very supportive, so supportive in fact that more people read the blog while it was on vacation that had read it for several weeks. Also, one day had a record high number of readers. (Actually, one day in August 2008 was a bit higher but that was due to a glitch of some sort.) Even though more people are reading the blog when I don’t write anything than when I do, I will persist in continuing to put some thoughts in digital ink.

Jeff Miller, who is working on a biography of Pop Warner, wrote me with questions regarding the origin of the famous hidden-ball play. He found that others claim that John Heisman first used that play: “The Orlando Sentinel ran an article in which it stated that John Heisman used it first in a game against Vanderbilt in 1895.  Leather Helmet Illustrated claims Heisman first used it in a game against Pop Warner’s University of Georgia team in 1895.” Recalling reading Warner’s account of his using the trick play, I thought I should investigate the matter a bit.

The first thing I did, even before pulling Warner’s autobiography off the shelf, was to do a quick search on Heisman and the hidden ball play. Not surprisingly, I found something different than what was in Leather Helmet Illustrated. The Encyclopedia of Alabama entry for Heisman includes the following:

“The Vanderbilt game in 1895 was memorable for the introduction of a hidden-ball play into the game. Trailing Vanderbilt, 9-0, in the second-half, Heisman instructed Auburn quarterback Reynolds Tichenor to stuff the ball under his shirt. The wedge of players surrounding him then scattered to all parts of the field, distracting the Vanderbilt players. Tichenor, who pretended to be tying his shoe, got up to run down the field unopposed for a touchdown. The play would later be outlawed.”

To be continued…