Posts Tagged ‘Tournament of Roses’

Lone Star Dietz Article in Indian Country Today

August 14, 2012

Yesterday’s edition of Indian Country Today includes an article by Jack McNeel on Lone Star Dietz. The headline, which probably wasn’t written by Mr. McNeel, understandably focuses on Dietz’s posthumous induction recently into the College Football Hall of Fame. But the article covers more than that. He covered as much of Dietz’s highly eventful life as space would allow.

Something I particularly like is that McNeely chose to use a photograph of Dietz with the Washington State team that isn’t widely used. It’s nice to see something you haven’t seen before. In this case, I probably saw it briefly when going through the Washington State photo archives some years ago but didn’t remember seeing it.

There are a few things in the article that need a little bit of clarification. First, Tournament of Roses wasn’t arranging its annual football game in the fall of 1915 because they had only hosted a game once before and that was back in 1902. The Washington State victory over Brown in 1916 was what established the game as an annual event and much of the credit for that goes to Lone Star Dietz for putting West Coast football on the same level as the eastern powers.

The statement, “Soon after, many college sports were suspended for World War I,” may compress the timeframe too much for readers unaware of what happened during that period. Dietz’s men lost two games in 1916 and were undefeated again in 1917 but weren’t invited to Pasadena because of the popularity of military teams. It was after the 1917 season that college sports were curtailed freeing Dietz to coach many of his former players on the Mare Island Marines team.

The phrase “Indian agent from the Sioux Nation” may be misleading and cause unfamiliar readers to think the agent was an Indian. The agent was a white man assigned to the Pine Ridge Agency, one of several reservations on which Sioux live.

“Benjey’s research indicates that Dietz’s father took the dead baby…” would more accurately be phrased, Benjey’s research indicates that Dietz’s father claimed to have taken the dead baby…. However, W. W. Deitz (he spelled his name differently that Lone Star spelled it) denied that publicly.

Here is a link to the article:

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/08/13/william-lone-star-dietz-posthumously-inducted-into-football-hall-of-fame-128617

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Syracuse Was Also In The Mix

February 15, 2011

Joetta di Bella, Archivist for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, dropped yet another surprise on me. Although she is backlogged with months of research requests due to a move of the archives, Joetta took time out to find some new (to me) information about the participants in the 1916 Rose Bowl. At the bottom of this article is a page from the 2010 Historical Media Guide that brings another team into the mix.

It said that Brown was only invited after Syracuse turned down the opportunity due to “an already hectic travel schedule.” This was the first I heard that Syracuse had been considered. I knew that the Big Four seldom played away from home, except to play each other. I was aware that Cornell was strong that year, going 9-0-0 with thumpings of Harvard, Penn and Michigan to their credit. Pop Warner’s first Pitt squad was also undefeated at 8-0-0. Pitt and Cornell were each considered unofficial national champions by some of those who make such pronouncements. Perhaps neither of them wanted to make the trip. Syracuse, however, was no pushover and was much better than their 9-2-2 record would imply. Their victims that year included Brown, Michigan and Oregon State at Portland. However, their western road trip that included games in Missoula, Montana, Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles was still in the future when an eastern invader was being selected as it was scheduled for late November and early December. It isn’t hard to see why Syracuse officials wouldn’t have been very excited about sending their football team all the way across the continent a couple of weeks after returning from California.

While Brown’s record wasn’t as impressive as those of the aforementioned teams, they had beaten Yale and their roster included arguably the most exciting running back in the east that year, Fritz Pollard.

 

New Year’s Day Opponents Set

February 10, 2011

Two days later, on November 12, Samuel Avery, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska, reported that he had received a telegram the previous evening from C. R. Weldon, President of the Southern California University of Nebraska Club and acting for an unnamed Pasadena committee, inviting the University’s football team to play a representative of the Pacific coast for a game on New Year’s Day. The University of Washington was suggested as the probably coast team. For Nebraska to attend, permission was needed not only from the University but from the Missouri Valley Conference as well. According to a report published on the 16th, the University of Nebraska athletic board had met on the evening of the 15th and had approved the trip. The Cornhuskers “…would probably be pitted against the Washington state university team.” In addition to getting permission from the Conference, before formal acceptance could be made, they must receive “…assurance that the Washington state abides by Missouri Valley rules of playing. Coach Stiehm said this evening that the players and himself were in favor of making the trip….”

On November 17th, the following news report came out of Pasadena:

“Washington State College and Brown University football teams will meet here on New Year’s Day. This was announced today by A. J. Bortonneau, manager for the Rose Tournament Association, who said that these football elevens definitely had been decided upon. Telegrams were sent to the representatives of the schools today Mr. Bortonneau said, in which tentative plans were completed.”

A November 21 dispatch from Providence, Rhode Island, announced that Brown University had been selected by the Tournament Association after negotiations with Harvard, Yale and Cornell had broken down. Their opponent would be the University of Washington. Seward A. Simons of Los Angeles, 1st Vice-President of the AAU, came east to arrange the details.

Although the final matching had been set, there was still plenty of confusion. More research is necessary to sort out the reasons for the confusion.

Was Washington Offered Rose Bowl First?

February 7, 2011

In a discussion on Amazon.com of his biography of “Gloomy” Gil Dobie, William L. Borland, states that the University of Washington was offered the opportunity to defend the honor of the West and turned it down prior to it being offered to Washington State. UW’s account differs with that told by WSC. When asked where he found the information to support the claim, Borland responded that he found it in Seattle newspapers of the day. I have seen letters on Tournament of Roses letterhead to Washington State and to Brown University confirming that they would be playing each other on January 1, 1916, but I haven’t seen anything from the Tournament to UW. Research in Tournament of Roses and UW archives will be necessary to determine the truth. However, not finding anything in either archive does not mean that documents never existed, just that the institutions didn’t save them or that someone stole them from the archives. The latter happens more often than we’d like to admit.

It will be some time before I have the opportunity to do research at either institution, so basic newspaper searches will have to do for now. I do recall that an early report out of Providence stated that Brown would be playing the University of Washington. Prior to this, I thought that a reporter was confused. A quick search of an on-line newspaper archive found a November 10, 1915 article in The Bakersfield Californian that included the following:

“The undefeated University of Washington football eleven probably will be seen in action at Pasadena New Year’s Day, according to plans learned in Los Angeles yesterday. The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce has invited Coach Gilmour Dobie’s aggregation to meet one of the strongest eastern varsities at Pasadena January 1, and Washington is expected to accept the offer….Faculty permission is all that is needed, according to [Graduate Manager Arthur] Younger….Pasadena may bring Michigan out for the contest with Washington. However, as Michigan has been losing steadily it is believed that another school will be selected.”

To be continued…