Northwestern in the Rose Bowl Stirs Memories for 1948 Crew

By Scripps Howard News Service | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), December 31, 1995 | Go to article overview

Northwestern in the Rose Bowl Stirs Memories for 1948 Crew


Scripps Howard News Service, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


A room full of cynical old fellows stared at Gary Barnett in disbelief.

"We'll soon be in the Rose Bowl," Barnett said.

What? Had the Northwestern University football coach really just said that?

Two years ago, Ed Nemeth heard him say it. Nemeth had traveled from Birmingham, Ala., to Evanston, Ill., to attend one of his 1948 Rose Bowl champion Wildcats football reunions, and he was part of the gathering of ex-jocks in the 60-something crowd at dinner that night.

And, no, he did not believe.

"He told us they were building and turning the corner," said Nemeth, now 70, who has watched his alma mater suffer miserably on the field the past 47 years. After all, the Wildcats' record between 1978 and 1994 was 32-151-4, so who could blame his reaction?

"We all said, `Oh, yeah,'? " Nemeth said.

To understand Northwestern's history is to understand the grins on the faces of its proud alumni this season as the team prepares for its second bowl game since it began playing football in 1882.

Just consider the time that has passed.

In post-World War II America, Nemeth - fresh off a three-year stay in Europe as a member of the 101st Airborne Combat Division - was a 5-foot-9, 192-pound left guard for the Wildcats.

"He was a little fireplug, short and stocky," said Dick Eggers, the '48 team's starting tackle and Nemeth's roommate and fraternity brother, "but, boy, could he carry his weight."

In post-George Bush America, Nemeth - fresh off retirement from a lifelong career in steel business management - is enjoying his new life as a grandfather in Vestavia Hills.

And, by the way, he now believes Barnett.

"By George," Nemeth said after watching the 1995 Wildcats run up a 10-1 record, a No. 3 ranking and a date with Southern Cal in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, "they kept winning."

Barnett knew what he was talking about after all. And because of that, Nemeth and his college buddies are packing their bags and taking their wives to Pasadena, Calif., for a New Year's party to celebrate.

When Ed and Nan Nemeth, who have lived in Birmingham since 1974, get to California, they'll hook up with old friends, old NU grads such as Steve Sawle, a starting tackle in '48 who lives in Lincolnshire, Ill., and his wife, Audrey.

Steve, the '49 team captain who lined up next to Nemeth on offense, loves to brag on "Hunky." Everyone had a nickname back then, and "Hunky" was Nemeth's. It referred to his stocky build.

"Hunky made up for his size with his aggressiveness," Steve said.

Audrey is typical of Northwestern alumni, proud of the school but understanding of the football team's fate.

"Several years ago," Audrey said, "I gave my husband a trip to the Rose Bowl when Iowa played. Because I said, `Well, Northwestern will never go, and I want you to see the Rose Bowl. You played in the Rose Bowl, but I want you to see the Rose Bowl."'

The Sowles will be back at this season's Rose Bowl.

"A lot of people see Northwestern as an underdog story that can win," Audrey said. "Hey, put that across your life. People see an underdog can win. I really think there's a great message there."

The message is not lost on Nemeth, who said, "I am very proud," as his scrapbook of the '49 Rose Bowl sits nearby. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Northwestern in the Rose Bowl Stirs Memories for 1948 Crew
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.