Football; the Greatest Moments in the Southwest Conference

By Will Grimsley | Go to book overview

1
The Game That Thrilled a Nation

NOVEMBER 30, 1935
SOUTHERN METHODIST 20 TEXAS CHRISTIAN 14

On November 30, 1935, sports enthusiasts in the United States woke up to the fact that a football game -- a real football game -- was being played in a place called Fort Worth, Texas. It was headlined as "Game of the Year." The National Broadcasting Company put it on the national network -- the first such network broadcast to emanate from the Southwest. The top sportswriters were there dispensing the purple prose that marked the era. They included Grantland Rice, the man who picked the All-American teams; Bill Cunningham, the Boston phrasemaker; Joe Williams, the cryptic Scripps-Howard columnist; Maxwell Stiles from the West Coast, and several others.

Leading football coaches indulged in a busman's holiday for the occasion -- Bernie Bierman from Minneapolis, Pappy Waldorf from Northwestern and Dana X. Bible, who was then coaching at Nebraska.

The game was a natural, pitting two unbeaten and untied powers -- Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University, both ranking at the top of the nation's unofficial ratings. Each had won ten games quite impressively. SMU had shut out seven of its foes and limited the other three to a single touchdown each. It had beaten a highly regarded UCLA team 21-0. Explosive TCU had averaged three touchdowns a game. The winner was sure to go to the Rose Bowl.

The individual aspects of the battle were even more intriguing. TCU had the rawboned Sammy Baugh, who could throw a football the way Dizzy Dean cut loose a baseball. He had a quick-wrist throw and the ball traveled with bullet velocity, so fast and sharp that receivers

-21-

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