Let’s continue with the sports motif. I talked about baseball yesterday, so let’s spend a little time on the football field. When I was a kid, our local radio station had a quiz show called “Sports Quiz”. Every morning they’d ask a sports question and the first caller to correctly answer it would win a gift certificate, usually from the local bakery, home of fine pastries and bismarcks and one of the favorite local hangouts for me, my younger brother, and Mike King.
Anyways, so one morning, the question was “What was the most lopsided game in football history?” I called in, knowing my answer of “the Bears beating the Redskins 73-0” was right on. I actually got through to the radio guy (a miracle in and of itself since our family was the only one on the planet still using a rotary phone)…and my answer was wrong. As it turns out, I wasn’t even close. The right answer was some football team that won a game 222-0. I was stunned, and I never forgot that score, though I never really researched the details.
Until Today’s History Lesson came along.
In 1916, Cumberland College, which had cancelled its football program before the season’s start, was forced to play a game against the Georgia Tech Engineers. So Cumberland’s student coach quickly assembled 14 guys (not football players) and their team, the Bulldogs, headed to the game. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, had a full team…and a grudge. Earlier in the year, Cumberland’s baseball team had played Tech and, amidst accusations of the Bulldogs employing professional players, the Engineers had been soundly trounced.
So when Cumberland’s pigskin misfits took the field on October 7, 1916, the steamroller they faced was fully gassed and ready to roll, and mercy was not a gauge on the instrument panel. And roll they did!! Georgia Tech led 63-0…when the first quarter ended. They were up 126-0 at the half. Cumberland’s total offense amounted to -28 yards with 15 turnovers. Meanwhile, the Engineers’ offense racked up more than 975 yards of total offense (all of it rushing) and 20 touchdowns. The defense and special teams provided the remaining 12 TD’s.
When the final bell sounded, 14 Cumberland Bulldogs were pretty tired, and were on the short end of the most lopsided football loss in history: 222-0. Of course, my incorrect answer meant no free bismarcks for me. But the dollar I had in my pocket…
Recommended Activity: Buy and use a rotary phone – They’re way more reliable than those new-fangled push-button jobs.