Monday, November 30, 2015

113 stadiums and counting (aka Ga Tech's football team once beat Cumberland 222-0)

Do I love football more than my family?  Maybe.  Probably.  I don't know.  Well, really I do know but I am (kind of) afraid to admit it!  Good thing my mom is not rich otherwise I would have to worry about her writing me out of her will...

So my usual Thanksgiving tradition is to watch football.  A few year ago I spent T-bird day with my wife's (soon to be ex) family, but flew out early Friday morning to see LSU and then LA-Lafayette on Saturday.  Then last year she and I flew to Boston, again for 2 games (UMass & BC).  This year, I was a little more subtle about it - I went to see my family in Columbus, and used that as my base of operations for 2 games - Akron on Friday and Michigan State on Saturday.

Since this is about stadium #113, I will leave Michigan State until next time.  Akron is a relatively short drive from Columbus (about 1 hour 45 minutes), and cake to get in and out of since the crowd is so small (check out my review on  In fact, Akron had the smallest attendance last season of any FBS program - the total attendance (NOT per game mind you) was 55K across all SIX games, for an average of less than 10K per.  When you consider the fact that their stadium holds 30K, AND that the SMALLEST stadium in the FBS (Idaho) only holds 16K, it is kind of amazing Akron ended up worse.  They love their football in Moscow, apparently.

John Heisman, BTW, coached at Akron over a century ago, back before it was called Akron, and fittingly they have a statue of him there.  He is of course famous for coaching at other schools later, like Georgia Tech, where he once beat Cumberland 222-0.  Yes, two hundred and twenty-two to zero.  The story goes that Heisman (also the baseball coach) was angry that Cumberland beat them in  a baseball game a few months earlier by a score of 22-0, including allegations that they cheated by using ringers (Tom Shady and the Deflatriots, anyone?).  Also, like now, sportswriters tend to use final scores as part of their rankings formulas, so there was another incentive to literally run up the score.  This was back in 1916, when the 'jackets were called the Engineers.

The statistics on this game are ridiculous, but some of the highlights are:
  • Cumberland turned the ball over 15 times (9 fumbles, 6 interceptions)
  • Cumberland had -28 total yards in the game
  • Ga Tech scored 32 TDs and 30 extra points
  • Ga Tech never passed the ball once, but had 978 yards rushing
    • Caveat to above:  back in those days, interception & fumble return yards weren't recorded as such (like they are now), so all Ga Tech's yards & TDs are listed as rushing (even though some scores were pic sixes or fumble returns for TDs)
  • Neither team got a first down (b/c Ga Tech scored on almost every play, and Cumberland was so horrific)
  • The score should have been even higher, except the quarters in the second half were shortened to 10 (or 12) minutes instead of 15 (depending on which source you believe)
  • Cumberland was able to block at least one extra point (the other may have been missed due to the Ga Tech player's leg giving out after so many other kicks)

Don't believe this lie I tell?  Check out wiki, or one of the many books written about the game.

Tune in next time for #114.  Maybe I won't even go off on a tangent in that one.  Never mind, I probably will - let's be honest.

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