Tag Archives: Georgia Tech

Of Old Boxers and Old Movies

12 Dec

My friends and I have some weird text conversations. We talk about all sorts of things, but we mostly try to stump each other on trivia. We consider ourselves experts in all knowledge that will only lead to fortune on a game show. The other night we had one such conversation. Hopefully, you can tell that the conversations can go in any direction.

It went, with slight edits, as follows. to help guide you through this high level conversation, my friend’s comments are in bold.

85 years ago the old Southern Conference became the SEC. There were 13 original members. Did you know Sewanee was one of them?

I knew that.

So was Tulane.

Georgia Tech also. I believe they dropped out in 64… when did Sewanee get out?


John Lennon was killed 37 years ago today.

That was yesterday.

Although, Archie Moore died on this day in 1998.

Correct. My bad. The Ole Mongoose was cornerman for Foreman when Ali stopped him in Zaire. Moore’s last fight was against a young Cassius Clay in 62.

He also played Jedediah in The Carpetbaggers, one of the all time great movies.

Yes, and was in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Sugar Ray Robinson was in a couple of Sinatra movies. Archie Moore also worked with James “Quick” Tillis, a Tulsa heavyweight who was a great boxer but not much heart. Tillis played in The Color Purple with Oprah. I flew in 81 to Chicago on a junket to see Tillis fight Mike “Hercules” Weaver for the WBA title. Tillis was named Sprint Tillis after the fight. He ran all night long. I saw better fights in the halls of high school.

Which boxer was in the Tony Rome movies?

Tillis’ daughter was an outstanding basketball player at Duke. Iciss Tillis.

I remember her.

Cassius Clay in 62 was in Requiem for a Heavyweight with Jackie Gleason and Anthony Quinn.

I didn’t know that.

Rocky Graziano was in Tony Rome.

I thought somebody else was in those movies.

Sugar Ray Robinson was in The Detective with Sinatra. LaMotta had a bit part in Graziano’s bio played by Paul Newman…

Sinatra got Joe Louis a job as a greeter at Caesar’s Palace.

Max Schmeling paid for his funeral.




Bad Football and a Musical Complaint

7 Nov

Lately, I have watched some bad football. The Tennessee Titans leave a lot of be desired. The season of the Tennessee Volunteers has gone from great promise to a quagmire. I am also reading a book about an infamous game in the history of Cumberland University. For those who do not know, our school lost to Georgia Tech 222-0. It is the biggest defeat in the history of college football.

Sam Hatcher, who I have known for years, wrote a book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the game. Heisman’s First Trophy: The Game that Launched Football in the South is an interesting read that provides a great story of the game. I would recommend it to anyone. Some of it is fictionalized, but the heart of the story remains true.heisman-book

I have been surrounded by bad football, but I have also witnessed some bad halftime performances. The University of Tennessee Marching Band is known as the Pride of the Southland, and they have been performing something called the “Circle Drill” for 50 years. I know that because they announced  that this year is the 50th anniversary of the routine. Certainly, it is a difficult marching formation to perform, but I have one request.


I have been watching the “Circle Drill” for 42 of the 50 years that it has been in existence, and they have played the same songs the entire time. I can even recite the announcer’s script.

They do a musical tour of Tennessee by starting out in Memphis. That is when they play Elvis Presley’s “signature” tune “C.C. Rider.” Then, they go to Chattanooga with “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Next is a visit to Nashville with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” They end up in Knoxville with “Rocky Top,” the school’s unofficial fight song.

I understand “Rocky Top.” It fires up the crowd and needs to be played. However, it is time to spruce up the rest of the collection. Tennessee is one of the most musical places around. I know they can do better.

First, “C.C. Rider” is not the “signature” song of Elvis Presley. I guarantee that if you ask anyone to name and Elvis song that one would not be mentioned. I would choose “Hound Dog.” Here is the other thing. Elvis was not the only creator of songs in Memphis. What about doing a Tina Turner songs? Or an Isaac Hayes song? What about a Blues classic or something from Stax Records?

I know that “Chattanooga Choo Choo” is an obvious selection for Chattanooga. However, they could throw the crowd a curve with “Chattanooga City Limit Sign” by Johnny Cash. How about “Lookout Mountain” by Drive-By Truckers?

Nashville, otherwise known as Music City, is home to hundreds of artists and thousands of songs. I think they can find a new one. “Nashville Cats” by The Lovin’ Spoonful would be a great pick. Heck, they could shock the world by playing a Jimi Hendrix tune. It would work since he spent his early days in the clubs on Nashville’s Jefferson Street. I cannot even do this paragraph justice. There are so many songs to play that they could close their eyes and pick one out of a songbook.

Better yet, they could get the band from Tennessee State University to do the “Circle Drill.” I know the Aristocrat of Bands and the Sophisticated Ladies could circle it up.

Cumberland Beats Georgia Tech 629 to 450

26 Oct

In 1916, Cumberland University, the place where I work, played in a memorable football game. They traveled to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech, which was coached by John Heisman. Yes, the man who the trophy is named for.

The game is memorable because Georgia Tech won 222-0, which is the most lopsided game in college football history.Score

Occasionally, that score will show up on ESPN or some other channel, and the announcers will make a joke out of it. They do not say that Cumberland disbanded football the year before and that Heisman threatened to sue the university if a team did not show up. They also do not say anything about Cumberland beating the Georgia Tech baseball team 20-0. That team was also coached by Heisman, and he was looking for some payback.

Essentially, the game was between a pickup intramural team and the best team in the nation.

Around here, we hear about that game a lot, but the 2015 season has brought us something else to talk about. This year, the Cumberland Bulldogs are better than the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets or Rambling Wreck or whatever they are calling themselves. This is how it works.

Cumberland beat Kentucky Christian 54-21, and Morehead State beat Kentucky Christian 28-0. That means Cumberland is better than Morehead State.

Morehead State beat Campbell 31-27.

Campbell beat Drake 24-14.

Drake beat Jacksonville 28-24.

Jacksonville beat Delaware 20-14.

Delaware beat New Hampshire 31-14.

New Hampshire beat Elon 37-14.

Elon beat Gardner Webb 21-13.

Gardner Webb beat Liberty 34-20.

Liberty beat Montana 31-21.

Montana beat North Dakota 42-16.

North Dakota beat Portland State 19-17.

Portland State beat Washington State 24-17.

Washington State beat Rutgers 37-34.

Rutgers beat Indiana 55-52.

Indiana beat Western Kentucky 38-35.

Western Kentucky beat Vanderbilt 14-12.

Vanderbilt beat Missouri 10-3.

Missouri beat South Carolina 24-10.

South Carolina beat North Carolina 17-13.

North Carolina beat Georgia Tech 38-31.

All of that happened with a combined score of 629-450.

Lest you think I figured all of that out by myself, I bring your attention to http://www.myteamisbetterthanyourteam.com. Check it out to see where your team ranks.

With that being said, I hope John Heisman is spending eternity coaching baseball.