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OldSchoolLion

Football Played During the 1918 Flu Pandemic

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4 minutes ago, DarterBlue2 said:

Do you think this is a good idea? If so, why?

We look at them today and think how crazy they were.  Those folks had no TV, no radio, no AC, etc etc.  I think about how desperate they must have been for some sort of diversion.  We have people today going off the deep end because they cannot get a haircut.  Put folks with today's mindset back in time and I bet they would be sitting in the stands, too. 

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22 minutes ago, OldSchoolLion said:

We look at them today and think how crazy they were.  Those folks had no TV, no radio, no AC, etc etc.  I think about how desperate they must have been for some sort of diversion.  We have people today going off the deep end because they cannot get a haircut.  Put folks with today's mindset back in time and I bet they would be sitting in the stands, too. 

For the past 22 seasons, I have gone to a game every week except when I was out of state. This season, I think I am going to take a pass unless there are positive developments between now and the start of the season. I feel I should, both for personal safety, I am not a young man, and because I don't want to condone/support a situation that could end in the death or serious illness of some of the participants, especially since they are all still amateurs in the strictest sense. 

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20 hours ago, nolebull813 said:

I do research history for HSFB in the state and found that only a handful of teams played football in 1918. It was less than 10 teams and they only played a couple games at most. I’ll try and find the results from 1918 when I get home

I'll save you the time Nolebull:

1.  Lakeland fielded a team.  First-year coach Bill Castle was able to get every kid in Polk County to play for the Dreadnaughts.  But, back then, that was OK , since they were the only school in Polk County.   The downside, however, was that the school was not yet integrated, so Lakeland went 0-5.

2.  Plant also fielded a team in 1918.  The prospects of a state championship were thwarted, however, as the County A.D. would not permit the team to cross over the County line to play games (with the exception of the one away game against a historically-strong team from Hawaii, but because Hawaii was not yet a state, the win for the Panthers wasn't factored into their RPI).  Instead of playing teams from nearby counties, Plant had to play Hillsborough High School -- the only other school in the county at the time -- eight times.  While the Panthers managed to win seven of the eight games decisively, they did lose one game -- the one that had to be rescheduled because of weather for the Saturday morning after the Homecoming Dance, when several Plant starters were forced to sit the bench because an administrator could not discern the differences between Spanish Flu symptoms and a hangover. 

3.  A small private school from South Florida knew they had to do something to overcome their Spanish-sounding name during the Spanish Flu epidemic, so St. Thomas Aquinas offered 'academic' aid packages to every kid in the state who was at least 6'2" and weighed at least 240 pounds and who could outrace the train leaving the station for the first 200 yards.  The scheme proved successful and allowed STA to go undefeated (3 - 0) and claim the state title in 2A, then the state's largest classification. 

4.  STA's success, however, did not prevent a slew of teams from Central Florida from all finishing 0-0-5 and all claiming the mythical national championship.   If you look closely, you can still see those national championship banners adorning the Orlando-area high school stadiums to this day.

5.  A number of schools from Jacksonville and Miami named after Confederate War heroes reportedly had very successful seasons, but recorded history was wiped clean of these achievements just prior to Al Gore's invention of the Internet, so their success cannot be verified. 

6.  Finally, in the 1A Championship game, a bunch of farm boys from Madison County squeaked out a narrow win over a bunch of farm boys from nearby Columbia County amidst accusations that the Madison team really should have been in 2A.  Madison officials refuted claims that they really had 1,800 eligible farm boys in their school by pointing to their one-room school house that could accommodate no more than 50 kids at a time. 

Well, that's all that I can recall off the top of my head.  B)

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9 hours ago, Perspective said:

I'll save you the time Nolebull:

1.  Lakeland fielded a team.  First-year coach Bill Castle was able to get every kid in Polk County to play for the Dreadnaughts.  But, back then, that was OK , since they were the only school in Polk County.   The downside, however, was that the school was not yet integrated, so Lakeland went 0-5.

 

C'mon Perspective.  You know Castle wasn't around back then.  That was the era of legendary FL hs coach Dick E. Normus. 

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43 minutes ago, OldSchoolLion said:

C'mon Perspective.  You know Castle wasn't around back then.  That was the era of legendary FL hs coach Dick E. Normus. 

I heard Castle was over 150 years old. It sure feels like it!

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9 hours ago, Perspective said:

6.  Finally, in the 1A Championship game, a bunch of farm boys from Madison County squeaked out a narrow win over a bunch of farm boys from nearby Columbia County amidst accusations that the Madison team really should have been in 2A.  Madison officials refuted claims that they really had 1,800 eligible farm boys in their school by pointing to their one-room school house that could accommodate no more than 50 kids at a time. 

Well, that's all that I can recall off the top of my head.  B)

Here's one of the players testing out his new helmet before that epic game.

Testing football helmets, 1912

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3 hours ago, gatorman-uf said:

Do you think Rick Darlington just borrowed the single wing playbook from one of those teams and decided it was good enough 100 years ago, it is good enough for today?

Rick always subscribed to the theory that two bad things occur when you throw the ball and only one good thing occurred. So, he figured he did not like those odds. Hence, a run oriented system was a must. After employing the veer for a while, he decided on Single Wing, because no one was using it. I think he figured if no one was employing it, then most team would have a devil of a time stopping it. You can't stop a deceptive system that you never see very effectively. Thus, was born his love affair with the single wing ...

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