Football History with Dad

Dad and I were watching the Ducks play UCLA in the Rose Bowl when he remarked he’d been in the Rose Bowl to see a football game. That surprised me. He said when he was in basic training at Camp Pendleton before shipping out to Korea, he and some buddies caught a ride to see the Los Angeles Rams and Bob Waterfield play. Bob Waterfield! Then Dad mentioned that Waterfield had once been married to Jane Russell! She was probably at the game since it was in LA.

He also regaled me with the story when he was playing high school football in Arkansas in the late 40s and an opposing player showed up wearing a single bar face mask. It was the first time anyone from his team had seen a player wearing one. The player also wore glasses. Dad’s team was determined to teach this wimp a lesson and they really let him have it. He said he was glad we’d come a long way since then.

Have we?

I asked him if he wore a leather helmet and he laughed, saying he wasn’t that old.

Prior to the Ducks game we watched the ending of the nine-overtime game where Illinois defeated Penn State. The overtime process was absurd but Illinois rushed for something like 400 yards and passed for about 40. It was old school football and Dad loved that. The ground game. The good ol’ ground game. That’s why I call him the Woody Hayes of Sellwood!