Monday, November 14, 2011

Action shots

Experimenting here with a brief clip of game films of Jay Berwanger in action. How many would-be tacklers do you count in the near-touchdown?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Who is this with Jay Berwanger?

Three weeks ago, I met again with one of Jay Berwanger's sons, Cuyler, to update him on my biography project. He was good enough to loan me a plastic storage box full of his father's papers, documents and photos.

Three things I've learned, thanks to the box:

The Heisman Trophy Committee annually reimbursed Berwanger's travel expenses to attend the trophy ceremony. In 1954, Berwanger's tab was $173.06. His hotel room in New York City was all of $11 a night.

As a Big Ten football referee, Berwanger was paid $100 a game during the 1951 season.

Berwanger officiated in two bowl games during the 1948-49 football season. One was the Rose Bowl, where he was involved in a controversial goal-line decision. A month earlier, he was the referee of the Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Ind. He headed the Refrigerator Bowl crew the next year, too. (Thanks to the Evansville Courier & Press for the research assistance.)

The box also contained the photo above, taken by a Richmond (Va.) newspaper photographer in April 1962. Unfortunately, the man at the right is not identified, and the occasion for this posed photo was not noted. I've sent an inquiry to the Richmond Times-Dispatch in hopes of solving the mystery.

The man with Berwanger somehow looks familiar -- it seems as if I should recognize him -- but I am stumped. Anyone have any idea who he is?