The Game of the (Last) Century

Mary
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We're still feeling a bit let down by Saturday's so-called "Game of the Century". Sure, it was a relatively close game, but we didn't see any mind-blowing plays or bone-crushing hits like we were hoping for. So for solace, we've turned to another Game of the Century. If we ever get our hands on a time machine we're going back for this one:

On October 7, 1916, Georgia Tech played Cumberland in Atlanta. Tech won 222 to 0, the worst walloping in the history of American college football. There was a worse defeat in prep school records but the 227 to 0 win by Dickinson over Haverford is suspect. ... There is no such thing as a true account of this game. There is a contemporary play-by-play record, without color, in the files of an Atlanta newspaper. But no matter who tells the story, the temptation to embroider is irresistible.

Errors abound. It is said that Cumberland's regular football players had left that fall to "go into the trenches." Obviously the U.S. had not entered World War I in October 1916.  ...

Neither team made a first down. Cumberland couldn't, and Tech scored every time it got the ball. ...

The second half was cut short, by fifteen minutes.

One story that is true concerns a Cumberland fumble late in the game. It rolled toward B. F. "Bird' Paty, later a prominent attorney. The fumbler shouted, "Pick it up!" Paty replied, "Pick it up yourself, you dropped it."

The pic above is the only known photo of the game. Maybe Cumberland was hoping the whole thing would just fade away?

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November 20, 2006 - 3:07am
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