5 Things You Didn't Know About Glenn "Pop" Warner

Football teams around the country are furiously training for the upcoming season, so this week let's take a look at five things you may not know about the man whose name has been synonymous with pigskin action for generations of boys, Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner.

1. He Was Originally a Lawyer

Although Warner played football for Cornell from 1892 to 1894, he didn't think of turning the sport into a job. (He did, however, get a lifelong nickname from his teammates, who called him "Pop" because he was a few years older than the rest of the roster.) When Warner graduated from Cornell, he moved to western New York and began working as a lawyer.

The legal profession didn't suit Warner, though, and he quickly left the field to take a job as the football coach at Iowa State. By 1895 he was the head coach at Georgia. Over the course of his 44-year career as a head coach, Warner also helmed teams for Cornell, Pitt, Stanford, Temple, and Carlisle Indian Industrial School, a Native American school in Carlisle, PA.

The Indians' football program was only active from 1893 to 1917, but Carlisle's .647 winning percentage is still the highest of any defunct college football team. Warner later called the Carlisle job "the easiest coaching assignment I ever had." He continued, "Those Indians were natural athletes, and their powers of observation remarkably keen. The younger players watched the older ones and caught on quickly. I never had to teach them much."

2. He Invented a Lot of Football's Staples

You may know that Warner innovated a number of football basics, but it's amazing just how many of Warner's ideas we now take for granted.

Warner gets credit for coming up with the three-point stance, shoulder and thigh pads, the spiral punt, the screen pass, the single-wing and double-wing formations, numbering players' jerseys, and improved helmets. Historians also credit Warner for introducing blocking sleds and tackling dummies to teams' practice routines. In short, if you enjoy football, tip your cap to Warner.

3. He Discovered Jim Thorpe

During Warner's second tenure at Carlisle Indian, he helped build the career of one of America's most iconic athletes, Jim Thorpe. Warner first discovered Thorpe as a skinny 155-pound Native American boy of 15, but while working as a track and football coach for Carlisle, he saw Thorpe transform himself into the nation's best pigskin talent and an Olympic pentathlon and decathlon champ.

It sounds strange now that Thorpe is a legend, but Warner always thought he could have coaxed more out of his star. He later said, "Thorpe rarely gave more than 50 or 60 percent of himself. But when he went all out "“ well, it was humanly impossible for anyone to be better." Whether or not he was loafing, Thorpe had such an amazing career that Cornell once honored its famous alum Warner as "the inventor of the single wing, the double wing and Jim Thorpe."

4. He Wasn't Afraid to Bend a Rule

For most of Warner's career, football was still getting its bearings, and as a result, the rulebook had its share of shortcomings. Warner wasn't afraid to exploit these loopholes to his advantage, either. During Warner's second stint at Carlisle Indian in 1908, he came up with a particularly brilliant trick. The rules allowed players to wear elbow pads, so Warner outfitted his team with a specialized set of pads that looked like a football when the players' arms were crossed at the chest.

The pads obviously baffled defenders who could no longer tell which one of Warner's players was actually carrying the ball. Percy Haughter of Harvard eventually defused Warner's trick by using the rulebook against the cagey coach. Haughter took Warner aside and said that he understood that the rules allowed elbow pads"¦but they also allowed the home team to pick and supply the game balls. Warner could use his elbow pads against Harvard, but he would have to play through a game with a red-white-and-blue ball.

Smart move by the Harvard men, but they'd been tricked by Warner before. In a previous game, Warner broke out a gadget play for an easy touchdown against the Crimson. Carlisle's quarterback, Mount Pleasant, took a snap and began running downfield. What the defense didn't realize was that the QB had stuffed the ball in the back of his center's jersey. Center Charlie Dillon walked untouched into the end zone for the score.

5. Dependability Helped Immortalize Him

Sure, Warner innovated new offenses and won 319 NCAA games, but how did his name get attached to Pop Warner Football? By keeping his word. In April 1934, Warner was scheduled to talk to players and coaches in the Junior Football Conference, a large youth football league based in Philadelphia. Warner was supposed to appear with eleven other area college coaches, but on the night of the talk the weather was horrendous. It was unusually cold, and torrential rain had begun mixing with sleet. Of all the coaches who had agreed to talk, only the legendary Warner showed up.

As the night's only attraction, Warner took his speaking seriously. He regaled 800 boys with gridiron stories and answered their questions for two hours, and at the end of the night the players and league organizers were so taken with Warner's generosity, enthusiasm, and dedication that they renamed their program the Pop Warner Conference.

If there's someone you'd like to see profiled in a future edition of '5 Things You Didn't Know About...,' leave us a comment. You can read the previous installments here.

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5 Things You Should Know About Robert Todd Lincoln
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Robert Todd Lincoln was Abraham Lincoln's oldest son and the only Lincoln child to survive into adulthood. While he didn't make quite the mark on history that his father did, Robert Lincoln had a pretty interesting life himself. Let's take a look at five things you might not know about him:

1. He Was on Ulysses S. Grant's Personal Staff

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Part of Abraham Lincoln's mystique lies in his humble roots as a self-made man who found education where he could. His eldest son didn't have to go through quite as many trials and tribulations to do some learning, though. Robert left Springfield, Illinois, to attend boarding school at New Hampshire's elite Phillips Exeter Academy when he was a young man, and he later graduated from Harvard during his father's presidency.

After completing his undergrad degree, Robert stuck around Cambridge to go to Harvard Law School, but that arrangement didn't last very long. After studying law for just a few months, Lincoln received a commission as a captain in the army. Lincoln's assignment put him on Ulysses S. Grant's personal staff, so he didn't see much fighting. He did get a nice view of history, though; Lincoln was present as part of Grant's junior staff at Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

After the war ended, Lincoln moved to Chicago with his mother and brother and wrapped up his legal studies.

2. The Booth Family Did Him a Favor

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In 1863 or 1864, young Robert Lincoln was traveling by train from New York to Washington during a break from his studies at Harvard. He hopped off the train during a stop at Jersey City, only to find himself on an extremely crowded platform. To be polite, Lincoln stepped back to wait his turn to walk across the platform, his back pressed to one of the train's cars.

This situation probably seemed harmless enough until the train started moving, which whipped Lincoln around and dropped him into the space between the platform and train, an incredibly dangerous place to be.

Lincoln probably would have been dead meat if a stranger hadn't yanked him out of the hole by his collar. That stranger? None other than Edwin Booth, one of the most celebrated actors of the 19th century and brother of eventual Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth.

Lincoln immediately recognized the famous thespian "“ this was sort of like if George Clooney pulled you from a burning car today "“ and thanked him effusively. The actor had no idea whose life he had saved until he received a letter commending him for his bravery in saving the President's son a few months later.

3. He Had a Strange Knack for Being Near Assassinations

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Lee's surrender wasn't the only history Lincoln ended up witnessing, although things got a bit grislier for him after Appomattox. As he arrived back in Washington in April 1865 Lincoln's parents invited him to go see Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater with them. The young officer was so exhausted after his journey that he begged off so he could get a good night's sleep. That night, of course, John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln's father, and Robert Todd was with the celebrated president when he passed away the next morning.

By 1881, Lincoln's political lineage and prominence as a lawyer qualified him for a national office, and he became Secretary of War under the newly inaugurated James A. Garfield. That July, Lincoln was scheduled to travel to Elberon, New Jersey, by train with the President, but the trip never took off. Before Lincoln and Garfield's train could leave the station, Charles Guiteau shot the Garfield, who died of complications from the wound two months later.

Oddly, that wasn't all for Lincoln, though. Two decades passed without a presidential assassination, but Lincoln's strange luck reared its head again in 1901. Lincoln traveled to Buffalo at the invitation of President William McKinley to attend the Pan-American Exposition. Although he arrived a bit late to the event, Lincoln was on his way to meet McKinley when anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot the president twice at close range.

Following these three bits of bad luck Lincoln refused to attend any presidential functions. He dryly noted that there was "a certain fatality about the presidential function when I am present."

4. He Realized His Mom Was a Little Nutty

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Mary Todd Lincoln is fairly widely renowned today for being mentally ill, but it wasn't quite such an open secret when she was still alive. Robert, however, realized that his mother needed psychiatric help so she didn't become a danger to herself or an embarrassment to her family, so he had her involuntarily committed to a mental hospital in 1875 following a hearing that declared her insane.

Mary Todd was none too pleased about this plan. She not only snuck letters to her lawyer to help her escape from the institution, she also wrote newspaper editors in an effort to convince the public of her sanity. Mary Todd's ploy worked; at a second sanity hearing in 1876 she was declared sane and released from the Batavia, Illinois, sanatorium to which she'd been confined. However, by this point she'd been publicly humiliated and never really patched up her relationship with Robert before her death in 1882.

5. He Made Some Serious Dough on the Railroads


Once he got his legal practice up and running, Lincoln found a particularly lucrative clientele in the booming railroad industry. He spent most of his career working as a corporate lawyer for various railroads and train-related companies; the only breaks were his four-year stint as Secretary of War under Garfield and successor Chester A. Arthur and a four-year hitch as a minister to Britain under President Benjamin Harrison.

One of Lincoln's major clients was the Pullman Palace Car Company, for which he served as general counsel. When founder George Pullman died in 1897, Lincoln became president of the company, and in 1911 he became chairman of the Pullman Company's board. His lofty position in one of the country's most lucrative companies made him a millionaire and enabled Lincoln to build a sprawling estate, Hildene, in Manchester, Vermont.

16 404 Pages That Are Worth the Error

The poem above is old, but the sentiment is universal. I first saw the verse at Plinko's error page, but the original author is nowhere to be found, although the verse owes a lot to Edgar Allan Poe. Looking for something on the internet that leads to an error page is frustrating, but there's an art to alleviating the reader's pain. Only this, and nothing more. Some websites make their 404 page entertaining in itself, and a few make it a real treat. You might even be distracted from what you were trying to find in the first place!

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is all about movies, so it makes sense that their error page gives you a well-known quote about your situation. There are about a dozen quotes that rotate, with some exact quotes, and some that are altered for the occasion.

BedMap is a hotel finder. They also found a great movie quote to adapt for their error page.

The Association for Computing Machinery's error page talks to you in text. The message goes on way after what you see here, until you feel much sorrier for the poor web server than you feel for yourself.

The error page at the game Brain Chef does the same thing as ACM, but instead of becoming melancholy, it flirts with you! And it keeps on, trying to keep you from navigating elsewhere.

The 404 page at Everlasting Blort acknowledges that the server is just as confused as you are. The page contains a flashing .gif that may trigger reactions if you suffer from photosensitive epilepsy. Those who visit Blort often already know that disorientation is what you go there for in the first place.

NPR's error page looks pretty normal for National Public Radio, but it cleverly contains a list of other things besides your missing destination link that cannot be found. After Amelia Earhart and the erased Watergate tape, they list Jimmy Hoffa, your luggage, Atlantis, and Waldo. Each item links to an article about the subject.

Homestar Runner blames you for the error. Which is just as well- I blame them for not adding anything new for years. Still, if you haven't seen all the cartoons, they are there for your enjoyment. But the other error messages they've used over the years were memorable as well.

Lesson learned: don't ever cram a Swiss cake roll into your disc drive.

This Russian business site 404 page is liable to make you forget what you were looking for, even if you don't understand a word of Russian (or Romanian -thanks, !). Let's all dance! This animation is found at more than one Russian site, so it's probably a feature of the hosting service. Warning: the song might be in your head all day.

Blue Fountain Media would like to develop websites and apps for you, but if you reach their error page instead, they offer on online version of Pac-Man for you to play. That makes everything all better, doesn't it?

Titlest golf equipment knows when you've lost a link, and they'll pitch in to help you look for it. In the rough. They've found a lot of golf balls there, after all.

Joel Veitch composed a song and video for Rathergood's 404 page. As you might guess, it's sung by a kitten.

Oh dear, you've got a 404
This isn't what you came here for
Oh dear, you've got a 404, there's nothing here to see
Oh dear, you've got a 404
This isn't what you came here for
Now that you're here, let's have a 404 party!

It's just as silly as anything you could possibly be looking for in his archives.

Woodland Farmers Market sells fresh produce in Washington state. They are also Star Wars fans and punsters.

Mashable did not find the page you're looking for. But they found your socks, so that's a plus, huh? Hey wait, who's wearing my socks? Oh, that's okay, they've got a hole in them anyway.

Bluegg is a company that designs websites. They also designed a sweet 404 page that says,

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! This page doesn't exist
Not to worry. You can either head back to our homepage, or sit there and listen to a goat scream like a human.

I listened to that goat scream quite a few times while preparing this item.

The Rolling Stones website gives you a video on their error page. A very appropriate video.

To be honest, these error pages came from a list that I've been keeping for seven years now. I just added to the list as I found great 404 pages, but I hadn't stopped to check how long the list was until recently. Over the years, many great error pages were lost because the website went out of business. Others just don't seem that creative anymore. Some error pages were changed or gutted due to copyright violations. To save time, I had kept a few posts that were lists of great error pages. Now I find that those posts no longer exist, and the links redirect to boring, everyday error pages. If you know of a wonderful error page everyone should see, please tell us about it!


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