Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Glenn "Pop" Warner / 1948 Stagg Coaching Award

The Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award, presented by the American Football Coaches Association  to Glenn "Pop" Scobey Warner in 1948. This is awarded to the “individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football." A significant award for one of the most significant figures in American football.
A large and heavy trophy; bronze plaques mounted on wood.
1948 was an unusual year in that three individuals were presented with this award, Gilmour Dobie, Robert Zuppke and Glenn Warner.

Zuppke (Illinois), pictured below, was so proud of his award he displayed it at public showings of his paintings.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Unusual Turn of the Century Pads

Early wool and leather pads. Wool fully intact. It is likely that there was a small flap or epaulette over each shoulder that was attached by the remnants of a strap on each side. We rarely pick up pads, but these were way too fine and  unusual to pass up. There is one numerical marking on one section of the leather but no manufacturer's markings are evident.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Winchester Osgood


        Outstanding c. 1894 albumin cabinet photo of Osgood with an unusual bare-arm pose.

More appropriate than giving a straight Wikipedia style biography, since it exists, is a first hand, period tribute to Winchester Dana Osgood, by George Woodruff (played football for Yale in the 1880s and his longest coaching stint was at Penn from 1892 through 1901). This was published in the book Football Days, written by Bill Edwards. 

“When my thoughts turn to the scores of manly football players I have known intimately, Win Osgood claims, if not first place, at least a unique place, among my memories. As a player he has never been surpassed in his specialty of making long and brilliant runs, not only around, but through the ranks of his opponents. After one of his seventy or eighty yard runs his path was always marked by a zigzag line of opposing tacklers just collecting their wits and slowly starting to get up from the ground. None of them was ever hurt, but they seemed temporarily stunned as though, when they struck Osgood’s mighty legs, they received an electric shock.

While at Cornell in 1892, Osgood made, by his own prowess, two or three touchdowns against each of the strong Yale, Harvard and Princeton elevens, and in the Harvard – Pennsylvania game at Philadelphia in 1894, he thrilled the spectators with his runs more than I have ever seen any man do in any other one game.

But I would belittle my own sense of Osgood’s real worth if I confined myself to expatiating on his brilliant physical achievements.

His moral worth and gentle bravery were to me the chief points in him that arouse true admiration. When I, as coach of Penn’s football team discovered that Osgood had quietly matriculated at Pennsylvania, without letting anybody know of his intention, I naturally cultivated his friendship, in order to get from him his value as a player; but I found he was of even more value as a moral force among players and students. In this way he helped me as much as by his play, because, to my mind, a football team is good or bad according to whether the bad elements or the good, both of which are in every set of men, predominate.

In the winter of 1896, Osgood nearly persuaded me to go with him on his expedition to help the Cubans, and I have often regretted not having been with him through that experience.

He went as a Major of Artillery to be sure, but not for the title, nor the adventure only, but I am sure for the love of freedom and overwhelming sympathy for the oppressed. He said to me “The Cubans may not be very lovely, but they are humans and their cause is lovely”.

When Osgood, with almost foolhardy bravery, sat on his horse directing his dilapidated artillery fire in Cuba, and thus conspicuous, made himself even more marked by wearing a white sombrero, he was not playing the part of the fool; he was following his natural impulse to exert a moral force on his comrades who could understand little but liberty and bravery.

When the Angel of Death gave him the accolade of nobility by touching his brow in the form of a Mauser bullet, Win Osgood simply welcomed his friend by gently breathing “Well”, a word typical of the man, and even in death, it is reported, continued to sit erect upon his horse”. 

Osgood was an accomplished and award winning athlete, and although we tend to know him best for his football exploits, he competed in wrestling, field and track, boxing, crew and gymnastics as well.


                                             1890s Sheet music memorializing Osgood.