Jeremy Tradoc's Blog

1960 Cotton Bowl and Its Player

Some History of American Football

That is one of the most popular kinds of sport in this country, which attracts thousands of players and millions of viewers and fans every year. There is no doubt American football is a sport of the new millennium. This fast-moving, attacking and wild game has captured imagination of around 800 million fans all around the world. Actually, it is played in five continents in a more than forty countries of the world.

There are several versions of American football emerging, but according to the common one it was born on November 6, 1869 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. There was a competition between two teams – Rutgers and New Jersey colleges (which is Princeton university now) and they combined the rules of soccer and rugby, so it reminded the modern type of American football. Nowadays, this game is thought to be the first American football game between colleges in the sports history. The more detailed description you may find in the attached Wikipedia article.

The Cotton Bowl

The Cotton Bowl (sometimes named as the Cotton Bowl Classic) is a college bowl which has been organized annually since the year 1937 in Dallas and it is still popular with the players and fans in the US but nowadays it has changed its name a little bit. You can also look this info up in Wikipedia if you are really into American football history.

Was there a Brawl in the 1960 Cotton Bowl? 

If you are in love with American football and you haven’t watched a wonderful 2008 film about the life of Ernie Davis, plan to do it in the near future. But speaking about the topic of the fight during this game, it should be mentioned that it is exaggerated in the film greatly. Yes, there was some dirty play and insulting words from the side of Texas players, especially when running against the African Americans, but it wasn’t so rude and dirty as it was showed in the film to give more dramatic turn to the plot. So, in fact there wasn’t a real fight during this famous game of the college national championship, just the usual fighting spirit and tension. The Texas players trying to insult the black players apologized to them later and the apology was accepted.

Who won the 1960 Cotton Bowl?

The Syracuse Orangemen team won the Texas Longhorns players in this slightly dirty game with the score 23-14 and the winning team was led by a famous player Ernie Davis, who became the Bowl most valuable player (MVP). He was a really outstanding footballer and him catching an incredible eighty -seven- yard touchdown is stilled remembered through history. After the game the hearing was organized by the president of the Texas university concerning the fight during the game, but it did not last long and the problem was solved in a short period of time. Some experts think that the Texas player’s dirty game was aimed at Ernie Davis but it did not have any success, after all.

One year later, in 1961 Ernie Davis received the Heisman Trophy (the highest personal award in the area of college football), and he was the first African American sportsman to get such an award in the history.

What Disease did Ernie Davis Have?

But, unfortunately, Ernie’s life ended in tragedy, as before his professional career could even start, he fell ill and two years later he died of leukemia causing his fans to cry and mourn. After his success in 1960 and 1961 he played in a game at All-Star in June, 1962 and he already was tired and unsuccessful. After that he came to his home place and told his friend that he felt unwell and his gums had been bleeding, so he needed to check them. About a month later he came back to the college to train, but he didn’t play as he used to any more. In 1963 in spring he died of his awful illness when he was twenty -three.

Yet, his life was so outstanding and being twelve years old he turned out to be an athletic miracle, he helped his team of Syracuse University to win the college national championship and had several very important awards. For his short life he managed to achieve so much, that his biography interested moviemakers and they created a film ‘The Express: The Ernie Davis Story’. The movie is certainly worth seeing and it doesn’t matter if you are fan of this wild and gripping sport or not. Ernie Davis will remain a famous figure in the sport history for centuries.

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