Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Buffalo team I can cheer for!

On Saturday I watched the University of Buffalo Bulls play the UConn Huskies in the International Bowl played in Toronto. There may not have been many other non-parents of the players who were watching the game with me, especially with two NFL playoffs game to be played later in the day.

Now, why would I cheer for Buffalo or even give a rat's-ass about this game? Well, I didn't really. It was just a game that was on and I didn't feel like going out in the cold. During the game though, they talked about celebrating the 1958 U. of Buffalo team which DIDN'T go the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando even though they qualified for it. It was the last U. of Buffalo team to gain a bowl appearance. Fifty years ago. The only bowl game in their 102 year history. They didn't go to the bowl game because they had two black players who were not welcome to join the team at the bowl game in Orlando. IN 1958!!! Are you shitting me?? Not 1858; 1958! Good Lord. According to a recent story about the non-game, "The Orlando High School Athletic Association, the Tangerine Bowl Stadium's leaseholder, prohibited blacks and whites from playing together. Despite the protestations of the Orlando Elks Lodge, the bowl game's sponsor, the Bulls would be allowed to participate only if Wilson and Evans did not play." Mind you, there were tons of black players in MLB, the NBA and the NFL. Hell Jim Brown had gone to one pro bowl. There were four blacks on the NFL Giants team which won the championship.

Those two U. of Buffalo players were Willie Evans, who started at running back and who went on to play in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills, and Mike Wilson, a reserve defensive back. Willie Evans was at the Bowl game Saturday, finally making an appearance, though 50 years too late.

5 comments:

Bee said...

It is a wonder that the human race is at the top of the food chain on this planet..

alexis said...

in some countries there is still this sort of prejudice going on. Women cannot drive a car in Saudi Arabia.

el supremo de nm said...

As a graduate of the University of Connecticut, the victor of the game, I will now sing the UConn Husky fight song.

Connecticut UConn Huskies symbol of might to the foes
Fight, fight Connecticut, it's victory let's go.
Connecticut UConn Huskies victory again for the white and blue
(and so on)

deJesusFreak said...

Keep in mind, Joe, that this was eight years before an all-black Texas Western (now known as UTEP) beat Adolph Rupp's Kentucky team in the NCAA tourney. Rupp, of course, was quite the racist and the game was seen as a major breakthrough.

Also, of course, this was several years before the civil rights movement gathered steam.

tim said...

Caution!!!

Cheering or following a Buffalo sports team can cause you to commit random acts of violence, have anxiety and even heartache.