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.