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On this day in sports history


The Greenville Standard


Today I will discuss Oct. 21, 1978, Alabama at Tennessee.

It was the first road trip for four first year managers. This was a fun trip and game to work.

My job that day was to say “Punt Team be Ready”. The Tennessee Managers ran balls at their stadium. Wayne Reed, Roger Walworth, Richard Edgar and Yours truly headed to Knoxville after supper at Bryant Hall.

We rode in Wayne Reed’s car. We stopped by Roger’s house in Fort Payne. Then preceded on to our destination. When we got to Chattanooga, I fell asleep. Next thing I knew we were in Knoxville. We crashed with the other managers who left earlier on Friday.

The next day, took a shower and ate breakfast, then went over to the stadium. If I remember right, we did not have to work hardly any at the stadium. I remember the dressing room looked old to me.

We went out on to the field. Neyland Stadium was big that day. I felt like we were at the bottom of a skyscraper. The Million Dollar Band was practicing at the time.

Before the game, on our sideline, we were told we had to move our equipment and ourselves out of the way. The reason was The Tennessee Football Team ran out onto the field by visitor’s bench which was an unusual way to come out on the field. Dottie West, the country singer, walked by the fence behind our bench. She was the entertainment that day.

The game started. We led 13-3 at the half. In the third quarter, the offense and defense took total control. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 30-3. Tight End Tim Travis scored two touchdowns that day.

They were on option pitchouts. Tim got the pitchout, then the ball fell out of his hands then bounced back into his hands, he ran over two Tennessee players and scored a touchdown.

The turf at Tennessee looked like a rug in your house. It was called Tartan Turf and looked bad to me. Alabama gave up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the final was 30-17.

After the game, the players were smoking their victory cigars. One of the players said a win in Knoxville is a good day’s work.

As the season progresses, you will see he was right. Next week I will cover Oct. 28, 1978.


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