December 26, 2003
The Tackle

Here's a great article on Dicky Maegle and Tommy Lewis, the two protagonists in the wildest play ever in college football. Lewis' off-the-bench tackle of Maegle while Maegle was headed for a 95-yard touchdown run during the 1954 Cotton Bowl will be 50 years old on January 1.

This is something I didn't know:

Lewis and Maegle appeared on the popular Ed Sullivan TV show in New York two days after the game, and Sullivan asked Lewis why he did it. Lewis' response became the most repeated line associated with the tackle.

"Mr. Sullivan," Lewis said, "I was just so full of Alabama."

Fifty years later, Lewis said Sullivan put him up to the line.

"We were sitting in his office trying to figure out something for me to say," Lewis said. "All I could do was apologize, so Sullivan told me to say I was 'full of Alabama.' That's not something that would normally come out of my mouth."

For his part, Maegle protested Sullivan putting he and Lewis in the same hotel room while in New York for the show.

"Mr. Sullivan," Maegle argued privately to the gregarious TV host, "I'm not rooming with this guy. He might have a nightmare and try to throw me out the window."

Sullivan obliged.

"After what Lewis had done in the Cotton Bowl," Maegle said, "I didn't know if he was all there (mentally) or not."

On a side note, in this year's Rice-Nevada game, Owl quarterback Kyle Herm matched Maegle's feat by running for a 95-yard touchdown. Most of his run was along the Rice sideline, so there was never any real danger that history would repeat itself a little too faithfully.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 26, 2003 to Other sports | TrackBack