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DATELINE 1906 – Pop Warner Identifies the “Bastard” of Football

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Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the fourth in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  The tale is as wobbly as a bad spiral. Actually, the first passes weren’t spirals. They were lobbed like basketballs and thrown end-over-end. One “first” forward pass was a ref’s blunder. In 1895, as North Carolina played Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels’ punter, about to be blocked, lobbed the ball forward to George Stephens, who ran for a 70-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs’ coach, Pop Warner, protested the illegal pass, but the ref had failed to see it. The TD won the game! In a 1905 game between Washburn…

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