Tuesday, November 27

Something From the Past Between UT and PSU

The story about the first game under the lights at Neyland included Joe and Franco Harris. I had a memory of the Vols vs Penn State. Here's why the lights went up at Neyland all because of a guy named Joe.

Bob Woodruff, Joe Paterno, & the lights at Neyland

Former Tennessee AD Bob Woodruff was a crafty old dude. I had the privilege to interview him in his office during my undergraduate years at UT as part of a journalism project. I was researching the plans (that were never fulfilled) to retrofit the south end of Neyland Stadium so that the Vols basketball team could play a few selected home games there. This was the mid-1970s when Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld and Co. were lighting up men’s hoops like a bonfire. The old Stokely Athletic Center was not big enough to hold the excitement of those days. All-night lines for student tickets were becoming commonplace, especially for the big games like Kentucky (that 103-98 war remains the best basketball game at any level I’ve ever witnessed in person).
When we started to talk, he wanted to know a few things about me and what I was doing for this class project. Of course I got into the subject of growing up a Vols football fan, and how I wished that I could have attended the night game against Penn State in 1972. Sitting in Woodruff’s office, I had yet to attend a game under the lights at Neyland Stadium. Night games were a new thing, and a very rare occurrence at that. That 1972 game against Joe Paterno’s team was the first.
I don’t really remember much else but when I read David Climer’s article in The Tennessean on Monday, it reminded me of that meeting in the AD’s office — a meeting that I have long forgotten.
In Dec 1971, Tennessee defeated Penn State 31-11. It was “Majors Family Day” for the home season finale and the game was telecast nationwide on ABC. Vol defenders were excellent, stopping a Penn State offense featuring Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell . Conrad Graham scored on a 76-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Bobby Majors returned two punts for 82 yards, one for a score, and returned two kickoffs for 113 yards.
Coming into the game, Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions were undefeated (10-0-0) and ranked #4. The Vols victory (TN was 8-2-0 and #12 going into the match) caused Paterno to look for a way out of the rematch scheduled for the following year. The 1972 game was slated for Sept, and different weather than the Dec game.

Paterno sent word that the only way he would follow through with the game was if it was played at night. Otherwise, he’d find a way out of the contract. Paterno knew that night football was considered blasphemy to many in leadership positions at UT.
Apparently Woodruff had secret plans already in the works for lights to be installed at Neyland Stadium. Just as Woodruff had kept the installation of the new Tartan Turf in 1968 under wraps, much to the chagrin of Vince Dooley, Woodruff wasn’t going to go public with the inevitably of night football in Knoxville. Paterno’s threat made Woodruff want to keep that a secret even more.
The lights went up, and The Vols beat Penn State 28-21. Oh, how I wish I could have been there. But thinking about it now, my desire made for good conversation with one of the legends of Vol football and UT athletics. I’m glad I have that memory. Many night games were to come for me soon enough.

Born into it  -  Tennessee Roots 
1946 Aconda Cout w Dad
Fort Sanders Hospital was smaller in 1946 but it was still in the same spot on the edge of campus. Alumni Hall was called Aconda Court and my parents had a corner apartment overlooking Cumberland and 17th before the Student Center was built. Mom was a Kappa Delta and a Torchbearer. She would set up my playpen in the court-yard so I could coo at coeds on the way to class.
        I’m told my first game at Neyland was in the Fall of 1946 when I was carried in at 7 months of age. The first I recall was maybe 1952 when the horseshoe end was empty to roam for kids. I remember the loss to Chatt in 1958 and seeing Moc fans tear down the old wooden goalposts.I actually saw Johnny Majors play in the single wing.
Then there was my college career watching my fraternity big brother snake my date to the 1966 Bama Game in the rain with the last second loss 10 to 11. He married her.  We fired the cannon from the big concrete UT we built on the side of the hill – 
D. Livingston, PSK President King ,
Me , and Lynn Safley 
The interlocking U & T behind the North bleachers was built by Phi Sigma Kappa when I was the President back in 1966. We kept the cannon firing when UT scored for 4 or 5 seasons – until someone left the coffee can full of gunpowder too near the barrel one Saturday and a spark set the entire supply off with an accompanying (mushroom) cloud of smoke and scared the pee out of a couple of Trustee’s wives thus ending the practice. 
I drove to Miami for the Orange Bowl loss to Oklahoma. To New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl win over Miami and I got to be in Tempe for the win over FSU and the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP 1998 99

Barbara Newman Bozeman 3rd from right 

Plenty of memories of life on the campus but not so many as my Torchbearer mother.

Protest & Activism 40 Years On is the history of the years between 69 and 72 when campus strikes and Anti-war marches roiled the student bodies from Coast to Coast.  An interesting history of campus life in the most interesting era.  A high lottery number got me out of the draft fear but I still left for Canada when Nixon won in 72 
Freshman Class Officers 1964-65
I ended up a sound engineer and owner of MOUNTAIN SOUND - We provided tour sound for the CHARLIE DANIELS BAND --- THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND --- THE OAK RIDGE BOYS and many more during 8 years of peak Southern Rock dominance. We did all the live sound for entertainment at THE 1982 WORLD'S FAIR - But my favorite gid was providing "from the field" sound for the national anthem and half-time entertainment for the PRIDE OF THE SOUTHLAND BAND at all home games for the VOLS.  Sideline access during the games is quite a perk for a VOL FAN. 

The MTB and CDB raised a lot of $$ for the Carter campaign and we got to do the sound for the big inaugural ball in DC

Tough to be any more Orange Blooded than this I think.




  1. Barry...You have outdone yourself bringing out good memories...Joe touched EVERYONE and made the world a better place to live...

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