A film shot and distributed by Baylor University’s Public Relations arm in 1969 has found a new home in the Baylor University Archives digital collection, and watching it is like taking a time machine back to a land of coeds in mini skirts, a campus teeming with vintage cars and a newly opened Moody Memorial Library. Originally donated to the university as part of the Grant and Donell Teaff Baylor Football Collection, we actually added it to the Baylor University Archives collection due to its capturing many aspects of campus life in the late 1960’s, including the Baylor Beauties show and a presentation from Pigskin Revue. There’s plenty of football action, too, but “Pride and Sacrifice” is much more than a recruiting tool for the then-moribund Baylor Bears football team: it’s a time capsule in moving images and mono sound, an immediate ticket to a moment in time just before Baylor’s football fortunes would undergo a stunning transformation at the hands of legendary head coach Grant Teaff.
We’re going to provide a few fun clips and a little additional commentary in this blog post, but we encourage you to view the whole film, as it’s a veritable model of late 1960’s film making and university recruitment all in one.
Clip One: “Probably the Prettiest in the South”
We’ll kick things off with a bang, and a nice bit of bet hedging: our narrator’s statement that Baylor girls are “probably the prettiest in the South, and that means in the nation.” One wonders why the copywriter for this film thought to stop short of saying Baylor girls are the prettiest in the South. It seems hard to imagine that a prospective Baylor athlete – particularly an 18-year-old boy – would react poorly to the assertion that Baylor’s coed population is the prettiest. In fact, I imagine at least one undecided high school senior lad thought the following after hearing this line:
Narrator: Baylor girls are probably the prettiest in the South …
High school senior: “Probably?” I was torn between Baylor and UT, and this seals it. Austin, here I come!
I kid, of course, but the line does stick out as a strange bit of (perhaps) false modesty. It does serve as a nice segue into a montage of Baylor girls participating in a Baylor Beauties pageant, however, and that’s an excuse to show a cavalcade of 1960’s fashion!
To see more photos of the 1969 Baylor Beauties, check out their photos in the 1969 Round Up!
Clip Two: Enrollment Facts, Lasting Friendships and Traffic on 3rd Street
There’s a lot happening in this clip: a report that campus enrollment has reached 6,500 students (for reference, we’re at 16,000 these days, with a record-setting freshman class of 3,625); a pitch that student athletes will never be “just a number on a computer card” and a look at traffic flowing free and easy on the roads looping around Fountain Mall and down Third Street toward I-35.
Clip Three: “The Sky’s The Limit” for Alpha Omega at Pigskin Revue
Pigskin Revue (now called simply Pigskin) is a chance for the top performances from long-running tradition Sing! to be performed one last time during Baylor’s Homecoming celebration. “Pride and Sacrifice” includes the entire performance of one of 1969’s winning acts, the ladies of Alpha Omega and their flight attendant-themed act, “The Sky’s The Limit.” We’ve excerpted a minute’s worth for this blog post, but you can see the whole performance in the full video.
Clip Four: Walkin’ Up and Down the Stairs at Moody Memorial Library
PR departments love to include “beauty shots” of new features on campus, and in 1969 nothing was newer than the Moody Memorial Library. This scene features several football players – complete with letter jackets – walking up and down the stairs leading to the Gregory Garden on the library’s West side. Could they have shot these students walking somewhere else on campus? Of course! Was it deemed important to show prospective students the mid-century architectural gem that is Moody in glorious technicolor? Even more ‘of course!’ But for those of us who work in Moody 40 hours a week, it’s a neat glimpse of what the garden looked like before it was renovated to include arbors, trees and additional flora.
Clip Five: “Baylor Fans Know What It Means To Suffer”
In 1969, Baylor’s football fortunes were dismal. They hadn’t won a conference championship since 1924 (and wouldn’t until 1974). The glory days of the 1940s (like the season that earned them a berth in the 1949 Dixie Bowl, which you can watch here!) were long gone, and that despair was written on the faces of the Bears’ long-suffering fans.
But the clip does contain two things of note: plenty of on-field footage of the Baylor-University of Texas game, which Baylor lost, 56-14 (plenty of suffering to go around!) and a soundtrack that sounds like it was ripped straight out of an Adam West-era Batman episode.
These are just a few of our favorite moments from this amazing film, and we’d encourage you to dive in and take a look at “Pride and Sacrifice” in its entirety. If it doesn’t make you want to put on some paisley, hop into a Chevy Impala four-door and grow out your sideburns/put on some leather go-go boots, you’d better check your pulse.