Revisiting a ‘Miracle’ Forty Years Later: The 1974 Baylor vs. UT Game in Pictures and Video

The scoreboard at the conclusion of the 1974 Baylor vs. UT game

The scoreboard at the conclusion of the 1974 Baylor vs. UT game

This year marks a major milestone in the history of the Baylor Bears football team: the 40th anniversary of the “Miracle on the Brazos,” a stunning victory over the University of Texas on November 9, 1974. In celebration of that fact, legendary head coach Grant Teaff is hosting a reunion of the 1974 team on Friday night that coincides with Homecoming 2014 celebrations, and we’ve been working around the clock to add tons of additional resources related to that 34-24 victory, the first time in 17 meetings that the Bears had bested the Longhorns.

The story of the game – how it seemed like Baylor was doomed to a 17th loss to the Longhorns, only to have a blocked punt and a final go-ahead touchdown that sealed the victory – is well-known and can be read in detail at places like this Bleacher Report story on the top 10 Moments in Baylor Football History. Or, if you’d prefer a homegrown trip down memory lane, you can watch a video presentation released by Baylor Athletics in 1984 that takes a look back at the season with help from Coach Teaff and Frank Fallon, the legendary “voice of the Bears.”

Click on the image to watch "The Miracle on the Brazos, Ten Years Later"

Click on the image to watch “The Miracle on the Brazos, Ten Years Later”

 

There are also plenty of photos documenting that game – the anticipation, the gameplay action, the celebration – including gems like the ones below.

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Finally, you can read the official gameday program from cover …

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… to rosters and ads for long-gone steakhouses …

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… to the back cover.

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We’re looking forward to meeting some of these gridiron heroes at Coach Teaff’s event tonight, and to give them a chance to search the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive for more memories preserved in digital format.

Oh, and it goes without saying that we’re pulling for the current incarnation of our Baylor Bears to beat the University of Kansas at McLane Stadium on Saturday. Sic ’em, Bears!

Additional Content

> See all 105 items related to the “Miracle on the Brazos” in the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive

> Check out a fun set of images from The Texas Collection’s Flickr page featuring shots of the Golden Wave Band and Homecoming Parades from the 1960s and 1970s

45 Years Later, “Pride And Sacrifice” Film Finds New Home in Digital Archive

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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.

Pictured: Despair and Dr Pepper

Pictured: Despair and Dr Pepper

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.

Twilight of an Icon: Floyd Casey Stadium in Transition

A view from the roof. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

A view from the roof. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful.
It’s the transition that’s troublesome.
– Isaac Asimov

 

At what point does a building pass from eyesore to fond remembrance, from something we tolerate to something we reminisce over, long for, mourn? Is there a hard and fast shift, or does it happen over time, after the glow of the new has faded and the first subtle grumblings of regret start to surface? And does a building’s loss even register for the majority of the populace beyond the occasional, “Oh, that? That’s where the old stadium/bank/boarding house/school was. I hadn’t thought about it in years.”

Over the final season of its use as the home of Baylor Football, many words were written and memories recalled about the life of Floyd Casey Stadium. From its early days as a sparkling new venue for gridiron action to recent seasons that saw a resurgence of Baylor’s program on the field – and increasing woes arising from the concrete shell surrounding it – FCS has seen triumph and tragedy, victory and loss. It’s a foregone conclusion that whatever its ultimate fate, there will be a number of people who will take time to photograph its exit from the Waco stage, but what happens in the interim? The time between its final home game and the wrecking ball … or the demolition charge, the renovation, the conversion to a minor league soccer stadium, who knows?

As part of our ongoing project to document the history of Baylor Athletics, two members of the Digital Projects Group – assistant director Darryl Stuhr and curator Eric Ames – teamed up with Baylor Photography’s Robbie Rogers for a top-to-bottom tour of Floyd Casey to document its current state in photographs. In a four-hour session that covered areas rarely seen by the public – like the sepulchral extra storage closet just off the equipment room – to panoramic views of the field from numerous vantage points, we tried to capture “the Case” as it stands today, a noble if waning symbol of a university boldly raising its future on the banks of the Brazos River.

In the coming weeks we’ll take the hundreds of photos we took this week and create an exhibit on Floyd Casey in Transition. Later, we’ll add information and photos from its earliest days, its greatest triumphs, and, ultimately, its final bow. But today we wanted to share a few of our early favorites from this week’s tour as a glimpse of what happens in the gap between “then” and “now.” We hope you enjoy seeing them as much as we enjoyed taking them.


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View of the north end zone from the Galloway Suite. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Bear statue and mosaic, Hall of Honor. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Lounge area, President’s Suite. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Robbie Rogers walking down home team entry tunnel. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Stadium lights. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Extra storage area, equipment room. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Weight room. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Stair hall door, first floor. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Ticket stubs in box, Grant Teaff Lobby. Photo by Eric Ames, Stadium lights. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Darryl Stuhr and Robbie Rogers on home side roof. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Director’s stand, Golden Wave Band seating section. Photo by Eric Ames, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Stairwell, home side, between 5th and 4th floors. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Varsity locker room. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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50-yard-line. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Field level wall, south end zone. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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BU-themed table, Harrington Recruiting Center. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

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Panorama of stadium from “Bear Heights,” 2nd level of home side. Photo by Darryl Stuhr, Digital Projects Group, Electronic Library, Baylor University.

Many thanks to Nick Joos, Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs; Will Lattimore, Assistant Director of Facility Operations; and Robbie Rogers, Director of Baylor Photography, for their assistance with this project.

Visit the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive at www.baylor.edu/lib/athleticsarchive or email digitalcollectionsinfo@baylor.edu if you’d like to support the Archive with the loan of materials for inclusion in our digital collection. Contact the Texas Collection at (254) 710-1268 if you’d like to discuss donating materials items to the university for inclusion in the Archive.

 

Memories of Floyd Casey Stadium, Courtesy the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive and the Grant Teaff Collection

Special “Farewell to Floyd Casey Stadium” graphic courtesy BaylorBears.com and Inside Baylor Sports Productions.

THIS SATURDAY marks a bittersweet moment for fans of Baylor football as we bid farewell to the program’s home for half a century. Floyd Casey Stadium – formerly Baylor Stadium – will host its final home game this Saturday as the Bears take on long-time in-state foe the University of Texas. It’s a big game with potentially program-changing implications: if Baylor wins and the University of Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State University, Baylor will be sole possessor of the Big XII conference title and gain an automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl, a BCS bowl game. But first we have to beat Texas in front of a sell-out crowd at “The Case” for the final time.

There are a number of great tributes to Floyd Casey Stadium out there on the web today, among them:

> A fantastic Flickr set of images documenting its past, courtesy The Texas Collection at Baylor University

> A “Farewell to Floyd Casey Stadium” presentation from Inside Baylor Sports

As part of our work hosting the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive (BULAA), we wanted to add our own unique elements to the remembrances of Floyd Casey, so we added two new videos to the BULAA (pronounced “boo-luh,” if you’re wondering). You can view them as embedded YouTube videos below, or look for them on the BULAA homepage at http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/33athletics.

The “Hex Tex” Pep Rally of 1983

Up first is some raw footage of the 1983 “Hex Tex” pep rally held at Floyd Casey on November 18, 1983. This footage was transferred from its original Umatic-S format video tape and is presented without digital manipulation, so it’s got some minor audio issues – you’ll want to turn up the volume to hear it well. But it accurately captures the moments of an early 1980s pep rally, complete with performances by Baylor yell leaders, song leaders, the Golden Wave Band and a line of twirlers.

In addition to these performances, the rally gave Coach Grant Teaff a chance to reflect on the 1983 season and to preview the next day’s game against UT at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. It also was a time to present the Mike Singletary award, which was given to wide receiver Gerald McNeil. The award, which was voted on by the entire student body, went to the diminutive wideout for his exceptional abilities on and off the field.

Finally, the rally was a chance for the team captain and co-captains to address the Baylor faithful and reflect on a season that would see the Bears play in the Bluebonnet Bowl against Oklahoma State University, a game which they would lose by a score of 24-14 but would be their second bowl game in four seasons. And though the Bears would lose the next day’s game at #2 UT in a squeaker, 24-21, the Bears’ enthusiasm and appreciation for their fans – as well as the rally’s setting at Floyd Casey Stadium – make this footage a fun addition to the celebrations around the stadium’s final game.

(NOTE: The audio quality on the original video is poor to fair, so you may need to adjust your volume accordingly.)

The Grant Teaff Show, Baylor vs. University of Texas, 1984

The next season’s meeting against UT would go much better for the Bears. In a disappointing season that would see them finish 5-6 (with a .500 record in the Southwest Conference at 4-4), the Bears were looking for a big win against the #6 Longhorns for their final home game of the season, and boy, did they get it. In front of one of the largest home audiences of the season, the Bears dismantled the ‘Horns 24-10 and gave their senior players a decidedly upbeat end to their playing days at Baylor.

This footage is the entire broadcast of “The Grant Teaff Show” from November 25, 1984, the day following the Bears’ win over UT. Produced by Greenhouse Media of Waco, the show features highlights, Coach Teaff’s analysis and lots of great footage of an impressive win on the turf at Floyd Casey Stadium.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this historic footage of two great memories from Floyd Casey Stadium. We’ll be adding more video to the BULAA in the coming days and weeks highlighting Baylor football in the Grant Teaff era, so check back soon!

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BONUS CONTENT During the process of creating the access files for these videos, I came across some awesome commercials for Baylor University and the Medical Center at Dallas. You can see several of them as part of our Baylor University Archives Collection, or view the 1982 Athletics Endowment commercial, added as part of the BULAA.

The Grant Teaff Collection of materials related to his time as coach at Baylor University is part of the collections at The Texas Collection.

Feeding Our Nostalgia: A Sampling of Waco’s Favorite Former Restaurants, Via the BU Libraries Athletics Archive

Although the temperatures outside our offices here on campus don’t reflect it yet, the calendar says we’ve officially entered fall. And with its arrival come the requisite things we love about autumn like changing leaves, cooler days, and a tidal wave of foods flavored with pumpkin and cinnamon.

But nothing says “fall” on a university campus like the return of college football, and as our Baylor Bears are riding a 3-game winning streak this week, we thought it fitting to turn our attention to our Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive (BULAA) for inspiration for this week’s post.

And so it was that while perusing football programs from the 1930s-1980s, I stumbled upon a recurring theme: the ads for restaurants that don’t exist in Waco anymore. Be they beloved staples mourned to the present or mere one-time wonders barely remembered by anyone, they still took the time to invest in advertising space in programs for Baylor home football games, so their impact on our university was easily measure in terms of ad revenue and column inches – if only for a season.

We thought it might be fun to showcase a few of those ads and, as a bonus, add their locations to a custom Google map so you can see exactly where they were located “back in the day.” Longtime Wacoans may well remember dining at some of these establishments; likewise, newer residents (or those just passing through town) can gain a better understanding for our fair city’s historic culinary offerings.

Leslie’s Chicken Shack (from November 24, 1934 game vs. SMU)

Jack’s Café (from October 23, 1948 game vs. Texas A&M University)

Pat Rutherford’s (from November 11, 1950 game vs. University of Texas)

Taco Patio and Mr. Chuc Wagun (from November 12, 1977 game vs. Rice University)

The Water Works (from November 22, 1980 game vs. University of Texas)

This is just a sampling from the smorgasbord (sorry!) of eatery ads to be found in the football programs of the BULAA. We hope you’ll take time to look through the programs for your favorite Waco restaurants, and take a minute to leave us a comment on your fondest food memories. Bon appetit!