Tag Archive for Baylor football

(Digital Collections) 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.

 

(Digital Collections) 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.

(Digital Collections) On Carroll Field, White Bread, and the Comfort of Electric Power

While working through some exciting new pieces we’re adding to the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive (BULAA) in the next few days, I spotted a couple of interesting items in a 1934 program from the Homecoming game against Texas A&M.

The first thing to note is the location of the game, Carroll Field. Throughout its storied history, Baylor football games have been played in no less than five locations:

  • Prior to 1906, games were played in an unnamed field adjacent to Old Main.
  • Carroll Field
    1906 to 1925, and from 1930 to 1935
  • Waco Cotton Palace
    1926 to 1929
  • Waco Stadium/Waco Municipal Stadium
    1936 to 1949
  • Baylor Stadium/Floyd Casey Stadium
    1950 to present

Carroll Field is seen in the photograph below, just to the right of Carroll Science building.


In the above image, the field is configured for baseball season, but the white picket fence around the field is visible in the background of this photo of a football game against an unknown opponent, circa 1916.

Digging deeper into the program, readers encounter this advertisement at the top of page 5.


A number of assertions in this ad may cause modern viewers to ask some fundamental (if a bit silly) questions. Questions like, “Why is white bread considered energy food?” or “Why is it such a big deal that the bread is sliced?” and “What happened to the Jones Fine Bread Co.?”

Although many today consider white bread a nutritionally neutral option at best, for many in the 1930s, bread was a major staple of their daily diet. But because poorer families often bought bulk flour and baked their own bread or biscuits at home, the idea of buying “light bread” from a grocery store could be a hard sell. Therefore, commercial bakeries used any number of selling points to make their case to consumers – including the idea that their bread would provide the energy needed to make it through a busy day.

Also, because many baked (and sliced) their own bread at home, the idea of buying a loaf of pre-sliced bread was both a novelty and a convenience. While the idea of pulling two slices of bread out of a package to make a quick sandwich means little to us today, the idea of saving a few precious moments by using pre-sliced bread was a luxury to many during the Great Depression.

Lastly, the Jones Bread Company seems to have been a local bakery in the Waco area that supported a unique program called the “Jones’ Fine Bread Kiddie Matinee Show.” According to this article from the Waco History Project by Teri Jo Ryan, the show, which was hosted by Mary Holliday, was a kind of forerunner to American Idol that gave local kids a chance to showcase their talents on a weekly radio program.

Our final point of interest is the ad from the back cover of the program, this one for Texas Power and Light.


The benefits of electric power are listed in relation to something we give little thought to today: the ability to lessen the strain dim lighting puts on our eyes. In a time when large numbers of Americans – especially those in rural areas – were without power beyond what could be provided by candles and gas lamps, the idea of having a home full of evenly distributed, reliable light was nothing short of miraculous. And until the establishment of the Rural Electrification Administration in 1935, there were often few opportunities for people in rural areas to take advantage of such a modern luxury. This ad reminds us of a time when something we take for grated today was considered big enough news to warrant two-thirds of a prominent advertisement on a program seen by thousands of people attending a Baylor University football game.

The entire program, part of the Baylor University Athletics Archive, is available at http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/ref/collection/33athletics/id/2745.