The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 14, 1975, Page page 15, Image 15

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    friday, november 14, 1975
daily nebraskan
page 15
mem on
es unite
Editor's note: Between 1940, Nebraska's
Rose Bowl season, and 1962, when Bob
Devane arrived as coach and took Nebra
ska to new football glory, only three Corn
husker teams had winning records. The
1950 team had the best record of those
three: 6-2-1. This season marks the team's
25 th anniversary and several team members
are gathering for an informal reunion in
Lincoln today and Saturday. The following
is the first part of an update on the mem
bers of that team. Former Daily Nebraskan
sports editor Dennis Onnen contacted
many of them and wrote the following
story as an assignment in the UNL School
of Journalism depth v reporting class.
By Dennis Onnen r
It is Nqv..25, 1950. Nebraska center Joe
McGill snaps the ball to quarterback Fran
Nagle, who pivots and hands it halfback
Bobby Reynolds. Reynolds runs wide right
behind pulling guard Art Bauer, who
springs him free at the line.
Downfield, tackle Charley Toogood
applied the final block that lets Reynolds
run untouched into the end zone. It is one
of three touchdowns for Reynolds in a los
ing effort that day against Oklahoma, the
. nation's No. 1 team.
Today, 25 years later, McGill owns a
subcontracting company in Wichita, Kan.,
Nagle is a professor of physiology at the
University of Wisconsin in Madison and
Reynolds is a Lincoln insurance executive.
Bauer is a teacher-football coach in
Spokane, Wash., and Toogood is in the
restaurant business in St. Helena, Calif.
Those five players were among the
standouts on the 1950 team, which stood
out in an era of Husker frustration. The
team probably was best known as the
"Bobby Reynolds team." Reynolds had a
spectacular year. He led the country in
scoring and was second in rushing. His per
formance against Oklahoma cinched his
selection as a consensus Ail-American.
Today, th 1950 Huskers are scattered
throughout the country. Of 28 contacted,
15 still live in Nebraska. The rest live in
California (6), Kansas (2), Wisconsin, Wash
ington, Iowa, Texas and Illinois.
Fond memories
As they recall the 1950 season and its
effect on their lives, the players talk warm
ly of the bond that developed between
teammates. Yet today the players, even
those living in Nebraska, rarely see each
other. They come into contact by chance
or at occasional informal gatherings after
Nebraska home football games.
The bond of 1950 appears dissolved.
But that is only on the surface. It still
exists in the shared memories of a season
that may not be the greatest in Nebraska
history, but which certainly is one of the
most memorable.
Perhaps each player's most vivid memor
ies are those of the preseason camp at
Curtis, Neb. Curtis, a town of 964 at the
time, is 200 miles west of Lincoln and 40
miles south of North Platte. For two weeks
before school -started, it became an island
of football in the Sandhills.
'He made summer .
camp like a survival
training program
Coach Bill Glassford initiated the camp
when he came to Nebraska in 1949. The
players stayed at the State Agriculture
High School, . and their schedule required
them to concentrate only on football.
The daily routine went like this: break
fast, chalk talks, three-hour morning
practice, lunch, more chalk talks, three
hour afternoon practice, dinner; study of
plays at night. The players had Sunday and
Friday nights off, but that meant little in
"We'd walk through town-that took
about 15 minutes," said halfback Ron
Clark, today a sales manager for Western
Supply Corp. in Lincoln. Curtis had one
beer hall, he said, but assistant coaches .
were posted in front and rear doors. In
such a situation, quick thinking was called
Thank Heaven!
According to Clark, fullback Nick
Adduci had met the town priest by attend
ing Mass. On the Friday night off, Adduci
visited the priest, who was glad to contri
bute soma liquor to case the players
Plight. ,
"The coaches couldn't figure out where
we had gotten the stuff," Clark said. "They
were puzzled even after we had left town."
When Glassford played high school foot
ball in Pennsylvania, all high school teams
had campus such as the Nebraska one, said
linebacker Bob "Moon" Mullen, now a
Lincoln insurance executive. Tackle Wayne
Handshy, today a teacher in Atascadero,
Calif., said Glassford was a Navy survival
training officer during World War II, and
that had an effect on the camp, too.
"He made his summer camp like a sur
vival training program," Handshy said. Of
about 140 players who went to camp, only
about 50 remained at the end. Players who
quit would sneak out at night, either walk
ing or hitchhiking to North Platte to catch
a bus to Lincoln.
"We'd wake up in the morning, and a
couple more bunks Would be empty,"
Mullen said. "He (Glassford) felt he would
come back with some players who wanted
to play football."
Temperatures rising
Handshy said the players were not
allowed to drink water during practice and
were given salt water from a canteen only
when they passed out or became nauseat
ed. Such incidents were common because
of temperatures that soared past 110
degrees, he said.
"In the morning we'd lick dew off the
grass because we knew it would be a long
time before we'd get anything to drink."
Handshy, who weighed 265 pounds
when he reported for camp ("Bill Glassford
was infuriated"), lost 40 pounds in two
weeks. He ate at the "fat man's table" for
players Glassford considered overweight. A
typical meal at that table was melba toast
for breakfast, he said.
- - "I had diarrhea so bad for awhile, I
didn't think I'd ever snap out of it."
To get to and from their dressing room,
the players had to go hand-over-hand on a
horizontal ladder that passed over a moat.
Adduci, now a milk distributor in Frank
furt, 111., said the players were told there
was an alligator in the moat, but exhausted
players dropped in anyway.
The camp was not without its light
moments, however. ,
The greatest thing
Bobby Reynolds had
was that sixth sense1
"We'd be stealing faucets from the
showers, putting a cat in a guy's bed,
throwing plums and fruit around-little
things like that to keep our humor up,"
Adduci said.
The sophomores were singled out in
several ways. If blocking dummies had to
be carried, the sophomores carried them.
They all had Mohawk haircuts and each
year put on a variety show for the upper
classmen. In 1950, Adduci stole the show
with his Jimmy Durante impression.
Such a performance would appear
normal for Adduci, however, since many
teammates referred to him as the team
Adduci recalls locking quarterback
Nagle in a locker for an hour before the
Oklahoma game "just to loosen the team
" "Whenever we had a lead and had to
stall the last two or three minutes of a
game, I would tell jokes in the huddle," he
Surrender to Sooners
Unlike many Nebraska teams of that
era, the 1950 squad had the lead much of
the time. The only losses came to Colorado
(28-19) in Boulder and to Oklahoma
(49-35) in Norman. Nebraska held the top
ranked Sooners to a 21-21 half time tic be
fore surrendering three quick touchdowns
in the third quarter. Despite the two losses,
the Huskers finished 17th in UPI's national
Bobby Reynolds probably more than
any other player accounted for that sudden
upsurge of Husker fortunes in 1950
Reynolds, a sophomore from Grand
Island, rushed for 1.342 yards, a Big 8
record until Heisman Trophy winner Steve
Owens broke it in 1968. Only in the Okla
homa game did Reynolds fail to rush for
He led the nation in scoring with 157 .
points, a major college record at the time,
nd he scored at least one touchdown in
every game. The 157 points stUl stands as
the Big 8 season record.
Reynolds appeared destined for super
stardom, but tragedy struck three times
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Photos eourtaray of th UNL School of Journalism
These faces were familiar to Big Red fans as they watched the 1950
Huskers battle to a winning season. Tackel Charley Toogood, guard
Don Strasheim, halfback Bobby Reynolds and offensive guard Art
Bauer (left to right), under the direction of head coach Bill Glass
ford, helped the Huskers compile a 6-2-1 record. Although the faces
may have aged over the past 25 years, the players still remember
the" anguish of practice, the competitive spirits and the welcomed
within the next two years. He suffered
shoulder separations in both his junior and
senior seasons, dropping his combined out
put for those years to 854 yards rushing
and 54 points. Playing baseball as a senior,
he broke his leg sliding into home and
wiped out any pro aspirations.
"All of us felt Bobby Reynolds was the
reason for the team's success," said Too
good, an All-Big 7 player who went on to
play six years with the Los Angeles Rams.
"He made the line, I don't think the line
made him," Toogood said. "I probably en
joyed watching him run as much as the
fans did. We linemen just stood around and
watched him go by.
"By far and away, he was the best open
field runner I've ever seen."
What was it that made Reynolds so
Sixth sense
"First, Bobby Reynolds was not fast "
Mullen said. "What he had was great hip
movement and great moves, but the great
est thing Bobby Reynolds had was that
sixth sense."
tt. f nftan fan wher a hark
could have gotten an extra two or three
yards by making a certain move. Reynolds
would make mat move and get the extra
"He knew exactly where he was on the
field," Mullen said. "It was like he had an
extra set of eyes upstairs."
Many players recalled the see-saw 40-34
win over Missouri and particularly the win
ning touchdown by Reynolds. Offensive
guard Bauer remembers making three
blocks on the run which some call the
greatest in Husker history.
Nebraska had a fourth down on the
Missouri 33-yard line when Reynolds was
given the ball on a sweep to the right. The
hole was plugged, so Reynolds reversed his
field and raced to, his left, dropping about
30 yards behind the line ,f scrimmage.
Penned in again he sped back to his right,
evading tacklers, picking up' blocks and
finally skirting the sideline for the
"The touchdown run goes down as 33
yards in the records" wrote Floyd Olds,
sports editor of. the Omaha World-Herald.
"But, actually, Reynolds ran a good 100
yards backwards, sideways and forward."
Center McGill remembers the win over
Kansas because of a play involving Ail
American defensive tackle Mike McCor
mack, now coach of the Philadelphia
Eagles. After being pushed downfield 10
yards by the Husker offensive line on one
play, McCormack picked himself up and
asked, "Goddamn, don't- you guys ever
quit coming?"
Other games mentioned frequently were
the battle against Oklahoma and the 32-26
defeat of Minnesota, the first Husker win
in Minneapolis since 1902.
'Don't you guys
ever quit?'
Guard Tom Harper, now an Omaha in
surance man, remembers the Oklahoma
game, but not because of the contest alone.
Sophomores like himself didn't realize that
liquor wasn't sold in Oklahoma, but the
seniors knew from experience and brought
jugs of liquor with them for fortification
after the game.
"Let's face it, you o'on't train every
minute of the time," Harper said, "but we
sophomores didn't know dry states from
wst states."
Handshy recalls the Colorado game be
cause it showed how the competitiveness
instilled at the Curtis camp paid off.
"We could have blown the whole rest of
the season," he said of the loss which
dropped the Huskers' record to 1-1-1. But
they bounced back to win their next five
"We just didn't let things get us down,"
said end Frank Simon, now a teacher-coach
in Torrance, Calif. "First and 25 wasn't
any worse than first and 10."
The remainder of this depth re
port will be printed on pg. 11 of
Monday's Daily Nebraskan. It in
cludes comments from head coach
Bill Glassford, now 61-years-old,
on what he remembers about his
1950 Huskers. In addition, players
also share their memories, some
harsh but mostly favorable, about
their coach.