The essay "First Authentic History of U.B. on Gridirion" seen below, written by Vincent J. Loghlin, first appeared in the January 27, 1927 issue of the Alumni News of the University of Buffalo. It is also available in the University at Buffalo Alumni Publications digital collection.
First Authentic History of U. B. on Gridiron
The 1926 football season has passed into history. The excited crowds, the eager players, the hopeful subs, and the cherished hopes of a successful season have become a memory.
What kind of a memory does the football season of 1926 leave? It leaves no list of victories, with attendant snake marches by jubilant students and alumni. It leaves no memory of large Alumni Reunions. No victory stands out to be told to future generations; and no new worthwhile advancement has been made.
Saddest news of all, there is no guarantee that things will be better in 1927.
To those who point to the catastrophe of the one-year ruling, cutting out freshmen, it might be well to consider that basketball is under the same disadvantage, with a much different result.
Started in 1894
Athletics in our Alma Mater have had a hectic career starting in 1894. In this year an athletic association was formed. Its officers consisted of Dr. J. B. Croffs, President; Dr. Fred Busch, Secretary, and Dr Jacob Otto, Treasurer.
The first team included J. B. Croffs, Irving Johnson, A. B. Stein, William Potter, Gray McCutcheon, St. John Green, "Dinky" Johnson, Donahue, Brendel, Ayers, Boswell, Barnadell, Peterson, Metz, Lane, Granger and Hayes.
This team practiced at Brown's Riding Academy on East North Street, and also at John's Riding Academy on East Utica Street. Dr. A. B. Stein was captain and T. C. Moore Manager.
The first game was played in the old baseball park in East Ferry Street. This pioneer team lost all its games, but laid a real foundation for the famous teams which followed when the University of Buffalo football team had become one of the foremost in the East.
In 1898, under the management of Dr E. J. Meyer and coached by C. W. Dibble, the schedule included Hamilton, Niagara, Union, Western Reserve, Syracuse and Hobart. Buffalo won every contest. In 1899, the team was successful in defeating R. P. I., Case, Colgate and Bucknell. The only game lost was to Cornell.
1900 was a great year with the same schedule. Buffalo defeated every team played, including Cornell.
The year 1901 saw the same schedule, and Buffalo lost but one game. In 1902, chaos reigned. Athletics died. Even basketball, which was revived in 1907, only lasted two years.
In 1913, an attempt was made to revive athletics. An athletic association was formed. Plans were laid for the development of athletics.
New and better, 1915
In the fall of 1915 football was revived with Frank Mt. Pleasant, the famous Carlisle Indian player, as coach, and George Schafer as Manager.
This year saw the introduction of "Jimmie" Griffin as trainer. Faithful old "Jim" is still on the job, and the warriors of yesteryear look back with fond memories of his careful treatment of their bumps, bruises and "Charlie Horses."
Coach Mt. Pleasant had a difficult task. Not only a green team but men who had never played the game were developed into a team.
The first game played was against Syracuse and U. B. lost. The crowning event of the season came toward the end of the season when Buffalo defeated Rochester. The grads of post-prohibition days cannot fully comprehend all the celebration that happened in "those good old days."
That year Buffalo lost five games but defeated St. Bonaventure, Thiel and Rochester. The squad consisted of J. A. Simpson, Michael Swados, S. E. Cooper, H. H. Hickey, H. M. Johnson, C. S. Dale, S. C. Lopicano, C. J. Kennedy, W. L. Meisner, Charles Goldberg, G. W. Voss, Austin Failey, R. W. MaKay, K. B. Bellinger, Ernest McAndrew, M. Hayes, R . G. Harrison and Irwin S. Alpert.
Real Records Kept
The season of 1916 saw "Art" Powell as the football mentor. Because of the carefulness with which he preserved his private words, it has been possible to get the only intelligent authentic reports of all past years, during his period. They are as follows. The first score is our opponent and the last U.B.:
Season 1916: *Allegheny 29, 0; Thiel 7, 9; *Rochester 14, 2; *Geneva 7; 0; Grove City 0, 0; *Hamilton 19, 0; St. Bonaventure 12, 0; *Westminster 0, 7; Detroit 0, 0, and Hobart 0, 6.
Won 3, tie 2, lost 5. Starred are out of·town games.
Larkin was Manager.
Regular players were: l. e., Failey; l. t., Fowler; l. g., Johnson (Capt.); c., Swados; r. g., Schmitt; r. t., Simson; r. e., Hayes; q b., Bums; l. h., Cooper; r. h., Wolf, and f. b., Gugino.
Subs were: Nolan, back; Kennedy, center; Winters, guard; Wormer, back; Goldberg, back, and Straney, end.
All were awarded letters.
Season 1917: Penn State Normal 7, 12; *Rochester 0, 28; St. Bonave:nture 13, 6; Westminster 7, 0; Hamilton 6. 0; Thiel 7, 26; *Detroit 20, 7, and Hobart 0, 45.
Won 4, lost 4. Harry Levin, Mgr.
Varsity: l. e., Straney, Failey; l. t ., Myers; l. g.,Smyceynaki; c., Swados, r. g., Tillou; r. t., Schmitz; r. e., Hayes (Capt.); q. b., Bums; I. h., Clark; r. h., Wolf, and f. b., Cooper.
Subs: O'Connor, tackle, and Merchant, end.
All were awarded letters.
Season 1918: Curtis 0, 6; Naval Artificers 0, 40; Niagara University 0, 41; Rochester University 6, 19; Hobart 0, 81; Naval Artificers 6, 47, and *Cornell 28, 0.
Won 6,lost 1.
Varsity: l. e., Tunkey; l. t., Bleich; l. g., McLoughlin; c., Slohm; r. g., Tillou; r. t., O'Connor; r. e., Buocoglia; q. b., McCollum; l. h., Kibler; r. h., Wolf (Capt.), and f. b., Nolan.
Subs: Clark, back; Conn, end; McNally, line; Baisch, back; Sapienza, line, and Paul Dinneen, Mgr.
All were awarded letters.
Season 1919: St. Lawrence 23, 0; Hobart 21, 6; *Rochester 33, 0; Westminster 6, 0; St. Bonaventure 6, 6, and Detroit, 25, 0.
Lost 5, tied 1.
Varsity: l. e., Buchheit; l. t. Mundie; l. g. Smyczynski; c., Dahl; r. g. Rasch; Loughlin; r. t., Dauber; r. e., Martineau; q. b., McCollum; l. h., Scott; r. h., Oberlander, Carr; and f b., Conn, Jederle.
Subs: Meyers, line; Bachmann, line; Schnittnam, back; J. Buscaglia, end; Hall, end; Prigelette:, line; Jewell, line; Haag, back; McNally, line.
Suson 1920: Thiel 13, 0; St. Lawrence 20, 0; Hobart 20, 2; *Alfred 7, 3, and Canisius 0, 12.
Won 1, lost 4.
Varsity: l. e., Buchheit; l. t., Rysbug; l. g., Taylor, Rasch; c., Ailenger; r. g., Wende; r. t ., Helwig; r. e., Kenwell; q. b., Jedele; l. h., Jewell; r. h., Baisch, and f. b., Moore.
Subs: Bachmann, back (L); Frigelette, line (L); Morris, line (L).
For Canisius: McCollum, Hanson, Baisch, Buscaglia.
The Manager was Gordon.
Season 1921: Thiel 0, 0; *Bethany 63, 0; Allred 3, 14; *St. Stephans 0, 53; Alleghany 22, 12; Hobart 35, 0; and R. P. I. 0,0.
Won 2, lost 3, tied 2.
Varsity: l. e., Bender, Alferi; l. t., Cudahy; l. g., Ryberg; c., Fischer; r. g., Frigelette, Rasch, Taylor; r. t., Helwig (Capt.) , Ailinger; r. e., Bardey; q. b., Joor; I. h., Vanin; r. h., Smith, and f. b., Jordan. Morris, end; Kibler, back; Brown, back, and Murphy, back. Drumm, Manager.
A Real Field and Equipment in 1922
In 1922 for the first time there was an adequate playing field and a properly equipped clubhouse to go with it for the use of the players.
"Dim" Batterson was retained to coach the team, and George Atwater was manager.
Mechanics Institute 0, 12; Thiel 15, 3; Alfred 6, 0; Clarkson 18, 0; Rochester 19, 0; Hobart 28, 13.
Won 1, lost 5.
Squad: Backman, Morris. Vanini, Marynowski, Neusome, Sullivan, Foss., Bardey, Hendricks, Brownjohn, Ailinger, Gleason, Wende, Hayes, Joor, Alferi, Jeneo, Atwater, Frigelette, Magavern, Burns, Lockie and Helwig (Capt.).
In 1923 it looked as if football was again coming into its own. "Jim" Bond a protege of "Pop" Warner, and of Center College fame, came here to improve the game. He was given the best equipment, a summer camp was inaugurated and things looked bright. Enthusiasm ran high when in its first game Buffalo was victorious by 40 points.
The hope was short lived, as evidenced by the following scores:
Rochester Optometry 0, 40; Thiel 29, 0; Alfred 16. 6; Clarkson 7,7; Hamilton 6, 7; Hobart 7, 0; Rochester 7, 6; Holy Cross 37, 0.
Won 2, lost 5, and tied 1.
Squad: Burns, Cimrone, Hayes (Capt.), Schrallion, Suassner, Ailinger, Santmeyer, Guinan, Wallice, Skiff, Brownjohn, Harris, Brennan, Bleason, McGavem, Potter, Rosengrant, Seigel, Stratton, Davidson, Morris, Hedisheimer, Knapp, Genco, Niles, Vanini, Gugino, Muscato, Votgge and Mett.
Charles Wallace was Manager.
"Russ" Carrick, Coach
1924 saw "Russ" Carrick secured to shake off the jinx of defeat. He, too, had a training camp, and a most promising material. But he had an uphill fight with a schedule which was not conducive to football.
Westminster 16, 7; Alfred 0, 19; St. Lawrence 7, 0; Davis-Eklins 48, 0; Clarkson 26, 0; Rochester 21, 7; Hobart 13; 6; George Washington 6, 0.
Won 1, lost 7.
Squad: Knapp (Capt.), Berlinger, Brownjohn, Cavle, Cambrone, Davidson, Dorries, Glastettt;r, Holt, King, Kingsley, Linderman, McGavern, McGrath, Met~. Morey, Morris, Muscato, Newsome, Chafron, Sheehan, Zielinski, Auch, Beyer, Brady, Weyand, Chefitz, Clark, Hoben. Cook, Craig, Doran, Gabby, Kwan, Meyer. Meyers, Murray, Ungerer, and Arthur Cross, Manager.
In 1925, with arc lights, Buffalo tried night practice. To date it has proven unsatisfactory. A training table was used but a heavy meal about 10 p. m., and getting to bed near midnight does not result in good scholarship nor good football conditioning. This had its effect, with poor student support.
Toledo 0, 2; Westminster 8, 0; Rochester 0, 0; Davis-Elkins l9, 6; Alfred 0, 6; Clarkson 2, 10; Hobart 13, 0; George Washington 59, 0.
Won 3, lost 4, tied 1
Squad: Metz: (Capt.), Schaffron, Newsome, Murray, Kavle, Mould, Zacher, Brownjohn, Davidson, Linderman, Potter, Holt, Long, Sheehan, Giambrone, Babby, King, Klube, Bums, Morey, Berlinger, Unger, Donavan, and M. King.
Harold Santmire was Manager
Last fall Buffalo lost every game it played. The team did not even play good football. It was woefully weak in every department of the game.
There is something radically wrong with a team which in the latter part of its season is defeated by an Alumni team, which was not forced to extend itself. To be defeated by an Alumni team, which was held to strict collegiate substitutions, and full fifteen minute periods of play, is nothing for a University to boast of.
Time Ripe to Solve the Trouble
Our Alma Mater has thrown its traditions to the winds. Officially, it has not even preserved its scores. Listlessness predominates. Student support is a myth. Faculty approval in many quarters is doubtful. Equipment is poor. Schedules overbalanced. The time has come to get busy and improve, or drop the sport until this can be done