The game today between Duke and Carolina brings back memories of another
Duke-Carolina ( or is it Carolina-Duke ) game played on Thanksgiving Day of 1959
won by Carolina 50-0. The game was on national television and what a lot of
people overlook is the fact that going into the game the teams were rated even.
In the early 60's I worked at the University of Virginia and I became friends
with the Duke quarterback in that game, George Harris. We went to a freshmen
football game one day between the Maryland and Virginia freshmen.
Maryland was laying the wood to the Cava yearlings and when they finally reached
50 on the score board, George said almost to himself something that I couldn't
hear. I asked him what he had said and he replied " Fifty points is a lot
of points, I don't care how you cut it". I knew what he meant and I didn't
press the issue. I could see that the '59 game was still on his mind and there
was no need to press the point. Besides, he was a nice fellow. Just happened to
pick the wrong school to attend. He and I discussed the "game" many
times. He said that Duke thought at halftime they would come back and win the
game. The score at the half was 28-0 in favor of UNC. Don Klochak, the Carolina
fullback, ran the second half kickoff back for a touchdown and he said that's
when they knew it "was over". After Carolina had put some starters
back into the game near the end and went for 2 points to make it 50-0. Coach
Murray of Duke was livid. After the game when he met Jim Hickey at mid field he
said to him, "You really wanted that last touchdown, didn't you?"
Hickey tried to explain that he sent the starters back in with instructions not
to score because he thought he could control them better than subs who hadn't
played much and wanted their 15 seconds at center stage. Murray was having none
of it and turned and walked away from Hickey. The after game incident sparked
right much controversy at the time and I remember someone said that a coach who
just lost a game 50-0 should not be quoted until at least 1 hour after the game
is over. I think maybe I agree with him. I would have been mad as hell if Duke
had done it to us and don't think for one minute the Duke fans weren't thinking
of that when they beat us 41-0. Thank the Lord 8 points wouldn't have made it 50
but if it would have, don't you know they would have gone for two. I wouldn't
have blamed them.
In the early 60's when I worked at Duke for a period of time, my office was in the house where Bill Murray lived when he was the coach at Duke. My desk was where his dining room table had been located. Oh, if only the walls could have talked.
I've gone on enough for now but I have some unbelievable information to pass on regarding Elizabeth Cotten, the composer of the folk song "Freight Train". See you next week.