I saw in the Chronicle the other day that the great Rice football player King Hill passed away last week at the age of 75. He played in the mid-1950s, an era that saw a pretty fair number of exciting wins. But what I think of when I think of him is this game, as important a victory as the Rice football program has ever seen:
We have a wonderful student scrapbook in the Woodson that chronicles the 1957 season–below is a scan of one of the pages. (Click on it a couple of times and you’ll be able to read it no matter how old you are.) The feeling of excitement and camaraderie that followed this stunning defeat of the top ranked A&M team in a packed Rice Stadium is still palpable in its pages. A tremendous athlete, Hill was the star of the show on both offense and defense. He scored all Rice’s points, including the extra point, and had two interceptions to kill A&M drives.
The win absolutely riveted Rice’s student body. On Monday the students closed and barricaded the gate and declared an unauthorized General Holiday. In a move that still surprises me a little bit, the administration didn’t cancel classes, but decided that no one would be punished for failure to attend. (It’s the lack of punishment that is amazing–things were much, much stricter back then.)
King Hill, RIP.