I had an awful time with this. For whatever reason–maybe just chance–there isn’t much to be found in the Woodson about this game. I eventually turned up a couple of things but first I’m going to subject you to the story of how I did it. Fair Warning: I am reminded here of the immortal words of Grampa Simpson: “‘Long story short’ is a phrase whose origins are complicated and rambling.”
I turned first to the scrapbook that I’ve been using for this series, only to find it barren–not even a game program. Well, I didn’t want to write this post without a game program so I started looking in other collections. No dice. Even our program collection, which is pretty thorough, is missing this one. (If you have one, please send me an email.) Turning to Coach Neely’s files for the 1957 season I discovered that there isn’t even a folder for this game. At this point I begin to suspect a conspiracy.
I finally found a story in the Thresher but it was frankly boring and so was the rest of the page that it was on. I still had several tricks up my sleeve, though, and my luck began to turn. Sort of. I went and dug out one of the scrapbooks that the alumni used to keep–this one contained all the clippings they could find from 1955 to 1958. And when I say “all the clippings they could find” I am not kidding. These scrapbook are huge, they are enormous, they are filled with every mention in any newspaper of anything that happened at or involving Rice and anyone who ever went to school there. Truly the sublime to the ridiculous. Here is a picture of me showing the video guy, Brandon, how big this thing is. No kidding, it has to weigh at least ten pounds:
But there is a long, interesting article about the SMU game in there. Finally! However, there is also a problem. How am I going to scan it? It’s far too unwieldy to get it onto the scanning bed. A quick-witted colleague sent me to Andy Damico, a preservation librarian, who gently separated the clipping from the page with a scalpel. (Not an exacto knife–a real scalpel. This was great to watch.) Thus, I present it to you:
(A bit of Inside the Archives: See those smears on the newspaper? That’s what happens when you glue something into a scrapbook and then let it sit for fifty years. The positive side of this is that when the glue dries out so thoroughly, it’s relatively easy to pry the paper free from the book, which is what we did here.)
I then took a shot in the dark and pulled a file called simply “1957 Football” from one of the boxes in the athletics collection. I really wasn’t expecting anything, so I was surprised to find a stat sheet for this game (only the Rice stats) nestled in with some documents that might best be termed “miscellany.” So here’s that too:
Not a great game it seems, but a solid win.
Bonus: Remember this dead phone in Baker? I posted about it here.
It finally disappeared in the recent renovation.