Why the DIII championship just might be the greatest of all college bowl games
SALAM, Va. -- As the football Warhawks prepare for what has become their traditional season finale, its worth noting the fascinating history behind the man who gave the game its name.
The Warhawks face Mt. Union in the NCAA Divsion III National Championship game beginning at 6 p.m. Friday on ESPN 2. The two teams have met in the last seven championship games, each winning three. The Warhawks are hoping to make it three in a row.
The championship is named after football innovator Amos Alonzo Stagg. No other bowl game has such a deep connection to some of the greatest traditions of college football. The more I learn about him, the more I admire this under-appreciated coach.
Followers of DIII football are familiar with the name, but Big 10 fans were introduced to Stagg after he became the sole namesake of the Big 10 Championship trophy. The trophy originally was named the Amos Alonzo Stagg - Joe Paterno Trophy until Paterno's name was removed shortly before the inaugural game following allegations of child sexual abuse at Penn State.
So who was Amost Alonzo Stagg? Former Delavan Enterprise sports editor, and UW-Whitewater grad, Jim Reineking has some insight on the man.
Reineking, now an editor for NFL.com, published a post a year ago listing some of Stagg's innovations that include:
Awarding varsity letters.
Names on the back of player jerseys.
The tackling dummy.
The lateral pass.
The man in motion.
The Statue of Liberty play.
Read Reineking's post HERE:
So when the Warhawks and Purple Raiders take the field Friday, they'll be taking a small part in a big part of football history.