SI Vault
the football Beat
Peter King
October 01, 2001
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October 01, 2001

The Football Beat

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With only 17,499 rattling around the 75,349-seat Cotton Bowl for the first pro football game in the Southwest, the Dallas Texans scored first when a New York Giants defensive back fumbled a punt, then got beat on a touchdown pass from Texans quarterback George Taliaferro to wideout Buddy Young. The Giants culprit was a guy by the name of Tom Landry. But New York rallied for a 24-6 victory. Within two months the Texans, drowning in red ink, were left to play out a I-II season on the road. "We had 10 bona fide players," defensive tackle Art Donovan recalled last week. "The rest of 'em were pieces of garbage."

On Thanksgiving the Texans played a "home" game at the Rubber Bowl in Akron as part of a doubleheader. A high school game opened the twin bill, drawing 14,800 fans; maybe 3,000 stayed to see the Texans drop a 27-23 decision to the Bears. "Our coach, Jimmy Phelan, said they ought to dispense with the introductions and just send us into the stands to shake hands with the fans," says Donovan. "So a few of our guys went over the rail and met the fans." These waifs formed the nucleus of the 1953 Baltimore Colts.

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