TEXAS VS. PENNSYLVANIA
Neale X. Trangucci's list of alltime Pennsylvania football players (LETTERS, Nov. 6) is a joke. In printing it, you fell into the same trap you did in 1964, when you ran an article on the first Big 33 Game, which pitted Pennsylvania high school football players against Texas schoolboy players (Beef, Bones and Hershey Bars, Aug. 10, 1964). At the time you asked, "Which is tougher: Pennsylvania football or Texas football?" Your answer was Pennsylvania—the Pennsylvanians won 12-6. However, your conclusion was misleading, because the best Texas players were missing, having committed to play in the annual Texas High School All-Star Game, which was held at the same time. During the next three years, the Big 33 didn't conflict with the Texas All-Star Game, and with Bobby Layne as their coach, the Texans won 26-10, 34-2 and 45-14, after which Pennsylvania called it quits. SI only partially corrected the misunderstanding with its Aug. 23, 1965, story Texas Teeners Strike Back, and now Trangucci's letter perpetuates the misconception.
Trangucci's list included nine players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I list 15. The list for Florida, the state you touted in your Sept. 5, 1988, college football preview as the leader in producing football players, thus beginning this debate, had one. With the help of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, I've put together a lineup that requires little discussion. Texas doesn't have to take its hat off to anyone when it comes to producing football talent.
*Pro Football Hall of Famer
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]