Now Brandstatter is director of the School of Police Administration at Michigan State and an international authority on police work—he entered Korea with an advanced detachment of the U.S. occupation forces in 1945 to reorganize the police force of the country, and has since done a similar job reorganizing the police of South Vietnam. When Michigan State had started its first program of police administration in 1935, Brandstatter had enrolled with two others to become the first students. (As head of the department he now supervises 377 students and a faculty of 15.) Brandstatter was pretty nearly a working cop at the same time he was a star on the 1936 team that lost only to Marquette but walloped its traditional rival, Michigan, 21-7.
A big proportion of the 658,181 men students in U.S. colleges in 1936 worked for their tuition, board and room, spending money or everything. A good many of the 16,000-odd college football players that year did also, and in most cases they worked at bona fide jobs. Dr. Leonard Lovshin, who is now head of the department of internal medicine at the famous Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, was a waiter in a girls' dormitory while he put himself through premedical courses at the University of Wisconsin. Victor Strub, who is manager of the big Owens-Illinois Glass Company branch at Oakland, Calif., was a mechanic at the Oakland airport before he won an athletic scholarship to Saint Mary's. "That was a rare thing in those days," he says, referring to the scholarship, not to the fact that he worked.
Austin Holmes Ross heads the Derby Construction Company of Louisville, one of the five largest companies in the state, an enterprise he started with a secondhand dump truck and capital of $2,000; but in 1936 he was co-captain of the University of Vermont football team and waiting on tables for his meals. His four years in college cost his family about $1,000. Young Jacob Boozer is now president of the Cotton States Life Insurance Company and a prominent civic leader in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In mid-Depression years, when he was a ball carrier on the great Alabama teams, he was mighty relieved to be elected head of the Cotillion Club, because it was a paying job—he booked orchestras for the college dances.
The late Scott McLeod, who became Ambassador to Ireland, was the son of a Standard Oil tank wagon salesman in Iowa. He entered Grinnell College with $100 borrowed for his tuition. The college owned a good deal of property in the town of Grinnell, and McLeod liked to remember that he earned 35� an hour painting the college-owned houses, upped to 40� when he became a paint mixer.
All in all, the generation that played football in 1936 was made aware pretty early that life was a serious matter regardless of which team won. Vincent Lombardi, who is now the celebrated coach of the Green Bay Packers, did not play high school football in his native Brooklyn until his senior year. Lombardi spent three years as a guard on Fordham's great teams.
Dean Stevenson, who is now Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Pa., had been accepted for West Point when he decided to enter the ministry instead. He became a three-year letterman at Lehigh (as well as the college heavyweight boxing champion) before going on to theological school. Henry Curry Estabrook, who is now president of the Sealright-Oswego Falls Corp., a large manufacturer of paper containers in Syracuse, N.Y., had been forbidden by doctors to play football because of a childhood illness, but he was allowed to turn out for baseball in his freshman year at Hamilton College. The track coach saw him running bases and recruited him for track, after which it was merely a step to playing on the Hamilton football team.
Football in 1936 meant the University of Minnesota. Its great team started the year with an undefeated streak of 24 games (with 17 consecutive victories), and every game was news. Figuring in most of the news was Charles Wilkinson, the son of the head of a large home-financing company in Minneapolis. For the past 15 years Bud Wilkinson has been coach at the University of Oklahoma, where his teams won 12 consecutive undisputed conference championships, six bowl games and 47 consecutive games in five years for the alltime national collegiate record—the record that his University of Minnesota team was trying for in 1936.
Wilkinson was then quarterback. He had moved from the guard position he played in his first two years and in which he would have been certain All-America. Minnesota's first game in 1936 was with Washington. With the score 7-7 in the last quarter, a Washington pass was intercepted on the Minnesota 20. There was an exchange of punts, the Washington kick was fumbled and Minnesota had the ball on the Washington 35. Wilkinson caught a pass that carried to the Washington 20. Another pass on the next play put it over, and Minnesota won 14-7, with the winning streak now 18.
By this time interest was nationwide. But the pressure was increasing. The next week Minnesota ran into an unexpectedly powerful Nebraska team. Again the score was tied 0-0, Nebraska's ball, with only 68 seconds to play. A Nebraska punt sailed comfortably to the Minnesota 28-yard line, where Wilkinson caught it. He ran forward five yards, stopped and suddenly lateraled to Andy Uram, the Minnesota end, who went along the opposite sideline for 73 yards and a touchdown. At the time Wilkinson's lateral was viewed as a remarkable instance of quick thought, almost as brilliant football as was Uram's great run. Was there any particular reason for his decision, he was asked recently. "Well, yes," said Wilkinson thoughtfully. "I was about to be tackled."
The Minnesota undefeated streak stretched to 28 games in 1936 and Northwestern did not look too menacing, especially after Minnesota had beaten Michigan 26-0 and Purdue by a score of 33-0. The game was played at Evanston, with 47,000 people in the stands. "It was a terrible day, rain and mud, a dog-eat-dog affair," said Dr. Stephen Reid, who was running guard on Northwestern's team that day. Dr. Reid is now a noted surgeon, an associate professor of surgery at Northwestern's medical school and physician of the Northwestern team. He was born in Chicago, the seventh son of a Chicago fireman, and was overshadowed in his early years by his older brother John, "the captain of the Loyola University team, who later became a famous criminologist.