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All in all, trains were better in the '30s, and so were newspapers, swimming holes, cafeterias, shade trees, bicycles, corn bread, drive-ins, doughnuts, candy bars, picnics, oceans, skies, parades, dust storms, rodeos, Christmases and tap dancing.
Football was better because college football was the major league. Pro football consisted largely of a group of second-class citizens waddling around in the baseball parks of blue-collar cities.
The pros were already astute in the art of offensive holding, but they were pushovers for a Sam Baugh, fresh out of TCU. He led the College All-Stars to victory over the Green Bay Packers, and then he became the All-Pro quarterback in his rookie year while taking the Washington Redskins to the NFL championship. Until Sam Baugh, pro football in Texas was a one-paragraph story on the third page of the Monday sports section.
Meanwhile, college football was glamorous, mysterious, important.
Every team in the country had its own look, and the players dressed properly. If a player had shown up for a game in a fishnet jersey cut off at the rib cage, he'd have been thrown in the slammer for indecent exposure.
Nobody wore a face mask, and the gladiators were expected to play offense and defense, quite often, like Sam Baugh, for 60 minutes.
No two college teams ran the same offense. Their coaches had names like Dutch, Jock, Tiny, Pop, Bernie, Biff, Stub, Clipper, Pappy and Slip, and they all developed a variation of the single wing, double wing, triple wing, spread, short punt and box formations. They used shifts, men in motion, unbalanced lines, tricky reverses, daring laterals, statues, flickers, shovel passes, buttonhooks and long passes, which weren't called "bombs" yet because World War II hadn't started.
The modern T formation was still an idea that Clark Shaughnessy would shape up when he was with the Chicago Bears and take with him to Frankie Albert and Stanford in 1940.
I wasn't old enough in those days for a grownup to let go of my hand in TCU's big concrete stadium on the campus, a stadium that held at least 24,000 camel's-hair overcoats and Stetson hats at the time, but I was already aware of a phenomenal blessing.