SI Vault
 
PAT ON THE BACK
December 13, 1954
Herewith a salute from the editors to men and women of all ages who have fairly earned the good opinion of the world of sport, regardless of whether they have yet earned its tallest headlines
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 13, 1954

Pat On The Back

Herewith a salute from the editors to men and women of all ages who have fairly earned the good opinion of the world of sport, regardless of whether they have yet earned its tallest headlines

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Paul (Pop) Burris, Muskogee, Okla. farmer and stockman, is a rugged, powerful man who looks younger than his 62 years. Oklahomans know Pop not for his crops, but because of his six football-minded sons. They are the apple of Pop's eye and have left an indelible mark on the game in Oklahoma. Pop played some football himself in his youth in Idaho, but he never forced his boys to play. They took to it naturally, and for that Oklahoma University Coach Bud Wilkinson will be forever grateful.

Two of Pop's boys have made All-America at Oklahoma. PAUL (Buddy) BURRIS (top) was honored for his bruising play at guard in 1948. KURT BURRIS (bottom right) has made most 1954 All-America listings and last week was voted runner-up to Wisconsin's Alan Ameche for the Heisman Trophy (outstanding player of the year). After Kurt graduates in June, BOB BURRIS (bottom left) will be on hand to play fullback for Oklahoma next fall. Shown with Pop are the "babies" of his gridiron crop, LYNN (left) and LYLE, 17-year-old twins who are seniors at Muskogee High School. Lynn plays guard and Lyle is a driving fullback. Muskogee Coach Paul Young, who has coached all six sons, says the Burris twins helped make this year's team one of the best he ever coached. As might be expected, the twins hope to go to Oklahoma, and it's a good bet that Oklahoma would love to have them. Pop's sixth son, Don, also starred for Muskogee, but a broken arm restricted his college contribution at Oklahoma to a year of jayvee football.

All the Burris boys are interested in pro football. Buddy played three years for the Green Bay Packers. Kurt hopes to play for the pros and should be able to write his own ticket. Bob will consider pro offers for 1956. In addition to his boys, Pop has five girls, all ardent fans. And lest Coach Wilkinson worry about a scarcity of material in the future, Pop has five grandsons already eying football careers at Oklahoma from their high chairs.

Elijah Austin hunts today at 103 in much the same way he did uncounted years ago. Elijah says he has been hunting every year as far back as he can remember, except 1952, when colds kept him indoors most of the winter. He lives alone in a kerosene-lit farmhouse near Chillicothe, Ohio, in the shadow of Mt. Logan, and still uses an ancient muzzle loader in pursuit of his favorite wild game, rabbits and squirrels. But when snow covers the ground, Elijah makes a modern concession. He tracks rabbits with a .32-caliber pistol.

William A. (Uncle Bill) Lundy hunted Yankees in the Civil War at 16, can still handle a gun pretty well at 106. Bill, one of three surviving veterans of the Confederate Army, was on hand for the opening of the deer season at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., bagged a 140-pound, six-point buck the first day. He attributes his long life to hard work, minding his own business and staying away from doctors. When troubled with the miseries, Bill says, he takes a swig of "skeeter juice," or Florida moonshine, as quick remedy.

1