"Dirty football!" shouted Arizona supporters. The Tucson Towncats, a downtown group that avidly supports Arizona's football team and whose name is derived from the team's nickname, "Wildcats," rose in arms. Roy Drachman, a former Towncat president, called for breaking off athletic relations with Texas Tech.
"The time has come," he said, "to tell them to go to hell."
The hubbub and the to-do spread. But not, curiously enough, on the campus of the University of Arizona.
"Tech is one of the few good teams we play," said the victim himself, Art Luppino, "and they want to drop it." Wingback Wayne Mancuso said, "I wish they'd stop crying about the game. Tech didn't play any dirtier than any other team we've played. They played it the way it's supposed to be played?hard."
Luppino was back in the line-up the following Saturday against Texas Western. Nobody slugged him. Nobody knocked him out of the game. He gained 108 yards from scrimmage, scored two touchdowns, kicked three extra points. Arizona lost anyway, 41-21.
On Monday, Arizona's head coach, Warren Woodson, was on the grill at the weekly meeting of the Towncats. "Coach," a Towncat asked, "why did we pass on fourth down with two yards to go for a first down on Texas Western's five-yard line?"
All over the country, in spirit, football coaches winced. Woodson answered the question and then, seething, proceeded to do what every football coach in the country has wanted to do at one time or another. He told the downtown alumni off.
"You may not like it," he said, "but you're going to hear the truth. You think you are our supporters. You aren't. You're tearing the team down....I ask that you give us the privilege of coaching our quarterbacks. You have them in such a condition that they're afraid they are going to make a mistake almost every time they call a play....
"I know more about football than anyone here, and I'm smarter about football than you. Stay out of my business so I can do better."
He sat down. The Towncats stared for a moment and then rose as a body and burst into applause.