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The 1942 Season Through The Words Of The Past, 9/25/1942

Matt Gutridge's picture
September 25, 2017 at 6:30am

2017 is the 75th anniversary of Ohio State's first national championship season. To honor the achievement, this series will post articles from the Columbus Citizen Journal on the day they ran in 1942.

"Big Train" Moody Rams Like a Freight Train
Bruising "Big Train" Moody, former Morris-Brown fullback, who was a brilliant fullback while in college, will test the defenses of Ohio State tomorrow when he holds down the same position on the Ft. Knox eleven. He's a Pittsburgh lad who weighs 212 pounds and wears the number 88.

The day before the season opener against Ft. Knox, The Citizen Journal had two pieces on the Buckeyes. What is interesting is that the main preview was placed on the second page of Sports. On Page 1? A national article by Oscar Fraley in which he picks the teams he thinks will win over the weekend.

Let's start the with Page 2.


The 1942 Ohio State football team appeared to have reached both a physical and a mental conditioning that approached perfection with the closing of yesterday's practice session, last full workout before the season's opening with Ft. Knox tomorrow.

That drill itself was shortened from the customary two hours or more to a mere hour and 15 minutes and the starting squad fairly bubbled over with pep, enthusiasm and chatter as it finished up the pre-game work with an exhibition of smooth, clever ball-handling in running a few of the offensive formations.

In addition to shortening the time of the practice, Coach Brown stayed well away from any heavy contact work as he opened the season with a short, sharp workout for the passers and punters; led the squad in calisthenics; directed a concentrated practice on pass defense and offense and closed with a short dummy tag scrimmage.

If you have ever been to an Urban Meyer run practice, you know that every moment is scripted down to the second. There's a running clock and when the buzzer sounds, the players hustle to their next station.

I wonder what the pace was for Paul Brown's practices? What were the other players doing while the "passers and punters" had the field? Were they stretching? Running? Sitting (smoking) on the sideline?

I also like that the practice ended with a game of two-hand tag. I imagine the second telephone pole on the left marked one end zone and the trashcan on the other side of the field marked the other.

Short Drill

At the close of practice, Brown said that the squad would be on the field for only about 15 minutes this afternoon --- just long enough to work up a good sweat before retiring to the Columbus Country Club for the night. The players will return to the campus shortly before game time tomorrow.

I'm not sure about you, but I'm not a big fan of the team staying at the CCC. The place is a bit posh and I think it would soften the team. I'd rather read that the gridders were staying at rundown houses in the Miller-Kelton area. Places without enough beds and holes in the ceilings. Treat the players like dogs and see them bite the next morning. Then again, I guess that's why I'm not in a position to be in charge of young men.

Short Drill (cont.)

At the same time, "PeeBee" named the specialists who will play the leading roles in the game Saturday. Passing duties will fall to the two starting halfbacks and to two of the better reserve halfbacks with Paul Sarringhaus, Les Horvath, Tommy James and George Slusser all expected to get a chance at the throwing duties.

One of the main problems so far has been that of finding a reliable punter. During the past few sessions, Les Horvath has shown a great deal of improvement along this line and he will handle the kicking shores so long as Tom Cleary is not on the field. Cleary is the best punter on the squad, but is not in the starting lineup.

Remember, at this time the players on the field would not come off. They played offense, defense and special teams. Can you imagine if J.T. Barrett had to punt because Drue Chrisman wasn't on the field? It would be a game changer.

Two of those names at listed at halfback should jump out at you. If not, you will be familiar with them as the season progresses.

Dugger May Start

Jack Dugger may get the starting nod in order that he might handle the kickoff duties but it is more likely that Charley Csuri, regular right tackle, will toe the ball into play. For the points after touchdown, however, Gene Fekete, first string fullback, will do the booting.

Captain and regular quarterback George Lynn will direct the offense of the team while center Bill Vickroy, one of two starting seniors, will call the defensive signals. When these two men are resting on the bench, their duties will fall to their substitutes, Paul Priday, the "West Jefferson Express," and Gordon Appleby, one of Brown's former pupils at Massillon, respectively. 

You may know the right tackle, Charley Csuri, better as Chuck Csuri. He was the inspiration for the 2010 team to wear the 1942 throw-back jerseys with the Bronze Star on the helmet. Mr. Csuri later became a professor at Ohio State and was a pioneer in computer graphics. 

Duggar May Start (cont.)

Although Dante Lavellli, first string right end, will definitely not be in the starting lineup, there is a slight chance that he may break into the game for a short time. X-rays of his injured leg taken yesterday cleared up all fears that he might be suffering from some injury worse than a charleyhorse. The leg is now responding to treatment, even if it is only slowly coming into good shape, and Lavelli might be available.

The other injured end, John White of River Rouge, Mich., has been almost entirely out of action through most of the practice season and will still be forced to see the fame from the sideline. 

The Armoraiders were scheduled to arrive in town shortly after noon today and go to the Ohio Stadium for a short workout before settling down for the night in the Deshler-Wallick Hotel.


The front page piece by Oscar Fraley didn't have much on the Buckeyes, other than saying they were favored over the smaller service team. The big game for the weekend was TCU taking on UCLA.

Today's Old School Alcohol Advertisement:

Red Cap

"It's Name proclaims its fame" is the slogan Carling's Red Cap Ale hung its brand on. At the bottom of the ad it appears "Famous for 100 years" is written. That may have been the case for old Red Cap Ale in 1942, but it's certainly not the case today.

It would have been wiser if Carling's relied on the taste of the ale to proclaim its fame rather than its name. Then again, ratebeer.com gives Red Cap Ale 1 out of 5 stars and a 9% rating.

youtube commercial from the 1950s:

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FT. KNOX 9/22/42 9/23/42 9/24/42        

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