Army Lore – 7

Red Smith, Duke’s All American breaks free heading for the TD

Real Concern

Bob has him,down at the 7. Army held for 4 downs taking over inches from the goal line. It was the season of Army’s “Return to Glory”

At 17 there are things locked in your mind forever. When his Assistant Football Coach returned from a Touchdown Club meeting to tell him he had just watched film of the greatest runner in the nation take the ball on the first snap for an 81 yard touchdown against Notre Dame; he did not realize that as a Yearling two years later he would stand on the same field as a teammate of that running back. He would go on to earn The Most Valuable Player Award his Firstie Year.

He took the handoff; going off tackle for 93 yards and the TD. Years later Colonel Blaik would say that his run against Navy was the Greatest Thrill he had in all the years of coaching.

Col Blaik said good fellows are a dime a dozen, but an aggressive leader is priceless. General MacArthur said it would take 10 years. At that time the pessimistic mood at West Point was pervasive both on and off the Team. Coach Blaik had picked him. Faced with an insurmountable challenge he drove his teammates to excellence.  His leadership transformed the team and gave it the confidence and capability that the sum totals of its individual athletic skills just could not achieve. He use tell his team mates “the Army Team had about 2400 members and we (the players) were only the Saturday afternoon representatives”.  Editors note – with all that Team achieved due to his leadership on the field, he was wrong. When the Army Team steps onto the field it represents the nearly 44,000 living graduates, no, the Army Team represents every member of the Long Gray Line.
Ambassador Hoffman’s Letter to the Army Hall of Fame Board

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