Yale's Ironmen: A Story of Football & Lives In the Decade of the Depression & Beyondby William N. Wallace
Princeton and Rutgers played the first game, in 1869. But it was at Yale where football evolved and no institution has a more meaty history of the sport. Yale was the first college to record 800 victories, that milestone reached in the year 2000. Sixty-six years before, a more significant triumph came unexpectedly to the Bulldogs on Princeton's field and from that contest emerged Yale's Ironmen.
They were supposed to lose by at least three touchdowns to an undefeated opponent being touted as a Rose Bowl candidate. The eleven Yale starters played all 60 minutes, an uncommon feat never duplicated thereafter in major college football.
The game was played against the background of the Depression. Yet Princeton's Palmer Stadium was full that warm November afternoon for the first time in six years. 'I guess people wanted to get their minds off their troubles," said the Yale quarterback, Jerry Roscoe, who threw the winning touchdown pass to Larry Kelley, the latter the first winner of the Heisman Trophy.
How did this game, this success, affect the lives of those eleven men of iron? Who were they? What happened, as World War II descended and snared them?
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