Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mighty Mites: Top All-Time Texas Football Story


It happened between 73 and 83 years ago, and today the story, Mighty Mites capture the hearts of Americans, ranked #31 in the list of the Top 100 Top North Texas Football Memories. Nearly 750,000 votes were cast in the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee's "Century in the Making" project, which was set up to find the top 100 football moments.

High School football began in Texas with the "Interscholastic League" formation in 1913. That Same year, the "Texas Interscholastic Athletic Association" or the "TIAA" was formed for College athletics in Texas and over the next few years schools like Texas, Texas A&M, SMU, TCU, Baylor, Rice and a little known school in Brownwood ,Texas, Howard Payne University all joined in.

Rusty Russell began playing football at Howard Payne Academy (high school level) in 1913 and that year the University of Texas won the TIAA Football Championship for colleges. Russell eventually began playing at Howard Payne University lettering in football, basketball, baseball and track. He captained the football and basketball teams and was All Conference in both of those sports. His Howard Payne football team won the TIAA conference Championship in 1921 and he was named best all around athlete at Howard Payne later his senior year when he graduated in 1922.

With all of those years of High School, College and Pro (lest we forget our Cowboys), there was certainly no shortage of great moments. When you consider that TCU won the NCAA National Championship in Football in 1935 and 1938, and rival SMU won 3 National Championships - one in the mid 1930's, and again in 1981 and 1982. Then of course The University of Texas has 4 National titles (1963, 1969, 1970, 2005), that's enough to fill at least 100 top memories. You would have to add in there Hall of Famer Slingin' Sammy Baugh from TCU, and several Heisman Trophy winners , among them Davy O'Brien at TCU and Doak Walker at SMU (who was coached by Rusty Russell at both high school and college levels). How about LaDanian Tomlinson from TCU or Eric Dickerson at SMU? One would have to throw in the 5 SUPERBOWL Championships for the Dallas Cowboys. That then opens the door for the on field heroics of Dandy Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and the list goes on.

It is a legendary story that everyone loves. How could you not?

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