Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2017 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 18 of 63 MAY 2017 19 UNDER THE DOME 50 Years Ago: May 6, 1967 The final "Old-Timers Game" in Notre Dame history is played in style with both Sports Illustrated and ABC-TV covering the event — the latter to compete against The Kentucky Derby on another network. Fresh off Notre Dame's first consensus national title in 17 years, third-year head coach Ara Parseghi- an's varsity easily handles the "Old-Timers" in a 39-0 victory. Among the returnees are 1953 Heisman winner halfback Johnny Lattner for one punt, No. 2 NFL pick George Izo at quarterback, halfback Bill "Red" Mack — who just retired from the NFL after winning a Super Bowl ring at Green Bay — and for- mer offensive tackle Gus Cifelli, who makes a brief appearance in his 18th and final "Old-Timers" event. Helping make the game barely competitive are the graduating seniors who fill out the lineup for the "Old-Timers." However, they don't include top pro prospects for 1967 such as linemen Alan Page, Pete Duranko and Tom Regner, linebacker Jim Lynch and running back Nick Eddy. Thus, the following year (1968), it inspires Parseghian to turn the spring finale into the Blue-Gold Game where returning varsity players scrimmage against each other to make it a more productive practice setting. The most surprising part of the 1967 event is for the first and only time we can ever recall, a head coach publicly proclaims that recruiting this year was mainly a bust. In an interview with Sports Illus- trated, Parseghian implies that maybe complacency hurt the Fighting Irish. "Suddenly we woke up in April [National Signing Day was in the spring back then] and realized we hadn't signed many of the boys we were really after," Parseghian said. "Some of them we were after for two years. Concerned? You're damn right I was concerned. I was alarmed." Among the 31 players signed was a late and desperate bid for a relatively unheralded figure who had originally planned to attend North Carolina State: South River, N.J., quarterback Joe Theismann, who was listed a generous 163 pounds in the game program. Among those 31 recruits signed in 1967, fourth-round selection Theismann would be the only one who would play in the NFL. Fortunately, Parseghian and Co. would sign one of their better classes the following season. 45 Years Ago: May 6, 1972 Coming off the 1971 season in which three different quarterbacks started while succeeding the gradu- ated Theismann — and Notre Dame finished outside the Associated Press top 10 for the first time in Parseghi- an's eight years — the Irish find a diamond there in the fifth annual Blue-Gold Game. Freshman quarterback Tom Cle- ments, ineligible in 1971 because it was the NCAA's final season of not al- lowing freshmen to play, wows an au- dience of 18,589 in the spring finale. The top three quarterbacks re- turning from 1971 — incumbent Cliff Brown, Pat Steenberge and Jim Bulger (father of future NFL quarter- back Marc Bulger) — are a combined 2-of-15 passing for 19 yards, and add 18 rushing yards. Meanwhile, in six drives during the 54-0 win by the No. 1 Blue team, Cle- ments directs six touchdowns, com- pleting 7 of 10 pass attempts for 107 yards with one touchdown (13 yards to tight end Mike Creaney), and adds 95 rushing yards and three touch- downs on 11 carries — highlighted by a 52-yard score in which he broke several tackles. — Lou Somogyi Anniversaries In Notre Dame Football History: May BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PO Box 2331 Durham, NC 27702 1-800-421-7751 DELIVERY LIMITED TO CONTINENTAL U.S. PLEASE ADD SALES TAX FOR ITEMS SHIPPING TO: (NC 7.5%, IN 7%, MI 6%) (Item #6622) GRILL MAT $49.95 + FREE S&H (Item #6620) SPORTULA SALE! $17.95 + $6.50 S&H (Reg. $24.95 + S&H) (Item #6621) CUSTOM GRILL COVERS Recycled, mold-resistant, breathable vinyl with drawstring bottom. Logo printed with UV-resistant ink. AVAILABLE IN 2 SIZES & 3 LOGOS: Small: 55" wide x 36" tall x 21" deep $51.95 + $15.00 S&H Large: 66" wide x 36" tall x 21" deep $54.95 + $15.00 S&H Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. Grill covers are made to order and shipped direct from the manufacturer. Quarterback Tom Clements, ineligible in 1971 because he was a freshman, impressed the audience in his first Blue- Gold Game by leading six touchdown drives in the Blue team's 54-0 win over the Gold. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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