Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Picture Day

TigerBlog received an email from Hungary earlier this week.

It was a request for a picture of the Gogolak brothers, the ones who fled Hungary in 1956 and came to the United States, where they ultimately, among other things, became the first soccer-style placekickers in the NFL.

The first-ever soccer-style placekicker was actually Fred Bednarski, who kicked a 40-yard soccer style field goal for Texas against Arkansas in 1957. Bednarski, who was born in Poland, was a little more than a decade removed from a Nazi concentration camp when he made football history. 

Bednarski's field goal was the only one of his career. The Gogolak brothers turned the experiment into an art form, and both would go from Hungary to upstate New York to the Ivy League (Charlie at Princeton, Pete at Cornell) and then ultimately to the NFL. 

The request for the picture was for a podcast that was being turned into a book. TB could not find the picture that the author requested, but he did have a few others of Gogolak, including this one:


As it turned out, TB would spend about an hour looking on the OAC server for the picture. Along the way, he found all kinds of random stuff. 

Many of the pictures weren't labeled as anything other than a number or some sequence of numbers and letters. There are probably several thousand of these pictures on the server, and TB could have spent all day going through all of these images. 

They literally span every decade, every sport, in absolutely no order at all.

And that makes today Picture Day. 

For instance, there's this one:

 That's Charlie Gogolak on a field goal attempt. More interestingly, there's the Dartmouth player (TB is pretty sure that's Dartmouth) who is looking to block it.

As you can see, No. 38 has launched himself off a teammate's back to get as high in the air as he could. Would you rather be the airborne guy (who is pretty high up there and has to land somewhere) or the launch pad guy (presumably he has cleat marks on his back)? 

Also, this is now illegal. TB isn't sure when the rule changed, but you're not allowed to propel yourself off a teammate. One last thing - doesn't it look like if the defense lined up like this, it opens the outside nicely for a fake? 

That's not the only cool picture TB found.

There's this one as well:


This one begs a few questions. First, why are both teams wearing dark uniforms? Second, why is only one team wearing numbers?

Princeton is the team with the Tiger stripe sleeves and no numbers (on the front, at least).

The picture is from the 1931 Princeton-Michigan game in Palmer Stadium. Michigan won the game 21-0.

TB at first thought that the picture included future U.S. President Gerald Ford, but it turns out that 1931 was his freshman year at Michigan. Princeton played the following year in Ann Arbor, in a game Michigan won 14-7, and Ford played against the Tigers in that one. He'd also go on to be a first-team All-American.

Even without a future President of the United States, it's still a cool picture. So is this one:

That's the women's basketball team on its trip to Senegal in the summer of 2011. TB took great pride in the fact that he successful ID'd everyone in the picture. He even gets extra credit for the two on the end on the right side - team managers Jordyn Seni and Amanda Roman.

That trip, which included a stop in Paris, predated a season that saw the Tigers go 24-5 overall and 14-0 in the Ivy League before falling to Kansas State 67-64 in the NCAA tournament. 

Niveen Rasheed, who is the fourth from the right in the picture, was coming back from her knee injury that had wiped out more than half of her 2010-11 season. She would win the 2012 Ivy League Player of the Year Award, as well as the 2013 award.

Princeton would win the Ivy League title in each of the four seasons of the Class of 2013. 

And then TB will leave you with this picture as well:

This picture was taken at the final horn of a 4-1 win over UConn in the 1998 NCAA semifinals at Franklin Field. The Tigers fell 3-2 to Old Dominion two days later in the final.

There is a color version of this picture somewhere. It's one of the best celebration shots at Princeton that TB has seen. 

Maybe he'll spend the rest of the day trying to find it. Who knows what else he might find.

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