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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

Sunday, March 13 2005

Frank Charney. Click for profile.Glenn Davis,
Army football star

Recently I noticed with interest the death of Glenn Davis, age 80, a Heisman Trophy winner, who played for the Army football team during the World War II years. With his teammate, Felix (Doc) Blanchard, both formed what is regarded as the greatest backfield duo in college football history. Mr. Davis was termed "Mr. Outside" for his end sweeps and great open field running. Meanwhile, "Doc" Blanchard, at 210-pounds (lightweight by today's standards), was "Mr. Inside" for his punishing pounding of the middle of opposing lines.

Glenn Davis, left,
and 'Doc' Blanchard

In three seasons at West Point (1944-1946) their Army teams were undefeated and had a 27-0-1 record. The one tie was a memorable scoreless tie in 1946 with Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium. Before the advent of television, I recall listening to the game with my ears glued to the radio and with mounting tension within me on every play, hoping that the Irish would dominate that day. On one particular play, my heart leaped when Blanchard broke into the clear with the Notre Dame quarterback, Johnny Lujack (from Connellsville, Pa.), the only obstacle in Blanchard's path towards scoring a touchdown. With God naturally being on the Irish side, Lujack tackled Blanchard single-handedly in the open field to prevent him from scoring a touchdown. (See this webpage for description of that game.)

Blanchard won the Heisman Trophy, the top college football award, in 1945. Mr. Davis won it in 1946 after finishing second the two previous years. Together, they hold the most career touchdowns by a college duo, with 94. Mr. Davis scored 59 of these touchdowns. The Army coach, "Red" Blaik, called him "the greatest, most dangerous running back in the history of the game." With movie-star looks, Glenn Davis, a Californian, agreed to attend the Military Academy at West Point only if his twin brother, Ralph, was admitted. As a 1943 West Point freshman, his start was disheartening when he was dismissed because of poor academics. He was reinstated after doing remedial work.

Glenn Davis was an all around athlete, excelling also in baseball and basketball. He and Blanchard were offered lucrative professional football contracts but the Secretary of the Army refused to release Davis from his three-year military commitment. He served three years as an infantry officer. He finally did play for the Los Angeles Rams in 1950 and 1951, but damaged ligaments to his knees prevented him from becoming the football player that he once was.

He was linked in a highly publicized romance with Liz Taylor and was married to actress Terry Moore from 1951 to 1953. His career was spent as a newspaper executive in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Blanchard became an Air Force officer and today lives near San Antonio, Texas.

Davis' first wife died in 1995 and he remarried again to the widow of Alan Ameche, another great football star. His twin brother, Ralph, died in January, 2005.

Burial will take place on March 18 at the US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., the site of his many outstanding exploits on the gridiron.

— Frank Charney 


Irish jokes

Michael Hoolihan was courting Frances Phelan. The young couple sat in the parlor of the girl's house night after night, much to the annoyance of old man Phelan. One night, he couldn"t take any more. Standing at the top of the stairs, he yelled down, "What's that young fella doin' here all hours of the night?" "Why, Dad, " said Frances, "Michael was just telling me everything that's in his heart!" "Well, next time," roared Phelan, "just let him tell you what's in his head, and it won't take half as long!"

Sent by Trudy Myers

Thought for today

Christian one-liners
Peace starts with a smile.

Sent by Carl Essex  

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