Just think about… Florida’s Tim Tebow takes the snap… sprints down the line, looking to option maybe Ohio States Beanie Wells on the dive inside… or maybe kick it outside to Michigan’s Mike Hart…or maybe stop short and try to hit Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech on a crossing route over the middle…no, the Heisman quarterback decides to keep the ball, turns up field and is hit by New England Patriots Linebacker Tedy Bruschi.
How could this happen….? Well there was a time when this sort of thing was possible and it is all covered in great detail in “Football’s Stars of Summer: A History of the College All-Star Football Game Series of 1934-1976” by Raymond Schmidt.
My hope is that you will take the time find and read this book or at least look into this story in some detail…Schmidt’s book covers this series year by year and begins with a short and sweet eight page intro into the how’s, who’s , and why’s of the series. The concept was simple…take the best college players in the nation and match them with top professional team from the pervious year. Sound like this might be rather one-sided….not at all, at least not at first. Remember, there was a time when college football almost rivaled major league baseball as the source of national sporting interest and it certainly out paced the pro game for decades. Consider how this event unfolded in the first five contests:
1934: College All Stars 0 Chicago Bears 0
1935: Chicago Bears 5 College All Stars 0
1936: College All Stars 7 Detroit Lions 7
1937: College All Stars 6 Green Bay Packers 0
1938: College All Stars 28 Washington Redskins 16
Schmidt covers the entire series and includes a number of great appendices:
Appendix A: Yearly Scores
Appendix B: College All Star Head Coaches
Appendix C: College All Star MVPs for Each Game
Appendix D: College All Star Team Captains
Appendix E: Yearly Team Rosters by Player, School, and Position
The thing that has always caught my eye has been the college uniforms from this contest. They are both rare and beautiful and can make for the center piece of any collection. Along the way you will also find any number of other associated collectables such as pennants, programs, and ticket stubs.
Getting back to Schmidt’s delightful tome, if it has a drawback, it is clearly probably a small one and may only be for me…but I was hoping that the team rosters contained player uniform numbers. When these jerseys show up, which is not that often, it would be nice to know the endless possibilities of what great player might have worn them…some of this can information can be garnered and a guess ventured by trying to date the tagging used in the uniforms…like I said, small issue when you consider all that this book does offer.
The book, originally published in 2001, can still be found by going to:
Entering a search for Football’s Stars of Summer. The list price is $58.65 and worth every penny of it. I could not find the book on E-Bay which tells me that the folks that have bought, are likely to consider it a “keeper”…I know I do.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC