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1963 Beat Army Helmet (Vegas)

Item # 1963BEATARMY

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The '62 Navy offense was their "standard" offense but for 1963, the staff restructured it to better suit Staubach's running abilities. They won eight of the first nine games, losing only to SMU 32-28 and Staubach was nothing short of great. He received a lot of help from FB Pat Donnelly (613 rush yards), flanker Ed "Skip" Orr who was perhaps Navy's best ever flanker, and RB Johnny Sai, the team's fastest player. Jim Freeman and Pat Philbin manned the tackles and again, it was Tom Lynch as the center and noseguard who later became the Superintendent Of The Academy, who was outstanding in the middle of the action. Lynch's brother was Jim Lynch who Navy could not recruit because the priests at Central Catholic High School in Lima, Ohio would not allow the Navy coaches to see him, instead hiding him for the Notre Dame coaches where he later starred before playing eleven seasons for the KC Chiefs. Staubach of course, was the year's sensation in college football. He finished the storied season with 1892 yards in total offense, 1474 passing yards, 107 pass completions, and a single-game total offense mark of 307 yards against Michigan, all Navy records. His leadership and daring won the Heisman and Maxwell Trophies as a junior and little luster was lost on his individual accomplishments when number-two Navy, fell to number-one Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Although Texas easily handled the Midshipmen who were emotionally drained from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy who was a staunch fan and companion of the team 28-6, Staubach completed twenty-one passes. For the Army game, all of the participants entered the field of play with a heavy heart. President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated on November 22nd and the Army-Navy game scheduled for the following weekend was postponed and then, at the request of Mrs. Kennedy, rescheduled for December 7th. The usual pre-game pageantry was muted with little more than Captains Lynch of Navy and Dick Nowak of Army meeting in the center of the field. Navy's 21-15 victory could have easily gone Army's way although they were faced with overcoming Pat Donnelly's three TD's and the usual exciting play of Staubach. The fifth straight victory over Army hinged upon the Cadets' failure to get a play off when they were but two yards away from springing what would have been a huge upset for the twelve-point underdog Black Knights. The win sealed the belief of many that Hardin should have been named Coach Of The Year although some were more taken with his continuing flamboyance. Once again he decorated the Navy helmets for their special rivalry game, this time with a vertically aligned "Beat Army" logo on the front of each gold helmet, and a player's name plate placed horizontally across the rear with all of the lettering in dark navy blue for maximal contrast.
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