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Football at the Omaha Medical College, 1900

"The football season of 1900 has closed and the shaggy-haired heroes--the pride and boast of the Omaha Medical College--have laid away their football togs with a feeling of pleasant satisfaction," wrote team manager D. F. Lee in the December 1900 issue of The Pulse, OMC's official journal. "The Omaha Medics have become famous throughout the west and middle west. . . .

"The outlook at the beginning of the season was not very encouraging. The team, though successful in two games late in the previous season, had not as yet achieved a reputation sufficient to be in demand and moreover the treasury was empty. The football accoutrements for playing were poor. I applied to the Faculty to contribute funds to purchase football, sweaters, hose, shoes and other necessary paraphernalia suitable and befitting a team representing the Omaha Medical College. The different members of the Faculty responded generously and with these voluntary contributions I was enabled to purchase elegant purple and gold sweaters, hose, Yale cleat shoes and other accoutrements which have elicited praise and admiration from the people on every public appearance of the team. . . .

"After three games had been played the Omaha Medics had rolled up the proud record of sixty-five points scored to none scored by their opponents. Bellevue, our rival Creighton, and Hastings had quickly followed one another in an attempt to wrest the palm from the victorious Medics." The Sioux City Medics and the Doane Tigers cancelled their matches with OMC because of team injuries, leaving the Omaha Medics to train for the last two games of the season, with Drake University on November 24 and Rush Medical College of Chicago on Thanksgiving Day. The game with Drake did not come off as scheduled, but Lee described the contest with Rush:

"The game was advertised as the stellar attraction of Thanksgiving day in Omaha, and so it was. Despite the fact that cheap rates to Lincoln carried five hundred people down to see the great Nebraska and Minnesota game; despite the game of the Omaha High School and Genoa Indians, that drew a thousand people on the same afternoon here, and despite a crowd of two thousand people at the Council Bluffs-Tabor game in Mat Tinley's home across the muddy, the Omaha Medics had a crowd of two thousand people eager and willing to root for them. The Thanksgiving game was not won, but not a single spectator complained, because they saw a fine clean football game, which had enough sensational playing in it to keep them on the alert."


(November 1999)



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