Columbia University is honoring 150 years of its football program. In a year without Ivy League football due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s certainly a nice treat to read articles on the all-time Lions teams and players. As loyal readers of our blog know, it was a former Columbia University football player — arguably the greatest Columbia football player in history — who cheered on the birth of our business nearly thirty years ago. His name was Cliff Montgomery. He was the quarterback and MVP of the Rose Bowl-winning 1934 Columbia squad that upset mighty Stanford in Pasadena on New Year’s Day. He later played professional football and served as a college football referee for many years, officiating more Army-Navy games than, we believe, anyone. More significantly, in World War II, he pulled his flagship alongside a burning destroyer in rough seas of the Pacific theater and saved hundreds of Americans sailors. He was also our dear friend and longtime next-door neighbor. He brought us ice cream sundaes from Carvel every year on birthdays.
So when Columbia posted this video of the 1934 Rose Bowl, we were very moved. You see, we knew the play-by-play of so much of this game, including the famous KF-79 trick play — much of it recounted by Cliff — but we’d never seen the footage for ourselves…until now. So to see these plays with our own eyes, to hear Cliff’s name called by the announcer, wow oh wow. Check out the Columbia University Lions claim the 1934 Rose Bowl title below. It’s something to see.
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