No Ball? No Problem

When Stanford organized its first football team in 1892, mighty California (University of California, Berkeley) challenged them to a game.  Stanford’s freshly minted football manager purchased new uniforms on credit, rented a stadium for $250, and had thousands of tickets printed, selling at $2 each.  Despite having sold all the tickets, fans kept coming, and by the time the game started thousands of people filled the stadium, with thousands more jammed into driveways surrounding the field.  The teams finally took the field, but the young team manager had forgotten one small detail –  the football!!!

The freshman manager, in a panic, asked the sporting goods dealer who had sold him the uniforms, to ride into town (horseback in those days), but he couldn’t find a football.  He did, however, find a bladder for a punching bag, stuck it inside a pigskin, bought it, and an hour later returned to the field.  Misshapen as the ball was, they played the game and Stanford, in a major upset, won 14-10.  That enterprising young team manager would later go on to become President of the United States. His name was Herbert Hoover.