11 Richard Nixon College Football Moments

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The previous post revealed some of Richard Nixon's ties to professional football. Even though Ronald Reagan has forever been associated with college football because of his sportcasting and Gipper role in 1940's Knute Rockne All American, you can make the case that Trickie Dick was even more closely intertwined with the collegiate gridiron. In honor of Nixon's other jersey number (23), we present 11 of his college football moments (as 11 plus 12 for the pro football moments equals 23).

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Yorba Linda-born Nixon was known as a fearless but ineffectual Poet on Whittier College's second football team in the early 1930s. When he entered the game, one teammate later observed, "everyone knew a 5-yard penalty was coming up. Richard had such determination to win that he would rush ahead before the play started. I knew he'd be offside just about every play." Nixon was recognized as "the most spirited warmer on the team."

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George Allen in the hot seat.
At a 1951 NCAA banquet in New York City, guest speaker and then-California Congressman Nixon met George Allen, who'd just completed a championship season coaching Whittier College's football team. After congratulating Allen for guiding Nixon's alma mater to a 9-1 season, the politician talked Xs and Os and began a lifetime friendship.

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Harry Dent, southern strategist
Harry Dent, the White House liaison with southern members of Congress, on Oct. 6, 1969, suggested to by then President Nixon's Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman that the commander-in-chief attend a football game in the South to build goodwill in the region. The "Southern Pigskin Strategy?"

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All they were saying was give peace a chance.
"The Moratorium" anti-war rally brought 250,000 protestors to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15, 1969. Nixon marked the day watching the Ohio State-Purdue football game. You can almost hear him yelling, "Tell those goddamn hippies to pipe down, I'm trying to watch a game in here!"


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