How Game of Century survived band attack
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How Game of Century survived band attack

Father Hesburgh warned students year before epic 1966 Notre Dame-Michigan State game

Photo: Duffy Daugherty and Ara Parseghian

Let your mind wander to imagine a seminal college football moment matching Notre Dame at Michigan State in the 1966 Game of the Century having not taken place. This is more than a whimsical thought as the teams prepare to meet on the 51st anniversary Saturday night at Michigan State.

It is based on then-Notre Dame president Father Theodore Hesburgh’s threat to shut down the football program — indeed, all of Notre Dame athletics. He made his case in a letter delivered to Notre Dame’s students on the eve of the 1965 Michigan State-Notre Dame game played in South Bend. ... 

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Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom spent the bulk of his career in San DIego writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has covered NCAA Tournaments, Super Bowls, Rose Bowls, the NBA Finals and the World Series in a career that included writing for Voice of San Diego, the San Diego Hall of Champions and Chargers.com. He contributes to the Detroit Free Press, Raleigh News & Observer, MLB.com, Rivals.com and the National Football Foundation's Football Matters. He won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003. USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter presented its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. It explains Duffy Daugherty's pioneering role and debunks myths that steered recognition away from him to Bear Bryant.

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications


David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winner and biographer: "History writes people out of the story. It's our job to write them back in."