Mystery of the unknown Austin football game solved?

Everything about the picture seemed a bit off.


One of our favorite Facebook pages is titled “Austin As It Used To Be.” Public members — who number 2,655 — post mostly old pictures of our city along with memories, questions and answers.

Jolene Haney posted an image — linked to a Portal to Texas History page — described as “Photograph of football players sitting on the sidelines at an Austin football game.”

Creator: Unknown. Date: Unknown.

My quick response: “Almost surely House Park Field. Almost surely Austin High School Maroons. Almost surely before 1965.”

That said, several things bothered me. The players look awfully manly for a high school team. And the coaches look pretty dressy. Not only that, the team is totally relaxed. Is this instead a practice?

Maroon alumnus Scotty Sayer: “That’s a tough one, Michael. Because of the angle, I can’t find any landmark to indicate it’s House Park and the stands at House Park almost come down to ground level, unlike these … always have as far as I know. Based on uniforms, equipment and the kid and gentlemen in the suit, I’d say it could be early ’50s.”

Forrest Preece: “I agree Scotty. I don’t recall coaches wearing suits and hats in our era.”

Andy Rogers paid attention to the helmets that he dated to the 1930s.

Then there’s the issue of the building in the distance. Old Austin High? Old band hall? Old gym? Pease Elementary?

The angle of the shot tended to argue against all these suppositions.

Then James Roy Walker found the exact same picture in “Legends of the Mean Green: Circa 1940s,” a digital exhibition, with the caption “Photograph of North Texas football team on the sidelines in the the 1940s.”

That would explain the older players, dressy coaches and a decade that feels right. Also, other shots of the UNT stadium from that era match pretty closely.

At this point, almost nothing about the tantalizing original caption appears correct.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

TEXAS DIGEST: Ex-President George H.W. Bush is out of intensive care

HOUSTON Bush out of ICU; doctors pleased A family spokesman says former President George H.W. Bush is out of intensive care. Spokesman Jim McGrath said Wednesday that the 93-year-old former president has been moved to a regular patient room and is expected to remain at Houston Methodist Hospital for “several more days.” Bush is being treated...
What you need to know about early voting before the May 5 election
What you need to know about early voting before the May 5 election

Early voting started this week and ends Tuesday before the May 5 election day. Here’s what you need to know: 1. What’s on the ballot? Races in Central Texas cover the spectrum of city council, school district and city proposition elections. The cities of Bee Cave, Cedar Park, Lakeway, Leander, Liberty Hill and Wimberley are all electing...
These two police departments got new dogs and they’re incredibly cute
These two police departments got new dogs and they’re incredibly cute

The Austin Police Department and the University of Texas Police Department each have new officers . . . the four-legged kind. APD’s bomb squad got a new German shorthaired pointer, who doesn’t yet have a name -- but we can confirm that he looks like a Very Good Boy. RELATED: Pflugerville shelter dog joins Commerce ISD...
JUST IN: Homelessness in Austin, Travis County rises 5 percent
JUST IN: Homelessness in Austin, Travis County rises 5 percent

Homelessness in Austin and Travis County has increased by 5 percent compared with last year, according to an annual count by the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition. In January, about 550 volunteers spread throughout the city and county to count people experiencing homelessness. Volunteers counted people in cars, tents, parks, under bridges and...
Taylor man threatened wife, held knife to his throat, deputies say
Taylor man threatened wife, held knife to his throat, deputies say

Williamson County deputies arrested a Taylor man who threatened his wife Wednesday and later held a knife to his throat when authorities confronted him, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said. The incident happened around noon at a house in the 400 block of Mockingbird Lane in Taylor, sheriff’s spokeswoman Patricia Gutierrez said. Deputies from the...
More Stories