Strange But True: Warm-up for the Warpath

The full name for the school was the Indian Industrial Institute of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It came to be known merely as Carlisle. Two immortals of football will forever be associated with Carlisle: Jim Thorpe, who played there; and Glenn Scobey “Pop” Warner, who coached there. The tiny school often tore up opposing football powers with great ease. In part it was due to the play of such great stars as Thorpe, Chief Redwater, Fraid-of-a-Bear, Little Boy Calac, and Black Bear. And Pop Warner was one of the great coaches of all time. He knew football. And he knew how to deliver a good, old-fashioned pep talk.

Once, before a game against favored Army, Warner really inspired his team. The sly psychologist said, “From the shores of the Little Bighorn to the banks of Wounded Knee Creek, the spirits of your people call to you. The men who died in Chief Joseph’s retreat over the mountains, the Cherokees who marched on bleeding feet through the snow of their ancestral lands, tell you that you must win. These men [he referred to Army] are soldiers. They are the Long Knives. You are the Indians. Today we will know whether or not you are warriors!”

The Carlisle Indians took the field and overwhelmed the Army team from West Point by a big margin.

From The Giant Book of More Strange But True Sports Stories by Howard Liss. Illustrations by Joe Mathieu.

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When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.

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