222-0 -- A score that lives in infamy
As years go, 1916 was pretty eventful. The Boy Scouts of America came into being, the Chicago Cubs played their first game at a ballpark that would become Wrigley Field, the National Park Service was created and Georgia Tech scored a 222-0 victory over Cumberland in college football.
Friday, Oct. 7 marks the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated contest in Atlanta.
Cumberland, at the time a Presbyterian school, had discontinued its football program following the conclusion of the 1915 season.
Apparently, all the opponents on the 2016 scheduled were notified of Cumberland dropping football with one exception -- Georgia Tech.
On the heels of a 22-0 Cumberland baseball win over Georgia Tech earlier in 2016 year, Engineer football (and baseball) coach John Heisman was intent on Cumberland honoring the existing contract to play that fall in Atlanta.
The scheduling agreement called for Cumberland to pay Georgia Tech $3,000 if its football team did not play.
Back in the day, writing an unexpected $3,000 check would have put the struggling school in a world of financial trouble, perhaps even forcing Cumberland to close.
George Allen, manager of the 2015 team and still enrolled as a law student at Cumberland, was tasked with throwing a team together to fulfill the terms of the contract.
Lebanon native Sam Hatcher has written a fictionalized book, "Heisman's First Trophy" detailing the background behind the game itself and the efforts of Allen to put a team on the field against the mighty Engineers in the hopes of saving his beloved Cumberland from financial ruin.
Hatcher is a Cumberland Junior College graduate and is former local journalist -- having headed both The Wilson Post and the Lebanon Democrat.
The novel also includes a look back at Cumberland's 1903 team that defeated Tulane, Louisiana State University and Alabama.
Published by Franklin Green Publishing, "Heisman's First Trophy" is available at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, amazon.com and Gibbs Pharmacy in Lebanon.