Monday, September 9, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
Mention Sewanee football and its tradition all but engulfs you.
From the oldest field in the South to three college football hall of fame members to college football’s most astounding train ride of five shutout wins in six days.
And add one more bit of history – Bill Barry at a home game.
This past Saturday, Barry was at his usual spot along the fence that encircles Hardee-McGee Field as Sewanee opened the 2013 season in style with a 10-7 win against DePauw U.
(Ind.) A spot he has held for 45 seasons without missing a home game.
Starting in Sept. 1969, that’s an incredible 203 straight home fall Saturday’s.
From the highs of winning conference titles and beating long-standing rivals Washington and Lee and Rhodes to heart-breaking losses.
From hot September afternoons to rainy, foggy Octobers and Novembers, whether he felt 100% or not, the man has shown up and done his job without missing a beat.
With phone in one hand and trusty pipe (oops, don’t tell anyone) in the other, the long-time athletic business manager and former athletic trainer has been part of every aspect of a football home game on Saturday afternoons on the mountain this side of scoring a touchdown himself for the dear old Purple and Gold.
A member of two halls of fame himself– Sewanee and Tennessee Athletic Trainers – Barry has seen hall of fame careers from Yogi Anderson to Carl Cravens to Mark Kent and Antonio Crook.
Barry is to Sewanee football what Rocky Top is to Big Orange Nation, Touchdown Jesus is to Notre Dame, or UGa and the hedges are to Georgia football.
Or what Tiger Mike is to LSU on a Saturday Night, the playing of “Dixie” and Miss Americas for Ole Miss faithful, the singing of “On Brave Old Army Team” to West Point alums and Hook ‘em Horns to U. of Texas players.
Hat’s off to you Mr. Barry for staying the course. Now in your 45th season of business-like consistency and hopefully many more.
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org