Chapter 61

The Race To Columbus

Not every Colonel was able to go to the entire post-game affair in New Orleans. Bo, Red, Bill James and Chick Murphy had agreed to play in an All-Star charity game on Saturday afternoon, November 26, in Columbus, Ohio. Bo had been offered $2,000 to play in a similar game in New York but declined, not wanting to forfeit his amateur status with the pending trip to the West still being planned.

Newspaper accounts stated that Bill James was invited to play in the game but he is not in this photo. Red Roberts and Bo McMillin are easily picked out on the second row, 2nd and 4th from the left with Bo wearing his helmet. Chick Murphy is more difficult to identify. He is wearing a helmet on the top row just to the right of the individual with the tall hat. Murphy is designated as being from "Center" and Bo has his named spelled "McMillan."

The quartet boarded the New Orleans-Cincinnati "Limited" at 8:10 in the evening after the game for the long ride to Cincinnati, arriving in the Queen City at 9:15 Friday evening. They then transferred to a New York Central train for the trip up to Columbus, arriving the morning of the game.

The race to attend the game ended at the Columbus station Saturday morning

The Centre player's team was comprised of present and past All-Stars from colleges all across the country, including former Harvard great, All-American Eddie Casey, plus the incomparable Jim Thorp, now playing professionally, who had been such a force when he played with the Carlisle Indians.

They were called, fittingly enough, the "Rainbow" team.

The opposing team was called the "Starbuck" team, and was made up of former and present Ohio State players. The venue was Ohio Field, capacity 12,000, the Buckeyes' home field prior to the opening of their magnificent Ohio Stadium the following year.

Bo's team won 16-0. Eddie Casey scored on a 37-yard pass from Bo in the 1st quarter, there were an additional 2 points gained from a safety, and the highlight of the game was described as follows, when writing about Bo:

The little quarterback, his goal in danger, circled the end, wiggled his way thru opposing tacklers across the field, and in an 86- yard dash, planted the oval across the goal.

Red Roberts made a huge impression with his play.

He spoiled more plays than any other man on the field. His football intuition seemed to put him in the right spot to break up Ohio plays and to make those of his own team on offense successful.

At the half, Red and Jim Thorp put on a show.

Between halves, Roberts and Thorp gave Columbus fans the greatest exhibition of the sort ever seen. Thorp was punting from 60 to 70 yards, and dropkicking from 40 to 50. At the same time, Roberts was throwing forward passes to Bailey of West Virginia, and on each he was averaging 40 yards, while some of his tosses were for 50 yards. At no time did Bailey have to move more than a foot to catch the ball.

The Bailey on the team was Russ Bailey who was the center on the 1919 West Virginia team which Centre beat, 14-6. He was placed on Walter Camp's All-American, second team, the year that Bo and Red Weaver were first-team selections. 

Bo had guided Centre to a victory over W&L in Louisville on November 19, quarterbacked his team to a win over Tulane in New Orleans on the 24th, and gone all the way to Columbus on the 26th to lead his All-Star team to a win.

Of course, Red and Bill James had been integral parts of all three games. Bo often got the glory because of his incredible talent. But the other two Colonels, while not as widely acclaimed, were vital cogs that helped make it all possible. 

In seven days, three games, three victories, and well over 2,000 miles traveled by train.

It had been a big week for the young man from North Side High in Fort Worth.

On the same day that the game was being played in Columbus, Governor Morrow issued a proclamation from Frankfort that he was making Howard Reynolds, Centre's great supporter, a Kentucky Colonel-in appreciation of his spirit of clean, fair sportsmanship, as evidenced by his kindness, consideration, and splendid treatment of the Centre College football team in his writings for the Boston "Post."

Certainly, no one had done more to promote the little college in Danville, Kentucky than Howard Reynolds.