Monday, July 21, 2008

It's Hopalong Cassady day!

Very few players in the history of Ohio State have worn #40, and none were as great as Howard "Hopalong" Cassady. No player ever wore the number 40 after Cassady, and none ever will.

Some say that Cassady saved Woody Hayes' job, and I'm not one to argue that point. Hayes' job was teetering on the edge after lackluster seasons in 1951, 1952, and 1953. But Cassady's first season in '53 was a good preview of what the kid had in store for the Buckeyes, and Hayes knew it.

Hayes gave Hopalong a lot more playing time on both sides of the ball, and Cassady became the leader of the team. The Buckeyes went undefeated and won the 1954 National Championship.

Cassady's senior season, the Buckeyes went unbeaten in the Big Ten, and the reward was a Heisman Trophy, earning it by the largest margin in the award's history (to that point).

So here's to #40. He brought us greatness on the field, and thanks to him, Buckeye fans were treated to decades of greatness on the sideline.

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