Friday, June 22, 2018
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Found jersey ensured win?

Thank you for recently publishing the records for GHS football. I don’t think I had ever seen those before and I found it very interesting. It brought back a lot of memories. One in particular was Doug Swanson’s record for longest punt return for a touchdown—87 yards. I was a teammate of Doug’s so if you see him around town ask him if he remembers the time he forgot his jersey at an away game in Holdrege.

You see, we had a team rule that stated that if a player forgot any integral part of his uniform (helmet, jersey, shoes) for an away game, he could not play. So as we were each packing our gear into our own duffle bags at our locker room and heading out to the bus, I noticed ol’ no. 20’s jersey lying on our locker room floor. So I picked it up and stuffed into my own bag and thought this could provide for some fun later.

I told a couple of other teammates about this and said to keep it quiet and just keep an eye on Doug as we dressed in Holdrege. So as we were suiting up I watched Doug taking his time unloading his gear out of his bag and pretty soon he was digging a little faster into that duffle bag and finally he had a panic stricken look on his face as his arms were flailing about in that bag. Finally, he just stopped and stared straight ahead and I decided that was enough punishment. So I asked him what was wrong. When he told me I said, “Here, I’ve got an extra one.” And I tossed no. 20 over to him. Remember OJ Simpson’s face the minute the jury acquitted him? The weight of the world had just been lifted off Doug’s shoulders.

Doug was fast and a big part of our offense and I am certainly glad he got to play that night. We beat no. 1 ranked Holdrege 28-24 I believe. I don’t remember if that was the night of the record setting punt return, but if it was, I’ll take all the credit.

It’s great to see the contemporary Swedes doing so well.