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1936 Orange Bowl

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Title: 1936 Orange Bowl  
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Subject: Orange Bowl, 1935 Orange Bowl, Catholic University of America, 1955 Orange Bowl, Dutch Bergman
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1936 Orange Bowl

1936 Orange Bowl
2nd Orange Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
Ole Miss 0 6 0 13 19
Catholic University 7 6 7 0 20
Date January 1[3], 1936
Season 1935
Stadium Miami Stadium[4]
Location Miami, Florida
Attendance 6,568[5] - 10,000[2][6]
United States TV coverage
Network CBS Radio[2]
Announcers Bill Munday[2]

The 1936 Orange Bowl was a post-season college football bowl game between The Catholic University of America Cardinals and the Ole Miss Rebels from the University of Mississippi on January 1, 1936, in Miami, Florida.

Regular season

The Cardinals opened their season with four consecutive victories and ended with a record of 7-1. In the course of the 1935 season they had three shutouts, gave up only 34 points, and did not allow a rushing touchdown.[2]

The Rebs also began with a series of victories, including a 92-0 blowout against the Memphis Tigers in the second game.[1] They finished with a record of 9-3.

Lead up to the game

On the trip from D.C. to Miami, the Cardinals were on the same train as Earl Carroll's "Vanities girls."[7] Carroll, known as "the troubadour of the nude", was famous for his productions featuring the most lightly clad showgirls on Broadway. Coach Dutch Bergman put his team under "martial law," fearing his players and the showgirls would "dance their football game away before they played."[7] The experience was enough to make Bergman vow to never accept another Bowl bid,[7] but he did, four years later, when the Cardinals played in the 1940 Sun Bowl.

The very first King Orange Jamboree Parade was held the day before the game with 30 floats at an expense of $40,000 ($653,933 in 2012 dollars[8]).[2] Babs Beckwith was chosen as the first Orange Bowl queen.[2][9]

Game summary

Ole Miss Statistic[2] Catholic
15 First Downs 7
15 Penalties 30
3 Fumbles 1
1 Fumbles Recovered 2
250 Yards Gained 124
38 Yards Lost 0
12 Passes Attempted 3
3 Passes Completed 1
4 Passes Intercepted 2
53 Passing Yards 48
37 Avg. Punts 39
16 Avg. Punt Return 8
35 Avg. Kickoffs 50
25 Avg. Kickoff Return 15

There was little interest in Miami before the game, as indicated by sluggish ticket sales and few bets placed.[10] Despite this, CUA was predicted to win "by the smallest of margins."[10]

Pete Dranginis, the Cardinals' quarterback, threw a one-yard pass to Bill Adamaitis in the first quarter to give the team an early 7-0 lead. In the second Adamaitis threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Stuart "Stee" Foley, making Adamaitis the first of only three players to catch and throw a touchdown pass in the same Orange Bowl.[2][11] In that same quarter the Rebels got on the board when quarterback Ned Peters scored on a 67-yard run. The score stood at 13-6 at halftime.[2]

In the third quarter Mississippi's Dave Bernard attempted a punt, but the Cardinals' entire right side broke through the line and center Joe Yanchulis[12] blocked the kick.[2] Backup end Ferdie Rydzewski recovered the ball and ran for a 20-yard touchdown to bring the score to 20-6.[2] The Rebels scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but missed the point after attempt on the first.[2] The first, run in by Ole Miss fullback Dave Bernard, was the first rushing touchdown the Cardinals allowed all season.[13] This late game rally "kept 10,000 fans howling,"[6] but the final score was 20-19, Cardinals.[2]

George Mulligan, a Cardinal, tore ligaments in his leg during the third quarter,[14] and "Irish" Carroll, described as the Cardinals' "chief scoring hope" going into the game, didn't have a point attached to it after the final whistle.[10]

This was the first Orange Bowl to be broadcast on radio, and legendary sports writer Grantland Rice was also in the press box.[2]

Post-game celebrations

After the game, the Cardinals were inundated with fans seeking autographs at the Hotel Flamingo and "a heap of telegrams" of congratulations poured in from around the country.[11] In the days that followed, the Cardinals celebrated by sightseeing in Miami, going deep sea fishing, and going to dog races as the guest of Tiny Parker.[12]

Return to D.C.

The Cardinals returned to Washington on Sunday, January 5. A crowd of 3,000 greeted them at [15]

A parade including 300 cars, the U.S. Navy Band, the Washington Boys Club Band, and many foot marchers brought the team from Union Station up Pennsylvania Avenue, to Connecticut Avenue, and from there to Rhode Island Avenue and back to the CUA campus.[16] President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "on his way to church, became an unwitting parader, when the march de triumph jammed traffic in front of the White House."[15][2]

A crowd of 1,000 greeted the players when they returned to campus and mass was celebrated in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for them by Maurice S. Sheehy, assistant rector.[15] A bonfire was also held that evening.[16]


A "victory dinner" was held to honor the Cardinal players on February 3 at the Willard Hotel. After awards and certificates were presented, a special radio broadcast on NBC ran from 10:00 to 10:30. The night concluded with dancing.[17]

In attendance were "Washingtonians from all walks of life, representatives of the national and District governments, local businesses, professions, and clubs."[18] District Commissioners [18] To promote the event, the team was met on the steps of the DC Municipal Building by several of the district's commissioners a few days before.[20]

In addition, the Florida State Society held a tribute to the Cardinals at the Washington Hotel the previous Saturday night.[19]


Seven members of the Cardinals were of Lithuanian descent, including Captain Ed Karpowich. Povilas Zadeikis, the Lithuanian government's representative in the United States, and members of the Lithuanian Society of America were on hand to greet the team when it pulled into Union Station and presented the seven players with certificates of merit at a banquet held a few weeks later.


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