Today is the 97th birthday of late and great pro wrestler Bobo Brazil. It’s been almost 33 years since I learned his real name and age.
Bobo performed at the 1987 Shelby County Fair, and I was the ring announcer. As his match began against a masked opponent from “parts unknown,” I was part of a ringside discussion of his age. A law enforcement officer volunteered to run the license plate on Brazil’s nearby vehicle. The result was that the aging Cadillac was owned by Harris Houston, of Benton Harbor, Michigan, who was born on July 10, 1923. He had recently turned 64 and actually continued wrestling part-time for another seven years. He died in 1998.
Before entering the ring in front of the horse track grandstand on that hot July night, Bobo imparted some perspective that I’ve both retained and embraced. “I’ve wrestled at Madison Square Garden and county fairs like this one. Regardless where we work, the fans deserve a good show.”
“30 and 0” update
The 50 year reunion of Sidney’s all-winning football teams from 1968-70 remains set for Labor Day weekend including the Tipp/Sidney football game. However, contingencies are already in place if the events must be postponed until September 2021. Even if the Tipp contest is played as scheduled, there could be health issues for reunion attendees who would be coming from all over the country. A final announcement will be made by the end of this month, affording all parties five weeks to formulate appropriate plans.
Loramie football 2021
Fort Loramie is again in the market for three games to complete their 2021 schedule after the Northwest Conference revealed that it will have no late season openings resulting from a change in membership. Loramie will be without football conference affiliation after the 2020 campaign.
Troy legend dies
Former Troy, Iowa State and Detroit Lions standout Tom Vaughn died last Sunday at age 77 at an undisclosed location. He achieved all-pro status as a Lions defensive back.
In 1960, Vaughn’s senior year, Troy beat Sidney 78-18 including 48 points by Vaughn with seven TDs and six non-kicking conversions, which were each worth a single point. In the same contest, QB Tom Myers threw four TDs. He later starred at Northwestern.
After that game Troy coach Lou Jullierat congratulated Sidney coach Dave Haines for his team scoring 18 points. “We usually don’t give up that many,” was the comment that did not amuse the Sidney newcomer.
Next week: The Sidney IUTIS Club turns 90.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross first served as a pro wrestling ring announcer on April 6, 1972, while a senior in high school.