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“If you start throwing hedgehogs under me, I shall throw a couple of porcupines under you”*…

 

In the fourth volume of Brett’s Miscellany, published in Dublin in 1757, readers could find an entry on a custom called “throwing at cocks.” This was an activity where a rooster was tied to a post while the participants, as if playing darts, threw small weighted and sharpened sticks (called coksteles) at the poor bird until it expired. The article explored the sport’s origin: “When the Danes were masters of England, and used the inhabitants very cruelly,” it began, “the people of a certain great city formed a conspiracy to murder their masters in one night.” The English artfully devised “a stratagem,” but “when they were putting it in execution, the unusual crowing and fluttering of the cocks about the place discovered their design.” The Danes, tipped off by the commotion, “doubled their cruelty” and made the Englishmen suffer as never before. “Upon this,” the entry concluded, “the English made custom of knocking the cocks on the head, on Shrove-Tuesday, the day on which it happened.” Very soon “this barbarous act became at last a natural and common diversion, and has continued every since.” Thus the innate human urge to throw things at things entered the early modern era…

On the human desire to hurl (and hurl things at) animals and other humans: “From Throwing Sticks at Roosters to Dwarf Tossing.”

* Nikita Khrushchev

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As we resist the temptation to toss, we might recall that it was on this date in 1939, in a football match between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Centenary Gentlemen at Centenary College Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana, that “one of the weirdest games in NCAA History” was played.  A torrential downpour and resultant muddy field conditions prevented either Texas Tech or Centenary from advancing the ball either running or passing.  To cope with the conditions, both teams resorted to immediate punting, hoping to recover a fumble at the other end of the field.  They combined to punt 77 times; the game ended in a 0-0 tie.

Thirteen records still stand in the NCAA record books:

— Most punts combined both teams: 77 (42 were returned, 19 went out of bounds, 10 were downed, four were blocked, one went for a touchback and another was fair caught; 67 came on first down)

— Most punts by a team: 39, Texas Tech

— Fewest offensive plays: 12, Texas Tech (10 rushes, two passes for a total of minus-1 yard)

— Fewest plays allowed: 12, Centenary

— Fewest yards gained most plays: 30

— Fewest rushing attempts, both teams: 28

— Most punt returns: 22, Texas Tech (for 112 yards)

— Most punt returns, both teams: 42

— Most individual punts: 36, Charlie Calhoun, Texas Tech, for 1,318 yards (36.6 average)

— Punt yardage: 1,318 yards, Calhoun

— Punt returns (and total kick returns): 20, Milton Hill, Texas Tech, 110 yards

The 1939 Texas Tech football team

source

 

Written by LW

November 11, 2017 at 1:01 am

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