Thursday, June 3, 2021

1968 Orange Bowl program

 I guess this style would be called "psychedelic" today, though there was probably no place less counterculture in the US in 1968 then a college football game in the South.

A lot of the advertising was regional. I though this Eastern Airlines advertisement was interesting with it's Space Age optimism.
Like the All Star Game program, there was a lot of civic boosterism in this program. In this article Miami publicist Hank Meyer proudly talks about how Miami will be hosting the Republican Convention in 1968 and expresses disappointment that they didn't get the Democratic Convention too. Considering what ended up happening at the '68 Democratic Convention, I imagine Hank ended up rather relieved about not getting it. Miami did host the Democrats in '72.
Another article made the claim that Miami was the "Sports Capitol of the Nation". This despite no pro baseball, hockey or basketball teams, though the St. Louis Hawks did play six "home" games in Miami. (I didn't even know the Hawks used to be in St. Louis.) I picked this page from the article for the photo of Mickey Mantle golfing.
Credit cards were still pretty new, and this ad already talks about trading in your old card for a new one. Note that the bank phone number is already all-numeric.
The Tennessee players. Steve Kiner, Richmond Flowers, Dewey Warren and Herman Weaver went on to significant NFL careers. Bubba Wyche is Sam's brother.

More Vols, along with a Twiggy-esque Jordan Marsh ad.

Here's the Oklahoma team. Notice something they have that Tennesee doesn't?

Unlike Tennesee, there are Black players. Only three, but that's three more than Tennessee. Later in 1968 Lester McClain became the first Black player to integrate that school's football team. One of Oklahoma's Black players, Eddie Hinton, went on to an NFL career, as did Jim Files and Steve Zabel.

I was a bit disappointed that only half of this Coca-Cola ad was in the book, especially as I actually have the cup in the ad. (The middle page of the magazine was missing.)

Here's the full program of activities for Orange Bowl weekend. The one that stood out to me was the NFL Pro Playoff Classic, which I had never heard of. From 1960 to 1969, the NFL had a game with the second place teams in each NFL conference played each other for third place in the league, a week before the championship game between the two first place teams. It was held every year in the Orange Bowl. Unsurprisingly it attracted little fan interest and the players were not keen on playing in a "loser's game".
Check out young Barry Switzer on the Sooner coaching staff.
An ad for the company that printed the program still uses the alpha-numeric phone style.
The Orange Bowl Queen and her Court look like a low-budget vampire movie.
Some great photos of the 1967 Orange Bowl, including Florida quarterback Steve Spurrier. I like the sequential photos of Larry Smith's record setting 94-yard TD run - you don't really see photo sequences like that today.

So what happened in the '68 game? Oklahoma cruised to a 19-0 lead at halftime. Tennessee scored 10 points thanks to a pair of third quarter interceptions to get close. With the score 19-17 in the fourth quarter Oklahoma returned an interception of their own for a TD. Tennessee answered with a TD drive to again come within two points, and was able to get the ball back with almost two minutes remaining, but Tennessee kicker Karl Kremser missed a 43-yard field goal attempt with seven seconds left, and Oklahoma won the game 26-24.

Other notable articles in the program covered the Orange Bowl Regatta, overviews of each college and each team's season; the parade and fireworks pageant, and the 1939 Orange Bowl (also TN-OK). Other notable advertisers included GM (1968 Olds Vista-Cruiser); the '68 Chevrolets; Southern Bell, Gulf, French's, Florida Power & Light, and just about every bank in Miami.


  1. So Richmond Flowers Jr. was a star h.s. athlete in Alabama (track also) and his father was the attorney general.

    He fought the KKK and advocated for school desegregation. The Flowers home was vandalized because of this and crosses were burned in their yard. Anyway, so this is why the younger Flowers went to Tennessee instead of Alabama who had Bear Bryant at the time.

  2. That looks like my kind of low-budget vampire movie :)

    Love the Eastern ad too, I've never seen that one before.