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Remember When...

October 20, 2011
By BETTY POKAS - Times Leader Area Editor , Times Leader

FRIDAY NIGHTS and Saturdays are busy times in Eastern Ohio as football fans flock to stadiums to watch their favorite teams.

Fans are somewhat the like couriers in the Persian Empire during the 500s B.C., as described by Herodotus, the Greek historian: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night says these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Those words also were inscribed on the central post office building in New York City.

The fans aren't carrying the mail, but they're willing to attend the area football games in rain, heat and gloom of night in order to send a message to the football players in hopes of their winning the game.

Article Photos

BRIDGEPORT High School product John Havlicek, who is in the National Basketball Hall of Fame, and Bellaire High School graduate Clyde Thomas played in the Ohio-West Virginia All-Star Game in 1958. Havlicek, considered by Ohio State coach Woody Hayes as one of OSU’s four greatest athletes, later played for the Boston Celtics. Thomas, who played football at Ohio University, later was on the British Columbia Lions, Wheeling Ironmen and Philadelphia Eagles teams, and he served as a Wheeling councilman.

While there, they often partake of football fare, such as hot dogs, pizza, pepperoni rolls, french fries and other treats. It isn't a gourmet meal, just part of being at the game.

Homecomings are another high point of football games and create excitement before the games or during halftimes.

Then, too, there are off-field activities such as athletic banquets, often to honor the football team as well as other athletes.

Two of today's pictures in "Remember When" show individuals associated with football programs, but it hasn't been determined what sport is represented in the banquet photo. All the photos were taken prior to 1966, and some of those pictured are deceased.

Pokas can be reached at



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