Welcome to the second week of Throwback Thursday, in which we’re presenting a series of Georgia Tech-related items possessed by the College Football Hall of Fame.
As this week’s item would suggest, not all of the items are particularly compelling pieces of college football history, which is partly why so much of it is in storage and not on display. That would be the case with a commemorative tankard from the 1991 Kickoff Classic, which Tech lost 34-22 at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. It was not a memorable day for the Yellow Jackets, who were down 34-3 late in the fourth quarter. Tech turned the ball over five times in the game. You can watch a recap here.
Tech finished 8-5, coach Bobby Ross was hired to coach the San Diego Chargers and the things kind of went south after that.
Back to the tankard. Kent Stephens, the hall’s curator and historian, said it was donated as part of a complete set of Kickoff Classic steins, by a secretary in the office. The National Football Foundation, of which the hall of fame is part, was a benefactor of the classic.
“We’ve got a lot of weird things,” Stephens said.
Stephens said he wasn’t sure what he would ever do with it, but half-jokingly suggested someday having a display of games that don’t exist anymore. The Kickoff Classic, a forerunner of games like the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, was last played in 2002.
“You never know what we may end up using,” he said.
It does speak a little bit to a different era, when seasons were 11 games long and teams could play an extra 12th kickoff game. Also, an era when Giants Stadium was still in use. Also, an era when games like this didn't have a corporate sponsor in the name.
The tankard reminds me of one that I bought as a high school senior to commemorate graduation. (I think it was the senior class committee that was selling them. I have to say, I’m kind of surprised the school went along with selling tankards with the school logo to high school students.) Anyway, I remember a fellow student wanted two of them with his initials, so I guess on his order form, he wrote “JFD 2X.”
Unfortunately, he received two tankards with “JFD 2X” on them. I don’t remember him being very amused.
Check back next Thursday. I haven’t decided which Tech-related item I’ll feature, but I feel pretty confident saying it’s more interesting than this. Also, if you want a 1991 Kickoff Classic tankard of your own, it can be yours for $14.99 (plus shipping) on Ebay.
Week one: Greg Gathers' jersey