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Interview with Charley Trippi, December 5, 2006

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:37 - Early life in Pennsylvania / Pre-collegiate athletic career

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Partial Transcript: Please tell us a little bit about your early days.

Segment Synopsis: Trippi recalls growing up in a coal-mining community during the Great Depression. He remembers playing football and semi-professional baseball in high school, being scouted by several universities, accepting an offer from UGA, and receiving a scholarship to La Salle Military Academy to finish high school and play football. He recalls meeting UGA alumnus Harold "War Eagle" Ketron and getting a job with Coca Cola through Ketron.

Keywords: Coca Cola; Great Depression; Harold "War Eagle" Ketron; La Salle Military Academy; Pittston, Pennsylvania; UGA; University of Georgia; Works Progress Administration; coal mining; college football

00:08:00 - Football at UGA / Professional baseball and football

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Partial Transcript: Of course, when I came to Georgia, I didn’t know what really was going to transpire...

Segment Synopsis: Trippi discusses playing football at UGA, particularly the 1943 Rose Bowl and four college all-star games. He remembers playing AA baseball with the New York Yankees in 1947, as well as playing nine years and coaching five years for the Chicago Cardinals football team.

Keywords: American Football League (AFL); Chicago Cardinals; Frank Sinkwich; National Football League (NFL); New York Yankees; Rose Bowl; UGA; University of Georgia

00:15:07 - Coaching at UGA / Freshman year at UGA

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, after I finished coaching with the Cardinals, I coached with Coach Butts.

Segment Synopsis: Trippi discusses coaching at UGA, his relationship with Coach Wally Butts, and several other coaches. He recalls his first impressions of UGA and shares an anecdote about the UGA football program buying him a ticket home for Christmas in 1942.

Keywords: James Wallace "Wally" Butts; Jennings B. Whitworth; Orange Bowl; UGA; University of Georgia; Wyatt Posey; college football

00:22:15 - Life at UGA

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Partial Transcript: What was your major in college?

Segment Synopsis: Trippi discusses his decision to change majors from business to physical education, the goals he had set for himself, and joining the Lambda Chi fraternity. He remembers football practices under Coach Wally Butts and other coaches' impressions of his athleticism.

Keywords: Lambda Chi fraternity; Paul William "Bear" Bryant; Robert Lee "Bobby" Dodd; UGA; University of Georgia; World War II; college football

00:28:04 - Rose Bowl / Air Force / Final year at UGA

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Partial Transcript: What -- you mentioned earlier that probably the Rose Bowl was the thing that is most memorable to you.

Segment Synopsis: Trippi recalls meeting celebrities as part of the festivities of the 1943 Rose Bowl. He discusses playing baseball and football for the Air Force during World War II. He remembers serving as the captain of the UGA football team in 1946 and winning the 1947 Sugar Bowl. He reflects on the athleticism of UGA quarterbacks Johnny Rauch and Matthew Stafford.

Keywords: Johnny Rauch; Matthew Stafford; Paramount Pictures; Rose Bowl; Sugar Bowl; UGA; United States Air Force; University of Georgia; World War II; college football

00:34:12 - Chicago Cardinals' Dream Backfield

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Partial Transcript: You played in, uh -- you indicated earlier that you decided not to go into professional baseball...

Segment Synopsis: Trippi discusses his move from professional baseball to playing nine years with the Chicago Cardinals football team. He remembers the members of the "Dream Backfield" of the 1947 Cardinals team, winning the 1947 NFL Championship, and losing the 1948 NFL Championship.

Keywords: Chicago Cardinals; Dream Backfield; Million Dollar Backfield; National Football League (NFL); Philadelphia Eagles

00:38:26 - Final thoughts

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Partial Transcript: You played nine seasons for Chicago?

Segment Synopsis: Trippi summarizes his career working for the Chicago Cardinals and UGA. He discusses his family and mentions the awards he earned as a football player and coach. He recalls the 1941 Rose Bowl being moved from California because of fears of Japanese attack, and tells the story of how he got his football jersey numbers.

Keywords: Chicago Cardinals; James Wallace "Wally" Butts; Pearl Harbor; Rose Bowl; UGA; University of Georgia; World War II; college football