With this being the 150th post, and with the first anniversary of the blog coming up (August 10), I thought I'd take a look at a team from our first post in more detail. (Actually, the second, but it was the first post that profiled a historic uniform.)
This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the first, last and only Maine team to make a bowl game. Just to show how much football has changed the last 50 years, the Black Bears had a 5-foot-8 quarterback (Dick DeVarney), several sub 200-pound linemen and ran the Wing-T offense.
|The '65 Black Bears.|
Maine stunned favored UMass 10-8 in the opener (the Bears' last win over the Redmen/Minutemen until 1982), then steamrolled to the Yankee Conference title. The Bears rallied past Youngstown State 27-22 and lost to Tampa 2-0 (!) to finish the regular season with a 8-1 record and an invite to the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Alas, the roof caved in, as injury-ravaged Maine lost to East Carolina, 31-0. But the game itself would be overshadowed by the accomplishment of getting that far ... at least it has been to Maine fans such as myself.
|Maine QB Dick DeVarney leaves the Tangerine Bowl with an injury.|
Note the unique jersey used for the game, with the bear logo on the shoulders.
DeVarney -- who also played shortstop on Maine's 1964 College World Series baseball team -- was all-Yankee Conference, the only non-UMass QB to earn the honor from 1962-67. Linemen Bill Pasquill and Ivan Brawn (also spelled Braun) -- one of those sub 200-pound blockers -- were also named all-YC, as were Frank Harney (HB), Alan Riley (DE), Norm Tardiff (S) and John Huard (LB), a two-time All-American and the only Black Bear in the College Football Hall of Fame.
|The "regular" '65 home jersey.|
Maine didn't reach the postseason again until 1987, when it played in the NCAA Division I-AA tournament.
As for the uniforms ... Maine wore a special blue jersey for the Tangerine Bowl. The numbers used a block font and the bear shoulder patches worn on the road shirts were added, with a white diamond-shaped background.
Can't bear to be without Black Bear uniforms? Here are some more: 2014, 2011-13, 1997-99, 1976-84, 1975, 1974, 1965, 1957-59, 1949-50. Rivalry week: Maine-New Hampshire.