Thursday, April 13, 2017

Penn Quakers (1935-38)

Ivy League football teams practically drown themselves in tradition -- well, until they all started wearing black alternate uniforms the last few years -- and the Penn Quakers are no exception. I mean, check out those red-and-navy striped sleeves, which have been around since the 19th century -- and modern football jerseys don't even have true sleeves anymore!

The trademark sleeves were a part of Penn's 1930s jerseys, which came in three colors. The blue was primarily worn unless the Quakers played another team with blue jerseys; that's when the dark reds were broken out, as was the case for a home game against Michigan. (Remember, many teams wore only one jersey home and road, and wore an alternate-colored jersey only when they absolutely had to.)

Penn, in the dark jerseys, takes on Columbia in 1937.
Check out that awesome scoreboard clock in the background.

George Munger became coach in 1938, and he brought new jerseys with him. The blues were ditched for a white model worn both home and road, which made the Quakers one of the very few teams to regularly wear white at home. To the best of my knowledge, Penn didn't wear dark jerseys again until 1956, three years after Munger's last season.

Check out the photos below of Munger and captain Walter Shinn, who led a pretty interesting life that included a stint in minor league baseball and distinguished service in World War II as a Navy pilot. You can read more about him here.

Now this is cool. In the top photo, new Penn coach George Munger is telling captain
Walter Shinn the old jerseys are going bye-bye. (Check out the caption below on the
back of the photo, which I got from an eBay listing).
The shot of Franklin Field in the background rules, too.

Another photo of Munger and Shinn from '38. In this pic, Shinn is
wearing the red jersey (which I don't believe was worn in a game that year,
and this pic appears to be from a press function) while  holding a very
un-Penn-like helmet. Hmmmm ...

On an other note, the 1936 Quakers went 7-1 and finished 10th in the final Associated Press rankings. Three of the wins came against Michigan, Penn State and Navy. I know I've said things like this before, but ... can you imagine an Ivy football team doing that now? 

More Penn unis: 2015-16201420131995-99, 1992-941983-841981-821979-801971-781965-661956-641954-551948. Rivalry Week: Cornell-Penn.

Readers, I think we may have found our first-ever throwback game.
In this 1936 photo, a group of Penn students are wearing 1876-style uniforms
in honor of the Quakers' first season of football. According to the caption below,
they were to "play" a group of Penn students in Princeton
19th-century garb at halftime of a game that season. These guys also get bonus points for
sporting mutton chops that would put Walter Camp's to shame. Almost.