In the fall of 1968 I was a freshman at UT. In those days there was a Homecoming Event called the “Freshman Footrace”. It used be be held at halftime on Shields-Watkins field but that year it was held before the game. I, together with several of my Phi Sigma Kappa pledge brothers, signed up. For the event we took off our shoes, put them in a big pile on the goal line, and went to the other goal. The object was to run to the end of the field, find your shoes, put them on, and run back to the original goal line. Back in those days I was pretty fast so I was able to beat the 40 or 50 other guys to the pile (mostly from pledges from other fraternities).
I had painted my shoes “day-glo orange “so they were easy to find. I found them, quickly tied them on, and took off for the other goal line 100 yards away. I gave the first guy who tried to tackle me a quick inside then out move, turned the corner, picked up a nice block from one of my brothers, and broke to the outside. I’ll never forget looking down the field and seeing nothing but green grass! I thought this was what Richmond Flowers much feel like! I was home free….or so I thought. Somehow a guy comes out of nowhere and tackles me just inside the five yard line. Well, I went to the turf, kicked the guy in the face and scrambled over the goal.
At half time my name was announced as the winner and I was given a nice trophy. It was proudly displayed in the Phi Sigma Kappa house for the next 4 years and now is on the shelf in my home office. Go Big Orange!
– Richard Murphree