the football team at san pedro high had us wear a 1 bark protection that year as required -- in 1956 we had 2 bars across our face -- plus in 1956 we also had knee pads added to our pants to protect our knees -- and today some do not wear knee pads in fact there knees are not protected at all --
Photo of 1918 college football fans wearing face masks points to the past and future
By BRIAN NIEMIETZ
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |
MAY 25, 2020 AT 11:09 AM
This undated photo provided by Georgia Tech alumnus Andy McNeil shows a Georgia Tech home game during the 1918 college football season. The photo was taken by Georgia Tech student Thomas Carter, who would receive a degree in Mechanical Engineering. The 102-year-old photo could provide a snapshot of sports once live games resume: Fans packed in a campus stadium in the midst of a pandemic wearing masks with a smidge of social distance between them on concrete seats.
This undated photo provided by Georgia Tech alumnus Andy McNeil shows a Georgia Tech home game during the 1918 college football season. The photo was taken by Georgia Tech student Thomas Carter, who would receive a degree in Mechanical Engineering. The 102-year-old photo could provide a snapshot of sports once live games resume: Fans packed in a campus stadium in the midst of a pandemic wearing masks with a smidge of social distance between them on concrete seats. (AP)
A 102-year-old photo snapped during another national pandemic is taking football fans back to a period where fans wore face masks and players didnít.
The Georgia Tech Alumni association posted a photo taken in its schoolís stands in 1918 in which fans are wearing masks to protect themselves and each other from the Spanish Flu pandemic, which killed 650,000 Americans.
According to the posting, the college team, then called the Golden Tornadoes, played six games at Grant Field that season, under the direction of legendary coach John Heisman, for whom the sportís most prestigious individual award is named. Georgia Techís team, more commonly known as the Yellow Jackets, was coming off a 1917 season where they were generally regarded as the nationís best.
The photo is generating buzz online as football fans wonder what a 2020 season will look like with the coronavirus pandemic spreading nationwide. By most indications, the season will get underway as scheduled, for most teams, in early September. The NCAA gave teams and players the green light to begin workouts next month, though each school will decide whatís appropriate for its students. Precautionary measures including social distancing and protective face masks could be a part of the plan if and when stadiums open to the public. Whether or not the fans come is another matter.
"I think a lot of people will hesitate to attend sporting events as spectators until there is a proven vaccine,Ē Georgia Tech professor of sports history Johnny Smith told the Associate Press.
While the Spanish Flu struck early in 1918, it was a second wave of infections in September that proved far more devastating. Smith said thatís something to keep in mind in 2020.
ďI think when we look back on this idea of people wearing masks to attend a football game and raise the question today, would people do that?" he wondered. ďIím not sure that people would.Ē
Georgia became the first state to reopen in late April. That decision by the governor was met with skepticism by local mayors as well as President Trump.
According to ESPN, players started experimenting with face masks to protect against injuries, though not viruses, in the 1920s. That technology developed over the next half-century before becoming the face masks seen today.