American Football Database
1922 Princeton Tigers vs. Chicago Maroons football game
1 2 3 4 Total
Princeton University 0 7 0 14 14
{{{Home School}}} 6 6 6 0 18
Date October 28, 1922
Stadium Stagg Field
Location Chicago, Illinois
Referee Vic Schwartz (Brown)
Attendance 31,000

The 1922 Princeton vs. Chicago football game, played October 28, 1922, was a college football game between the Princeton Tigers and Chicago Maroons. The "hotly contested"[1][2] match-up was the first game to be broadcast nationwide on radio.[1][3][4] Princeton's team won, 21–18. It was to be the national champion of 1922,[5] and in this game received its nickname, "Team of Destiny", from Grantland Rice.[6]

First radio broadcast

It was the first college football game to feature an intersectional audience on radio.[7] The game was broadcast from KYW, a Westinghouse radio station in Chicago, to WEAF, an American Telephone & Telegraph station in New York City,[4] and from there to the rest of the country.[3] Historian Ronald Smith has called it "probably the most important radio broadcast up to that point."[7]

Game summary

Fullback John Webster Thomas scored Chicago's three touchdowns, one in each of the first three quarters, but the team failed to score an extra point for any of them.[2] Walter Camp wrote in picking Thomas first-team All-American: "It is safe to say he did far more against the Princeton line in effective scoring than did any backs of the East who met the Tigers".[8]


Princeton stuffs Chicago.

The Tigers had scored a single touchdown in the second quarter, and also the extra point for a total of seven; they then scored two additional touchdowns for 14 points in the final quarter to win the game, while holding Chicago scoreless.[9] With 12 minutes to play and Chicago nursing an 18–7 lead, Howdy Gray of Princeton picked up a Jimmy Pyott fumble and ran it 40 yards for the touchdown. Gray's father, the president of the Union Pacific Railroad, reacted by waving his program in the air, striking a woman in the shoulder.[6][10] After an additional Princeton touchdown was scored, Chicago responded with a fierce drive ending in a goal line stand with Thomas falling short of the goal.[1][11][12][13] Halfback Harry "Maud" Crum scored Princeton's other touchdowns.[14]


At one point late in the game, Chicago assistant Fritz Crisler implored Amos Stagg to send in Alonzo Jr. at quarterback to call an end run. Ever the sportsman, Stagg flatly refused, citing afterwards "the rules committee deprecates the use of a substitute to convey information."[15][16]

Both teams finished the contest badly exhausted, especially Princeton,[2] as during the last half of the game the heat was oppressive.[2] The Princeton Alumni Weekly noted: "If this game proved anything at all it proved that a fine forward passing game can defeat a fine line-plunging game."[17]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 staff (October 28, 2009). "Princeton-Chicago football game is broadcast across the country". A+E Networks. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Tigers Humble Chicago, 21–18, By Long Passes". Chicago Daily Tribune: p. 2. October 29, 1922. Retrieved April 21, 2015. open access
  3. 3.0 3.1 "October 28, 1922: The First National Radio Broadcast of College Football".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Chuck Sudo. "89 Years Ago Today, College Football Entered the Radio Age".
  5. 1922 Princeton University football scores and results Archived July 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved on October 18, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mark Bernstein. Princeton Football. pp. 50–51.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Raymond Schmidt. Shaping College Football: The Transformation of an American Sport, 1919–1930. p. 5.
  8. "Camp's All America Stars Show Why They Are Winners; Have Brains, Power, Spirit". Harrisburg Telegraph: p. 15. December 26, 1922. Retrieved March 8, 2015. open access
  9. Stephen Wood (August 1, 2014). "'Team of destiny': History of Princeton Football". The Daily Princetonian. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015.
  10. Jon Blackwell. "1922:The Team of Destiny". The Trentonian.
  11. Ashley Wolf (October 24, 2007). "Destiny’s first stand".
  12. "Princeton's Rally, Defeats Maroons". Daily Illini. October 29, 1922.
  13. Mark Bernstein. Football: The Ivy League Origins of an American Obsession. p. 120.
  14. cf. "24". Princeton Alumni Weekly 73: 83.
  15. Edwin Pope. Football's Greatest Coaches. p. 233.
  16. Jim Campbell (November 1994). "Like Father, Like Son". College Football Historical Society 8 (1).
  17. "Shaping College Football".