Dicky Maegle died at the age of 86; Football Star Remembered For A Weird Struggle

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Dicky Maegle was an all-American American who ran at Rice University. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. And he was a Pro Bowl defensive end in his first NFL season.

But when Rice announced on Sunday that Maegle had died at the age of 86, he was mostly remembered for one moment: one of the weirdest episodes in college football history, witnessed by around 75,000 fans and a national contender at the 1954 Cotton Bowl in Dallas. television audience.

After a throw at Rice’s 5-yard line in the second quarter of his matchup with Alabama, Maegle turned right and ran down the sideline. Crossing midfield, almost certainly on his way to a touchdown, Crimson Tide fullback Tommy Lewis interrupted his rest time and, without a helmet, rushed across the field, aligning Maegle with a blindside block at Alabama’s 42-yard line. line.

The referee decided that Maegle was entitled to a 95-yard touchdown run. Ranked #6 in the country by the Associated Press, Rice beat 13th-ranked Alabama with a 28-6 win.

Young that season, Maegle scored in 34 and 79-yard runs in the Cotton Bowl game and earned 265 yards in 11 carries.

Lewis apologized to Maegle at halftime.

“I’m very emotional,” he said when the game was over. “When I struggled with him, I jumped up and went back to the bench. I was saying to myself, ‘I didn’t do it.’ But I knew I did.”

The following Sunday, Maegle and Lewis reunited as guests on Ed Sullivan’s popular CBS variety show, so to speak.

“I saw him a foot and a half away from me,” Maegle told the Dallas Morning News in 1995. “I turned left and that helped to cushion the blow. I really think he would have broken both of my legs if I hadn’t moved away from him.”

Maegle was all-American during the 1954 season as a senior, rushing for 905 yards and 11 touchdowns and finishing sixth in the voting for the Heisman Cup, presented each year to college football’s most outstanding player. The trophy was won that year by Wisconsin back Alan Ameche (he gained fame with the Baltimore Colts by scoring the winning goal in extra time in the 1958 NFL championship game against the New York Giants).

The San Francisco 49ers selected Maegle in the first round of the January 1955 NFL draft. He was 49th for five seasons, mostly on the right safety and sometimes backing off, then finishing his professional career with the 1960 Pittsburgh Steelers and 1961 Dallas Cowboys. He stopped 28 passes and rushed one of them back for a touchdown.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Richard Lee Moegle (later legally changed his last name to reflect the correct pronunciation) was born on September 14, 1934, in Taylor, Texas, about 30 miles northeast of Austin. He played football in high school, then got a track and field scholarship from Rice.

After quitting football, he went after real estate agents and managed hotels in Houston.

Maegle’s wife, Carol, told The Houston Chronicle that she died at their home in Houston and her health had deteriorated since she fell a few months ago. (Full information on survivors was not immediately available.)

Tommy Lewis, who plays in the Canadian Football League, coaches high school football, and is an insurance business in Alabama. died in 2014 at 83.

After being caught by Georgia Tech at the 1929 Rose Bowl game, University of California center Roy Riegels followed Maegle, who rushed in the wrong direction for 69 yards, resulting in an 8-7 loss to Cal and winning the moniker Wrong Way Riegels. -Lewis drama unfolds from his home in California.

He had advice to Lewis the next day:

“Laugh with them, that’s all you have to do. What difference does it make? It’s just a football game.”

Maegle wasn’t laughing at the Cotton Bowl game as time went on; Lewis believed his division eclipsed his major football achievements.

“People still don’t get it,” he said nearly 40 years later. “I led the country in punt returns. Yard-per-carriage I led the nation. I led the conference on rushing and scoring. But when people introduced me, all they said was what happened in that game.”

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