THE PRICELESS GIFT
“That was essentially the most completely fashioned wall I had ever seen,” stated Herman Rohrig in regards to the wall that fashioned on the punt return that broke Nebraska’s again and coronary heart within the 1941 Rose Bowl sport. “We at all times punted for the sidelines however Stanford arrange it completely and ran it again. Earlier than that, we had them on the run.”
“We felt actually dangerous in regards to the loss however Coach Biff Jones advised us to not get down. We performed sport.” That is one of many classes Rohrig discovered from the sport. “Life is like soccer. Generally you lose and soccer teaches you about successful and shedding.” He has put these classes to good use.
Nebraska’s star highschool again virtually went to Colorado State. He and a Lincoln Excessive buddy had been virtually packed when Rohrig obtained a name from Cy Sherman; the Lincoln Star sports activities editor. Rohrig’s father was the janitor on the Star. “Sherman advised me if I went to Colorado State as an alternative of Nebraska, he would hearth my dad.” Nebraska received the recruiting battle.
At 6’4″ and 217 kilos, Rohrig was an enormous again for his day however Coach Jones wasn’t impressed.
“He referred to as me fireplug,” Rohrig stated. “He made me run the stadium steps to shed extra pounds. I believed that was somewhat harsh however he advised me I might do it and I did.” Memorial Stadium nonetheless had the brand new stadium odor having simply been accomplished just a few years earlier than.
Considered one of Rohrig’s finest recollections of these days was the punt return he ran again in opposition to Missouri.
“Any person was operating proper together with me all the method to the end-zone. The spirited fan was Mickey Rooney. “Nice run he hollered at me once we obtained to the end-zone.”
It wasn’t lengthy till Nebraska had one other date with stardom. “The prepare journey to Pasadena took somewhat detour,” Rohrig recalled. “On the primary day, we went to Texas and into Mexico. They wished to allow us to see Mexico. The following day we had been in Phoenix after which we spent every week or so in California earlier than the sport.”
Although it was billed as a examine journey, the workforce obtained to hang around with some film stars together with former Beatrice resident turned massive film star, Bob Taylor. “I obtained my image taken with him and Ann Rutherford. I used to be exhibiting them the right way to throw the ball.”
The gamers and coaches did not watch a whole lot of Stanford movie to prepare for the sport. “Heck, we simply lined up and performed. Nebraska performed the one wing formation however Stanford put in a brand new wrinkle referred to as the T formation. Coach Lyman knew somewhat bit in regards to the T from his Inexperienced Bay Packer days.”
“Our formations had been easy. I used to be the tailback so I obtained the snap, form of like a quarterback at the moment. Once we lined up left, we went left. Infrequently we used a reverse however that was about it.”
A lot of the gamers on Nebraska’s first Rose Bowl workforce had an extended historical past collectively. “Excluding one man from Kansas, we had been all from Lincoln Excessive.”
There could be extra nice runs in Rohrig’s future. He went on to play for the Chicago All-Star workforce, a choice of the very best faculty gamers who performed the very best NFL workforce. Rohrig additionally performed eleven years with the Inexperienced Bay Packers.
Rohrig grew to become supervisor of Huge 10 officers. “I used to be 6′ 4″ earlier than I began that job and on the finish of 16 years, they beat me down to five’ 9”.
Rohrig has remained remarkably wholesome his total life aside from breaking his nostril eight instances and spending plenty of time with the dentist. “Keep in mind, we did not have face masks again then. I have never had any joint replacements,” he stated, “however a few of my buddies thought I ought to look right into a head alternative as soon as.”
“I dearly love soccer,” Rohrig stated. “These guys do not realize it but however they will at all times bear in mind the teachings of soccer and this sport.”
Herman Rohrig definitely has. It is given him the priceless present of a lifetime.