Sunday, May 20, 2018

Billy Cannon, Sr., RIP

LSU Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon passed away in his sleep today.  He will always be remembered for the "Halloween Run" against Ole Miss in 1958 and the goal line stand that preserved the victory at the end of the game.  He would be a beast in today's game.




From a message board:

Most don't remember him except for re-runs of his Halloween night run. We see all the great football players of the time, but put this into perspective. Don't ever doubt that he could play today. Not many today could do what he could.
- He averaged 5.2 yds per carry
- He ran a 9.4 100 yd dash (10.28 100 meter equivalent) which was faster than Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker and the other Heisman running back winner.
- Put that 10.28 into perspective, Bob Hayes was a wind aided 10.06 in 1964.
- After winning the SEC championship in the 100 he ran over and won the shot put at over 54 feet.
- He bench pressed over 400 lbs and was only 20 lbs from the olympic record in his weight class.
- All this at 210 lbs. and 6'1".
- He was the most efficient college running back of the 1950's.
- In the 1961 AFL championship game against New York, Cannon carried 25 times for 216 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 115 yards and two more scores. The Oilers gained 473 yards that day, and Cannon accounted for 331 of them, giving him the MVP trophy for a second straight year.
- In 1962 a San Diego Chargers linebacker drove both knees into his back. The muscle tear was so bad that Cannon missed much of the 1963 season.
- Al Davis, the Raiders traded three players for Cannon in 1964. By 1967, he put on 20 lbs and started at a position, tight end that he never played in his life. Cannon caught 10 touchdown passes for the AFL champion Raiders, blocked as well as anyone in the league at that hybrid position and broke open four close games with key receptions.
- After a 75-yard TD catch against the Chiefs, Kansas City coach Hank Stram, who later called Cannon one of the greatest tight ends in pro history, exclaimed, “Don’t tell me Cannon’s lost much speed. He was a 9.4 man in college, and I’ll bet he’s not two-tenths slower today.’’
- Cannon was again a consensus All-Pro, meaning he achieved that distinction five years apart at two completely different positions.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

The year he won the Heisman, he scored only FIVE touchdowns (including film above), and rushed for 578 yards. Read that again.

Anonymous said...

Old wounds never heal in Mississippi. We are a sour bunch of grapes. RIP Mr. Cannon.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean ole miss will stop hate, hate, hating LSU now?

Anonymous said...

No 8:37. They will just hang another banner when nobody is looking.

milo said...

RIP BC

Anonymous said...

Ole miss hating lsu is a waste of energy. The hated isn’t returned with the same intensity as LSU hates Alabama.

Anonymous said...

None of those times were measured with modern equipment, so it is likely they're not even close to legit. He couldn't dominate against small slow white boys in the 50s, he wouldn't sniff the field at an SEC school today.

Anonymous said...

OM doesn’t hat LSU. It is a great rivalry with mutual respect. It is one of the greatest rivalries in college football. There is no envy and hate like that down at The School Beneath Us.

Anonymous said...

No folks that is not a slo-mo version of the game, that's how SEC football was played before it was integrated.

Anonymous said...

How boring were the all-white games back then. This would be an awesome clip if you completely erased the past 50 yrs of football history from your memory.

Anonymous said...

I get chills when I see these old games. Thanks, KF, for sharing

Anonymous said...

10:44 - It's impossible to hate when your laughing. Try it. You'll see I'm right. It's like touching your tongue to the tip of your nose. It's quite impossible.

Signed (TSBU)

Anonymous said...

My brother-in-law attended the Halloween game in 1959. Long story (which I won’t go into), but John (my brother-in-law) was the DRUM MAJOR in the Mississippi STATE Band. His high school buddy was in the L.S.U. Band, and he got John into the game (after hitch-hiking from Starkville to Baton Rouge) wearing an L.S.U. Band uniform! (It indeed was a different era back then). John played in the stands, though obviously not on the field. I have teased John by saying, “of course, you were really pulling for your fellow Mississippians, right? John (who is still full up with Maroon) winks and says “Right! I was pulling for Ole Miss!” (When pigs fly!)

True story.

Anonymous said...

None of those times were measured with modern equipment, so it is likely they're not even close to legit.

Right, and back then a pound was only 12 ounces so he only benched a paltry 300 pounds.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 10:44, do you think Djork will have to call ahead to Alleva and remind him to bring that 7th grade shop project trophy to the ‘18 game?

Anonymous said...

And, he was born in Philadalphia, MS!

Louisiana State Penitentiary Alum said...

Did everyone forget that he spent a few years in prison for counterfeiting? What a hero.

Anonymous said...

When the Smoke clears, I will be gone

Anonymous said...

And the Rebels whipped LSU 21-0 in the Sugar Bowl two months later. The "Halloween run" Tiger fans don't ever mention that in the same breath, eh?

Anonymous said...

A simpler time and place.

Anonymous said...

@8:41 Yes, he spent two years in prison, He also became the head of medical services at Angola, where he totally revamped medical services to give the inmates better care. He repaid his debt many times over.

Anonymous said...

So a guy who was All-Pro at two different positions couldn't sniff an SEC field today?

This from a group that claims two national championships their own head coach didn't claim.

Anonymous said...

Regarding that 21-0 win, the National Title was already awarded so what motivation did LSU have? Better question, how many LSU players weren't hung over?

Anonymous said...

I heard him speak at the Jackson Touchdown club years ago after he had done "his time". I really enjoyed what he had to say and had a much higher opinion of him afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Have the names of the Rebels who missed tackles on the play been immortalized as well? I'd be curious to read about how their lives turned out for them.

Anonymous said...

When comparing athletes of yesteryear with contemporary athletes, one should keep in mind that training, coaching and diet are quite different today than back in the fifties. Given these changes, would Cannon have been an outstanding player in today’s football game were he given the same training, coaching, diet, etc, available to today’s athletes? Most likely, yes. It is always difficult to project how athletes of the past compare to today’s athletes, but one cannot assume that we would be simply transporting Cannon from 1958 to 2018 with no accounting for the changes since the fifties in making those comparisons.

Anonymous said...

@11:26...Like the Ole Miss players weren't hung over as well? Nice try, though. National championship? Ya'll keep telling Ole Miss fans they don't count in the "olden days" of the '50s and '60s. So, which is it???

Anonymous said...

Heck, I didn't know Cannon went to prison for counterfeiting. Pretty cool article, though. http://www.espn.com/espn/eticket/story?page=091030BillyCannon

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mr 1:10 PM,

Which school clearly wins the LSU-Ole Mess rivalry?

Care to look up the series record and get back to us?

No, I didn't think so, haha.

Anonymous said...

Can't you goobs just appreciate the man for his field-prowess and wish him a simple RIP instead of groveling like a bunch of drunk bitch-boys sniffing the jock strap of Hugh Freeze? All you left out was a few HYDRs and a chorus of Hot Snottie.

Anonymous said...

"Given these changes, would Cannon have been an outstanding player in today’s football game were he given the same training, coaching, diet, etc, available to today’s athletes? Most likely, yes."

Negative, how many outstanding white RBs have you seen in the last 20 years or so? That space is taken by much more talented black athletes who were not given a chance back then. He may have been a TE or LB, but not RB.

To the person commenting on timing. As late as the 80s timing was accomplished via a coach standing at the finish line with an analog stopwatch, on the runner's movement, the clock was started and stopped when the runner crossed the line. A ton of room for error and "giving the runner the benefit of the doubt." Now everything is electronic, not human error or favoritism.

Anonymous said...

1:10 speaks of his own ignorance. Until the early 70's National titles were awarded before the bowl season. President Nixon presented Texas the National Championship trophy the first weekend of December 1969. Notre Dame didn't play in bowl games until the 1970's. Bowl games until then were largely exhibition games.

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:15 - LSUX clearly leads the rivalry, duh. Still doesn't change the fact that OM whipped that Tiger azz in the Sugar Bowl two months after that glorious "Halloween run", does it? Next...

Anonymous said...

10:06...where did I say differently? Show me, Mr. College Football...

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