Some defeats are different, they just are.
Twenty years ago, I sat face-to-face with Arkansas AD Frank Broyles in Fayetteville when the subject of the 1969 “Game of the Century” was delicately broached.
Texas defeated Arkansas, 15-14, in that epic attended by President Richard Nixon.
Nixon afterward anointed Texas as national champions without ever consulting Penn State, which went undefeated that season.
Joe Paterno would later wonder, in a quip, how Nixon could know so little about Watergate, in 1973, but so much about football, in 1969.
The point is that Broyles, legendary coach of the 1969 Razorbacks, never got over the loss.
He told me he had never watched film of the Texas loss.
“We lost,” he said.
Broyles took that loss to his grave when he died, age 92, earlier this month.
Contrast that with last January at the Rose Bowl and the image of Coach James Franklin bouncing around the Penn State locker room after a heart-breaking, last-second defeat to USC.
Franklin was so upbeat in defeat he back-slapped a reporter (me) as he made the rounds. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.