Days to kickoff: 11
Wow. There's way too much talent for this day, so let's get started. Just remember the rule... Academics come first.
HAPPY WILLIAM EUGENE CODY AND TRAVIS TIDWELL DAY!!!
Bill Cody was born in Greenwood, Miss., and arrived at Auburn via Orlando, Fla. He was one of Auburn's most outstanding linebackers. "Wild Bill" was a unanimous selection to the 1963 All-SEC Sophomore Team. He was first team All-SEC linebacker as a junior, and again as a senior. He was also first-team ALL-AMERICAN as a senior in 1965. Similarly, the Education major achieved Academic All-SEC honors in 1964 and 1965, and ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN in 1965.
On October 30, 1965, the 7th ranked Florida Gators entered Cliff Hare Stadium with junior QB Steve Spurrier at the helm. Auburn fell behind 10-0 at the half, not earning a first down until less then 3 minutes to go in the half. I'm sure Coach Jordan had some encouraging words for his team in the halftime locker room. The Tigers, behind the leadership of second string QB Alex Bowden, quickly matriculated down the field for a TD early in the 3rd quarter. On Florida's first play from scrimmage after the kickoff, Bill Cody graciously accepted a Spurrier pass and returned it 29 yards for a score. In the 4th quarter, the Auburn defense pressured Spurrier into surrendering the ball, and All-American Cody pounced on it in the end zone for another TD.
The Tigers ate the Gators up that day, 28-17.
After completing his Auburn education, Bill Cody was drafted in the fifth round by the Detroit Lions. After one year in the Motor City, he was selected by the New Orleans Saints in their expansion draft. He spent 4 seasons in N'awlins. He didn't play in 1971, but apparently was acquired by the Minnesota Vikings. Records show he was traded from the Vikings to the Eagles prior to the 1972 season for the Eagles' 1973 10th round draft pick; Cody spent his final pro year in Philadelphia. I know he spoke last year at an Auburn Club meeting that also featured Coaches Tuberville, Rhoads, and Franklin. Otherwise, I'll have to rely on the Hotties to fill us in on Mr Cody's current whereabouts and activities.
OUR SECOND OFFICIAL HONOREE:
* Travis Tidwell: Born 2/5/1925 in Florence, AL, Travis Tidwell is one of only two freshmen to ever lead the nation in total offense, earning that honor in 1946. He also led the nation in total offense as a senior in 1949 and was Auburn's career total offense leader until Pat Sullivan established a new standard. As a quarterback in the T-formation, Tidwell engineered the Tigers to an Iron Bowl win over the heavily favored Tide in 1949 by the score of 14-13. He was a first round draft choice of the NY Giants. In his 1950 rookie season, he entered a game with the Giants trailing the Baltimore Colts 20-0. Mr. Tidwell led the Giants to a remarkable 55-20 comeback win. He spent two seasons in NY, then played in the CFL, coached at Auburn, and later sold insurance and stocks and securities. Travis Tidwell was the first Auburn player to be named Senior Bowl MVP. He also played centerfield on the Auburn baseball team which also featured 4-sport star Erk Russell as first baseman.
In the 1949 game vs Mississippi State, Tidwell ran over a DT by the name of Jerry Clower, dragging him 27 yards and rendering him unconscious, all the while reportedly running backwards. You can listen to Jerry Clower's version of the story starting at the 5:50 mark of this recording.
* Karlos Dansby: All-American linebacker in 2003 and two time All-SEC, Dansby was a finalist for the Butkus Award and was named the Atlanta Touchdown Club Defensive Back of the Year. He was the field general of Defensive Coordinator Gene Chizik's 2003 Tiger defense which ranked 5th in the country in total defense. Mr. Dansby is currently a NFL star with the Arizona Cardinals. He began his Auburn career as a wideout.
* Phil Gargis: Outstanding veer option QB who led Auburn in rushing and in total offense in 1975 and 1976. He had a fantastic game vs UGA in Auburn in 1974, one of many memorable trips I took with THTSr to watch the Tigers play. I think Gargis had 160 yards rushing that day in Auburn's nail-biter 17-13 win.
* Stan White: Four-year starter and Auburn's all-time career leader in total offense and passing yards. Stan also earned Academic All-SEC honors in 1993.
* Mac Champion: Earned a letter and a national championship as backup QB in 1957. Later became a Hall of Fame high-school coach.