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John Heisman: Auburn ‘the first to show what could be done’ with the hurry-up offense

Normal AU-merican Football: Endangering the lives of opposing defenses since 1899! Heisman, fourth row, stache. [Photo: Auburn Alumnus]
When word of Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema’s SEC Media Days comments about “normal American football” reached heaven, like Gus Malzahn, former Auburn coach John Heisman thought it was a joke.

From a column Heisman wrote about his days on the Plains (which sadly does not include further insight on the play that saved Auburn football) printed in an early issue of Auburn’s alumni magazine:

The team of ’99—my last at Auburn—was a great one. It only weighed about 160 (pounds per player), but its speed and team work were something truly wonderful. I do not think I have ever seen so fast a team as that was. It would line up and get the ball in play at times before the opposing players were up off the ground. You see it was a ‘stunt’ of ours to catch them off side and get the benefit of the penalty. Nowadays no team is taken by surprise by such lightning lining up; but that Auburn team of ’99 was the first to show what could be done with speedy play, and then it wasn’t long before all other teams were laboring with might and main to inject speed into their work.

Normal Auburn Football: Endangering the lives of opposing defenses with the hurry-up offense since 1899! And apparently the first to do so. Probably because we were all hopped up on cocaine.

For more of Heisman’s Auburn remembrances, here’s a letter he wrote to Auburn students when he left.

Related: J&M Bookstore tells Bielema, Saban to ‘quit your whining’ with new T-shirt.

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About Jeremy Henderson

Jeremy Henderson is the editor of The War Eagle Reader and co-host of Rich and Jeremy in the Mornings on Wings 94.3 FM in Auburn. Follow him on Twitter: @wareaglereader / @jerthoughts / @RichandJeremy

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