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Sports Then and Now



Remembering Andy Griffith’s Football Story 27

Posted on July 03, 2012 by Dean Hybl

While Andy Griffith, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 86, was best known as America’s favorite sheriff, he actually first made a name for himself in 1953 telling the story “What It Was, Was Football.”

Featuring his country accent that would become the staple of his most famous characters Andy Taylor and Ben Matlock, Griffith (listed on the original recording as Deacon Andy Griffith) spends five minutes describing a college football game as stumbled upon by a naive country preacher who attended the game by accident and is completely puzzled by the action.

Released in 1953, the record sold more than 800,000 copies and led to Griffith’s first appearance as a guest star on The Ed Sullivan Show. It remains one of the best selling comedy records of all-time.

As we celebrate the life and career of our favorite sheriff, we also remember his great humor and description of America’s favorite pastime.

Enjoy this special look at football by one of America’s great actors.

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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