Hard to imagine, but Tennessee once recorded 17 consecutive regular-season shutouts in football. Today is the 65th anniversary of No. 17, against Tennessee Chattanooga. The streak also started against Tennessee Chattanooga, on Nov. 5, 1938.
The Volunteers had a perfect 1939 season -- they were 10-0 and gave up no points. But they lost to the USC Trojans, 14-0, in the Rose Bowl game. USC went into the game 7-0-2.
Bill Barnes, the former UCLA football coach, was a member of that 1939 Tennessee team. Although only 5 feet 10 and 170 pounds, he played wingback, tight end and blocking back in the Volunteers' single wing.
The loss to USC still gnaws at Barnes, 89, who says there are three living members of that team. "We had a lot of players injured going into that game," he said, "including myself. If we were healthy, we would have won."
Trivia time: The Trojans and Volunteers met again in the 1945 Rose Bowl game, with USC winning, 25-0. Who was the quarterback of that USC team?
A Royal cleansing: Darrell Royal, the winningest football coach in Texas history, is from the state of Oklahoma and played football at Oklahoma.
Asked by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram whether Longhorn fans have ever forgiven his Oklahoma roots, Royal said, "I've lived in Texas 48 years now. Yes ... I've been vaccinated and dipped."
What dreams are made of: John Gatins, director of the horse-racing movie "Dreamer," which opens Oct. 21, went to Santa Anita on Saturday to appear on TVG and promote the film.
On the air, he said he liked the 1-4-5 trifecta in the eighth race. Sure enough, (1) Jet West, (4) In the Clutch and (5) Stalking Tiger, finished first, second and third. Gatins, fortunately, also bet the race. He said he had a $20 across-the-board bet on Jet West, who paid $6.20, $3.60 and $3.20, a $2 exacta ticket that paid $27 and a $2 trifecta ticket that paid $190.
Neat freak: Tiger Woods, asked by the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman if it was true that he was a neat freak, said, "I make the bed in my hotel rooms."
Yeah, that qualifies.
Whatever it takes: Tickets to Saturday's USC-Notre Dame game at South Bend, Ind., may be tough to come by, but this is going too far. Thieves broke into a law office in Wheeling, W. Va., on Monday and stole $17,288 worth of Notre Dame football tickets to that game and others.
Looking back: On this day in 1986, Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears became the first NFL player to accumulate 20,000 all-purpose yards. He had 76 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving against the Houston Oilers, raising his total to 20,045.
Trivia answer: Jim Hardy.
And finally: A topic on ESPN's "Cold Pizza" program Tuesday was the Angels' predicament of playing in three cities in three days. Appropriately, the guests included Michael Thorpy of New York's Montefiore Sleep-Wake Disorders Center.
\o7Larry Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.