Tuesday, June 30, 2015

'Bama booter Tim Davis added to '55AA customs

As an Ole Miss fan I don't go out of my way to add to my All-American-style customs players who were nemeses of the Rebels.

Because he was such a great college and AFL player, with an interesting post-pigskin career, it wasn't too hard to make a Billy Cannon yard 10 years ago.

Now I've created a card for 1961-63 Alabama placekicker Tim Davis. 

Truthfully, until I read about the 1964 Sugar Bowl in a January, 1964, issue of The Sporting News, I had never heard of Tim Davis. If you're also unfamiliar with Davis' big day, here's an excellent account.

1964 Sugar Bowl

A couple of points not made in that article were . . .

  • the Jan. 1, 1964 Sugar Bowl was the first meeting between Ole Miss and Alabama since 1944. Since they were both in the Southeastern Conference, I'm not sure why that was the case.
  • the three inches of wet snow that fell on New Orleans on New Year's Eve was the biggest snowfall there since 1895.
  • the teams went into the Sugar Bowl with undefeated (7-0-2) Mississippi ranked seventh in the nation and 8-2-0 Alabama ranked eighth.
  • in part because Joe Namath had been suspended in December for a team-rules infraction, Ole Miss was a 7-1/2 favorite.

Tim Davis was the first of four brothers who kicked field goals and PATs for Alabama. Tim scored 139 points for the Crimson Tide, 1961-63. Steve Davis scored 112 points, 1965-67, Bill was the team's kicker, 1971-73 and Mike booted for 'Bama in 1975.

All were sons of Alvin "Pig" Davis, who was the first player recruited by Bear Bryant when he became an assistant coach in 1936. Pig Davis was a fullback on 'Bama's 1938 Rose Bowl team. Besides the four football-playing sons, Pig sent another son, Robert, to Alabama, where he graduated in 1967 with the highest grade point average in the university's College of Arts and Sciences. All five of Pig's sons went on to become doctors of medicine or dentistry.

Tim Davis, like his brothers, played high school football at Columbus, Ga., with their father as head coach. He was a promising quarterback, but tore up a knee. He perfected his kicking game and with his father's advice to pick a school with formidable linemen, he accepted a scholarship to Alabama.

He was the placekicker on the 11-0-0 1961 Alabama National Championship team that outscored its regular-season opponents 287-22. On New Year's day, in 'Bama's 10-3 win over Arkansas, Davis set a Sugar Bowl record with a 32-yard field goal.  

Despite his record-breaking performance in the Sugar Bowl, and the fact that the NFL and AFL were in a bidding war for player talent, Davis was undrafted. He went to medical school and later formed a practice in Mobile, Ala., with his brother Mike.

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