By Maleesa Johnson
The Baylor Alumni Network, the Baylor “B” Association and Baylor Athletics will honor decades of football at the Floyd Casey Stadium as the Bears’ time in the stadium nears an end.
“We wanted to honor the teams and players that have come before,” said Doug Fertsch, director of Baylor Sports Network. Fertsch said the number of home games at Floyd Casey is representative of the number of decades Baylor has played at the stadium.
Each home game, the alumni network will continue to commemorate a different decade of Floyd Casey’s history.
They do so by inviting any player that lettered in football within that decade to be honored on the field.
“We came up with the idea last spring just as a way to commemorate previous players and say goodbye to The Case,” Fertsch said.
Former players are being honored on the field between the first and second quarter of the game. Associate athletic director of the “B” Association, Walter Abercrombie, is responsible for the invitations sent out to the former Bear athletes.
Abercrombie said about 80 players came back for the first game, about 50 for the second game, and he is expecting 80-90 players to return to Floyd Casey this weekend.
“Most of them want to be a part of this,” Abercrombie said. “They all want to be a part of what’s going on right now in Baylor, and we’re glad to have them be a part of it.”
The past two games have commemorated more recent decades. The Wofford College game honored all the teams that played in the 21st century.
The following weekend during the game against Buffalo State College, the ’90s were recognized. This trend continues as teams from the ’80s will be honored this weekend at the game against University of Louisiana-Monroe.
“For our third game, which is going to be our third decade reunion, we will celebrate players from the 1980s,” Abercrombie said. “This decade included several bowl games and a conference championship. Many of those guys went on to play in the National Football League and we’re expecting them back as well.”
The returning former Bears receive two tickets to the game, free lunch, free parking and on-field recognition. They also receive a commemorative gift from Baylor Athletics.
In a slight contrast, the game against Oklahoma University will not honor a specific decade. Rather, the All-Floyd Casey Team will be recognized.
According to the Baylor Bears website, a university selection committee selected the players that made up the team. Offense and special team players that received unanimous votes include Bill Glass, Lawrence Elkins, Abercrombie and Robert Griffin III.
Members of the defense team that were voted on unanimously include Santana Dotson, James Francis, Mike Singletary, Thomas Everett and Gary Green.
In addition, the alumni network tent has collectable pennants unique to each decade.
The pennants are free to the first 500 visitors to the Alumni Network’s tent. In addition to the pennants, free burgers and fries from Fuddruckers are also available.
The pennants are 12 inches long and themed according to the decade being honored.
This weekend, the pennant will have Baylor written in cursive because of the popularity of that logo in its time.