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Simon and Schuster Hardback (2002)
It sold out, now is out of print, and is considered
Taylor Trade obtained the paperback
rights and published its edition in 2004. It has remained in print ever since, but...
Schuster reclaimed the paperback rights and its edition was released February 16, 2016.
On December 6, 1969, the Texas Longhorns and Arkansas Razorbacks met in what many consider the Game of the Century.
In the centennial season of college football, both teams were undefeated; both featured devastating and innovative offenses;
both boasted cerebral, stingy defenses; and both were coached by superior tacticians and stirring motivators, Texas's Darrell
Royal and Arkansas's Frank Broyles. On that day in Fayetteville, the poll-leading Horns and second-ranked Hogs battled for
the Southwest Conference title -- and President Richard Nixon was coming to present his own national championship plaque to
Even if it had been just a game, it would still have been memorable today. The bitter rivals played
a game for the ages before a frenzied, hog-callin' crowd that included not only an enthralled Nixon -- a noted football fan
-- but also Texas congressman George Bush among the Washington entourage seated in the stands among fans. And the game turned,
improbably, on an outrageously daring fourth-down pass.
But it wasn't just a game, because nothing was so simple
in December 1969. In Horns, Hogs, & Nixon Coming, Terry Frei deftly weaves the social, political, and athletic
trends together for an unforgettable look at one of the landmark college sporting events of all time.
leading up to the showdown saw black student groups at Arkansas, still marginalized and targets of virulent abuse, protesting
and seeking to end the use of the song "Dixie" to celebrate Razorback touchdowns; students were determined to rush
the field during the game if the band struck up the tune. As the United States remained mired in the Vietnam War, sign-wielding
demonstrators (including war veterans) took up their positions outside the stadium -- in full view of the president. That
same week, Rhodes Scholar Bill Clinton penned a letter to Col. Eugene Holmes, the head of the ROTC program at the University
of Arkansas, thanking the colonel for shielding him from induction into the military earlier in the year. The colonel, whose
daughter was dating star Arkansas tailback Bill Burnett, would attend the game, while Clinton listened on short-wave radio
in England. That Clinton-Holmes connection even would come into play in a presidential election years later, and the otherwise
reclusive Holmes, who bitterly felt misled, discussed the entire incident with Frei. Texas safety Freddie Steinmark was nursing
a sore leg, and it would turn out that he played the game on a leg being eaten up by cancer -- a leg destined to be amputated
within a week of the game.
Finally, this game was the last major sporting event that featured two exclusively
white teams. Slowly, inevitably, integration would come to the end zones and hash marks of the South, and though no one knew
it at the time, the Texas vs. Arkansas clash truly was Dixie's Last Stand.
Drawing from comprehensive research
and interviews with coaches, players, protesters, professors, and politicians, Frei stitches together an intimate, electric
narrative about two great teams -- including Steinmark, who was displaying monumental courage just to make it onto
the field -- facing off in the waning days of the era they defined. Gripping, nimble, and clear-eyed, Horns, Hogs, &
Nixon Coming is the final word on the last of how it was.
"...a superb blending of
sports, history, and politics." --
Si Dunn, Dallas Morning News
"The game and its cultural
contexts have been beautifully chronicled by Terry Frei in his book Horns, Hogs and Nixon Coming."
-- Bill Clinton
Please direct all inquiries about
the Horns, Hogs and Nixon Coming screenplay and film project to Jeanne Field at Windfall Management in Los Angeles. email@example.com
One of the questions Terry Frei heard most from those who hadn't yet read
Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming was: "How did you become interested in this story?" The answer was complex.
Among reasons were that his father, Jerry, was a major college coach in 1969 (at Oregon) and a contemporary of Frank
Broyles and Darrell Royal, so Terry was aware of and fascinated with the college football of that very tumultuous time
in the country. From afar, he had followed this game and the events around it as a teenager.
Also, though, as an athlete
at the Denver area's Wheat Ridge High School, Frei was walking the same halls and competing on the same fields as had
Freddie Steinmark a few years earlier. As a Wheat Ridge student, Frei read Freddie's book I Play to Win. Above,
Freddie as a Farmer baseball player in 1967, and Frei -- who had moved to Denver during his junior year -- as the Wheat
Ridge co-captain on the same field six years later.
Of course, Frei later researched Freddie's story as part of the panoramic saga, first
for a 1994 Sporting News story and then far more extensively for the 2002 book, but he also had experienced
some aspects of it himself. Steinmark and guard Bobby Mitchell, also from Wheat Ridge, were two of the three starters on the
1969 Longhorns team not from Texas high schools.
Frei spent much of 2001 traveling through
Arkansas and Texas for interviews and research, and also contacted many others around the country. HHNC
is a deeply researched work featuring in-depth interviewing with 65 of the principals involved in both programs and on both
campuses; plus peripheral figures, including former President George Herbert Walker Bush and Colonel Eugene Holmes.
The amount of previously unreported
information is stunning, with the passage of time in some cases loosening tongues and providing perspective, but with
much coming from simply asking questions that hadn't been asked before and connecting the dots in a complex series of
events in a tumultuous time. In the instances where archival information is used, the sources are cited. This is not a case
of writing a book that primarily repackaged and re-reported what others have done in the past, perhaps supplemented with
-- at most -- a handful of interviews.
Since its publication, many have lifted from the book, in some cases with sufficiently extensive
attribution, but in others not -- and most notably when running into roadblocks or otherwise being unable to continue the
research process and then resorting to blatantly and excessively lifting from HHNC and I Play to Win.
"Some of us codgers on the scene thought we knew all facets of The Great Shootout. But now, 33 years after that
climatic Arkansas-Texas game, comes a most intriguing account on whys and wherefores and backgrounds and personality quirks,
warts and all, and political implications (Vietnam protests) and whatever. (That climatic week just happened to be the time
when Bill Clinton got his ROTC draft deferment from an UofArkansas official, whose daughter was dating a Razorback player,
etc.) Title is 'Horns, Hogs and Nixon Coming' and it's by Terry Frei, who must have worn out a dozen tape recorders in the
Blackie Sherrod, Dallas Morning News
went to Wheat Ridge High School, which produced not only (Freddie) Steinmark, but also Texas guard Bobby Mitchell, whose brother
was killed in Vietnam. In part because his father then was the head football coach at the University of Oregon, Frei possesses
the football expertise, an uncanny ability to buttonhook diverse personal anecdotes together and appreciation for history
to best tell this remarkable tale."
--John Moore, theater critic, The Denver Post
knows that football today is a far cry from what it was in the days of leather helmets and dropkicks, but it takes a book
like Terry Frei's 'Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming' to show how much the game has changed in just the last three decades. Frei
does so by chronicling what might have been the final game of the God-Family-Football era, before shoe companies, superagents
and TV networks turned the muddy old gridiron into a multigazillion-dollar business."
-- Charles Hirshberg, Sports
Terry Frei was the "neutral" keynote speaker at the
2004 joint reunion of the 1969 Texas and Arkansas teams in Fayetteville. Here, second from right, he's with Texas defensive
tackle Greg Ploetz, Benton County judge John Scott, Arkansas kicker Bill McClard and Texas rover Mike Campbell.
"It was a bit like stumbling upon a family history as written
by a distant cousin . . . But much to the dismay of our most cherished prejudice, an outsider, a furriner, a Coloradan for
gosh sakes, has seen things we couldn't. Like a Tocquevillian sportswriter in a new world, Terry Frei does the unexpected,
if not the impossible: He makes 'thatdamngame'--and all the cultural, political, and social issues swirling around it like
so much red-and-white confetti--seem new again, relevant again."
--Kane Webb in a lead editorial, Arkansas
"The great sports books eventually aren't about the game or the scoreboard result, but about the characters
involved -- on the field, in the stands, outside the stadium, around the country -- and the times, (and) appeal to more than
just the sports fan. Frei's account of an important moment of Arkansas and Texas sports history is great because of that and
can mean something to the average readers off in Oregon or Connecticut."
--Jim Harris, Arkansas Times, Little Rock
"Frei's often humorous telling is much more than a rehash of the game. . . (It) also serves as a larger history
of the social and political climate surrounding the competition. (The book) is a delightful, well-researched chronicle of
a turbulent era."
-- Larry Little, Library Journal
"A great story, well-told, with more delicious
details than a linebacker could handle."
--David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News
"In some spots,
a reader may laugh out loud. There also may be some tears, especially in regard to courageous Texas defensive back Freddie
Steinmark, who six days after playing in the Big Shootout had his left leg amputated because of a cancerous bone tumor and
died in 1971. . .
"Frei does a masterful job of weaving in the historical significance of the turbulent times, including
Vietnam protests, the military draft lottery and the civil rights movement that were so much a part of campus life in that
era. It's political football at its best."
-- Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
President Richard Nixon in the Razorback
Stadium stands at the Big Shootout. At left in his row are Arkansas Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt, also a decorated
World War II pilot; and Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller. To the right of Nixon are Arkansas senators John McClellan
and J. William Fulbright, a Nixon nemesis. Fulbright, one of the Senate's leading anti-Vietnam War voices, had been a
football star, student body president and also the university president at Arkansas before going into politics. Next to him
is a very young-looking Texas Congressman, George Bush, who was (and still is) one of Hammerschmidt's close friends.
If you look real hard in the row behind them, you can spot the top of Henry Kissinger's head and his glasses. Both Hammerschmidt
and Bush contributed their memories of that day for Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming.
discussed the anti-war protest going on on the hill beyond the stadium, led by Vietnam veteran and Arkansas student Don
Donner, but noted that ABC ignored it.The politicians couldn't miss it.
As HHNC also disclosed, the
traveling party didn't know it, but Arkansas' black students and sympathizers were prepared to storm and occupy the field
if the Arkansas band played the song "Dixie," up to then the unofficial athletic anthem at the school.
several protests and a mass visit to the university president's office, black students had made clear their views on
the matter, and the Student Senate ultimately voted the week before the game to recommend that the band no longer play the
song. One of the participants would have been Hiram McBeth, the little defensive back "appointed" by the back student
organization to integrate the football team, but who didn't suit up for the Big Shootout.
in the fight against "Dixie," law student Darrell Brown, had suffered light leg wound the night before the
game in a drive-by shooting. HHNC disclosed that Brown had gone out for the freshman football team in 1966 and
in some ways could be considered the first black player in Arkansas history; later, he was the defense attorney in Jim
Guy Tucker's Whitewater trial and questioned President Bill Clinton on videotape in the White House.
So there was much
in the air besides football that day, and the book's subtitle -- ...Dixie's Last Stand -- could and
should be interpreted several ways, both involving the region and Southern sports being at a crossroads, and more simply,
the symbolic stand over the song itself.
with Terry Frei at the White House in 1997, was in England when the game was played, but that was the week he wrote what
would turn out to be his notorious letter to Colonel Holmes, the head of the Arkansas ROTC program. Clinton had drawn a high
number in the draft lottery on December 1, and his angst-filled letter to Holmes about pulling out of his commitment to take
advanced ROTC in exchange for Holmes' earlier help in quashing his induction notice was released and was an issue in the 1992
presidential campaign. At the time, Colonel Holmes did not speak with the media beyond issuing an affidavit. However, Holmes
did speak with Terry Frei in 2001 -- in part because Arkansas star tailback Bill Burnett was dating his daughter in 1969,
and later became his son-in-law. Over thirty years later, Holmes still was angry.
believes he was treated fairly in HHNC. (After all, his desire to avoid serving in Vietnam was not unique, and it
was a "bipartisan" phenomenon.) In his autobiography, My Life, he writes of sending his letter to Holmes.
Then he discusses renting a short-wave radio in England to be able to listen to the game.
Clinton wrote: "We had a few friends over who thought we had lost our minds as we
whooped and hollered through a football game so exciting it was billed as the Game of the Century. For a few hours, we were
innocent again, totally caught up in the contest. The game and its cultural contexts have been beautifully chronicled by Terry
Frei in his book Horns, Hogs and Nixon Coming."
After Holmes died in 2005, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer Paul Greenberg of the Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette, no Clinton fan, quoted Frei's passages on Holmes and also praised Horns, Hogs,
and Nixon Coming as "one of the better - and most readable — books of social history published in recent years."
Terry Frei's January 2, 2006 Denver Post column on his fellow
Wheat Ridge High School alumnus, Freddie Joe Steinmark:
Steinmark lives on in memories
In Houston's M.D. Anderson Hospital on Dec. 12, 1969, Denver native
and Texas Longhorns safety Freddie Joe Steinmark woke up after bone cancer surgery.
His mother, Gloria, was there.
On Friday, as she sat in the dining room of her Aurora home, she recalled the conversation.
"First thing he
said to me was, 'Did they take ...,"' Gloria said.
There was no need to finish the question. Surgeons had
removed Freddie Joe's cancer-riddled left leg.
"I said, 'Yes, Freddie,"' Gloria said.
said, 'You know what I've been thinking?'
"I said, 'What have you been thinking?'
'Do you think if I get good at that prosthesis and I can move around good, do you think Darrell Royal would let me be the
"I said, 'Freddie, you'll have to ask him."'
That was Freddie Joe. After coming out
of the fog and hearing that he would live the rest of his life without his left leg, his first words were tongue-in-cheek,
but made a serious point. Steinmark, a Denver Post Gold Helmet winner as a star athlete at Wheat Ridge High School, would
The operation came only six days after he played for the top-rated Longhorns in their celebrated Dec. 6,
1969, showdown with No. 2 Arkansas, the game at Razorback Stadium attended by President Richard Nixon and Texas Congressman
George Herbert Walker Bush, and passionately followed on short-wave radio in England by Rhodes Scholar and Arkansas fan Bill
In my 2002 book "Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming," I called Steinmark's play that day the most
courageous effort ever in a football game. I have gotten no arguments since.
Freddie's leg had been aching most
of the season. He played on a leg being eaten up by cancer, and doctors later told the Longhorns it was amazing the bone hadn't
snapped. Finally, after the game at Arkansas, he had it checked.
Three weeks after surgery, on Jan. 1, 1970, the
day Texas clinched its last bona fide national championship with a 21-17 victory over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, Steinmark
was on the sideline among his teammates. His younger brother, Sammy, also was with him. His parents, Denver police officer
Freddie Gene and Gloria, and two sisters were in the Cotton Bowl stands. On crutches and one leg, wearing a football shoe
on his right foot, Freddie watched proudly, defiantly, and, significant given his plight, faithfully.
presented their plucky safety with a game ball.
"He was so elated," Gloria recalled. "I really think
they wanted to win for Freddie, too."
I could nod at that, because I have spoken with dozens of his former
Longhorns teammates, including 1969 starting Texas guard Bobby Mitchell, the Dallas dentist who also went to Wheat Ridge.
It happened again and again: Reminiscing former football players laughed and smiled through their memories of their younger
days, and when the subject turned to Steinmark, a junior during that 1969 season, the words caught in their throats. The Longhorns
knew how to have a good time. While they did, Freddie was studying. Or in church.
"It makes you cry to think
about it now," said 1969 Texas tackle Bob McKay, who in more casual conversation might be the funniest man on the planet.
"He was the greatest kid in the world."
Gloria Steinmark and her family - including Sammy and daughters
Paula Kay "P.K." Stevenson and Gloria Gene "GiGi" Kunz, who all live in the Denver area - hope the Longhorns
end up with another national championship Wednesday.
"Absolutely," Gloria said. "You can't get over
those things. ... Oh, I'll cry. My tears come easy."
The modern Longhorns still touch a Steinmark plaque on
their way from the dressing room to the field in Austin. The stadium scoreboard is named after Steinmark. They are memorials.
Freddie Joe died June 6, 1971. He was 22.
Gloria, widowed in 2000, still has her son's Cotton Bowl game ball. Freddie
Gene labeled it, to keep it straight from all the other memorabilia from his son's life. Among the portraits of Freddie displayed
in the Steinmark home are one painted by former Texas and NFL star Tommy MacDonald and another drawn from the picture of Freddie
on the Cotton Bowl sideline used on the cover of "I Play to Win," Steinmark's inspiring 1971 book.
said it still can be painful to talk about Freddie Joe. "That scar just never goes away," she said.
does he live on?
"Oh, absolutely," she said. She laughed and added, "I talk to him all the time."
Then she thought a little more about the son who never called her "Ma" or "Mom" - or anything but "Mother."
"You know," she said, "he was such a loving kid and humble, with such a good sense of humor. He and
I got along famously. He always had something good to say about everything and everybody. That was just him. ...
"When he was suffering so bad in the end, he was telling me something so nice about someone. I was leaning over the
bed and looking at him and I said, 'You know, Freddie Joe, you are such a good boy.' He said, 'Aw, Mother, I'm not good. Only
The Steinmarks are fervent Catholics. Freddie Gene and Gloria Marchetti met in the hallways
of Denver's North High, when Freddie Gene, the celebrated star high school athlete in the Denver of another era, mischievously
asked the shy sophomore girl, "Don't you ever speak?", and then gave her his letter sweater to wear. Faith was the
hallmark in Gloria's and Freddie Gene's household, and it was Freddie Joe's.
"I used to think it, but I know
not to say 'why' anymore," Gloria said. "I think he was so special, God wanted him."
Texas halfback Jim Bertelsen, on the turf,
scores the tying touchdown in the final minutes of the Big Shootout.
Because Texas, which fell behind 14-0, went
for -- and made -- a two-point conversion after its first touchdown, this run pulled the Longhorns into a 14-14 tie.
Feller's extra-point kick gave the Longhorns the one-point victory.
While Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming
places the game in the context of its times, it also is a painstaking examination of The Big Shootout from a hard-core
football perspective. Most of the starters for both teams are profiled, the stories of the teams' 1969 season are detailed,
and the strategic elements involved in the game are examined in depth. Primarily, Arkansas came up with a defensive
game plan that gave the Longhorns' previously unstoppable Wishbone fits and served as a blueprint for what other teams used
in eventually making that offense all but extinct. And the game itself unfolds as a flawed, but thrilling showdown
for the national championship that few could ever forget.
President Nixon presents his personal national championship plaque after the game
to Texas Coach Darrell Royal. Partially hidden is halfback Ted Koy and quarterback James Street is at the right.
At the 2004 joint reunion in Fayetteville: Texas tackle Bob McKay, Texas fullback
Steve Worster, Arkansas defensive end Bruce James, Texas tackle Bobby Wuensch, and Arkansas receiver Chuck Dicus.
"The Longview Boys" at the joint 2004 reunion in Fayetteville. Terry Don Phillips, left, was
an Arkansas defensive tackle that day in Razorback Stadium. He now is the athletic director at Clemson. James Street, right,
was the Texas quarterback. They had been high school teammates in Longview, Texas, and when the game ended with the Texas
offense on the field, the first hands they shook were each others'.
Among Terry Frei's many interviews for HHNC were those
with the following '69 Texas players and coaches.
Sample pictures from 2001 book interview sessions below:
|Arkansas linebacker Mike Boschetti
|Texas tight end Randy Peschel
|Arkansas quarterback Bill Montgomery
|Arkansas tackle Mike Kelson
|Texas linebacker Scott Henderson
|Texas linebacker Bill Zapalac
|Texas halfback Dr. Ted Koy
|Arkansas fullback Bruce Maxwell
|Texas tackle Bob McKay
|Arkansas split end John Rees
|Arkansas tailback Bill Burnett
|Texas kicker Happy Feller
|Arkansas safety Dennis Berner
|Arkansas flanker Chuck Dicus
|Arkansas guard Jerry Dossey
|Texas linebacker Julius Whittier
|Arkansas kicker Bill McClard
|Arkansas Coach Frank Broyles
|Arkansas student/Vietnam Vet Don Donner