The Announcement of Doug’s Rug

Tom Mattingly’s post of today on his blog The Vol Historian is a great reminder of how different communications were 42 years ago.

The first game on Neyland Stadium's new Tartan Turf in 1968.

Tom informs us that on June 17, 1968, 42 years ago today and just a few weeks before the famous 1968 season opener between Georgia and Tennessee, the Vols’ Athletic Director Bob Woodruff sent a telegram to the Bulldogs’ AD Joel Eaves that an artificial playing surface would be laid in time for their game at Neyland Stadium.

Suffice it to say that Mr. Eaves was none too pleased with the idea, even though Tennessee “furnished the turf shoes for Georgia and got them all fitted out on Friday for the workout” according to Bob Davis, UT’s 1968 freshman football coach.

I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of the players who did their Saturday thing on “Doug’s Rug” for the next 36 years were not too happy about it either.


Patrick Garbin, author of the very fine blog About Them Dawgs! Blawg, has a Bulldog perspective on this historic event, as well as some footage from ABC’s broadcast of the first half (Warning: the clips are Georgia-friendly portions of play!).


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2 responses to “The Announcement of Doug’s Rug”

  1. TK says :

    it was its thing. it put tennessee on the map and on the college football television for the day. it was the talk of the weekend for that weekend in college football. i was there…….and nothing was more perfect to me to have this big uncertainty of the game end in a tie.

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