Illini 411: Remember when goal posts were made of wood?

Question courtesy of Mike Pershing, ’66 ENG

1964 Rose Bowl Program 1964 Rose Bowl Program (Image courtesy of UI Archives)
Question courtesy of Mike Pershing, ’66 ENG

A: Based on your graduation year, I bet you remember the 1964 Rose Bowl—a 17-7 victory over the University of Washington—where Illini fans “gathered in the end zones in the closing seconds of the game and viciously attacked the wooden posts,” taking them down in “only seconds,” according to The Daily Illini. Since the early days of college football, that has been a common practice after important games: fans going buck-wild and committing socially acceptable acts of vandalism on the field. Goal post-razing became more difficult after 1966, when the aluminum “sling-shot” goal post was invented and soon became the dominant model. By 1971, more than 600 college football stadiums had replaced their wooden posts, and that trend continued. But football fans didn’t get the hint. More than 50 years later, they’re still tearing down goal posts, and they’ll keep doing it, regardless of the construction materials.

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