That was the second half of the headline in the Erie Times on February 26, 1964. The beginning of the headline had something to do with some twenty-two year old boxer named Cassius Clay. As I recall, he knocked out Sonny Liston in the seventh round to become the heavyweight champion.
Come to think of it, the complete headline read, “Clay is the Greatest – and so is Edinboro.
During the time leading up to the boxing match, Clay was mouthing off about being the greatest. When he won the fight, he wasted no time proclaiming, “I am the greatest!” At that point, no one could argue.
In the meantime, Edinboro State College’s basketball team (I don’t have to add the ‘men’s’ part – there was no women’s team back then) was working hard to win the regular season title for the western half of the Pennsylvania teacher’s colleges league. I’m sure they had a fancier title for the conference, but that name has escaped me.
On February 25, 1964, Edinboro played a non-conference game against its arch-rival, Gannon College, from nearby Erie, Pennsylvania. For whatever reason, Gannon won most of the encounters during my time at Edinboro.
Another thing I recall is that we always felt we were shortchanged by the Erie news outlets. Granted, there were a few colleges located right in Erie proper – including Gannon College, and we were about twenty-five miles away. We still believed we deserved as much ink as those other schools… especially Gannon!
On that particular night, the basketball team of Edinboro was bound and determined to beat Gannon. They were playing the game at home with a packed field house. Dan Petchel, Jim Sims, Wendell Rojik, Rich Forcucci, Ken Barker, Dave Shenefelt, Don Dugan, and the rest of the team never let up. I don’t recall the final score, but I vividly recall celebrating our biggest victory of the season.
Waking up the next morning and seeing that headline in the Erie Times made the win over Gannon that much more meaningful.
By the way, for the younger readers who may not recall a boxer named Cassius Clay, he changed religions and his name. He is now known as Muhammad Ali.
The remodeling project is coming along nicely. I’ve reconnected the plumbing to the dishwasher and installed a few more cabinets. I’ll call the counter-top guy this morning. Hopefully, the job will be complete before the end of the year.
Let’s face it, I still have to do the baseboards and molding… and I’ve been known to procrastinate over the small stuff.