1937 Pitt State football film
A recent find by a Pittsburg public schools worker proves to be one future generations will never forget. An old roll of film originally taken from a school building not around anymore gives a glimpse of Pittsburg State University 76 years ago.
“This is amazing! This is the only one of these we have,” says PSU historian Randy Roberts.
The public information officer for Pittsburg’s school system, Zach Fletcher, found a box with the year 1937 written on it.
“And on it was an 8 cent stamp, “says Fletcher.
Inside was a 100 foot long 16 millimeter film.
“I saw what looked like a marching band, and then I saw a guy. At first I thought it was a statue. Then I saw three guys, one of them was smoking a cigarette. I thought it was kind of strange,” says Fletcher.
When the film was digitized, Zach Fletcher, who used to be a reporter, put his investigative skills to use. First, he looked at the stadium.
“Raised entry ways that you tunnel out of,” says Fletcher.
Then, Pitt State historian Roberts pointed out something else.
“Those are striped uniforms. During this time period, Pittsburg State was wearing striped uniforms,” says Fletcher.
There was a historic eureka. This 1937 film is the earliest film of PSU football. When the video was shot, PSU was 34 years old. Now, it’s 110 years old.
“The only video we have of William Brandenburg, who was the first president of Pittsburg State University,” says Roberts.
Back then, there were no bleachers on the east side of the field.
Jack Overman was going to PSU during this time, and cheerleaded at nearly every game. The video isn’t clean enough for Overman to know if a cheerleader in the video is him. But he has stories.
Overman says, “I always stood off (a) ramp, and people always said you’re going to fall off of here!”
We asked Overman if PSU’s football team was good in the 1930’s.
“Well, we had good ones and we had bad ones,” said Overman with a smile.
This piece of history now gives insight and appreciation further into the past.
“Traditions are old,” says Fletcher.
And through it all, there have been fans like Overman.