In the 50 days leading up to Arizona’s season-opener against Toledo, on Sept. 1 at Arizona Stadium, TucsonCitizen.com and its affiliate WildAboutAZCats.net will rank the Top 50 games in the history of the football program. The ranking starts today as the kickoff to the Wildcats’ season — and the start of the Rich Rodriguez era — is only 50 days away.
SCORE: Arizona Varsity 22, Tucson Indians 5
DATE: December 1899
SITE: Tucson, Carrillo’s Gardens, a private tree-lined park near the Santa Cruz River southwest of downtown
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Arizona closed its inaugural season with its first win in the program’s history. Coach Stewart Forbes finished his only year leading the Varsity — as the team was called at that time — with a 1-1-1 record. He was replaced by William Skinner prior to the 1900 season. The team’s colors were sage green and silver. A couple of weeks prior, the Varsity played their first game on Thanksgiving Day 1899 against Territorial Normal (later Arizona State). According to the university (access a team photo by clicking on this link), the team wore padded canvas pants, old shoes to which a local shoemaker attached cleats, shoulder pads made of old shirts and stuffed into their playing shirts. No head gear. Training consisted of waking early and running four or five miles perhaps as far as Fort Lowell and back before showering and going to class. The Tucson Indians were a team fielded by the Presbyterian Tucson Indian School.
Javier Morales took first place in the 2010 Arizona Press Club’s Metro Sports Reporting category. For a different look at University of Arizona sports, check out Javier’s unique Web site: WILDABOUTAZCATS.net