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A Nice Look Back At The '44 Sugar Bowl Team

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Here's a really nice historic piece on the 1944 Duke Bowl win over Alabama- Duke's first bowl win.

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Lt. Col. Wallace Wade, who stepped aside to volunteer for duty, had by then led his troops through Normandy and across France only to get caught in the desperate struggle that was the Battle Of The Bulge, said he would take a break to listen to the game and that he was “setting up a special cheering section over here to help the boys along. Tell the boys they’ve got to win this one.”

They did, 29-26. He obviously had a lot on his mind, but one wonders what Wade, who left Alabama for Duke in 1930, was thinking. We had always heard that he was fired by Alabama but allowed to finish the season, which ended spectacularly and that Alabama tried to rehire him but he declined the offer.

But we could be wrong.

Whatever happened, can you imagine being in the Ardennes, in an exceptionally cold winter with the war in the balance and taking time to listen to your team on the radio? One wonders if he could hear the battle. He must have had a million things on his mind at the same time and it must have taken a certain discipline to focus on the game and the war simultaneously.