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Goalpost finds new home at Bill Daniel Student Center after trek from stadium to President Sloan+s to storage

Nov. 4, 1997


Goalpost finds new home at Bill Daniel Student Center after trek from stadium to President Sloan's to storage

By Luke McElmurry

Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

As the saying goes, history repeats itself, and it finally did Saturday when students carried out the ultimate expression of fan support and attacked the goalpost for the second time in Baylor's history.

Following the final possession that clinched the victory against the University of Texas, Baylor fans rushed chaotically out onto the field. After a little bit of hesitation, a mob of fans, led primarily by members of the Baylor Line, swarmed the goalpost and tore the helpless steel uprights from their welds.

The goalpost hit the ground and applause rang throughout the stadium, but that was only the tip of the celebratory iceberg. Members of the Baylor Line proceeded to heave the structure out of the stadium and march it to the Bill Daniel Student Center. After a brief interlude at the BDSC, members of the Baylor Line reconvened and carried their trophy to President Robert B. Sloan Jr.'s front yard. Fearing it would possibly get damaged, campus security had the goalpost put in storage at Waco Construction. However, following many fan and student requests, Sloan had it removed from storage and placed where it still sits in front of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

Sloan said he and his wife were excited to find the figure in their yard late Saturday night.

'I considered it a complement that students carried the goalpost to my house,' Sloan said.

Timothy Hromadka, a Highlands freshman, was part of the traveling goalpost party and heralds the parade as a wonderful experience.

'Everyone was so caught up in the moment of such a landmark win that we just didn't want it to end,' Hromadka said. 'Now it feels good to be part of something that the whole campus can participate in.'

From administration to alumni to the footbal team, this jubilant act of team love was widely approved and embraced.

'Someone came in and announced that they tore down the goal post and we went nuts. Then, Coach Roberts started to dance,' said Jeff Watson, Bears quarterback.

Sloan said he has seen no condemnation of the act and he is proud of the students for their support of the team.

'You cannot plan for something this spontaneous and it was really great to see it come about,' Sloan said. 'Everybody where I was sitting was cheering and clapping and crying in excitement.'

Sloan was pleased furthermore to see that it was carried all the way to campus.

'They wanted to take their trophy and put it where everyone could see it, which is a great expression of fan love,' Sloan said.

According to Baylor Police Chief Jim Doak even the occupants of the stadium command center were cheering and celebrating with high fives as well when the goal post was toppled.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Doak had a meeting with personnel to anticipate the possible goal post tumbling and how to deal with it. While working within the athletic department's wishes to preserve at least one goal post the police department decided to concentrate more on U.T.'s head coach John Mackovick's safety rather than playing the grinch who saved the goal post.

'We had no intentions of putting a damper on the fans' emotion and spirit,' Doak said. 'It was a great time, nobody got hurt and the whole event turned out beautifully.'

The Baylor police went so far as to escort the goal post victors safely through intersections.

Now on display, the goal post sits smothered in multicolored ink with an array of messages. Writings on the goal post range from, 'I love you A.J. love Brett.' to signatures to the phrase pictured in The Waco Tribune-Herald, 'It took 5 years and 50,000 dollars for me to see this finally happen. Thank God.'

Zeleen Hood, an Anchorage, Alaska junior jumped at the opportunity to add her name to the memorabilia in the making.

'It is great that campus was united by three pieces of steel and I wanted to add my name to that piece of history,' Hood said.

Stan Madden, vice president of student marketing, said that administration is considering several options concerning the fate of the goal post and repairing and returning it to the stadium is not one of them. Preserving the goal post art in a clear lacquer and then hanging it in the bear pit is the top idea on the list.

'We want it to be something people can visit and remember and say, 'I was there,'' Sloan said.

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