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MINNESOTA'S FOOTBALL COACH ONCE CUT OPEN ONE OF HIS PLAYERS

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Despite a broken neck, Twanglelegs Robinson scored a touchdown in the second half before dying, opening up a serious opportunity on the varsity squad for Henry "Murderflower" Wilson. ---Albert Lin, Tramptown Gazette, 19aughtandeight.

When Mark Dantonio is eventually caught surrounded by plastic tarps in his kill room, Jim Tressel squirming on the table screaming "Don't believe what he says--he's the Spillway Slasher, not me!"*, he'll probably attempt to explain that he had to perform emergency surgery on Tressel, and that a little innocent amateur surgery between friends is only natural.

This would be illegal, of course, unless you were a doctor performing surgery under circumstances your state medical board found to be in accordance with its codes and regulations. The medical codes in Minnesota in 1909 were likely nonexistent or rudimentary at best ("It is to recommended that fishing tackle be used sparingly, if at all, lest the surgeon need to use lines in afternoon walleye prospecting,") but as far as we know only one football program can actually claim a successful coach/surgeon.

That would be the University of Minnesota and its football coach, Dr. H.L. Williams, who operated successfully on his own team captain and quarterback, Johnny McGovern, when the young rapscallion's intesto-filligree (appendix, in modern terms) went on the fritz and caused a humdinger of a hullabaloo in 1909.

McGovern was operated on last Monday for appendicitis. The famous little football player was taken ill at his desk in a local newspaper office and was hurried to a hospital, where Dr. H.L. Williams, the Minnesota football coach, operated upon him. He is reported to be recovering nicely.

This is Minnesota, so of course whatever they were doing was happening nicely and without any fuss, but holy shit: MINNESOTA'S COACH CUT INTO HIS OWN QUARTERBACK. Steve Spurrier's only dreamed about being able to take a blade to his own quarterbacks, but this man actually did it, dammit.

Also from the article is a story that wrestling mats have always been gross, but were even more so in the days before penicillin and widespread use of disinfectants. 

While engaged in a bout on the mat, Johnston received a bad case of blood poisoning from infection to an injury while wrestling. His face is so swollen that he is barely able to see.

The article leaves out the unspoken "but he still wrestled three matches, performed his farm labors, and attended his Latin classes with a strong dose of the Kentucky Tonic from team doctors." (HT: Chris)

*This is the big story Yahoo's working on, but in true Dexter fashion, some insane twist of events will leave Dantonio free to follow the example he learned from Lithgow/Tressel.