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"Beatdown" isn't the word. Neither are "rout" or "clobbering." The word to describe what Georgia Tech's football team did to Cumberland does not exist, because we've never had to invent it, because nothing like it has happened before or since. On the 100-year anniversary of this game, we proudly present this very special episode of "Pretty Good," a show about stories that are pretty good.

Welcome to the 10th episode of Pretty Good. This is a story I've been waiting to tell for years. In the first place, it's one I've wanted to learn about for years. I remember being nine years old, flipping through a Guinness Book of World Records, and devouring the 20-word caption in the "sports records" section that summarized Georgia Tech's 222-0 defeat of Cumberland College. That's all I could get: 20 words. I spent the next two decades wondering what sort of unholy malicious mutant football that could have produced the numbers two hundred and twenty-two, and zero.

I finally found the answers, thanks to a play-by-play account from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, some old newspaper clippings, and a couple of century-old college yearbooks. Another major source was the book You Dropped It, You Pick It Up by Jim Paul. Sadly, this book appears to have been out of print for decades, but it works off accounts given by players from both teams, and proved to be an invaluable source of reference.

The play-by-play is probably about 95 percent accurate. There are a couple of minor gaps I filled in. (For instance, at one point, the play-by-play says Georgia Tech gained 11 yards over two plays. I split the difference and recorded it as a 6-yard gain, then a 5-yard gain.) Frankly, though, I feel lucky that such complete accounts of a hundred-year-old game exist at all.

Special thanks to the Georgia Tech Archives for material they provided.

One final note: occasionally, teachers reach out to me and ask whether they can show my videos to their classes. The answer is yes, please, and thank you, and I'm honored, and you don't even need to ask. For this reason, I want to point out that unlike some other episodes of Pretty Good, this episode is a rated-G affair. No cussin', no nothin'.

Previously in Pretty Good:


The 1904 Olympic marathon was a story of fraud, thievery, raw eggs, rat poison, food poisoning, liquor, feral dogs, and at least three separate incidents of near-death. it was the stupidest sporting event of all time.


24 was the Bush administration's favorite TV show. Jack Bauer's world was also a quasi-apocalyptic nightmare that reduced America to a cathedral of death worship. That is not coincidental.


We've all seen multi-lateral desperation trick plays attempted in the NFL. It has only actually worked one time. And the time it worked ... oh no. Ohhhhhhhhhhh no. No, no, no, no, no.