Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Field House
Here's a shot of the UW field house taken in 1949 from the open source Life Magazine collection. Known to one and all as "The Barn", it was the home of the greatest college boxing team in the nation. During the 30's, 40's and 50's, Coach John Walsh's UW teams won eight national championships, 134 matches,and 38 individual NCAA championships - an unprecedented feat. The death of Badger Charlie Mohr during a match at the 1960 NCAA championships brought down the program. The end of UW boxing was the end of college boxing. Today the great Field House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside and tucked away in a back hallway are the fading pictures of the great Badger boxing teams. The north side of the building facing into Camp Randall Stadium is obscured, nearly buried, (in my opinion desecrated) by pointless rows of cheap seats courtesy of the football program. Who the hell came up with that idea?
Here's an Amazon link to Doug Moe's book Lords of the Ring, the triumph and tragedy of college boxings greatest team. I can't say enough about this book and I've worn out my wallet buying copies for friends. Let's just say, it's the greatest. Buy it. Now. And speaking of UW boxing, stay tuned for a future post about the last coach of the UW boxing team, Vernon Woodward.