This was an uneventful year on the football field.  It was the Vandals first .500 season since 1927, but the record was misleading.  The only conference victory came against PCC doormat Montana with losses in the other four conference games.

Washington closes in on the Idaho ball carrier.  Idaho lost to Washington 32-6.

Washington closes in on the Idaho ball carrier. Idaho lost to Washington 32-6.

The photo above shows the Vandal uniform for the 1933 season.  The colors were black socks, khaki pants, red jerseys (with black stripes and white numbers), and black hats.

Regardless of records, the Vandal-Cougar game was always a big deal in the media.  The Spokane Daily Chronicle used a large amount of space in the sports page to detail one of WSC’s “trick” plays.

One of the more interesting aspects of this (hopefully) temporarily suspended rivalry game is the opportunity to engage the community.  Vandals and Cougars teamed up in a joint pep rally in Spokane to stir interest in the game.

The 4-4 record, however, gave Coach Calland hope for the 1934 season since most of the team would be returning.

Several of Idaho’s traditional opponents from the Northwest appeared on the 1933 schedule.  They included former Northwest Conference mate Whitman College, and Gonzaga.  Although those two institutions no longer compete in football at the highest level, they offered great regional competition for the Vandals in the old days.

In 1933, broadcast rights to the PCC brought in $60,000 to the conference.  That equates to roughly 1,000,000 today.  That’s pretty impressive and illustrates that even in the old days football was big business.

Can you imagine a time when recruiting was outlawed?  That was the biggest football news in 1933.  The PCC outlawed recruiting by all its members.  The league had borrowed Mr. Johnathan Butler from the Big Ten conference to investigate alleged wrongdoings by conference members.  While the report was pretty easy on the conference, there were a few findings regarding Idaho.  First, and well known, Idaho suffered from its isolated location.  Even the best athletes from Idaho’s biggest city, Boise, often didn’t enroll at the flagship university.  Conference rules prohibited Idaho from recruiting and as a result, many of the best athletes attended Utah schools because of easier travel. Idaho otherwise received a clean bill of health from the conference inquiry.


About gomightyvandals

A sports fan interested in the history of Vandal Athletics
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