The Tar Heels against the Fighting Irish in the Big Apple

Tomorrow afternoon, Kenan Memorial Stadium on campus will be in the hub of excitement that accompanies UNC football, magnified by the mystique of its opponent, Notre Dame University.  Earlier this week I wrote a blog post for our sister blog, North Carolina Miscellany, featuring photographs in the Photographic Archives made by Bob Brooks in 1949 when UNC first played Notre Dame.  That game took place in New York City’s Yankee Stadium.  And if you didn’t already know or deduce . . . Hugh Morton was there.
I cannot bring myself to include in this entry Morton’s most memorable photograph from that contest.  It’s just too heartbreaking to post amidst the anticipation and excitement of tomorrow’s game.  I promise to publish it on Monday.  Instead, here’s a festive pre-game photograph made of UNC’s mascot Rameses and fans in the lobby of a New York hotel:
Group gathered for Nov. 1949 UNC-Notre Dame football game
As usual, we’d love to hear from you with identifications if you can.
I spent a good portion of today tracking down negatives from the game (I’ve found some) and trying to confirm that a group of them are from Yankee Stadium.  The day escaped from me in the process, so I’ll post the game photographs on Monday.

9 thoughts on “The Tar Heels against the Fighting Irish in the Big Apple”

  1. Enjoyed this post as well as the one you did for NC Miscellany, Stephen. If I may, let me offer some possible identification of individuals in the Morton photo:
    Front Row: (Left to Right)
    Jake Wade, UNC Sports Information Director
    G. B. Cook, (With Beard) Rameses’ Volunteer Game Handler
    Ramses VI
    Norman Sper, UNC Head Cheerleader
    2nd Row: (Standing with Glasses) Far Left
    Robert W. Madry, Director UNC News Bureau

  2. Being from Northern California, I have always been a fan of the SF 49ers. So, I loved the trivia I learned while watching the game on TV. Thirty-three years ago, to the day, ND played UNC here at Chapel Hill. That game helped launch the career of Joe Montana, arguably the 49ers best QB. I also learned that Dean Smith offered Montana a Basketball scholarship to attend here(he was that good in both sports), but football was his first love.

  3. There is another bit of interesting trivia from that 1975 Notre Dame – UNC game in Chapel Hill. During the ’75 season the Tar Heel Football Radio Network had a team of former players as analysts. Each Saturday one of the players would be a part of the radio broadcast along with play-by-play announcer Woody Durham. For the Notre Dame game on October 11, 1975, the analyst was Art Weiner, a 1949 All America who played in that first game in Yankee Stadium. (There is an excellent photograph from that ’49 game showing Weiner and Notre Dame guard John Helwig going up for a Dick Bunting pass. The picture can be found on page 108 of Earl Schenck Miers’ 1969 book, “Football” (Inspiring Tales of its All-Time Greats). While the photograph is credited to Wide World Photos, Inc., I would not be surprised to learn that Hugh Morton took the picture and made it available to Wide World).

  4. The gentleman on the far left of the photo of Rameses and friends has to be Mayor or Chapel Hill Bob Madrey. Is that Chuck Ericson beside Rameses?

  5. When Carolina took on Notre Dame in that famous game in Yankee Stadium on November 12, 1949, one of the right ends for the Tar Heel team was #47 Ed Bilpuch. He appears in two of Morton’s online photographs from that day as well as a Cotton Bowl image from 1950
    I just learned this morning of his death back on September 16th.

  6. On this day sixty-three years ago, November 12, 1949, UNC played that famous game with Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium before 67,000 fans. The Tar Heels without Charlie Justice lost to the Irish 42 to 6.

  7. Notre Dame v. North Carolina November 12, 1949….yep, my brother and I drove up from our freshman classes at Belmont Abbey, parked in NJ, rode the train into NYC to attend the game. Halftime score as I recall was 7-6 ND and it went down hill the second half. We were disappointed Justice did not play and a fella name Sitko(?) for ND sort of did us in. Long ride home to Edenton and then to Belmont.

  8. My brother, Jack, and I were there sitting in the top row at the goal line in Yankee Stadium that day. We drove up from Belmont Abbey where we were freshmen, left the car in NJ and took the train into the city. It look all was on track the first half, and then BANG…….Choo Choo where are ye?

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