August 2, 2013
Got up this morning and whipped out an illustration for an upcoming True West Moment on the earliest known reference to football in Arizona. It comes from George Parson's Tombstone diary on January 12, 1882:
“Grand foot ball racket this afternoon on Fremont Street near Fourth. All hands joined in, all kinds of conditions and we had much joy. Result about $10 worth of glass broken in Epitaph and Nugget and some sore toes.”
I've long wanted to do a painting of this, accurately portraying the miners, cowboys and gamblers playing an early version of the game. For one thing, it may have been soccer-based or rugby-based, we don't know. The game went through some incredible changes from 1882 to the early 1900s when the frozen line of scrimmage and the forward pass and all that came into being (mostly through the innovations of Walter Camp, I believe).
Anyway, for my purposed in a True West Moment I wanted to have Wyatt in one of those 1950s posed shots that were so popular.
Daily Whipout: "Straight-armed at The OK Corral"
Of course, there is no proof that Wyatt Earp (above) participated in the game. But, it should be noted, a week later, on January 17, Earp, Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo confronted each other a block south of the football game, so it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
In the final version of the True West Moment, Wyatt has a word balloon that says, "I hate the Cowboys," which is a reference to Zonies hating the Dallas Cowboys AND the Earps hating the Cochise County version.
"All I want is four feet of ground."
"If you ever dream of beating me, you'd better wake up and apologize."