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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Al Capone Once Got A Motorcade Escort Into The Northwestern-Nebraska Game

Today Nebraska and Northwestern play their sixth game in a rivalry that began in 1902. As the Huskers are a recent refugee to the Big Ten, this will be the first trip for Nebraska to Evanston since October 1931. Among the spectators in that game, according to this delightful clipping the Northwestern University Archives dug up this week, was a certain Chicago celebrity whose presence riled the scribes at the Daily Northwestern. Carrying the label "Get This, Capone!", the student paper gave ol' Scarface what for:

"Scarface Al" Capone, murder and chief of murders, brothel keeper and common procurer of women, has been a most distinguished guest at Northwestern's last two football games. At the Nebraska game, he and his party swept up to the stadium entrance, through the police barricades on Central street, like an emperor arriving for his coronation. It is said that a motorcycle escort heralded his approach with screaming sirens.

At the Notre Dame game, the pudgy bootlegger occupied one of the choice seats in the stadium in a box on the fifty-yard line. His presence was announced at both games over the loud speaker system. He was one of the stellar attractions of the day—in his own vulgar estimation.

But—cheap gangsters and outlawed criminals are not wanted at any Northwestern function, athletic or social. Their presence is an insult to the dignity of a university.


It is also said Northwestern won the Nebraska game 31-7, went on to share the Big Ten title and then win one bowl game during the next 80 years. "Machine Gun Jack" McGurn, a member of Capone's entourage, went on to a very short career as an amateur golfer and was assassinated in 1936 on the seventh anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day massacre, at a bowling alley. Al Capone went insane due to syphilis and got arrested by Kevin Costner. The Daily Northwestern went on to crank out masters of calumny for years to come.

[Northwestern University Archives Facebook wall post]

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