A story from Jack Vaughn about Jack Cristil
So Starkville resident Jack Vaughn, the ex-NFL official who worked three Super Bowls as a field judge, visited the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum today. I thought I knew a whole lot about Jack, but I didn’t know all.
I knew Jack was from Ponchatoula, La., but I didn’t know that the legendary Darrell Royal had recruited him to play quarterback at State.
I knew he played shortstop for the Diamond Dawgs, but I didn’t know that he went to State to play football and gave up that sport only after Royal left the football program to go to the University of Washington.
I told Jack something he didn’t know about me. My full name is Richard Darrell Cleveland — and the Darrell comes from Darrell Royal, whom both my father and mother greatly admired.
But then Jack trumped me with more stuff I didn’t know about him. Such as this: After giving up football at State, he spotted for Jack Cristil’s football radio broadcasts for the next three years. That is, he would point out to Cristil on a chart who was making the tackles or the key blocks. Those were the second, third and fourth years the beloved Cristil did State radio.
Said Jack Vaughn, “Not many people know this but Jack took that job for $25 a game. That’s what Dudy Noble paid him. Can you believe that? Twenty-five dollars a game. Money was tight back then.”
But Jack Cristil was not.
Here’s the kicker from Vaughn: “Jack always gave me $15 for spotting the games for him. So, in actuality, I made more money than he did. He made 25, paid me 15 and that left him with 10.”
Unbelievable, the stuff you learn here at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
Oh, and this from Jack Vaughn, who also officiated two Pro Bowls: “I never saw anybody have more fun playing football than Walter Payton. That guy loved to play. I remember one time when I had one of his games and he got tackled and I ran up to the pile. A hand reached out from under the pile and untied my shoes. When they finally un-piled, there was Walter down at the bottom, looking up at me and just grinning.”
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