Charlie Thornhill

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Michigan State Hall of Fame and golden glow

Michigan State Hall of Fame and golden glow

Michigan State's 1960s golden era shines brighter these days. The luminescence, like a firefly’s glow, isn't artificial. It's a result of the MSU Hall-of-Fame committee reaching back to honor previously overlooked special athletes. Football is king, but there is more to the...

Michigan State needs lesson on its own history

Michigan State needs lesson on its own history

Duffy Daugherty rolled over in his grave. Bubba Smith, George Webster and Charlie Thornhill huddled above and wept as they looked down.The College Football Hall of Fame coach and the legendary players he recruited from the segregated South to Michigan State had to be...

Spartans overlooked early warning signs

Spartans overlooked early warning signs

Players say things in the optimism of the preseason that can be blamed on youthful enthusiasm. But in the aftermath of a ravaged season, such comments can be reviewed as a red-in-the-morning warning that they were out of touch with an approaching storm.Turn back the clock to...

Game of Century rivals are respected friends

Game of Century rivals are respected friends

A half-century after the final whistle, the Notre Dame and Michigan State players no longer feel compelled to debate the final moments of their 1966 Game of the Century. They like their place in history despite the controversial 10-10 tie.There certainly was acrimony afterward,...

Six cases for Michigan State Hall of Fame

Six cases for Michigan State Hall of Fame

A key debate point among Pro Football Hall of Fame voters basically applies to any athletics hall. “Can you write the history of pro football without him?” With that frame-of-reference, I bring up Michigan State’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Two-time All-Americans George Webster,...

Precedent and irony surround Michigan spring practices

Precedent and irony surround Michigan spring practices

SEC and ACC football coaches who are howling over Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh’s upcoming spring football practices in Florida should be reminded there is precedent for a Big Ten school traveling to the South to enhance recruiting.The difference between now and then is when...

Mystery solved in Thornhill and Namath myth

Mystery solved in Thornhill and Namath myth

It turns out William “Nay” Thornhill knew the identity of the sportswriter that placed a phone call to Michigan State’s football office in 1962. The previously forgotten caller had encouraged the Spartans to recruit Charlie “Mad Dog” Thornhill, an historic athletic figure in...

Elsworth shares his moment with Thornhill family

Elsworth shares his moment with Thornhill family

In this age of social media you would think Kyler Elsworth and Nay Thornhill would have talked by now. Elsworth is the Michigan State’s Rose Bowl Defensive MVP from the 2013 the New Year’s Day win over Stanford in Pasadena. Nay is the younger brother of the late Charlie “Mad...