1968 Cotton Bowl Rolex watch is a symbol of the longhorn football revival and New beginnings
Barbara Wainscott grew up in La Marque, Texas, where she met her future husband, Loyd Wainscott, in her junior year of high school. She joined him at The University of Texas the following year when she graduated, in 1966. She and Loyd were married in 1969 and she received her degree in English and Journalism when they both graduated UT later that year. Following Loyd’s professional football career they remained in Houston where they owned a printing and engraving business providing fine stationery products for more than thirty years.
Their legacy continues through their two daughters and their families, including three granddaughters and one grandson.
The season is over and thoughts turn to bowl games. Although you hear that all the time, anyone who knows anything about football TEAMS know that is not at all true. The truth is that football TEAMS think about bowl games from the very beginning of the season, if not from the end of the season before. If a team waits until the end of the season to think about the bowl game, chances are, they won’t get there.
When Loyd played, all he could think about was The Cotton Bowl. It was the “be all and the end all”. Regardless of all the implications of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, from which the quote originates, it is generally intended to mean “the best part of something, the most important part of something or the ultimate part of something”. The flip side of the meaning is “an all-consuming project or passion”. I can’t think of another term that would describe the quest for the Cotton Bowl in the late 1960’s any better.
In 1966 a disappointing 6-4 season concluded with a trip to the Bluebonnet Bowl at Rice Stadium in Houston. The disappointment was palpable. And while they ended with a win, the prize had eluded them. The only thing wrong with that nice Omega watch was that it wasn’t a Rolex with “Cotton Bowl Classic” written across the face. The next season brought more disappointment and another 6-4 season. But as every Easter message foretells…”It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming.” And resurrection was on the horizon for UT football. Sunday was coming.
Coach Royal hired Emory Bellard in 1967 and moved him to Offensive Coordinator for the beginning of the 1968 season; and with him came the wishbone.
The season started with a tie with University of Houston on September 21st. I remember that night vividly because my mother was in poor health and that was the only game my parents were able to attend. They were sitting in the nosebleed section and I worried about her the whole game. The heat and humidity were brutal and everyone in the stands by the end looked like they had played themselves. Loyd sweated out an amazing eighteen pounds of water weight from the start of the game to the finish. He changed his entire uniform at half-time.
The next game brought a loss to Texas Tech and a shuffle to James Street in the quarterback position...and the rest was history. And for the 1968 team it meant a win in the Cotton Bowl against Tennessee...and a Rolex watch that read “Cotton Bowl Classic” across the face. It had been the thing of dreams, but also hard work, determination and positive thinking. The positive thinking had propelled success from a mere hum to a rumble and soon a roar. And it started for Loyd right in his own dorm room.
What a skinny little kid he looks like! I ran across this pic this weekend when I was looking for the picture Mike Perrin made. I still have it and ran across it this summer but I looked for four days and couldn’t find it. I saw in an article that they had Loyd at 6’1” and 215 lbs. My grandson played as a high school sophomore this last season at 6’1” and 230 lbs. Loyd always said if he hadn’t played when he did he would have never been able to play.--B
Loyd was beginning to come into his own on his personal quest for All-American status, becoming more confident in his skills as the season went along. In the OU game he downed a punt on the one yard line, tackled the quarterback in the end zone for a safety, and accumulated eighteen tackles.”
One day he came back to his dorm room to find his roommate, Mike Perrin, as well as other players living in the basement of Moore-Hill Hall had been working on a few arts and crafts. They had thumbtacked a picture on the bulletin board. It was either a Rolex watch with Loyd’s face cut out and glued on the face of the watch or Loyd’s picture with the face of a Rolex superimposed on top of his face...I forget these many years later. But the implication at the time was as crystal clear as the crystal of a watch could be. He had a job to do his part to achieve the collective goal of the team. They told him that he was part of the plan to help win them all a Rolex and that he needed to take good care of himself. I remember a story about the guys rough-housing around one night and someone picked up a chair and threw it across the room. It hit Loyd in the hand and a voice yelled out something to the effect of “Don’t break our Rolex!”
Loyd was proud to have been a part of that effort and even more proud to have been a part of that team. He continued to wear that watch off and on for the rest of his life. To Loyd, the Cotton Bowl watch was never just a piece of jewelry. It represented so many things...blood, sweat, tears, concentration, dedication, camaraderie and the march to manhood. It was a life lesson that served him well in learning how to meet challenges in the days and years that followed.
And now that old watch has a new beginning with my oldest daughter (Kristy Wainscott Attaway) who is Vice-President - Regional Manager at Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors in Austin. With some of the links removed she now wears it daily. I think she rather enjoys wearing her conversation piece on her wrist, and I know she loves having a piece of her dad with her everyday.