Mike Sweeney was shot down and killed in WWII in the European Front.
Mike played on the 1937 Frosh team and lettered on the varsity in 1938, 40,and 41. Although, the 1 win-8 loss 1938 season was a poor showing for the team, Mike showed considerable promise. According to one scribe he was "destined to be one of the greatest ends to wear the Orange and White". Unfortunately, his season was cut short by a knee injury in the SMU game. To assure a sound recovery, he laid out of school in 1939 while the team improved considerably, finishing with a 5 win-4 loss record.
While the team competed, Mike worked as a roustabout in the Louisiana oil fields until a notorious bully in the crew provoked Mike into a barroom fight. The report that comes down to us is that Mike ended the dispute by knocking the man out cold. For fear that the bully would do something violent when he awoke or the law might take a dim view of fighting, friends immediately put Mike on a bus to Amarillo sans baggage. Upon arriving home Mama started berating him for fighting. To which Mike protested, "But Mama, I only hit him once!"
Once might well have been enough. Mike had boxed in Golden Gloves at the state level while in high school and college. "Skinny" Mike Sweeney was now 6’3" and weighed over 190 lb: a heavy weight. A few of the male relatives had become excited by the prospect of having a real prizefighter in the family. Mike’s boxing career was abruptly terminated however, when he was over-matched and promptly knocked out. His coach’s advise was: "Do not let him in the ring again. He has a glass jaw."
The 1940 and 1941 football seasons were successes ending in records of 8-2 and 8-1-1 respectively. Mike’s performance drew kudos such as: "razzle-dazzling," "smashing end play," "at his peak," "canny judgment and finesse," "played great ball," "great," "fiercely rushed" and "swell catch." He was known for his stalwart defense but also blocked, caught passes and occasionally lateraled off to a trailing back.