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How many football games have Sullivan and Linton played?

By B.J. Hargis
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Photo by B.J. HARGIS: Sullivan and Linton, shown above during a game last August at Sportland Field, have been playing football against each other since 1904.

In a dumb movie from the ’80s called Mr. Mom, the husband was played by Michael Keaton. He was laid off from work and was reluctantly becoming a househusband.
His wife got a job and her boss came to pick her up one day. They were having a room remodeled by professionals, which stalled when Keaton lost his gig.
But Keaton, ego and all, picks up a chainsaw and puts on some goggles and acts like he is in the middle of the doing the remodel.
The boss asks Keaton if he is going to wire the place with 220 (amps).  And in what is one of the greatest lines in comic cinema history, he says, “220, 221, whatever it takes.”
So what is the reason for my obscure cinema history?
There are some who believe Friday night’s football game between Sullivan and Linton will be the 100th in the history of the series between the two hated rivals.
It fact they have been selling T-shirts at both schools that represents the belief that this is game No. 100.
All the proceeds from sales at Sullivan will be donated by the Sullivan Booster Club to the Luke Jones Scholarship Fund, in honor of the Sullivan teenager who just succumbed to cancer.
What a great cause and generous offer by the booster club.
But there is at least one other — myself — who knows this will be meeting 102.
The reason for my confidence is one Tom P. Gettinger. Until he and his lovely wife Nancy sold the Sullivan Daily Times and moved to Bloomington, Tom’s pet project became Sullivan football.
During Tom’s days of helping Nancy run the SDT, he became the unofficial historian of Sullivan football.
He compiled records on every opponent that Sullivan ever faced.
Years ago, Tom did all the leg work in the Sullivan-Linton football series.
I have just been adding to it in recent years, but his list indicates that the current series stands at 50-49-2 in favor of Sullivan. Fifty plus 49 plus two is 101.
Even a journalism major can figure that one out, with a calculator of course.
Just to be sure, I went back and recounted every game and came up with the total of 101.
I also recounted and found the number of wins and losses and ties to be correct, with Sullivan having the slight edge.
I never claimed to be a math major, but I can  count to 102.
Not just because he was my former boss and wrote me a great letter of recommendation, but I trust the leg work of Thomas P. Gettinger about Sullivan football. He is the only man I know to have spent more time in front of a microfilm machine than myself.
Rex Tuttle, who is the unofficial historian of Linton football, believes his numbers to be true.
“I have two less games than you do,” Tuttle told me in an e-mail. “I have Friday night’s game as 100 in the series.”
Several years ago, then Linton football coach Charlie Karazsia went digging and put together the records for the Miners.
The interesting thing was that he had the start of Linton football around 1920. But how do you account for the Linton-Sullivan series, which dates back to 1904.
It’s the same at Sullivan where the records compiled by SHS have football starting in 1920, with coach V.C. Stivers having a 3-4-1 record that season.
So if someone asked you about the start of Sullivan football, what would you say, 1904 or 1920?
A guy, who was making a Linton football shirt years ago, asked me the same thing about the beginning of the Miners some years back. I told him the first game I knew about was 1904, but Charlie’s records only went into the 1920s.
The only thing I know for sure is that some great players and coaches have participated in one of the oldest high school football series in Indiana.
So whether 220 or 221, 1904 or 1920 or 102 or 100, I know that I will be in attendance Friday with a front row seat on the sidelines.
But be careful and park in designated spots only or risk being towed, according to a notice from the Linton athletic department on Monday.


Sullivan vs. Linton
Football series, 1904-2016
Sullivan 50, Linton 49, 2 ties
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
1904 Linton 16, SULLIVAN 6
1904 LINTON 42, Sullivan 0
1907 LINTON 17, Sullivan 0
1907 Linton 20, SULLIVAN 0
1908 LINTON  12, Sullivan 6
1909 LINTON 125, Sullivan 0
1910 Linton 33, SULLIVAN 0
1911 LINTON 25, Sullivan 0
1920 SULLIVAN 0, Linton 0, tie
1922 LINTON 24, Sullivan 7
1926 SULLIVAN 14, Linton 0
1927 Sullivan 13, Linton 0
1928 Linton 13, SULLIVAN 7
1929 LINTON  6, Sullivan 0
1930 Linton 13, SULLIVAN 0
1931 LINTON 21, Sullivan 0
1932 Linton 13, SULLIVAN 6
1933 LINTON 27, Sullivan 0
1934 SULLIVAN 26, Linton 0
1935 Sullivan 26, LINTON 0
1936 SULLIVAN 39, Linton 6
1937 SULLIVAN 34, Linton 12
1938 Sullivan 13, LINTON 0
1939 SULLIVAN 48, Linton 0
1940 Sullivan 27, LINTON 0
1941 SULLIVAN 20, Linton 6
1942 Sullivan 7, LINTON 7, tie
1943 SULLIVAN 38, Linton 7
1944 Sullivan 25, LINTON 0
1945 Linton 22, SULLIVAN 0
1946 LINTON 28, Sullivan  0
1947 Linton 48, SULLIVAN 26
1948 Sullivan 28, LINTON 15
1949 SULLIVAN 53, Linton  0
1950 Sullivan 33, LINTON 14
1951 Linton 41, SULLIVAN 14
1952 Sullivan 39, LINTON 7
1953 SULLIVAN 33, Linton 13
1954 Sullivan 41, LINTON 6
1955 SULLIVAN 34, Linton 19
1956 Sullivan 13, LINTON 6
1957 SULLIVAN 34, Linton 13
1958 Sullivan 31, LINTON 19
1959 Linton  6, SULLIVAN  4
1960 Sullivan 27, LINTON 12
1961 SULLIVAN 26, Linton 7
1962 LINTON 30, Sullivan 13
1963 SULLIVAN 20, Linton 6
1964 LINTON  6, Sullivan 0
1965 SULLIVAN 28, Linton 6
1966 LINTON 22, Sullivan 0
1967 SULLIVAN 21, Linton 12
1968 Sullivan 27, LINTON 0
1969 SULLIVAN 60, Linton 0
1970 Sullivan 20, Linton 0
1971 Linton 12, SULLIVAN 6
1972 Sullivan 20, LINTON 8
1973 SULLIVAN 12, Linton 7
1974 Sullivan  9, LINTON 6
1975 SULLIVAN 18, Linton 12 (OT)
1976 LINTON 15, Sullivan 6
1977 SULLIVAN 40, Linton 12
1978 LINTON 36, Sullivan 0
1979 Linton 27, SULLIVAN 26
1980 LINTON 21, Sullivan 18
1981 Linton 26, SULLIVAN 0
1982 Sullivan  6, LINTON  0
1983 SULLIVAN 28, Linton 19
1984 Sullivan 14, LINTON  6
1985 SULLIVAN 18, Linton 12
1986 LINTON 28, Sullivan  7
1987 Linton 32, SULLIVAN 6
1988 Sullivan 20, LINTON 6
1989 Linton 20, SULLIVAN 14 (2 OT)
1990 Sullivan 33, LINTON 13
1991 SULLIVAN 52, Linton 6
1992 Sullivan 18, LINTON 13
1993 SULLIVAN 23, Linton  8
1994 Sullivan 34, LINTON 19
1995 Linton 6, SULLIVAN  2
1996 Sullivan 36, LINTON 12
1997 Linton 40, SULLIVAN 32
1998 LINTON 46, Sullivan  6
1999 *Linton 20, SULLIVAN 14
2000 Sullivan 53, LINTON 18
2001 LINTON 24, Sullivan 14
2002 Linton 34, SULLIVAN 31
2003 LINTON 13, Sullivan 7
2004 SULLIVAN 56, Linton 32
2005 LINTON 38, Sullivan 8
2006 Linton 38, SULLIVAN 0
2007 LINTON 26, Sullivan 9
2008 Linton 48, SULLIVAN 8
2009 Sullivan 13, LINTON 6
2010 Linton 42, SULLIVAN 21
2011 LINTON 27, Sullivan 13
2012 Linton 58, SULLIVAN 26
2013 LINTON 34, Sullivan 24
2014 SULLIVAN 24, Linton 21
2015 LINTON 46, Sullivan 22
2016 Linton 48, SULLIVAN 7


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